I had to go on Picket this morning at 3 Oclock and stood till 5 Oclock it was quite cool and misty. It began to rain about 10 Oclock AM and rained about an hour and slacked up and came off a little warmer. I wrote a letter to H. W. Smith, and done up a paper to send to H. E. Brown. Continues cloudy the rest of the day. Read 3 Chapt. in Testament today.
After the Seminole War, Lt. Sherman found himself stationed for four years at Ft. Moultrie on the Charleston harbor in South Carolina. The fort had begun its life as a hastily built assortment of palmetto logs defending the harbor from British warships in 1776. Here Sherman was reunited with West Point classmates Steward Van Vliet and George Thomas who had also served in Florida, as well as Braxton Bragg who had graduated three years before him, and former instructor Robert Anderson. It is no wonder that Sherman took South Carolina’s later bombardment of Anderson’s Ft. Sumter personally.
While peacetime duty wore duly on the young Army officer, the posting allowed him to travel broadly across this part of the South. The first hand experience would serve him well during the Civil War. As Robert L. O’Connell writes in Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman:
“Sherman was a prodigy of geography. During the Civil War, no matter how befuddling the swamp or forest or mountain range, if Sherman had been there, he remembered it exactly. And since he had seen so much of the South, he became a kind of human geolocation system. It was an awesome military talent…”