Sherman’s March to the Sea
Allison Taylor, Meghan Hurst, and Hailee Hoover
William T. Sherman Early Life
Born February 8, 1820
His father was an Ohio supreme court judge until he
died in 1829.
After his father’s passing Sherman and his family were
staying with friends and family.
At one point he stayed with Senator Thomas Ewing
who got him into West Point where William graduated
sixth in his class.
William T. Sherman Career
Some newspapers called
him insane. The people
didn’t have much
confidence in his abilities
until his success in
Sherman took over as
general commander of the
U.S. Army when Ulysses
S. Grant became
Getting the March Approved
Lincoln was not easily
convinced about
Sherman’s idea, because
he didn’t want Sherman
or any of his troops to
move through enemy
territory before the
presidential election in
Sherman persuaded Lieutenant General Ulysses
S. Grant that the campaign was possible during
winter. Grant convinced Lincoln to allow the
campaign on the condition that Sherman wait
until after the election.
Motives and Reasons
Sherman believed that marching through the state of Georgia
would prove that the Union had a more powerful army than the
Confederate states.
Sherman’s purpose of the march was to frighten Georgia’s
civilians into abandoning the Confederacy cause of war.
He wanted to “...make old and young, rich and poor, feel the
hard hand of war.”
Map of Sherman’s March
Psychological Warfare- the use of propaganda, threats,
and other psychological techniques to mislead,
intimidate, demoralize, or otherwise influence the
thinking or behavior of an opponent.
Morale- emotional or mental condition with respect to
cheerfulness, confidence, zeal, etc., especially in the
face of opposition, hardship, etc.
What Sherman did on the March
Burned cities.
Captured cities.
Burned and stole all food
storage for winter.
Tore up railroads.
Pros and Cons of the March
Frightened Southern
Sherman’s army didn’t
have any supply lines.
Destroyed Southern
They had to take other
farmer’s crops and
livestock for food.
People doubted the
abilities of the
Confederate Army.
The success of the march
is believed to have
hastened the end of the
They had no way of
communicating with the
They were far into enemy
Scorched Earth Policy
Relating to or being a
military policy involving
deliberate and usually
widespread destruction of
property and resources (such
as housing and factories) so
that an invading enemy
cannot use them.
General Sherman destroyed
Georgia’s railroads and made
them impossible to repair by
wrapping the rails around trees.
This became known as Sherman’s
Sherman’s Sentinels
After Sherman’s March to the Sea all the cities were completely
destroyed, leaving nothing left but the chimneys. These became known
as Sherman’s Sentinels.
South Carolina
After marching through Georgia Grant ordered
Sherman to embark his army on steamers and join the
Union forces confronting Lee in Virginia, but
Sherman instead persuaded Grant to allow him to
march north to the Carolinas, destroying everything of
military value, as he had done in Georgia.
Important Dates
Commander General
William T. Sherman
captured Atlanta in the
fall of 1864.
In December 1864
Sherman and his troops
arrive in Savannah.
The Confederacy
surrenders Savannah,
Georgia December 21,