I remember seeing "Gone with the Wind" for the first time many years ago. I watched the scenes
the burning of Atlanta during General Sherman's "march to the sea" and wondered how anyone
could be so destructive. Later in life, I realized that war has terrible consequences. My views
of General Sherman have also changed. I believe he is probably one of the greatest generals
the United States has ever had.
So, I hope you can imagine my excitement when I discovered his childhood home on a hillside in beautiful downtown Lancaster, Ohio. I had a fantastic tour of the house which is now a museum.
The volunteers at the museum were doing some touch up painting on the exterior of the building when I arrived. Actually, it looked as though the museum was closed so I was the only visitor for a while. I received a private tour of the building - fantastic folks sharing their knowledge and love of the history. Unfortunately, the museum will not allow you to take pictures inside the museum.
As Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, "I'll be back!"
The Sherman House Museum was the birthplace of General William Tecumseh Sherman and his brother, U.S. Senator John Sherman, and home to the remarkable Sherman Family. The original frame home built in 1811 consists of a parlor/dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, and children's bedroom. In 1816, the Sherman Family added a parlor and study for the father, Ohio Supreme Court Judge Charles Sherman.
All of the rooms have been restored to look as they would have when the Sherman Family lived there. A brick addition was added to the front of the house in 1870, and the Victorian parlor features furniture owned by General and Ellen Sherman when they lived in New York City after his retirement. The parlor also features an 1888 bust of General Sherman by the gifted sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
One upstairs bedroom houses family memorabilia, and another offers a re-creation of General Sherman's Civil War field tent including several items he used during the war, and a sound and light presentation depicting his passion for the Union. The last room houses an excellent exhibit, "Sherman at War," explaining his war story with artifacts, paintings, prints, maps, weapons, and GAR memorabilia.
General Sherman Background
William Tecumseh Sherman was born February 8, 1821, and named William Tecumseh after the great Shawnee Indian chief. He was the sixth of eleven children born to Judge Charles and Mary Hoyt Sherman. As a child he was nicknamed "Cump" and it stuck for the rest of his life. His father died in 1829, and because of financial problems, he was sent to live with the neighboring Thomas Ewing family. He graduated from West Point in 1840 and married Ellen Ewing in 1850. They had eight children.
General William Tecumseh Sherman is best remembered for his leadership during the Civil War. Beginning with the battle of First Bull Run, Virginia (July 1861), he led troops through Shiloh, Corinth, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Atlanta, the March to the Sea (November - December 1864), and Columbia, South Carolina. In Durham, North Carolina he remembered Lincoln's instructions, "Let them up easy," when he offered Confederate General Joe Johnson lenient terms of surrender on April 26, 1865.
After the war he campaigned for early reconciliation with the South. In 1869, he became Commanding General of the Army, a post he held until he retired in 1883. He refused to run for the presidency several times, saying, "If nominated I will not run; if elected I will not serve."
General Sherman died in 1891, while living in New York City, but was buried in St. Louis, where he and his wife maintained a home much of their married lives.
U.S. Senator John Sherman Background
U.S. Senator John Sherman acquired great fame and power during his lifetime. He studied and practiced law in Mansfield, where he launched his political career at an early age. He became a Congressman (1855-1861), U.S. Senator (1861-1881), Secretary of Treasury, and Secretary of State. He was the author of the Sherman Antitrust Act which Congress passed to prohibit monopolies.
Open Apr - Nov Tue - Sun 1pm - 4pm
Dec - Mar by appointments only
Sherman House Museum
137 E. Main Street