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Both Grant and Sherman Pursued a New Type of Warfare

This is a well-known fact that William Tecumseh Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant had much in common. They both pursued a new type of warfare and implemented their own effective strategies.

This paper introduces a new type of warfare of Grant and Sherman. It presents the change in strategy these men employed, and describes a battle in which each man used this new strategy.

To start with, William Tecumseh Sherman was an American politician, soldier and writer. He became famous as one of the most talented generals of the Civil War, which occurred in 1861-1865, where he fought on the side of the North. In addition, Sherman was considered to be one of the most important and effective strategists because he possessed his mastery of maneuver warfare. It can be said that he used the so-called indirect approach and distinguished himself as a highly-qualified strategist at the Atlanta Campaign.

Moreover, it should be mentioned that Sherman made a great contribution to the development of the strategy, which is called “the strategy of total warfare.” Total warfare is a war in which participating countries used all available resources and methods to overcome their enemy. But despite this fact Sherman’s actions were a subject of much polemics with the crowds. Sherman’s efforts in South Carolina and Georgia were identified as the destruction of military equipment, civilian supplies, and infrastructure as a whole.

Ulysses Simpson Grant was an American political and military leader, a commander of northerners during the Civil War in the USA, a General of the U.S. Army (from July 25, 1866 to March 4, 1869).

His strategic abilities became apparent during the battle of Fort Donelson and Fort Henry. His confederate strategy put an end to the civil war and forced General Lee to surrender.

Grant was a very talented strategist and he used a “total war” strategy like Sherman. Subsequently, General Sherman wrote that the first and best quality of Grant as a military commander was an absolute unwillingness to reckon with the fact that the enemy can do with him. Grant started a war of attrition based on the supremacy of human resources.

Furthermore, Liddell Hart (1967) emphasized that “The role of grand strategy is to coordinate and direct all the resources of a nation towards the attainment of the political objective” (p. 322). Thus, it is possible to say that their strategies were effective because they achieved the desired goals, but despite this fact, many people claimed that the actions of Grant and Sherman produced a lot of destruction to the country as a whole.

To sum up the above-stated information, it is possible to conclude that Grant and Sherman were really powerful generals who made a great contribution to the development of new military strategies.



Liddell Hart, B. H. (1967). Strategy (2nd ed.). New York: Praeger.
Weigley, R. F. (1977). The American Way of War: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.