Guess it was this picture of my son and grandson standing beside the giant sequoia General Sherman that got me to thinking……….. how many "Shermans" could I quickly imagine?
We think of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) as a Civil War Union general and he was. But he was also an American businessman, educator and author….. and traveler. I won't go into his Civil War career here (you all know that) but did you know that after the war he became the General of the Army (created by Congress on 25 Jul 1866) and one of his post-war significant contributions was the establishment of the Command School (now the Command and General Staff College) at Fort Leavenworth and that in 1875 he published his memoirs in two volumes. And bet you really did not know that in about 1876-1878 he made a tour of the west because one of his main concerns in postwar commands was to protect the construction and operation of the railroads from attack by hostile Indians.
Which brings me to the second "Sherman," Fort Sherman in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, just 30 miles from me. Wikipedia explains: "While on an inspection tour in 1877, General William Tecumseh Sherman camped by Coeur d'Alene Lake at the mouth of the Spokane River and was so impressed by the scenery of the area that he recommended it as a site for a fort. And Camp Coeur d'Alene was founded in 1878. Camp Coeur d'Alene had three reasons for its existence: (1) keeping the peace in northern Idaho; (2) protecting railroad and telegraph crews; and (3) guarding the border with Canada. The camp or fort existed as such until 1905 when the reservation was sold at auction. Today North Idaho College occupies much of the land and it is still a majestic spot on the northern shore of the lake where the Spokane River emerges to run its 100 miles to the Columbia River.
And my boys in California seeing the giant sequoia in Sequoia National Park in Tulare County. Again according to Wikipedia: By volume, this tree is the largest known living single-stem tree on Earth. It is some 275 feet high and 25 feet around (35 at the base) and is estimated to be 2300-2700 years old. It was named after the American Civil War general, William Tecumseh Sherman, in 1879 by naturalist James Wolverton who had served under Sherman in the war.
If you are interested, William Tecumseh Sherman and the Settlement of the West, by Robert G. Athearn, published in 1995, ISBN 0-8-61-2769-4, would be a great read.
Some interesting summer trivia for you today.