Remembered by history as the first modern general, William Tecumseh Sherman wrote his Memoirs ten years after the end of the Civil War. It served as a personal account of his experiences as a powerful Union general, and also as a history of the events that had taken place since the beginning of the Mexican War in 1846. He later reflected on his intentions in writing these Memoirs, stating his wish "to be a witness on the stand before the great tribunal of history." Upon its publication in 1875 the book received controversial reviews; Sherman was praised for his outstanding command of military strategy, but was also censured for his harsh "scorched earth" policies which he implemented against the Confederate forces. This first-hand account of military strategy and the hells of war is, most of all, a compelling narrative of one of the greatest tragedies in United States history.