Known affectionately as "Uncle Billy" by Union soldiers, but reviled in the South as a brutal war criminal, General William Tecumseh Sherman is one of the truly enigmatic and complex figures in the American pantheon. His legacy was built during a five-week campaign of terror and destruction that would become known as "total war". Sherman ordered his troops to burn crops, kill livestock, destroy railroads, pilfer food supplies and to make sure the South's civilian infrastructure was shattered. Although the concept had been around for centuries, this is the first time in modern warfare that total war was used to such an extensive degree. First Savannah was captured, and then he marched from Georgia through South Carolina and burned the capital to the ground. On the heels of Sherman's destructive onslaughts, the Confederacy officially conceded victory to the Union on April 9, 1865.moreless
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