Sherman's Total War

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Sherman’s Total War Sherman’s March to the Sea and the Carolinas Campaign employed total warfare, an essential tactic to defeating the Confederate Army. Union General William T. Sherman’s plan was a key factor in winning the civil war. His plan was to lead a destructive march to the sea and through the Carolinas, a risky idea. On this brutal march Sherman guarantees success with total war; a tactic he pioneered. The resistance that was left to face Sherman’s army was a picnic for him to defeat. The Union’s victory would not have been possible without what Sherman accomplished on his march. Sherman wrote his plan to Ulysses S. Grant saying what he would accomplish through his march. Both Lincoln and Grant reluctantly agreed to Sherman’s plan. …show more content…
Sherman set out with 60,000 men on November 15, 1864 to march to Savannah. To make the entire South feel the cold harsh hands of war General Sherman used total warfare. Total war was a tactic Sherman developed, in which he would lead a destructive march to the Savannah port. His troops burned down and pillaged towns and homes. They either burned everything or they took it. In November 1864 Sherman “sent 35,000 troops” back to defend Nashville (Hill 31). Sherman ordered the people to leave Atlanta; which was huge punishment to the Atlanta civilians. He believed that the people of Atlanta would be safer if they were away, and with friends. They burned everything of military value in Atlanta, and in doing so burned 1/3 of the city. The Union forces were spread 60 miles wide like a wave of mass destruction. General Sherman was accused of being inhumane for his actions. After capturing the port in Savannah Sherman’s next move was to join forces with Ulysses S. Grant to defeat Robert E. Lee’s army on the Richmond-Petersburg front, and to lead a second march through the Carolinas. Sherman’s troops would rely on Georgia farms for food. His troops paused regularly to wreak railroads, burn factories, cotton gins, and anything else that may be valuable to the Confederacy. The troops brought sheer destruction to Georgia. The worst event was the burning of Columbia. Through the march Sherman …show more content…
By March Sherman’s forces crossed into North Carolina. Although Sherman was seen as a cruel General because of the destructive march he led; he offered generous surrender terms. Sherman got many armies to surrender to him, including Johnston’s army on April, 26. He captured Savannah on December 21, 1864. Sherman occupied the capital of North Carolina, Raleigh. South Carolina seceded, and made the whole army want to wreak vengeance on them. Though the Union armies fought for slave rights; hundreds of slaves found their path to freedom blocked because of burned down bridges. Within in weeks of capturing Raleigh the war ended. Sherman sent a telegram to President Lincoln stating his achievement. Slaves rejoiced at their emancipation for they were liberated by the Union. Through Sherman’s tactic of total warfare the Union guaranteed their victory. His precise plan to lead a destructive march to the sea and through the Carolinas was very important. Conventional warfare would not have won the North’s victory. Total warfare struck fear into the hearts of the women and children of the south, and terrorized the soldiers. It brought the Confederacy to its knees. Sherman’s march truly showed how weak the Confederacy had

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