Thu, May 2, 2019

Rising in Flames: Sherman's March and the Fight for a New Nation

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In late 1864, Major General William Tecumseh Sherman brought his brand of "hard war" to the Georgia countryside between Atlanta and Savanah. The campaign decimated the agricultural and economic heart of the Confederacy and relied on Sherman's leadership. Known as "Uncle Billy" to his Soldiers, Sherman was a man of contradictions facing the contest of internal Army politics, fighting on the enemy's soil, and coming to terms with the total war he brought to the people of the South. On Thursday, May 2, 2019, at 7:15 PM, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, PA will host author J.D. Dickey to speak about his latest book, Rising in Flames: Sherman's March and the Fight for a New Nation. Dickey will talk about the pressures and challenges Sherman faced, his experiences in the Western Theater, and ultimately how the Atlanta and Savanah Campaigns helped to secure his infamous reputation well into the current century.

In this lecture, J.D. Dickey will look at how Sherman's skillful and often brilliant campaigns have been viewed by over 150 years of historiography and then delve deeper into his armies' monumental effect on the politics and society of America. Sherman emancipated slaves, demonstrated the war-fighting skills of new immigrants, and marshaled the efforts of women in thousands of Soldiers' aid societies. As Sherman himself was well aware, the social impact of his campaigns could not be divorced from his military strategy, and more than perhaps any Union general of the Civil War, he faced the scrutiny of an often hostile press corps and opposing politicians when he failed to deliver on either aspect. This lecture will discuss the many competitive pressures Sherman faced and how he managed to craft a winning strategy that owed much to his insight, daring, and perseverance.

J.D. Dickey has been writing American History narratives for 20 years, concentrating on society and culture. His previous book, Empire of Mud, was a New York Times bestseller. Mr. Dickey has also written articles on a broad range of historical, political and travel-related topics for newspapers and magazines, and appeared in media from C-SPAN's Book TV to Public Radio International's program, The Takeaway, as well as lecturing for the New York Historical Society and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, among other organizations.