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William T. Sherman: The Early Years

Trivia powered by Prof. WalterBorn: February 8, 1820
Died: February 14, 1891

William Tecumseh Sherman was an American soldier, businessman, educator and author. He served as a General in the Union Army during the American Civil War (1861�65), for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the "scorched earth" policies that he implemented in conducting total war against the Confederate States. Military historian Basil Liddell Hart famously declared that Sherman was "the first modern general".

What do you know about William T. Sherman? Try this Civil War Trivia quiz. You'll find the answers at the bottom of the page.

1) Where was William Tecumseh Sherman born?

  • Lancaster, Ohio
  • Macon, Ohio
  • Atlanta, Georgia

2) Sherman's unusual given name has always attracted considerable attention. Sherman himself reports that his middle name grew from the fact that his father �caught a fancy for the great chief of the Shawnees, �Tecumseh.��

  • True or False?

3) Senator Thomas Ewing secured an appointment for the 16-year-old Sherman as a cadet in the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he roomed and became good friends with another important future Civil War General, George H. Thomas. How old was Sherman?

  • 16 years old
  • 18 years old
  • 20 years old

4) As an adult, Sherman signed all his correspondence (even to his wife) "W.T. Sherman." What did his friends and family called him?

  • Tech
  • Cump
  • Ohio

5) Upon graduation in 1840, Sherman entered the Army as a second lieutenant in the 3rd U.S. Artillery and saw action in Florida in the Second Seminole War against the Seminole tribe. He was later stationed in Georgia and South Carolina. As the foster son of a prominent Whig politician, in Charleston, the popular Lt. Sherman moved within the upper circles of Old South society.

  • True or False?

6) While many of his colleagues saw action in the Mexican-American War, Sherman performed administrative duties in the captured territory of California.  He and fellow officer Lieutenant Edward Ord reached the town of Yerba Buena. Two days later, what was Yerba Buena name changed to?

  • Oakland
  • Hope Town
  • San Francisco

7) In 1853, Sherman resigned his captaincy and became manager of the San Francisco branch of a St. Louis based bank. He returned to San Francisco at a time of great turmoil in the West. He survived two shipwrecks and floated through the Golden Gate on the overturned hull of a foundering lumber schooner.

  • True or False?

8) He married Eleanor Boyle ("Ellen") Ewing, in a Washington ceremony.  Who attended the wedding?

  • President Zachary Taylor
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Robert E. Lee

9) In 1859, Sherman accepted a job as the first superintendent of the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy in Pineville, Louisiana. What is the school known as today?

  • Louisiana State University
  • University of New Orleans
  • University of Louisiana

10) After Fort Sumter, Sherman quit the Louisiana school. Sherman became president of the St. Louis Railroad, a streetcar company. 

  • True or False?

Where is William T. Sherman buried?


William T. Sherman: The Early Years Answers

  1. Lancaster, Ohio
  2. True
  3. 16 years old
  4. Cump
  5. True
  6. San Francisco
  7. True
  8. President Zachary Taylor
  9. Louisiana State University
  10. True

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