Amy Campbell Library > Biography > Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman

Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman

By Robert L. O'Connell


William Tecumseh Sherman used to be greater than only one of our best generals. Fierce Patriot is a daring, revisionist portrait of the way this iconic and enigmatic determine exerted an outsize impression at the American landscape—and the yankee character.
America’s first “celebrity” normal, William Tecumseh Sherman was once a guy of many faces. a few have been exalted within the public eye, others recognized simply to his intimates. during this daring, revisionist portrait, Robert L. O’Connell captures the fellow in complete for the 1st time. From his early exploits in Florida, via his superb yet tempestuous generalship through the Civil warfare, to his postwar profession as a key participant within the development of the transcontinental railroad, Sherman used to be, as O’Connell places it, the “human embodiment of occur Destiny.” here's Sherman the army strategist, a grasp of logistics with an uncanny snatch of terrain and superb feel of timing. Then there's “Uncle Billy,” Sherman’s public character, a charismatic hero to his troops and quotable catnip to the newspaper writers of his day. right here, too, is the personal Sherman, whose urge for food for ladies, events, and the excessive lifetime of the recent York theater advanced his already turbulent marriage. Warrior, kin guy, American icon, William Tecumseh Sherman has ultimately discovered a biographer valuable of his protean presents. A masterful personality examine whose myriad insights are leavened with its author’s trademark wit, Fierce Patriot will stand because the crucial booklet on Sherman for many years to come.

Praise for Fierce Patriot
“A significant exam of the numerous points of the long-lasting Union general.”—General David Petraeus
“Sherman’s status in American heritage is bold. . . . it really is difficult to visualize the other biography shooting all of it in this kind of concise and enlightening fashion.”National Review
“A sharply drawn and propulsive march throughout the tortured psyche of the man.”The Wall road Journal
“[O’Connell’s] narrative of the March to the ocean could be the simplest i've got ever read.”—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
“A striking, smart, clever, and strong book.”—Evan Thomas, writer of Ike’s Bluff

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Colonel Mason despatched Sherman to evict him. With what could be thought of an way over enthusiasm, he arrived with a detachment of sailors, burst in at dinner with pistols in hand, then abducted what grew to become out to be really an outdated guy, bringing him again to Monterey “half-dead with sea disease and fear,” in basic terms to be published and not heard from back. 23 Sherman could have instructed himself he had stored the electorate of Sonoma from “a harmful kingdom of effervescence” and chalked this up as a victory for legislations and order, yet he should have recognized it amounted to significantly much less. in the meantime, whilst he was once now not out on such goose chases, the workload in Monterey used to be crushing him underneath a pile of Mason’s unenforceable orders. “There is not anything new the following. No unusual occasions, no hair breath escapes, no battles, no stirring events, no not anything. ”24 Then, all at once, every thing replaced. at some point within the spring of 1848, Mason referred to as Sherman into his place of work and directed him to a couple glossy chunks at the desk. “What is it? ” Sherman bit it to envision for luster, then pounded the biggest piece flat with the pinnacle of an ax. there has been no doubt: it was once gold. And greatly greater than he had ever obvious. It have been despatched by way of Johann Sutter, the invention of his workmen construction a sawmill alongside the yankee fork of the Sacramento River. Sherman’s brain raced, however it used to be noticeable what they'd to do. “I confident Col. Mason that it used to be our accountability to head up and notice with our personal eyes that we would file the reality to our govt. ”25 The ensuing mission—Sherman, Mason, and 4 soldiers—proceeded to Sutter’s citadel (where he threw them an Independence Day bash) after which up the yankee fork, the place an surprised Sherman predicted 4 thousand males have been already operating quite a few websites, generating round $50,000 worthy of gold according to day. once the celebration back to Monterey, the lieutenant ready “with nice care” the letter Mason could ahead to Washington formally confirming the locate. He additionally steered sending facts within the type of an oyster can packed with nuggets. 26 The timing used to be uncanny. The gold, all twenty kilos of it, arrived in December the day after President James Polk’s final annual message trained Congress of the “extraordinary” unearths in California. It trigger the nice Gold Rush of ’49 and marked William Tecumseh Sherman’s first brush with future. 27 just like the sorcerer’s apprentice, although, he might locate the implications overpowering. Gold, economics’ model of the common solvent, instantly begun dissolving the U. S. army presence in California. infantrymen abandoned in droves and sailors jumped send, all headed for the river of gold the place any laborer may possibly earn extra in an afternoon than the army paid in a month. Sherman seethed with frustration. every one morning’s roll name appeared to convey extra troops lacking. One common even took off along with his favourite double-barreled shotgun. 28 ultimately, one night the orderly sergeants said to the assembled officials overall of twenty-eight males had it seems that headed for the hills.

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