Nearly a century and a half after it occurred, Union General William T. Sherman’s epic march from Atlanta to the sea remains one of the most astonishing military feats in American history — as well as one of the most controversial. Generations of Northerners have regarded it as a model of leadership, bravery and resolve. But many Southerners recall it as a brutal desecration of property and honor and judge Sherman as nothing less than a war criminal. What made Sherman march and how important was his triumphant move east in 1864? Did he truly practice hard war or is his record of so-called brutality a myth? Three historians ask the tough questions — and provide authoritative answers.
James M. McPherson is the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History Emeritus at Princeton University. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom. John F. Marszalek is executive director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association and has written several major Civil War books, including Sherman’s Other War. Harold Holzer (moderator), winner of the National Humanities Medal, is the author, coauthor or editor of 41 books.
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