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Thomas W. Sherman

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Subject: Battle of Port Royal, Siege of Fort Pulaski, Battle of Buena Vista, Siege of Corinth, Mitchelville
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Thomas W. Sherman

Thomas West Sherman
Thomas W. Sherman
Nickname(s) Tim
Born (1813-03-26)March 26, 1813
Newport, Rhode Island
Died December 31, 1879(1879-12-31) (aged 66)
Newport, Rhode Island
Place of burial Island Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1836–1870
Rank Brigadier General

Mexican-American War

American Civil War

Thomas West Sherman (March 26, 1813 – December 31, 1879) was a United States Army officer with service during the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. While some contemporaries mistakenly identified him as the brother of the more famous General William T. Sherman, modern scholarship notes that the two were not closely related.[1]


  • Early career 1
  • Mexican-American War 2
  • Civil War 3
  • Post war 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early career

Sherman, known to his friends as "Tim", was born in Newport, Rhode Island. His desire to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point was so strong that he walked from Newport to Washington, D.C. to secure a Congressional appointment. He graduated from the Academy on July 1, 1836. Upon graduation he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 3rd U.S. Artillery Regiment. Sherman would serve the bulk of his career with the 3rd Artillery and eventually became its commander.

His early career included service in the Florida War against the Seminoles from 1836‑38 and in the Cherokee Nation in 1838 while transferring the Native Americans to the West.

He was promoted to first lieutenant on March 14, 1838. He served again in the Florida War from 1838 to 1842 and on recruiting service in 1842.

He served at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina from 1842 to 1844 and was again on recruiting service from 1844 to 1846. He was promoted to captain on May 28, 1846.

Mexican-American War

During the War with Mexico he took a distinguished part in the Battle of Buena Vista on February 23, 1847, leading his battery in a defensive action helping to stop the Mexican attack, and was brevetted to major "for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct" during the battle.

He was assigned to Fort Trumbull in New London, Connecticut in 1848 and then to Fort Adams in Newport from 1849 to 1853.

He was then on frontier duty at Fort Snelling, Minnesota from 1853 to 1857 and was in command of expedition to Yellow Medicine, Minnesota in 1857. He was involved in quelling the Kansas Border Disturbances in 1857 to 1858 and the Artillery School for Practice at Fort Ridgely, Minnesota from 1858 to 1861, except while in command of the expedition to Kettle Lake, Dakota in 1859.

Civil War

At the start of the Civil War, Sherman was serving as a major in the 3rd Artillery when he received a volunteer commission as brigadier general on May 17, 1861. He assumed command of the ground forces in the Port Royal Expedition. Sherman and the naval force under Flag Officer Samuel F. du Pont captured Port Royal in a combined Army/Navy operation.

After briefly commanding the Department of the South, Sherman was sent to the Siege of Corinth when the latter assumed command of the Right Wing of Major General Henry W. Halleck's army group. After that he commanded the Defenses of New Orleans before taking command of a division in Major General Nathaniel P. Banks's army, which he led into action at the Siege of Port Hudson.

During the May 27, 1863, attack on Port Hudson, Sherman was severely wounded, which led to the amputation of his right leg. His injuries were so severe that he was not expected to live and the newspaper in his hometown of Newport, Rhode Island printed an extensive obituary for him. For the rest of the war he held administrative commands in Louisiana.

In recognition of his heroism and services, Sherman was breveted to the rank of major general at the end of the war.[2]

Post war

After the war, Sherman joined the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and was issued insignia number 643.

Sherman was mustered out of volunteer service on April 30, 1866 and reverted to his Regular Army rank of colonel and was placed in command of the 3rd Artillery Regiment.

He served in command of his regiment and the post of Fort Adams, in Newport from July 29, 1866, to February 1869. He was in temporary commanded the Department of the East from January to July 16, 1868. His final assignment was in command of his regiment and Fort Taylor in Key West, Florida from February 1869 to November 29, 1870.

Sherman retired from active service on December 31, 1870 as a Major-General for "Disability caused by the Loss of a Leg in Battle".[3]

Sherman died in Newport on March 16, 1879 at the age of 66. He was buried in the Island Cemetery in Newport.

See also


  1. ^ Symonds, Craig L., Lincoln and His Admirals, New York: Oxford University Press, 2008, P. 65n, ISBN 0-1997-5157-9.
  2. ^ Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
  3. ^ Sherman, Thomas West

External links

  • Cullum's Register of USMA Graduates
  • Thomas W. Sherman at Find a Grave
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