William Tecumseh Sherman, born in Lancaster, Ohio, 8 February 1820, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1840. After serving at various posts and in California during the Mexican War, Sherman resigned from the Army in 1853 to become superintendent of a military school at Alexandria, La. When secession of southern States escalated into Civil War, Sherman was appointed Colonel, commanding the newly formed 13th U.S. Infantry. During the first Battle of Bull Run, he commanded a brigade under McDowell. Soon he commanded Union forces in Kentucky and later led a new division under Grant in the Battle of Shiloh which won him promotion to Major General of Volunteers. His service at Vicks-burg helped reduce that Southern stronghold. Given command of the Army of the Tennessee in September 1863, Sherman replaced Grant in supreme command in the West in spring 1864 and began his advance on Atlanta. General Sherman took Atlanta 1 September and began his famous march through Georgia, occupying Savannah 21 December 1864. He was advanced to Lieutenant General in 1866, and became General upon succeeding Grant in 1869 in command of the Army.. He retired. 1 November 1883, after over 40 years of brilliant service. General Sherman died in New York 14 February 1891.
(SwStr: t. 187; l. 168' b. 26'; dph. 4'6"; a. 2 20-pdr. P.r., 3 24-pdr. how.)
General Sherman was one of four light wooden gunboats built at Chattanooga, Tenn., for the War Department in 1864. She commissioned at Bridgeport, Ala., 27 July 1864, Acting Master Joseph W. Morehead in command.
General Sherman was assigned to the llth District, Mississippi Squadron, and became part of Lt. Moreau Forrest's gunboat fleet on the upper Tennessee River. Leaving Bridgeport 22 August, she patrolled with other gunboats between Decatur, Ala., and Mussel Shoals, controlling guerrilla attacks and working to prevent major elements of Confederate General Hood's army from crossing the river into Tennessee. General Sherman continued to patrol until she returned to Bridgeport for repairs 17 December.
Returning to the upper Tennessee River, General Sherman lent vital artillery support to the forces of General Steedman at Decatur, 27 December, shelling Confederate emplacements as Union troops crossed the river. She again patrolled the river, attempting to cut off the withdrawal of Hood's army from Tennessee and convoying Union supply ships, until the war ended. She was returned to the Army Quartermaster Department at Chattanooga, Tenn., 3 June 1865.