He understands the psychology of war matters, and he is intent on trying to get the war over as quickly as possible.

We continue our series on Great Captains with a look at William Tecumseh Sherman, one of the more controversial figures in the Civil War due to his actions in the South during the latter stages. A brilliant leader who understood well the impact that war has on soldiers and societies, Sherman was credited by Liddell-Hart as being the first “modern” general. But as the architect of a brutal campaign that severly weakened the Confederacy, Sherman also invoked fear and anger from enemies and friends alike. War College professors Jacqueline E. Whitt and Andrew A. Hill take a close look at Sherman and his legacy and one of histories Great Captains.


Jacqueline E. Whitt is Professor of Strategy at the U.S. Army War College and Andrew A. Hill is the Chair of Strategic Leadership at the U.S. Army War College. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.

Photo: Cropped portrait of William T. Sherman by Mathew Brady, listed as between 1865 and 1880. Digitally enhanced from original negative.

Photo Credit:  Prints and Photographs DivisionBrady-Handy Collection, Library of Congress (public domain)

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  1. Yet Sherman sent one of his black regiments to lead his army into Charleston. There was a man on horseback in front with a makeshift flag with the word “Liberty” written on it. Perhaps he saw further into racial injustice then Dr. Whitt seems to think. Admittedly, this would also scare the Hell out of confederate sympathizers who watched the parade as well.

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