General Sherman

Character Key Number: 
Display Name: 
General Sherman
Sort Name: 
Sherman, General William T.
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 

General William T. Sherman was a Union general during the Civil War who led troops in battles that ranged from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean. His service in the war's western theater partially accounts for the fact that his name is mentioned in 8 different fictions - and he himself, according to Faulkner's mythical history, was in Yoknapatawpha at least once: "Wash" notes that Sutpen's slaves emancipated themselves by following in the wake of the Union forces when "Sherman passed through the plantation" (537). But the fictions depict 'Sherman' from the perspective of the white South, and what accounts for the lingering hatred you can often hear when his name appears is the event known to history as 'Sherman's March to the Sea,' when the troops he led through Georgia and the Carolinas became notorious for destroying the plantations in the path of their movement. Also in "Wash," for example, Sutpen fantasizes after the war about "shooting" Sherman down like a dog (536).