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Union General William Tecumseh Sherman
Sherman began his career in the United States Military Academy, graduating sixth in the class of 1840. He first saw combat at the Battle of First Manassas, and very early in the war determined that it would not end quickly. This view that did not sit well with his colleagues, but was tragically realized over four grueling years. He was convinced that preservation of the Union meant not only defeating the Southern armies in the field but destroying the Confederacy’s practical means and psychological will to wage war. To achieve that end, he launched a campaign that was defined as “modern warfare” and brought “total destruction…upon the civilian population in the path of the [Union’s] advancing columns.”
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