review Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman Ñ eBook or Kindle ePUB

Robert L. OConnell Õ 3 summary

Erce Patriot PDF character to discuss such topics as his achievements as a military strategist his contributi. According to Robert L O Connell in his new book AMERICAN PATRIOT THE TANGLED LIVES OF WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN the life of the Civil War hero should not be portrayed in the traditional fashion by preparing a chronological narrative because its results would be too cumbersome Instead the author has produced a fascinating book that consists of three parts that add up to a biography but is organized in a rather confusing manner What the author has written is a pseudo biography that covers Sherman s life in excellent detail with a great deal of analysis I understand that historians are always looking for a fresh approach toward their subjects that have been dealt with previously but at times they should not try and reinvent the wheel Again let me reiterate I enjoyed the book and took away a great deal but at times I would have hoped the material in the last section of the narrative could have been included in the lengthy first section to form greater coherenceO Connell begins by arguing that Sherman s life brings with it an enormous amount of documentary material stemming from his own writing an extensive oral record of his statements and the voluminous material produced by the Civil War The author concludes that it is almost impossible to produce a definitive one volume biography of Sherman In addition the difficulty is enhanced because of the many myths associated with Sherman from the accusation of being a war criminal a racist and a very class conscious individual who supported the business classes The author concludes that there is evidence for each of these myths but there is also material that disproves them particularly when we apply twenty first century standards to nineteenth century figures For O Connell Sherman falls into a category below Washington Jefferson Lincoln and FDR as individuals who were responsible for furthering American growth and making transcontinental consolidation possible and the author s resulting effort accurately proves that pointIn preparing the book O Connell has decided to portray three story lines The first if Jefferson was the architect of continental expansion Sherman would become his general contractor xviii By the time Sherman retired from the army in 1884 he had become virtually a human embodiment of Manifest destiny Florida California reclaiming the Confederacy winning the west xix Second the co evolution of the army of the west and Sherman as its commander as he taught legions of men the most valued of military skills the ability to adapt and the ability to adjust on the fly after much trial and error Thirdly Sherman created a model of how to grab and hold on to fame in America one that still works today xx For O Connell Sherman s life boils down to a three ring circus each fascinating but they must be dealt with separately or components of his life become too distracting As a result he sticks to a section describing Sherman as a military strategist another as a general and he concludes with a section of Sherman as a human being after retirement My problem is that these sections continuously overlap and there are parts of the book that the reader is told that what he is writing about will become much clearer later I admire O Connell s effort but John F Marszalek s SHERMAN A SOLDIER S PASSION FOR ORDER did an admirable job of creating what O Connell discountsO Connell begins by lecturing the reader on the concept of military strategy and concludes that Sherman s ultimate career goal was national consolidation of the central bond of the North American continent and Manifest Destiny He further concludes that he never wanted to be in total command during his military career as it was difficult enough being in charge of strategy These conclusions are well supported in the first two thirds of the book that make up section one O Connell is on firm ground with his theme and goes on to support his argument as he takes the reader through Sherman s career at West Point the Second Seminole War of 1835 1842 a stint at on the Sullivan Islands across the harbor from Charleston South Carolina as a recruiting officer in the Pittsburgh region a stationing in California and investigating corruption in New Orleans What should be apparent is that the most important activity of this time period was the Mexican War which Sherman missed out on while others from his graduating class at West Point began to earn their reputations As a strategist what was most important for Sherman at this juncture of his life was his discovery of the importance of the Mississippi which fit his world view as he would describe the region as the spinal column of America Sherman s love for geography and topography was born at this time and along with a photographic memory for detail This would allow him to remember almost every aspect from each area that he transverses in his career fostering the development of a data base that in part explains his success as a strategist during the Civil WarIt is O Connell s discussion of the Civil War that is the strongest part of the book O Connell does pepper this section with details concerning his upbringing his relationship with the Ewing family his marriage and raising a family all of which are important enough but detail later in the book clarifies a great deal of what is discussed here In a sense the Civil War saved Sherman s career By the early 1850s Sherman leaves the army and tries his hand in the private sector His father in law Thomas Ewing a cabinet officer politician and wealthy individual wanted him to take over a Salt Mine he owned near his home in Lancaster Ohio which became part of a tug of war between the Ewing family and his wife Ellen and what Sherman wanted to do with his life The Ewing Sherman relationship at times dominates the narrative as Sherman tries to be his own man and continually win over his wife The period preceding the Civil War was probably the worst period for Sherman His career as a New York banker ended with the crash of 1857 He returned to California as a banker but due to the economy the venture was a failure He finally gives into Thomas Ewing s urging and runs one of the the family businesses in Leavenworth Ka It became increasingly clear to Sherman the only arena that he felt comfortable in was the military and after the election of Lincoln he rejoins the army and with secession his career is savedThe author spends a prodigious amount of time discussing the major battles that Sherman was involved in The reader witnesses how Sherman trains and develops the army of the west and making it into one of the best fighting forces in American history by the end of the war We witness how Sherman cultivated his soldiers to believe in him and how he developed his command The knowledge of American geography is applied and we see his strategy unfold O Connell delves into the egos of the period be it Sherman Henry Halleck Simon Cameron Edwin Stanton Ulysses S Grant and others and the personality conflicts that were readily apparent Sherman s logistical genius greatly assisted Grant in Tennessee resulting in the Sherman Grant relationship that was based on mutual trust Sherman was content to being Grant s wing man or second in command and the relationship flourished Sherman suffered from depression and Grant tended to imbibe a bit too much as Sherman described their relationship he stood by me when I was crazy and I stood by him when he was drunk now sir we stand by each other always 95For Sherman the battle of Shiloh in April 1862 was a major turning point Shiloh was a success because Sherman was able to blunt the south s effort to recover the initiative in the Mississippi Valley and opened the way for a rendering of the military balance in the west and securing Sherman s reputation The theme of securing the Mississippi so crucial to Sherman s thinking is explored in the run up to and final battle at Vicksburg a year later culminating in a union victory in July 1863 Sherman s audacious strategy was key and as 1864 approached Sherman was aware of the south s tenacity so he convinced Grant that the best way to defeat the south was to attack southern morale and its relationship to crushing the rebellionBoth understood the psychological effect of their blue clad armies barging across the landscape taking what they wanted and wrecking anything that looked Confederate 132 they would engage the Confederate field armies and destroy them killing rebels and getting into their heads Grant would be the battering ram in the East and Sherman would employ his mastery of operations and strategy as he marched toward Atlanta O Connell s discussion of the march to the sea is excellent We are placed inside Sherman s mind as well as the Confederates he fought The detail is exuisite and is one of the major highlights of the book The burning of Atlanta the seizure of Savannah and the march into South Carolina for revenge against the heart of the enemy as it burns Columbia rather than Charleston and the move into North Carolina where Sherman softens his approach are all described The success was based on foraging and living off the land as well as engineering genius but as with other topics there is greater detail about the bummers foragers in a later part of the book The author concludes this section of the book with a discussion of Sherman s post war role in implementing the transcontinental rail road a goal that he had set earlier in his career and fit right in with his belief of continental expansionThe final third of the book is broken down into two parts The first explores Sherman s soldiers and their relationship to him O Connell describes the intricacies of the army of the west and its conduct during the Civil War We learn what fighting was like at Shiloh and Vicksburg We learn what it was like marching 120 miles on the way to Atlanta and fighting an insurgency through the eyes of the participants Shiloh is explained through the vision of a seventeen year old drummer boy and the life of a bummer is explored through their own eyes as they faced the difficulty of locating food for an entire army The author also explains the role of the new technology developed during the war and how it affected Sherman s strategy and how his soldiers adapted to it Basically this section is a history of the army of the west from its inception training skill set and application in battle all information that could have been integrated effectively in the first section of the bookO Connell brings his narrative to a close by describing the difficulties that marrying into the Ewing family presented His wife Ellen s constant pressure to have Sherman convert to Catholicism irked the general and made him feel as if there was a papist plot against him Ellen s need to spend meant that throughout their marriage there was always pressure on Sherman to make a great deal of money The competition between the legacy of Thomas Ewing and Sherman s career path is a key component as to what drove Sherman a good part of his life when finally after the Civil War he could feel that he was finally the dominant figure in the eyes of his wife O Connell weaves in at least two of the affairs that Sherman was involved in during his marriage but concludes the thirty year bond between Ellen and her husband always remained strong The author closes with a discussion of Sherman s rock star career after the Civil War and how the public fed his need for approval There are components in the book that border on psychohistory but the author s conclusions in that area are a bit flimsy Overall the book is uite interesting and if one can deal with its organizational flaws it is well worth reading

review ¶ eBook or Kindle ePUB Õ Robert L. OConnell

Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman

A profile The Tangled Kindle #214 of the iconic Civil War general explores the paradoxes attributed to his Fi. Thanks to Goodreads and Random House for the advance copy This one comes out July 1st 2014 and I highly recommend More than a biography Fierce Patriot is an historical account with a leading man William T Sherman Instead of an exhaustive life story from beginning to end O Connell decides to dissect Sherman into sections Part 1 The Military Strategist An outline of the strategy he used to terrorize and whip the South back into the Union Part 2 The General and His Army How Sherman interacted with his army Part 3 The Man and His Families The role his family played on his life and how he overcame the shadow of being adopted and marrying his adopted sister Ellen Not as scandalous as you might thinkA majority of the book outlines his role as a military strategist I ve never read much about the Civil War so Sherman s perspective was fascinating to me If you re a Civil War buff perhaps there s details in Sherman s own autobiography Memoirs of General WT Sherman or the thousands upon thousands of books written about this time period O Connell sums up the importance of Sherman s strategic leadership in the war in particular his infamous March on the South Like Napoleon he dominated the script of war and not just through sheer volume He matched Grant even surpassed him in his capacity for the memorable phrase the strategic one line once again critical in operations since you want subordinates to remember what you told them to do But it also welded him to his men who reveled in his rhetoric and traded aphorisms across their solider network until they all believed they knew him I also found the second section about him and his boys interesting Sherman or Uncle Billy as he was affectionately known was loyal to his soldiers to the end even attending countless reunions weddings and ceremonies for his soldiers He treated them all eually despite rank and did everything he could to prevent senseless death He was known to retreat when victory was impossible which was not an approach shared by others on both sides of the war The last section though much shorter sort of fizzled for me Sherman was somewhat against religion but his wife was a devout Catholic and raised the children this way Sherman was obviously gone from the home for much of time especially during the war so this gave Ellen s Catholic influence the upper hand One of his beloved sons actually became a priest to Sherman s horror I think much of this section could ve been welded into the other sections and may have even given a bit of reprieve from some of the boring aspects of regiment life Remarkably some of the best writing O Connell provides is in the Author s Notes at the end Here s what he says about history Never a historically minded people Americans seem even less interested in the past these days Meanwhile it remains unclear what history can do whom it should serve what it should be Academics continue to doggedly address these issues but in the process they produce much that is unreadable Popular history is easier to consume but varies wildly in uality the genre is largely the province of journalists who often lack the background to see deep trends and long term causation The path forward remains cluttered with uestion marks I agree and that s why books like this are so important We can t avoid conflict and war unless we know what it means and does We have lots of examples at our fingertips so there should be no excuses as to why we don t avoid it at all cost

free download Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman

Ons to Patriot The Tangled PDFEPUB #194 the Transcontinental Railroad and his tempestuous family relationship. I enjoyed reading this book very much I m not one for military biographies in general My husband is very knowledgeable in the Civil War and Napoleonic history and was uite surprised to find me reading this book Sherman was obviously one of our country s greatest generals This I knew before reading the book However where O Connell drew me in was in his early pre military career days I found it fascinating that he had a varied and moderately successful career in banking and engineering I had no idea that his wife was actually his foster sister whose family took him in after his father passed away And it wasn t until that fateful joining of him and US Grant in the Civil War that made him the legend he is today A great man can get people to follow him through hell and back without uestion and he did this He took uneducated undisciplined and often unwilling men and turned them into first rate soldiers who became a formidable fighting machine in the war The chapter called The March was one of my favorites in the book Taking the men from Atlanta up into North Carolina and inevitably to the end of the war They won every battle unflinchingly never went hungry and always out numbered the enemy they encountered along the way His men were willing to die for him under any circumstances There was one difference in him and other generals aside from his brilliance in strategic thinking and planning and almost photographic memory of terrain and that was his caring about the welfare of his men He never recklessly put them in harm s way and always thought of the conseuences of any commands he gave After the war ended these men including Sherman would reunite every year faithfully Always their Uncle Billy to the day they died I had also forgotten what a significant part he played in building and completing the Transcontinental railroad Which without uestion changed the course of America He was truly a complex figure in our history I m very glad I had the opportunity to read this account from Robert O Connell

10 thoughts on “Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman

  1. says:

    ”He stood by me when I was crazy and I stood by him when he was drunk; now sir we stand by each other always” William Tecumseh Sherman on his relationship with Ulysses S Grant William Tecumseh ShermanThe importance of second in commands became very apparent to me while reading this book If you think back to Alexander

  2. says:

    “Not unexpectedly Sherman’s final destination was St LouisHe was buried next to Ellen and Willy in Calvary Cemetery a permanent resident at last But he was America’s He played a significant role in defining us – dimensionally in the nature and spirit of our fighting forces and our ethos or at least the celebrity version of it Historic

  3. says:

    Thanks to Goodreads and Random House for the advance copy This one comes out July 1st 2014 and I highly recommend More than a biography Fierce Patriot is an historical account with a leading man William T Sherman Instead of an exhaustive life story from beginning to end O’Connell decides to dissect Sherman into sections Part 1 The Military

  4. says:

    This is a good book for those who like me before reading it know only a few facts about William Tecumseh Sherman Robert O’Connell gives a good outline of his highly eventful life showing him to be a military man

  5. says:

    According to Robert L O’Connell in his new book AMERICAN PATRIOT THE TANGLED LIVES OF WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN the life of the Civil War hero should not be portrayed in the traditional fashion by preparing a chro

  6. says:

    I pre ordered this book the moment I saw it on and began reading with great anticipation the day it arrived Sherman is long overdue for a full length biography and I hoped this would be it So I wish I could write that FIERCE PATRIOT THE TANGLED LIVES OF WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN by Robert L O’Connell met my expectations It did not Those expectations were tempered even before I started reading When the book arrived the first thi

  7. says:

    In the morning Sherman imposed full discipline rounded up his stragglers issued one hundred rifles to such civil authorities as remained and marched on to the next stop of what O’Connell aptly calls the 'roadshow' of emanc

  8. says:

    First of all put aside the legends that have accrued to the name The March to the Sea the War is all hell uote the man simply has one of the greatest faces in American history Who but a Southerner a Tea Party nut or a pacifist could fail to see the beauty of it?Counter to the image of these steel eyes that seem

  9. says:

    I enjoyed reading this book very much I'm not one for military biographies in general My husband is very knowledgeable in th

  10. says:

    I found the book superficial oddly segmented and full of statements that are not supported in the text O'Connell either gave up trying to write a perspicacious biography about Sherman or perhaps was not up to the task Yes Sherman was a very complex character living in a very complex time but historical biographers have been revealing such characters for years for example Adrian Goldsworthy's Caesar Life of a Colossus Ho

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