General Sherman's Jesuit Son

For several years, Sherman drifted from one Jesuit assignment to another until he suffered a nervous breakdown in his early fifties. Institutionalized for several years, he traveled around the country from one Jesuit community to another. "Having served in six provinces," he wrote a friend, "I am attached to none." In a fit of despair he wrote, "I am utterly at a loss what to peace is possible for me."

In the fall of 1914, Sherman formally withdrew from the Jesuits. For several years, unattached to any diocese or religious order, he wandered around the country before settling down in Santa Barbara, California, where family members looked after him. For much of this time, Durkin writes, he was "allergic to the mention of the word 'Jesuit.'"

Just before his death at age seventy-seven, however, Father Thomas Ewing Sherman reconciled with the Jesuits and renewed his vows. After many years of unrest, General Sherman's son died a Jesuit. He was buried in their cemetery at Grand Couteau, Louisiana. Interred next to him is Father John Salter, a nephew of Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States of America.

8/22/2011 4:00:00 AM
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  • Pat McNamara
    About Pat McNamara
    Dr. Pat McNamara is a published historian. He blogs about American Catholic History at McNamara's Blog.