One of the Civil War’s best-known generals, William Tecumseh Sherman (1820–1891) was born in Lancaster, Ohio. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1840 and served in California as well as in the Mexican War. Appointed brigadier general of volunteers for the Union in 1861, Sherman fought at Bull Run and Shiloh. Promoted to major general the following year, he then distinguished himself in the Vicksburg and Chattanooga campaigns of 1863.
Sherman blazed a trail of destruction as his troops seized Atlanta, marched to the sea, and headed north through the Carolinas. He received the surrender of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston on April 26, 1865, 17 days after the surrender of General Robert E. Lee in Appomattox, Virginia. The saying “War is hell” is attributed to Sherman. His younger brother, Senator John Sherman (1823–1900) of Ohio, was the author of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890.