Major General Henry Warner Slocum, U.S.A., Commander Twelfth Army Corps, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Commander Fourteenth and Twentieth Army Corps, Commander, Army of Georgia, Sherman’s March to the Sea (left wing)

Henry Warner Slocum could be remembered in history for so much: he was a successful politician, a flourishing business man, railroad tycoon, colonel, brigadier, major general, corps commander, and even army commander. Some individuals spend their entire lives pursuing just one of these titles. Slocum played an important role fighting in the Civil War eastern theater from Bull Run to Gettysburg, was post commander at Vicksburg, and then served in nearly every battle in the western theater from the capture of Atlanta to Johnston's surrender" (Melton, 2007). Slocum served at Bull Run, the Peninsula, South Mountain, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Harper's Ferry, Gettysburg, Tennessee, Vicksburg and Atlanta. General Slocum served as Sherman's left wing commander in the famous "March to the Sea." Slocum's Army of Georgia fought in the battles of Bentonville and Bennett Place.

In the course of the March to the Sea, Sherman's army liberated hundreds of thousands of slaves. Slaves escaped from their plantations and fell in behind the Union Army.

According to Brian C. Melton (2007), Slocum is the forgotten general of the Civil War, largely remembered for his leadership in the battle of Gettysburg.

There are a number of reasons why General Slocum has been largely forgotten and ignored. One reason is that after the war, Slocum defected to the Democratic Party and lost a significant election in upstate New York. There he was vilified for this. Another reason is that, unlike other Civil War generals, Slocum did not write a memoir. Further, Slocum did not pursue a military career after the war. Slocum was modest about his military service and hardly promoted himself.

Slocum's official documents and reports survive in the Civil War records of the National Archives. Only a few personal letters exist in libraries and archives throughout the country. Few personal papers exist in New York or other places where he originally resided. There are three biographies of General Slocum.

Content last updated November 27, 2011