Francis Trowbridge Sherman

Francis Trowbridge Sherman was born in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 31, 1825. When he was nine years old, the family moved to Chicago (then a town of 350 population) where the elder Sherman commenced the manufacture of brick, an enterprise in which he was aided by his son. Sherman's father later became one of Chicago's early mayors. Young Sherman pursued various occupations, including a clerkship in the Chicago post office; he also spent a year in California at the height of the gold rush. On October 30, 1861, he was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 56th Illinois, the "Mechanic Fusil-eers," a regiment which was mustered out in February, 1862. The following month he was re-mustered as major of the 12th Illinois Cavalry, a position he held until September 4, 1862, when Governor Richard Yates appointed him colonel of the 88th Illinois, which was also called the "Second Board-of-Trade Regiment." Sherman's command fought at Murfreesboro as part of Joshua W. Sill's brigade of Philip Sheridan's division; Sill was killed and the brigade sustained nearly seven hundred casualties. Shorly thereafter Sherman became a brigade commander in the XX Corps and although not present at Chickamauga was one of the leaders of Sheridan's division of the IV Corps who stormed up Missionary Ridge and drove Braxton Bragg's Confederates from their supposedly impregnable position. When the Atlanta campaign opened Sherman was attached to IV Corps' headquarters as chief of staff to General Oliver O. Howard, and on July 7, 1864, while conducting a reconnaissance, was captured. After a series of adventures he was exchanged in October, 1864, and joined Sheridan's staff in the Shenandoah Valley as inspector general. He was present at Waynesboro, Dinwiddie Court House, Five Forks, Sayler's Creek, and Appomattox and was brevetted brigadier general on March 13, 1865. On July 21, 1865, he was belatedly accorded the full rank while serving as provost marshal general of the Military Division of the Gulf under Sheridan at New Orleans. Mustered out in February, 1866, he returned to Louisiana where he lost heavily by investing in a sugar plantation. In 1867 he began manufacturing barbed wire in Chicago and the same year was appointed postmaster of the city by President Johnson. Sherman also served a term in the Illinois legislature in 1873. In 1890 he moved his residence to Waukegan, Illinois, where he died on November 9, 1905. He was buried in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.