Institution Granting Degree
Texas Christian University
Civil War, Slocum, Henry W., Union Army
This dissertation examines the life of Henry W. Slocum, focusing particularly on his time as a commander in the Civil War. Born in Onondaga County, New York on September 24, 1827, Slocum initially followed a military tack, but later left the army to engage in law and business. When war broke out in 1861, he tendered his services to the government as colonel of the 27th New York regiment. He commanded these men at Bull Run, where he was wounded in the leg. Receiving a promotion to brigadier general, he took command of a brigade, and later a division during McClellan's Peninsula Campaign in 1862. At the end of the campaign, he was promoted to Major General, but continued to command a division until Joseph Mansfield's death at Antietam where he took over the helm of the Twelfth Corps.
Slocum led the Twelfth through the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. In the Fall of 1863, the War Department transferred him west with his corps. Forced to serve under Joseph I-looker, a commander he hated, Slocum threatened to resign several times. As such, Ulysses S. Grant sent Slocum to command the District of Vicksburg. When Hooker resigned outside Atlanta, William T. Sherman called Slocum back to take command of the Twentieth Corps, which he led through the remainder of the Atlanta Campaign. Slocum watched over the city while Sherman chased Hood into Alabama and Tennessee, and then commanded the left wing of Sherman's infamous marches to the sea and through the Carolinas. For a brief time after the war, the commanded again at Vicksburg, but soon resigned to return to business and politics.
After the war, Slocum excelled in his business ventures, but failed in politics. Immediately after his resignation from the army, he became a Democrat, without fully understanding the consequences. The Republican press attacked him with a vengeance, but he was able to achieve some success after moving to heavily democratic Brooklyn, New York. Slocum died on 14 April 1894 of pneumonia in his home in Brooklyn. In 1902, the nation officially remembered him in bronze by placing a statue on Culp's Hill on the Gettysburg battlefield.