Brigadier General Thomas W. Sherman

At the time of the May 27th Union assault, Brigadier General Thomas West Sherman commanded 2nd Division, occupying the left flank of the Union lines at Port Hudson.

On the morning of the May 27th attack, possibly due to confusion about orders, Sherman did not send his troops against the Confederates as General Banks had ordered.  He came near to being removed from his command.  He did move in the afternoon, and while leading his troops in the resulting battle was badly wounded in the right leg, which was later amputated.

Thomas W. Sherman was born in Newport, Rhode Island, on March 26, 1813.  He is best remembered for, at age 18, having walked almost 400 miles from home in order to speak with President Andrew Jackson about poor educational opportunities in Rhode Island.  Jackson rewarded him for his effort by giving him an appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point. Graduating from West Point in 1836, he fought in campaigns against Indians, and in the Mexican War.  When the Civil War began, he was first involved with the defense of Washington, D.C., then was sent south, as a Brigadier General, to secure bases on the coast in support of the Union naval blockade.  He was later assigned to the Department of the Gulf, serving in Louisiana for the remainder of the war.

Sherman retired from the military in 1870, at the rank of major general. He died in his home in Newport, Rhode Island, on March 16, 1879.


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