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Collection William T. Sherman Papers

About this Collection

The papers of General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) span the years 1810-1897, with the bulk of the material originating between 1848 and 1891. They consist of approximately 18,000 items, most digitally scanned from 51 microfilm reels, although some correspondence and other materials in the Addition series which had never been microfilmed were digitized from the originals. The collection consists of correspondence, a volume of recollections during and after the Mexican War, military documents, printed matter, memorabilia, and manuscripts of Sherman’s Memoirs. The manuscript of the Memoirs and a long narrative of wartime experiences supplement the correspondence for the Civil War period. Other documents pertain to Sherman’s early military career, his activities as a civilian in banking, law, business, and education, and his life after retiring from the United States Army.  The papers are arranged in eight series:

  • General Correspondence, 1837-1891
    The General Correspondence series, which forms the bulk of the collection, is arranged chronologically. Much of the series deals with the period of Sherman's post-Civil War army career, and the papers are particularly numerous for the years when he was commanding general of the army, 1869-1883. The correspondence during this time relates mainly to military expeditions against American Indians in the western United States, problems of maintaining Indian reservations, and military policies in the territories.
  • Indexes
    Two sets of indexes form this series. Part 1 consists of twenty-seven indexes to the material in volumes 1-83, which were formerly bound in twenty-seven volumes of “letterbooks.” Part 2 is an incomplete cumulation of the entries in Part 1.
  • Letterbooks, 1857-1891
    Letterbooks consist of letterpress copies and transcripts of letters sent and a few copies of letters received. They are arranged in three overlapping groups, 1857-1859, 1866-1881, and 1872-1891. All of the volumes contain indexes, except those housed in containers 90 and 91 which were digitally scanned from the microfilm copies on reel 45.
  • Military Papers, 1846-1883
    This series includes endorsements, a journal for the years 1846-1847, a volume of recollections for the period 1846-1861 (covering Sherman’s years successively in California, Missouri, Louisiana, New York, and Kansas), and records accumulated on an expedition to Mexico in 1866-1867.
  • Book File, circa 1875-1896
    The Book File series focuses primarily on Sherman’s Civil War experiences. It includes drafts of Sherman’s Memoirs, as well as a two-volume narrative of his service during the Civil War. Business correspondence and other papers relating to the publication of the Memoirs are also included in this series.
  • Miscellany, 1810-1890
    An assortment of material forms the Miscellany series, including indexes, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, and a scrapbook.
  • Addition, 1864-1897
    The Addition series includes originals and photocopies of correspondence, speech material, and printed matter. Set 1 of correspondence is presented from the microfilm edition. Set 2 and other materials located in container 110 that had not been microfilmed previously were digitized from the originals. The correspondence in Set 2 consists primarily of photocopies of Sherman’s letters to his aide Col. Joseph C. Audenried (1839-1880) and Audenried’s wife, Mary J. Audenried.
  • Oversize, 1815-1890
    The Oversize series is comprised of certificates and a scrapbook. These materials are stored in oversize containers in the physical collection but are included as part of the above series in this online edition.