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SEAC: Appendix C


Appendix C
Biographies of Union Commanders


Major General William Tecumseh Sherman
(Warner 1964)
Commanding, Army of the West

Age: 45
Born: Ohio
Education: United States Military Academy, graduated 6th in the class of 1840
Branch: Artillery
Occupations: Professional soldier, banker, lawyer, military academy superintendent, head of a streetcar company

Service Record:

Served in California during the Mexican War, brevetted
1853, Resigned at the rank of Captain
1859, Military academy superintendent, (academy is now known as Louisiana State University)
14 May 1861, Volunteered for the Union Army, appointed Colonel 13th Infantry
June 1861, Commanding 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, Army of Northeastern Virginia
7 August 1861, Promoted to Brigadier General, U.S.V.
17 August 1861, Commanding Brigade, Division of the Potomac
28 August 1861, Second in Command, Department of the Cumberland
8 October 1861, Commanding, Department of the Cumberland
14 February 1862, Commanding, District of Cairo, Department of the Missouri
1 March 1862, Commanding, 5th Division, Army of the Tennessee
1 May 1862, Promoted to Major General, U.S.V.
21 July 1862, Commanding, 5th Division, District of Memphis, Army of the Tennessee
24 September 1862, Commanding, 1st Division, District of Memphis, Army of the Tennessee
24 October 1862, Commanding, District of Memphis, 13th Corps, Army of the Tennessee
18 December 1862, Commanding, Yazoo Expedition, Army of the Tennessee
4 January 1863, Commanding, 2nd Corps, Army of the Mississippi
12 January 1863, Commanding, 15th Corps, Army of the Tennessee
4 July 1863, Promoted to Brigadier General, U.S.A.
24 October 1863, Commanding, Army and Department of the Tennessee
18 March 1864, Commanding, Military Division of the Mississippi
12 August 1864, Promoted to Major General, U.S.A.

Battles and Campaigns:
Bull Run, Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, Shiloh (WIA), Corinth, Vicksburg Campaign, Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge, Knoxville, Meridian Expedition, Atlanta Campaign, March to the Sea, Carolinas Campaign

Profile:
General William Sherman’s varied professional pursuits suggest a restless man in search of a meaningful endeavor for himself. His search took him many places, including extensive travel in the South. He was attracted to the South and its people, becoming very familiar with Southern geography and the Southern lifestyle. Eventually, he settled in Alexandria, Louisiana, becoming a respected instructor at the local military academy and a valued member of the community. A staunch Unionist, as Louisiana approached secession, he was compelled to resign his position at the academy.

After an emotional departure ceremony staged by the academy’s cadets, he traveled north, arriving in Washington in early March. Initially expressing his desire to have no part in the expected hostilities, he turned down appointment as Brigadier General. Eventually he recognized the impossibility of not becoming involved and accepted commissioning as Colonel, 13th Infantry. His inclination to speak his mind without an appreciation for possible repercussions became fodder for the press. After making several controversial comments, it was suggested in some papers he might actually be insane. Disgusted with the press, disappointed with his superiors, and mistrustful of politicians, it seemed his career might end prematurely. However, he was encouraged by friends, especially his good friend General Ulysses S. Grant, to disregard the criticisms and continue his valuable service. General Sherman once came to the aid of General Grant when he was being criticized publicly. General Sherman remarked: "General Grant is a great general, I know him well. He stood by me when I was crazy and I stood by him when he was drunk; and now, sir, we stand by each other always"(Warner 1964).

It wasn’t long before General Sherman’s aptitude for soldiering was recognized. His actions at Shiloh in April 1862, restored his confidence and started his ascent through the ranks. In 1863, his star continued to rise, and in March 1864 at Chattanooga, Tennessee he was placed in command of the Military Division of the Mississippi. Waiting just across the Georgia line was General Joseph E. Johnston and the Confederate Army of Tennessee. General Sherman’s plan was to strike south into Georgia, engage Johnston’s Army and "break it up" (Warner 1964). Once General Johnston was eliminated, his intent was to continue south, destroying the war resources of the region.

By early May General Sherman and his force were in motion toward Dalton, Georgia. The battles that occurred over the next three months as the Union general pushed ever deeper into Georgia are testament to the skills of both Generals Sherman and Johnston. Both executed campaigns of maneuver. General Sherman’s superior force would engage General Johnston’s men, feint then flank. General Johnston conducted a superb delaying action. He picked good ground, would hold until near disaster, then fall back to previously prepared positions. In July, as the Confederate Army of Tennessee was forced into the fortifications of Atlanta, General Johnston was replaced by General John Bell Hood.. In September, after several costly attacks by General Hood, Atlanta fell.

Attempting to draw General Sherman out of Georgia, General Hood and the Army of Tennessee moved north, threatening General Sherman’s supply line. Not taking the bait, General Sherman dispatched a force to follow General Hood, but with his main body, broke away from his supply line and moved southeast toward the coast. General Sherman’s men laid waste to the area that fell within their 50-mile wide axis of advance. With little opposition, his force moved quickly enough to offer the Georgia coastal city of Savannah to President Lincoln as a Christmas present. Having made "Georgia howl," General Sherman then turned his attention toward the last leg of his march, the Carolinas (Warner 1964).


Brevet Major General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick (Warner 1964)
Commanding, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps

Age: 29
Born: Deckertown, New Jersey
Education: United States Military Academy, class of 1861
Branch: Artillery
Occupation: Professional soldier

Service Record:
6 May 1861, 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Artillery, U.S.A.
9 May 1861, Captain, 5th New York Infantry, U.S.V.
14 May 1861, 1st Lieutenant, 1st Artillery, U.S.A.
25 September 1861, Lieutenant Colonel, 2nd New York Cavalry
29 January 1862, Lieutenant Colonel and Aide-de-Camp
6 December 1862, Colonel, 2nd New York Cavalry
16 February 1863, Commanding 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac
13 June 1863, Promoted to Brigadier General, U.S.V.
14 June 1863, Commanding, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac
28 June 1863, Commanding, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac
26 April 1864, Commanding, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Cumberland
29 October 1864, Commanding, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi
30 November 1864, Promoted to Captain, 1st Artillery, U.S.A.

Battles and Campaigns:
Big Bethel (WIA), 2nd Bull Run, Chancellorsville Campaign, Gettysburg Campaign, Brandy Station, Raid on Richmond, Atlanta Campaign (WIA at Resaca), March to the Sea, Carolinas Campaign

Profile:
Brevet Major General Kilpatrick was the first regular Army officer to be wounded in action in the Civil War. In February 1864, he launched the ill-fated raid on Richmond, which resulted in fiasco and the death of Colonel Ulric Dahlgren. He neither drank nor played cards but was a notorious ladies’ man. He was vain and tended to exaggerate his accomplishments. In November 1864, Sherman asserted, "I know Kilpatrick is a hell of a damned fool, but I want just that sort of man to command my cavalry on this expedition" (Warner 1964).


Brevet Brigadier General Thomas Jefferson Jordan (National Archives)
Commanding, 1st Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division

Age: 44
Born: Walnut Hill, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
Education: Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Occupation: Lawyer, lumber merchant

Service Record:
17 April 1861, Mustered in as Major, U.S.V.
22 October 1861, Major, 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry
28 February 1862, 3rd Battalion, 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry
13 June 1862, Taken prisoner
13 January 1863, Promoted to Colonel, U.S.V.
March 1863, Paroled
October 1864, Commanding, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Department of the Cumberland
November 1864, Commanding, 1st Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division, Army of Georgia
December 1864, Commanding, 1st Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division, Military Division of the Mississippi
December 1864, Commanding, 1st Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division, Army of Georgia, Military Division of the Mississippi
January 1865, Commanding, 1st Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division, Department of North Carolina
25 February 1865, Brevetted Brigadier General. U.S.V.

Battles and Campaigns:
Unionville, Kentucky, Middleton, Kentucky, Shelbyville, Kentucky, Bacon Creek, Kentucky, Gallatin, Kentucky, Tompkinsville, Kentucky (POW), Atlanta Campaign, March to the Sea, Carolinas Campaign

Profile:
Brevet Brigadier General Thomas J. Jordan was an able field commander. He was well thought of by his superiors and respected by his men. With the exception of his time as a prisoner of war, he was constantly in the field with the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Often suffering from ill health, at times he was compelled to accompany his command in an ambulance.


Brevet Brigadier General Smith Dykins Atkins (Sifakis 1988)
Commanding, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division

Age: 29
Born: New York
Occupation: Illinois lawyer

Service Record:
30 April 1861, Captain, 11th Illinois
21 March 1862, Major, 11th Illinois
4 September 1862, Colonel, 92nd Illinois
February 1863, Commanding, 2nd Brigade, Baird’s Division, Army of Kentucky, Department of the Cumberland
8 June 1863, Commanding, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland
22 July 1863, Colonel, 92nd Illinois Mounted Infantry
28 January 1864, Commanding, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Cumberland
13 May 1864, Commanding, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Cumberland
5 November 1864, Commanding, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi

Battles and Campaigns:
Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Tullahoma Campaign, Chickamauga, Atlanta Campaign, March to the Sea, Carolinas Campaign

Profile:
Early in the war, Brevet Brigadier General Atkins commanded a Regiment in Wilder’s Lightning Brigade. This famous Brigade pioneered the use of mounted infantry in the Civil War. His earlier experience with the Lightning Division made him a valuable asset to Brevet Major General Kilpatrick and the 3rd Cavalry Division.


Colonel George Eliphaz Spencer (National Archives)
Commanding, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division


Age: 29
Born: New York
Occupation: Iowa attorney, represented Alabama in the U.S. Senate  

Service Record:
24 October 1862, Captain, U.S.V.
11 September 1863, Colonel, 1st Alabama (U.S.) Cavalry
January 1865, Commanding, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi

Battles and Campaigns:
Shiloh, Atlanta Campaign, March to the Sea, Carolinas Campaign

Profile:
Early in the war Colonel Spencer served as a volunteer aid to John M. Thayer. Later he was appointed Assistant Adjutant General to Grenville M. Dodge. Prior to the Atlanta Campaign he took command of a Regiment of loyal Alabamians. Having demonstrated his abilities in the Atlanta Campaign and General Sherman’s March to the Sea, he was given command of 3rd Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division.



Lieutenant Colonel William B. Way (National Archives)
Commanding, 4th Brigade (dismounted), 3rd Cavalry Division

Age: 30
Born: Rochester, New York; raised in Michigan

Service Record:
4 September 1861, Mustered in as 1st Lieutenant, Fisher’s Company, 1st Regiment Michigan Cavalry
November 1861, Commanding, Company C, 1st Regiment Michigan Cavalry
11 October 1862, Promoted to Captain, U.S.V.
12 November 1862, Mustered out of service
30 April 1863, Mustered in with the rank of Major, 9th Michigan Cavalry
30 November 1863, Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, U.S.V.

Battles and Campaigns:
Shenandoah Valley, Pope’s Virginia Campaign, McClellan’s Maryland Campaign, Antietam, Blue Springs Kentucky, Carter’s Station Tennessee, Atlanta Campaign, March to the Sea, Carolinas Campaign

Profile:
Major Way particularly distinguished himself in the Cavalry operations pursuing the rebel General Morgan during July 1863, and which ended with the capture of that rebel guerrilla General on July 26, 1863. Major Way, at the head of about 200 men, chased a larger force of the enemy and captured more than 300 rebel Cavalrymen, besides killing and wounding a very large number. His gallantry contributed greatly to the success of the operations which ended in the capture of nearly all of General Morgan’s party, including the General.

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