William Tecumseh Sherman and the Settlement of the West
William Tecumseh Sherman is known primarily for having cut a swath of destruction through Georgia and the Carolinas during the Civil War. From the fame of these years, however, he moved into an eighteen-year phase of “insuring the tranquility” of the vast region of the American West. As commander of the Division of the Missouri from 1865 to 1869 and General of the Army of the United States under President Grant from 1869 to 1883, Sherman facilitated expansion and settlement in the West while suppressing the raids of the Cheyenne, Arapahoe, Kiowa, Comanche, and Crow Indians. Robert G. Athearn explores Sherman’s and his army’s roles in the settling of the West, especially within the broad framework of railroad construction, Indian policy, political infighting, and popular opinion.