Ohioans Remember William Tecumseh Sherman

Birthplace of William Tecumseh Sherman in Lancaster, Ohio.


Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman is well remembered in Ohio.  In his hometown of Lancaster the Fairfield Heritage Association maintains his birthplace as a museum. During Heritage Days in Lancaster staff from the Ohio Historical Society visited the site with the flag of the 10th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, a unit that served under General Sherman’s command.

This flag appealed to the Sherman house staff and their visitors because of the 10th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry’s connection to Sherman and also to Fairfield County. The unit was organized in the fall of 1862 and went into active service in the spring of 1863. They were with Sherman during the Atlanta Campaign, the March to the Sea through Georgia, and the final days of the Civil War in the Carolinas. Most companies of the 10th Cavalry were recruited from northeastern Ohio, but Company A was comprised of soldiers from Fairfield County, of which Lancaster is the county seat, and neighboring Licking County.

OHS collections assistant Juli Six with the regimental colors of the 10th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.


It was possible for us to transport the 10th Ohio Cavalry flag to Lancaster because it has been fully conserved and framed. We will be returning with the flag to Lancaster when the Fairfield Heritage Association hosts their Civil War Symposium in September and on Veterans Day.

Cabinet card portrait of General William Tecumseh Sherman later in life.


Sherman is also remembered on a plaque in Columbus’ Franklin Park. A recent Columbus Mileposts column in the Columbus Dispatch tells the story of when Sherman gave what is probably his most famous speech right here in Ohio’s capitol city. In 1880 Civil War veterans gathered in Columbus for a reunion and they were addressed by Sherman, a hero of the Union Army who had led many of them in battle.

Sherman’s remarks were paraphrased as “War is hell.” What he actually said is a bit more complicated and more interesting. The “Columbus Mileposts” column quotes part of the speech. If you are interested in reading more about the event, you can visit the Society’s Microfilm Room at the Ohio History Center where we have the Columbus Dispatch on microfilm. The August 12, 1880 issue has Sherman’s remarks. The Ohio History Center is located at I-71 and 17th Avenue. Open hours for the Archives/Library are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM.

Other Archives/Library collections related to William Tecumseh Sherman include:

P 42 William Tecumseh Sherman Photograph Album

MSS 57 William Tecumseh Sherman Papers
Click to See Inventory

L.Wood, Curator for Visual Resources

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