Uncle Billy - Happy 199th Birthday

frontrank2

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Born on Feb 8, 1820 William Tecumseh Sherman was born in Lancaster, Ohio to Robert and Mary Sherman. In 1829 Robert died unexpectedly, leaving his widow Mary with eleven children and no inheritance. Young William went to live with Thomas Ewing, a family friend and neighbor who was a prominent member of the Whig Party, serving as a U.S. Senator from Ohio and later serving as the first Secretary of the Interior. At age 30, Sherman would marry his foster sister Ellen Boyle Ewing and have eight children with her. Nicknamed "Cump" he would wear many hats including soldier, businessman, educator, and author. But as we all know his greatest claim to fame was his excellent grasp of military strategy as well as his harshness for the scorched earth policy he employed in his Total War stratagem.
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Cavalry Charger

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Just wondering what the story is behind the middle name Tecumseh? I'm sure I've heard it, but just can't remember it.

I also didn't know his wife had been his foster sister, or that they had so many children.

In fact, there's quite a lot to Sherman's story I don't know,
 

luinrina

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Just wondering what the story is behind the middle name Tecumseh? I'm sure I've heard it, but just can't remember it.
According to his Wikipedia entry:

Sherman's given names
Sherman's unusual given name has always attracted considerable attention.[6] Sherman reported that his middle name came from his father having "caught a fancy for the great chief of the Shawnees, 'Tecumseh'".[7] Since an account in a 1932 biography about Sherman, it has often been reported that, as an infant, Sherman was named simply Tecumseh. According to these accounts, Sherman only acquired the name "William" at age nine or ten, after being taken into the Ewing household. His foster mother, Maria Willis Boyle (Maria Ewing), was of Irish ancestry and a devout Roman Catholic. Sherman was raised in a Roman Catholic household, although he later left the church, citing the effect of the Civil War on his religious views. According to a story that may be myth, Sherman was baptized in the Ewing home by a Dominican priest, who named him William for the saint's day: possibly June 25, the feast day of Saint William of Montevergine.[8] The story is contested, however. Sherman wrote in his Memoirs that his father named him William Tecumseh; Sherman was baptized by a Presbyterian minister as an infant and given the name William at that time.[9] As an adult, Sherman signed all his correspondence – including to his wife – "W.T. Sherman."[10] His friends and family always called him "Cump."[11]
 

diane

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Well, happy birthday, Cump! 199 candles aflame on his cake will bring tears to his eyes... Ah, the good ol' days!

How'd Sherman get named Tecumseh? It was a popular name in Ohio after the Shawnee wars. Sherman's daddy admired the chief and tried to name Sherman's older brothers that but mom wouldn't allow it. Finally - dad slipped it in on one kid! Sherman seemed to think his name had been William, period, all along but it was Tecumseh until he arrived at the Ewings and the mother insisted the Sherman kid couldn't set foot in her house with a heathen name like Tecumseh...
 

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199 candles aflame on his cake will bring tears to his eyes... Ah, the good ol' days!
Next year will be the big one :laugh:

Sherman's daddy admired the chief and tried to name Sherman's older brothers that but mom wouldn't allow it. Finally - dad slipped it in on one kid!
I wonder where he came in the order of the family? Dad obviously pulled a swifty there, but Mom obviously let him :smile:

Maybe the fighting man he would become was laid out from the beginning.

Did any of Sherman's brothers also fight in the war?
 

frontrank2

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Next year will be the big one :laugh:


I wonder where he came in the order of the family? Dad obviously pulled a swifty there, but Mom obviously let him :smile:

Maybe the fighting man he would become was laid out from the beginning.

Did any of Sherman's brothers also fight in the war?
His brother Hoyt, was appointed by Lincoln as an army paymaster and given the rank of major.
 

diane

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Next year will be the big one :laugh:


I wonder where he came in the order of the family? Dad obviously pulled a swifty there, but Mom obviously let him :smile:

Maybe the fighting man he would become was laid out from the beginning.

Did any of Sherman's brothers also fight in the war?
I don't think anybody else in his family was in the military - he went to West Point at 16, which was a little young, but his foster father had a lot of clout. Sherman was the sixth kid, with five after - right in the middle. When his dad died without leaving his mom financial means, she parcelled them out to various friends and family. Cump was sent walking up the hill to the next door neighbors - Thomas Ewing had come over and told his mom he could take only one of her children but he intended to give the child every opportunity his own had, so he picked out Cump as the most promising. A friend of the family said she needn't have worried about the kids - they all had such red hair all she had to do was set them on a fence and the woodpeckers would take care of them!
 

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