The “March to the Sea” in 1865 may be said to have laid the foundations of the Naval War College. In that year, a young officer, Stephen B. Luce, in command of the monitor Pontiac, conferred with General Sherman at Savannah in regard to protecting the Army as it crossed the river on its turn to the North along the coast. General Sherman commented on the fact that for three years the Navy had been hammering away at Charleston without results. He indicated that he proposed to capture Columbia and so cut Charleston’s line of supplies; and that then Charleston would fall to the Navy like a “ripe pear.” Subsequent events were as predicted by the general. This incident bore home to the young naval officer the fact that in the art of war there were strategic principles which applied to both land and sea; and that the Navy should have a higher school of instruction where the art of war could be studied in its broader aspects. The development of this thought in later years, resulted in the establishment of the Naval War College.
The Naval War College: A Brief History
By Captain John Stapler, U. S. Navy