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Sherman - TravelStorys

Roads Through Wyoming: I-80

Location Trip Time Travel Type
Wyoming 5 hours


Sherman In southeast Wyoming you see a lot of references to "Sherman." There is Sherman granite, the pink, 1.4 billion-year-old igneous rock that appears here and there through the southern tip of the Laramie Mountains. Sherman Hill is the highpoint of the old Lincoln Highway at nearly 9,000 feet above sea level. The former community of Sherman's Summit was a boomtown and Hell-on-Wheels camp at the highpoint of the transcontinental railroad in the latter half of the 19th century. All of these "Shermans" and more refer to William Tecumseh Sherman, the fiery 19th century Army general who famously marched to the sea through Georgia, splitting the South in two and facilitating the end of the war. Following the war, General Sherman was transferred to Fort Kearny, Nebraska Territory. He was given the task of protecting the construction of the transcontinental railroad. William Sherman was an interesting character who famously said of his scorched earth policy that "War is hell." However, he did not always agree with the War Department's lack of an honest, direct strategy when dealing with the indigenous tribes. That said, he was a good soldier, and when given a task, he saw it through with the same severity that helped end the Civil War. When General Dodge complained of Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Lakota war parties harassing his construction workers, Sherman called a meeting with the tribal leaders. An exact transcript of what was said does not exist, but it was reported he told the chiefs, "This railroad is going to be built. If your young men interfere with the process, you will all be swept away." The war chiefs knew the generalŐs reputation from the Civil War. For the most part they steered their warriors clear of the growing tracks. William Sherman played a key role in the peace commissions that negotiated with the Lakota and Cheyenne, including the 1868 treaty that ended Red Clouds War. He served as General of the Army under Grant, the equivalent of today's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and he served as Secretary of War for some time. William Tecumseh Sherman died of pneumonia at age 71 in 1891.

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