Thomas West Sherman

Thomas West Sherman was born in Newport, Rhode Island, on March 26, 1813. When he was eighteen years old he walked to Washington to secure from President Andrew Jackson an appointment to West Point. After his graduation from the Academy in 1836, he became an officer of artillery and took part in the transfer of the Cherokees from Georgia to Indian Territory, served in the Florida War, was garrisoned at Fort Moultrie in Charleston Harbor, and fought in the war with Mexico, winning the brevet of major for gallantry at the battle of Buena Vista. He later served on frontier duty in Minnesota, in the Kansas Free-State controversy, and in Dakota Territory. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Sherman was quickly advanced to lieutenant colonel in the Regular Army and was one of the first group of volunteer brigadiers appointed (August 6 to rank from May 17, 1861). His first important service was in command of the land forces of the Port Royal (South Carolina) expedition. On April 30, 1862, Sherman was assigned to command a division of the Army of the Ohio in the advance upon Corinth after the battle of Shiloh. In August he was ordered to report to the Department of the Gulf for duty and, after some service in the defenses of New Orleans, commanded a division under N. P. Banks in the operations against Port Hudson. On May 27, 1863, while leading an assault on the Confederate works at Port Hudson, he sustained a wound which cost him his right leg. He returned to duty in March, 1864, and occupied various district commands in and about New Orleans until the end of the war. He had been promoted colonel, 3rd Artillery, in the Regular Army in 1863 and in 1865 was brevetted major general in both the regular and volunteer services. From 1866 until 1870 General Sherman commanded his regiment at various points on the Atlantic Coast, including Fort Adams at Newport and the post of Key West. For a time in 1868 he was in charge of the Department of the East. Invalided out of the Army in 1870 with the rank of major general, General Sherman died in Newport, on March 16, 1879, and was buried there in Island Cemetery.

Previous Page

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