William Tecumseh Sherman (February 8, 1820 - February 14, 1891) was an American soldier, businessman, educator, and author. He served as a general in the United States Army during the American Civil War (1861-65), receiving both recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy, and criticism for the harshness of the "scorched earth" policies he implemented in conducting total war against the enemy. Military historian Basil Liddell Hart famously declared that Sherman was "the first modern general."
Sherman served under General Ulysses S. Grant in 1862 and 1863 during the campaigns that led to the fall of the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg on the Mississippi River and culminated with the routing of the Confederate armies in the state of Tennessee. In 1864, Sherman succeeded Grant as the Union commander in the western theater of the war. He proceeded to lead his troops to the capture of the city of Atlanta. His subsequent march through Georgia and the Carolinas further undermined the Confederacy's ability to continue fighting. He accepted the surrender of all the Confederate armies in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida in April 1865.
After the Civil War, Sherman became commanding general of the army (1869-83). As such, he was responsible for the conduct of the Indian Wars in the western United States. He steadfastly refused to be drawn into politics and in 1875 published his Memoirs, one of the best-known firsthand accounts of the Civil War.