William Tecumseh Sherman graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point on July 1, 1840, while the United States Army was fighting the Second Seminole War. About three months later this young second lieutenant, an Ohio native, received his first assignment as an officer, and joined the Third Artillery in Florida. Sherman spent the next seventeen months serving at three posts— Fort Pierce, Fort Lauderdale, and Picolata— from which he scouted swamps to find elusive Indians, led an expedition to bring in Coacoochee (Wild Cat)— one of the most colorful Seminole leaders— and commanded a supply depot. By November 1841 he was promoted to first lieutenant, a rank that usually required five to eight years of service. Yet, Lieutenant Sherman considered his first war a mismanaged, ill-commanded, and confused affair. His participation in a conflict he believed unnecessarily prolonged by Washington rhetoric and the inaction of field commanders no doubt affected his future military decisions.
Lancaster, Jane F.
"William Tecumseh Sherman's Introduction to War, 1840-1842: Lesson for Action,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 72:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol72/iss1/6