WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN: Defender of the Union by Wyatt Blassingame

WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN: Defender of the Union

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Apart from his Civil War record, Sherman is of little interest, and the record is incomplete here in the absence of maps; nonetheless Mr. Blassingame renders the battles graphically and passes judgment justly--Sherman's initial orders and good intentions notwithstanding, the Union horde descended from foraging to burning and looting in Georgia, and Sherman himself took on the aspect of avenger especially in South Carolina. The author takes pains also to clarify the circumstances surrounding the insecure general's purported 'insanity' in his first independent command; distraught he may have been, and somewhat paranoid, but likely he was thinking of the Mississippi Valley not just Kentucky when he asked for 200,000 men. Of personal drama there is little save the chance encounter of two failed West Pointers--Grant and Sherman--on a St. Louis street in 1858; and of Sherman's thinking scant evidence appears except his recorded, and prophetic, remarks, upon South Carolina's secession. If, however, a full-length, factual and unfictionalized chronicle is wanted, this fills the bill (and doesn't particularly suffer from lack of an index).

Pub Date: May 15th, 1970
Publisher: Prentice-Hall