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Title: Forty-Six Years in the Army
Author: Schofield, John M.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Forty-Six Years in the Army" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Transcriber's note:

  Footnotes are at the end of the chapter.

  Right-hand-page heads are set right-justified before the appropriate

  Small caps have been transcribed as upper-and-lower-case, except
  the page heads.

  The dieresis is transcribed by a preceding hyphen.

  Non-standard spellings:  partizan, despatch, Kenesaw, skilful,
  practised, intrenchments, brevetted, reconnoissance, Chili, envelop.

  LoC call number:  E467.1.S35 A2

  Submitted May 11th, 2007


[Facsimile Signature]





Copyright, 1897
by The Century Co.

The De Vinne Press.


Most of the chapters constituting the contents of this volume, were
written, from time to time, as soon as practicable after the events
referred to, or after the publication of historical writings which
seemed to me to require comment from the point of view of my personal
knowledge.  They were written entirely without reserve, and with
the sole purpose of telling exactly what I thought and believed,
not with any purpose of publication in my lifetime, but as my
contribution to the materials which may be useful to the impartial
historian of some future generation.  These writings had been put
away for safe-keeping with "instructions for the guidance of my
executors," in which I said:

"All the papers must be carefully revised, errors corrected if any
are found, unimportant matter eliminated, and everything omitted
which may seem, to a cool and impartial judge, to be unjust or
unnecessarily harsh or severe toward the memory of any individual.
I have aimed to be just, and not unkind.  If I have failed in any
case, it is my wish that my mistakes may be corrected, as far as
possible.  I have not attempted to write history, but simply to
make a record of events personally known to me, and of my opinion
upon such acts of others, and upon such important subjects, as have
come under my special notice.  It is my contribution to the materials
from which the future historian must draw for his data for a truthful
history of our time."

Now, in the winter of 1896-97, I have endeavored to discharge, as
far as I am able, the duty which I had imposed on my executors,
and have decided to publish what I had written in past years, with
corrections and comments, while many of the actors in the great
drama of the Civil War are still living and can assist in correcting
any errors into which I may have fallen.

After my chapters relating to the campaign of 1864 in Tennessee
were in type, the monograph by General J. D. Cox, entitled "Franklin,"
was issued from the press of Charles Scribner's Sons.  His work
and mine are the results of independent analysis of the records,
made without consultation with each other.


Chapter I.  Parentage and Early Life--Appointment to West Point--
Virginian Room-Mates--Acquaintance with General Winfield Scott--Character
of the West Point Training--Importance of Learning how to Obey--A
trip to New York on a Wager--The West Point Bible-class--Dismissed
from the Academy Without Trial--Intercession of Stephen A. Douglas
--Restoration to Cadet Duty--James B. McPherson--John B. Hood--
Robert E. Lee.

Chapter II.  On Graduating Leave--Brevet Second Lieutenant in the
2d Artillery at Fort Moultrie--An Officer's Credit Before the War--
Second Lieutenant in the 1st Artillery--Journey to Fort Capron,
Florida--A Reservation as to Whisky--A Trip to Charleston and a
Troublesome Money-Bag--An "Affair of Honor"--A Few Law-books--An
Extemporized "Map and Itinerary"--Yellow Fever--At A. P. Hill's
Home in Virginia--Assigned to Duty in the Department of Philosophy
at West Point--Interest in Astronomy--Marriage--A Hint from Jefferson
Davis--Leave of Absence--Professor of Physics in Washington

Chapter III.  Return to Duty--General Harney's Attitude--Nathaniel
Lyon in Command--Defense of the St. Louis Arsenal--Service as
Mustering Officer--Major of the First Missouri--Surrender of Camp
Jackson--Adjutant-general on Lyon's Staff--A Missing Letter from
Frémont to Lyon--Lyon's Reply--Battle of Wilson's Creek--Death of
Lyon--A Question of Command During the Retreat--Origin of the
Opposition of the Blairs to Frémont--Affair at Fredericktown.

Chapter IV.  Halleck Relieves Frémont of the Command in Missouri--
A Special State Militia--Brigadier-General of the Missouri Militia
--A Hostile Committee Sent to Washington--The Missouri Quarrel of
1862--In Command of the "Army of the Frontier"--Absent Through
Illness--Battle of Prairie Grove--Compelled to be Inactive--
Transferred to Tennessee--In Command of Thomas's Old Division of
the Fourteenth Corps--Reappointed Major-General--A Hibernian

Chapter V.  In Command of the Department of the Missouri--Troops
Sent to General Grant--Satisfaction of the President--Conditions
on which Governor Gamble would Continue in Office--Anti-Slavery
Views--Lincoln on Emancipation in Missouri--Trouble Following the
Lawrence Massacre--A Visit to Kansas, and the Party Quarrel There
--Mutiny in the State Militia--Repressive Measures--A Revolutionary

Chapter VI.  A Memorandum for Mr. Lincoln--The President's Instructions
--His Reply to the Radical Delegation--The Matter of Colored
Enlistments--Modification of the Order Respecting Elections Refused
--A Letter to the President on the Condition of Missouri--Former
Confederates in Union Militia Regiments--Summoned to Washington by
Mr. Lincoln--Offered the Command of the Army of the Ohio--Anecdote
of General Grant.

Chapter VII.  Condition of the Troops at Knoxville--Effect of the
Promotion of Grant and Sherman--Letter to Senator Henderson--A
Visit from General Sherman--United with his other Armies for the
Atlanta Campaign--Comments on Sherman's "Memoirs"--Faulty Organization
of Sherman's Army--McPherson's Task at Resaca--McPherson's
Character--Example of the Working of a Faulty System.

Chapter VIII.  Sherman's Displeasure with Hooker growing out the
Affair at Kolb's Farm--Hooker's Despatch Evidently Misinterpreted
--A Conversation with James B. McPherson over the Question of
Relative Rank--Encouraging John B. Hood to become a Soldier--Visit
to the Camp of Frank P. Blair, Jr.--Anecdote of Sherman and Hooker
under Fire--The Assault on Kenesaw--Tendency of Veteran Troops--
The Death of McPherson before Atlanta--Sherman's error in a Question
of Relative Rank.

Chapter IX.  The Final Blow at Atlanta--Johnston's Untried Plan of
Resistance--Hood's Faulty Move--Holding the Pivot of the Position
--Anecdotes of the Men in the Ranks--Deferring to General Stanley
in a Question of Relative Rank--The Failure at Jonesboro'--The
Capture of Atlanta--Absent from the Army--Hood's Operations in
Sherman's Rear--Sent Back to Thomas's Aid--Faulty Instructions to
Oppose Hood at Pulaski--At Columbia--Reason of the Delay in Exchanging

Chapter X.  Hood Forces the Crossing of Duck River--Importance of
Gaining Time for Thomas to Concentrate Reinforcements at Nashville
--The Affair at Spring Hill--Incidents of the Night Retreat--Thomas's
Reply to the Request that a Bridge be Laid over the Harpeth--The
Necessity of Standing Ground at Franklin--Hood's Formidable Attack
--Serious Error of Two Brigades of the Rear-Guard--Brilliant Services
of the Reserve--Yellow Fever Averted--Hood's Assaults Repulsed--
Johnston's Criticism of Hood--The Advantage of Continuing the
Retreat to Nashville.

Chapter XI.  The Correspondence with General Thomas previous to
the Battle of Franklin--The Untenable Position at Pulaski--Available
Troops which were not Sent to the Front--Correspondence with General
Thomas--Instructions Usually Received too Late--Advantage of Delaying
the Retreat from Duck River--No Serious Danger at Spring Hill--
General Thomas Hoping that Hood might be Delayed for Three Days at

Chapter XII.  After the Battle of Franklin--The Arrival at Nashville
--General Thomas's Greeting--A Refreshing Sleep--Services of the
Cavalry Corps and the Fourth Army Corps--Hood's Mistake after
Crossing Duck River--An Incident of the Atlanta Campaign Bearing
on Hood's Character--An Embarrassing Method of Transmitting Messages
in Cipher--The Aggressive Policy of the South.

Chapter XIII.  Grant Orders Thomas to Attack Hood or Relinquish
the Command--Thomas's Corps Commanders Support Him in Delay--Grant's
Intentions in Sending Logan to Relieve Thomas--Change of Plan before
the Battle of Nashville--The Fighting of December 15--Expectation
that Hood would Retreat--Delay in Renewing the Attack on the 16th
--Hopelessness of Hood's Position--Letters to Grant and Sherman--
Transferred to the East--Financial Burden of the War--Thomas's
Attitude toward the War.

Chapter XIV.  Hood's Motive in Attempting the Impossible at Nashville
--Diversity of Opinions Concerning that Battle--No Orders on Record
for the Battle of December 16--That Battle due to the Spontaneous
Action of Subordinate Commanders--Statements in the Reports of the
Corps Commanders--Explanation of the Absence of Orders--The
Phraseology of General Thomas's Report.

Chapter XV.  General Thomas's Indorsement on the Report of the
Battle of Franklin--Courtesies to Him in Washington--Peculiarities
of the Official Records in Regard to Franklin and Nashville--
Documents Which Have Disappeared from the Records--Inconsistencies
in General Thomas's Report--False Representations Made to Him--
Their Falsity Confirmed by General Grant.

Chapter XVI.  Sherman's "March to the Sea"--The Military Theory On
Which It Was Based--Did It Involve War or Statesmanship?--The
Correspondence Between Grant and Sherman, and Sherman and Thomas--
The Effect of Jefferson Davis's Speech on Sherman--Rawlins's Reported
Opposition to the March, and Grant's Final Judgment On It.

Chapter XVII.  Sherman's Purpose in Marching to the Sea--His
Expectations that the Change of Base Would Be "Statesmanship," If
Not "War"--The Thousand-Mile March of Hood's Men to Surrender to
Sherman--The Credit Given by Grant to Sherman--"Master of the
Situation"--The Fame of Sherman's Grand Marches--His Great Ability
as a Strategist.

Chapter XVIII.  Transfer of the Twenty-Third Corps to North Carolina
--Sherman's Plan of Marching to the Rear of Lee--The Surrender of
J. E. Johnston's Army--Authorship of the Approved Terms of Surrender
--Political Reconstruction--Sherman's Genius--Contrast Between
Grant and Sherman--Halleck's Characteristics--His Attempt to Supplant
Grant--Personal Feeling in Battle--The Scars of War.

Chapter XIX.  The Restoration of Civil Government in the Southern
States--The Course Pursued in North Carolina--An Order from General
Grant in Regard to Cotton and Produce--Suggestions for the
Reorganization of Civil Government--A Provisional Governor for
North Carolina.

Chapter XX.  French Intervention in Mexico--A Plan to Compel the
Withdrawal of the French Army--Grant's Letter of Instructions to
General Sheridan--Secretary Seward Advocates Moral Suasion--A
Mission to Paris With That End in View--Speechmaking at the American
Thanksgiving Dinner--Napoleon's Method of Retreating with Dignity
--A Presentation to the Emperor and Empress.

Chapter XXI.  Reconstruction in Virginia--The State Legislature
Advised to Adopt the Fourteenth Amendment--Congressional Reconstruction
as a Result of the Refusal--The Manner in Which the Acts of Congress
Were Executed--No Resort to Trial by Military Commission--The
Obnoxious Constitution Framed by the State Convention--How Its
Worst Feature Was Nullified--Appointed Secretary of War.

Chapter XXII.  Differences Between the Commanding General of the
Army and the War Department--General Grant's Special Powers--His
Appointment as Secretary of War _Ad interim_--The Impeachment of
President Johnson--Memorandum of Interviews with William M. Evarts
and General Grant in Regard to the Secretaryship of War--Failure
of the Impeachment Trial--Harmony in the War Department--A New
Policy at Army Headquarters.

Chapter XXIII.  Assignment to the Department of the Missouri--A
Cordial Reception from Former Opponents in St. Louis--Origin of
the Military School at Fort Riley--Funeral of General George H.
Thomas--Death of General George G. Meade--Assigned to the Division
of the Pacific--A Visit to Hawaii--Military Men in the Exercise of
Political Power--Trouble with the Modoc Indians--The Canby Massacre.

Chapter XXIV.  Superintendent at West Point--General Sherman's
Ulterior Reasons for the Appointment--Origin of the "Department of
West Point"--Case of the Colored Cadet Whittaker--A Proposed Removal
for Political Effect--General Terry's Friendly Attitude--A Muddle
of New Commands--Waiting Orders, and a Visit to Europe--Again in
Command in the West--The Establishment of Fort Sheridan at Chicago.

Chapter XXV.  The Death of General Hancock--Assigned to the Division
of the Atlantic--Measures for Improving the Sea-Coast Defense--
General Fitz-John Porter's Restoration to the Army--President of
the Board Appointed to Review the Action of the Court Martial--
General Grant's Opinion--Senator Logan's Explanation of His Hostile
Attitude Toward General Porter.

Chapter XXVI.  The Death of General Sheridan--His Successor in
Command of the Army--Deplorable Condition of the War Department at
the Time--A Better Understanding Between the Department and the
Army Commander--General Sheridan's Humiliating Experience--The
Granting of Medals--The Secretary's Call-Bell--The Relations of
Secretary and General--Views Submitted to President Cleveland--The
Law Fixing Retirement for Age--An Anecdote of General Grant.

Chapter XXVII.  President of the New Board of Ordnance and
Fortifications--Usefulness of the Board--Troubles with the Sioux
Indians in 1890-1891--Success of the Plan to Employ Indians as
Soldiers--Marriage to Miss Kilbourne--The Difficulty with Chili in

Chapter XXVIII.  Services of the Army During the Labor Strikes of
1894--Military Control of the Pacific Railways--United States Troops
in the City of Chicago--Orders Sent to General Miles, and his
Reports--The Proclamation of the President--Instructions to Govern
the Troops in Dealing with a Mob--The Duties of the Military
Misunderstood--Orders of the President in Regard to the Pacific

Chapter XXIX.  Lessons of the Civil War--Weakness of the Military
Policy at the Outbreak of the Rebellion--A Poor Use of the Educated
Soldiers of the Army--Military Wisdom Shown by the Confederate
Authorities--Territorial Strategy--General Military Education
Indispensable to Good Citizenship--Organization of the National
Guard--General Grant Without Military Books--Measures Necessary to
the National Defense.

Chapter XXX.  The Financial Lesson of the Civil War--Approaching
Bankruptcy of the Government near the Close of the War--The Legal-
Tender Notes an Injury to the Public Credit--A Vicious Clause in
the Constitution--No Prejudice in the Army Against Officers Not
Educated at West Point--The Need of a Law Reforming the Relations
Between the President and the Commander of the Army--Devotion to
the Chosen Leader in Times of Public Peril.

Chapter XXXI.  General Sherman's Friendship--His Death--General
Grant's Recognition of Services--His Great Trait, Moral and
Intellectual Honesty--His Confidence in Himself--Grant, Like Lincoln,
a Typical American--On the Retired List of the Army--Conclusion.




Parentage and Early Life--Appointment to West Point--Virginian Room-
Mates--Acquaintance with General Winfield Scott--Character of the
West Point Training--Importance of Learning how to Obey--A trip to
New York on a Wager--The West Point Bible-class--Dismissed from
the Academy Without Trial--Intercession of Stephen A. Douglas--
Restoration to Cadet Duty--James B. McPherson--John B. Hood--Robert
E. Lee.

I was born in the town of Gerry, Chautauqua County, New York,
September 29, 1831.  My father was the Rev. James Schofield, who
was then pastor of the Baptist Church in Sinclairville, and who
was from 1843 to 1881 a "home missionary" engaged in organizing
new churches and building "meeting-houses" in Illinois, Iowa, and
Missouri.  My mother was Caroline McAllister, daughter of John
McAllister of Gerry.  We removed to Illinois in June, 1843, and,
after a short stay in Bristol, my father made a new home for his
family in Freeport, where he began his missionary work by founding
the First Baptist Church of that place.

In all my childhood and youth I had what I regard as the best
possible opportunities for education, in excellent public schools
where the rudiments of English were taught with great thoroughness,
and in a fair amount of all kinds of manly sports, and in hard
work, mainly on the farm and in building a new home, which left no
time and little inclination for any kind of mischief.  At sixteen
years of age I spent three months in surveying public lands in the
wilds of northern Wisconsin, and at seventeen taught district school
in the little town of Oneco.  By that time I had chosen the law as
my profession, and was working hard to complete the preparatory
studies at my own expense.

                                                  APPOINTMENT TO WEST POINT

The winter's school term in Oneco having closed early in the spring
of 1849, I returned to Freeport and resumed my struggle with Latin.
Then an unforseen event turned the course of my life.  The young
man who had been appointed to West Point from our district only a
year or two before had failed to continue his course in the Military
Academy.  Thus a vacancy occurred just at the close of Mr. Thomas
J. Turner's term in Congress.  There was no time for applications
or for consultation.  He must select another candidate to enter
the following June, or leave the place to be filled by his successor.
Fortunately for me, Mr. Turner, as one of the public-school directors,
had been present at an examination where the subject with which I
had to deal was mathematical; if he had caught me at Latin, the
result must have been fatal to all my prospects.  Besides, Mr.
Turner had heard from his brother James of the stamina I had shown
in the public land-surveying expedition; and also from my father
of my determination to get a good education before beginning the
study of law.  So he brought me a cadet appointment when he came
home, and said he believed a boy with that record could get through
West Point, the training there being, in his opinion, a good
preparation for the study of law.

The little savings from all my past work had been invested in a
piece of land which was sold to fit me out for my journey to West
Point, including some inexpensive visits en route.  I reported at
the Academy on June 1, 1849, with less than two dollars in my
pocket, which I conscientiously deposited with the treasurer, as
required by the regulations.  My reception was of the most satisfactory
character.  William P. Curlin of the second class, and Hezekiah H.
Garber of the third, both from Illinois, found me out very soon
after I reported, took me under their protection in a brotherly
way, and gave me some timely advice--not to take too seriously any
little fun the "men" might make of my blue dress-coat and fancy
gilt buttons, or anything like that; but I never experienced anything
even approaching to hazing.  My rather mature appearance may have
had something to do with the respect generally paid me.  It was
true I was only seventeen years and nine months old, as recorded
in the register, but my experience may have had some visible effect.

I was assigned to a room in the old South Barracks, which were
demolished the next year.  My room-mates were Henry H. Walker and
John R. Chambliss, two charming fellows from Virginia.  We had
hardly learned each other's names when one of them said something
about the "blank Yankees"; but instantly, seeing something that
might perhaps have appeared like Southern blood in my face, added,
"_You_ are not a _Yankee!_"  I replied, "Yes, I am from Illinois."
"Oh," said he, "we don't call Western men Yankees."  In that remark
I found my mission at West Point, as in after life, to be, as far
as possible, a peacemaker between the hostile sections.  If the
great West could have been heard, and its more dispassionate voice
heeded, possibly peace might have been preserved.

My experience at West Point did not differ in many particulars from
the general average of cadet life, but a few incidents may be worthy
of special mention.  My experience in camp was comparatively limited.
The first summer I was on guard only once.  Then the corporal of
the grand rounds tried to charge over my post without giving the
countersign, because I had not challenged promptly.  We crossed
bayonets, but I proved too strong for him, and he gave it up, to
the great indignation of the officer of the day, who had ordered
him to charge, and who threatened to report me, but did not.  That
night I slept on the ground outside the guard tents, and caught
cold, from which my eyes became badly inflamed, and I was laid up
in the hospital during the remainder of my encampment.  On that
account I had a hard struggle with my studies the next year.  While
sitting on the east porch of the hospital in the afternoon, I
attracted the kind attention of General Winfield Scott, who became
from that time a real friend, and did me a great service some years

                                       CHARACTER OF THE WEST POINT TRAINING

In our third-class encampment, when corporal of the guard, I had
a little misunderstanding one night with the sentinel on post along
Fort Clinton ditch, which was then nearly filled by a growth of
bushes.  The sentinel tore the breast of my shell-jacket with the
point of his bayonet, and I tumbled him over backward into the
ditch and ruined his musket.  But I quickly helped him out, and
gave him my musket in place of his, with ample apologies for my
thoughtless act.  We parted, as I thought, in the best of feeling;
but many years later, a colonel in the army told me that story, as
an illustration of the erroneous treatment sometimes accorded to
sentinels in his time, and I was thus compelled to tell him I was
that same corporal, to convince him that he had been mistaken as
to the real character of the treatment he had received.

That third-class year I lived in the old North barracks, four of
us in one room.  There, under the malign influence of two men who
were afterward found deficient, I contracted the bad habit of
fastening a blanket against the window after "taps," so that no
one could see us "burning the midnight oil" over pipes and cards.
The corps of cadets was not as much disciplined in our day as it
is now.  If it had been, I doubt if I should have graduated.  As
it was, I got 196 demerits out of a possible 200 one year.  One
more "smoking in quarters" would have been too much for me.  I
protest now, after this long experience, that nothing else at West
Point was either so enjoyable or so beneficial to me as smoking.
I knew little and cared less about the different corps of the army,
or about the value of class standing.  I became quite indignant
when a distinguished friend rather reproved me for not trying to
graduate higher--perhaps in part from a guilty conscience, for it
occurred just after we had graduated.  I devoted only a fraction
of the study hours to the academic course--generally an hour, or
one and a half, to each lesson.  But I never intentionally neglected
any of my studies.  It simply seemed to me that a great part of my
time could be better employed in getting the education I desired
by the study of law, history, rhetoric, and general literature.
Even now I think these latter studies have proved about as useful
to me as what I learned of the art and science of war; and they
are essential to a good general education, no less in the army than
in civil life.  I have long thought it would be a great improvement
in the Military Academy if a much broader course could be given to
those young men who come there with the necessary preparation,
while not excluding those comparatively young boys who have only
elementary education.  There is too much of the "cast-iron" in this
government of law under which we live, but "mild steel" will take
its place in time, no doubt.  The conditions and interests of so
vast a country and people are too varied to be wisely subjected to
rigid rules.

But I must not be misunderstood as disparaging the West Point
education.  As it was, and is now, there is, I believe, nothing
equal to it anywhere in this country.  Its methods of developing
the reasoning faculties and habits of independent thought are the
best ever devised.  West Point _training_ of the mind is practically
perfect.  Its general discipline is excellent and indispensable in
the military service.  Even in civil life something like it would
be highly beneficial.  In my case that discipline was even more
needed than anything else.  The hardest lesson I had to learn was
to submit my will and opinions to those of an accidental superior
in rank, who, I imagined, was my inferior in other things, and it
took me many years to learn it.  Nothing is more absolutely
indispensable to a good soldier than perfect subordination and
zealous service to him whom the national will may have made the
official superior for the time being.  I now think it one of the
most important lessons of my own experience that, while I had no
difficulty whatever in securing perfect subordination and obedience
in a large public school when I was only seventeen years old, or
ever afterward in any body of troops, from a squad of cadets up to
a body of men, others did not find it by any means so easy to
discipline me.  What I needed to learn was not so much how to
command as how to obey.

My observation of others has also taught much the same lesson.
Too early independence and exercise of authority seem to beget some
degree of disrespect for the authority of others.  I once knew a
young major-general who, in his zeal to prevent what he believed
to be the improper application of some public funds, assumed to
himself the action which lawfully belonged to the Secretary of War.
The question thus raised was considered paramount to that of the
proper use of the funds.  The young officer lost his point, and
got a well-merited rebuke.  But it is not to be expected that
complete military education can be obtained without complete military
experience.  The rules of subordination and obedience _in_ an army
are so simple that everybody learns them with the utmost ease.
But the relations between the army and its administrative head,
and with the civil power, are by no means so simple.  When a too
confident soldier rubs up against them, he learns what "military"
discipline really means.  It sometimes takes a civilian to "teach
a soldier his place" in the government of a republic.  If a soldier
desires that his own better judgment shall control military policy,
he must take care not to let it become known that the judgment is
his.  If he can contrive to let that wise policy be invented by
the more responsible head, it will surely be adopted.  It should
never be suspected by anybody that there is any difference of
opinion between the soldier and his civil chief; and nobody, not
even the chief, will ever find it out if the soldier does not tell
it.  The highest quality attributed to Von Moltke was his ability
to make it clearly understood by the Emperor and all the world that
the Emperor himself commanded the German army.

                                              A TRIP TO NEW YORK ON A WAGER

My constitutional habit once led me into a very foolish exploit at
West Point.  A discussion arose as to the possibility of going to
New York and back without danger of being caught, and I explained
the plan I had worked out by which it could be done.  (I will not
explain what the plan was, lest some other foolish boy try it.)
I was promptly challenged to undertake it for a high wager, and
that challenge overcame any scruple I may have had.  I cared nothing
for a brief visit to New York, and had only five dollars in my
pocket which Jerome N. Bonaparte loaned me to pay my way.  But I
went to the city and back, in perfect safety, between the two roll-
calls I had to attend that day.  Old Benny Havens of blessed memory
rowed me across the river to Garrison's, and the Cold Spring ferryman
back to the Point a few minutes before evening parade.  I walked
across the plain in full view of the crowd of officers and ladies,
and appeared in ranks at roll-call, as innocent as anybody.  It is
true my up-train did not stop at Garrison's or Cold Spring, but
the conductor, upon a hint as to the necessity of the case, kindly
slackened the speed of the express so that I could jump off from
the rear platform.  In due time I repaid Bonaparte the borrowed
five dollars, but the wager was never paid.  The only other bet I
made at West Point was on Buchanan's election; but that was in the
interest of a Yankee who was not on speaking terms with the Southerner
who offered the wager.  I have never had any disposition to wager
anything on chance, but have always had an irresistible inclination
to back my own skill whenever it has been challenged.  The one
thing most to be condemned in war is the leaving to chance anything
which by due diligence might be foreseen.  In the preparations for
defense, especially, there is no longer any need that anything be
left to chance or uncertainty.

                                                 THE WEST POINT BIBLE-CLASS

I attended the Bible-class regularly every Sunday after I went to
West Point, and rejoiced greatly in that opportunity to hear the
Scriptures expounded by the learned doctor of divinity of the
Military Academy.  I had never doubted for a moment that every word
of the Bible was divinely inspired, for my father himself had told
me it was.  But I always had a curious desire to know the reason
of things; and, more than that, some of my fellows were inclined
to be a little skeptical, and I wanted the reasons with which I
could overwhelm their unworthy doubts.  So I ventured to ask the
professor one Sunday what was the evidence of divine inspiration.
He answered only what my father had before told me, that it was
"internal evidence"; but my youthful mind had not yet perceived
that very clearly.  Hence I ventured very modestly and timidly to
indicate my need of some light that would enable me to see.  The
learned doctor did not vouchsafe a word in reply, but the look of
amazement and scorn he gave me for my display of ignorance sealed
my lips on that subject forever.  I have never since ventured to
ask anybody any questions on that subject, but have studied it out
for myself as well as I could.  Soon after that the doctor preached
a sermon in which he denounced skepticism in his own vigorous terms,
and consigned to perdition all the great teachers of heresy, of
whom he mentioned the names--before unheard, I am sure, by the
great majority of cadets, thought their works were to be found in
the West Point and all other public libraries.  I never looked into
any of those books, though other cadets told me that they, at his
suggestion, had sought there for the information the good doctor
had refused to give us.  I have never, even to this day, been
willing to read or listen to what seemed to me irreverent words,
even though they might be intended to convey ideas not very different
from my own.  It has seemed to me that a man ought to speak with
reverence of the religion taught him in his childhood and believed
by his fellow-men, or else keep his philosophical thoughts, however
profound, to himself.

Another sermon of the good doctor of divinity, which I did not
happen to hear, on the Mosaic history of creation, contained, as
stated to me, a denunciation of the "God-hating geologists."  That
offended me, for I had, in common with all the other cadets, learned
greatly to admire and respect our professor of geology.  So I did
not go to the Bible-class any more.  But the professor of ethics
continued to drive his fine fast horse, much the best one on the
Point, and I believe the best I had ever seen.  Hence he continued
to enjoy my esteem, though perhaps he did not know it.

Near the beginning of the last year of my cadet life an event
occurred which very nearly proved fatal to my prospects, and I have
often wondered that it did not have some effect on my hopes.  But,
singularly enough, I never had a moment's doubt or anxiety as to
the final result.  It was then the custom for candidates to report
on June 1, or within the next few days.  They were organized into
sections, and placed under the instruction of cadets selected from
the second class to prepare them, as far as possible, for examination
about the middle of the month.  I was given charge of a section in
arithmetic, and have never in all my life discharged my duty with
more conscientious fidelity than I drilled those boys in the subject
with which I was familiar, and in teaching which I had had some
experience.  We had gone over the entire course upon which they
were to be examined, and all were well prepared except two who
seemed hopelessly deficient upon a few subjects which they had been
unable to comprehend.  Not willing to omit the last possible effort
in behalf of those two boys, I took them to the blackboard and
devoted the last fifteen or twenty minutes before the bugle-call
to a final effort to prepare them for the ordeal they must face
the next morning.  While I was thus employed several of my classmates
came into the room, and began talking to the other candidates.
Though their presence annoyed me, it did not interfere with my
work; so I kept on intently with the two young boys until the bugle

                                   DISMISSED FROM THE ACADEMY WITHOUT TRIAL

I then went to my quarters without paying any attention to the
interruption, or knowing anything of the character of what had
occurred.  But one of the candidates, perhaps by way of excuse for
his failure, wrote to his parents some account of the "deviltry"
in which my classmates had indulged that day.  That report found
its way to the War Department, and was soon followed by an order
to the commandant of cadets to investigate.  The facts were found
fully to exonerate me from any participation in or countenance of
the deviltry, except that I did not stop it; and showed that I had
faithfully done my duty in teaching the candidates.  After this
investigation was over, I was called upon to answer for my own
conduct; and, the names of my guilty classmates being unknown to
the candidates, I was also held responsible for their conduct.  I
answered by averring and showing, as I believed, my own innocence
of all that had been done, except my neglect of duty in tolerating
such a proceeding.  My conscience was so clear of any intentional
wrong that I had no anxiety about the result.  But in due time
came an order from the Secretary of War dismissing me from the
academy without trial.  That, I believe, shocked me a little; but
the sense of injustice was too strong in my mind to permit of a
doubt that it would be righted when the truth was known.  I proposed
to go straight to Washington and lay the facts before the government.
Then I realized for the first time what it meant to have friends.
All my classmates and many other cadets came forward with letters
to their congressmen, and many of them to senators whom they happened
to know, and other influential men in Washington.  So I carried
with me a great bundle of letters setting forth my virtues in terms
which might have filled the breast of George Washington with pride.

There was no public man in Washington whom I had ever seen, and
probably no one who had ever heard of me, except the few in the
War Department who knew of my alleged bad conduct.  The Secretary
of War would not even see me until I was at last presented to him
by an officer of the army.  Then he offered me his forefinger to
shake, but he could give me no encouragement whatever.  This was
after I had been in Washington several weeks.  My congressman, Mr.
Campbell, who had succeeded Mr. Turner, and several others received
me kindly, read my letters, and promised to see the Secretary of
War, which no doubt they did, though without any apparent effect.
The only result was the impossible suggestion that if I would give
the names of my guilty classmates I might be let off.  I had made
an early call upon the "Little Giant," Senator Douglas, to whom I
had no letter, and whom I had never met; had introduced myself as
a "citizen of Illinois" in trouble; and had told my story.  He said
he was not on good terms with that administration, and preferred
not to go near the War Department if it could be avoided, but if
it proved necessary to let him know.  Hence, after all else failed,
including my personal appeal, which I had waited so long to make,
I told Mr. Douglas all that had occurred, and suggested that there
was nothing left but to "put in the reserve," as the tacticians
call it.  He replied:  "Come up in the morning, and we will go to
see about it."  On our way to the War Department the next morning,
the senator said, "I don't know that I can do anything with this
---- Whig administration"; but he assured me all should be made
right in the next.  That seemed to me the kind of man I had looked
for in vain up to that time.  I waited in the anteroom only a few
minutes, when the great senator came out with a genial smile on
his face, shook me warmly by the hand, and bade by good-by, saying:
"It is all right.  You can go back to West Point.  The Secretary
has given me his promise."  I need not go into the details of the
long and tedious formalities through which the Secretary's promise
was finally fulfilled.  It was enough to me that my powerful friend
had secured the promise that, upon proof of the facts as I had
stated them, I should be fully exonerated and restored to the
academy.  I returned to West Point, and went through the long forms
of a court of inquiry, a court martial, and the waiting for the
final action of the War Department, all occupying some five or six
months, diligently attending to my military and academic duties,
and trying hard to obey all the regulations (except as to smoking),
never for a moment doubting the final result.  That lesson taught
me that innocence and justice sometimes need powerful backing.
Implicit trust in Providence does not seem to justify any neglect
to employ also the biggest battalions and the heaviest guns.

                                                         JAMES B. McPHERSON

During all that time I continued to live with my old room-mate,
James B. McPherson, in a tower room and an adjoining bedroom, which
LaRhett L. Livingston also shared.  I had been corporal, sergeant,
and lieutenant up to the time of my dismissal; hence the duties of
private were a little difficult, and I found it hard to avoid
demerits; but with some help from our kind-hearted inspecting
officer, Milton Cogswell,--bless his memory!--I contrived to get
off with 196 demerits in a possible 200 that last year.  In a mild
way, McPherson was also a little under a cloud at that time.  He
had been first captain of the battalion and squad marcher of the
class at engineering drill.  In this latter capacity he also had
committed the offense of not reporting some of the class for
indulging in unauthorized sport.  The offense was not so grave as
mine, and, besides, his military record was very much better.  So
he was let off with a large demerit mark and a sort of honorable
retirement to the office of quartermaster of the battalion.  I
still think, as I did then, that McPherson's punishment was the
more appropriate.  Livingston was one of those charming, amiable
fellows with whom nobody could well find any fault, though I believe
he did get a good many demerits.  He also seemed to need the aid
of tobacco in his studies.  William P. Craighill, who succeeded
McPherson as first captain, had no fault whatever, that I ever
heard of, except one--that was, standing too high for his age.  He
was a beardless youth, only five feet high and sixteen years old
when he entered the academy; yet he was so inconsiderate as to keep
ahead of me all the time in everything but tactics, and that was
of no consequence to him, for he was not destined to command troops
in the field, while, as it turned out, I was.  It has always seemed
to me a little strange that the one branch which I never expected
to use afterward was the only study in which I graduated at the
head.  Perhaps McPherson and Craighill thought, as I did, that it
made no difference where I stood in tactics.

Among all the tactical officers of our time, Lieutenant John M.
Jones was esteemed the most accomplished soldier and tactician,
and the most rigid but just and impartial disciplinarian.  It had
been my good fortune to enjoy his instruction while I was private,
corporal, sergeant, and lieutenant, and I fully shared with others
in the above high estimate of his character.  I even flattered
myself that my soldierly conduct in all that time had not escaped
his favorable notice.  When my case was before the court of inquiry
in the summer of 1852, the professors who had been called to testify
gave me a high character as a faithful, diligent student.  When
Lieutenant Jones was called to testify as to my character as a
soldier, he replied that, in his opinion, it was very bad!  While
I was not a little surprised and disappointed at that revelation
of the truth from the lips of the superior whom I so highly respected,
and did not doubt for a moment his better judgment, I could not be
unmindful of the fact that the other tactical officers did not know
me so well and had not so high a reputation as Lieutenant Jones in
respect to discipline; and I felt at liberty to avail myself, in my
own interest, of the opportunity suggested by this reflection.
Hence, when, after my complete restoration to the academy in January,
I found my demerits accumulating with alarming rapidity, I applied
for and obtained a transfer to Company C, where I would be under
Lieutenant Cogswell and Cadet Captain Vincent, my beloved classmate,
who had cordially invited me to share his room in barracks.

                                                              ROBERT E. LEE

John B. Hood was a jolly good fellow, a little discouraged at first
by unexpected hard work; but he fought his way manfully to the end.
He was not quite so talented as some of his great associates in
the Confederate army, but he was a tremendous fighter when occasion
offered.  During that last period of our cadet life, Colonel Robert
E. Lee was superintendent of the academy; he was the personification
of dignity, justice, and kindness, and he was respected and admired
as the ideal of a commanding officer.  Colonel Robert S. Garnett
was commandant of cadets; he was a thorough soldier who meted out
impartial justice with both hands.  At our last parade I received
"honorable mention" twice, both the personal judgment of the
commandant himself.  The one was for standing at the head of the
class in tactics; the other, for "not carrying musket properly in
ranks."  Who can ever forget that last parade, when the entire
class, officers and privates together, marched up in line and made
their salute to the gallant commandant!  To a West-Pointer no other
emotion equals it, except that of victory in battle.

On Graduating Leave--Brevet Second Lieutenant in the 2d Artillery
at Fort Moultrie--An Officer's Credit Before the War--Second
Lieutenant in the 1st Artillery--Journey to Fort Capron, Florida--
A Reservation as to Whisky--A Trip to Charleston and a Troublesome
Money-Bag--An "Affair of Honor"--A Few Law-books--An Extemporized
"Map and Itinerary"--Yellow Fever--At A. P. Hill's Home in Virginia
--Assigned to Duty in the Department of Philosophy at West Point--
Interest in Astronomy--Marriage--A Hint from Jefferson Davis--Leave
of Absence--Professor of Physics in Washington University.

An old army colonel many years ago described a West Point graduate,
when he first reported for duty after graduating leave, as a very
young officer with a full supply of self-esteem, a four-story
leather trunk filled with good clothes, and an empty pocket.  To
that must be added, in my case, a debt equal to the full value of
trunk and clothes and a hundred dollars borrowed money.  My "equipment
fund" and much more had been expended in Washington and in journeys
to and fro during the period of administrative uncertainty in
respect to the demands of discipline at West Point.  Still I had
so good a time, that graduating leave, as any millionaire in the
United States.  My good father was evidently disturbed, and began
to fear--for the first time, I think--that I was really going to
the bad!  His worst fears as to the possible effects of a military
education had, after all, been realized!  When I showed him the
first check from New York, covering my pay account for July, he
said that it was enough to ruin any boy in the world.  Indeed, I
myself was conscious of the fact that I had not done a stroke of
work all that month for those sixty-five and a half dollars; and
in order that my father might be convinced of my determination not
to let such unearned wealth lead me into dissipation, I at once
offered to lend him fifty dollars to pay a debt due to somebody on
the Freeport Baptist meeting-house.  Confidence was thereby

                                                   BREVET SECOND LIEUTENANT

My first orders assigned me to duty at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina,
as brevet second lieutenant in the 2d Artillery.  The steamer landed
me at Charleston, September 29, 1853, the day I became twenty-two
years of age.  The next morning I found myself without money enough
to pay my hotel bill and take me over to Sullivan's Island, but
pay was due me for September.  Upon inquiry, I found that the
paymaster was not in the city, but that he kept his public funds
in the Bank of South Carolina.  Being unacquainted with any of the
good people of Charleston, the well-known rules of banks about
identification seemed a serious obstacle.  I presented my pay
account at the bank, informing the cashier with a confident air
that I was well aware of the fact that the major's money was there,
but that the major himself was out of town.  The accomplished
cashier, after scrutinizing me for a time, handed me the money.
My older brother officers at the fort had a good laugh at what they
were pleased to call my "brass"; but I consoled myself with the
reflection that I had found out that my face was good for something.
It is an instructive fact that before the Civil War an officer of
the army needed no indorser anywhere in this country.  His check
or his pay account was as good as gold.  All that was required was
identification.  It is lamentably true that such has not been the
case since the war.

I found only one officer on duty with my battery at Fort Moultrie,
and he was awaiting my arrival so that he might go on leave.  He
turned over the command with a manifestation of confidence which
surprised me at the time, but which was fully explained the next
day.  In the morning the first sergeant reported to me, with the
quarterly and monthly returns prepared for my signature, and made
out more beautifully than anything in writing I had ever before
seen, and explained to me in detail all the business affairs of
the battery, as if he were reporting to an old captain who had just
returned from a long leave of absence.  Next to General Scott and
Colonel Lee, with whom I had the honor of some acquaintance, I was
quite sure there stood before me the finest-looking and most
accomplished soldier in the United States Army.  What a hard time
young officers of the army would sometimes have but for the old
sergeants!  I have pitied from the bottom of my heart volunteer
officers whom I have seen starting out, even in the midst of war,
with perfectly raw regiments, and not even one old sergeant to
teach them anything.  No country ought to be so cruel to its soldiers
as that.

In September we had the usual artillery target practice, which was
afterward recalled to my mind many times by the bombardment of Fort
Sumter in 1861 by the same guns I had used in practice, and at the
same range.  Then came the change of stations of troops, which took
the Moultrie garrison to Florida, and some of the 1st Artillery to
their place.  For a time the fort was left without garrison except
a few officers who were awaiting the arrival of their regiment.
I also was ordered to remain until I "got off my brevet" and was
appointed "full second" in the 1st Artillery.  It had been a yellow-
fever summer, and the cottages on Sullivan's Island were even more
fully occupied than usual, mostly by families of planters from the
rice plantations of South Carolina.  Hospitality was unbounded,
and of the most charming character.  Nothing I have experienced at
home or in the great capitals of Europe has surpassed or dimmed
the memory of that first introduction to Southern society.

                                            JOURNEY TO FORT CAPRON, FLORIDA

In December, 1853, the order came announcing my appointment as
second lieutenant, 1st Artillery, and directing me to join Battery
D at Fort Capron, Indian River, Florida.  A steamer took me to
Palatka, stopping a short time at Jacksonville, which was then
little more than a landing on the St. John's River.  After a week's
delay at Palatka, another little mail-steamer carried me and few
other passengers up the river to lake Monroe, whence a mule served
for transportation across to New Smyrna, on Mosquito Lagoon, opposite
the inlet.  It was a great day's sport going up the river.  The
banks seemed almost lined with alligators, and the water covered
with water-fowl of all kinds, while an occasional deer or flock of
turkeys near by would offer a chance shot.  At New Smyrna Mrs.
Sheldon provided excellent entertainment during the ten days'
waiting for the mail-boat down Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River,
while Mr. Sheldon's pack of hounds furnished sport.  At length old
Captain Davis took the mail and my baggage and me on board his
sloop, bound for Fort Capron, opposite the mouth of Indian River.
He divided his time fairly between carrying the United States mail
and drinking whisky, but he never attempted to do both at the same
time.  I am not sure but it was the captain's example which first
suggested to me the rule which I adopted when commanding an army
in the field--to do no drinking till after the day's fighting was
over.  But, in fact, I never liked whisky, and never drank much,

We arrived in twenty-five days from Charleston, which was regarded
as a very satisfactory journey.  At the fort I found Captain and
Brevet-Major Joseph A. Haskin, commanding; First Lieutenant A. P.
Hill, afterward lieutenant-general in the Confederate army; Dr. A.
J. Foard, assistant surgeon; and my classmate Livingston, brevet
second lieutenant; besides sixteen enlisted men--rather a close
approximation to the ideal of that old colonel who once said the
army would be delightful if it were not for the ---- soldiers.
But that was changed after a while by the arrival of recruits--
enough in one batch to fill the battery full.  The battery had
recently come from the gulf coast, where yellow fever had done
destructive work.  I was told that there happened to be only one
officer on duty with the battery--a Lieutenant somebody--when the
fever broke out, and that he resigned and went home.  If that is
true, I trust he went into the Civil War and got killed in battle;
for that was the only atonement he could possibly make for leaving
his men in that way.  But such cases have been exceedingly rare,
while those of the opposite extreme have not been uncommon, where
officers have remained with the sick and died there, instead of
going with the main body of their men to a more healthy place.
The proper place for a line officer is with the fighting force, to
care for it and preserve its strength by every means in his power,
for war may come to-morrow.  The surgeons and their assistants must
and do fully care for the sick and wounded.

Life at Fort Capron was not by any means monotonous.  It was varied
by sailing, fishing, and shooting, and even the continuity of sport
was broken twice a month, generally, by the arrival of the mail-
boat.  But at length this diversion failed us.  Some difference
occurred between the United States Post-office Department and the
mail-contractor on the St. John's River, and we got no mail for
three months.  Then the commanding officer ordered me to go to
Charleston by the sloop that had brought us supplies, and bring
back the mail by the regular route.  I made the round trip in little
more than a month.  That same paymaster whom I had found away from
his post on my first arrival in Charleston intrusted to me a carpet-
bag full of gold and silver, to pay off the garrison for the past
six months, with as much advance pay as the officers would consent
to take, so that he would not have to make the trip down for a long
time to come.  I had to carry the money-bag and a revolver about
with me for twenty-five days or more.  I have never consented to
handle Uncle Sam's money since that time.

                                                       AN "AFFAIR OF HONOR"

It was during that short visit to Charleston that I became engaged,
for the first and only time, in an "affair of honor."  A young man
who had been in my class at West Point, but had resigned before
the class had graduated, came to me at the hotel, and asked me, as
his "friend," to deliver a note he held in his hand.  I replied:
"Yes.  If you will place yourself in my hands and do what I decide
is honorable and right, I will be your friend.  Tell me about it."
My condition was accepted without reserve.  My friend, whose home
was in a distant city, had been in Charleston some weeks, and had
spent all the money he had and all he could borrow.  He was on the
eve of negotiating a further loan from a well-known banker when
the son of that banker, who had met my friend about town, told his
father the plain truth about my friend's habits and his probable
value as a debtor.  The negotiation was ended.  My friend had become
a stranger in a strange land, without the means to stay there any
longer or to go home.  It was a desperate case--one which could
not be relived by anything less than the blood of the young "villain"
who had told his father that "infamous"--truth!  I replied:  "Yes,
that is a bad case; we will have to fix that up.  How are you off
at home?"  He said the "old man" had plenty of money, but had sent
him enough to come home once or twice before, and would not send
any more.  Upon further inquiry, I found that my friend's hotel
bill and expenses home would amount to a little less than the sum
I had just drawn on my pay account up to date; so I handed him the
money, saying that he could return it when convenient, and his
"honor" was fully satisfied.  I never afterward heard anything from
him about that money, and my tailor had to wait a little longer
for his pay; but I had done my duty, as I understood it, under the
code of honor.  I saw that friend once afterward.  He went into
the army in 1861, accidentally shot himself, and died miserably on
the march, an old musket-barrel, placed there by my order, marking
his grave by the wayside.  It was not granted to him, poor fellow!
to fight a battle for his country.

I took with me to Florida some law-books--Blackstone, Kent, and a
few others: so few, indeed, that I learned them nearly all by heart;
then, for want of anything better, I read over the entire code of
the State of Florida.  Several times in after years I found it
necessary, in order to save time, to repeat to great lawyers the
exact words of the Constitution of the United States; but their
habit was much the better.  It is seldom wise to burden the memory
with those things which you have only to open a book to find out.
I recollect well that answer once made by William M. Evarts, then
attorney-general of the United States, to my inquiry whether he
would give me, offhand, the law on a certain point, to save the
time requisite for a formal application and answer in writing.  He
said if it was a question of statute law he would have to examine
the books, but if only a question of common law he could make that
as well as anybody.  But I had nothing better to do for a time in
Florida, and when I got out I did not find my memory half so much
overloaded with law as my blood was with malarial poison.  Luckily,
I got rid of the poison after a while, but held on to the law, and
I never found it did me any harm.  In fact, I would advise all
young officers to acquire as much of it as they can.

                                        AN EXTEMPORZIED "MAP AND ITINERARY"

In the winter of 1853-4 there was an armed truce between the United
States of America and the Seminole nation.  A new policy was soon
inaugurated, which had for its object to establish a complete line
of posts across the State from Jupiter to Lake Okeechobee, and
thence westward to the gulf, so as more securely to confine the
Seminoles within the Everglade region, although, so far as I know,
nobody then wanted the use of that more northern part of this vast
territory.  The first step was to reopen the old military road from
the mouth of Indian River across to the Kissimmee River, and thence
to Tampa.  Being the second lieutenant of the single company, I
was given the privilege of doing that work, and nine men and one
wagon were assigned me for that purpose.  I spent the larger part
of my time, going and coming, in hunting on either the right or
left of the road, thereby obtaining all the deer and turkeys the
command could consume, but paying very little attention to the road
itself, in utter disregard of the usual military rule which requires
that a sketch be made and an itinerary kept of all such marches.
Hence I was a little puzzled when Acting-Inspector-General Canby,
from Washington, wanted to go across from Indian River to Tampa,
and called on me for a copy of my map and itinerary.  But I had
stood very high in drawing at West Point, and could not allow myself
to be disturbed in any such way as that; so I unlocked what little
recollection I had of the route and my general knowledge of the
country, and prepared a very beautiful map and a quite elaborate
itinerary, with which the inspector-general seemed greatly pleased.
But I took great care, in addition, to send a man with him who had
been with me, and who was a good guide, so I felt quite safe
respecting any possible imperfections that the inspector-general
might find in my work.  I never heard anything more about that
matter until General Sherman and I met General Canby at Portland
in 1870.  At that time we had a little laugh at my expense respecting
the beauty of that map of mine, and the accuracy with which I had
delineated the route.  But as I was then a major-general, and Canby
was a brigadier-general under my command, I was not subjected to
the just criticism I deserved for having forgotten that map and
itinerary at the time I made the march.

                                                               YELLOW FEVER

The next step in the strategical operations designed by the War
Department for Florida was the occupation of Fort Jupiter, and the
construction of a new post there, reopening the old military road
of General Jessup and building a block-house on the bank of Lake
Okeechobee, similar work to be undertaken from the other shore of
the lake westward.  The work was commenced about midwinter of 1854-
5, and it was my privilege to do it.  When the hot weather came on
at Jupiter, fever began to break out among the troops.  Jupiter
Inlet had been closed for several years, and the water had become
stagnant.  Within a very few weeks, every man, woman, and child
was down, or had been down, with fever.  The mortality was such
that there were hardly enough strong men remaining to bury the
dead.  As soon as I had sufficiently recovered to go in a boat to
Fort Capron, the major sent me back with all the convalescents that
were fit to be moved, and soon afterward broke up that pest-house
at Jupiter and moved the command back to Capron.  So far as I know,
Fort Jupiter was never again occupied, and I think the block-house
on Lake Okeechobee was never completed.  At all events, as good
luck would have it, I got through with my part of the work and was
ordered out of Florida before the Seminoles found out what the
plans of the War Department were.  My old friend and companion
George L. Hartsuff, who had like duty to perform on the west side
of the lake, was attacked by the Indians and severely wounded,
several of his men being killed.  He and a few others made their
escape.  Hartsuff was one of the strongest, bravest, finest soldiers
I ever knew, and one of my most intimate friends; but, unlike
myself, he was always in bad luck.  He got caught by the Seminoles
in Florida; was shipwrecked on Lake Michigan; came very near dying
of yellow fever; and after organizing the Twenty-third Army Corps
and commanding it for a time, finally died of the wounds he had
received in Florida.

I had a new and peculiar experience at Fort Capron during my
convalescence.  I had there twenty-five or thirty convalescent
soldiers, and no doctor, but an intelligent hospital steward.  I
was like the lawyer who was asked to say grace at the table of one
of his wealthy clients, and who was unwilling to admit, under such
circumstances, that there was any one thing he could not do.  So
I had sick-call regularly every morning, carefully questioned every
patient as to his symptoms, and told the steward what to give him,
taking care not to prescribe anything which some doctor had not
tried on me.  All my patients got well.  At length A. P. Hill came
up from Jupiter, on his way home on sick-leave.  At Capron he had
a relapse, and was desperately ill.  I had to send a barge to
Jupiter for some medicine which he knew was necessary.  Mr. Jones,
the sutler, and some of the men helped me to nurse him night and
day for a long time.  At length he recovered so far as to continue
his journey.

About the same time came orders promoting me to first lieutenant
and detailing me for duty at West Point.  So Hill and I came out
of Florida together.  On board the St. John's River steamer I had
a relapse, and was very ill.  Hill cared for me tenderly, kept me
at Savannah awhile, and then some days at Charleston, where I became
so much better that he ventured to leave me long enough to go over
to Fort Moultrie to see some of our brother officers.  While he
was away I became so ill again that the doctor had to put me under
the influence of chloroform.  When Hill came back in the evening
he cursed himself for all that was mean in the world for having
left me even for an hour.  That's the kind of friends and comrades
soldiers are!  As soon as I was well enough to travel, Hill took
me to his home at Culpeper Court-House in Virginia.  There they
kept me quite a long time.  That dear old gentleman, his father,
brought to my bedside every morning a brandy mint-julep, made with
his own hand, to drink before I got up.  Under its benign influence
my recovery was very rapid.  But let none of my young friends forget
that the best gifts of Providence are those most liable to be
abused.  The wise Virginian never offered me too many of them.  By
the first of December Hill and I went together to West Point, I to
report for duty, and he to visit his numerous warm friends at that
delightful station.  There we parted, in December, 1855, never to
meet again.  With the glad tidings from Virginia that peace was
near, there came to me in North Carolina the report that Lieutenant-
General A. P. Hill had been killed in the last battle at Petersburg.
A keen pang shot through my heart, for he had not ceased to be
esteemed as my kind friend and brother, though for four years
numbered among the public enemy.  His sense of duty, so false in
my judgment, I yet knew to be sincere, because I knew the man.  I
wish all my fellow-citizens, North and South, East and West, could
know each other as well as I knew A. P. Hill.


I was assigned to duty in the department of philosophy, under
Professor W. H. C. Bartlett, one of the ablest, most highly esteemed,
and most beloved of the great men who have placed the United States
Military Academy among the foremost institutions of the world.  At
first it seemed a little strange to be called back, after the lapse
of only two years, to an important duty at the place where my
military record had been so "bad."  But I soon found that at West
Point, as elsewhere, the standard of merit depended somewhat upon
the point of view of the judge.  A master of "philosophy" could
not afford to look too closely into past records in other subjects.
Besides, philosophers know, if others do not, that philosophers
are sure to profit by healthful experience.  I never had any more
trouble at West Point, though I did have much difficulty in helping
younger men out.  I had the great good fortune never to be compelled
to report a cadet for any delinquency, nor to find one deficient
in studies, though I did sometimes have, figuratively speaking, to
beat them over the head with a cudgel to get in "phil" enough to
pass the academic board.

I had then a strong impression, which has grown still stronger with
time, that "equations A and B" need not be developed very far into
the "mechanics of molecules" to qualify a gallant young fellow for
the command of a squadron of cavalry; but this is, in fact, generally
and perfectly well understood at West Point.  The object there is
to develop the mental, moral, and physical man to as high a degree
as is practicable, and to ascertain his best place in the public
service.  It is only the hopelessly incorrigible in some respect
who fall by the way.  Even they, if they have stayed there long
enough, are the better for the training they have received.

In this congenial work and its natural sequence I formed for the
first time the habit of earnest, hard mental work to the limit of
my capacity for endurance, and sometimes a little beyond, which I
have retained the greater part of my life.  After the short time
required to master the "Analytical Mechanics" which had been
introduced as a text-book since I had graduated, and a short absence
on account of my Florida debility, which had reduced me to 120
pounds in weight, I began to pursue physics into its more secret
depths.  I even indulged the ambition to work out the mathematical
interpretation of all the phenomena of physical science, including
electricity and magnetism.  After three years of hard labor in this
direction, I thought I could venture to publish a part of my work
in book form, and thus submit it to the judgment of the able
scientists whose acquaintance I had made at the meetings of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science.( 1)

                                                      INTEREST IN ASTRONOMY

While I was engaged in this work upon physics, a young gentleman
named Drown came to West Point, and asked me to give him some
private lessons in mechanics and astronomy, to perfect his
qualifications as a teacher.  I went over those subjects with him
in about one hundred lessons, including a few in practical astronomy.
He was the most ardent student I have ever known.  Like, I doubt
not, all the most earnest seekers for divine truth, in whatever
way revealed to man, he would not be satisfied with his own perception
of such truth unless he could feel it "burn in his brain."  In that
brief experience I became for the first time intensely interested
in practical astronomy, about which I had thought little before,
although I had had sole charge of the observatory for some time.
I have always since given Professor Drown credit for teaching me
practical astronomy by first leading me to the discovery that I
had a natural taste and aptitude for such work, theretofore
unsuspected.  That new "lead" was followed with all possible zeal,
day and night, for many months, until all the instruments in the
observatory, fixed and movable, including the old mural circle,
had gone through a season's work.  Although my scientific experience
has been very limited, I do not believe anything else in the broad
domain of science can be half so fascinating as the study of the
heavens.  I have regretted many times that necessity limited my
enjoyment of that great pleasure to a very few years instead of a

In that West Point observatory I had one of the many opportunities
of my life--one which I always enjoyed--of protecting the unfortunate
from the stern decree of "justice."  The old German custodian came
to me one morning in great distress, saying that he had let the
"astronomical chronometer" run down, and that the professor would
kill him.  I went with him to the transit tower, made an observation,
and set the chronometer.  The professor never knew the difference
till I told him, after the lapse of time named in the military
statute of limitations.  Then he seemed to rejoice as much as I
over the narrow escape of his faithful subordinate.  The professor
was not half as stern as he sometimes appeared to be.

I need hardly say that in the midst of these absorbing occupations
I forgot all about the career I had chosen in my boyhood.  The law
had no longer any charms for me.  Yet I found in after life far
more use for the law than for physics and astronomy, and little
less than for the art and science of war.

In June, 1857, I married Miss Harriet Bartlett, the second daughter
of my chief in the department of philosophy.  Five children were
born to us, three of whom--two sons and one daughter--grew to
maturity and survive their mother, who died in Washington soon
after I was assigned to the command of the army, and was buried at
West Point by the side of our first-born son, who had died in 1868,
soon after I became Secretary of War.

In the summer of 1860 came the end of my term of duty at West Point.
My taste for service in the line of the army, if I ever had any,
was gone; and all hope of promotion, if I ever had any, was still
further away.  I had been for more than four years about nineteenth
first lieutenant in my regiment, without rising a single file.  I
was a man of family, and had already become quite bald "in the
service of my country."  There was no captaincy in sight for me
during the ordinary lifetime of man, so I accepted the professorship
of physics in Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.  But Mr.
Jefferson Davis, an intimate friend of my father-in-law, gave me
a timely hint that promotion might be better in a year or two; and
his bitterest personal enemy, General Scott, gave me a highly
flattering indorsement which secured leave of absence for a year.
Thus I retained my commission.


As the period of the Civil War approached a very large part of my
time was occupied in reading and studying, as coolly as possible,
every phase of the momentous questions which I had been warned must
probably be submitted to the decision of war.  Hence, when the
crisis came I was not unprepared to decide for myself, without
prejudice or passion, where the path of duty lay, yet not without
some feeling of indulgence toward my brother officers of the army
who, as I believed, were led by the influence of others so far
astray.  I took an early occasion to inform General Scott of my
readiness to relinquish my leave of absence and return to duty
whenever my services might be required, and I had the high honor
of not being requested to renew my oath of allegiance.

My life in St. Louis during the eight months next preceding the
Civil War was of great benefit to me in the delicate and responsible
duties which so soon devolved upon me.  My connection with Washington
University brought me into close relations with many of the most
patriotic, enlightened, and, above all, unselfish citizens of
Missouri.  Some of them were of the Southern school of politics,
but the large majority were earnest Union men, though holding the
various shades of opinion then common on the question of slavery.
By long and intimate intercourse, in the joint prosecution of the
work of the highest philanthropy, such men had learned to respect
the sincerity of each others's adverse convictions, and had become
the exact exemplars of the many shades of honest, patriotic Unionism
so clearly described in 1863 by President Lincoln in his letter to
a delegation of partizans who had not learned that principle of
charity which seems to have been born in the great martyr of

Would that I could do fitting honor to the names of those patriots,
nearly all of whom have gone to their rest, including Dr. Elliot,
President of Washington University.  James E. Yeatman, President
of the Sanitary Commission, still lives to honor his country and
the great cause of humanity of which he was the faithful and
efficient servant.  I did not meet Hamilton R. Gamble until after
he had become governor.  I shall have occasion to say more of him
later.  He was the foremost champion of the Union cause in Missouri,
and the most abused by those who were the loudest in their professions
of loyalty.  Of the younger generation, I will mention only one,
whose good deeds would otherwise never be known.  While himself
absent in the public service, wherein he was most efficient, he
made me occupy his delightful residence near Lafayette Park, and
consume all the products of his excellent garden.  We knew each
other then only as fellow-workers in the Union cause, but have been
the most devoted friends from that day to this.  The name of that
dear friend of mine is Charles Gibson.  Among the earliest and most
active leaders in the Union cause in Missouri, I must not fail to
mention the foremost--Frank P. Blair, Jr.  His patriotism and
courage were like a calcium light at the head of the Union column
in the dark days and nights of the spring of 1861.

[( 1) Much of my time in St. Louis during the winter preceding the
Civil War was spent in revising this work, preparing illustrations,
and getting it ready for the press.  Then it was packed up in a
box and carefully stored away in the St. Louis Arsenal, to abide
the results of war.]

Return to Duty--General Harney's Attitude--Nathaniel Lyon in Command
--Defense of the St. Louis Arsenal--Service as Mustering Officer--
Major of the First Missouri--Surrender of Camp Jackson--Adjutant-
general on Lyon's Staff--A Missing Letter from Frémont to Lyon--
Lyon's Reply--Battle of Wilson's Creek--Death of Lyon--A Question
of Command During the Retreat--Origin of the Opposition of the
Blairs to Frémont--Affair at Fredericktown.

When it became probable that military force would be required by
the government to maintain its authority in the Southern States,
I informed the War Department of my readiness to return to duty
whenever my services might be required, and was instructed to await
orders in St. Louis.  Upon President Lincoln's first call for
volunteers, I was detailed to muster in the troops required of the
State of Missouri.  With the order of detail was furnished a copy
of the old instructions for mustering into service, etc., which
required me to call upon the governor of Missouri for the regiments
to be mustered, and to accept only fully organized regiments.  It
was well and publicly known that the executive of Missouri was
disloyal to the United States, and that compliance with the
President's demand for volunteers was not to be expected from the
State government; yet my instructions authorized me to take no
action which could be effective under such circumstances, and the
then department commander, Brigadier-General William S. Harney,
would not consent that any such action be taken without orders from
Washington.  I called upon Governor Jackson for his regiments, but
received no reply.

                                                             RETURN TO DUTY

In my visit to General Harney after the attack on Fort Sumter, I
urged the necessity of prompt measures to protect the St. Louis
Arsenal, with its large stores of arms and ammunition, then of
priceless value, and called his attention of a rumor of an intended
attack upon the arsenal by the secessionists then encamped near
the city under the guise of State militia.  In reply, the general
denounced in his usual vigorous language the proposed attempt upon
the arsenal; and, as if to clinch his characterization of such a
"---- outrage," said:  "Why, the State has not yet passed an
ordinance of secession; she has not gone out of the Union."  That
did not indicate to me that General Harney's Union principles were
quite up to the standard required by the situation, and I shared
with many others a feeling of great relief when he was soon after
relieved, and Captain Nathaniel Lyons succeeded to the command of
the department.  Yet I have no doubt General Harney was, from his
own point of view, thoroughly loyal to the Union, though much imbued
with the Southern doctrines which brought on secession and civil
war.  His appropriate place after that movement began was that of
the honorable retirement in which he passed the remainder of his
days, respected by all for his sterling character and many heroic
services to his country.

Two days later, Captain Lyon, then commanding the St. Louis Arsenal,
having received from the War Department authority to enroll and
muster into the service the Missouri volunteers as they might
present themselves, I reported to him and acted under his orders.
Fortunately, a large number of the loyal citizens of St. Louis had,
in anticipation of a call to take up arms in support of the
government, organized themselves into companies, and received some
instruction in tactics at their places of secret nightly meeting
in the city.  On the other hand, the organized militia of the State,
mostly disloyal, were in the city of St. Louis near the arsenal,
which contained many thousand muskets, and which was defended by
only a small body of regular troops.  There was great danger that
the arsenal would follow the fate of the public arsenals in the
more Southern States.  To avert this danger was the first great

Upon receipt of the necessary authority by Captain Lyon, I was
called out of church on Sunday morning, April 21, and the loyal
secret organizations were instructed to enter the arsenal at night,
individually, each member being furnished with a pass for that
purpose.  The mustering officer employed himself all night and the
following day in distributing arms and ammunition to the men as
they arrived, and in stationing them along the arsenal walls.  Thus
the successful defense of the arsenal was secured, though its
garrison was neither mustered into service nor organized into
regiments, nor even enrolled.  The organization of the volunteers
now began, the mustering officer superintending the election of
officers, enrolling the men, and perfecting the organization in
conformity to the militia laws of the State.

On June 4 I transmitted to the adjutant-general "the muster-rolls
of five regiments of infantry; of four rifle battalions of two
companies each, attached to the 1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th regiments; of
one artillery battalion of three companies; and of a company of
pioneers"; also "the muster-roll of Brigadier-General Lyon's staff,
mustered by himself."  Accompanying the muster-rolls was a return
showing the strength of each regiment and of the brigade.

Lyon had previously been elected brigadier-general of the brigade
the regiments of which I had mustered in, but I had no authority
to muster in a brigadier-general and staff.

                                                MAJOR OF THE FIRST MISSOURI

The Missouri United States Reserve Corps, organized in St. Louis
about the same time, consisting of five regiments, was mustered
into service by General Lyon, under special authority from the War
Department.  Upon the cordial invitation of the officers of the
1st Regiment, I accepted the place of major of that regiment,
mustered myself into service as such, and devoted all the time that
could be spared from my mustering duties to instructing the officers
in tactics and military administration--a labor which was abundantly
repaid by the splendid record soon made by that regiment.

On June 24 I made a full report to the adjutant-general of the
discharge of my duties as mustering officer, including three new
regiments of three years' volunteers whose muster would be completed
in a few days.  With this report my connection with that service
was terminated.  On the following day I was relieved from mustering
duty, and at General Lyon's request was ordered to report to him
at Boonville, remaining with him as adjutant-general and chief of
staff until his death at Wilson's Creek.

The foregoing account gives the organization (the strength was
about 14,000) of the volunteer force with which the war in Missouri
was begun.  To this was added Lyon's company of the 2d Infantry,
a detachment of regular recruits, about 180 strong, commanded by
Lieutenant Lothrop, and Totten's battery of the 2d United States
Artillery.  Lyon, who, as described, had been elected brigadier-
general of the militia, was on May 17 appointed by the President
to the same grade in the United States volunteer forces; and when,
on May 30, General Harney was relieved from the command of the
Department of the West, General Lyon became the commander of that

General Lyon was a man of ability and scholarly attainments, an
earnest patriot, keenly alive to the nature and magnitude of the
struggle in which the country was about to engage, and eager to
take the initiative as soon as he had at his command sufficient
force to give promise of success.  To his keen foresight the State
militia at Camp Jackson, near St. Louis, though a lawful State
organization engaged in its usual field exercises, was an incipient
rebel army which ought to be crushed in the bud.  This feeling was
shared by the more earnest Union men of St. Louis, who had the
confidence of the President and were in daily consultation with
Lyon; while the more prudent or conservative, hoping to avoid actual
conflict in the State, or at least in the city, advised forbearance.
Subsequent events showed how illusive was the hope of averting
hostilities in any of the border States, and how fortunate it was
that active measures were adopted at once.

On May 10 General Lyon marched out with the force then organized,
surrounded Camp Jackson, and demanded its surrender.  The militia
commander, Brigadier-General Daniel M. Frost, after protesting in
vain against the "wrong and insult" to his State, seeing resistance
hopeless, surrendered his command, about 1500 men, with their arms
and munitions of war.  After the surrender, and while preparations
were making to conduct the prisoners to the arsenal, some shots
were fired upon our troops from a crowd that had assembled round
the camp-ground.  The fire was returned by some of the troops, in
spite of all efforts of the officers to prevent it, and a number
of persons, mostly inoffensive, were killed and wounded.  In this
affair I was designated by General Lyon to receive the surrender
of the commander of Camp Jackson and his troops, and to take charge
of the prisoners, conduct them to the arsenal, and the next day to
parole them.  I extended to the commander and other officers the
courtesy of permitting them to retain their swords, and treated
the prisoners in such a manner as to soothe somewhat their intensely
excited feelings.  One of the colonels, not anticipating such
courteous treatment, had broken his sword and thrown the pieces
upon the ground, rather than surrender it to the hated Yankees.

                                           ADJUTANT-GENERAL ON LYON'S STAFF

The possession of St. Louis, and the supremacy of the national
authority therein, being now secured, General Lyon directed his
energies toward operations in the interior of the State.  On June
13 he moved up the Missouri River with the 1st Missouri Volunteers,
Totten's battery of the 2d United States Artillery, one company of
the 2d United States Infantry, two companies of regular recruits,
and nine companies of the 2d Missouri Volunteers, and attacked the
enemy under Sterling Price on the 17th, near Boonville, and gained
an easy victory.  The loss on our side was two killed and nine
wounded; that of the enemy, ten killed and a number of prisoners.

I joined General Lyon at Boonville on June 26, and began duty as
his adjutant-general.  Preparations were now made as rapidly as
possible to push operations into the southwestern part of Missouri.
A force consisting of about 1500 infantry and one battery of four
guns, under Colonel Franz Sigel, was sent from St. Louis, via Rolla,
to Springfield; while a force of regular troops under Major Samuel
D. Sturgis, 1st Cavalry, consisting of one company of the 2d
Dragoons, four companies of the 1st Cavalry, Du Bois's battery of
four guns, three companies of the 1st Infantry, two companies of
the 2d Infantry, some regular recruits, the 1st and 2d Kansas
Infantry, and one company of Kansas Cavalry Volunteers, was ordered
from Fort Leavenworth to join General Lyons's immediate command,
en route to Springfield.  General Lyon's march was begun on July
3, and Major Sturgis joined him at Clinton, Mo., on the 4th.  The
command reached Springfield on July 13, and there met Colonel
Sigel's brigade, which we learned had pushed as far to the front
as Newtonia, but, meeting a superior force of the enemy at Carthage
on July 5, had fallen back to Springfield.  General Lyons's intention
was, upon effecting this junction with Sturgis and Sigel, to push
forward and attack the enemy, if possible, while we were yet superior
to him in strength.  He had ordered supplies to be sent from St.
Louis via Rolla, but they remained at Rolla, the railroad terminus,
for want of wagon transportation.  The troops had to live upon such
supplies as could be obtained from the country, and many of them
were without shoes.  A continuous march of more than two or three
days was impossible.  General Lyon's force was rapidly diminishing,
and would soon almost disappear by the discharge of the three
months' men, while that of the enemy was as rapidly increasing and
becoming more formidable by additions to its supplies of arms and
ammunition.  General Lyon made frequent appeals for reinforcements
and for provisions, but received little encouragement, and soon
became convinced that he must rely upon the resources then at his
command.  He was unwilling to abandon southwestern Missouri to the
enemy without a struggle, even though almost hopeless of success,
and determined to bring on a decisive battle, if possible, before
his short-term volunteers were discharged.  Learning that the enemy
was slowly advancing from the southwest by two or three different
roads, Lyon moved out, August 1, on the Cassville road, had a
skirmish with the enemy's advance-guard at Dug Springs the next
day, and the day following (the 3d) again at Curran Post-office.
The enemy showed no great force, and offered but slight resistance
to our advance.  It was evident that a general engagement could
not be brought on within the limits of time and distance to which
we were confined by the state of our supplies.  It was therefore
determined to return to Springfield.

General Lyon was greatly depressed by the situation in which he
was placed, the failure of expected reinforcements and supplies
from St. Louis, and an evidently strong conviction that these
failures were due to a plan to sacrifice him to the ambition of
another, and by a morbid sensitiveness respecting the disaster to
the Union people of southwestern Missouri, (who had relied upon
him for protection) which must result from the retreat of his army.
Lyon's personal feeling was so strongly enlisted in the Union cause,
its friends were so emphatically his personal friends and its
enemies his personal enemies, that he could not take the cool,
soldierly view of the situation which should control the actions
of the commander of a national army.  If Lyon could have foreseen
how many times the poor people of that section were destined to be
overrun by the contending forces before the contest could be finally
decided, his extreme solicitude at that moment would have disappeared.
Or if he could have risen to an appreciation of the fact that his
duty, as the commander in the field of one of the most important
of the national armies, was not to protect a few loyal people from
the inevitable hardships of war (loss of their cattle, grain, and
fences), but to make as sure as possible the defeat of the hostile
army, no matter whether to-day, to-morrow, or next month, the battle
of Wilson's Creek would not have been fought.

                                      A MISSING LETTER FROM FRéMONT TO LYON

On August 9 General Lyon received a letter from General John C.
Frémont, then commanding the department, which had been forwarded
to him from Rolla by Colonel John B. Wyman.  The letter from General
Frémont to Colonel Wyman inclosing that to General Lyon appears
among the published papers submitted by Frémont to the Committee
on the Conduct of the War in the early part of 1862, but the
inclosure to Lyon is wanting.  The original letter, with the records
to which it belonged, must, it is presumed, have been deposited at
the headquarters of the department in St. Louis when the Army of
the West was disbanded, in the latter part of August, 1861.  Neither
the original letter nor any copy of it can now (July, 1897) be
found.  It can only be conjectured what motive caused General
Frémont to omit a copy of the letter from the papers submitted to
the committee, which were at the time strongly commented upon in
Congress, or what caused to be removed from the official files the
original, which had again come into his possession.

General Lyon's answer to this letter, given below, the original
draft which was prepared by me and is yet in my possession, shows
that Frémont's letter to Lyon was dated August 6, and was received
on the 9th.  I am not able to recall even the substance of the
greater part of that letter, but the purport of that part of it
which was then of vital importance is still fresh in my memory.
That purport was instructions to the effect that _if Lyon was not
strong enough to maintain his position as far in advance as
Springfield, he should fall back toward Rolla until reinforcements
should meet him_.

It is difficult to see why General Frémont did not produce a copy
of those instructions in his statement to the committee.  It would
have furnished him with the best defense he could possibly have
made against the charge of having sacrificed Lyon and his command.
But the opinion then seemed so strong and so nearly universal that
Lyon's fight at Wilson's Creek was a necessity, and that Frémont
ought to have reinforced him before that time at any cost, that
perhaps Frémont had not the courage to do what was really best for
his own defense, namely, to acknowledge and maintain that he had
ordered Lyon to fall back, and that the latter should have obeyed
that order.

                                                               LYON'S REPLY

At my suggestion, General Lyon instructed me to prepare an answer
to General Frémont's letter on the morning of August 9.  He altered
the original draft, in his own hand, as is shown in the copy
following; a fair copy of the letter as amended was then made, and
he signed it.

  "Springfield, Aug. 9, 1861.
"General:  I have just received your note of the 6th inst. by special

"I retired to this place, as I have before informed you, reaching
here on the 5th.  The enemy followed to within ten miles of here.
He has taken a strong position, and is recruiting his supplies of
horses, mules, and provisions by forays into the surrounding country;
his large force of mounted men enabling him to do this without
annoyance from me.

"I find my position extremely embarrassing, and am at present unable
to determine whether I shall be able to maintain my ground or be
forced to retire.  I can resist any attack from the front, but if
the enemy moves to surround me I must retire.  I shall hold my
ground as long as possible, [and not] _though I may without knowing
how far_ endanger the safety of my entire force with its valuable
material, _being induced by the important considerations involved
to take this step.  The enemy yesterday made a show of force about
five miles distant, and has doubtless a full purpose of making an
attack upon me_.

  "Very respectfully your obedient servant,
  "N. Lyon,
  "Brigadier-General Vols., Commanding.
"Major-General J. C. Frémont,
  "Comdg. Western Department, St. Louis, Mo."

The words in my handwriting which were erased ("and not" in brackets)
and those substituted by General Lyon, given in italics, clearly
express the difference of opinion which then existed between us
upon the momentous question which we had then been discussing for
several days, namely:  What action did the situation require of
him as commander of the army?

I was then young and wholly inexperienced in war; but I have never
yet seen any reason to doubt the correctness of the views I then
urged with even more persistence than my subordinate position would
fully justify.  And this, I doubt not, must be the judgment of
history.  The fruitless sacrifice at Wilson's Creek was wholly
unnecessary, and, under the circumstances, wholly unjustifiable.
Our retreat to Rolla was open and perfectly safe, even if began as
late as the night of the 9th.  A few days or a few weeks at the
most would have made us amply strong to defeat the enemy and drive
him out of Missouri, without serious loss to ourselves.  Although
it is true that we barely failed winning a victory on August 10,
that was, and could have been, hoped for only as a mere possibility.
Lyon himself despaired of it before the battle was half over, and
threw away his own life in desperation.  In addition to the depressing
effect of his wounds, he must probably have become convinced of
the mistake he had made in hazarding an unnecessary battle on so
unequal terms, and in opposition to both the advice of his subordinates
and the instructions of his superior.  But this is only an inference.
After Lyon had with the aid of Sigel (as explained hereafter)
decided to attack, and arranged the plan, not a word passed between
him and me on the question whether an attack should be made, except
the question:  "Is Sigel willing to undertake this?" and Lyon's
answer:  "Yes; it is his plan."

We went forward together, slept under the same blanket while the
column was halted, from about midnight till the dawn of day, and
remained close together nearly all the time until his death.  But
he seemed greatly depressed, and except to give orders, hardly
uttered a word save the few I have mentioned in this narrative.

He was still unwilling to abandon without a desperate struggle the
country he had occupied, thought the importance of maintaining his
position was not understood by his superior commander, and in his
despondency believed, as above stated, that he was the intended
victim of a deliberate sacrifice to another's ambition.  He determined
to fight a battle at whatever risk, and said:  "I will gladly give
my life for a victory."

                                                   BATTLE OF WILSON'S CREEK

The enemy had now concentrated his forces, and was encamped on
Wilson's Creek, about ten miles from Springfield.  There had been
some skirmishing between our reconnoitering parties and those of
the enemy during the past few days, and a general advance had been
determined on for the night of August 8, but it was postponed on
account of the fatigued condition of the troops, who had been
employed that day in meeting a reconnaissance of the enemy.  The
attack was finally made at daylight on the morning of the eventful
August 10.

The plan of battle was determined on the morning of the 9th, in a
consultation between General Lyon and Colonel Sigel, no other
officers being present.  General Lyon said, "It is Sigel's plan,"
yet he seemed to have no hesitation in adopting it, notwithstanding
its departure from accepted principles, having great confidence in
Sigel's superior military ability and experience.  Sigel's brigade,
about 1200 strong, was to attack the enemy's right, while Lyon,
with the main body, about 4000 strong, was to attack the enemy's
left.  The two columns were to advance by widely separated roads,
and the points of attack were so distant that communication between
the two columns was not even thought of.  The attack was made, as
intended, by both columns at nearly the same instant, and both
drove the enemy from his advanced position, Sigel even occupying
the enemy's camp.  Here he was soon after assailed by a superior
force, and driven from the field with the loss of his artillery
and 292 men killed, wounded, and missing.  He did not appear upon
the scene again that day, and the result of his attack was unknown
to any one in the other column until after the close of the battle.
The main body, under Lyon's immediate command, made no general
advance from the position first gained, but maintained that position
against several fierce assaults.  The enemy manifestly did not make
good use of his superior numbers.  He attacked us in front several
times, but with a force not greatly superior to our own, and was
invariably repulsed.  Our men fought extremely well for raw troops,
maintaining their ground, without any cover whatever, against
repeated assaults for six hours, and losing in killed and wounded
fully _one third of their number_.  General Lyon received two
wounds, one in the leg and one in the head, about the middle of
the engagement; he then became more despondent than before, apparently
from the effects of his wounds, for there appeared nothing in the
state of the battle to dishearten a man of such unbounded courage
as he undoubtedly possessed.  A portion of our troops had given
away in some disorder.  Lyon said:  "Major, I am afraid the day is
lost."  I looked at him in surprise, saw the blood trickling down
his face, and divining the reason for his despondency, replied:
"No, General; let us try it again."  He seemed re-encouraged, and
we then separated, rallied, and led forward the only troops then
not in action--two regiments.  Lyon was killed at the head of one
of these regiments while exposing himself with utter recklessness
to the enemy's fire.

                                                              DEATH OF LYON

When Lyon and I separated, he to lead the attack in which he fell,
I reformed the other regiment and led it into action, giving the
command "Charge!" as soon as we came within plain view of the enemy,
hoping to try conclusions with the bayonet, with which we were much
better supplied than they.  That regiment advanced in splendid
style until it received the enemy's fire, then the command "Charge!"
was forgotten, and the regiment halted and commenced firing.  Thus
I found myself "between two fires."  But the brave boys in my rear
could see me, and I don't believe I was in any danger from their
muskets, yet I felt less "out of place" when I had passed around
the flank of a company and stood in rear of the line.  I there
witnessed, for the only time in my experience, one of those remarkable
instances of a man too brave to think of running away, and yet too
much frightened to be able to fight.  He was loading his musket
and firing in the air with great rapidity.  When I took hold of
his arm and shook him, calling his attention to what he was doing,
he seemed as if aroused from a trance, entirely unconscious of what
had happened.

This circumstance recalls the familiar story of two comrades in
the ranks, the one apparently unmoved, the other pale and trembling.
The first said:  "Why, you seem to be scared!"  "Yes," replied the
other; "if you were half as scared as I am, you would run away!"

A few minutes later I went toward the right to rejoin my chief,
and found his lifeless body a few feet in rear of the line, in
charge of his faithful orderly, Lehman, who was mourning bitterly
and loudly the death of the great soldier whom he adored.  At that
supremely critical moment--for the fight was then raging with great
fury--my only thought was the apprehension that the troops might
be injuriously affected if they learned of the death of the commander
who had so soon won their profound respect and confidence.  I chided
poor Lehman for his outcry, and ordered that the body be taken
quietly to the rear, and that no one be told of the general's death.

Thus fell one of our bravest and truest soldiers and patriots, a
man who had no fear of death, but who could not endure defeat.
Upon Lyon's fall, Major Sturgis became the senior officer of military
education and experience present.  Several of the senior volunteer
officers had been wounded and carried from the field.  Who was the
actual senior in rank on the ground was not easy to ascertain in
the midst of a fierce engagement.  It was no time to make experiments
with untried military genius.

I captured a "secesh" horse found running loose,--for my own horse
had been killed and I had been afoot quite a long time,--mounted
him, and as son as the state of the contest would permit, I rode
to Major Sturgis, informed him of Lyon's death, and told him he
must assume the command, which he accordingly did.  It afterward
appeared that there was one lieutenant-colonel of volunteers
remaining on the field, but neither he nor any one else thought of
questioning the propriety of Major Sturgis's taking the command.
Soon after Lyon's death the enemy was repulsed, but then seemed to
gather up all his remaining strength for a last effort.  His final
attack was heavier than any of the preceding, but it was more firmly
met by our troops and completely repulsed.  There is probably no
room for doubt that the enemy was beaten if we had but known it;
but the battle-field was covered with timber and underbrush, so
that nothing could be seen beyond a few hundred yards.  Our troops
were nearly out of ammunition, and exhausted by a night march and
by six hours' hard fighting without breakfast.

It did not seem possible to resist another such attack as the last,
and there was no apparent assurance that another would not be made.
Hence Major Sturgis decided to withdraw from the field while he
was free to do so.  The movement was effected without opposition,
the wounded were brought off, and the command returned to Springfield
in the afternoon.  This retreat was undoubtedly an error, and the
battle of Wilson's Creek must be classed as a defeat for the Union
army.  The error was a failure to estimate the effect that must
have been produced upon the enemy as well as upon ourselves by so
much hard fighting.  It was only necessary to hold our ground,
trusting to the pluck and endurance of our men, and the victory
would have been ours.  Had Lyon, who was in the front of the line
of battle when wounded as well as when killed, appreciated this
fact and acted upon it, instead of throwing his life away, it is
safe to say he would have won a brilliant victory.

                                   A QUESTION OF COMMAND DURING THE RETREAT

On the march from the battle-field the main body was joined by the
remnant of Sigel's brigade, which had made a complete circuit in
rear of the enemy's position.  They were without brigade or regimental
commanders, and were escorted by a troop of regular cavalry.  On
our arrival in Springfield it was found that Colonel Sigel and
Colonel Salomon, commanding the 5th Missouri Regiment, of Sigel's
brigade, had arrived in town some hours before.  Major Sturgis then
relinquished the command to Colonel Sigel, and it was determined
to retreat toward Rolla next morning.  Sigel's brigade was placed
in advance, and Sturgis's brigade of regulars was assigned the
important post of rear-guard.  This order of march was continued
during three days, and the march was so conducted that while the
advance would reach camp at a reasonable hour and be able to get
supper and rest, the rear-guard, and even the main body, would be
kept in the road until late in the night, and then, unable to find
their wagons, be compelled to lie down without food.  The clamor
for relief from this hardship became so general that Major Sturgis
determined to resume the command, justifying this action upon the
ground that Colonel Sigel, although mustered into the United States
service, had no commission from any competent authority.  Colonel
Sigel protested against this assumption of Major Sturgis, but the
latter was so manifestly sustained by the great majority of the
officers of the army that Colonel Sigel quietly submitted.

One of Sigel's officers proposed that the question of title to the
command be put to a vote of the assembled officers.  Sturgis objected
on the ground that the vote might possibly be in favor of Sigel.
"Then," said Sturgis, "some of you might refuse to obey my orders,
and I should be under the necessity of shooting you."

The march was continued under Sturgis's command, and the column
arrived at Rolla on August 19, nine days after the battle.  Here
the little Army of the West, after its short but eventful career,
disappeared in the much larger army which Major-General Frémont
was then organizing.( 1)

My knowledge of the operations conducted by General Frémont in
Missouri is so slight that I must confine myself to some account
of those minor affairs with which I was personally concerned.

My duties as assistant adjutant-general ceased when Major Sturgis
resumed command on August 13.  I then took command of my regiment,
the 1st Missouri, the colonel and lieutenant-colonel being absent,
the latter on account of wounds received at Wilson's Creek.  Soon
after our arrival at Rolla the regiment was ordered to St. Louis,
to be converted into an artillery regiment.  I was employed in the
reorganization and equipment of batteries until September 16, when
General Frémont ordered me to visit Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Washington,
West Point, and such other places in the East as I might find
necessary, to procure guns, harness, etc., to complete the equipment
of the regiment.

While in St. Louis after the battle of Wilson's Creek, I learned
much in confirmation of the opinion of the character and ability
of General Frémont which had very generally been held in the army.


Immediately after my arrival Colonel Frank P. Blair, Jr., said he
wanted me to go with him to see Frémont; so we went the next morning.
The headquarters palace was surrounded by a numerous guard, and
all ingress by the main entrance appeared to be completely barred.
But Blair had some magic word or sign by which we passed the
sentinels at the basement door.  Ascending two flights of stairs,
we found the commanding general with a single secretary or clerk
occupying the suite of rooms extending from front to rear of the
building.  The general received me cordially, but, to my great
surprise, no questions were asked, nor any mention made, of the
bloody field from which I had just come, where Lyon had been killed,
and his army, after a desperate battle, compelled to retreat.  I
was led at once to a large table on which maps were spread out,
from which the general proceeded to explain at length the plans of
the great campaign for which he was then preparing.  Colonel Blair
had, I believe, already been initiated, but I listened attentively
for a long time, certainly more than an hour, to the elucidation
of the project.  In general outline the plan proposed a march of
the main Army of the West through southwestern Missouri and
northwestern Arkansas to the valley of the Arkansas River, and
thence down that river to the Mississippi, thus turning all the
Confederate defenses of the Mississippi River down to and below
Memphis.  As soon as the explanation was ended Colonel Blair and
I took our leave, making our exit through the same basement door
by which we had entered.  We walked down the street for some time
in silence.  The Blair turned to me and said:  "Well, what do you
think of him?"  I replied, in words rather too strong to repeat in
print, to the effect that my opinion as to his wisdom was the same
as it had always had been.  Blair said:  "I have been suspecting
that for some time."

It was a severe blow to the whole Blair family--the breaking, by
the rude shock of war, of that idol they had so much helped to set
up and make the commander of a great army.  From that day forward
there was no concealment of the opposition of the Blairs to Frémont.

I had another occasion at that time to learn something important
as to Frémont's character.  He had ordered me to convert the 1st
Regiment of Missouri Volunteer Infantry into an artillery regiment.
I had organized eight batteries and used all the field-guns I could
get.  There remained in the arsenal a battery of new rifled guns
which Frémont had purchased in Europe.  I applied to him personally
for those guns, telling him I had a well-disciplined company of
officers and men ready to man them.  He gave me the order without
hesitation, but when I went to the arsenal I found an order there
countermanding the order he had given me.  I returned to headquarters,
and easily obtained a renewal of the order to issue the guns to
me.  Determining to get ahead this time, I took the quickest
conveyance to the arsenal, but only to find that the telegraph had
got ahead of me--the order was again countermanded.  The next day
I quietly inquired at headquarters about the secret of my repeated
disappointment, and learned that some foreign adventurer had obtained
permission to raise a company of artillery troops and wanted those
new rifled guns.  It was true the company had not been raised, but
I thought that would probably make no difference, so I never
mentioned the matter to the general again.  Instead I planned a
flank movement which proved far more successful than the direct
attack could possibly have been.  I explained to General Frémont
the great need of field-guns and equipment for his army, and
suggested that if ordered East I might by personal efforts obtain
all he needed.  He at once adopted my suggestion, bade me sit down
at a desk in his room and write the necessary order, and he signed
it without reading.  I readily obtained twenty-four new rifled
Parrott guns, and soon had them in service in the Western Department,
in lieu of the six guns I had failed to get from the St. Louis

When I had accomplished this duty and returned to St. Louis, where
I arrived in the early part of October, 1861, General Frémont had
taken the field in the central part of Missouri, with the main body
of his army, in which were eight batteries of my regiment.  I was
instructed to remain in St. Louis and complete the organization
and equipment of the regiment upon the arrival of guns and equipments
procured in the East.

                                                    AFFAIR AT FREDERICKTOWN

It was while waiting for the expected guns that a demand for
artillery came from Colonel W. P. Carlin, commanding a brigade at
Pilot Knob and threatened with an attack by a Confederate force
under Jeff. Thompson.  The latter had already made a raid in Carlin's
rear, and interfered seriously with the communication to St. Louis.
In the nervous condition of the military as well as the public mind
at that time, even St. Louis was regarded as in danger.

There was no organized battery in St. Louis, but there were officers
and men enough belonging to the different batteries of the 1st
Missouri, and recruits, to make a medium-sized company.  They had
been instructed in the school of the piece, but no more.  I hastily
put them upon the cars, with four old smooth-bore bronze guns,
horses that had never been hitched to a piece, and harness that
had not been fitted to the horses.  Early next morning we arrived
at the Big River where the bridge had been burned, unloaded the
battery and horses by the use of platforms extemporized from railroad
ties, hitched up, and forded the river.  On the other side we
converted platform-cars into stock-cars, loaded up, and arrived at
Pilot Knob the next morning (October 20).  The enemy was understood
to be at Fredericktown, about twenty miles distant, and Colonel
Carlin determined to march that night and attack him at daylight
the next morning.  Carlin's command consisted of the 8th Wisconsin
Volunteers, 21st Illinois Volunteers, parts of the 33d and 38th
Illinois Volunteers, 350 of the 1st Indiana Cavalry, one company
of Missouri Cavalry, and six pieces of artillery (including two
old iron guns which he had managed to make available in addition
to the four from St. Louis).  His total force was about 3000 men.
The enemy's strength was supposed to be about the same, but it
turned out that he had only four old iron guns, so we had the
advantage of him in artillery at least.

                                                    AFFAIR AT FREDERICKTOWN

The head of our column reached the vicinity of Fredericktown some
time before daylight, and the troops lay upon their arms until
dawn.  Upon entering the town in the morning, no enemy was found,
and citizens reported that he had marched south the day before.
The troops were ordered to rest in the village, and Colonel Carlin,
who was not well, went to bed in the hotel.  Some hours later, I
think near noon, Colonel J. B. Plummer, with a brigade of infantry
and two pieces of artillery from Cape Girardeau, arrived at
Fredericktown.  I am not aware whether this junction was expected
by the respective commanders, or what orders they had received from
department headquarters.  Soon after Colonel Plummer arrived I was
summoned to the presence of the two commanders and requested to
decide a question of rank between them.  It appeared that Colonel
Carlin had the older date as colonel of volunteers, while Colonel
Plummer was commanding, by special assignment of General Frémont,
a brigade in which at least one of the colonels was senior, not
only to him, but also to Colonel Carlin.  It was clear enough that
according to the Articles of War this senior colonel of the Cape
Girardeau brigade should command the combined forces; but that
would be in plain disregard of General Frémont's order, the authority
for which nobody knew, but in comparison with which the Articles
of War or the Army Regulations were at that time regarded as
practically of trifling consequence.  The question was settled, or
rather avoided (for there was no satisfactory settlement of it),
by the proposition that Colonel Plummer, who proposed to go in
pursuit of the enemy, should take with him, besides his own brigade,
such portion of Colonel Carlin's as he (Plummer) thought necessary,
Colonel Carlin, who was sick, remaining behind with the remainder.
Accordingly, early in the afternoon Plummer's column started in
pursuit.  It had hardly got well out of the village when the head
of column received a volley from the enemy drawn up in line of
battle.  How long the enemy had been in that position I have never
learned; but it is certain that his presence there was not even
suspected by our commander, who supposed him to be in full retreat.
This mistake, however, did not seem to cost us anything, except
perhaps the loss of a few men at the head of the column in the
first volley.  Colonel Plummer quickly formed his troops; Carlin
jumped out of bed and galloped to the front, followed by those who
had remained in town.  The volunteers, who had not yet been in
battle, threw off their knapsacks, blankets, and overcoats, and
went into action most gallantly.  The engagement was sharp for a
few moments, and resulted in considerable loss on both sides; but
the enemy soon gave way and retreated in disorder.  The pursuit
was continued several miles, and until near night, when a recall
was ordered, and our troops returned to the town to pick up their
trappings and get their supper.

The next morning Colonel Plummer continued his pursuit.  I left my
extemporized battery, under Captain Manter, with Colonel Carlin,
and returned to St. Louis.( 2)

[( 1) My official report and others are published in the War Records,
Vol. III.]

[( 2) For the official reports, see the War Records, Vol. III.]

Halleck Relieves Frémont of the Command in Missouri--A Special
State Militia--Brigadier-General of the Missouri Militia--A
Hostile Committee Sent to Washington--The Missouri Quarrel of
1862--In Command of the "Army of the Frontier"--Absent Through
Illness--Battle of Prairie Grove--Compelled to be Inactive--
Transferred to Tennessee--In Command of Thomas's Old Division of
the Fourteenth Corps--Reappointed Major-General--A Hibernian

On November 19, 1861, Major-General H. W. Halleck relieved Major-
General Frémont of the command of the Department of the Mississippi.
On November 21 I was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers,
and reported to General Halleck for duty.

In the spring of 1861 a convention of the State of Missouri had
assembled at St. Louis to consider the question of secession, and
had decided to adhere to the Union.  Nevertheless, the governor,
Claiborne Fox Jackson, and the executive officers had joined the
rebellion and fled from the State.  The convention reassembled on
July 20, and organized a provisional government.  Hamilton R. Gamble
was chosen provisional governor, and intrusted with very large
powers.  He was a sterling patriot, a man of ability and of the
highest character in his public and private relations, much too
conservative on the questions of States' rights and slavery to suit
the "radical" loyalists of that time, but possessing probably in
a higher degree than any other citizen of Missouri the confidence
of all classes of Union men in the State.

                                                    A SPECIAL STATE MILITIA

One of Governor Gamble's first important public acts was to seek
and obtain from President Lincoln authority to raise a special
force of State militia, to be employed only in defense of the State,
but to be paid, equipped, and supplied in all respects by the United
States.  This force was to be organized in conformity with the
militia laws of the State, was to include an adjutant-general, a
quartermaster-general, and three aides-de-camp to the governor,
one major-general and his staff, and a brigadier-general and staff
for each brigade.  The number of regiments, aggregate strength and
arms of service were not specified.

By the terms of this arrangement the force would remain subject to
the governor's command; but at the suggestion of Major-General
McClellan, then general-in-chief, to avoid possible conflict of
command it was stipulated by the President that the commanding
general of the department should be ex-officio major-general of
the militia.  And it is due to the memory of Governor Gamble to
say that although partizan enemies often accused him of interfering
with the operations of the militia in the interest of his supposed
political views, there never was, while I was in command of the
militia, the slightest foundation for such accusation.  He never
attempted to interfere in any manner with the legitimate exercise
of the authority of the commanding general, but was, on the contrary,
governed by the commander's views and opinions in the appointment
and dismissal of officers and in other matters in which his own
independent authority was unquestioned.  This authority, given by
the President, was subsequently confirmed by act of Congress, by
which the force was limited to 10,000 men.

As stated above, I was appointed brigadier-general, to date from
November 21, 1861; and on November 27 was assigned by General Halleck
to the "command of all the militia of the State," and charged with
the duty of raising, organizing, etc., the special force which had
been authorized by the President.

The organization of the militia was not completed until about the
middle of April, 1862, when the aggregate force was 13,800 men,
consisting of fourteen regiments and two battalions of cavalry
(mounted riflemen), one regiment of infantry, and one battery of
artillery.  But the troops were enrolled mainly in the districts
where their services were required.  As rapidly as companies were
organized and equipped, they were put in the field with the United
States troops then occupying the State, and thus rapidly acquired,
by active service with older troops, the discipline and instruction
necessary to efficiency, so that by the time the organization was
completed this body of troops was an efficient and valuable force.

                                  BRIGADIER-GENERAL OF THE MISSOURI MILITIA

My official report, made on December 7, 1862,( 1) to the department
commander and the general-in-chief, gives a detailed account of
the purely military operations of that period.  But many matters
less purely military which entered largely into the history of that
time deserve more than a passing notice.

During the short administration of General Frémont in Missouri,
the Union party had split into two factions, "radical" and
"conservative," hardly less bitter in their hostility to each other
than to the party of secession.  The more advanced leaders of the
radicals held that secession had abolished the constitution and
all laws restraining the powers of the government over the people
of the Confederate States, and even over disloyal citizens of States
adhering to the Union.  They advocated immediate emancipation of
the slaves, and confiscation by military authority of all property
of "rebels and rebel sympathizers"--that is to say, of all persons
not of the radical party, for in their partizan heat they disdained
to make any distinction between "conservatives," "copperheads,"
and "rebels."  So powerful and persistent was the radical influence
that even so able a lawyer as Edwin M. Stanton, then Secretary of
War, was constrained to send an order to the commander of the
District of Missouri, directing him to execute the act of Congress
of July 17, 1862, relative to the confiscation of property of
persons engaged in the rebellion, although the law provided for
its execution in the usual way by the judicial department of the
government, and gave no shadow of authority for military action.

It is only necessary here to remark that the order was not, as it
could not be lawfully, obeyed.  Action under it was limited to the
securing of property subject to confiscation, and liable to be
removed or otherwise disposed of, and the collection of evidence
for the use of the judicial officers.  The following is Secretary
Stanton's order sent by telegraph, September 5, 1862:

"It is represented that many disloyal persons residing at St. Louis
and elsewhere in your command are subject to the provisions of the
Confiscation Act, and that it would be expedient to enforce against
them the provisions of that act.  You are instructed to enforce
that act within your command, and will please send directions for
that purpose to your provost-marshal."

In compliance with the Secretary's instructions, I issued an order,
on September 11, providing for the action above stated, and no

These instructions from the Secretary of War were subsequently
repudiated by President Lincoln; but in the meantime they produced
serious evil under my successor, who fully enforced them by apparently
committing the national administration to the extreme radical
doctrine, and making the military commander in Missouri appear to
be acting not in harmony with the President's views.  So far as I
know, this subject does not appear to have been submitted to the
President until some time in 1863, after Major-General Curtis, as
department commander, had for some months carried out the radical
theory of military confiscation, and I, as his successor, had put
a stop to it.  Then an appeal was made to the President, and he,
in his celebrated letter of instructions of October 1, 1863, directed
the military to have nothing to do with the matter.

The State administration of Missouri, under its conservative
governor, was of course sternly opposed to this radical policy,
including the forced liberation of slaves, for which there was at
that time no warrant of law or executive authority.  A simple sense
of duty compelled the military commander to act in these matters
more in harmony with the State government than with the radical
party, and in radical eyes he thus became identified with their
enemies, the conservatives.

This gave rise on August 4, 1862, to a meeting of prominent citizens
of St. Louis, who adopted resolutions, of the most important of
which the following was reported to be a true copy:

"_Resolved_, That a committee of gentlemen be requested to go to
Washington City to urge upon the President the appointment of a
commander of the military forces of this State who will, under
instructions, act with vigor in suppressing the guerillas of this
State, and with authority to enlist the militia of the State into
the service of the United States."

                                     A HOSTILE COMMITTEE SENT TO WASHINGTON

The chair appointed, as the committee to go to Washington, Henry
T. Blow, John C. Vogle, I. H. Sturgeon, and Thomas O'Reilley, and
authorized Mr. Blow to add to this committee any other "true Union
man" who would go.  Who, if any, besides Messrs. Blow, Vogle, and
O'Reilley actually composed the committee, I was never informed.
On August 10, Halleck, then general-in-chief, telegraphed me from
Washington:  "There is a deputation here from Colonel Blair and
others asking for your removal on account of inefficiency."

Colonel Blair happened into my office a few minutes after the
receipt of the despatch on the 11th, and I handed it to him.  He
at once said in substance, and with feeling:  "That is not true.
No one is authorized to ask in my name for your removal"; and he
sent a despatch to that effect to General Halleck.

The next day (August 12) despatches were exchanged between General
Halleck and Colonel Blair, of which the latter furnished me a copy,
inclosed with the following note from himself:

  "St. Louis, Mo., August 13th, '62.
"Brig.-Gen'l Schofield.

"Dear Schofield:  I inclose you a copy of a despatch (marked 'A')
received yesterday from Major-General Halleck, and my answer thereto,
marked 'B'.

  "Frank P. Blair, Jr."

Copy "A."

"To Hon. F. P. Blair,

  "August 12, 1862.
  "(By telegraph from War Dep't.)
  "Washington, 12:50 P.M.
"The committee from St. Louis--Henry T. Blow, John C. Vogle, and
Thomas O'Reilley--told me, in presence of the President, that they
were authorized by you to ask for Gen. Schofield's removal for
inefficiency.  The Postmaster-General has to-day sent me a letter
from Mr. ----, asking that you be put in Gen. Schofield's place.
There has been no action in this or on the papers presented by the
above-named committee.

  "H. W. Halleck,

Copy "B."

  "St. Louis, Mo., August 12th, 1862.
"Major-General Halleck,
  "General-in-chief, Washington City, D. C.:

"I despatched to you yesterday, and wrote the Postmaster-General
last week.  Let the letter be submitted to you.  Nobody is authorized
to ask in my name for Gen'l Schofield's removal.  I think the State
military organization should be abandoned as soon as practicable,
and a military commander, in this State, authorized to act without
respect to Gov. Gamble.  I do not want the place, but want the
commander in the State to be instructed to act without any regard
to the State authorities.

  "Frank P. Blair, Jr."

The foregoing gives, so far as I know it, the essence of the Missouri
quarrel of 1862.  I have never had the curiosity to attempt to
ascertain how far the meeting of August 4 was hostile to me

During the time, subsequent to General Halleck's departure for
Washington, July 23, 1862, that the Department of the Mississippi
was left without any immediate commander, there appears to have
been a contest in Washington between the military and the political
influence, relative to the disposition to be made of that important
command.  The following from General Halleck to me, dated September
9, 1862, indicates the situation at that time:


"My dear Gen'l:

"There has been a strong political pressure of outsiders to get
certain parties put in command of new Dep'ts to be made out of the
old Dep't of the Miss.  The presence of the enemy and the danger
of the capital have for the moment suspended these political
intrigues, or rather prevented the accomplishment of their objects.
If any one of our Western Gen'ls would do something creditable and
brilliant in the present crisis, it would open the way to a new
organization such as it should be.

"From the position of St. Louis as the source of supplies, Missouri
ought not to be separated from Arkansas and western Tennessee.
What will be done in the matter I do not know.

  "Yours truly,
  "H. W. Halleck."

None of "our Western generals" had then done anything very "creditable
and brilliant."  Even Grant was the object of grave charges and
bitter attacks.  Powerful influences were at work to supersede him
in command of the army in west Tennessee.  Had there been any
available general at that time capable of commanding public
confidence, the military idea would doubtless have prevailed, but
in the absence of such a leader the politicians triumphed in part.

                                   IN COMMAND OF THE "ARMY OF THE FRONTIER"

The old department, called Department of the Mississippi, was
divided, and Major-General Samuel R. Curtis was assigned to command
the new Department of the Missouri, composed of the territory west
of the Mississippi River.  For some months the radicals had it all
their own way, and military confiscation was carried on without

When this change occurred I was in the field in immediate command
of the forces which I had assembled there for aggressive operations,
and which General Curtis named the "Army of the Frontier."  My
official report of December 7, 1862, gave a full account of the
operations of that army up to November 20, when sickness compelled
me to relinquish the command.

As will be seen from that report and from my correspondence with
General Curtis at that time, it was then well known that the enemy
was concentrating in the Arkansas valley all the troops he could
raise, and making preparations to return across the Boston Mountains
and "dispute with us the possession of northwestern Arkansas and
southwestern Missouri"; and I had placed my troops where they could
live to a great extent on the country, and quickly concentrate to
meet the enemy when he should advance.  But General Curtis ordered
me to move north and east with two divisions, leaving Blunt with
one division to occupy that country.  It was on this return march
that I was overtaken by a severe attack of bilious fever.

As my official report of December 7, 1862, is published in Volume
XIII of the War Records, I make no reference here to the operations
covered by it.  That able and impartial historian, the Comte de
Paris, published a very accurate history of the operations in
Missouri in the summer of 1862, in which he paid me the compliment,
which a soldier values so highly, of saying that I was free from
partizan passion.

It was during my absence through illness that Hindman made his
expected advance.  Blunt's division was encamped at Cane Hill, and
Hindman crossed the mountains at Lee's Creek, aiming to reach
Blunt's rear, cut off his retreat, and overwhelm him.

                                                    BATTLE OF PRAIRIE GROVE

Fortunately, Blunt had received information in advance of the
intended movement, and had called the two divisions from Missouri
to his support.  These two divisions, under General Herron, were
encamped at Wilson's Creek, a distance of about 116 miles.  On the
morning of December 3 they began their march to join General Blunt.
They had reached a point about six miles south of Fayetteville,
when, unexpectedly to both, Herron's and Hindman's heads of column
met at Prairie Grove about seven o'clock in the morning of December
7, and the engagement commenced immediately.  Blunt, hearing the
sound of battle, moved rapidly toward Prairie Grove and attacked
the enemy's left.  The battle lasted all day, with heavy losses on
both sides, and without any decided advantage to either side.  At
dark the enemy still held his position, but in the morning was
found to be in full retreat across the mountains.  A portion of
our troops occupied the battle-field of Prairie Grove when I resumed
command on December 29, and the remainder were making a raid to
the Arkansas River, where they destroyed some property, and found
that Hindman had retreated toward Little Rock.  It was evident that
the campaign in that part of the country for that season was ended.
The question was "What next?"  I took it for granted that the large
force under my command--nearly 16,000 men--was not to remain idle
while Grant or some other commander was trying to open the Mississippi
River; and I was confirmed in this assumption by General Curtis's
previous order to march eastward with two divisions, which order,
though premature when given, might now be renewed without danger.
At once, therefore, I set to work to organize a suitable force,
including the Indian regiments, to hold the country we had gained,
and three good divisions to prosecute such operations as might be
determined on, and at once commenced the march north and east toward
the theater of future active operations.

Although I had at first esteemed General Blunt much more highly
than he deserved, and had given him most liberal commendation in
my official report for all he had done, I became satisfied that he
was unfit in any respect for the command of a division of troops
against a disciplined enemy.  As was my plain duty, I suggested
confidentially to General Curtis that the command of a division in
the field was not General Blunt's true place, and that he be assigned
to the District of Kansas, where I permitted him to go, at his own
request, to look after his personal interests.  General Curtis
rebuked me for making such a suggestion, and betrayed my confidence
by giving my despatch to James H. Lane, senator from Kansas, and
others of Blunt's political friends, thus putting me before the
President and the United States Senate in the light of unjust
hostility to gallant officers who had just won a great victory over
the enemy at Prairie Grove.  The result of this, and of radical
influence in general, was that my nomination as major-general of
volunteers, then pending in the Senate, was not confirmed, while
both Blunt and Herron were nominated and confirmed as major-

Such as Lane and Blunt were the men who so long seemed to control
the conduct of military affairs in the West, and whom I found much
more formidable enemies than the hostile army in my front.  Herron
I esteemed a very different man from Blunt, and thought he would,
with experience, make a good division commander.  But circumstances
occurred soon after which shook my confidence in his character as
well as in that of General Curtis.  Herron and some of his staff-
officers were subpoenaed, through department headquarters, as
material witnesses for the defense in the case of an officer on
trial before a military commission.  They failed to appear.  Soon
after, when Herron was assigned to command the Army of the Frontier,
he "dissolved" the commission "for the present," adding:  "The
court will be reassembled by order from these headquarters in the
field when witnesses not at present to be had can be brought
forward."  Upon learning this, after I assumed command of the
department I ordered Herron to report for duty to General Grant
before Vicksburg.  In the meantime Herron wrote to the War Department
protesting against serving under me as department commander, and
got a sharp rebuke from the President through the Secretary of War.
This brief explanation is all that seems necessary to show the
connection between the several events as they appear in the official

                                                   COMPELLED TO BE INACTIVE

After the battle of Prairie Grove, being then in St. Louis, I asked
General Curtis to let me go down the Mississippi and join the
expedition against Vicksburg, saying that as Blunt and Herron had
won a battle in my absence, I did not wish to resume command over
them.  But Curtis would not consent to this; he said he wanted me
to command the Army of the Frontier.  He thus invited the confidence
which he afterward betrayed, and for which he rebuked me.  I felt
outraged by this treatment, and thereafter did not feel or show
toward General Curtis the respect or subordination which ought to
characterize the relations of an officer toward his commander.
This feeling was intensified by his conduct in the Herron affair,
and by the determination gradually manifested not to permit me or
my command to do anything.  He for a long time kept up a pretense
of wanting me to move east or west, or south, or somewhere, but
negatived all my efforts actually to move.  The situation seemed
to me really unendurable:  I was compelled to lie at Springfield
all the latter part of winter, with a well-appointed army corps
eager for active service, hundreds of miles from any hostile force,
and where we were compelled to haul our own supplies, in wagons,
over the worst of roads, 120 miles from the railroad terminus at
Rolla.  I could not get permission even to move nearer the railroad,
much less toward the line of which the next advance must be made;
and this while the whole country was looking with intense anxiety
for the movement that was to open the Mississippi to the Gulf, and
the government was straining every nerve to make that movement
successful.  Hence I wrote to General Halleck the letters of January
31, 1863, and February 3.  These appear to have called forth some
correspondence between Generals Halleck and Curtis, of which General
Halleck's letter of February 18 was the only part that came into
my possession.( 2)  This account was written several years before
the War Records were published.

In my letter of January 31, I said:

"Pardon me for suggesting that the forces under command of Davidson,
Warren, and myself might be made available in the opening of the
Mississippi, should that result not be accomplished quickly. . . ."

The immediate result of this correspondence was that some troops
were sent down the river, but none of my command, while two divisions
of the latter were ordered toward the east.  This march was in
progress when Congress adjourned.  The Senate not having confirmed
by appointment as major-general, the time of my temporary humiliation
arrived.  But I had not relied wholly in vain upon General Halleck's
personal knowledge of my character.  He had not been able fully to
sustain me against selfish intrigue in Kansas, Missouri, and
Washington; but he could and did promptly respond to my request,
and ordered me to Tennessee, where I could be associated with
soldiers who were capable of appreciating soldierly qualities.
One of the happiest days of my life was when I reported to Rosecrans
and Thomas at Murfreesboro', received their cordial welcome, and
was assigned to the command of Thomas's own old division of the
Fourteenth Corps.  One of the most agreeable parts of my whole
military service was the thirty days in command of that division
at Triune, and some of my strongest and most valued army attachments
were formed there.

But that happy period of soldier life was brief.  Early in May
President Lincoln reappointed me major-general, with original date,
November 29, 1862, and ordered me back to the old scene of unsoldierly
strife and turmoil in Missouri and Kansas.

                                                      A HIBERNIAN "STRIKER"

In 1861 and 1862 I had a Hibernian "striker" who had been a soldier
of the old mounted rifles, and had been discharged on account of
a wound received in an Indian fight, but was yet well able to
perform the duties of an officer's servant in the field.  His care
of his master's property, and sometimes of the master himself, was
very remarkable.  In the midst of the battle of Wilson's Creek the
horse I was riding was killed, and I called in vain for my spare
horse.  From the best information obtained I concluded that both
the horse and my faithful orderly had been killed, and I sincerely
mourned my loss.  But after the fight was over I found my man
quietly riding the spare horse along with the troops, as if nothing
unusual had happened.  When I upbraided him for his conduct and
demanded to know where he had been all that time, he replied:  "Ah,
Major, when I saw the one horse killed I thought I'd better take
the other to a place of safety!"

Where my efficient assistant obtained his supplies I never knew,
but he would fill without delay any requisition I might make, from
a shoe-string to a buffalo-robe.  One day in 1862 I found in my
camp trunk several pairs of shoulder-straps belonging to the grades
of captain, major, and lieutenant-colonel.  As I was then a brigadier-
general, I inquired of my man why he kept those badges of inferior
grades.  He replied:  "Ah, General, nobody can tell what may happen
to you."  When, only a few months later, after having been promoted
to the rank of major-general I was again reduced to that of brigadier-
general, I remembered the forethought of my Irish orderly.

[( 1) See War Records, Vol. XIII, p. 7.]

[( 2) The whole correspondence may be found in the War Records,
Vol. XXII, part ii.]

In Command of the Department of the Missouri--Troops Sent to General
Grant--Satisfaction of the President--Conditions on which Governor
Gamble would Continue in Office--Anti-Slavery Views--Lincoln on
Emancipation in Missouri--Trouble Following the Lawrence Massacre
--A Visit to Kansas, and the Party Quarrel There--Mutiny in the
State Militia--Repressive Measures--A Revolutionary Plot.

On May 24, 1863, I relieved General Curtis in command of the
Department of the Missouri.  In his instructions of May 22, General
Halleck said:

"You owe your appointment entirely to the choice of the President
himself.  I have not, directly or indirectly, interfered in the
matter.  But I fully concur in the choice, and will give you all
possible support and assistance in the performance of the arduous
duties imposed upon you."

                               IN COMMAND OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI

A few days later I received the following significant letter from
the President:

  "Executive Mansion, Washington, May 27, 1863.
"General J. M. Schofield:

"My dear Sir:  Having relieved General Curtis and assigned you to
the command of the Department of the Missouri, I think it may be
of some advantage for me to state to you why I did it.

"I did not relieve General Curtis because of any full conviction
that he had done wrong by commission or omission.  I did it because
of a conviction in my mind that the Union men of Missouri,
constituting, when united, a vast majority of the whole people,
have entered into a pestilent factional quarrel among themselves--
General Curtis, perhaps not of choice, being the head of one faction,
and Governor Gamble that of the other.  After months of labor to
reconcile the difficulty, it seemed to grow worse and worse, until
I felt it my duty to break it up somehow; and as I could not remove
Governor Gamble, I had to remove General Curtis.

"Now that you are in the position, I wish you to undo nothing merely
because General Curtis or Governor Gamble did it, but to exercise
your own judgment and _do right_ for the public interest.

"Let your military measures be strong enough to repel the invader
and keep the peace, and not so strong as to unnecessarily harass
and persecute the people.  It is a difficult rôle, and so much
greater will be the honor if you perform it well.  If both factions,
or neither, shall abuse you, you will probably be about right.
Beware of being assailed by one and praised by the other.

  "Yours truly,
  "A. Lincoln."

In acknowledging the President's letter on June 1, I concluded by

"I have strong hopes that the Missouri State Convention, at its
approaching session, will adopt such measures for the speedy
emancipation of slaves as will secure the acquiescence of the large
majority of Union men, though perhaps not quite satisfactory to
either extreme.  If this hope be realized, one of my most embarrassing
difficulties will be removed, or at least greatly diminished."

The military problem in that department, as understood by me and
by my superiors in Washington, was at that time a comparatively
simple one, though my predecessor in command of the department
entertained different views.  With my views of the military situation,
whether confined to my own department or extended to embrace the
entire country, there was but one course to pursue, namely, to send
all available forces to assist in the capture of Vicksburg and the
opening of the Mississippi to the gulf.  After that I could easily
operate from points on the Mississippi as a base, capture Little
Rock and the line of the Arkansas, and then make that river the
base of future operations.

Hence, in response to a request from General Halleck, I at once
sent to General Grant and other commanders at the front all the
troops I could possibly spare, saying at the same time that this
would leave me very weak, but that I was "willing to risk it in
view of the vast importance of Grant's success."

Thus I began my military operations by stripping the department of
troops to the lowest possible defensive limit.  But this was what
I had so earnestly urged before, when in a subordinate position;
and I was glad to do it when the responsibility rested upon me.
My loss of troops to Grant was returned with interest as soon as
practicable after Vicksburg had fallen, and I was then able to
advance a large force, under General Steele, for the capture of
Little Rock, resulting in holding the entire line of the Arkansas
River from that time forward.

At the time I had met General Grant but once, and then only for a
moment, and I have always assumed that the timely aid sent him at
Vicksburg was the foundation for the kind and generous friendship
and confidence which he ever afterward manifested toward me, and
which, with the like manifestations of approval from President
Lincoln, are to me the most cherished recollections of my official

                                               TROOPS SENT TO GENERAL GRANT

The appreciation of my action in Washington was expressed by General
Halleck in a letter dated July 7, 1863, in which he said:  "The
promptness with which you sent troops to General Grant gave great
satisfaction here"; and by the President himself, in a letter to
the "Hon. Charles D. Drake and others, committee," dated October
5, 1863, in which he wrote:  "Few things have been so grateful to
my anxious feelings as when, in June last, the local force in
Missouri aided General Schofield to so promptly send a large general
force to the relief of General Grant, then investing Vicksburg and
menaced from without by General Johnston."

It would have been impossible for me to send away more than a small
part of those troops if I had not been able to replace them by
Missouri militia.  This General Curtis had probably been unable to
do because of the unfortunate antagonism between him and the State
government; and perhaps this much ought to be said in explanation
of his apparently selfish policy of retaining so many idle troops
in Missouri.  For my part, I could see neither necessity nor excuse
for quarreling with the governor of Missouri, and thus depriving
myself and the nation of his legitimate aid.  Governor Gamble was
perhaps "behind the times" in his views on the slavery question,
although decidedly in favor of gradual emancipation; and he was
utterly intolerant of those radical schemes for accomplishing ends
by lawless means, then so loudly advocated.  I thought at the time
a more radical policy might possibly tend to harmonize the Union
factions and allay the excitement, and frequently told Governor
Gamble that it would be necessary to adopt a policy on the negro
question more in harmony with the views of the administration and
of the Northern people.  To this the governor assented, and seemed
desirous of going as far in that direction as he could carry the
Union people of Missouri with him.  From his seat in the State
Convention at Jefferson City he made a speech advocating emancipation
in a much shorter period than the convention could finally be
prevailed upon to adopt, while I was using my personal influence
with members to the same end.

But it soon became evident that nothing would satisfy the radical
leaders short of the overthrow of the existing State government;
that a reconciliation of the quarrel between the "pestilent factions"
( 1) in Missouri, so much desired by Mr. Lincoln, was exactly what
the radicals did not want and would not have.  Satisfied of this
and disgusted with the abuse heaped upon him by men who owed him
warm and honest support, Governor Gamble tendered his resignation
to the convention, then in session.  His resignation was not
accepted, and by a "majority of the convention and multitudes of
private citizens" he was requested to withdraw it.  In this request
I united, for I could see no possibility of improvement under any
governor that the convention--a very conservative body--might elect,
while the result might be confusion worse confounded.

                                 CONDITIONS OF GOVERNOR GAMBLE'S CONTINUING

The governor submitted to me the following letter including conditions
upon which he would consent to continue in office:

"Major-General Schofield.

"General:  For the purpose of restoring order and law and maintaining
the authority of the Federal and State governments in the State of
Missouri, it is necessary that we have an understanding as to the
most important measures to be adopted.

"I have tendered my resignation as governor, and have been requested
to withdraw it on the ground that it is necessary to the peace and
quiet of the State that I remain in office.  In this request you
have united with a majority of the convention and multitudes of
private citizens.  I am willing to accede to the request, and, if
an ordinance of emancipation is passed, to remain in office, if on
the part of the government I can be sure of its co-operation in my
efforts to preserve the peace and remove all causes of dissension
and dissatisfaction from among the people.

"I think it necessary that the following measures be adopted by
you as the commanding general of the department:

"_First_.  That it be distinctly made known that the provisional
government of the State is the government recognized by the government
of the United States, and that any attempt, in any way, to interfere
by violence, or by tumultuous assemblages, or in any other unlawful
manner, will be suppressed by the power of the government of the
United States.

"_Second_.  That the functions of civil government of the State
will be supported and upheld, and that the process of the State in
civil and criminal matters may be executed in all posts and
encampments of the troops of the United States, and that resistance
thereto by military persons shall be punished.

"_Third_.  That no recruiting of negroes within this State shall
be recognized, unless the persons recruiting them shall be able to
produce the written permission of the governor of the State; and
that any person attempting to recruit without such permission, if
he be in the military service shall be immediately prohibited from
all such conduct, and if in civil life shall be proceeded against
by the State authorities, without any interference by the military.

"_Fourth_.  That no countenance or encouragement shall be given to
provost-marshals, or others in military authority, in any proceedings
against the property of citizens, slaves included, upon the ground
of its being liable to confiscation; but the confiscation shall be
executed by the civil officers of the United States, as is directed
by the authorities at Washington.

"When we arrive at a perfect understanding between ourselves, I am
willing to put myself in the same boat with you, and we will sink
or swim together.  If you should be censured or removed from this
command because of what is done to carry these propositions into
effect, I will abandon office immediately . . . "

To this I replied verbally that I could not enter into any agreement
as to the policy to be pursued by me as commander of the department;
that I must hold myself free to pursue such course as circumstances
should from time to time indicate, or such as might be ordered by
the President; my policy would be indicated from time to time by
my general orders; in some respects it would doubtless conflict
with that submitted by his Excellency.  Nevertheless the governor
finally consented to withdraw his resignation.

The convention at length passed an ordinance providing for the
gradual extinction of slavery in the State, and adjourned.  The
feeling of bitterness between the opposing factions rather increased
than diminished during its session.

                                                         ANTI-SLAVERY VIEWS

The following letter to my friend Mr. Williams, which was published
in the New York and St. Louis papers with my consent, made sufficiently
clear the views I then entertained upon the slavery question, and
left no reasonable ground for any emancipationist to quarrel with
me on that subject, however much he may have been dissatisfied with
the action of the convention,--just as my letter of June 1 to the
President left him no room for doubt--if, indeed, he had entertained
any before--upon the question then deemed so important:

  "Headquarters, Dep't of the Missouri,
  "St. Louis, June 1, 1863.
"J. E. Williams, Esq.
  "Pres't Metropolitan Bank, New York.

"My dear Sir:  Professor Bartlett has informed me of the interest
you have manifested in my promotion and connection with this
department, and, above all, that you have done me the kindness to
assert my soundness on the important question of the day.

"You are right in saying that I was an anti-slavery man, though
not an abolitionist, before the war.  These terms have greatly
enlarged their relative meaning since the rebellion broke out.  I
regard universal emancipation as one of the necessary consequences
of the rebellion, or rather as one of the means absolutely necessary
to a complete restoration of the Union--and this because slavery
was the great cause of the rebellion, and the only obstacle in the
way of a perfect union.  The perception of these important truths
is spreading with almost astounding rapidity in this State.  I have
great hope that the State Convention, which meets on the 15th
instant, will adopt some measure for the speedy emancipation of
slaves.  If so, our difficulties will be substantially at an end.

"When the popular mind seizes a great principle and resolves to
carry it into execution, it becomes impatient of the restraints
imposed by existing laws, and in its haste to break down the barriers
which stand in the way of its darling object, becomes regardless
of all law, and anarchy is the result.  This is our difficulty
here.  The people will have freedom for the slave.  No law of the
United States nor of Missouri, nor yet any order of the President,
meets the case.

"The loyal slave-owner demands that his rights _under the law_ be
protected.  Let us have an ordinance of the State Convention which
will satisfy the demands of the popular mind, and no loyal man will

"You can imagine with what deep interest I look forward to the
legal settlement of this question, so deeply involving the success
of the great cause for the time being intrusted to my care.

"In Arkansas and other States to which the President's proclamation
applies, so far as I have observed, no such difficulty exists.
The loyal people accept the decree without complaint, perfectly
willing to give up all they have for the Union.  So much the greater
honor is due them for this cheerful sacrifice because they do not
and cannot be expected to appreciate and understand the principle
of freedom as it is impressed upon the loyal heart of the North.

"Please accept my thanks for your kindness, and believe me,

  "Yours very truly,"
(Signed)  "J. M. Schofield."

On June 20, I telegraphed to Mr. Lincoln:

"The action of the Missouri State Convention upon the question of
emancipation will depend very much upon whether they can be assured
that their action will be sustained by the General Government and
the people protected in their slave property during the short time
that slavery is permitted to exist.  Am I authorized in any manner,
directly or indirectly, to pledge such support and protection?

"The question is of such vital importance to the peace of Missouri
that I deem it my duty to lay it before your Excellency."

                                        LINCOLN ON EMANCIPATION IN MISSOURI

The following reply from the President fairly illustrates the wisdom
and justice of his views, and shows how perfectly I was in accord
with him in my desire to do what was wisest and best for the peace
of Missouri:

  "Executive Mansion, Washington, June 22, 1863.
"Genl. John M. Schofield.

"My dear Sir:  Your despatch, asking in substance whether, in case
Missouri shall adopt gradual emancipation, the General Government
will protect slave-owners in that species of property during the
short time it shall be permitted by the State to exist within it,
has been received.

"Desirous as I am that emancipation shall be adopted by Missouri,
and believing as I do that _gradual_ can be made better than
_immediate_, for both black and white, except when military necessity
changes the case, my impulse is to say that such protection would
be given.  I cannot know exactly what shape an act of emancipation
may take.  If the period from the initiation to the final end should
be comparatively short, and the act should prevent persons being
sold during that period into more lasting slavery, the whole world
would be easier.  I do not wish to pledge the General Government
to the affirmative support of even temporary slavery, beyond what
can be fairly claimed under the Constitution.  I suppose, however,
this is not desired; but that it is desired for the military force
of the United States, while in Missouri, not to be used in subverting
the temporarily reserved legal rights in slaves during the progress
of emancipation.  This I would desire also.  I have very earnestly
urged the slave States to adopt emancipation; and it ought to be,
and is, an object with me not to overthrow or thwart what any of
them may in good faith do to that end.  You are therefore authorized
to act in the spirit of this letter, in conjunction with what may
appear to be the military necessities of your department.

"Although this letter will become public at some time, it is not
intended to be made so now.

  "Yours truly,
  "A. Lincoln."

My impression is that the nature of this quarrel in Missouri was
not fully understood at the time in Washington, as General Halleck
wrote me that neither of the factions was regarded as really friendly
to the President.  But my belief is that they were then, as they
subsequently proved to be, divided on the Presidential question as
well as in State politics; that the conservative were sincere in
their friendship and support of Mr. Lincoln, and desired his
renomination, while the radicals were intriguing for Mr. Chase or
some other more radical man.

This struggle between extreme radicalism and conservatism among
the Union men of Missouri was long and bitter, but I have nothing
to do with its history beyond the period of my command in that
department.  It resulted, as is now well known, in the triumph of
radicalism in the Republican party, and the consequent final loss
of power by that party in the State.  Such extremes could not fail
to produce a popular revulsion, and it required no great foresight
to predict the final result.

                                    TROUBLE FOLLOWING THE LAWRENCE MASSACRE

The factions in Missouri gave the military commander trouble enough
in 1863; but to that was added the similar and hardly less troublesome
party quarrel in Kansas.  I cannot give a more accurate account of
the complicated situation there than by quoting from my correspondence
and journal of that period.  On August 28 I wrote to President
Lincoln as follows:

"In reply to your telegram of the 27th, transmitting copy of one
received from two influential citizens of Kansas, I beg leave to
state some of the facts connected with the horrible massacre at
Lawrence, and also relative to the assault made upon me by a certain
class of influential politicians.

"Since the capture of Vicksburg, a considerable portion of the
rebel army in the Mississippi valley has disbanded, and large
numbers of men have come back to Missouri, many of them doubtless
in hope of being permitted to remain at their former homes in peace,
while some have come under instructions to carry on a guerilla
warfare, and others, men of the worst character, become marauders
on their own account, caring nothing for the Union, nor for the
rebellion, except as the latter affords them a cloak for their

"Under instructions from the rebel authorities, as I am informed
and believe, considerable bands, called "Border Guards," were
organized in the counties of Missouri bordering upon Kansas, for
the ostensible purpose of protecting those counties from inroads
from Kansas, and preventing the slaves of rebels from escaping from
Missouri into Kansas.  These bands were unquestionably encouraged,
fed, and harbored by a very considerable portion of the people of
those border counties.  Many of those people were in fact the
families of these "bushwhackers," who are brigands of the worst

"Upon the representation of General Ewing and others familiar with
the facts, I became satisfied there could be no cure for this evil
short of the removal from those counties of all slaves entitled to
their freedom, and of the families of all men known to belong to
these bands, and others who were known to sympathize with them.
Accordingly I directed General Ewing to adopt and carry out the
policy he had indicated, warning him, however, of the retaliation
which might be attempted, and that he must be fully prepared to
prevent it before commencing such severe measures.

"Almost immediately after it became known that such policy had been
adopted, Quantrill secretly assembled from several of the border
counties of Missouri about 300 of his men.  They met at a preconcerted
place of rendezvous near the Kansas line, at about sunset, and
immediately marched for Lawrence, which place they reached at
daylight the next morning.  They sacked and burned the town and
murdered the citizens in the most barbarous manner.

"It is easy to see that any unguarded town in a country where such
a number of outlaws can be assembled is liable to a similar fate,
if the villains are willing to risk the retribution which must
follow.  In this case 100 of them have already been slain, and the
remainder are hotly pursued in all directions.  If there was any
fault on the part of General Ewing, it appears to have been in not
guarding Lawrence.  But of this it was not my purpose to speak.
General Ewing and the governor of Kansas have asked for a court of
inquiry, and I have sent to the War Department a request that one
may be appointed, and I do not wish to anticipate the result of a
full investigation. . . .

"I am officially informed that a large meeting has been held at
Leavenworth, in which a resolution was adopted to the effect that
the people would assemble at a certain place on the border, on
September 8, for the purpose of entering Missouri to search for
their stolen property.  Efforts have been made by the mayor of
Leavenworth to get possession of the ferry at that place, for the
purpose of crossing armed parties of citizens into north Missouri.

"I have strong reasons for believing that the authors of the telegram
to you are among those who introduced and obtained the adoption of
the Leavenworth resolution, and who are endeavoring to organize a
force for the purpose of general retaliation upon Missouri.  Those
who so deplore my 'imbecility' and 'incapacity' are the very men
who are endeavoring to bring about a collision between the people
of Kansas and the troops under General Ewing's command.

"I have not the 'capacity' to see the wisdom or justice of permitting
an irresponsible mob to enter Missouri for the purpose of retaliation,
even for so grievous a wrong as that which Lawrence has suffered.

"I have increased the force upon the border as far as possible,
and no effort has been, or will be, spared to punish the invaders
of Kansas, and to prevent such acts in the future.  The force there
has been all the time far larger than in any other portion of my
department, except on the advanced line in Arkansas and the Indian
Territory. . . .

"P. S.  Since writing the above I have received the 'Daily Times'
newspaper, published at Leavenworth, containing an account of the
meeting referred to, and Senator Lane's speech, which I have the
honor to inclose herewith for your information."

In a letter of that same date (August 28), Governor Carney informed
me, among other things, that "after the fearful disaster at Lawrence
and on the return of our troops who had pursued Quantrill and his
murderous band, General Ewing and General James H. Lane met at
Morristown and spent the night together.  The latter returned to
Lawrence and called a mass meeting, at which he defended General
Ewing and made an intensely bitter speech against you.  Yesterday
he arrived in this city, and soon after caused to be issued a
placard stating he would address the citizens on war matters.
There are two parties here--one for and the other against Ewing.
That against him is headed by Mr. Wilder, member of Congress, and
by Mr. Anthony, mayor of this city.  This division put General Lane
in this dilemma here, that he could not defend Ewing as he had done
in Lawrence, and hence he devoted his whole attention to you.  The
more violent of the men opposing you are for independent raids into
Missouri.  How far General Lane encouraged this class you must
judge from the facts I have stated and from the inclosed speech.
To give tone and distinction to the meeting, General Lane offered
a resolution calling upon the President to relieve you, affirming
that there could be no safety in Kansas, no help for Kansas, unless
this was done. . . . You will judge from the facts stated, from
the course pursued by General Lane at Lawrence, and from his speech
here, how far General Ewing is your friend or fit to command this

On August 31, I started for the scene of the agitation.  The
following extracts from my journal reveal the situation:

"_Sept_. 2.--Reached Leavenworth at five o'clock A. M.  Stopped at
the Planters' Hotel; was called upon by Governor Carney and several
of his political friends.  Discussed at much length the condition
of affairs in the District of the Border.  Carney is an aspirant
for the United States Senate.  Intends to run against Lane.  Desires
to kill off Ewing, considering him a formidable rival, or at least
a supporter of Lane.  Ewing has determined not to be a candidate
at the next election, and will not commit himself in support of
either Carney or Lane.  Desires to keep on good terms with Lane
because he thinks Lane will probably be re-elected.  Carney
understands Ewing as supporting Lane, or at least of having withdrawn
in Lane's favor.  In fact, Ewing refuses an alliance with Carney.
Carney therefore desires to kill Ewing.  Lane finds it to his
interest to sustain Ewing so long as Schofield commands the
department.  Ewing is a better man for Lane than any other Schofield
would be likely to give him.  Lane's desire is to remove Schofield
and get in his place a general who would place Kansas under command
of one of Lane's tools, or a man who could be made one by Lane;
therefore Lane defends Ewing and concentrates his attack upon
Schofield. . . .

"Asked and obtained a long private interview with Lane.  Went over
the whole ground of his hostility to Genl. S. during the past year.
Showed him the injustice he had done Genl. S., and how foolish and
unprofitable to himself his hostility had been.  He stated with
apparent candor that he had bent the whole energies of his soul to
the destruction of Genl. S.; had never labored harder to accomplish
any object in his life.  Said he had been evidently mistaken in
the character and principles of Genl. S., and that no man was more
ready than he to atone for a fault.  We then approached the subject
of the invasion of Missouri by the people of Kansas.  Genl. Lane
still adheres to his design of collecting the people at Paola and
leading them on an expedition "for the purpose of searching for
their stolen property."  He professes his ability to control the
people; that he would be answerable, and offered to pledge himself
to Genl. S. and the government that they should do nothing beyond
that which he declares as the object of the expedition. . . .

"Lane was informed that Genl. S. would go to Kansas City the next
day, and Lane replied that he intended to go also.  It was agreed
that both should go the next morning and converse with Genl. Ewing
on the subject.  The same evening Genl. Lane made a public speech
in Leavenworth, in which he urged the people to meet at Paola, and
assured them that the department and district commanders would not
interfere with the proposed expedition; on the contrary, that both
would countenance and co-operate with it.  He also proclaimed the
object to be to lay waste the border counties of Missouri and
exterminate the disloyal people.  This statement, following an
interview on that subject, was calculated to mislead a large number
of well-disposed people who would not for a moment think of acting
in opposition to military rules, and to greatly increase the number
of people who would assemble at Paola, and seriously complicate
the difficulty.

"In the evening had another interview with Gov. Carney and some of
his friends.  My main object was to secure the full co-operation
of the State government in preventing the invasion of Missouri.
For this purpose I had to consult to a considerable degree the
political views and aims of the governor and his friends.  Their
object was, of course, to make out of Lane's project as much capital
as possible against him.  It was held by many of them that Lane
had no serious design of entering Missouri; that he expected, of
course, that the military authorities would forbid it; and that he
would yield as a military necessity, and thus gain with his people
additional ground for condemnation of the department commander,
while he had the credit of having done all he possibly could to
enable them to 'recover their stolen property.' . . . Viewing
matters in this light, the governor and his advisers were strongly
inclined to the opinion that the surest way of making capital for
themselves out of Lane's move was to let him go on with it, without
any interference on their part, confident that it would turn out
a grand humbug. . . . After reaching Kansas City and talking with
Genl. Ewing, I replied to the governor, accepting the services of
as many of his troops as he and Genl. Ewing should deem necessary
for the protection of all the towns in Kansas near the border,
stating that with Kansas so protected, Genl. Ewing would not only
carry out his order for the expulsion of disloyal persons, but also
in a short time drive out the guerillas from his district and
restore peace.  In addition to this, I wrote the governor a private
letter urging him to issue his proclamation discouraging the Paola
meeting and warning his people against any attempt to go into
Missouri, and informing him I would issue an order forbidding armed
men not in the regular military service from crossing the line.

"_Sept_. 4--I received the governor's reply that he would issue
his proclamation as requested, and also asking permission to publish
a letter which I had written him on August 29, in reply to one from
him regarding these matters.  This permission was granted.

"My order was also published declaring that the militia of Kansas
and Missouri would be used only for the defense of their respective
States; that they should not pass from one State into the other
without express orders from the district commander; that armed
bodies of men _not_ belonging to the United States troops, or to
the militia placed under the orders of the department commander by
the governors of their respective States, should not, under any
pretext whatever, pass from one State into the other.

                               VISIT TO KANSAS, AND THE PARTY QUARREL THERE

"In the evening of the 3d I sent a despatch to the general-in-chief
[Halleck], informing him that the Paola movement was under the
control and guidance of Lane, and that I should not permit them to
enter Missouri; that Lane said he would appeal to the President;
that I did not apprehend a hostile collision; but that a despatch
from the President or the Secretary of War (to Lane) would aid me
much in preventing difficulty.

"If such despatch should be sent, I request to be informed of its
purport.  No reply received from the general-in-chief up to this
time (1 P. M., Sept 5). . . .

"_Sept_. 6--Lane failed to meet me at Kansas City, according to
agreement.  My correspondence with Governor Carney relative to the
Lawrence massacre and the Paola movement appeared in the Leavenworth
papers of yesterday; also my order forbidding armed citizens from
crossing into Missouri.

"The governor's proclamation did not appear according to promise;
probably he may have decided to defer it until after the Paola
meeting, as a means of making capital against Lane.

"A private letter from one of Governor Carney's advisers was received
yesterday (5th), dated the 3d, but evidently written in the evening
of the 4th or morning of the 5th, which indicated that Carney does
not intend to publish a proclamation, for the reason that Lane
desires to force him to do it. . . .

"Went to Westport yesterday.  Met several of the leading loyal
citizens; all agree that Genl. Ewing's order No. 11 is wise and
just--in fact a necessity.  I have yet to find the first loyal man
in the border counties who condemns it.  They are also warm in
their support of Genl. Ewing, and deprecate his removal.  I am
satisfied he is acting wisely and efficiently. . . .

"The radicals in Missouri condemn him (Ewing) as one of my friends;
the conservatives, because he is a Kansas man, and more especially
because of his order No. 11, and similar reasons and radical
measures.  For a time this will weaken me very much, and possibly
may cause my overthrow.  This risk I must take, because I am
satisfied I am doing the best for the public good, and acting
according to my instructions from the President.  I seem in a fair
way to reach one of the positions referred to in the President's
letter of instructions, viz:  That in which both factions will
abuse me.  According to the President's standard, this is the only
evidence that I will ever have that I am right.  It is hardly
possible that I will ever reach a point where both will commend
me. . . .

"_Sept_. 8--Went to Independence yesterday, in company with Genl.
Ewing; . . . made a few remarks to quite a large assemblage of
people, which were well received; was followed by Genl. Ewing in
an appropriate speech, which produced a good effect.

"Have determined to modify General Ewing's order, or rather he will
modify it at my suggestion, so that no property shall be destroyed.
I deem the destruction of property unnecessary and useless.  The
chief evil has resulted from the aid given to guerillas in the way
of information conveyed by disloyal people, and by preparing their
food for them.  This evil is now removed.  Forage and grain cannot
be destroyed or carried away to such an extent as materially to
cripple them.  I will as far as possible preserve the property of
all loyal people, with the view of permitting them to return as
soon as the guerillas shall be driven out.  Property of known rebels
will be appropriated as far as possible to the use of the army and
loyal people who are made destitute.  None will be destroyed.

"Had a long interview this morning with Mayor Anthony of Leavenworth
and a number of influential citizens of that place.  Anthony was
arrested and sent to this place yesterday by a detective in the
employ of Genl. Ewing.  The arrest was without authority, and Genl.
Ewing promptly discharged the mayor.  The object of the citizens
was to obtain a revocation of martial law in Leavenworth, and come
to a correct understanding as to the relation between the military
and civil authorities in that town, so as to prevent difficulty in
future.  The whole matter was satisfactorily arranged. . . .

"So far as can be learned, no people have gone from Leavenworth to
the Paola meeting, and it is probable the whole affair will amount
to nothing.  Believing that the trouble here is substantially over,
I propose to start for St. Louis to-morrow morning."

                                                MUTINY IN THE STATE MILITIA

A regiment of enrolled militia ordered to New Madrid to relieve
the 25th Missouri, in order that the latter might go to reinforce
General Steele in Arkansas, mutinied after they had gone on board
the steamer, brought the boat ashore, and went to their homes.
The provost guard of St. Louis was sent to arrest them.  News having
come of the capture of Little Rock, the two enrolled militia
regiments in St. Louis were dismissed, except the mutineers, who
were kept at hard labor for some time, and the leaders tried for

This mutiny was caused by the efforts of the radical papers and
politicians, who had for some time openly opposed the organization
of the provisional regiments, and encouraged the men to mutiny.

I published an order enforcing martial law against all who should
incite mutiny among the troops, and through General Halleck obtained
the President's approval of this order, but did not find it necessary
to make that approval public until it was made known by the President

In writing to General Halleck on September 20, I said:

"I inclose herewith a copy of an order which I have found it
necessary to publish and enforce.  The revolutionary faction which
has so long been striving to gain the ascendancy in Missouri,
particularly in St. Louis, to overthrow the present State government
and change the policy of the national administration, has at length
succeeded so far as to produce open mutiny of one of the militia
regiments and serious difficulties in others.

"I inclose a number of slips from papers published in Missouri, to
show the extent to which this factious opposition to the government
has been carried.  The effect already produced is but natural, and
the ultimate effect will be disastrous in the extreme, unless a
strong remedy be applied speedily.

"Out of consideration for popular opinion and the well-known wishes
of the President relative to freedom of speech and of the press,
I have forborne until, in my belief, further forbearance would lead
to disastrous results.  I am thoroughly convinced of the necessity
for prompt and decided measures to put down this revolutionary
scheme, and my sense of duty will not permit me to delay it longer.
It is barely possible that I may not have to enforce the order
against the public press.  They may yield without the application
of force; but I do not expect it.  The tone of some of their articles
since the publication of the order indicates a determination to
wage the war which they have begun to the bitter end.  This
determination is based upon the belief that the President will not
sustain me in any such measures as those contemplated in the order.
A distinct approval by the President of my proposed action, and a
knowledge of the fact here, would end the whole matter at once.
I desire, if possible, to have such approval before taking action
in any individual case.  Indeed, I believe such approval would
prevent the necessity for the use of force.  It is difficult, I am
aware, for any one at a distance to believe that such measures can
be necessary against men and papers who claim to be 'radically
loyal.'  The fact is, they are 'loyal' only to their 'radical'
theories, and are so 'radical' that they cannot possibly be 'loyal'
to the government. . . ."

                                                       A REVOLUTIONARY PLOT

These men were styled "revolutionists" not without sufficient cause.
It was currently reported that they had in 1861 conceived the
elevation of Frémont to a dictatorship.  In 1862, and again in
1863, they invented a scheme for the violent overthrow of the
provisional State government and the existing national administration
in Missouri.  The first act of the program was to seize and imprison
Governor Gamble and me.  In 1862 some of them committed the
indiscretion of confiding their plans to General Frank P. Blair,
Jr., who at once warned me of it, but refused to give me the names
of his informers or of the leaders.  He said he could not do so
without breach of confidence, but that he had informed them that
he should give me warning and expose the individuals if any further
steps were taken.  Here the matter ended.

In 1863 I received warning through the guard stationed at my
residence in the suburbs of the city, with which the revolutionists
had the folly to tamper in their efforts to spread disaffection
among my troops.  This discovery, and the premature mutiny of the
regiment ordered to New Madrid, nipped the plot in the bud.  I
refer to the circumstances now only to show that I was not unjust
in my denunciation of the "revolutionary faction" in Missouri.

In General Halleck's letter of September 26, inclosing the President's
written approval of my general order, he said:

". . . Neither faction in Missouri is really friendly to the
President and administration; but each is striving to destroy the
other, regardless of all other considerations.  In their mutual
hatred they seem to have lost all sense of the perils of the country
and all sentiment of national patriotism.  Every possible effort
should be made to allay this bitter party strife in that State."

In reply, September 30, I expressed the following opinion:

". . . I feel compelled to say that I believe you are not altogether
right in your information about the factions in Missouri.  If the
so-called 'claybank' faction are not altogether friendly to the
President and administration, I have not been able to discover it.
The men who now sustain me are the same who rallied round Lyon and
sustained the government in the dark days of 1861, while the leaders
of the present 'charcoal' faction stood back until the danger was
past.  I believe I have carried out my instructions as literally
as possible, yet I have received a reasonable support from one
faction and the most violent opposition from the other.  I am
willing to pledge my official position that those who support me
now will support me in the execution of any policy the President
may order.  They are the real friends of the government.  It is
impossible for me to be blind to this fact, notwithstanding the
existence, to some extent, of the factional feeling to which you

The improvement produced by the order was so decided that publication
of the President's approval was thought unnecessary.  It only became
public through his letter of October 1, 1863, of which he gave a
copy to the radical delegation.

In September the governor of Missouri placed all the militia of
the State, including those not in active service, under my command.
I published orders intended to control their action and prevent
interference with political meetings; also to secure freedom of
voting at the coming election in November.  Several militia officers
guilty of such interference were dismissed, which produced a
wholesome effect.

[( 1) The division of the Union party into radicals and conservatives,
or "charcoals" and "claybanks," originated during the administration
of General Frémont.]

A Memorandum for Mr. Lincoln--The President's Instructions--His
Reply to the Radical Delegation--The Matter of Colored Enlistments
--Modification of the Order Respecting Elections Refused--A Letter
to the President on the Condition of Missouri--Former Confederates
in Union Militia Regiments--Summoned to Washington by Mr. Lincoln
--Offered the Command of the Army of the Ohio--Anecdote of General

On October 1, 1863, I furnished the following memorandum to the
Hon. James S. Rollins, M. C., for the information of the President.
It was doubtless seen by the President before the date of his letter
to the radical delegation, quoted further on.

"The radicals urge as evidence of Genl. Schofield's misrule that
Missouri is in a worse condition than at any time since the rebellion;
that he has failed to use the troops at his disposal to put down
the rebellion.  This charge is false, unless it be admitted that
the radicals are rebels.  It is true that the State is in a bad
condition, and it is equally true that this condition is directly
brought about by professed Union men--radicals.

"There has been no time since the beginning of the war when there
were so few armed rebels or guerillas in Missouri as at the present
time.  The only trouble at all worth mentioning in comparison with
what the State has suffered heretofore is the lawless acts of
radicals in their efforts to exterminate or drive out all who differ
from them in political sentiment.  This lawlessness is instigated,
encouraged, and applauded by the radical press and leaders.  Every
effort to put down this lawlessness is denounced by the radicals
as persecution of loyal men.  When Genl. Curtis relinquished command
he had in Missouri and Kansas 43,000 men; Genl. Schofield retained
in these States only 23,000.  Of the remaining 20,000, he sent some
reinforcements to Genl. Rosecrans and a large force to Genl. Grant,
to assist in the capture of Vicksburg; and with the remainder and
a force equivalent to the one sent to Genl. Grant, returned by him
after the fall of Vicksburg, he has reclaimed all Arkansas and the
Indian Territory.

"The radicals denounce Genl. Schofield because of his relations to
the State government.  It is true that those relations have been
most cordial, but it is not true that his policy has been controlled
or materially influenced by Gov. Gamble.  Gov. Gamble has not sought
to exercise any such control.  He, without hesitation, placed all
the militia in active service under Genl. S.'s command, and yielded
to him the control of all military operations.  As an example to
illustrate the truth of this statement:  Genl. S. required the
militia to obey the 102d Article of War; although they were not in
the service of the United States, and although they constituted
the only force in the State capable of arresting fugitive slaves
with any certainty, no complaint was made by the State government.
No military force is used in this department for the return of
fugitives.  All assertions to the contrary are false.  On the
contrary, it has been invariably held by Genl. Schofield and Col.
Broadhead that free papers given under Genl. Curtis were to be held
valid, even though wrongfully given, the negroes having been the
slaves of loyal men.  So also when the slaves of loyal men have,
by mistake or otherwise, been enlisted in colored regiments, Genl.
Schofield has invariably held that they have been made free by
their enlistment, and cannot be returned to their masters or
discharged from the service.

                                               A MEMORANDUM FOR MR. LINCOLN

"It cannot be denied that Genl. Schofield's whole influence has
been in favor of emancipation.  He did all in his power to secure
the passage of an ordinance of emancipation by the late State
Convention.  The leaders of the present 'charcoal' faction, who
now war on Genl. Schofield, are not the men who sustained the
government at the beginning of the war.  The men who now support
Genl. S. are the identical ones who stood around Lyon and sustained
the government in the dark days of 1861.  They are the true friends
of the government; men who stand between the rebels on one side
and the radical revolutionists on the other; the men who maintain
the Constitution, uphold the laws, and advocate justice to all men.
If sustained by the President, they will rally to their standard
all the best men of the State, of both parties.

"Secession is dead in Missouri.  As a party the secessionists are
utterly without influence.  The degree of support which they will
hereafter give to the government will depend upon its policy.  If
the radicals triumph, the enemies of the government will be increased
both in numbers and bitterness.  If a wise and just policy be
pursued, every respectable man in the State will soon be an active
supporter of the government, and Missouri will be the most loyal
State in the Union.

"This, in fact, is the cause of the present fierce action of the
radicals.  They know they must get the power at once, or there will
soon be an overwhelming loyal party opposed to them.  The 'claybank'
leaders control all the conservative elements in the State, and
give to Genl. S., as the representative of the President, an honest
support.  They will continue to support him in the execution of
any policy the President may order to be carried out.  They sustain
him, and will sustain him in future, although they may not approve
all his acts, because it is their duty to the government."

About the last of September a radical delegation of about one
hundred members from Missouri and Kansas went to Washington to urge
my removal from command in Missouri.  The President sent me the
following instructions, and made a reply to the delegation, also
given below:

  "Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C., Oct. 1, 1863.
"General John M. Schofield.

"Sir:  There is no organized military force in avowed opposition
to the General Government now in Missouri; and if any such shall
reappear, your duty in regard to it will be too plain to require
any special instructions.  Still, the condition of things both
there and elsewhere is such as to render it indispensable to maintain
for a time the United States military establishment in that State,
as well as to rely upon it for a fair contribution of support to
the establishment generally.  Your immediate duty in regard to
Missouri now is to advance the efficiency of that establishment,
and to use it, as far as practicable, to compel the excited people
there to leave one another alone.

"Under your recent order, which I have approved, you will only
arrest individuals, and suppress assemblies or newspapers, when
they may be working palpable injury to the military in your charge;
and in no other case will you interfere with the expression of
opinion in any form, or allow it to be interfered with violently
by others.  In this you have a discretion to exercise with great
caution, calmness, and forbearance.

"With the matters of removing the inhabitants of certain counties
_en masse_, and of removing certain individuals from time to time,
who are supposed to be mischievous, I am not now interfering, but
am leaving to your own discretion.

"Nor am I interfering with what may still seem to you to be necessary
restrictions upon trade and intercourse.

"I think proper, however, to enjoin upon you the following:  Allow
no part of the military under your command to be engaged in either
returning fugitive slaves, or in forcing or enticing slaves from
their homes; and, so far as practicable, enforce the same forbearance
upon the people.

"Report to me your opinion upon the availability for good of the
enrolled militia of the State.

"Allow no one to enlist colored troops, except upon orders from
you, or from here through you.

"Allow no one to assume the functions of confiscating property,
under the law of Congress or otherwise, except upon orders from

"At elections see that those, and only those, are allowed to vote
who are entitled to do so by the laws of Missouri, including, as
of those laws, the restriction laid by the Missouri Convention upon
those who may have participated in the rebellion.

"So far as practicable, you will, by means of your military force,
expel guerillas, marauders, and murderers, and all who are known
to harbor, aid, or abet them.  But, in like manner, you will repress
assumptions of unauthorized individuals to perform the same service,
because, under pretense of doing this, they become marauders and
murderers themselves.

"To now restore peace, let the military obey orders, and those not
of the military leave each other alone, thus not breaking the peace

"In giving the above directions, it is not intended to restrain
you in other expedient and necessary matters not falling within
their range.

  "Your obt. servt.,
  "A. Lincoln."

                                               THE PRESIDENT'S INSTRUCTIONS

I wrote in my journal, under date of October 2:

"Colonel Du Bois, Captain Benham, and Captain Howard, who were sent
to inspect in Genl. Ewing's and Genl. Blunt's districts, have
returned.  They report affairs in Blunt's district in a disgraceful
condition.  I have determined to relieve Blunt, and propose to send
McNeil to Fort Smith.  I telegraphed my intentions to Genl. Halleck
this morning, and asked for a general officer to command one of
the two districts.  Soon after I received a despatch from the
President saying Genl. Halleck had shown him my despatch, and
adding:  'If possible, you better allow me to get through with a
certain matter here before adding to the difficulties of it.
Meantime supply me with the particulars of Maj.-Genl. Blunt's case.'

"I replied:  'I will forward the papers in Genl. Blunt's case, and
defer action until I know your pleasure regarding it.  I desire,
if possible, to diminish and not increase your difficulties.  This
is one reason why I informed Genl. Halleck what I thought it
necessary to do.'  Have since received a despatch from Genl. Halleck
saying that he had ordered Brig.-Genl. J. B. Sanborn from Vicksburg
to report to me for duty.

"Have received a letter from Atty.-Genl. Bates, dated Sept. 29,
saying I need have no fear of the result of the efforts of the
radical delegation.

"On Sept. 30 I received a despatch from the President transmitting
the false report from Leavenworth that Col. Moss, of the militia,
was driving out Union families from Platt and Union counties.
After full inquiry from Col. Guitar, Genl. Ewing, and Col. Williams
at St. Joseph, have replied to the President, informing him that
the report is false, and a base attempt of my enemies to influence
his action."

Under date of October 4, I wrote in my journal:

"The address presented to the President by the radical delegation
from Missouri was published in the 'Democrat' last evening.  I
telegraphed the President last night that 'so much of it as relates
to me is not only untrue in spirit, but most of it is literally
false.  If an answer or explanation is on any account desirable,
I shall be glad to make it.'  To-day I received from the President
a despatch saying:  'Think you will not have just cause to complain
of my action. . . . '"


The next day the President made this reply to the radical

  "Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C., October 5, 1863.
"Hon. Charles D. Drake and Others, Committee.

"Gentlemen:  Your original address, presented on the 30th ultimo,
and the four supplementary ones, presented on the 3d inst., have
been carefully considered.  I hope you will regard the other duties
claiming my attention, together with the great length and importance
of the documents, as constituting a sufficient apology for my not
having responded sooner.

"These papers, framed for a common object, consist of the things
demanded, and the reasons for demanding them.

"The things demanded are:

"_First_.  That General Schofield shall be relieved and General
Butler be appointed as commander of the Military Department of

"_Second_.  That the system of enrolled militia in Missouri may be
broken up, and national forces be substituted for it; and,

"_Third_.  That at elections persons may not be allowed to vote
who are not entitled by law to do so.

"Among the reasons given, enough of suffering and wrong to Union
men is certainly, and I suppose truly, stated.  Yet the whole case
as presented fails to convince me that General Schofield, or the
enrolled militia, is responsible for that suffering and wrong.
The whole can be explained on a more charitable and, as I think,
a more rational hypothesis.

"We are in civil war.  In such cases there always is a main question;
but in this case that question is a perplexing compound--Union and
slavery.  It thus becomes a question not of two sides merely, but
of at least four sides, even among those who are for the Union,
saying nothing of those who are against it.  Thus, those who are
for the Union _with_, but not _without_, slavery; those for it
_without_, but not _with_; those for it _with_ or _without_, but
prefer it _with_; and those for it _with_ or _without_, but prefer
it _without_.  Among these again is a subdivision of those who are
for _gradual_, but not for _immediate_, and those who are for
_immediate_, but not for _gradual_, extinction of slavery.

"It is easy to conceive that all these shades of opinion, and even
more, may be sincerely entertained by honest and truthful men; yet
all being for the Union, by reason of these differences each will
prefer a different way of sustaining the Union.  At once sincerity
is questioned and motives are assailed; actual war coming, blood
grows hot and blood is spilled.  Thought is forced from old channels
into confusion; deception breeds and thrives; confidence dies, and
universal suspicion reigns.  Each man feels an impulse to kill his
neighbor, lest he be first killed by him.  Revenge and retaliation
follow, and all this, as before said, may be among honest men only.
But this is not all.  Every foul bird comes abroad, and every dirty
reptile rises up.  These add crime to confusion.  Strong measures
deemed indispensable, but harsh at best, such men make worse by
maladministration.  Murders for old grudges and murders for pelf
proceed under any cloak that will best cover for the occasion.

"These causes amply account for what has occurred in Missouri,
without ascribing it to the weakness or wickedness of any general.
The newspaper files--those chronicles of current events--will show
that evils now complained of were quite as prevalent under Frémont,
Hunter, Halleck, and Curtis as under Schofield.

"If the former had greater force opposed to them, they had also
greater forces with which to meet it.  When the organized rebel
army left the State, the main Federal force had to go also, leaving
the department commander at home relatively no stronger than before.

"Without disparaging any, I affirm with confidence that no commander
of that department has, in proportion to his means, done better
than General Schofield.

"The first specific charge against General Schofield is that the
enrolled militia was placed under his command, when it had not been
placed under the command of General Curtis.

"That, I believe, is true; but you do not point out, nor can I
conceive, how that did or could injure loyal men or the Union cause.

"You charge that upon General Curtis being superseded by General
Schofield, Franklin A. Dick was superseded by James O. Broadhead
as provost-marshal-general.  No very specific showing is made as
to how this did or could injure the Union cause.  It recalls,
however, the condition of things, as presented to me, which led to
a change of commanders for the department.

"To restrain contraband intelligence and trade, a system of searches
seizures, permits, and passes had been introduced by General Frémont.
When General Halleck came, he found and continued the system, and
added an order, applicable to some parts of the State, to levy and
collect contributions from noted rebels to compensate losses and
relieve destitution caused by the rebellion.  The action of General
Frémont and General Halleck, as stated, constituted a sort of system
which General Curtis found in full operation when he took command
of the department.  That there was a necessity for something of
the sort was clear; but that it could only by justified by stern
necessity, and that it was liable to great abuse in administration,
was equally clear.  Agents to execute it, contrary to the great prayer,
were led into temptation.  Some might, while others would not, resist
that temptation.  It was not possible to hold any to a very strict
accountability; and those yielding to the temptation would sell
permits and passes to those who would pay most, and most readily,
for them, and would seize property and collect levies in the aptest
way to fill their own pockets; money being the object, the man
having money, whether loyal or disloyal, would be a victim.  This
practice doubtless existed to some extent, and it was a real
additional evil that it could be, and was, plausibly charged to
exist in greater extent than it did.


"When General Curtis took command of the department, Mr. Dick,
against whom I never knew anything to allege, had general charge
of this system.  A controversy in regard to it rapidly grew into
almost unmanageable proportions.  One side ignored the necessity
and magnified the evils of the system, while the other ignored the
evils and magnified the necessity, and each bitterly assailed the
motives of the other.  I could not fail to see that the controversy
enlarged in the same proportion as the professed Union men there
distinctly took sides in two opposing political parties.  I exhausted
my wits, and very nearly my patience also, in efforts to convince
both that the evils they charged on each other were inherent in
the case, and could not be cured by giving either party a victory
over the other.

"Plainly the irritating system was not to be perpetual, and it was
plausibly urged that it could be modified at once with advantage.
The case could scarcely be worse; and whether it could be made
better, could only be determined by a trial.  In this view, and
not to ban or brand General Curtis, or to give a victory to any
party, I made the change of commander for the department.  I now
learn that soon after this change Mr. Dick was removed, and that
Mr. Broadhead, a gentleman of no less good character, was put in
the place.  The mere fact of this change is more distinctly complained
of than is any conduct of the new officer, or other consequences
of the change.

"I gave the new commander no instructions as to the administration
of the system mentioned, beyond what is contained in the private
letter, afterward surreptitiously published,( 1) in which I directed
him to act solely for the public good, and independently of both
parties.  Neither anything you have presented me, nor anything I
have otherwise learned, has convinced me that he has been unfaithful
to this charge.

"Imbecility is urged as one cause for removing General Schofield;
and the late massacre at Lawrence, Kansas, is pressed as evidence
of that imbecility.  To my mind that fact scarcely tends to prove
the proposition.  That massacre is only an example of what Grierson,
John Morgan, and many others might have repeatedly done on their
respective raids, had they chosen to incur the personal hazard and
possessed the fiendish hearts to do it.

"The charge is made that General Schofield, on purpose to protect
the Lawrence murderers, would not allow them to be pursued into
Missouri.  While no punishment could be too sudden or too severe
for those murderers, I am well satisfied that the preventing of
the remedial raid into Missouri was the only safe way to avoid an
indiscriminate massacre there, including probably more innocent
than guilty.  Instead of condemning, I therefore approve what I
understand General Schofield did in that respect.

"The charges that General Schofield has purposely withheld protection
from loyal people, and purposely facilitated the objects of the
disloyal, are altogether beyond my power of belief.  I do not
arraign the veracity of gentlemen as to the facts complained of,
but I do more than question the judgment which would infer that
those facts occurred in accordance with the _purposes_ of General

"With my present views, I must decline to remove General Schofield.
In this I decide nothing against General Butler.  I sincerely wish
it were convenient to assign him to a suitable command.

"In order to meet some existing evils, I have addressed a letter
of instructions to General Schofield, a copy of which I inclose to

"As to the 'enrolled militia,' I shall endeavor to ascertain better
than I now know what is its exact value.  Let me say now, however,
that your proposal to substitute national forces for the enrolled
militia implies that in your judgment the latter is doing something
which needs to be done, and if so, the proposition to throw that
force away, and supply its place by bringing other forces from the
field, where they are urgently needed, seems to me very extraordinary.
Whence shall they come?  Shall they be withdrawn from Banks, or
Grant, or Steele, or Rosecrans?

"Few things have been so grateful to my anxious feelings as when,
in June last, the local force in Missouri aided General Schofield
to so promptly send a large general force to the relief of General
Grant, then investing Vicksburg and menaced from without by General
Johnston.  Was this all wrong?  Should the enrolled militia then
have been broken up, and General Herron kept from Grant to police
Missouri?  So far from finding cause to object, I confess to a
sympathy for whatever relieves our general force in Missouri, and
allows it to serve elsewhere.  I, therefore, as at present advised,
cannot attempt the destruction of the enrolled militia of Missouri.
I may add that, the force being under the national military control,
it is also within the proclamation in regard to the _habeas corpus_.

"I concur in the propriety of your request in regard to elections,
and have, as you see, directed General Schofield accordingly.  I
do not feel justified to enter upon the broad field you present in
regard to the political differences between radicals and conservatives.
From time to time I have done and said what appeared to me proper
to do and say.  The public knows it all.  It obliges nobody to
follow me, and I trust it obliges me to follow nobody.  The radicals
and conservatives each agree with me in some things and disagree
in others.  I could wish both to agree with me in all things; for
then they would agree with each other, and would be too strong for
any foe from any quarter.  They, however, choose to do otherwise,
and I do not question their right; I, too, shall do what seems to
be my duty.  I hold whoever commands in Missouri, or elsewhere,
responsible to me, and not to either radicals or conservatives.
It is my duty to hear all; but at last, I must, within my sphere,
judge what to do and what to forbear.

  "Your obt. servt.,
  "A. Lincoln."

                                          THE MATTER OF COLORED ENLISTMENTS

On October 13, I wrote in my journal:

"The radical delegation has returned from Washington very much
crestfallen.  It is generally conceded that they have accomplished
nothing.  Nothing official is yet known on the subject. . . .

"Lane spoke at Turner's Hall last evening; no disturbance; was
silent on the subject of the department commander.  He informed me
yesterday, through Major Vaughan, that he had stopped the war upon
me, and intended hereafter not to oppose me unless circumstances
rendered it necessary.  Said the President told him that whoever
made war on General Schofield, under the present state of affairs,
made war on him--the President.  Said he never had made war on
General S., 'except incidentally.'

"_Oct_. 14--Received yesterday an order from Genl. [Lorenzo] Thomas
appointing officers for the 1st Regt. Mo. Volunteers, of African
descent, and directing that they be detailed to raise the regiment.

"Have telegraphed to the War Department for instructions as to the
mode of raising these troops, referring to a letter I wrote to Col.
Townsend on the subject on the 29th of September.  In that letter
I explained the difficulty of raising such troops in Missouri,
unless it be done without regard to the claims of loyal slave-
owners.  I also recommended that all able-bodied negroes be enlisted,
receipts given as a basis for payment to loyal owners, and suggested
that those of unquestioned loyalty might be paid at once from the
substitute fund.  No answer has been received to that letter.

"Some months ago I wrote to the Secretary of War, asking instructions
about the negro question.  No answer.  The Hon. Secretary seems
determined to make me deal with that question on my own responsibility.
It is very natural, but hardly just to me."

I had issued an order respecting elections, in accordance with the
President's instructions.  A personal request was made to me for
a modification of the order.  The following letter was written in
reply to that request:

  "Headqrs., Department of the Missouri,
  "St. Louis, Oct. 24th, 1863.
"Hon. C. Drake, St. Louis.

"Sir:  After full consideration of the subject of our conversation
this morning, I am of the opinion that no further orders upon the
subject of the election are necessary.  The law which provides the
manner in which soldiers shall vote, and directs how the judges of
election shall be appointed, is as binding upon all persons to whom
it relates as any order would be.

"Genl. Order No. 120 also alludes to the subject of soldiers voting,
I think, in sufficiently strong terms, although it is taken for
granted in that order that officers will do their duty in giving
their men an opportunity to vote.  Moreover, any failure on their
part to do their whole duty in this regard would be a clear violation
of Genl. Order 101.  I believe there is no ground for apprehension
that officers will neglect their duty regarding the election.  If
anything is needed, it is that the troops be given full information
through the daily papers, which they all read, of their duties and
privileges under the laws.

"From the short examination I have been able to give, I am of the
opinion that the Act of the General Assembly changing the mode of
voting does not apply to soldiers voting at the company polls; that
the ordinance of the convention remains unrepealed.

"This, however, is a question which I will not presume to decide
or to refer to even in an order.

"I return herewith the copy of Laws of Missouri which you were so
kind as to lend me.

  "Very respectfully your obt. servt.,
  "J. M. Schofield, Major-Genl."

                                      A LETTER ON THE CONDITION OF MISSOURI

On October 25 I wrote to Mr. Lincoln in regard to a reorganization
of the militia of northwestern Missouri, which had been made for
the purpose of suppressing the lawlessness that had prevailed there
under the name of "loyalty," saying:

"I take the liberty of sending you a letter which I have this day
received from Hon. Willard P. Hall, Lieut.-Governor of Missouri.

"It may be of interest to you, as showing the good effect of the
stringent measures which I felt compelled to adopt in some portions
of Missouri, and of the firm support you have given me.

"The immediate effect, as might have been expected, was a terrible
storm, but it has passed away, I hope never to return.

"The State is now in far better condition than it has been at any
time during the war.

"I have issued an election order in compliance with your instructions,
with which all parties express themselves well satisfied.  It seems
I have at last succeeded in doing one thing which nobody can find
fault with.

"Shelby's raid has terminated with a loss of about one half of the
men with which he entered the State, and _he received no recruits_
except the robbers under Quantrill and Jackman.  These left the
State with him.  This fact is gratifying as showing that the rebel
power in Missouri is completely broken.

"Whatever may be the secret feelings of the former secessionists
of Missouri, their influence now, so far as it is exerted at all,
is for peace and submission to the national authority.  All that
is now necessary to secure peace to Missouri, with the possible
exception of occasional raids from Arkansas, is union among the
loyal people.  I shall spare no effort to reconcile their differences
as far as possible, or at least to restrain their quarrel within
peaceable limits.  The additional strength your support has given
me will enable me to do this far better then before.  My radical
friends now exhibit some disposition to stop their war upon me,
and I shall certainly not give them any good reason for continuing
it.  The honest enthusiasts on the subject of liberty, who compose
the respectable portion of this party, are already well disgusted
with their lawless brethren who have brought such odium upon them,
and now begin to realize the necessity of sustaining men in enforcing
the laws.

"Whatever may be the result of the pending election, I believe the
most serious danger is already past.

"I shall not fail to exercise great forbearance in enforcing
restrictions upon speech and the press.  I have enforced my order
in only one case, and that so clear that the offender fully confessed
and asked pardon on any terms.  It will not probably be necessary
for me to exercise any control over the press hereafter.

"Your accurate appreciation of the real difficulty here, and the
strong and generous manner in which you have sustained me, will do
more good in Missouri than to have doubled the troops under my
command.  This I hope soon to show you by sending additional forces
to the front."

With the above letter to the President I inclosed the following:

  "St. Joseph, Mo., Oct. 21st, 1863.

"General:  It is with very great pleasure that I can inform you of
the satisfactory condition of things in this section of Missouri.
There is more security for men and property in northwestern Missouri
than there has been since the rebellion began.  There is not a
spark of rebellious feeling left here, and all citizens seem to
be, and I believe are, ready to discharge all the duties of loyal

"The people are truly grateful to you for your efforts to protect
them, and you may rest assured will never fail you in any emergency.

  "Yours truly,
  "Willard P. Hall
"Major-Genl. Schofield, etc."

                                      A LETTER ON THE CONDITION OF MISSOURI

The following was written by me, November 1, 1863, to Mr. James L.
Thomas of St. Louis, in answer to what was understood to be an
attempt to obtain some expression of partizan preference as between
the "pestilent factions":

"In reply to your letter of Oct. 30th, I will state that in some
important particulars you entirely misapprehend my remarks made
during our conversation on the 29th.  I spoke of the lawless acts
committed in some portions of Missouri by men claiming to be radicals
and acting in the name of radicalism; and asserted that leading
men and papers of the party had failed to do their duty by disavowing
and frowning down this lawlessness; that in this course they had
been guilty of great folly, and had brought odium upon their party
in Missouri and throughout the country; that they had injured rather
than advanced the cause of emancipation.  I made no remarks relative
to the radical party, nor to radicals as a party of class of
citizens.  I spoke of those men and papers who by tolerating and
encouraging lawlessness in the name of radicalism had done so much
towards producing trouble in the State.

"It is perhaps natural that any honest man should feel, as you
propose, to disown a party in which such abuses are tolerated, but
I cannot see the propriety of so doing.  Would it not be much wiser
and more patriotic to endeavor to purify the party, to bring it
back to the high principles upon which it was founded, and to rid
it of the elements which have disgraced those principles?

"Our conversation on the 29th was regarded by me as confidential,
and I still desire it to be so regarded by you, and also this
letter.  No possible good can result from a public discussion by
me of such matters.

"You are aware that as department commander I have nothing to do
with politics, nor with offenders as members of any party.  I shall
unquestionably, upon proper proof, punish all who have been, or
may hereafter be, guilty of the crimes you mention, without regard
to the party they may belong to; but I do not propose to condemn
any party or class of men because of the guilt of one or any number
of its members.  When I find men acting wrongfully or unwisely to
the prejudice of the Union cause, I endeavor, within my proper
sphere, to correct or restrain them by appropriate means according
to circumstances.  Whether my influence thus exerted inures to the
benefit of one party or another is a question which I cannot take
into consideration.

"My dealing is with individuals, not with parties.  Officially I
know nothing of radicals or conservatives.  The question with me
is simply what individuals obey the laws and what violate them;
who are for the government and who against it.  The measures of
the President are my measures; his orders, my rule of action.
Whether a particular party gains strength or loses it by my action
must depend upon the party, and not upon me."


At this time occurred the following exchange of letters with the

"(Private and confidential.)

  "Executive Mansion, Washington, Oct. 28th, 1863.
"General John M. Schofield:  There have recently reached the War
Department, and thence been laid before me, from Missouri, three
communications, all similar in import and identical in object.
One of them, addressed to nobody, and without place or date, but
having the signature of (apparently) the writer, is a letter of
eight closely written foolscap pages.  The other two are written
by a different person at St. Joseph, Mo., and of the date,
respectively, October 12th and 13th, and each inclosing a large
number of affidavits.

"The general statements of the whole are that the Federal and State
authorities are arming the disloyal and disarming the loyal, and
that the latter will all be killed or driven out of the State unless
there should be a change.

"In particular, no loyal man who has been disarmed is named, but
the affidavits show, by name, forty-two persons as disloyal who
have been armed.  They are as follows:  [Names omitted.]

"A majority of these are shown to have been in the rebel service.
I believe it could be shown that the government here has deliberately
armed more than ten times as many captured at Gettysburg, to say
nothing of similar operations in East Tennessee.  These papers
contain altogether thirty-one manuscript pages, and one newspaper
in extenso; and yet I do not find it anywhere charged in them that
any loyal man has been harmed by reason of being disarmed, or that
any disloyal one has harmed anybody by reason of being armed by
the Federal or State government.

"Of course I have not had time to carefully examine all; but I have
had most of them examined and briefed by others, and the result is
as stated.  The remarkable fact that the actual evil is yet only
anticipated--inferred--induces me to suppose that I understand the
case.  But I do not state my impression, because I might be mistaken,
and because your duty and mine is plain in any event.

"The locality of nearly all this seems to be St. Joseph and Buchanan
County.  I wish you to give special attention to this region,
particularly on Election day.  Prevent violence, from whatever
quarter, and see that the soldiers themselves do no wrong.

  "Yours truly,
  "A. Lincoln."

  "Hdqrs., Dept. of the Missouri.
  "St. Louis, Nov. 9th, 1863.
"Mr. President:  I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of
your confidential letter dated Oct. 28th, and containing the names
of men enlisted in the militia of northwest Missouri who are said
to have been disloyal.

"On my visit to Kansas and northwest Missouri during the troubles
there in September last, I examined personally into the difficulties
in Platte, Buchanan, and other western counties, and learned fully
their nature and origin.  I at once ordered the reorganization of
the militia, which created so much commotion for a time, but which
has restored that portion of the State to a condition of profound

"I have watched the progress of affairs there closely, and have
kept myself fully advised of all the facts.  It is true that about
twice as many former rebels as were named by your informants are
in the militia organization, amounting to from five to ten per
cent. of the whole.  It is also true that a very much larger number
of returned Missouri rebels have enlisted in the Kansas Volunteers,
and, so far as I know, are faithful, good soldiers.

"The rule I established for the militia organization in northwest
Missouri was that the officers should be of undoubted loyalty,
original Union men, and that both officers and privates, as far as
possible, should be men of wealth and respectability, whose all
depended upon the preservation of peace.

"The former sufferings of these men from the lawlessness which has
so long existed on the border made them willing to do military duty
to save from destruction or loss what property they had left.  I
have yet to hear the first report of a murder, robbery, or arson
in that whole region since this new organization was made.  The
late election was conducted in perfect peace and good order.  There
is not the slightest pretense from any source of any interference
or other misconduct on the part of any of the troops.  I have not
deemed it necessary to be very particular about the antecedents of
troops that are producing such good results.  If I can make a
repentant rebel of more service to the government than a man who
never had any political sins to repent of, I see no reason for not
doing so.  Indeed, I take no little satisfaction in making these
men guard the property of their more loyal neighbors, and in holding
their own property responsible for their fidelity.

"I have the satisfaction of reporting to you that the late election
in all parts of the State passed off in perfect quiet and good
order.  I have heard of no disturbance of any kind anywhere.  The
aggregate vote, I think, shows that the purity of the ballot-box
was preserved in a remarkable degree.  If the loyal people all
voted, few or no rebels did.

"The prospects of future peace in this State are highly encouraging.

  "I am very respectfully your obt. servt.,
  "J. M. Schofield, Maj.-Genl.
"To the President."

I had abundant reason to be satisfied with the result of this
controversy, so far as it concerned me, and with the condition of
the department when it terminated, near midwinter.  Yet I was
satisfied some change was impending, and cared not how soon it
might come, now that my administration had been fully vindicated.
In fact, such a command was not at all to my taste, and I had always
longed for purely military service in the field, free from political
complications.  It was therefore with sincere pleasure that I
received, in December, a summons from the President to come to

                                      SUMMONED TO WASHINGTON BY MR. LINCOLN

But before relating the circumstances of my visit to the President,
I must refer to an incident which occurred a short time before I
left St. Louis, and which I was afterward led to suspect was the
immediate cause of the President's desire to see me.

The Missouri legislature was in session and balloting for a United
States senator.  The legislature was divided into three parties--
radicals, conservative Republicans, and Democrats, or "copperheads,"
neither strong enough to elect without a fusion with one of the
others.  A union of the radicals and the conservatives was, of
course, most desired by the administration; but their bitterness
had become so great that either would prefer a bargain with the
Democrats rather than with the other.  The Hon. E. B. Washburne,
representative in Congress from Illinois, made an opportune visit
to St. Louis about this time, procured an interview with me at the
house of a common friend, and led me into a frank conversation
relative to this political question.  I told him candidly that in
my opinion the desired union of radicals and conservatives was
impossible, for they were more bitterly opposed to each other then
either was to the Democrats.  Mr. Washburne went to Washington,
and reported to the President that I was opposed to the much-desired
radical and conservative union in Missouri, and was using my
influence to prevent it.  So opposite was this to the truth that
I had even written a letter to my friend Colonel J. O. Broadhead,
the conservative candidate, asking him to withdraw in favor of the
radical candidate, as a means of bringing about the harmony so much
desired by the President.  This letter was not sent, because the
telegraphic reports from Jefferson City showed that it was too late
to do any good; but it was handed to Colonel Broadhead on his return
to show him my wishes in the matter.

Upon my first visit to the President, he repeated to me this
Washburne story, without, however, intimating that he attached much
weight to it.  I at once replied by giving him the simple facts
about my conversation with Washburne, and what my true position
was on that question.  Mr. Lincoln promptly dismissed the subject
with the words:  "I believe you, Schofield; those fellows have been
lying to me again."

Mr. Lincoln undoubtedly referred here to a previous incident which
was related to me by the Hon. James S. Rollins, member of Congress
from Missouri, one of the truest and most truthful men in the world,
as having occurred in his presence.  Some men from Missouri had
prevailed upon Mr. Rollins to introduce them to the President, to
whom they wished to represent the condition of affairs in Missouri
as viewed from their standpoint.  After listening to their story,
the President opened the little right-hand drawer of his desk, took
out a letter from me, and read it to them.  He then said:  "_That_
is the truth about the matter; you fellows are lying to me."

Determined to leave no room for doubt in the President's mind, I
telegraphed to St. Louis and got the Broadhead letter; but by the
time it arrived I had become so satisfied of Mr. Lincoln's confidence
that I did not think it worth while to show it to him.

I remained at the capital several weeks, and had full conversations
with the President on public affairs.  The political situation was
a perplexing one.  The state of parties in the West seemed that of
inextricable confusion, which Mr. Lincoln and his friends were
anxious to unravel, if possible, before the next Presidential
nomination.  In Missouri the faction which had been friendly to me
was also a supporter of Mr. Lincoln, while the radicals were opposed
to him.  In Kansas, on the contrary, the so-called Lane and Carney
factions, while vying with each other in professions of radicalism,
were divided in the opposite manner.  The former supported the
President, but was bitterly hostile to me, while the latter was
friendly to me and opposed to Mr. Lincoln.  I frankly told the
President that it was impossible for me to reconcile these differences
--indeed, that I did not believe any general in the army could, as
department commander, satisfy the Union people of both Kansas and
Missouri; neither the man nor the policy that would suit the one
would be at all satisfactory to the other.  Mr. Lincoln had evidently
already arrived at much the same conclusion, and soon determined
to divide the old Department of the Missouri into three departments,
and try to assign to each a commander suited to its peculiarities.
But Mr. Lincoln declared decidedly to me, and to my friends in the
Senate, that he would make no change until the Senate united with
him in vindicating me by confirming my nomination as major-general,
then in the hands of the Military Committee of the Senate, and that
he would then give me a more important command.

                                OFFERED THE COMMAND OF THE ARMY OF THE OHIO

A large majority--indeed, all but some half-dozen--of the Senate
were known to be favorable to the confirmation; but this small
minority had control of the Military Committee, and were consequently
able to delay any report of the case to the Senate, and thus to
thwart the President's wishes.

The matter stood thus for nearly a month, and seemed no nearer
solution than at first, when a despatch was received in Washington
from General Grant, then commanding the Military Division of the
Mississippi, saying it was necessary to relieve General Foster, on
account of ill-health, from the command of the Department and Army
of the Ohio, and to appoint a successor.  Upon being asked whom he
wanted for that command, Grant replied:  "Either McPherson or

Among the changes then known in Washington to be in the near future
was Grant's elevation to the command of "all the armies," to be
naturally followed by Sherman's succession to that of the Division
of the Mississippi, and McPherson's to that of the Army of the
Tennessee.  But Grant alone, perhaps, had no right to anticipate
those changes, hence he gave his just preference to my senior,

Halleck handed me Grant's despatch, and asked me how I would like
that.  I replied:  "That is exactly what I want; nothing in the
world could be better."  He then told me to take the despatch to
the President, which I immediately did, and in handing it to him
said:  "If you want to give me that, I will gladly take all chances
for the future, whether in the Senate or elsewhere."  Mr. Lincoln
replied in his characteristic way:  "Why, Schofield, that cuts the
knot, don't it?  Tell Halleck to come over here, and we will fix
it right away."  I bade the President adieu, and started at once
for St. Louis, to turn over my command and proceed to my new field
of duty.

I saw Mr. Lincoln only once after that time.  That was when, just
a year later, I was passing through Washington with the Twenty-
third Corps, and called merely to pay my respects.  The President
greeted me with the words:  "Well, Schofield, I have n't heard
anything against you for a year."  Apparently, the great trouble
to him with which I had been so closely connected, if not the cause,
was uppermost in his mind.

With Mr. Lincoln I had no personal acquaintance, having met him
but once, previous to the visit above described.  But in assigning
me to the command in Missouri he had, contrary to the usual custom,
written for me his own instructions, thus inviting my fullest
confidence.  I had availed myself of this to tell him everything
without reserve, and he appeared never to doubt the exact truth of
my statements.

                                                  ANECDOTE OF GENERAL GRANT

My personal acquaintance with General Grant was equally limited--
we having met but once, and for only a moment.  He knew me only by
reputation.  I never had any conversation or correspondence with
him on the subject, but presume he knew something about the trouble
I was in, had not forgotten the aid I sent him at Vicksburg, and
believed I would do what was right to the best of my ability.  I
have had abundant reasons for believing that he never felt disappointed
in his trust and confidence.

General Halleck knew me much better, having been my immediate
commander in Missouri in 1861 and 1862.  Although on one or two
occasions he seemed a little harsh in respect to unimportant matters,
he was uniformly kind, considerate, and unwavering in his personal
and official support.

The Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, expressed his confidence and
approval; said he was opposed to any change; that it was the
President's affair, with which he had nothing to do.  I got the
impression that he regarded the whole scheme as a political one,
in which he took no interest, and with which he felt no sympathy.

In St. Louis I met General Grant, who was then so soon to be assigned
to the command of "all the armies of the United States," and for
the first time really became acquainted with him.  We were together
much of the time for several days and nights.  The citizens of St.
Louis entertained the general in a most magnificent manner.  At a
grand banquet given in his honor, at which I sat on his right, he
did not even touch one of the many glasses of wine placed by the
side of his plate.  At length I ventured to remark that he had not
tasted his wine.  He replied:  "I dare not touch it.  Sometimes I
can drink freely without any unpleasant effect; at others I cannot
take even a single glass of light wine."  A strong man, indeed,
who could thus know and govern his own weakness!  In reply to the
toast in his honor, he merely arose and bowed without saying a
word.  Then turning to me, he said it was simply impossible for
him to utter a word when on his feet.  As is well known, the great
general finally overcame his reserve.

It was very difficult for me to comprehend the political necessity
which compelled Mr. Lincoln to give his official countenance to
such men as Lane and Blunt in Kansas, but such necessity was thought
to exist.  I suppose that a great statesman should use in the best
way he can the worst materials as well as the best that are within
his reach, and, if possible, make them all subserve the great
purposes he has to accomplish.

The old department was cut up, the Lane faction in Kansas was given
the man of its choice--General Curtis; Missouri was placed alone
under General Rosecrans--not Butler, as the radicals had asked;
Arkansas, having no voice in the matter, was left under the soldier,
General Steele, then in command there; and I left them all without
regret and with buoyant hopes of more satisfactory service in a
purely military field.

[( 1) By a radical newspaper.]

Condition of the Troops at Knoxville--Effect of the Promotion of
Grant and Sherman--Letter to Senator Henderson--A Visit from General
Sherman--United with his other Armies for the Atlanta Campaign--
Comments on Sherman's "Memoirs"--Faulty Organization of Sherman's
Army--McPherson's Task at Resaca--McPherson's Character--Example of
the Working of a Faulty System.

I arrived at Knoxville, Tennessee, on February 8, 1864, and the
next day relieved General John G. Foster.  The troops then about
Knoxville were the Ninth Corps, two divisions of the Twenty-third,
and about one thousand cavalry and two divisions of the Fourth
Corps; the latter belonged to the Department of the Cumberland,
but had been left with General Burnside after the siege of Knoxville
was raised by General Sherman.

The Ninth and Twenty-third Corps were reduced in effective strength
to mere skeletons, the former reporting present for duty equipped
only 2800 men, and the latter 3000 men; and these had for a long
time been living on half rations or less, and were generally far
less than half clad, many of them being entirely without shoes.
The remainder of these troops were disabled by wounds, sickness,
lack of food or clothing, or were employed in the care of the sick
or on extra duty.

Many thousands of dead horses and mules were scattered round the
town, while the few remaining alive were reduced to skeletons.  Of
about 30,000 animals with which General Burnside had gone into East
Tennessee, scarcely 1000 remained fit for service; while his army
of over 25,000 men had been reduced to not more than 7000 fit for
duty and effective for service in the field.  Such was the result
of the siege of Knoxville, and such the Army of the Ohio when I
became its commander.

But the splendid victory gained a short time before at Chattanooga
had raised the blockade upon our line of supply, and the railroad
to Chattanooga and Nashville was soon opened, so that our starving
and naked troops could begin to get supplies of food and clothing.
The movement of the first train of cars was reported by telegraph
from every station, and was eagerly awaited by the entire army.
When the locomotive whistle announced its approach, everybody turned
out to welcome it with shouts of joy.  It proved to consist of ten
car-loads of horse and mule shoes for the dead animals which strewed
the plains!  Fortunately the disgust produced by this disappointment
was not of long duration.  The next train, which followed very
soon, contained coffee, sugar, and other articles to gladden the
hearts of hungry soldiers.

The Confederate army under Longstreet still remained in East
Tennessee.  A movement had recently been made by our troops, under
the immediate command of General John G. Parke (General Foster
being too lame to take the field in person), to drive Longstreet
out.  But the movement had failed, the troops returning to Knoxville
with the loss of considerable material.  In consequence of this,
much anxiety was felt in Washington regarding the situation in East
Tennessee.  It was even apprehended that Knoxville might be in
danger; and an advance of Longstreet's force to Strawberry Plains,
where he laid a bridge over the Holston and crossed a part of his
troops, seemed to give some ground for such apprehensions.

                                       CONDITION OF THE TROOPS AT KNOXVILLE

The miserable condition of our troops, the season of the year, the
almost total lack of means of transportation for supplies and of
a pontoon bridge to cross the river, rendered any considerable
movement on our part impossible.  But to relieve the existing
apprehension, I determined to assume the offensive at once, and to
maintain it as far as possible.

Early in February General Grant had proposed to give me 10,000
additional troops from General Thomas's army at Chattanooga, and
to let me begin the campaign against Longstreet at once.  But on
February 16 he informed me that the movement would have to be
delayed because of some operations in which General Thomas was to
engage.  Nevertheless, I advanced on the 24th with what force I
had, at the same time sending a reconnaissance south of the French
Broad River to ascertain the nature of a hostile movement reported
in that direction.

Upon our advance, Longstreet's troops withdrew across the Holston
and French Broad and retreated toward Morristown.  His advance had
evidently been intended only to cover an attempted cavalry raid
upon our rear, which the high water in the Little Tennessee rendered

We now occupied Strawberry Plains, rebuilt the railroad bridge,
pushed forward the construction of a bateau bridge which had been
commenced, in the meantime using the bateaux already constructed
to ferry the troops across the river.  In this manner we were able
to advance as far as Morristown by February 29 with sufficient
force to reconnoiter Longstreet's position.  This reconnaissance
demonstrated that the enemy held Bull's Gap, and that his entire
force was grouped about that strong position.  The object of this
movement having been accomplished without loss, our troops retired
to New Market to await the arrival of the troops to be sent by
General Thomas, the completion of the railroad bridge, and other
necessary preparations for the expected campaign.

On March 12 another reconnaissance was made as far as Bull's Gap,
which was found to be still occupied by the enemy, although reliable
information indicated that Longstreet was preparing for, and had
perhaps already begun, his movement toward Virginia.  Although his
force, if concentrated, was much superior to mine, I determined to
endeavor to take advantage of his movement to attack his rear.  My
advance held Morristown; all the troops were ordered forward to
that place, and preparations were made for an attack, when, on the
15th, orders came from General Grant to send the Ninth Corps to
the Army of the Potomac.

Such a reduction of my command, instead of the expected reinforcement,
left me wholly unable to do more than observe Longstreet as he
leisurely withdrew from Tennessee and joined Lee in Virginia, and
prepare for the campaign of the coming summer, the nature of which
I could then only conjecture.

                               EFFECT OF THE PROMOTION OF GRANT AND SHERMAN

This entire change of program doubtless resulted from the promotion
of General Grant to lieutenant-general and commander-in-chief, and
General Sherman to his place in command of the Military Division
of the Mississippi, which occurred at that time.  The change of
plans was undoubtedly wise.  The Confederate government could not
afford to leave Longstreet's force in East Tennessee during the
summer.  He must join Lee or Johnston before the opening of the
summer campaign.  It was not worth while for us to expend time and
strength in driving him out, which ought to be devoted to preparations
for vastly more important work.  I felt disappointed at the time
in not having an opportunity of doing something that would silence
my enemies in Washington, who were not slow to avail themselves of
any pretext for hostile action against me.  It was not difficult
to manufacture one out of the public reports of what had been done,
or not done, in East Tennessee, and the Military Committee of the
Senate reported against the confirmation of my appointment as major-
general.  Of this I was informed by my friend Senator J. B. Henderson,
in a letter urging me to "whip somebody anyhow."  This information
and advice elicited a long reply, from which the following are
extracts, which expressed pretty fully my views and feelings on
the subject, and which, with events that soon followed, ended all
trouble I ever had with that august body, the United States Senate.

I recollect in this connection a very pertinent remark made by
General Grant soon after he became President.  My nomination as
major-general in the regular army, with those of Sherman and Sheridan
as general and lieutenant-general, had been sent to the Senate and
returned approved so promptly as to occasion comment.  I remarked
that it had on one occasion taken me a year and a half to get
through the Senate.  President Grant, as he handed me my commission,
replied:  "Yes; and if your conduct then had been such as to avoid
that difficulty with the Senate, you would probably never have
received this commission at all."  I have no doubt he was right.
To have pleased the radical politicians of that day would have been
enough to ruin any soldier.

                                                LETTER TO SENATOR HENDERSON

  "Headquarters, Army of the Ohio,
  "Knoxville, Tenn., April 15, 1864.
"Dear Senator:  I have just received your letter of the 7th informing
me that the Military Committee has reported against my nomination,
and urging me to 'whip somebody anyhow.'  I am fully aware of the
importance to me personally of gaining a victory.  No doubt I might
easily get up a little 'claptrap' on which to manufacture newspaper
notoriety, and convince the Senate of the United States that I had
won a great victory, and secure my confirmation by acclamation.
Such things have been done, alas! too frequently during this war.
But such is not my theory of a soldier's duties.  I have an idea
that my military superiors are the proper judges of my character
and conduct, and that their testimony ought to be considered
satisfactory as to my _military qualities_.

"I have the approval and support of the President, the Secretary
of War, General Halleck, General Grant, and General Sherman.  I am
willing to abide the decision of any one or all of them, and I
would not give a copper for the weight of anybody's or everybody's
opinion in addition to, or in opposition to, theirs.

"If the Senate is not satisfied with such testimony, I can't help
it.  I never have and never will resort to 'buncombe' for the
purpose of securing my own advancement.  If I cannot gain promotion
by legitimate means, I do not want it at all. . . . In all this
time I have yet to hear the first word of disapproval, from my
superior officer, of any one of my military operations (unless I
except Curtis, who disapproved of my pursuing Hindman so far into
Arkansas), and in general have received high commendation from my
superiors, both for my military operations and administration.  I
would rather have this record without a major-general's commission,
then to gain the commission by adding to my reputation one grain
of falsehood. . . .

"Grant was here in the winter, and Sherman only a few days ago.
They are fully acquainted with the condition of affairs.  I have
been acting all the time under their instructions, and I believe
with their entire approval.  They are generally understood to be
men whose opinions on military matters are entitled to respect.
I cannot do more or better than refer the Senate to them.

"One thing is certain:  I shall not be influenced one grain in the
discharge of my duty by any questions as to what action the Senate
may take on my nomination. . . . If the Senate is not satisfied as
to my past services, why not wait until they can know more?  I am
tired enough of this suspense, but still am perfectly willing to
wait.  In fact, I have become, in spite of myself, very indifferent
on the subject.  I am pretty thoroughly convinced that a major-
general's commission is not worth half the trouble I and my friends
have had about mine, and I feel very little inclination to trouble
them, or even myself, any more about it.

"The Senate has its duty to perform in this matter, as well as
myself and my superior officers.  If senators are not willing to
act upon the concurrent testimony of all my superior officers as
to what services I have rendered, I shall not condescend to humbug
them into the belief that I have done something which I really have

"You ask me what are the prospects of putting down the rebellion.
I answer unhesitatingly that when the management of military matters
is left to military men, the rebellion will be put down very quickly,
and not before.  I regard it as having been fully demonstrated that
neither the Senate, nor the House of Representatives, nor the
newspapers, nor the people of the United States, nor even all of
them together, can command an army.  I rather think if you let
Grant alone, and let him have his own way, he will end the war this
year.  At all events, the next ninety days will show whether he
will or not.

"I find this letter is both too long and too ill-natured.  I feel
too much as if I would like to 'whip somebody anyhow,' so I will
stop where I am.  Let me hear from you again soon.

  "Yours very truly,
  "J. M. Schofield.
"Hon. J. B. Henderson,
  "U. S. Senate, Washington, D. C."

Of course I knew the advice of my friend Senator Henderson was not
intended to be taken seriously, but only as expressing his view,
much the same as my own, of the then existing situation in the
Senate.  But it gave me, all the same, the opportunity I wanted to
give his brother senators, through him, "a piece of my mind."

General Sherman, on a visit to Knoxville about the end of March,
a few days before the date of the foregoing letter, disclosed to
me his general plans for the coming campaign, and the part I was
expected to take in it.

It would be difficult to give an adequate conception of the feeling
of eager expectation and enthusiasm with which, having given my
final salutation to my "friends" in the Senate, I entered upon the
preparations for this campaign.  Of its possible results to the
country there was room in my mind only for confidence.  But for
myself, it was to decide my fate, and that speedily.  My reputation
and rank as a soldier, so long held in the political balance, were
at length to be settled.  The long-hoped-for opportunity had come,
and that under a general whose character and ability were already
established, and of the justice of whose judgment and action
regarding his subordinates there could be no reason for doubt in
my mind.  My command was to be mostly of veteran troops, and not
too large for my experience.  Its comparative smallness was a source
of satisfaction to me at that time, rather than anything like
jealousy of my senior brother commanders of the Cumberland and

My first care was to provide my men with all necessary equipments
for the campaign, and to fill up the ranks by calling in all
absentees.  It was a refreshing sight to see the changed aspect
and feeling of the gallant little army as it marched with full
ranks and complete equipment, newly clad, from Knoxville toward

My next thought was to win the respect and confidence of my men.
An opportunity to do this was speedily afforded in the delicate
operations in front of Dalton.  The result may perhaps be fairly
expressed in the words of an old soldier who was overhead to say
as I passed his regiment that day under fire:  "It is all right,
boys; I like the way the old man chaws his tobacco."  From that
day forward I felt that the Twenty-third Corps confided in me as
I did in them.  I never had any doubt they would do just what I
expected them to do, and would take it for granted that it was "all

It is with greatest pleasure that I record here the just tribute
paid to that splendid body of men by General Sherman about the
close of the Atlanta campaign:  "The Twenty-third Corps never failed
to do all that was expected of it."

                                            COMMENTS ON SHERMAN'S "MEMOIRS"

And it is with equal pleasure that I record the just and generous
treatment shown by General Sherman toward me from the beginning of
that campaign.  Although much my senior in years, experience, and
reputation, he never showed that he was aware of it, but always
treated me as his peer.  In his official reports and his memoirs
he has never been unkind or unjust, though it has never been his
habit to bestow much praise on individuals, or to think much of
the rewards due his subordinates, generally giving credit as justly
due to troops rather than to commanders.  It would be impossible
for me not to cherish feelings of strong affection for my old
commander, as well as the profound respect due his character as a
man and solider, and his brilliant genius.

If anything I may say in criticism of General Sherman's acts or
words shall seem unkind or be considered unjust, I can only disclaim
any such feeling, and freely admit that it would be wholly unworthy
of the relations that always existed between us.  I write not for
the present, but for the future, and my only wish is to represent
the truth as it appears to me.  If I fail to see it clearly, I do
but condemn myself.  History will do impartial justice.  Having
been in a subordinate position in the campaigns of 1864 in Georgia
and Tennessee, I shall not attempt to write a full account of those
campaigns, but shall limit myself to such comments as seem to me
to be called upon the already published histories of those

In estimating the merits of Sherman's "Memoirs,"( 1) it should be
remembered that he does not, and does not claim to, occupy the
position of a disinterested, impartial historian.  He writes, not
for the purpose of doing equal and exact justice to all actors in
a great historical drama, but for the purpose of elucidating his
own acts and motives, and vindicating himself against the harsh
criticism and censure which have followed some of his most important
transactions.  However unconscious General Sherman himself may have
been of the influence of such motives, their existence was natural,
even inevitable, and they have manifestly given their coloring to
all of the memoirs.  This should not occasion surprise, nor even
regret, much less be held to justify unkind criticism.  It is
desirable for the future historian to have the view of the chief
actor in any portion of history taken from his own standpoint.  It
is only by a critical, laborious and honest comparison of this view
with those of other actors and eye-witnesses that impartial history
may ultimately be written.

My present purpose is simply to direct attention to some points in
the history of those campaigns of General Sherman in which I was
one of his principal subordinates, upon which the views of others
were at the time, or have since been, different from his own.  In
what I have to say the motive of self-vindication can have little
or no influence; for, with some unimportant exceptions, General
Sherman does relatively full justice to me and to the little army
which I had the honor to command.  I shall speak mainly of the acts
of others, especially the noble dead.

                                      FAULTY ORGANIZATION OF SHERMAN'S ARMY

I must preface my remarks by observing that the organization of
Sherman's army during the Atlanta campaign was extremely faulty,
in that the three grand divisions were very unequal in strength,
the Army of the Cumberland having nearly _five times_ the infantry
strength of the Army of the Ohio, and more than twice that of the
Army of the Tennessee, even after the junction of Blair's corps.
The cavalry, of which two divisions belonged to the Army of the
Ohio, always acted either under the direct orders of General Sherman
or of the nearest army commander, according to the flank on which
it was operating.  This inequality resulted from the fact that
Sherman's army was composed of three separate armies, or such
portions of them as could be spared from their several departments,
united for that campaign.  General Thomas was, naturally enough,
disinclined to part with any of his troops, and the troops did not
wish to be separated from the old army in which they had won so
much honor, nor from the commander whom they revered.  Besides,
General Thomas had had much greater experience in the command of
troops in the field than I, and General Sherman, if he thought of
it at all, may well have doubted the wisdom of diminishing the
command of the one to increase that of the other.  I do not know
whether this matter was discussed at all before the opening of the
campaign, certainly not by me, who would have been restrained by
motives of delicacy, if by no other, from mentioning it.  But in
fact my ambition was then limited to fighting well and successfully
with the single corps under my command.  It was only after experience
had drawn attention more pointedly to the evils resulting from
faulty organization, and success had inspired legitimate confidence,
that this subject became matter of much thought and some discussion.

But this faulty organization continued to the end of the Atlanta
campaign, and was, as I think will clearly appear, one of the causes
of many of the partial failures or imperfect successes that
characterized our operations.  General Thomas's command often proved
unwieldy and slow from being larger than one man could handle in
a rough and in many places densely wooded country, while the others
were frequently too small for the work to be done.  It was often
attempted to remedy this defect by ordering a division or corps of
the Army of the Cumberland to "co-operate with" or "support" one
of the others in making an attack; but military experience has
shown that "co-operate" and "support" mean, in general, to do
nothing effective.  The corps commanders, generally, not being in
the habit of acting independently, and not being in direct
communication with the general-in-chief, and hence not familiar
with his plans and views, would not act with the necessary promptness
or vigor; and not regarding themselves as absolutely under the
orders of the general they were directed to support, they would
not obey his orders or requests unless they were in accord with
their own views; while one of these corps commanders, General
Sherman says, manifested an ambition to get one of the separate
armies under his command and win a victory on his "own hook."  But
General Sherman fails to state that he encouraged all this by his
own now well-known erroneous opinion upon the question of the
relative rank of army and corps commanders; that this vital question
was evaded until its decision in a special case--that of Stanley
and Schofield--became absolutely necessary, and was then decided
erroneously, the error resulting in failure and great disappointment
to Sherman.  Had this question been decided at an early day according
to the plain import of the law, as was afterward done by the War
Department, and orders given to corps commanders to obey instead
of "co-operate" or "support," much trouble would have been avoided.

First among the most important events of the Atlanta campaign were
the operations about Dalton and Resaca.  Here I have always thought
General Sherman committed the mistake, so common in war (and, as
I believe, not infrequently afterward committed by himself and
others in the Union armies), of assigning to too small a force the
main attack upon the vital point of an enemy's position.  McPherson
had only about 22,000 infantry, while Sherman estimated Johnston's
force at about 60,000.  Thomas's position in front of Rocky-face
Ridge was virtually as unassailable as that of Johnston behind it.
The only weak point of our position was that of two divisions of
the Twenty-third Corps on our left, north of Dalton.  Had those
divisions been attacked, as Sherman apprehended, they might have
suffered severely, but would have drawn off force enough from the
enemy to increase largely the probabilities of success in the attack
in Johnston's rear.  One half of Sherman's infantry was ample for
the demonstration in front of Dalton.  At least one half should
have been sent through Snake Creek Gap to strike the enemy's rear.
There was no necessity to attack Resaca at all, and experience has
shown what terrible losses a small force in a strongly fortified
position may inflict upon a very large attacking force.  Two or
three brigades could have invested Resaca, with the garrison it
then held, while a force large enough to hold its ground against
Johnston's whole army could have been put upon the railroad between
Resaca and Dalton.  The result would then, in all probability, have
been what Sherman expected.  Indeed, the fate of Johnston's army
might perhaps have been decided then and there.

                                                 McPHERSON'S TASK AT RESACA

Sherman certainly cannot be suspected of wishing to do injustice
to the memory of McPherson, for he loved and respected him most
highly, and mourned his death with evident sincerity.  But I think
he is in error in saying that "at the critical moment McPherson
seems to have been a little timid."  I believe the error was
Sherman's, not McPherson's; that McPherson was correct in his
judgment, which certainly was mine (after passing over the same
ground and fighting the battle of Resaca), that his force was
entirely too small for the work assigned it.  I had not the same
opportunity General Sherman had of judging of McPherson's qualities
as a commander; but I knew him well and intimately, having sat upon
the same bench with him at West Point for four years, and been his
room-mate for a year and a half.  His was the most completely
balanced mind and character with which I have ever been intimately
acquainted, although he did not possess in a very high degree the
power of invention or originality of thought.  His personal courage
seemed to amount to unconsciousness of danger, while his care of
his troops cannot, I believe, be justly characterized otherwise
than as wise prudence.  I consider this to be only a just tribute
to the memory of the nearest and dearest friend of my youth.

If McPherson had commanded one third of the army, he might, with
a corps of Thomas's army in close support, have felt strong enough
to occupy and hold a position between Dalton and Resaca.  As it
was, Thomas should have followed close upon his rear through Snake
Creek Gap, with two corps.  The distance between the two wings of
the army would have been so short and the ground between them so
impassable to the enemy as to give us practically a continuous line
of battle, and Thomas's two corps in the valley of the Connasauga
near Tilton would have been in far better position to strike the
retreating enemy when he was compelled to let go of Dalton, than
they were in front of Rocky-face Ridge.  Impartial history must,
I believe, hold Sherman himself mainly responsible for the failure
to realize his expectations in the first movement against Johnston.

                                                 MCPHERSON'S TASK AT RESACA

It seems at least probable that at the beginning of the movement
against Dalton, Sherman did not fully understand the character of
the enemy's position; for his plan clearly appears to have been to
make the main attack in front at the moment Johnston should be
compelled to let go from his stronghold by reason of McPherson's
operations in his rear; while McPherson, after breaking the railroad
and then falling back for security to the Gap, should strike Johnston
in flank during the confusion of retreat.

The nature of the position rendered this plan impracticable for
producing any important result.  Had McPherson broken the road ever
so "good" and then fallen back to the Gap as ordered, Johnston
could have moved his main army to Resaca that night, and at daylight
the next morning Sherman would have found in the enemy's trenches
at Dalton only a skirmish-line which would have leisurely retreated
before him to the new position at Resaca.  The result would have
been essentially the same as that which was actually accomplished.

Indeed, as it now seems clearly to appear to General Sherman, the
only possible mode of striking an effective blow at Dalton was to
capture Resaca or seize and hold a point on the road in rear of
Dalton, and _not_ to break the road and fall back as McPherson was
ordered to do.  If Sherman had seen this clearly at the time, it
is inconceivable that he would have sent less than one fourth of
his army to execute the all-important part of the plan.  And now
he judges McPherson as manifesting timidity ( 2) because he did
not at the critical moment attempt to accomplish, with his
comparatively small force, what Sherman should have ordered to be
done by a much larger force.

A very bold, independent commander might have attempted, whether
successful or not, what Sherman thinks McPherson ought to have done
at Resaca; and, as Sherman says, such an opportunity does not occur
twice in the life of any man.  But McPherson was a subordinate in
spirit as well as in fact, and cannot fairly be charged with timidity
for not attempting what he was not ordered to do, and what, in
fact, was no part of the plans of his superior so far as they were
indicated in his orders.

If McPherson had assaulted Resaca, it is possible, but only possible,
that he might have succeeded.  There were some cases during the
Civil War where intrenchments hastily constructed and imperfectly
defended were carried by assault; many more where the assault
failed; and, I believe, not one case where intrenchments carefully
prepared in advance, with obstructions in front, and defended by
a force commensurate with the extent of the line, like those at
Resaca, were successfully assaulted.

It is true that McPherson's force was vastly superior to the single
brigade that held Resaca that day, but that practically amounts to
nothing.  A single division would have been as good for such an
assault as two corps.  Beyond a reasonable proportion, say of three
or four to one, numbers amount to nothing in making such an assault.
It would be physically possible for numbers to succeed in such a
case if their immediate commander was willing to sacrifice them
and they _were willing to be sacrificed_.  But considering the
general unwillingness among commanders and men to sacrifice or to
be sacrificed beyond what seems to them a reasonable expenditure
of life for the object to be gained, success is _morally_ impossible,
or very nearly so, in an assault such as would have been required
to capture Resaca on May 9, 1864.  Clearly, such an assault should
not be attempted except as the only chance of victory; and then
the subordinate officers and men should be clearly informed precisely
what they are expected to do, and made to understand the necessity
for so great and unusual a sacrifice.  In that case, brave and true
men will make the sacrifice required, provided their pluck holds
out long enough; and that no man is wise enough to predict, even
of himself, much less of a large number of men.

                                                 McPHERSON'S TASK AT RESACA

The only chance of success was to invest Resaca on the west and
north, and put between the investing line and Dalton troops enough
to hold their ground against the main body of Johnston's army; and
this must have been done in a single day, starting from the débouché
of Snake Creek Gap, the troops moving by a single, common country
road.  Johnston's whole army, except a small rear-guard, would by
the use of three roads have been in position to attack McPherson
at dawn of day the next morning, while the main body of Sherman's
army was far away on the other side of Rocky-face.  Or if McPherson
had not held the entire natural position as far east as the Connasauga
River, Johnston could have passed round him in the night.  It seems
to me certain that McPherson's force was too small to have taken
and held that position.  Indeed it does not seem at all certain
that, however large his force might have been, he could have put
troops enough in position before night to accomplish the object of
cutting of Johnston's retreat.  The case was analogous to that of
Hood's crossing Duck River in November of that year, and trying to
cut off our retreat at Spring Hill.  There was simply not time
enough to do it in that one day, and if not done in one day it
could not be done at all.

So that it does not seem at all certain that this, which was
"Thomas's plan" to throw the entire Army of the Cumberland on the
road in Johnston's rear and thus cut off his retreat, would have
succeeded any better than Sherman's, yet it gave greater promise
of success, and therefore ought to have been tried.  It is at least
probable that Johnston's view of the case (see his "Narrative,"
pages 15, 16, 17) is the correct one:  That, with his thorough
knowledge of the ground, ample roads, and means of early information,
together with our ignorance of the ground and our extremely deficient
roads, he could have defeated any possible attempt to cut him off
from Resaca.

To illustrate the faulty system of organization and command which
characterized the Atlanta campaign, I will now refer to an incident
of the operations about Dallas, it being next in order of date of
those I wish to consider.  General Sherman does not allude to it
at all in his "Memoirs."

Near the close of the operations about Dallas, the Twenty-third
Corps was moved to our left, under instructions from General Sherman
to endeavor to strike the enemy's right flank.  A division of the
Army of the Cumberland was ordered to "support" the Twenty-third
Corps.  There were no roads available, and the country was in the
main densely wooded.  The head of the column was directed by the
compass toward a point where our maps, the general topography of
the country, and the enemy's known position indicated that his
right must probably rest.  After a laborious march through dense
undergrowth, during which our skirmish-line was lost in the woods
and another deployed to replace it, we struck an intrenched line
strongly held, and a sharp action ensued.  The Twenty-third Corps
was deployed as far to the left as possible, and the skirmishers
reported that they had reached the extremity of the enemy's intrenched
line, but could not overlap it.  At this moment the division of
the Army of the Cumberland came up in splendid style, and _massed_
immediately in the rear of our left, in "close supporting distance,"
and under a pretty heavy fire.  I first sent a staff officer and
then went myself to the division commander, explained the situation,
and asked him to put in a brigade on my left and turn the enemy's
flank so as to give us a footing beyond his parapet.  He replied
that he was ordered by General Thomas only to "support" me, and
that he would do no more.  The day was already far advanced, and
before I could bring troops from another part of my line darkness
came on, and the action ended for the day.  By the next morning I
had brought another division of the Twenty-third Corps to the flank,
and General Sherman arrived on the ground.  By his personal orders
this division was pushed straight through the woods to a point in
the enemy's rear, on the road leading from Dallas to Acworth, which
point it reached without any opposition, and there intrenched.
That night Johnston abandoned his lines.  An inspection of the
enemy's intrenchments demonstrated that our skirmishers were right,
and that a single brigade on our left would have been ample to turn
the enemy's flank and open the way to victory.  The above facts
were immediately reported to Sherman and Thomas.  I do now know
what action, if any, was taken upon them.

                                  EXAMPLE OF THE WORKING OF A FAULTY SYSTEM

I refer to this incident, not as especially affecting the military
reputation of any officer one way or the other, but to illustrate
the working of a faulty system.  Under proper organization and
discipline, any division commander could hardly have failed with
that fine division to do all that was desired of him that day.  I
believe that division commander's commission as major-general of
volunteers was anterior in date to mine, and he, no doubt, with
General Sherman and some others, thought he was not subject to my

[( 1) The following was written in 1875, soon after the appearance
of the first edition.]

[( 2) In the revised edition, Vol. II, p. 34, General Sherman
substitutes "cautious" for "timid."]

Sherman's Displeasure with Hooker growing out the Affair at Kolb's
Farm--Hooker's Despatch Evidently Misinterpreted--A Conversation
with James B. McPherson over the Question of Relative Rank--
Encouraging John B. Hood to become a Soldier--Visit to the Camp of
Frank P. Blair, Jr.--Anecdote of Sherman and Hooker under Fire--
The Assault on Kenesaw--Tendency of Veteran Troops--The Death of
McPherson before Atlanta--Sherman's error in a Question of Relative

In the affair at Kolb's Farm, on June 22, Hascall's division of
the Twenty-third Corps was abreast of and connecting with Hooker's
right, while his advance-guard was many yards in advance of the
line, when the enemy's attack at the Kolb House began.  The first
attack fell upon this advance-guard, the 14th Kentucky Volunteers,
which gallantly held its ground until twice ordered to retire and
join the main line.  In the meantime Hascall's line had been formed
in prolongation of Hooker's and covered with the usual hastily
constructed parapets, and three brigades of Cox's division had been
ordered forward to protect Hascall's right.  The attack was repulsed
with ease, and there was no ground for apprehension about the safety
of my immediate flank, much less of Hooker's, after the arrival of
Cox's division, which occurred before the hour of Hooker's signal-
despatch to Sherman expressing anxiety about our extreme right.
On the following morning we reoccupied the ground held by the 14th
Kentucky at the opening of the engagement, and not only did I offer
to show General Sherman that the dead of my "advance division were
lying farther out than any of Hooker's," but he actually rode with
me over the ground, and saw the dead of the 14th Kentucky lying in
advance of Hooker's picket-line.

                                          SHERMAN'S DISPLEASURE WITH HOOKER

My impression is that Hooker, in his signal-despatch of 5:30 P. M.,
saying, "We have repulsed two heavy attacks, and feel confident,
our only apprehension being for our extreme right flank.  Three
entire corps are in front of us,"( 1) meant by "our extreme right
flank" not his own right, but mine--that is, the _extreme_ right
of the entire line; for at the time of that despatch nearly my
whole corps was strongly posted on Hooker's right, and was well
"refused," forming a strong right flank.  This General Hooker well
knew.  But the Sandtown Road leading to our rear, on which Cox's
division had been posted until Johnston's attack made it necessary
to close him up on Hascall, was now less strongly guarded.  I
believe that General Hooker had conceived the idea, as indicated
by his despatch to Sherman, that Johnston had drawn his main force
from around Kenesaw, and was about to strike our extreme right.
I recollect that I was all the time on the watch for such a blow,
but relied upon my cavalry to give me some warning of it, and made
it a rule to be always as well prepared for it as I could.  Being
habitually on the flank, I had got used to that sort of thing,
while Hooker, having been habitually in the center with his flanks
well protected, was more nervous about having them exposed.  At
all events, I did not regard the situation at the Kolb House as
anything unusual, and did not think of mentioning it in such a
light to General Sherman; while General Hooker, with a sort of
paternal feeling of seniority, may have thought it his duty to take
care of the whole right wing of the army, and to advise the general-
in-chief of the supposed danger to our "extreme right flank."

There occurred on that occasion one of those little and seemingly
trifling incidents which never escape the memory, and are always
a source of pride, especially to those who are comparatively young.
When Sherman read Hooker's despatch, which he interpreted as meaning
that my corps was not in position to protect Hooker's flank, he
said in substance, if not literally, and with great emphasis:
"That is not true.  I sent Schofield an order to be there.  I know
he received the order, for his initials, in his own hand, are on
the envelop which the orderly brought back, and I know he is there.
Hooker's statement is false."  What a delight it was to execute
the orders of a chief who manifested such confidence!


I do not remember that I was "very angry" about Hooker's despatch,
as General Sherman says (Vol. II, page 59), though I think Sherman
was.  Indeed, he had more reason to be angry than I; for the fact,
and evidence of it, were so plain that the Twenty-third Corps had
done its duty as ordered, that if Hooker's despatch was meant to
imply the contrary, which I doubt, that was a cause of anger to
the general-in-chief, whom he had unnecessarily alarmed, rather
than to me, who had no apprehension of being suspected by the
general-in-chief of having failed in my duty.

In fact, I do not recollect having seen Hooker's despatch at all
until I saw it quoted in Sherman's "Memoirs."  My recollection is
that Sherman told me, on his visiting us the next day, that he had
received during the battle a despatch from Hooker to the effect
that his flank was unprotected.  In reply to this I explained to
General Sherman where my troops had been during the engagement,
and showed him the dead of the 14th Kentucky lying on the advanced
ground they had held while Hascall's division was forming.  I
believe that if I had seen Hooker's despatch at the time, I should
have interpreted it then, as I do now, as referring, not to his
immediate right, but to the extreme right of the line.  I do not
recollect any words, "pretty sharp" or otherwise, between General
Hooker and myself on that subject, and do not believe it was ever
mentioned between us.  In short, I do not think I was present at
the interview in the "little church" described by General Sherman
(Sherman's "Memoirs," Vol. II, page 59).  I have an impression that
General Hascall was there, and that it is to him General Sherman
refers.  I believe the Kolb House difficulty was almost entirely
a misapprehension between General Sherman and General Hooker.  Why
this mistake was not explained at the time or afterward I do not
know, unless it was that the feelings of those two gentlemen toward
each other were unfavorable to any such explanation.

I will add that General Hooker and I were together both before and
after the opening of the Kolb House engagement.  He knew perfectly
well where my troops were, and what they were doing, and it seems
to me utterly impossible that he can have meant by his despatch
what General Sherman understood it to mean.

My despatches of that date to Sherman show that I had no special
apprehension even in respect to our extreme right flank, and that
I doubted the report that one whole corps was in our front.

My orders on that day,( 2) show that Hascall was up with Hooker at
the intersection of the Marietta and Powder Spring roads, near the
Kolb House, as early as 3 P. M., and that Cox was ordered up with
three brigades at 4:15 P. M., _before the assault began_.  Cox
arrived with the head of his column during the enemy's attack, and
was directed by me in person where and how to put his troops in
position.  Hence I think I must be right in the inference that in
Hooker's despatch to Sherman of 5:30 P. M., the words "our extreme
right flank" must have been intended to refer to _my_ extreme right,
and not _his_.  He was simply unduly apprehensive for the safety
of the extreme right flank of the army, not of his own corps in
particular.  My report to General Sherman at 9 P. M. simply shows
that I did not share that apprehension; that, instead of believing
there were "three entire corps in front of us," I doubted whether
there was even all of Hood's corps.

General Hooker's habit of swinging off from the rest of General
Thomas's army, and getting possession of roads designated for
McPherson or for me, was a common subject of remark between Sherman,
Thomas, McPherson, and myself; and his motive was understood to
be, as General Sherman states, to get command of one of the armies,
in the event of battle, by virtue of his senior commission.  But
the subject was never mentioned between General Hooker and me, and
he never even approximated to giving me an order.  No doubt he
entertained the opinion that he would have a right to give orders
to either General McPherson or myself under certain circumstances
likely to arise, for General Sherman entertained the same opinion.
What General Thomas thought on the question I never knew.  My own
opinion and McPherson's were decidedly the contrary.


In the final movement which resulted in the withdrawal of Johnston's
army from Kenesaw, the Army of the Tennessee passed by the right
flank of my infantry line along the famous Sandtown Road.  While
this was going on, McPherson and I sat on our horses together a
long time, observing the movement and renewing the familiar
intercourse of our youth.  We had a long and free conversation on
a great variety of subjects--a rare opportunity for commanders,
even in the same army, where their troops were generally from ten
to twenty miles apart in line of battle.  One of the first subjects
that came up was that question of relative rank; for our troops
had "met" and were then "doing duty together," in the language of
the old article of war.  But the subject was quickly dismissed with
the remark, made almost simultaneously by both, that such a question
could not possible cause any difficulty between us.  McPherson had
the senior commission of major-general, and I the senior assignment
as army commander.  Perhaps it would have puzzled even Halleck to
frame a satisfactory decision in that peculiar case.  I had long
before determined what my decision would be if that question ever
became a practical one between McPherson and myself on the field
of battle.  I would have said, in substance at least:  "Mac, just
tell me what you want me to do."

As we sat together that day, McPherson confided to me the secret
of his marriage engagement, for the purpose, as he stated, of
inquiring whether, in my opinion, he could before long find a chance
to go home and get married.  I told him I thought that after the
capture of Atlanta operations would be suspended long enough for
that.  But my dear and noble friend was killed in the next great
battle.  After Atlanta had fallen I went home, as McPherson would
doubtless have done if he had lived; but our common friend and
classmate Hood cut the visit so short that there would have been
little time for marriage festivities.

McPherson, among other high qualities, was one of the most generous
men I ever knew.  He was remarkably skilful in topographical drawing,
etching, lettering, and all other uses of the pen.  Although at
the head of the class and a most conscientious student whose time
was very valuable to himself, he would spend a very large part of
that precious time in "lettering" problems for classmates who needed
such help.  For this reason and others he was, by common consent
of all the classes, the most popular man in the corps.  I could
not compete with "Mac" at all in the lettering business, but I
tried to follow his good example, in my own way, by helping the
boys over knotty points in "math" and "phil."  I had taught district
school one winter before going to West Point, and hence had acquired
the knack of explaining things.

Hood was not well up in mathematics.  The first part of the course
especially he found very hard--so much so that he became discouraged.
After the unauthorized festivities of Christmas, particularly, he
seemed much depressed.  On the 26th he asked me which I would prefer
to be, "an officer of the army or a farmer in Kentucky?"  I replied
in a way which aroused his ambition to accomplish what he had set
out to do in coming to West Point, without regard to preference
between farming and soldiering.  He went to work in good earnest,
and passed the January examinations, though by a very narrow margin.
From that time on he did not seem to have so much difficulty.  When
we were fighting each other so desperately fifteen years later, I
wondered whether Hood remembered the encouragement I had given him
to become a soldier, and came very near thinking once or twice that
perhaps I had made a mistake.  But I do not believe that public
enmity ever diminished my personal regard for my old friend and

                                   VISIT TO THE CAMP OF FRANK P. BLAIR, JR.

In thinking of McPherson, I recall an interesting incident connected
with Frank P. Blair, Jr.'s arrival with his corps about June 9,
referred to by General Sherman (Vol. II, page 24).  For some reason
we had an afternoon's rest the day after Blair arrived; so I rode
over to his camp--seven or eight miles, perhaps--to greet my old
friend.  McPherson, to whose army Blair's corps belonged, and other
officers were there.  To our immense surprise, Blair had brought
along great hogsheads of ice and numerous baskets of champagne, as
if to increase the warmth of our welcome.  Of course we did not
disdain such an unusual treat in the enemy's country.  About sunset
McPherson invited me to visit his camp, and we started off at a
full gallop, which we kept up all the way, yet it was some time
after dark when we reached the headquarters of the Army of the
Tennessee.  A good camp supper was awaiting us, with jolly young
officers to make it merry.  It was not until supper was ended that
I began to realize the necessity of a night's march to get back to
my own camp.  As our infantry line was twenty miles long, and the
cavalry stretched it out on either flank as many more, my single
orderly was quite sufficient protection from any attack by the
enemy; but the Georgia bushes, brambles, and mud, combined with
the absence of any known road, constituted an enemy hard to overcome.
However, by the aid of the compass which I have always carried in
my head since I used to hunt in the wilds of the West, I got back
to camp, and went to bed, taking care not to observe the time of
night by my watch.

As I have said, I was often much annoyed by General Hooker's corps
getting possession of roads which had been designated for mine to
advance upon, thus greatly delaying my movements.  But it is but
just to say that this is susceptible of an explanation much more
creditable to General Hooker than that given by General Sherman.
General Thomas's army was so large that he could never get his
three corps into position as soon as expected by the use of the
roads designated for him.  Hence, when Hooker was not in advance
he would "switch off" and hunt for another road to the right or
left, and thus sometimes strike in ahead of McPherson or me, and
leave us no road at all to move on.  In fact, the army was so large
and the roads were so few that our movements were often painfully
slow and tedious, and General Hooker's motive may have been only
to get ahead and bring his corps into action or to the position
assigned to it in whatever way he could.

                                  ANECDOTE OF SHERMAN AND HOOKER UNDER FIRE

The first time I ever saw General Sherman and General Hooker
together, or got even a suspicion that their personal relations
were other than the most satisfactory, was at Resaca.  Cox's division
had gained possession of some portions of the enemy's outer works,
so that from a bald hill just in rear of our line some parts of
the main line of defense could be distinctly seen.  Upon my informing
General Sherman of this, he soon appeared on the ground, accompanied
or closely followed by a large number of general and staff officers.
Besides Sherman, Thomas, Hooker, and Newton, a score of others were
there, all eager to see what they could of the now famous stronghold
which McPherson had refrained from assaulting.  I led them to the
hill, on which a few dead trees were still standing, and from which
the much-desired view could be obtained.  Of course all were on
foot, yet they were too numerous not to attract the attention of
the enemy.  Very soon the sound of musketry in front, then not very
heavy, was varied by the sharp explosion of a shell overhead, and
fragments of branches of dead trees came falling all around.  A
general "scatteration" occurred in all directions save one.  Newton
and I, who were conversing at the time, quietly stepped aside a
few paces out of the line of fire, where we were much safer than
we would have been in full retreat, and then turned round to see
what had become of our companions.  All save two had disappeared,
even Thomas having abandoned the field, probably for the first and
only time in his life.  But still there, on the bald hill, in full
view of the hostile artillery, were the two already highly
distinguished generals, Sherman and Hooker, both alike famous for
supreme courage, striding round the ground, appearing to look at
nothing in particular and not conversing with each other, but
seeming at least a foot taller than usual, each waiting for the
other to lead off in retreat.  After quite a long continuance of
this little drama, which greatly entertained Newton and me, the
two great soldiers, as if by some mysterious impulse,--for they
did not speak a word,--simultaneously and slowly strode to the
rear, where their horses were held.  I cheerfully gave the "Johnny
Rebs" credit for the courtesy of not firing another shot after they
saw the effect of the first, which I doubt not was intended only
as a gentle hint that such impudence in Yankees was not to be
tolerated.  Yet a single shell from the same direction,--probably
from the same battery,--when we were moving into action that morning,
exploded near my head, and killed the aide who was riding behind
me.( 3)  My too numerous staff and escort had attracted attention.
I had at Dalton a few days before forbade the staff and escort to
follow me into action, unless specially ordered to do so; but they
had not so soon learned the lesson which the sad casualty at Resaca
taught them.  It was then early in the campaign.  Later, both
generals and orderlies had learned to restrain somewhat their
curiosity and their too thoughtless bravery.  The perfect old
soldier has learned to economize the life and strength of men,
including his own, with somewhat the same care that he does those
of artillery horses and transportation mules.  It is only the young
soldier who does not know the difference between husbanding the
national resources and showing cowardice in face of the enemy.

At Wilson's Creek, where the brave Lyon was killed in August, 1861,
and where the gallant volunteers on both sides had fought with
almost unexampled courage, standing up to their work all the time,
until one third of their numbers were killed or wounded, and their
forty rounds of ammunition gone, the little companies of old,
regular Indian-fighters had been deployed as skirmishers in close
order, behind trees and bushes and hillocks, and had suffered
comparatively small losses.  The following colloquy occurred between
one of them and a volunteer whose cartridge-box, as he was proud
to show, was empty.  Volunteer:  "How many shots did _you_ fire?"
Old soldier (looking into his cartridge-box):  "I fired just
nineteen."  Volunteer:  "And how many rebs do you think you killed?"
Old soldier:  "I guess I killed about nineteen."

One beautiful, quiet Sunday afternoon, in front of Atlanta, when
even the pickets were respecting the Sabbath day, my headquarters
band, which had been playing selections of sacred music, easily
heard on the other side of the lines, struck up a favorite Southern
air of quite a different character.  Quickly came a shell crashing
through the trees far over our heads.  The band as quickly took
the hint and changed the tune.  Such little "courtesies" from our
"friends the enemy" were not at all uncommon in the short intervals
of rest from deadly work.

                                                     THE ASSAULT ON KENESAW

General Sherman says in Vol. II, page 60, of his "Memoirs":

"During the 24th and 25th of June, General Schofield extended his
right as far as prudent, so as to compel the enemy to thin out his
lines correspondingly, with the intention to make two strong assaults
at points where success would give us the greatest advantage.  I
had consulted Generals Thomas, McPherson, and Schofield, and we
all agreed that we could not with prudence stretch out any more,
and therefore there was no alternative but to attack 'fortified
lines'--a thing carefully avoided up to that time."

The first sentence literally means that I extended my right "with
the intention," _on my part_, "to make two strong assaults," etc.
But that is a mere verbal error.  General Sherman, of course, meant
to say that the intention was his.

The second sentence is, perhaps, ambiguous.  At least it has been
construed to mean more than the truth.  It is undoubtedly true that
"we all agreed that we could not with prudence stretch out any
more," but we did not agree in the conclusion "and therefore there
was no alternative," etc.

Indeed, such conclusion was extremely illogical, as was demonstrated
a few days later, when one of the other "alternatives" was adopted
with success.  This successful movement was essentially the same
as that which had been previously made to dislodge the enemy from
Dalton, and that by which Sherman's army had been transferred from
New Hope Church to the railroad in front of Allatoona, as well as
that by which Atlanta was afterward captured.  Hence the existence
of this "alternative" could not have been unthought of by any of
us at the time of the assault on Kenesaw.

But there was another alternative in this and similar cases, which
was much discussed at various times during the campaign.  Its
practicability can be judged of only upon general principles, for
it was never tried.  It was to detach two or three corps, nearly
half our army (which was about double the strength of the enemy),
make a detour wide enough to avoid his fortifications, and strike
directly at his flank and rear.  Such a movement, it was urged, at
Dalton, Kenesaw, or Atlanta would have compelled Johnston to fight
a battle on equal terms with one half of Sherman's army, while he
had to hold his parapets against the other half.  Whatever else
may be said of this proposed movement, it would undoubtedly have
been more hazardous and much more decisive, one way or the other,
than any of the plans actually adopted.  It certainly promised
success proportionate to the cost, instead of a costly failure,
which the assault of fortified lines had almost invariably proved
to be.

I did not see Thomas or McPherson for some days before the assault,
but I believe their judgment, like mine, was opposed to it.
Undoubtedly it was generally opposed, though deferentially as became
subordinates toward the commanding general.  The responsibility
was entirely Sherman's, as he afterward frankly stated; and I
presume he did not mean to imply otherwise by the language used in
his "Memoirs" above quoted (Vol. II, page 60).  General Sherman's
orders, issued on June 24 (Special Field Orders, No. 28), directed
each of the three armies to make an attack (under the word "assault"
for Thomas and "attack" for McPherson and me).  I had made all
preparations to carry out the order on my part.  Being visited by
General Sherman a day or two before the date named for the execution
of the order (June 27), I explained to him what I had done, and
how little hope there was of success, on account of the smallness
of my reserve to push the advantage even if we should break the
line, when he at once replied that it was not intended that I should
make an attack in front, but to make a strong demonstration in my
front, and gain what advantage I could on the enemy's flank.  During
the day Cox's division forced the passage of Olley's Creek and
secured a position on the head of Nickajack, which was spoken of
by Sherman as the only success of the day.

                                                 TENDENCY OF VETERAN TROOPS

There were doubtless many occasions in the Atlanta campaign when
the enemy's intrenchments could have been assaulted with success.
These were when the position had been but recently occupied and
the fortifications were very slight.  After several days' occupation,
as at the points attacked by Thomas and McPherson, the lines became
impregnable.  Frequent efforts were made, and by none more earnestly
than by General Sherman, to press the troops to a vigorous assault
of the enemy's position under the favorable circumstances above
referred to.  But the general feeling of the army, including not
only privates, but officers of nearly all grades, was undoubtedly
opposed to such attacks.  The notion was very prevalent that there
was no necessity of fighting the enemy on unequal terms.  When
attacked, either with or without cover, the troops would fight with
the most determined valor, and almost invariably with success.  So
when attacking the enemy in open ground there was no lack of energy
or pluck.  But we lose one of the most important lessons of the
war if we fail to remember and appreciate the fact that our veteran
troops are very loath to make an attack where they believe they
have not a fair chance of success.  This feeling must be attributed,
not to a lack of high soldierly qualities, but to intelligence and
good sense.  The veteran American soldier fights very much as he
has been accustomed to work his farm or run his sawmill:  He wants
to see a fair prospect that it is "going to pay."  His loyalty,
discipline, and pluck will not allow him under any circumstances
to retreat without orders, much less to run away; but if he encounters
a resistance which he thinks he cannot overcome, or which he thinks
it would "cost too much" to overcome, he will lie down, cover
himself with a little parapet, and hold his ground against any
force that may attempt to drive him back.  This feeling of the
soldier is an element in the problem of war which cannot be ignored.
The general who, with such an army, would win the full measure of
success due to greatly superior numbers, must manoeuver so as to
compel the enemy to fight him on approximately equal terms, instead
of assaulting fortifications where, against modern weapons, numbers
are of little or no avail.  In the days of the bayonet successful
tactics consisted in massing a superior force upon some vital point,
and breaking the enemy's line.  Now it is the fire of the musket,
not the bayonet, that decides the battle.  To mass troops against
the fire of a covered line is simply to devote them to destruction.
The greater the mass, the greater the loss--that is all.  A large
mass has no more chance of success than a small one.  That this is
absolutely true since the introduction of breech-loaders is probably
not doubted by any one; and it was very nearly true with the muzzle-
loading rifles used during our late war, as was abundantly demonstrated
on many occasions.

I have always believed that the true tactics of our late war,
whenever our force was double that of the enemy (as it sometimes
was and always should have been at all points where decisive
movements were to be made), were to throw one half the force upon
the enemy's rear, so as to compel him to attack that force or else
retreat by side roads with loss of trains and artillery.  This
would doubtless have been a bold departure from the ancient tactics,
which had not yet been proved obsolete.  Yet I always thought it
strange that our leading generals were unwilling to attempt it.
Had Sherman divided his army in such a way, and struck at Hood's
rear, he might have found a chance to destroy that army as well as
the railroads in Georgia.

                                      THE DEATH OF McPHERSON BEFORE ATLANTA

The death of McPherson, on July 22, was felt by all to be an
irreparable loss, and by none more so than by General Sherman, who
manifested deep feeling when the body was brought to the Howard
House, east of Atlanta.  I recollect well his remark to the effect
that the whole of the Confederacy could not atone for the sacrifice
of one such life.

My recollection of some of the incidents of that day differs in
some respects from that of General Sherman.  As soon as it was
known that the Army of the Tennessee was heavily engaged I drew
out of line the larger part of my troops, leaving the picket-line
in position, with strong reserves behind the parapets, and massed
them near my left, ready to send reinforcements to the Army of the
Tennessee if necessary, or to form a temporary left flank if the
line on my left should be broken, as it was late in the day, as
described by General Sherman.( 4)

When that break was made in the line immediately to the left of
mine, I had a rare opportunity of witnessing Sherman's splendid
conduct as a simple soldier, the occasion for which occurs so rarely
to the general-in-chief of a great army.  Sherman at once sent to
me for _all my artillery_, which responded to his call at a full
gallop.  He led the batteries in person to some high, open ground
_in front of our line_ near the Howard House, placed them in
position, and directed their fire, which from that advanced position
enfiladed the parapets from which our troops had been driven, and
which the enemy then occupied.  With the aid of that terrible raking
fire, the division of Union troops very quickly regained the
intrenchments they had lost.  General Sherman, on page 81, Vol.
II, gives me the credit due to himself for that soldierly conduct
as an artillery commander.  I was occupied in forming my infantry
reserve to meet the enemy if Logan's troops did not drive them
back.  Only my artillery was used in restoring this broken line,
because Logan's infantry proved sufficient without further aid.
This action of mine was taken with General Sherman's knowledge and
approval, and was the correct thing to do, for the reason that the
ground in my front was such as to make both my position and that
of the enemy practically unassailable.  I had no apprehension of
an attack in my front, and there was no question of my attempting
to "make a lodgment in Atlanta" that day, as stated by Sherman in
Vol. II, page 80.

It was proposed by me that my reserve and Thomas's should go the
assistance of the Army of the Tennessee, either directly or, better
still, by making a counter-attack in front of the right of that
army, which, if successful, would cut off the hostile force then
attacking in left.  Sherman replied, as I recollect, that he had
asked Thomas to send some troops to the left, and the latter had
replied that he had none to spare.  Without these the proposition
to make a counter-attack could not be entertained.  But my memory
is only that of conversations with General Sherman during the day,
and he ought to be much better informed than I concerning what
passed between General Thomas and himself.  I recollect that General
Sherman during the day expressed something like a wish to "let the
Army of the Tennessee fight its own battle," but in his statement
of motive for so doing I think he does that army injustice.  My
impression was, and is, that they would have been very glad of
assistance, and that timely help would have increased the fraternal
feeling between the armies, instead of creating unworthy jealousy.

I cannot but believe, as I then thought, that we were losing a
great opportunity that day.  A large force of the enemy had made
a wide circuit from his defenses about Atlanta and attacked our
left several miles distant.  We there had a chance to fight him on
equal terms.  I thought, and still think, we ought to have concentrated
a large part of Thomas's force and mine near the Howard House, and
made a strong counter-attack upon this attacking column of the
enemy, with the hope of cutting it off from Atlanta.  Instead of
this, Thomas spent the day in efforts to "make a lodgment in Atlanta"
over well-prepared fortifications which the Georgia militia could
hold against him about as well as the veteran Confederate troops.

The movement of August 4 and 5 was designed to be substantially
what had been frequently suggested, but which I have heretofore
referred to as having never been tried, with the exception that
the attacking force was not to sever its connection with the main
body, and hence might not reach far enough to strike an exposed
flank of the enemy.  But even with this modification I thought the
movement ought to have a fair chance of success.  That movement
was not suggested by me in any way, and, so far as I know, not by
General Thomas.  I believe it originated entirely with General
Sherman.  I never heard of it until I received his orders.  There
was no "argument" by me of the question of relative rank, as
suggested by General Sherman (Vol. II, page 99).


The positions of the troops when the order for the movement was
made rendered it convenient that the Twenty-third Corps be put in
first,--that is, next to the right of General Thomas's troops then
in position,--while the Fourteenth Corps, commanded by General John
M. Palmer, was relied upon to develop rapidly to our right and
endeavor to strike the enemy's flank before he could extend his
intrenched line far enough to meet and resist our attack.  It was
not until some time after my orders for this movement had been
issued and should have been in progress of vigorous execution that
I received the first intimation that the question of rank had been
raised, as stated by General Sherman, and that my orders had simply
been transmitted to the division commanders of the Fourteenth Corps.

It cannot for a moment be admitted that any share of the blame for
that failure attaches to the Fourteenth Corps, as such.  Nor do I
believe with General Sherman that its slowness on that occasion
was due to anything "imbibed" from General Thomas.


My own view of military duty was different from that entertained
by the commander of the Fourteenth Corps, as was shown in my
subsequent action, hereinafter referred to, when I was ordered to
report to and act under the orders of General Stanley.  But if the
distinguished statesman who then commanded the Fourteenth Corps
fell into error at that time, he has doubtless since regretted it
far more than any other man could possible do; and he has many
times atoned for that error by the great services to the country
which he has continued to render up to the present time.

The primary and principal cause of this and all similar difficulties
during the Atlanta campaign was the grave error of opinion which
disregarded the special rank of army and department commanders
given them by the President's assignment under the law, and the
still graver error of judgment in leaving such an important question
open until the eve of battle, in the "hope that there would be no
necessity for making this decision."  This error seems incomprehensible
when it is considered that it in effect nullified the President's
selection of army and department commanders at the most important
of all moments, the crisis of battle, by making these commanders
subject to the orders of any general of older commission whose
troops happened to be adjacent to theirs.

In the midst of battle, when the orders of a common superior cannot
be obtained in time to meet an emergency, the highest commander
present must give the necessary orders and must be obeyed.  This
is probably the gravest responsibility of war.  Yet Sherman's
opinion and decision would have placed this responsibility, not
upon the army commander who had been selected by the President,
upon the advice of the general-in-chief, under an act of Congress
passed especially for the purpose, but upon some one who through
political influence or otherwise had got an earlier commission of
major-general.  So many of the latter had proved to be unqualified
for responsible command that Congress had enacted a special law
authorizing the President to supersede such prior commissions and
assign commanders of armies or army corps in the field and in any
department whom he deemed competent.( 5)  Palpable as this fallacy
seems, yet it was adhered to until overruled by the War Department.

It is proper for me to add that I had at that time but a very slight
personal acquaintance with General Palmer.  However, I knew him
well by reputation, and esteemed him highly.  General Thomas,
especially, had given me a high estimate of his character and
abilities.  If there was any cause of jealousy or ill-feeling
between us, I never suspected it.

[( 1) War Records, Vol. XXXVIII, part iv, p. 558.]

[( 2) War Records, Vol. XXXVIII, part iv, pp. 566 and 568.]

[( 3) Captain A. H. Engle, who was killed at Resaca, was a most
charming and talented youth, only twenty years of age.  That was
his first battle.  He was caterer of the headquarters mess.  That
morning, before leaving camp, Captain Engle made out all his accounts
and handed them, with the money for which he was responsible, to
another staff officer, saying that he was going to be killed that

[( 4) Vol. II, pp. 80, 81.]

[( 5) Reference is made here to the 122d Article of War, and the
resolution of Congress especially intended to modify it in respect
to command in any "field or department," approved April 4, 1862.]

The Final Blow at Atlanta--Johnston's Untried Plan of Resistance--
Hood's Faulty Move--Holding the Pivot of the Position--Anecdotes
of the Men in the Ranks--Deferring to General Stanley in a Question
of Relative Rank--The Failure at Jonesboro'--The Capture of Atlanta
--Absent from the Army--Hood's Operations in Sherman's Rear--Sent
Back to Thomas's Aid--Faulty Instructions to Oppose Hood at Pulaski
--At Columbia--Reason of the Delay in Exchanging Messages.

When all our efforts to accomplish decisive results by partial
operations upon the flanks had failed, this question was much
discussed:  What more decisive movement shall next be made for the
capture of Atlanta?  There were practically but two propositions
to be considered:  That of General Sherman, which was adopted with
success; and that heretofore referred to as having never been tried,
to detach two or more corps to make a lodgment on the railroad at
or below East Point, and then compel the enemy to come out of
Atlanta and endeavor to regain control of his only line of supply,
or abandon that city altogether.  General Sherman thought it too
hazardous to detach two corps, though he was willing for me to
undertake it with one.  In fact, this feeling marked General
Sherman's action throughout the campaign.  He had no hesitation in
detaching a small force, the loss of which would still leave him
greatly superior in numbers to the enemy, or a very large force
under his own command, leaving the enemy to the care of the smaller
part, as in his march to Savannah.  General Thomas, on the contrary,
thought the movement proposed by General Sherman "extra hazardous,"
as Sherman says in his "Memoirs" (Vol. II, page 106).  I did not
regard either of them as very hazardous, and upon consideration
rather preferred General Sherman's, because I thought it could not
fail to be decisive of the capture of Atlanta, while the other
might fail if not executed with promptness and vigor, and this,
experience had warned us, we could not be quite sure of.

                                      JOHNSTON'S UNTRIED PLAN OF RESISTANCE

Some time after the war, that very able commander General Joseph
E. Johnston told me that in his judgment Sherman's operations in
Hood's rear ought not to have caused the evacuation of Atlanta;
that he (Johnston), when in command, had anticipated such a movement,
and had prepared, or intended to prepare, to oppose it by constructing
artillery redoubts at all suitable points in the rear of Atlanta,
as well as in front, which redoubts could be very speedily connected
by infantry intrenchments whenever necessary; that he aimed to keep
on longer than Sherman's army could subsist on the contents of
their wagons and haversacks; and that Sherman could not possibly
hold all the railroads leading into Atlanta _at the same time_, nor
destroy any one of them so thoroughly that it could not be repaired
in time to replenish Johnston's supplies in Atlanta.

Here is presented a question well worthy of the candid study of
military critics.  Whatever may be the final judgment upon that
question, it seems perfectly clear that Johnston's plan of defense
ought at least to have been tried by his successor.  If Hood had
kept all his troops in compact order about Atlanta, he would have
been in the best possible condition to resist Sherman if the latter
turned back from Jonesboro' and attacked Atlanta from the rear, or
to strike Sherman's rear or flank in full force if he made any
other movement.  The division of Hood's forces at that time, one
part holding on to Atlanta while the other went to _head off_
Sherman, was the worst disposition that could have been made.

As related to me personally by General Sheridan,--for I have not
yet studied the Virginia campaigns so thoroughly as to justify me
in speaking from the records,--it was a similar mistake on the part
of the Confederate cavalry commander J. E. B. Stuart, in trying to
get between Sheridan and Richmond, which gave Sheridan the advantage
and led to Stuart's defeat.  Stuart had ridden hard all night, and
got between Sheridan and Richmond, his men and horses exhausted,
while Sheridan had been resting and feeding his own men and animals.
In the morning Sheridan "rode over" his exhausted antagonist.
These are among the many cases where exaggerated ideas of the
importance of places have led to the defeat of armies.  I knew
Stuart well at West Point, he having been in the class next to
mine.  He then gave promise of his future as a cavalry leader.

The only specially hazardous part of Sherman's movement was that
which would fall to my lot--namely, to hold the "pivot" against a
possible attack of Hood's whole army while Thomas and Howard should
swing round it, and then draw out and join them after the swing
was made.  Upon my reporting that I was perfectly willing to
undertake this task, and had no doubt of the ability of my corps
to accomplish it, all question about making the movement appeared
to be settled, and it was at once ordered.  Hood did not avail
himself of his opportunity to attack me when alone, either in
position or in motion, hence my part of the movement proved easiest
of all.

I had placed my corps in a completely inclosed field-work, large
enough to contain all my trains, and strong enough to resist any
attack from a greatly superior force until Sherman's movement could
be accomplished.

                                          ANECDOTES OF THE MEN IN THE RANKS

I recollect even to this day a little incident of that time which
was, at least to me, both amusing and instructive.  After receiving
Sherman's orders, which meant "suspend aggressive work and go to
fortifying," I was directing the laying out of the new work at the
most important part of the line, and the men had been ordered to
commence digging, when I heard an old volunteer, as he laid aside
his gun and put off his accoutrements with manifest reluctance,
say, _sotto voce:_  "Well, if digging is the way to put down the
rebellion, I guess we will have to do it."  Our old soldiers had
a "mind of their own," and were not afraid to let their commanders
know it; yet they were essentially as thoroughly subordinate and
reliable as any troops any general ever had the honor to command.

I now recall another incident which occurred a few days earlier,
in which a young Indiana volunteer was somewhat less respectful,
though he had no idea whom he was addressing, nor, probably, any
thought whatever about "relative rank."  I had come out from my
tent, before sunrise in the morning, and was performing my morning
ablutions in the ordinary camp basin, preparatory to putting on my
outer clothing.  None of my "people" were yet up, and the night
sentinel of my camp was a little way off.  There came up a weary,
belated soldier who had, perhaps, been trudging along much of the
night, trying to overtake his regiment.  I heard him ask in a loud
voice:  "Where is the 128th Indiana?"  Not supposing the question
was addressed to me, I did not look up.  Then came in still louder
tones and in an amended form which left no room for doubt as to
whom it was addressed:  "I mean you old fellow there with the red
shirt!  Where is the 128th Indiana?"

If from lapse of time my memory may not be exact as to the number
of the regiment, I am sure no apology is necessary to the gallant
128th.  It was, anyhow, one of those very high-numbered new Indiana
regiments which had recently joined the army.  The young soldier
was sent to the headquarters escort, given his breakfast, and
carried along until his regiment was overtaken.

The Twenty-third Corps reached the railroad about the close of day
on August 31, having time to do no more than intrench our positions.
The orders that day and night were urgent to make the destruction
of the railroad thorough and extensive.  This was evidently General
Sherman's primary object, showing a doubt in his mind whether the
effect of his movement would be the speedy abandonment of Atlanta,
or whether he would have to trust to his destruction of the railroad
to accomplish that object.

Late in the night of the 31st, after General Stanley and I, who
were encamped near together, had gone to sleep, we received despatches
from General Sherman stating in effect that as we were too far from
the main body of the army to receive orders from him or General
Thomas, our two corps must act on the morrow under the orders of
the highest commander present, and that General Stanley, having
the older commission, was that highest commander.  I was therefore
directed to report to General Stanley and act under his orders.
I replied to General Sherman that while I differed from him in
opinion upon the question of relative rank, I would for the present
cheerfully abide his decision and execute his orders.  Early the
next morning, before I had time to report to General Stanley, he
appeared at my camp, evidently much disturbed by the orders he had
received.  He said General Sherman was wrong; that he was not
entitled to the command and did not want it; and urged me to accept
the chief command, and let him act under my orders.  I replied that
General Sherman's order was imperative, and I could not relieve
him (General Stanley) from the responsibility of executing it.  It
was all wrong, but there was no present remedy, and he must do the
best he could.  The position of his corps on the right made it
necessary that it should have the advance in the day's movement,
while I would follow close after and support him under all

                                                  THE FAILURE AT JONESBORO'

So we started early in the morning to execute Sherman's orders--
thoroughly to destroy the railroad, and close down on Thomas toward
Jonesboro'.  That morning, as Sherman says (Vol. II, page 107),
"Howard found an intrenched foe (Hardee's corps) covering Jonesboro',"
and "orders were sent to Generals Thomas and Schofield to turn
straight for Jonesboro', tearing up the railroad track as they
advanced."  But of course, as General Sherman had anticipated, such
orders could not reach me in time to do any good.  They were not
received until after the affair at Jonesboro' was ended.  But
hearing the sound of battle in our front, I rode rapidly forward
to the head of Stanley's column, which was then not advancing, made
inquiries for that officer, and was informed that he was trying to
find General Thomas to get orders.  I immediately brought my infantry
of the Twenty-third Corps out of the road occupied by Stanley's
corps, moved it to the front through woods and fields, and endeavored
to find a way by which I could reach the enemy's flank or rear,
riding so far ahead with a few staff officers and orderlies that
I escaped very narrowly being captured by the enemy.  Finally, near
dark, General Stanley's troops began to deploy and attack the enemy;
and as there were more troops on the ground than could possibly be
used that day, I could do not more than stand and watch their
movements, as I did with intense interest until my medical director,
Dr. Hewit, one of the bravest and coolest men I ever knew, called
my attention to the fact that the place was much too hot for a
general and his staff who had nothing to do there.  I believe if
General Sherman had been in our place he would have thought it
"more than a skirmish-line" (Vol. II, page 108) in Stanley's front
that gave us that fire both of musketry and artillery which my
staff officers have frequently spoken of as one of the ugliest they
ever experienced.  General Stanley's fault was, not that he deployed
his troops, but that he did not put them in at once when he arrived
on the ground, instead of waiting for orders.  But General Stanley,
whose gallantry was never questioned, was a subordinate in experience.
He had but recently risen to the command of a corps, and had been
little accustomed to act on his own responsibility.  Feeling
overburdened with the responsibility wrongfully thrust upon him
that day, he naturally sought relief from it by reporting for orders
to General Thomas as soon as his corps was reunited to the main

The failure at Jonesboro', as at so many other places, was due to
that erroneous interpretation of the law that threw the supreme
responsibility at the crisis of battle upon untried and (in this
case) unwilling shoulders, or else left the lawful commander without
recognized authority, to beg in vain of others to "co-operate" with

                                                     THE CAPTURE OF ATLANTA

During the night of August 31 others besides General Sherman were
too restless and impatient to sleep (Vol. II, page 108).  The sounds
of explosion in Atlanta were distinctly heard, and the flashes of
light distinctly seen.  With the compass for direction and the
watch for intervals of time between flash and sound, there was no
difficulty in locating their origin at Atlanta.  An untutored farmer
may well have thought "these sounds were just like those of a
battle," but a practised ear could not have failed to note the
difference.  First there would come an explosion louder and unlike
the report of one or several guns, and this would be followed by
numerous smaller, sharper, and perfectly distinct reports, quite
unlike that of musketry, which could not be mistaken for anything
but the explosion of shells.  There could be no room for doubt that
these lights and sounds meant the destruction in Atlanta of magazines
or carloads of fixed ammunition, and hence that Hood was abandoning
that place.  I reported my observations and conclusion to General
Sherman, but he "still remained in doubt."  The doubt was to me
incomprehensible; but perhaps that was because I had no doubt from
the start, whether I was right or wrong, what the result would be.
My period of elation was when we got firm hold of the railroad at
Rough and Ready.  Hood having failed to attack our exposed flank
during the movement, the fall of Atlanta was already an accomplished
fact with me when Sherman was still in doubt, as well as when Thomas
thought the news "too good to be true."  But the above is worthy
of noting only as a necessary introduction to something far more

Hood's army was now divided and scattered over a distance of thirty
miles, one corps below Jonesboro' being just driven from its ground
with considerable loss and in retreat to Lovejoy's, the main body
leaving Atlanta and stretched along the road toward McDonough;
while Sherman's whole army, except Slocum's corps, was in compact
order about Jonesboro', nearly in a straight line between Atlanta
and Lovejoy's.  This seemed exactly the opportunity to destroy
Hood's army, if that was the objective of the campaign.  So anxious
was I that this be attempted that I offered to go with two corps,
or even with one, and intercept Hood's retreat on the McDonough
road, and hold him until Sherman could dispose of Hardee or interpose
his army between him and Hood.  But more prudent counsels prevailed,
and we remained quietly in our camps for five days, while Hood
leisurely marched round us with all his baggage and Georgia militia,
and collected his scattered fragments at Lovejoy's.

Atlanta had become, like Richmond, in popular estimation the real
objective of military operations.  The public lost sight of the
fact that it was armies in the field, and not fortified places,
which gave strength to the rebellion; and apparently even prominent
generals, if they did not share the popular delusion, at least
recognized its value.  The capture of Atlanta was enough to meet
the "political necessity," make "the election of Mr. Lincoln
certain," and win rejoicings and congratulations from all parts of
the North!  It was not worth while to run any risk of trying to do
more at that time!  It had to be left for two of Sherman's corps,
after the other four had gone on "the march to the sea," to fight
Hood at Columbia and Spring Hill, hurl him back from Franklin, and
then, with reinforcements not equal to half what Sherman had taken
away, to overwhelm him at Nashville.  Why was not this done with
a much larger force under Sherman at Atlanta?  This is one of the
questions for the future historian to discuss.

During our rest near Lovejoy's, General Sherman requested me to
give him a statement in writing of my dissent from his decision
upon the question of relative rank, which I did.  This he submitted
to the War Department for decision, as a "question of rank that
had arisen between Generals Schofield and Stanley."  At this General
Stanley was very indignant, as well as at General Sherman's censure
of his conduct on September 1; for the reason that no question of
rank had been raised by us, and the command was thrust upon him in
opposition to his wish and in violation of the law as he understood
it.  In due time came the decision of the War Department, written
by General Halleck, sustaining the view of the law Stanley and I
had taken, and reversing that of General Sherman; also kindly
commending my action in waiving the question during active

It was by virtue of the above decision of the War Department that
I, instead of General Stanley, had command of the force that in
the following November, 1864, opposed Hood's advance from the
Tennessee River and repulsed his fierce assault at Franklin.

                                                       ABSENT FROM THE ARMY

As I was absent from the army on business connected with my department
during most of Hood's raid upon the railroad in the rear of Atlanta
(Sherman having announced his purpose to let his army rest during
that time), I have little to say in respect to the operations
resulting therefrom.  But some things in Sherman's account seem to
require a little elucidation.

Being informed by General Sherman of Hood's movement, I hurried to
the front and tried to reach the army by a special train with a
small guard from Cleveland, Tenn., but met, October 13, the head
of Hood's column at Dalton, where several trains of cars with
supplies and men without arms returning from furlough on their way
to Sherman had been stopped by the reported approach of Hood.  I
ordered all back to Cleveland, and we barely had time to escape
capture by Hood's cavalry.  On arriving at Cleveland, I reported
by telegraph to General Thomas, then at Nashville; and he desired
me to go to Chattanooga, take command of the troops there, and
prepare to defend that place, which it was thought Hood might
attempt to take by a _coup de main_, or to co-operate with Sherman.
As General Sherman says (Vol. II, page 156), "Hood had broken up
the telegraph, and thus had prevented quick communication"; but
through my own scouts and spies I was able to keep track of Hood's
movements.  As soon as he turned westward I determined to move with
the troops, when no longer necessary to the defense of Chattanooga,
rapidly to Trenton and Valley Head, seize the passes through the
Lookout range, and prevent Hood's escape in that direction, presuming
that Sherman would intercept his retreat down the Chattanooga
valley.  I sent a courier to General Sherman informing him of my
purpose, and informed General Thomas by telegraph.  But the latter
disapproved my plan, and directed me to move to defend Caperton's
Ferry.  This is what General Sherman refers to in his despatch of
October 16:  "Your first move on Trenton and Valley Head was right;
the move to defend Caperton's Ferry is wrong.  Notify General Thomas
of these, my views."  But the difference between right and wrong
proved immaterial, since Hood was left free to escape down the
Chattanooga valley.  Why this was done, or why Sherman did not want
to force the enemy east, by Spring Place, into the barren mountains,
where Johnston would have been compelled to go if McPherson's move
on Resaca in May had been successful, seems a mystery.  The
explanation is probably to be found in Sherman's wish that Hood
would go where he would not be compelled to follow, and thus would
leave him (Sherman) a clear road for his march to the sea.  Indeed
the conviction seems irresistible that Sherman and Hood could hardly
have acted in more perfect concert if they had been under the same
commander.  The one did exactly what the other wanted, and the
other took care not to interfere with his movement.

At the close of the Atlanta campaign, I promised General Sherman
that I would, as soon as I should be able to do so, write a full
critical history of that campaign as a text-book for military
students.  I have not yet found time to fulfil that promise.  The
foregoing pages were intended, when written, as only a very partial
fulfilment of that task, and that almost entirely of one side of
it--far the most difficult side.  The other side is so easy,
comparatively, and is already so familiar to military students,
that further elucidation now seems hardly necessary.  Yet I hope,
as a labor of love, if for no other reason, to present my impressions
of those grand tactical evolutions of a compact army of one hundred
thousand men, as I witnessed them with the intense interest of a
young commander and student of the great art which has so often in
the history of the world determined the destinies of nations.

                                        HOOD'S OPERATIONS IN SHERMAN'S REAR

After the capture of Atlanta, in September, 1864, General Sherman
proposed to give his army rest for a month while he perfected his
plans and preparations for a change of base to some point on the
Atlantic or the gulf, in pursuance of the general plan outlined by
General Grant before the Atlanta campaign was opened in May.  But
the Confederate commander took the initiative, about September 20,
by moving his army around Sherman's right, striking his railroad
about Allatoona and toward Chattanooga, doing some damage, and then
marching off westward with the design of transferring the theater
of war from Georgia to Alabama, Mississippi, or Tennessee.

Sherman very promptly decided not to accept that challenge to meet
Hood upon a field chosen by the latter, but to continue substantially
the original plan for his own operations, having in view also new
ulterior plans opened to him by this erratic movement of his
adversary.  An essential modification of the original plan, to meet
the unexpected movement of Hood, was to send back into Tennessee
force enough, in addition to the troops then there and others to
be assembled from the rear, to cope with Hood in the event of his
attempting the invasion of Tennessee and Kentucky, or to pursue
and occupy his attention if he should attempt to follow Sherman.
General George H. Thomas, commanding the Department of the Cumberland,
whose headquarters were at Nashville, was already at that place,
and was directed by General Sherman to assume command of all the
troops in the three departments under Sherman's command, except
those with the latter in Georgia, and to direct the operations
against Hood.

Thomas had in his department at that time only the garrisons and
railroad guards which had been deemed essential during the preceding
operations in Georgia; and many of those were soon to be discharged
by expiration of their terms of enlistment, their places to be
supplied by new regiments coming from the rear.  General A. J.
Smith's corps, then in Missouri, about ten thousand strong, was
ordered to Tennessee, and Sherman also ordered Stanley, with the
Fourth Corps, about twelve thousand men, to return from Georgia to
Tennessee and report to Thomas.  Stanley had started by rail to
Tullahoma, and was to march, as he did, from the latter point to
Pulaski, Tennessee, which had been selected as the point of
concentration for Thomas's forces.  This was the situation when I
returned to the army and reported in person to General Sherman.

Under Sherman's promise of a month's rest for his army, I had gone
back to attend to the business of my department, as General Thomas
had also done, and hence was in the rear when Hood made his raid
upon Sherman's railroad.  Upon reporting to General Sherman near
the end of October, I learned for the first time his purpose to
march to Savannah, and what troops he had provided for Thomas in
Tennessee.  I told Sherman, with that perfect candor which he always
invited, that in my opinion Thomas's force was much too small; that
Hood evidently intended to invade Tennessee; and that he would not
be diverted from his purpose by Sherman's march in the opposite
direction, but would, on the contrary, be encouraged thereby to
pursue his own plan.  Hence I requested Sherman to send me back
with the Twenty-third Corps to join Thomas.  Sherman at first
appeared to understand my suggestions as a desire to be left in
Tennessee instead of Thomas, the latter to go with Sherman.  But
I explained to him emphatically that such was not my thought.  I
took it for granted that Thomas was to command the army in Tennessee,
and I wanted only to go back and help him because he would, in my
opinion, have to do the fighting while Sherman's march would be
unopposed.  Sherman then replied that he must have three grand
divisions, under Slocum, Howard, and myself, to make his army
complete, and that he could not spare me; and he gave no indication
of concurrence in my opinion that he ought to send back more troops.

                                                  SENT BACK TO THOMAS'S AID

After leaving General Sherman that afternoon and returning to my
own camp, I wrote him a letter giving a special reason why my corps,
rather than any other, should be sent back to Tennessee in order
that it might be filled up my new regiments which had been ordered
from the North.  No answer came to these suggestions until I had
made three days' march toward Atlanta, _en route_ for Savannah.
Then I received an order, October 30, to march to the nearest point
on the railroad, and report by telegraph to General Thomas for

At first General Thomas ordered me to move by rail to Tullahoma,
and then march across to Pulaski, as Stanley was doing.  But just
then Forrest with his cavalry appeared at Johnsonville, on the
Tennessee River west of Nashville, and destroyed a great quantity
of property, General Thomas not having sufficient force available
to oppose him; hence on November 3 Thomas ordered me to come at
once by rail to Nashville with my corps, where I reported to him
with the advance of my troops on November 5.  He then ordered me
to go at once with some of my troops to Johnsonville and dispose
of the Confederate cavalry there, and then to return to Nashville
and proceed to Pulaski, to take command of all the troops in the
field, which would then include the Fourth Corps, my own Twenty-
third, except the detachment left at Johnsonville, and the cavalry
watching Hood toward Florence.  My duty at Johnsonville, where I
left two brigades, was soon disposed of; and I then returned to
Nashville, and went at once by rail to Pulaski, arriving at that
place in the evening of November 13.

Some so-called histories of the Tennessee campaign have been based
upon the theory that I was marching from Georgia to Tennessee, to
unite my corps with General Thomas's army at Nashville, when I
encountered Hood at Franklin, and after a sharp contest managed to
elude him and continue my march and unite with the Army of the
Cumberland at Nashville.  Hence I wish to point out clearly that
I had been with the entire Twenty-third Corps to Nashville, with
a part of it to Johnsonville and back to Nashville, and thence to
Columbia and near Pulaski, all by rail; that all of the Army of
the Cumberland then in Tennessee was the Fourth Corps and the
cavalry at and near Pulaski; that General Thomas placed those troops
under my command, and that they remained so until after the battle
of Franklin, November 30, and the retreat to Nashville that night;
and that General Thomas did not have an army at Nashville until
December 1.  I had united with Thomas's troops two weeks before
the battle of Franklin, and was commanding his army in the field
as well as my own during that time.  If the historians had read
the records ( 1) they could not possibly have fallen into such a


Before reaching Pulaski I was furnished with an order from General
Thomas's headquarters assigning me to the command in the field, by
virtue of my rank as a department commander, and a copy of instructions
which had already been telegraphed to General Stanley at Pulaski.
I assumed command in the morning of November 14.  The moment I met
Stanley at Pulaski, in the evening of November 13, he called my
attention to the faulty position of the troops and to an error in
General Thomas's instructions, about which I then knew nothing
because I was unacquainted with the geography of the surrounding
country.  Upon Stanley's statement, I halted Cox's division of the
Twenty-third Corps a few miles north of Pulaski so that the troops
might be the more readily placed as the situation required when I
had time to consider it.  No part of the Twenty-third Corps actually
went to Pulaski, although that was the place to which General Thomas
had ordered it.

On the 19th General Thomas repeated to me the same orders he had
sent to General Stanley, in these words:  "If the enemy advances
in force, as General Hatch believes, have everything in readiness
either to fight him at Pulaski if he advances on that place, or
cover the railroad and concentrate at Columbia, should he attempt
to turn your right flank. . . ."( 2)  I then telegraphed General
Thomas, November 20, pointing out the faulty nature of the position
selected by him for the troops at Pulaski, and the danger that must
be incurred in attempting to carry out his instructions to fight
Hood at Pulaski if he should advance upon that place; also suggesting
what seemed to be the best way to avoid that difficulty.  General
Thomas very promptly approved these suggestions, and thus ended
the embarrassment occasioned by the faulty instructions.  But his
official report on that point has made it necessary for me to
comment upon it more fully later.

The season of Hood's invasion of Tennessee was extremely unfavorable
for aggressive operations, and hence correspondingly favorable for
the defense.  The ordinary country roads were almost impassable,
while the turnpikes were in good condition.  As we held the crossing
of the Tennessee River at Decatur, Hood was compelled to cross at
the Shoals below, and to advance over those very bad roads; hence
we had ample time in which to make the necessary dispositions to
oppose him.

Our cavalry gave us accurate information that the enemy was advancing
on the 21st, when Cox, with Wagner in support, was ordered to
interpose between the enemy's cavalry and Columbia; while Stanley,
with two divisions of the Fourth Corps, marched from Pulaski to
that place, and our cavalry moved on the enemy's right to cover
the turnpike and railroad.  The whole army was in position at
Columbia, November 24, and began to intrench.  Hood's infantry did
not appear in sight until the 26th.  Cox had a brush with the
enemy's cavalry, which had driven in one of our cavalry brigades.
That action was magnified at the time, and afterward, into evidence
of a race between our troops and the enemy for the possession of
Columbia.  In fact, Ruger's troops at Columbia were quite capable
of holding that place against Forrest, and Hood's infantry was not
within a day's march of either Cox or Stanley until after both had
reached Columbia.

We held our intrenched position in front of Columbia until the
evening of November 27, inviting an attack, and hoping that Thomas
would arrive with, or send, reinforcements in time to assume the
offensive from Columbia; but reinforcements did not come, and the
enemy did not attack.  It became evident that Hood's intention was
not to attack that position, but to turn it by crossing Duck River
above; hence the army was moved to the north bank of the river in
the night of the 27th.  It was still hoped that the line of Duck
River might be held until reinforcements could arrive.  General
Thomas was very urgent that this should be done, if possible, as
the arrival of General A. J. Smith's corps from Missouri had been
expected daily for some time, when General Thomas intended, as it
was understood, to come to the front in person with that corps and
all the other troops he could assemble in his department, take
command, and move against the enemy.

                                 REASON OF THE DELAY IN EXCHANGING MESSAGES

About that time was disclosed one of those contrivances by which
the non-military agencies of government interfere with the operations
of armies.  The War Department telegraph corps alone was intrusted
with the cipher in which General Thomas and I could communicate
with each other by telegraph.  Neither he, nor I, nor any of our
staff officers were permitted to know the telegraph code.  The work
was so badly done that from eight to forty-eight hours were occupied
in sending and delivering a despatch.  Finally the cipher-operator
attached to my headquarters in the field deserted his post and went
to Franklin, so that the time required for a messenger to ride from
Franklin to my position in the field was added to the delay caused
by deciphering despatches.  From all this it resulted that my
superior at Nashville was able to give me little assistance during
the critical days of that campaign.  It has been generally supposed
that I was all that time acting under orders or instructions from
General Thomas, and his numerous despatches have been quoted in
"histories" as evidence in support of that supposition.  The fact
is that I was not only without any appropriate orders or instructions
nearly all the time, but also without any timely information from
General Thomas to guide my action.

This fact appears to have been fully recognized by General Thomas
in his official report, wherein he made no mention of any orders
or instructions given by him during the progress of those operations,
but referred only to "instructions already given" before I went to
Pulaski, and said:  "My plans and wishes were fully explained to
General Schofield, and, as subsequent events will show, properly
appreciated and executed by him."( 3)

[( 1) War Records, Vol. XLV.]

[( 2) War Records, Vol. XLV, part I, p. 944.]

[( 3) War Records, Vol. XXXIX, part I, p. 590.]

Hood Forces the Crossing of Duck River--Importance of Gaining Time
for Thomas to Concentrate Reinforcements at Nashville--The Affair
at Spring Hill--Incidents of the Night Retreat--Thomas's Reply to
the Request that a Bridge be Laid over the Harpeth--The Necessity
of Standing Ground at Franklin--Hood's Formidable Attack--Serious
Error of Two Brigades of the Rear-Guard--Brilliant Services of the
Reserve--Yellow Fever Averted--Hood's Assaults Repulsed--Johnston's
Criticism of Hood--The Advantage of Continuing the Retreat to

In the afternoon of November 28 I received information that the
enemy's cavalry had forced the crossing of Duck River above Columbia,
and driven our cavalry back; and, about two o'clock that night,
that prisoners reported the enemy laying pontoon bridges, and that
Hood's infantry would begin to cross that morning.  The army was
ready to march at a moment's notice.  It could have retired to
Spring Hill or to Franklin without molestation or delay, but that
would have given the enemy the crossing of Duck River at Columbia
and the turnpike road for his advance with his artillery and trains.
There was no assurance that Thomas had assembled any of his expected
reinforcements at Nashville or elsewhere.  It was known that orders
had been given some days before looking to concentration of some
of the troops in his department somewhere, but what had been
accomplished I was not informed.  About A. J. Smith I was in a like
state of uncertainty.  Only one thing was clear, and that was that
I must hold Hood back, if possible, until informed that Thomas had
concentrated his troops; for if I failed in that, Hood would not
only force me back upon Nashville before Thomas was ready to meet
him there, but would get possession of the Chattanooga Railroad,
and thus cut off the troops coming to Nashville from that direction.
After considering the matter some time in the night, I decided to
hold on at least until morning.  Early in the morning a brigade of
infantry was sent up the river to reconnoiter and watch the enemy's
movements; at the same time Stanley was ordered, with two divisions
of his corps, back to Spring Hill, to occupy and intrench a position
there covering the roads and the trains, which were ordered to be
parked at that place, and General Thomas H. Ruger was ordered to
join him.

                                      IMPORTANCE OF GAINING TIME FOR THOMAS

About 8 A. M. on the 29th came a despatch from Thomas, dated 8 P. M.
of the day before, conveying the information that Smith had not
arrived, and saying nothing about any other reinforcements, but
expressing the wish that the Duck River position be held until
Smith arrived; and another despatch designating Franklin, behind
the Harpeth River, as the place to which I would have to retire if
it became necessary to fall back from Duck River.  I then decided
to hold on to the crossing of Duck River until the night of the
29th, thus gaining twenty-four hours more for Thomas to concentrate
his troops.  I did not apprehend any serious danger at Spring Hill;
for Hood's infantry could not reach that place over a wretched
country road much before night, and Stanley, with one division and
our cavalry, could easily beat off Forrest.  Hence I retained
Ruger's division and one of Stanley's, and disposed all the troops
to resist any attempt Hood might make, by marching directly from
his bridges upon my position on the north bank of Duck River, to
dislodge me from that position.  That was his best chance of success,
but he did not try it.

Stanley arrived at Spring Hill in time to beat off Forrest and
protect our trains.  Then he intrenched a good position in which
to meet Hood's column when it should arrive, which it did late in
the afternoon.  They had a hard fight which lasted until about
dark.  Much bitter controversy arose between Hood and some of his
subordinates because of their failure to dislodge Stanley's division
and get possession of the turnpike at Spring Hill.  While I have
no wish to take any part in that discussion, I must say that I
think the mistake was Hood's.  I think he attempted a little longer
march, over a very bad road, than could be made in so short a time.
The 29th of November is a very short day, and the march of troops
across pontoon bridges and through deep mud is very slow.  If Hood
had turned down the north bank of Duck River, across the fields,
which were no worse than his road, he could have got into a fight
about noon; but he thought, according to his own account in "Advance
and Retreat," that he was deceiving me by his thundering demonstrations
at Columbia, and that I did not know he was marching to Spring
Hill.  He thought he was going to "catch me napping," after the
tactics of Stonewall Jackson, while in fact I was watching him all
day.  Besides, Hood went to bed that night, while I was in the
saddle all night, directing in person all the important movements
of my troops.  Perhaps that is enough to account for the difference
between success and failure, without censuring subordinate commanders.
Mine did all I could have asked anybody to do that night.

                                                  THE AFFAIR AT SPRING HILL

As soon as I was satisfied that Hood was gone to Spring Hill and
would not attack me on the bank of Duck River, I took the head of
my troops--Ruger's division--and marched rapidly to Spring Hill,
leaving staff officers to give orders to the other division commanders
to follow immediately in proper order as then formed in line.
These orders were somehow misunderstood.  The order of march was
reversed, and the troops, except Ruger's, and Whitaker's brigade
of Kimball's division, did not move at once.  But the delay did no
harm, and I did not know of the mistake until several days afterward.
If Hood had only known of that mistake, he might have troubled me
no little, perhaps, by pushing a column across from his camp, south
of Whitaker's right flank at Spring Hill, until it reached the
Columbia turnpike.  But I had prepared even for that, as well as
I could, by sending a company of infantry to occupy the only cross-
road I could see near Spring Hill as we approached that place.  I
ordered the captain of that company to hold that road at all hazards
until he was relieved by my orders!  Some of Hood's troops "relieved"
him next morning!  We have to do cruel things sometimes in war.
On arriving at Spring Hill, Whitaker's brigade was put in line on
the right of the troops then in position, so as to cover the turnpike
on which we were marching.  This was about dark.  In a few minutes
the Confederate camp-fires were lighted a few hundred yards in
front of that brigade.  It was a very interesting sight, but I
don't think any of Whitaker's men cared to give the Confederates
a similar view of them.

After stopping to see Stanley a few minutes, and learning that some
of Forrest's troopers had been seen at Thompson's Station, three
miles farther north, about dusk, I went with Ruger's division to
drive them off and clear the way to Franklin.  To my great surprise,
I found only smouldering fires--no cavalry.  This was where our
men passed so close to the "bivouac" that they "lighted their pipes
by the enemy's camp-fires"; and that is the way romance is woven
into history!  But I took it for granted that the famous Forrest
must be on my road somewhere; for he was there in the afternoon,
and I had no cavalry anywhere near to drive him away.  I could not
take time to go with or send infantry to find out where he was.
But I had with me my headquarters troop and as gallant an aide--
Captain William J. Twining--as ever wore spur.  Twining was the
same gallant and accomplished aide and officer of the corps of
engineers, now dead, who afterward made the famous ride of one
hundred and ten miles, through the enemy's country in North Carolina,
to carry a despatch from me to Sherman.  He was a commissioner of
the District of Columbia at the time of his death.  I ordered them
to go at full gallop down the pike to Franklin, and to ride over
whatever might be found in their way.  I sat motionless on my horse
at Thompson's Station until the clatter of hoofs on that hard road
died out in the distance, and I knew the road was clear.  I did
not tell the brave Twining the object of that ride, but simply to
report the situation to General Thomas by telegraph from Franklin,
and if any troops were at that place, as had been reported, to
order them forward at once.  I had not yet determined whether I
could continue the retreat that night, or whether it might be
necessary to fight Hood at Spring Hill the next day.  In either
case the troops at Franklin, if any were there, might be useful.

                                             INCIDENTS OF THE NIGHT RETREAT

Upon returning to Spring Hill near midnight, I found my column from
Duck River there in compact order.  As the road was clear and the
Confederates all sound asleep, while the Union forces were all wide
awake, there was no apparent reason for not continuing the march
that night.  A column of artillery and wagons, and another of
infantry, moved side by side along the broad turnpike, so that if
the redoubtable Forrest should wake up and make his appearance
anywhere, he would be quickly brushed away.  It was reported that
he did attack somewhere in the night, but I heard nothing of it at
the time, perhaps because I was sleeping quietly on my horse as we
marched along!

I arrived at Franklin with the head of my column a short time before
the dawn of day, November 30; indicated to General J. D. Cox,
commanding the Twenty-third Corps, the line upon which the troops
were to be formed; and intrusted to him the formation, as the
several divisions of both corps should arrive, General Stanley
being in the rear directing the operations of the rear-guard.  The
Twenty-third Corps occupied the center of the line crossing the
Columbia turnpike, and extended to the river on the left, while
the Fourth Corps was to extend the line to the river on the right.
Fortunately the natural position was such that Kimball's division
of the Fourth Corps was sufficient, leaving both Wood's and Wagner's
in reserve.  I then gave my undivided attention to the means of
crossing the Harpeth River.

Two days before I had telegraphed to General Thomas suggesting that
he have a pontoon bridge laid at Franklin, to which he replied:
"You can send some of the pontoons you used at Columbia to Franklin
to lay a bridge there."( 1)  General Thomas or his staff should
have known that it was utterly impossible for me to use the pontoons
which I had at Columbia.  Those pontoons were heavy wooden bateaux,
and there were no wagons to transport them, the train that brought
them there having been taken away, it is presumed by his order,
certainly not by mine.  Hence I was compelled to burn that pontoon
bridge as well as the railroad bridge (partially) when my troops
retreated from Ducktown.  But even if this were not all true, Thomas
knew the enemy was already crossing Duck River on my flank, and
that I must speedily take up a new position behind the Harpeth,
and that I desired him to provide the means for my army to cross
that river.  It was a reasonable inference that I should not have
asked him to send another bridge if I already had one that I could
use.  Besides, I was commanding General Thomas's army, operating
in his department, wherein I had no control of anything in rear of
the troops under my charge.  It was his duty to foresee and provide
for all the necessities that might arise in the rear of the army
in the field.  I telegraphed him again for a bridge at the Harpeth
on the 29th, when I found that retreat was inevitable, but he
apparently did not get that despatch.  He nevertheless sent bridge
material by rail to Franklin, where it arrived on the morning of
November 30, too late for the pontoons to be used, though the
flooring was useful in covering the railroad bridge and the burned
wagon-bridge.  I found also on the south side of the river a very
large park of wagons belonging to the Department of the Cumberland,
which, as well as my own trains and artillery, must be crossed over
before I could withdraw my troops to the north side.  The troops
were very much fatigued by their long night march, rendering
considerable rest indispensable.  Hence there could not be much
time in which to prepare defensive works with such obstructions as
to insure successful defense against a very heavy assault.  But,
much more serious, Hood might cross the river above Franklin with
a considerable force of infantry, as well as with all his cavalry,
before I could get my materials over and troops enough to meet him
on the north side.  The situation at Franklin had become vastly
more serious than that at Columbia or Spring Hill, and solely
because of the neglect of so simple a thing as to provide the bridge
I had asked for across the Harpeth.  If that had been done, my
trains could have passed over at once, and the entire army could
have crossed before Hood reached Franklin.


To meet this greatest danger, Wood's division of the Fourth Corps
was crossed to the north side to support the cavalry in holding
the fords above, if that should become necessary; while Wagner's
division, which had acted as rear-guard from Spring Hill, was
ordered to remain far enough in front of the line to compel Hood
to disclose his intention to attack in front or to turn the position,
and was to retire and take its position in reserve at the proper
time, if the enemy formed for attack.  Only one of those three
brigades--Opdycke's--came in at the proper time and took its
appropriate place; and that, it was asserted, and no doubt truly,
was by the brigade commander's own volition, he having been a
soldier enough to know his duty in such a case, without the necessity
for any orders.  The other two brigades remained in their advanced
position until they were run over by the enemy.  Much idle controversy
was indulged in among officers of the Fourth Corps and others in
respect to the action of those two brigades.  The only proper way
to settle such a question was by a court-martial.  As the corps
passed from my command the next morning, and had been under by
orders only a few days, I have never made any effort to fix, even
in my own mind, the responsibility for that blunder.

By great exertion on the part of the engineers, the means of crossing
the river were at length provided.  The supports of the burned
wagon-bridge were still standing at a level with the surface of
the water.  They were timbered and planked over, and the railroad
bridge was also covered with planking, thus giving us two passable
bridges.  The trains had all been crossed over, and a part of the
artillery.  Orders had been issued for the troops to begin crossing
at dark, when Hood disclosed his purpose to attack.  The artillery
was ordered back to its position in line, and General Stanley and
I, who were then together on the north side of the river, rode
rapidly to our posts, he to his corps on the south side, and I to
the high redoubt on the north bank, overlooking the entire field.

There I witnessed the grandest display possible in war.  Every
battalion and battery of the Union army in line was distinctly
seen.  The corps of the Confederate army which were advancing or
forming for the attack could also be seen, though less clearly on
account of their greater distance, while the Confederate cavalry
could be dimly discerned moving to the fords of the river above
Franklin.  Only a momentary view was permitted of this scene of
indescribable grandeur when it was changed into one of most tragic
interest and anxiety.  The guns of the redoubt on the parapet of
which I stood with two or three staff officers had fired only a
few shots over the heads of our troops at the advancing enemy when
his heavy line overwhelmed Wagner's two brigades and rapidly followed
their fragments in a confused mass over our light intrenchments.
The charging ranks of the enemy, the flying remnants of our broken
troops, and the double ranks of our first line of defense, coming
back from the trenches together, produced the momentary impression
of an overwhelming mass of the enemy passing over our parapets.

                                                   HOOD'S FORMIDABLE ATTACK

It is hardly necessary to say that for a moment my "heart sank
within me."  But instantly Opdycke's brigade and the 12th and 16th
Kentucky sprang forward, and steadily advanced to the breach.  Up
to this moment there had been but little firing at that point,
because of our own troops and the enemy coming in pell-mell; hence
there was not much smoke, and the whole could be seen.  But now
all became enveloped in a dense mass of smoke, and not a man was
visible except the fragments of the broken brigades and others,
afterward known to be prisoners, flocking to the rear.  A few
seconds of suspense and intense anxiety followed, then the space
in the rear of our line became clear of fugitives, and the steady
roar of musketry and artillery and the dense volume of smoke rising
along the entire line told me that "the breach is restored, the
victory won"!  That scene, and the emotion of that one moment, were
worth all the losses and dangers of a soldier's lifetime.

It would hardly be possible to frame language that would do more
than justice to the magnificent conduct of Emerson Opdycke's brigade
and Laurence H. Rousseau's 12th Kentucky and John S. White's 16th
Kentucky, which were also in reserve, and their commanders, in that
battle.  Their action was beyond all praise, and nothing that can
justly be said in respect to the battle can detract one iota from
their proud fame.  Yet the light in which the part acted by Opdycke's
brigade (the others not being mentioned) is presented by some
"historians," to the prejudice, relatively, of other portions of
the army and of their commanders, is essentially false.  It is
represented as something purely spontaneous, out of the ordinary
course, not contemplated in the dispositions made for battle,
unforseen and unexpected; in short, something more--yes, vastly
more--than the reasonable duty of the brigade; or, "beyond all
power of generalship to mold the battle or control its issue, the
simple charge of Opdycke's brigade stands in boldest relief."  The
same might be said with equal truth of the action of any brigade
upon which devolves the assault of defense of the key of a military
position.  The success or failure of "generalship to mold the battle
or control its issue" depends absolutely upon the action of such
brigades, their doing, or failure to do, the duty belonging to the
position to which they are assigned.  Every soldier in the army
knew what his duty was in such a case--knew for what he had been
placed in that position.  It would have been strange indeed if the
gallant commander of that brigade had waited for orders from some
higher officer to move "forward to the lines."  As well might the
commander of a brigade in line wait for orders from the general-in-
chief before commencing to fire on the advancing enemy.

The highest tribute that can be paid to Opdycke's brigade is the
just and true one, that it did exactly the duty assigned it in the
plan of battle, and did that duty nobly and with complete success.
That other brigades did the same is sufficiently shown by the fact
that twenty battle-flags were captured by a single brigade of the
Twenty-third Corps on the same part of the line, and that the 12th
and 16th Kentucky regiments relatively suffered equally heavy losses
in killed and wounded with those of Opdycke.( 2)

                                              SERIOUS ERROR OF TWO BRIGADES

As before stated, the dispositions for defense contemplated the
whole of Wagner's division as the reserve to support the center,
that being the only part of the line upon which the enemy would
have time to make a heavy assault that day.  This provision for an
ample reserve had been made after full consideration and before
Wood's division was ordered to the north side of the river, which
was after the day was well advanced and the enemy's cavalry had
begun to threaten the crossing above.  The blunder respecting the
two brigades of Wagner's division came near being disastrous, and
the repulse of the assault in spite of that blunder makes it highly
probable that if the dispositions ordered had been properly made,
the repulse of the enemy would have been easy beyond reasonable
doubt.  Yet it would be difficult to find a fairer chance of success
in a direct assault upon troops in position.  Our intrenchments
were of the slightest kind, and without any considerable obstructions
in front to interfere seriously with the assault.  The attack, no
less than the defense, was characterized by incomparable valor,
and the secret of its failure is to be found in one of the principles
taught by all military experience--the great superiority in strength
of a fresh body of troops in perfect order over another in the
state of disorder which necessarily results from even the most
successful assault.  There was really no comparison, in effective
strength, between Opdycke's orderly and compact brigade and the
confused mass of Confederates that were crossing over our parapet.
The result was nothing extraordinary or at all unprecedented.  It
was but one of the numerous proofs afforded by military history of
the value of that prudent maxim in the art of war which dictates
the placing of a suitable reserve in close support of that portion
of a defensive line which is liable to heavy assault.

The surprising conduct of the commanders of the two brigades of
Wagner's division which were run over by the enemy, and of the
division commander himself, whatever may be true as to the conflicting
statements published in respect to their action, is one of the
strongest possible illustrations of the necessity of the higher
military education, and of the folly of intrusting high commands
to men without such education, which, fortunately for the country
and the army, is rarely learned by experience, but must be acquired
by laborious study of the rules and principles laid down by standard
authors as derived from the practice and teachings of the great
masters of the art of war in all ages.  A well-educated officer,
either as brigade or division commander, would not have needed
orders from any source to tell him what to do in that emergency.
He would have known so surely what his duty was that he would have
retired at the proper time behind the main line, without ever
thinking whether or not he had orders to do so.  As well might I
have waited for orders from General Thomas to retire across the
Harpeth after my duty on the south side of that river had been
accomplished.  The cases are closely parallel.  Any unofficial
discussion of the question of responsibility for the sacrifice of
those two brigades is idle.  According to the established rules of
war, those three commanders ought to have been tried by court-
martial, and, if found guilty, shot or cashiered, for sacrificing
their own men and endangering the army.  One example of such
punishment would do much to deter ignorant and incompetent men from
seeking high commands in the field.  But the discipline of the
volunteer army of a republic must, it appears, inevitably be,
especially in respect to officers of high rank, quite imperfect,
although it may become in respect to the great mass of the troops,
as ours certainly did, exceedingly efficient.

In the Atlanta campaign I sent a division commander to the rear in
permanent disgrace for sacrificing his men in a hopeless assault
upon a fortified line, contrary to the general orders and instructions
which General Sherman had published before the opening of the
campaign.  But I never heard of another similar case of even
approximate justice to an officer of high rank.  It is a striking
proof of the evil effect of war upon the minds and passions of men,
not only of those who are engaged in it, but even more upon those
who see it from a distance, that commanders are often severely
condemned for prudent care of the lives of men under their command,
who have no choice but to march blindly to death when ordered,
while the idiotic sacrifice of the bravest and noblest of patriotic
soldiers is loudly applauded as a grand exhibition of "gallantry"
in action.  If George H. Thomas had had no other title to honor or
fame, he would have deserved the profound gratitude of the American
people, and a very high place among the country's patriots and
heroes, for the reason that while he never yielded ground to an
attacking foe, he never uselessly sacrificed the life of a soldier.

It is a sin for a soldier to throw away his own life.  It is not
his, but belongs to his country.  How much greater sin and crime
in an officer the throw away the lives of a thousand men!  If he
threw away a thousand dollars, he would be court-martialed and
cashiered.  Are not the soldiers of a republic worth even a dollar
apiece!  Patriotism and courage exist in great abundance in the
breasts of young Americans.  All they need is instruction, discipline,
a little experience, such as our greatest soldier said he himself
needed at first, and, above all, intelligent leadership, which can
be acquired only by military education, to make them the best
soldiers the world has ever known.

                                                       YELLOW FEVER AVERTED

When I joined my company as second lieutenant in Florida in the
winter of 1853-4, I found the company had been reduced to one lance-
sergeant, two lance-corporals, and thirteen privates.  Yellow fever
had done its deadly work.  But that lesson was not lost.  In later
years, upon the approach of that enemy, which could not be conquered
even by the highest science then known or practised, the troops
were marched a few miles into the pure air of the piney woods,
where the dreaded fever could not reach them.  At the close of the
epidemic season which occurred when I had the honor to command the
army, I had the great satisfaction of reporting that not a single
soldier had been killed by that most dreaded of all enemies, and
the even greater satisfaction of reporting that those bravest of
the brave, the surgeons who volunteered to go into the very midst
of the camp of the enemy that does not respect even the red cross,
to minister to those who had been stricken down and to study the
nature of the disease for the future benefit of the army and of
mankind, had also been unharmed.  As chief of those I do not hesitate
to name the present surgeon-general of the army, George M. Sternberg.
Yet how many of the noblest soldiers of humanity have given their
lives in that cause!

Hood's assault at Franklin has been severely criticized.  Even so
able a man as General J. E. Johnston characterizes it as a "useless
butchery."  These criticisms are founded upon a misapprehension of
the facts, and are essentially erroneous.  Hood must have been
fully aware of our relative weakness in numbers at Franklin, and
of the probable, if not certain, concentration of large reinforcements
at Nashville.  He could not hope to have at any future time anything
like so great an advantage in that respect.  The army at Franklin
and the troops at Nashville were within one night's march of each
other; Hood must therefore attack on November 30, or lose the
advantage of greatly superior numbers.  It was impossible, after
the pursuit from Spring Hill, in a short day to turn our position
or make any other attack but a direct one in front.  Besides, our
position, with a river in our rear, gave him the chance of vastly
greater results, if his assault were successful, than could be hoped
for by any attack he could make after we had crossed the Harpeth.
Still more, there was no unusual obstacle to a successful assault
at Franklin.  The defenses were of the slightest character, and it
was not possible to make them formidable during the short time our
troops were in position, after the previous exhausting operations
of both day and night, which had rendered some rest on the 30th
absolutely necessary.

                                                   HOOD'S ASSAULTS REPULSED

The Confederate cause had reached a condition closely verging on
desperation, and Hood's commander-in-chief had called upon him to
undertake operations which he thought appropriate to such an
emergency.  Franklin was the last opportunity he could expect to
have to reap the results hoped for in his aggressive movement.  He
must strike there, as best he could, or give up his cause as lost.
I believe, therefore, that there can be no room for doubt that
Hood's assault was entirely justifiable.  It may have been faulty
in execution, in not having been sufficiently supported by a powerful
reserve at the moment of first success.  I have not the means of
knowing the actual facts in this regard; but the result seems to
render such a hypothesis at least probable, and the rapidity and
impetuosity of Hood's advance and assault add to that probability.

It is interesting to consider what would probably have been the
march of events if we had retreated from Duck River in the night
of November 28, upon first learning that Hood had forced the crossing
of that river.  We would have reached Franklin early on the 29th,
could have rebuilt the bridges and crossed the Harpeth that day
and night, and Hood could not have got up in time to make any
serious attack that day.  So far as our little army was concerned,
for the moment all would have been well.  But Hood would have been
in front of Franklin, with his whole army, artillery, and ammunition-
trains, by dawn of day on the 30th; he could have forced the crossing
of the Harpeth above Franklin early that day, compelled us to retire
to Nashville, and interposed his cavalry between Nashville and
Murfreesboro' that night or early on December 1.  Thus Thomas's
remaining reinforcements from the south and east would have been
cut off, and he might have been attacked in Nashville, not later
than December 2, with several thousand fewer men than he finally
had there, a large part of his army--A. J. Smith's three divisions
--not fully ready for battle, and with fewer effective cavalry;
while Hood would have had his whole army, fresh and spirited,
without the losses and depression caused by its defeat at Franklin,
ready to attack an inferior force at Nashville or to cross the
Cumberland and invade Kentucky.  In short, the day gained at Duck
River and Spring Hill was indispensable to Thomas's success.  The
time gained by that "temerity" made success _possible_.  The
additional time and relative strength gained by Hood's disastrous
repulse at Franklin made final success easy and certain.  A retreat
at any time before nine o'clock A. M. on the 29th would have led
to substantially the same result as if begun at 2 A. M.

If the plan adopted and ordered early in the morning of November
29 had been carried out, by which the line of Duck River would have
been abandoned in the middle of that day, the head of column from
Spring Hill would have arrived at Franklin about midnight, expecting
to cross the Harpeth without delay; but, under the conditions
actually found to exist at Franklin, not much progress toward
providing the means of crossing the Harpeth could have been made
before daylight in the morning; therefore our condition for battle
at Franklin would not have been materially different, in time or
otherwise, from what it actually was.  Hood's artillery, as well
as his infantry, could have reached Spring Hill before daylight on
the 30th, and would have had practically a clear road to Franklin;
for the enemy's superior cavalry having been interposed between
our cavalry and infantry, it was necessary for our infantry,
artillery, and trains to retreat from Spring Hill to Franklin in
one compact column.  A small force could not have been left at
Spring Hill, as had been suggested, to delay Hood's advance, because
of the imminent danger that it would be attacked in flank and rear
by the enemy's cavalry, and thus cut off and captured; hence Hood
could have made his attack at Franklin about noon, instead of at
4:30 P. M., and with a large force of artillery as well as of
infantry.  Such an attack would, of course, have been far more
formidable than that which was actually made; whether it could have
been successfully resisted from noon until dark can only be
conjectured.  It is sufficient here to note that the delay of Hood's
advance very greatly diminished the force of his attack at Franklin,
besides making his arrival before that place so late that he could
not turn that position that day by crossing the Harpeth above.
The tenacity with which the crossing of Duck River at Columbia was
held was well rewarded at Franklin.

                                    THE ADVANTAGE OF CONTINUING THE RETREAT

The question has been raised whether we ought not to have held our
position in front of Franklin after having repulsed Hood's attack
and inflicted such heavy losses upon his troops.  General Sherman
himself impliedly made this suggestion when he expressed the opinion
that Thomas ought to have turned on Hood after his repulse at
Franklin; and General Jacob D. Cox, who had been in the thickest
of the fight all the time, with high soldierly instinct sent me,
by one of my staff officers, the suggestion that we stay there and
finish the fight the next day.  A fight to a finish, then and there,
might quite probably have given us the prize.  But the reasons for
declining that tempting opportunity for complete victory will, I
believe, seem perfectly clear when fully stated.

In anticipation of orders from General Thomas to fall back to
Nashville that night, the trains had been ordered to the rear before
the battle began, so as to clear the way for the march of our
troops, and to render impossible any interference by the enemy's
cavalry.  Our ammunition had been well-nigh exhausted in the battle
at Franklin, as is shown by my telegram to General Thomas to send
a million rounds to Brentwood, thinking he might want me to hold
Hood there until he could get A. J. Smith's troops in position and
supplied with ammunition.  If I had needed any such warning, that
given me by the general in his despatch,( 3) "But you must look
out that the enemy does not still persist," would have been sufficient
to deter me from fighting him the next day with my "back to the
river."  Besides, it is not easy to estimate at midnight exactly
the results of a desperate battle then just terminated.  But all
this is insignificant when compared with the controlling reason.
I had then fully accomplished the object (and I could not then know
how much more) for which the command in the field had for a time
been intrusted to me.  My junction with reinforcements at Nashville
was assured, as also the future success of the army under my superior
in command.  Why run any further risk?  If it had been possible
for me, at that moment of supreme satisfaction, to have had any
thought of self, I might perhaps have considered the project of
turning upon my adversary at dawn the next morning, in hope of
routing his dispirited army.  But if any man thinks such a thought
possible under such circumstances, he knows nothing about the
character of a patriotic soldier.  If the troops I then had at
Franklin had been the sole reliance for ultimate success in the
campaign, nothing could have been clearer than my duty to turn and
strike with all my might at dawn the next day.

(A copy of all the correspondence between General Thomas and myself,
with annotations showing the time of receipt of the several despatches
from General Thomas, thereby showing their influence upon my actions,
has been placed on file at the War Department.  These copies of
despatches, with annotations, are intended mainly for the military
student who may care to make a close and critical study of such
military operations.  The original records of such correspondence
are often worse than useless, for the reason that the exact time
of sending and receipt of a despatch is so often omitted.  All sent
or received the same day are frequently printed in the records
indiscriminately, so that the last if as likely to come first as
otherwise; and, sometimes, historians have used despatches as if
they had been received at the time they were sent, though in fact
many hours or some days had elapsed.  My annotations were made in
1882-3, at Black Point, San Francisco, California, with the assistance
of my ever faithful and efficient aide, Colonel William M. Wherry,
now lieutenant-colonel of the 2d United States Infantry, and were
attached to the copies of the records in 1886.)

[( 1) War Records, Vol. XLV, part I, p. 1108.]

[( 2) War Records, Vol. XLV, part I, pp. 241 and 413.  The loss at
Franklin of Opdycke's six regiments was 205, while the 12th and
16th Kentucky regiments lost 106 men.]

[( 3) War Records, Vol. XLV, part I, p. 1171.]

The Correspondence with General Thomas previous to the Battle of
Franklin--The Untenable Position at Pulaski--Available Troops which
were not Sent to the Front--Correspondence with General Thomas--
Instructions Usually Received too Late--Advantage of Delaying the
Retreat from Duck River--No Serious Danger at Spring Hill--General
Thomas Hoping that Hood might be Delayed for Three Days at Franklin.

I will now add to the foregoing sketch what seems to me necessary
to a full understanding of the operations preceding and immediately
following the battle of Franklin, referring briefly, as necessary
to an exact understanding of some things that occurred, to the
relation in which I stood to General Thomas.  He was my senior by
thirteen years as a graduate of the Military Academy, where I had
known him well as my highly respected instructor.  He had won high
distinction in Mexico, and had been twice brevetted for gallant
services in that war.  He had seen far more service in the field
than I had, and in much larger commands, though almost always under
the immediate command of a superior--Buell, Rosecrans, and Sherman.
Even in the Atlanta campaign, then recently ended, his command was
nearly five times as large as mine.  In 1864 he had already become
a brigadier-general in the regular army, having risen to that rank
by regular stages, while I was only a captain thirty-three years
of age.  It will also be necessary for the reader to realize that
when I asked for and received orders to report with the Twenty-
third Corps to General Thomas in Tennessee, I felt in the fullest
degree all the deference and respect which were due to his seniority
in years and rank and services.

When I went back to Tennessee my only anxiety respecting the
situation, so far as General Thomas's personality affected it, was
on account of his constitutional habit of very deliberate action.
I was apprehensive that, in some emergency created by the action
of the daring and reckless, though not over-talented, antagonist he
would have to meet, General Thomas might not be able to determine
and act quickly enough to save from defeat his army, then understood
to be so far inferior to the enemy in numerical strength.  I had
far too high an opinion of his capacity as a general to doubt for
a moment that with sufficient time in which to mature his plans to
resist Hood's invasion and to execute those plans so far as was in
his power, he would do all that the wisest generalship could

I will also refer to the official returns of that period, which
show what troops General Thomas had elsewhere in his department
and available for service, as well as the effective strength of
the force then under my immediate command in the field, and that
of General A. J. Smith's three divisions, which had been ordered
from Missouri to join the forces of General Thomas.  In his entire
department, excluding the Fourth and Twenty-third Corps in the
field, the infantry and artillery force, present for duty equipped,
officers and men, November 20, 1864, amounted to 29,332; the two
corps in the field, to 24,265; and A. J. Smith's corps, to about
10,000.  The entire cavalry force, mounted and equipped, was about
4800; that unmounted, about 6700.

                                     THE CORRESPONDENCE WITH GENERAL THOMAS

It is necessary to exclude from this statement of troops available
for service in middle Tennessee those in Kentucky and East Tennessee,
belonging to the Department of the Ohio, for the reason that just
at that time unusual demand was made upon those troops for service
in East Tennessee, where some of the State forces had met with
disaster.  This probably accounts in part for the discrepancies in
General Sherman's estimates referred to later.

Hood's forces were then understood by General Thomas to consist of
from 40,000 to 45,000 infantry and artillery, and 10,000 to 12,000
cavalry, including Forrest's command.  I find from General Sherman's
despatch to Thomas, dated October 19, that his estimate of Hood's
strength, October 19, 1864, was about 40,000 men of all arms.

I do not find in General Thomas's report or despatches any exact
statement of his own estimate; but the following language in his
official report of January 20, 1865, seems quite sufficiently
explicit on that point:  "Two divisions of infantry, under Major-
General A. J. Smith, were reported on their way to join me from
Missouri, which, with several one-year regiments then arriving in
the department, and detachments collected from points of minor
importance, would swell my command, when concentrated, to an army
nearly as large as that of the enemy.  Had the enemy delayed his
advance a week or ten days longer, I would have been ready to meet
him at some point south of Duck River. . . . "

This must of course be accepted as General Thomas's own estimate
of the enemy's strength, on which his own action was based.  And
it should be remembered that military operations must be based upon
the information then in possession of the commander, and just
criticism must also be based upon his action upon that information,
and not upon any afterward obtained.

General Sherman estimated the force left with Thomas ( 1) at about
45,000 (exclusive of the Fourth and Twenty-third Corps, and Smith's
corps coming from Missouri), in which he included about 8000 or
10,000 new troops at Nashville, and the same number of civil
employees of the quartermaster's department.  The Fourth and Twenty-
third corps he estimated at 27,000 men, and Smith's at 10,000, and
the cavalry in the field at 7700.  All this was sufficiently accurate
if no account were taken of men unfit for duty or not equipped.
But the official returns show that the number of officers and men
present for duty equipped amounted to 49,322 in the department,
and in the two corps in the field to 24,265, and in the cavalry in
the field, to 4800.  There were therefore the following discrepancies
in Sherman's estimate, due in part to the discharge of men whose
terms had expired, as well as to the usual number of men not equipped
for duty in the ranks:  In the troops in the department, a discrepancy
of 8000; in the army corps in the field, 2735; in the cavalry in
the field, 2900 ( 2)--a total discrepancy of 13,635.  That is to
say, Sherman's own estimate was in excess of Thomas's actual strength
by a force greater than either of the two army corps he sent back
to help Thomas.  If he had sent back another large corps,--say the
Fourteenth, 13,000 strong, having besides the moral strength due
to the fact that it was Thomas's old corps,--the discrepancy in
his own estimate would doubtless have been sufficiently overcome,
and the line of Duck River at least, if not that of the Tennessee,
as Sherman had assured Grant, would have been securely held until
A. J. Smith arrived and Thomas could assume the offensive.

Hood's force was ready to invade Tennessee in one compact army,
while Thomas then had in the field ready to oppose it a decidedly
inferior force, even admitting the lowest estimate made of that
hostile army.

                                          THE UNTENABLE POSITION AT PULASKI

The superiority of the enemy's cavalry made it necessary that the
garrisons of all essential posts and the guards of important railroad
bridges should be strong enough to resist attack from a large force
of dismounted cavalry and light artillery, so long as Thomas was
compelled to remain on the defensive.  The records of that time
indicate that Thomas then appreciated, what mature consideration
now confirms, that if Hood's advance had induced him (Thomas) to
draw off sufficient troops from garrisons and railroad guards to
enable him to give battle on equal terms to Hood at Pulaski or
Columbia, a raid by Hood's cavalry would probably have resulted in
the destruction or capture of nearly everything in the rear, not
only in Tennessee, but also in Kentucky, except perhaps Nashville
and Chattanooga.  It was only wise forethought which suggested that
such might be the nature of Hood's plans, especially in view of
the season of the year and the condition of the roads, which made
aggressive operations of a large army, where all the hard roads
were held by the opposing forces, extremely difficult.  The official
returns, now published in the War Records,( 3) show that the troops
were sufficient only for the purpose of garrisons and guards and
defensive action in the field until after the arrival of A. J.
Smith; and this is true even if Hood's cavalry force was no larger
than that which now appears from Forrest's report--5000; for Forrest
might easily have got a day or two the start of his pursuer at any
time, as had often been done on both sides during the war.

It is true that Sherman's instructions to Thomas appear to have
contemplated the possibility, at least, that Thomas might be reduced
to the extreme necessity of holding Nashville, Chattanooga, and
Decatur defensively, even during a long siege, and of abandoning
all points of less importance than the three named, so that all
the garrisons of such minor points and all the railroad guards
might be concentrated with the garrisons of these three important
strategic points, for their defense during a siege.  This must of
course have referred to the defensive period of the campaign only,
for the moment that Thomas's reinforcements should enable him to
assume the offensive all the necessities above referred to must
have disappeared.  It must, I think, be admitted as beyond question
that, in view of his daily expectation of the arrival of A. J.
Smith's troops from Missouri, Thomas was perfectly right in not
acting upon Sherman's suggestion of extreme defensive action, and
thus abandoning his railroad to destruction.

If, on the other hand, Thomas's reinforcements had arrived in time
to enable him to take the initiative by moving against Hood from
Pulaski or Columbia, then he might have drawn quite largely from
his garrisons in the rear to reinforce his army in the field, since
his "active offensive" operations would have fully occupied Hood's
cavalry, and thus have prevented a raid in Thomas's rear.  But
until he was strong enough to advance, unless forced to the extreme
necessity of defending Nashville, Chattanooga, and Decatur, and
abandoning all else, Thomas could not prudently have reduced his
garrisons or guards.

I knew nothing at that time of Sherman's instructions to Thomas,
and little about the actual strength of Thomas's garrisons and
railroad guards.  But I was under the impression that some
reinforcements must be available from his own department, and felt
a little impatient about the long delay in their arrival, and hence
telegraphed General Thomas, November 24, suggesting the concentration
of R. S. Granger's troops and those along the railroad.  The
despatches to me at that time, to be found in the War Records,( 4)
fully show the earnest determination of General Thomas to send
forward reinforcements as soon as possible, and even in detail,
and to fight Hood at or near Columbia.  Indeed, those despatches
misled me somewhat as to what I might expect.

                                     AVAILABLE TROOPS NOT SENT TO THE FRONT

Notwithstanding this earnest desire, General Thomas does not appear
to have realized the existence of a force available for the purpose
he had in view.  The railroad guards from Atlanta to Chattanooga
or Dalton, withdrawn after Sherman started on his march, and
convalescents, men returning from furlough and others going to the
front, but failing to reach Sherman's army in time, all assembled
at Chattanooga, made a surplus force at that point of about 7000
men.( 5)  Some of these troops had been sent to East Tennessee, as
well as all the mounted troops available in Kentucky, for the
purpose of retrieving the disaster which had befallen the Tennessee
military governor's troops there, under Gillem.  But all sent from
Chattanooga had been returned by November 21, about the time when
Hood's advance from Florence had become certainly known.  Yet it
does not appear that General Thomas even inquired what force was
available at Chattanooga until November 25, when, in reply to a
telegram, he learned that Steedman could raise 5000 men (in fact,
7000), in addition to all necessary garrisons and guards, "to
threaten enemy in rear," in case he should "get on Chattanooga
railroad."  It may then (November 25) have been too late to send
those 5000 or 7000 men to the line of Duck River, or perhaps even
to Franklin.  They were sent to Nashville, reaching there after
the battle of Franklin.  If they had been ordered to Columbia by
rail, via Nashville, as soon as Hood's advance was known to General
Thomas, they must have reached Duck River some time before Hood
attempted to cross that stream.  This addition to the Fourth and
Twenty-third Corps would have raised the infantry in the field to
nearly an equality with that of Hood in fact, though not nearly to
what Hood's force was then supposed to be.  That increased force
would doubtless have made it possible to prevent Hood from crossing
Duck River anywhere near Columbia for several days, and perhaps to
force him to select some other line of operations, or to content
himself with sending his cavalry on another raid.  In any case,
the arrival of A. J. Smith a few days later would have enabled
Thomas to assume the aggressive before Hood could have struck a
serious blow at Thomas's army in the field.  In view of the earnest
desire of General Thomas to reinforce the army in the field at
Columbia, there does not appear to be any rational explanation of
the fact that he did not send those 7000 men from Chattanooga to
Columbia.  His own report states the fact about those "7000 men
belonging to his [General Sherman's] column," but does not give
any reason why they were not used in his "measures to act on the
defensive."  As General Thomas says:  "These men had been organized
into brigades, to be made available at such points as they might
be needed."  At what other point could they possibly be so much
needed as that where the two corps were trying to oppose the advance
of the enemy long enough for Thomas to get up his other reinforcements?

                                     AVAILABLE TROOPS NOT SENT TO THE FRONT

General Thomas appears to have been puzzled by doubt whether Hood
would aim for Nashville or some point on the Nashville and Chattanooga
Railroad, and not to have realized that his own plan should have
been to concentrate all his available force into one army, so as
to move against the enemy with the greatest possible force, no
matter what the enemy might do.  With the exception of those 7000
men belonging to Sherman's column, Thomas had for necessary garrisons
and railroad guards essentially the same number of men as had been
employed in that service all the preceding summer,--no more and no
less,--and the necessity for that service had not been very much
diminished, except at and about Decatur, Stevenson, and Tullahoma,
which Hood's advance from Florence had rendered of no further
consequence at that time.  But the 7000 men available at Chattanooga
ought unquestionably to have been sent to Columbia, or at least
moved up to Nashville or Franklin, where they could "join the main
force," as suggested in my despatch of November 24 to Thomas,( 6)
instead of being left in Chattanooga "to threaten enemy in rear."( 7)
As suggested in my despatch of November 24, R. S. Granger's force
and others along the railroad south of Duck River, as well as
Steedman's, might have joined the main force at Columbia, if orders
had been given in time, thus increasing the army in the field by
fully 10,000 men.

If R. S. Granger's force had been left at Decatur, it would have
drawn off from Hood's invading army at least an equal force to
guard his bridges at Florence, or else would have destroyed those
bridges and cut off his retreat after the battle of Nashville.
This was practically what had been suggested by Sherman in his
instructions to Thomas.  But the withdrawal of Granger's troops
and their detention at Murfreesboro', instead of sending them to
"join the main force," served no good purpose at the time, and
prevented their use in the capture of Hood's defeated and retreating
troops.  The failure to make this timely concentration was the one
great fault in Thomas's action, instead of his delay in attacking
at Nashville, for which he was so much criticized.  But Hood's
repulse at Franklin had made this previous mistake a matter of past
history, and hence it was lost sight of in view of the imminent
danger afterward supposed to exist at Nashville, just as the
brilliant victory at Nashville was accepted as demonstrating the
wisdom of all that had gone before, even including Sherman's division
of his army between himself and Thomas before his march to the sea.
Such is the logic of contemporaneous military history!

In my long conversations with General Grant on the steamer _Rhode
Island_ in January, 1865, I explained to him fully the error into
which he had been led in respect to Thomas's action or non-action
at Nashville in December, and he seemed to be perfectly satisfied
on that point.  But he did not ask me anything about what had
occurred before the battle of Franklin, and hence I did not tell
him anything.

In connection with the action of General Thomas previous to the
battle of Franklin, the following instructions from General Sherman
on October 31 are important:  "You must unite all your men into
one army, and abandon all minor points, if you expect to defeat
Hood.  General Schofield is marching to-day from here. . . . "( 8)
Again, on the same date, he telegraphed:  "Bear in mind my instructions
as to concentration, and not let Hood catch you in detail."( 9)

Sherman thus gave the most emphatic warning against the mistake
which Thomas nevertheless made by failing to concentrate all his
own available troops until it was too late to meet Hood's advance,
thus leaving two corps to bear the entire brunt of battle until
the crisis of the campaign was passed at Franklin.

                                         CORRESPONDENCE WITH GENERAL THOMAS

The following correspondence relating to the command of an army in
the field, to increasing the Fourth and Twenty-third corps, and to
the use to be made of R. S. Granger's troops, and the reason why
Thomas should assume the offensive as soon as possible, is also
important, especially as showing that Sherman expected the two
corps to be increased to 50,000 men, and that Thomas should command
in person:

  "Kingston, November 7, 1864, 10 A. M.
"Major-General Thomas:  Despatch of 12:30 P. M. yesterday received.
General Schofield is entitled to the command [over Stanley] by
virtue of a recent decision of the War Department.  I would advise
you to add to those corps new regiments until they number 25,000
men each.  If Beauregard advances from Corinth, it will be better
for you to command in person.  Your presence alone will give
confidence.  Granger should continue all the time to threaten the
rear, and as soon as possible some demonstration should be made
from the direction of Vicksburg against the Mobile and Ohio Railroad.
Also I want you to assume the offensive as quick as possible, as
I have reason to believe all of Beauregard's army is not there,
but that he has also divided his forces.

  "W. T. Sherman, Major-General."(10)
On the same day Thomas telegraphed to Sherman in reply to the above:

"It is, and always has been, my intention to command the troops
with me in person.  My object in giving the preference to General
Schofield [over Stanley] was merely that he should exercise command
should accidental circumstances prevent my presence."(11)

Sherman and Thomas were equally right--Sherman in saying "It will
be better for you to command in person.  Your presence alone will
give confidence"; and Thomas in replying, "It is, and always has
been, my intention to command the troops with me in person."  The
proper place for a general-in-chief is with his army in the field,
where battles are to be fought, and not in the rear, where there
is little to do but to assemble reinforcements, which his chief of
staff could do as well as he.  Thomas could have reached the army
at Columbia by rail in two hours, and at Franklin in one hour; yet
he left a subordinate to fight against a superior force, while he
remained in Nashville until he had collected there an army superior
to that of his adversary.  But General Thomas must have had some
reason which seemed to him good and sufficient for his absence from
the field.  He was the last man in the world to shrink from his
duty in battle.

Before the above correspondence between General Sherman and General
Thomas was known to me I had written the following:  "The relations
existing between General Thomas and me, and the confidence he had
shown in all his despatches, commencing with those received at
Pulaski, left little room for hesitation or doubt about doing, in
every emergency, what my own judgment dictated, as if I had been
in chief command, confident of the approval which he so fully
expressed after the events.  Yet my experience then, as always,
led me to the opinion that it is better for the general-in-chief,
in all operations of a critical nature, to be present with the
troops in the field, if possible; he must be able to act with more
confidence than any subordinate can possibly feel.  He was the sole
judge as to the necessity of his remaining in Nashville, and no
good reason could now be given for questioning the correctness of
his judgment.  It is only intended as an expression of a general
rule for the consideration of military students."

                                         CORRESPONDENCE WITH GENERAL THOMAS

General Thomas's orders to General D. S. Stanley upon his being
sent to Pulaski, and his subsequent orders to me, dated November
19, to fight the enemy at Pulaski if he advanced against that place,
were, as shown in the following despatch from me, quite inapplicable
to the then existing situation:

  "Pulaski, November 20, 1864.
"Major-General Thomas:  After full consideration I am of the opinion
that this is not the best position for the main body of our troops,
at least so long as we are inferior in strength to the enemy.  If
Hood advances, whether his design be to strike this place or
Columbia, he must move via Lawrenceburg on account of the difficulty
of crossing Shoal Creek.  Under cover of his cavalry, he can probably
reach Lawrenceburg without our knowledge, and move his forces a
day's march from that point toward Columbia before we could learn
his designs, and thus reach that point ahead of us; or he might
move upon this place, and while demonstrating against it throw his
forces on to the pike north of us, and thus cut us off from Columbia
and from our reinforcements.  Lynnville would be free from these
objections as a point of concentration for our forces.  On the
other hand, a force at this point covers the Nashville and Chattanooga
Railroad to the best advantage; but a brigade in the inclosed works
at this place could hold out against any force until relieved,
while the main force at Lynnville would be sure of concentrating
with the troops in the rear.  I respectfully submit these views
for your consideration.

  "J. M. Schofield, Major-General."

To this General Thomas replied at once:

  "Nashville, November 20, 1864.
"General Schofield:  Your despatch of 2 P. M. this day just received.
Two other despatches of to-day were received previous to this one.
Do you mean that one brigade in the intrenchments at Pulaski could
hold out for a week?  The reason I ask is, General Smith cannot
get here before next Friday.  If one brigade can hold the fortifications
of Pulaski for a week or ten days, you are authorized to leave a
brigade or a division there, and concentrate the rest of your force
at Lynnville preparatory to support Hatch, or fall back on Columbia,
whichever may be necessary.  Part of Ruger's troops will start for
Columbia to-night, the remainder at two o'clock to-morrow, and the
railroad superintendent says he will have them at Columbia by to-
morrow night.  The very moment Smith's troops arrive I will start
them for Columbia.  In any event, all surplus transportation should
be sent to Columbia.  I have just received General Hatch's of this
P. M., and it seems from it that Hood is advancing.  His movements
will indicate to you what disposition you should make--whether to
concentrate at Columbia or remain at Lynnville.  If Hood's entire
army should advance, you must use your own discretion as to holding
the fortifications at Pulaski or withdrawing the troops.

  "Geo. H. Thomas, Major-General."

General Thomas thus gave me the full freedom of action demanded by
the situation in which I was placed, in lieu of his previous
embarrassing orders about fighting the enemy at Pulaski.

The following correspondence,(12) with the above, shows the situation
as reported by me to General Thomas, and his "plans and wishes" as
then explained to me immediately before and after Hood began his

  "Thomas to Schofield.
  "November 24, 1864.
". . . Have the fords above Columbia as well guarded as you can,
and I think you will then have checked the advance of Hood, and we
shall have time to get up our reinforcements."

  "Schofield to Thomas.
  "November 24, 1864, 1:39 P. M.
"Do you think it important to hold Columbia?  My force is not large
enough to cover the town and railroad bridge.  I can hold a shorter
line covering the railroad bridge, leaving the town and railroad
depot outside; but in any case the enemy can turn the position by
crossing above or below, and render my withdrawal to the north bank
very difficult.  Please give me your views soon."

  "Thomas to Schofield.
  "November 24, 1864.
"If you cannot hold Columbia, you had better withdraw to the north
bank of the river.  From the description given I supposed the line
was sufficiently short to enable you and Stanley to hold it securely
and have a reserve.  But it is better, of course, to substantially
check the enemy than to run the risk of defeat by risking too much.
Where is Stanley?  Is he with you?"

                                         CORRESPONDENCE WITH GENERAL THOMAS

  "Schofield to Thomas
  "Columbia, November 24, 1864, 8:30 P. M.
"I have examined the ground and considered the situation carefully.
My troops are in position on the outer line, covering the railroad
depot and bridge, and pretty well intrenched.  The line is too
long; yet if Hood wishes to fight me on it to-morrow, I am willing.
I think he will attack to-morrow, if at all.  If he does not, I
must prepare to meet any attempt to cross Duck River above or below.
For this purpose I am preparing an interior line covering the
railroad bridge, which can be held by about seven thousand men,
which I propose to occupy, and put the rest of my troops and material
on the north bank of the river, ready to move as may be necessary.
With the fords guarded, as will then be practicable, I think Hood
cannot get the start of me.  I think it best not to risk much now;
for a few days' delay, if we concentrate rapidly, will make us
strong enough to drive Hood back.  My theory is that he will operate
against the Chattanooga Railroad, and I do not see how we can save
it from some damage at least.  But if we concentrate Granger's
troops and those along the road promptly, so that they can join
the main force, there can be no doubt of the final result.  Please
inform me whether my proposed arrangements meet with your approval."

  "Thomas to Schofield
  "Nashville, November 24, 1864.
". . . Can you not cover the pontoon bridge with a bridge-head,
and hold it so as to preserve the bridge for crossing whenever we
get ready to advance?  General Rousseau informed me that the
blockhouses protecting the railroad bridge cannot be reached by
the enemy's artillery; therefore the enemy could not get near enough
to the bridge to destroy it if the blockhouses are held. . . ."

As stated in my official report, I did prepare and hold a bridge-
head covering both the railroad and the pontoon bridges over Duck
River at the same time, for which purpose I floated the pontoons
down the river to a point near the railroad bridge, having found
that the blockhouses referred to by General Rousseau could not be
made available for the protection of the pontoon bridge where it
before was--at the crossing of the turnpike.  I abandoned that
bridge-head on the night of November 27, upon receipt of information
leading me to believe that Hood intended to cross Duck River above

On November 25 General Thomas telegraphed me, in the following
terms, his approval of the dispositions I had made, and the
information that he had already ordered the concentration of troops
which I suggested in my despatch of the 24th:

"Your cipher despatch of 8:30 P. M. is just received; some difficulty
in transmission the cause.  Your arrangements are judicious and
approved.  I gave orders two days ago to make the concentration
you suggest, and hope it will be nearly or quite completed to-day.
Will telegraph you further this morning."

This despatch was more than twelve hours in transmission.

Again, November 26, I reported the situation at Columbia, and my
action, as follows; also suggesting that infantry be sent forward
at once:

"The enemy has kept up a strong demonstration with dismounted
cavalry since yesterday morning.  He now shows a column of infantry
on the Mount Pleasant pike, about three miles distant.  I cannot
yet tell how great the force.  I have drawn my force in the interior
line, and will fight him there.  If you have any infantry available,
I think it should be sent forward at once."

Yet no infantry reinforcements were sent, although the "7000 men"
at Chattanooga could easily have reached Columbia before that time.

At 8 A. M. the next day General Thomas replied as follows:

"Your despatch of 10 A. M. yesterday received.  I will send you
all the available infantry force I can raise.  I expect some of
Smith's command here to-day, and will send it forward as rapidly
as possible.  Sent you two regiments of cavalry day before yesterday,
two yesterday, and will send another to-day.  If you can hold Hood
in check until I can get Smith up, we can whip him."

Thus it appears that even as late as November 27 General Thomas
had not thought of sending the 7000 men at Chattanooga to "join
the main force," although so anxious that I should hold Hood in
check until he could get Smith up.  He was still relying entirely
upon A. J. Smith, whose advance, so surely expected on the 25th,
was still expected on the 27th.  It seems incredible that General
Thomas had not thought of sending Steedman's troops from Chattanooga,
instead of waiting for the uncertain arrival of A. J. Smith.

                                       DELAYING THE RETREAT FROM DUCK RIVER

On November 27 I received an important despatch from General Thomas,
dated November 25.  It was written under the apprehension that
Hood's design might be to move upon the Nashville and Chattanooga
Railroad, as I had suggested to Thomas on the 24th, and informed
me fully of his plans and instructions to meet such a movement,
requesting me to give him my views in reply.  In that despatch
General Thomas said:

"In case you have to move to the north bank of Duck River, I wish
you to keep some cavalry on the south side to observe and delay
Hood's advance on the Chattanooga Railroad as much as possible.
I hope to have five regiments of Granger's troops in Murfreesboro'
to-day.  Have made arrangements for Milroy to fall back to
Murfreesboro' or this side of Duck River also, if the enemy advances.
The cavalry on the south side of Duck River should cover the
approaches to Shelbyville, and cross at that place, and hold the
bridge in case of an advance in force.  I have asked General Steedman
how large a force he can raise to threaten the enemy's rear, should
he get on the Chattanooga road, and expect an answer soon.  About
1000 of Hatch's cavalry have arrived here from Memphis, dismounted,
but they will be mounted here as soon as possible and sent to the
front; three regiments should start to-day, making about 1000 men.
I have not heard from any of Smith's troops yet; some of them will
surely be here to-day.  If Hood moves on the Chattanooga road, I
will send Smith to Murfreesboro', as we shall be enabled thereby
to concentrate more rapidly.  If you can hold Hood on the south
side of Duck River, I think we shall be able to drive him back
easily after concentrating.  Answer, giving your views."

Although that despatch of the 25th was not deciphered so as to be
read by me until the 27th, forty-eight hours after it was sent,
nevertheless it gave me timely information that Thomas had concentrated
all his available troops (except Steedman's, which he appears to
have overlooked until the 25th, and about which I had no knowledge)
at Murfreesboro', from which place they could "join the main force,"
as I had suggested, in a few hours, either by rail or by wagon-
road, as circumstances might indicate.  I was also led to infer
from Thomas's language on the 25th--"Some of them [A. J. Smith's
troops] will surely be here to-day"--that on the 27th Smith's corps
was already at Nashville, and that Thomas was only waiting for
information respecting the enemy's designs to select his point of
concentration and order all his available troops to join the army
in the field at that point.  And it was still expected on the 27th
that this junction might be effected on the north bank of Duck
River, opposite Columbia.  Hence I telegraphed General Thomas,
November 27, at 12:30 P. M.:

"The enemy has made no real attack, and I am satisfied he does not
intend to attack.  My information, though not very satisfactory,
leads me to believe that Hood intends to cross Duck River above
Columbia, and as near it as he can.  I shall withdraw to the north
bank to-night and endeavor to prevent him from crossing.  Wilson
is operating mainly on my left, with a portion of his command south
of the river.  I have no late information from him.  I have succeeded
in getting your cipher of the 25th translated.  I believe your
dispositions are wise."

                                       DELAYING THE RETREAT FROM DUCK RIVER

It appears from his despatch of November 25 that Thomas hoped we
might be able to hold the line of Duck River from Columbia as far
east as Shelbyville, as well as west to the Tennessee River.
Although this proved to be impracticable on account of the enemy's
superiority in cavalry at that time, the point (Murfreesboro')
which Thomas had selected for his concentration was far enough to
the rear of that line (Duck River) to make the concentration certain
if orders were given in due time.

I learned in the afternoon of November 27, by General Thomas's
despatch of 8 A. M., already quoted, that A. J. Smith's troops were
not, as I had supposed, already in Nashville, but that some of them
were expected there that day, and would come forward to join me at

In the morning of November 28, at 8:45, I reported my withdrawal
to the north side of the river, saying:

"My troops and material are all on the north side of Duck River.
The withdrawal was completed at daylight this morning without
serious difficulty.  Cox holds the ford in front of Columbia, and
Ruger the railroad bridge, which I partially destroyed.  Stanley
is going into position a short distance in rear of Cox.  I think
I can now stop Hood's advance by any line near this, and meet in
time any distant movement to turn my position.  I regret extremely
the necessity of withdrawing from Columbia, but believe it was
absolute.  I will explain fully in time.  Reinforcements will have
to march from Spring Hill or Thompson's Station.  Supplies should
be sent to Thompson's Station."

After withdrawing to the north bank of Duck River I telegraphed on
the morning of November 28:

"I am in doubt whether it is advisable, with reference to future
operations, to hold this position or to retire to some point from
which we can move offensively.  Of course we cannot recross the
river here.  I could easily have held the bridge-head at the
railroad, but it would have been useless, as we could not possibly
advance from that point.  Please give me your views and wishes."

This was answered by General Thomas at "8 P. M.," the answer being
received by me next morning, November 29.

It is thus seen that up to the morning of November 28 I was still
hoping for reinforcements on the line of Duck River, and thought
I could stop Hood's advance by any line near the Columbia and
Franklin pike, which I then held, as well as meet in good time any
distant movement to turn my position.  Accordingly, at 9:10 A. M.
that day I telegraphed to General Thomas:

"I have all the fords above and below this place well watched and
guarded as far as possible.  Wilson is operating with his main
force on my left.  The enemy does not appear to have moved in that
direction yet to any considerable distance.  I will probably be
able to give you pretty full information this evening.  Do you not
think the infantry at the distant crossings below here should now
be withdrawn and cavalry substituted?  I do not think we can prevent
the crossing of even the enemy's cavalry, because the places are
so numerous.  I think the best we can do is to hold the crossings
near us and watch the distant ones."

But I learned soon after noon of the same day that our cavalry
found the fords so numerous that they could hardly watch them all,
much less guard any of them securely; and a little later I learned
that the enemy's cavalry had forced a crossing at some point only
a few miles above, between Huey's Mill and the Lewisburg-Franklin
pike.  At 2:30 P. M. I telegraphed General Thomas:

"The enemy was crossing in force a short distance this side of the
Lewisburg pike at noon to-day, and had driven our cavalry back
across the river on the pike at the same time.  The force is reported
to be infantry, but I do not regard it as being probable.  Wilson
has gone with his main force to learn the facts, and drive the
enemy back, if possible."

                                       DELAYING THE RETREAT FROM DUCK RIVER

In the appendix to General Thomas's report the date of the above
despatch is given as "3:30 A. M."  It was answered by General Thomas
at "10:30 P. M." and his answer was received by me November 29 (no
hour mentioned in the records).  The Department of the Ohio records
say that I sent it at "2:30 P. M."  The appendix to my report
mentions the date "November 29," but does not give the hour.  My
official report, as published, also says this information was
received "about 2 A. M. on the 29th"; but this is evidently a
clerical error:  Clearly the report should read, "about 2 P. M. on
the 28th."

But our cavalry was unable to drive that of the enemy back, and
hence Hood was free to lay his pontoon bridge and cross his infantry
and artillery at any point above Columbia.  We had not been able
to hold even the crossings near us.

The same day, November 28, at 4 P. M., I telegraphed:

"If Hood advances on the Lewisburg and Franklin pike, where do you
propose to fight him?  I have all the force that is necessary here,
and General Smith's troops should be placed with reference to the
proposed point of concentration."

And again, at 6 P. M.:

"The enemy's cavalry in force has crossed the river on the Lewisburg
pike, and is now in possession of Rally Hill.

"Wilson is trying to get on to the Franklin road ahead of them.
He thinks the enemy may swing around in behind him and me, and
strike Spring Hill, and wants Hammond's brigade to halt there.
Please give it orders if you know where it is.  Also, I think it
would be well to send A. J. Smith's force to that place."

In the night of November 28-9, about 2 A. M., I received the report
of the cavalry commander, conveying the information given him by
prisoners that the enemy had commenced to bridge the river near
Huey's Mill, and urging the necessity of immediate retreat to
Franklin.(13)  The staff officer who handed me the despatch called
my attention especially to the words urging immediate action, and
I considered the subject quite a long time.  But there did not seem
to me to be any necessity for such haste.  The enemy could not
accomplish much before morning.  It would then be early enough to
decide what must be done.  Besides, it was not yet certain that
Hood was attempting to cross his infantry at Huey's Mill.  The
vigorous action of his cavalry might be intended only to induce me
to fall back, and thus give him the use of the crossing at Columbia,
and of the turnpike from that place, for the movement of his
infantry, artillery, and trains.

In the morning, November 29, I sent a brigade of infantry toward
Huey's Mill to reconnoiter and report the enemy's movements.  At
the same time Stanley was ordered to Spring Hill, with two divisions
of his corps, to occupy and intrench a good position commanding
the roads at that place and protecting the trains and reserve
artillery which had been ordered to be parked there.  Ruger's
division of the Twenty-third Corps, except one regiment, was ordered
to follow Stanley.  The army was ready to occupy Spring Hill in
full force, and in ample time to meet any possible movement of the
enemy either on that place or, by the Lewisburg pike, on Franklin.

In my orders to Ruger, dated 8 A. M., directing him to move at once
to Spring Hill, he was ordered to leave one regiment to guard the
river until dark and then join him at Spring Hill.  It was then
intended, in any event, to hold Spring Hill until the morning of
November 30.  At the same time Ruger was directed to order his
troops guarding the river below to march at once for Franklin.

                                       DELAYING THE RETREAT FROM DUCK RIVER

But very soon after these orders were issued--that is, soon after
8 A. M.--a courier from Franklin brought me the two following
despatches from General Thomas:

  "Franklin, November 28, 1864.
  "(By telegraph from Nashville, 9 P. M.)
"To Major-General Schofield:

"If you are confident you can hold your present position, I wish
you to do so until I can get General Smith here.  After his arrival
we can withdraw gradually and invite Hood across Duck River, and
fall upon him with our whole force, or wait until Wilson can organize
his entire cavalry force, and then withdraw from your present
position.  Should Hood then cross river, we can surely ruin him.
You may have fords at Centreville, Bean's [Beard's] Ferry, Gordon's
Ferry, and Williamsport thoroughly obstructed by filling up all
the roads leading from them with trees, and then replace your
infantry by cavalry.  Send an intelligent staff officer to see that
the work is properly done.  As soon as relieved, concentrate your
infantry; the cavalry will be able to retard, if not prevent, Hood's
crossing, after the roads are thoroughly obstructed, if they do
their duty.  The road leading from Centreville to Nashville should
be thoroughly obstructed.  I am not sure but it would be a good
plan to invite Hood across Duck River if we can get him to move
toward Clarksville.  Is there no convenience for unloading beyond
Thompson's Station?

  "Geo. H. Thomas, Major-General, Commanding."(14)

The published records give this despatch as having been sent at "8
P. M."  The Department of the Cumberland records say that it was
telegraphed in cipher to Franklin at 9 P. M., and there deciphered
and sent by courier to my position near Columbia.  The records do
not show the hour of receipt by me; but my reply to General Thomas
of 8:30 A. M., November 29, and my orders to Ruger of 8 and 8:45
A. M., and to Stanley before and after 8 A. M., and my despatch to
Wilson of 8:15 A. M., fix the time of the receipt by me of this
despatch from General Thomas at a few minutes after 8 A. M., November

The other despatch was as follows:

  "(U. S. Military Telegraph.)
  "Franklin, Tenn., November 28, 1864.
  "(By telegraph from Nashville.  9:30 P. M.)
"To Major-General Schofield:

"Your despatch of 3:30 [2:30] P. M. just received.  If Wilson cannot
succeed in driving back the enemy, should it prove true that he
has crossed the river, you will necessarily have to make preparation
to take up a new position at Franklin, behind Harpeth, [while]
immediately, if it become necessary, to fall back.

  "(Signed) Geo. H. Thomas, Major-General, Commanding."

The records of the Department of the Cumberland merely state that
this despatch was sent in "cipher."  The appendix to my report
gives the hour "9:30 P. M."  The appendix to General Thomas's report
fixes it at "10:30 P. M."  The despatch from General Thomas to
General Halleck of 10 P. M., November 28, forwarding my despatch
of "8:45 A. M.," indicates that at 10 P. M. Thomas had not received
my report of "2:30 P. M."  Hence "10:30 P. M.," as given by General
Thomas, must be the correct hour of the above despatch.  It was
answered by me, together with the preceding telegram, at 8:30 A.M.,
November 29; and was probably received by me at the same time
as the previous despatch,--very soon after 8 A. M.,--as indicated
by my despatch to Wilson of 8:15 A. M.

I thus learned, a short time after eight o'clock on the morning of
the 29th, that A. J. Smith had not yet arrived at Nashville, and
that the position behind the Harpeth River at Franklin was that to
which I must retire when compelled to fall back.

                                       DELAYING THE RETREAT FROM DUCK RIVER

(Another despatch from Thomas, dated November 28, 10 A. M., appears
in the records, in which he said: ". . . General Smith will certainly
be here in three days. . . ."  But when that despatch reached my
headquarters in the field, the cipher-operator had left his post
and gone to Franklin.  Hence the despatch could not be read by me
in time to be of any service.  The records do not show when I
received it.)

I was then confronted with the grave question, How long might it
be possible to hold Hood back, and thus gain time for Thomas to
get up his reinforcements?  By holding on to the crossing of Duck
River at Columbia until dark that night, and thus preventing Hood
from using the turnpike for the movement of his artillery and trains
until the next day, we would practically gain twenty-four hours;
for he could not move them readily over his mud road from Huey's
Mill.  To do this, I must not only head Hood off at Spring Hill,
but defeat any attempt he might make to dislodge me from the north
bank of Duck River.

Early on November 29, I sent the following brief despatch in reply
to both of those which had been received a few minutes before from
General Thomas:

"The enemy's cavalry has crossed in force on the Lewisburg pike,
and General Wilson reports the infantry crossing above Huey's Mill,
about five miles from this place.  I have sent an infantry
reconnaissance to learn the facts.  If it proves true, I will act
according to your instructions received this morning.  Please send
orders to General Cooper,(15) via Johnsonville.  It may be doubtful
whether my messenger from here will reach him."

The appendix to General Thomas's report says that I sent this
despatch at "8:30 A. M."  The appendix to my report says "8:20 A.M."
This despatch was evidently in answer to those from General
Thomas of 8 P. M. and 10:30 P. M., November 28, as indicated by my
orders to Stanley and Ruger, and my despatch of 8:15 A. M. to

Soon after 10 A. M., November 29, the first report from the brigade
sent toward Huey's Mill showed that the enemy's infantry was crossing
the river at that place.  That report is not found in the records,
and I do not recollect its words.  But it did not produce the
impression upon my mind that Hood's movement was so rapid or
energetic as to prevent me from doing what seemed of such vital
importance.  Therefore I decided not to yield my position unless
compelled by force to do so.  While considering this question I
had detained one of Stanley's two divisions (Kimball's), and had
suspended the orders for Ruger's division to march to Spring Hill.
When the decision was reached, I put Kimball's and Wood's divisions
in position between Duck River and Rutherford's Creek, and Ruger's
north of that creek, to resist any attempt the enemy might make
upon our position.  I then sent the following to Stanley at Spring

  "Near Columbia, Tenn., November 29, 1864, 10:45 A. M.
"Major-General Stanley, Commanding Fourth Army Corps.

"General:  General Wood's reconnoissance shows a considerable force,
at least, on this side of the river.  I have halted Kimball's
division this side of the creek and put it in position.  I will
try to hold the enemy until dark, and then draw back.  Select a
good position at Spring Hill, covering the approaches, and send
out parties to reconnoiter on all roads leading east and southeast.
Try to communicate with Wilson on the Lewisburg pike.  Tell him to
cover Franklin and Spring Hill, and try not to let the enemy get
between us.

  "Very respectfully,
  "J. M. Schofield, Major-General."

                                           NO SERIOUS DANGER AT SPRING HILL

The situation early in the morning had been a very simple one, free
from any embarrassment or unusual danger.  If the plan then decided
on and ordered had been carried out, three divisions of infantry
and nearly all the artillery of the army would have been in position
at Spring Hill and well intrenched long before the head of Hood's
infantry column, without any artillery, came in sight of that place
late in the afternoon.  That position would have been secured beyond
doubt until the next morning.  The other two divisions (Cox's and
Wood's) would have withdrawn from Duck River and marched to Spring
Hill early in the afternoon, before the enemy could seriously
interfere with them.  Ruger's one regiment, without impedimenta,
was directed to march along the railway track to Spring Hill, and
thus avoid any interference from the enemy.  The army would have
marched to Franklin early in the night of the 29th, instead of
after midnight as it actually did.  That would have given the enemy
the afternoon and night in which to lay his pontoons and cross his
artillery and trains at Columbia.  But that would not have been a
serious matter, in view of the situation as it was understood by
me up to about 8 A. M. of the 29th; for the information I had
received up to that hour justified the belief that both A. J.
Smith's troops and those concentrated at Murfreesboro' would meet
me at Franklin, or perhaps at Spring Hill, where we would be able
to give battle to the enemy on equal terms.

But in view of the information received by me after eight o'clock
that morning, and the altered plan decided on soon after ten o'clock,
the situation became very materially different.  Under this plan
the army must be ready to encounter a formidable enemy either in
the position then occupied on Duck River, or at some point on the
road between that place and Spring Hill.  Hence I determined to
keep the main body of troops together, and trust to Stanley's one
division to hold Spring Hill until the army should reach that point.
That is to say, I decided to take the chances of a pitched battle
at any point the enemy might select between Duck River and Spring
Hill, as well as that of holding the latter place with one division
against any hostile force which might reach it before dark.

There was no anxiety in my mind about what might happen at Spring
Hill after dark.  The danger which actually developed there between
dark and midnight--of which I knew nothing until several days
afterward--resulted entirely from faulty execution of my orders.

I arrived at Spring Hill at dusk with the head of the main column,
having ordered all the troops to follow in close order, and (except
Ruger's troops, which I took to Thompson's) to form line on the
right of Stanley's division at Spring Hill, covering the pike back
toward Columbia.  Cox's division, being the last, was to form our
extreme right.  In that contemplated position, if Hood had attacked
at any time in the night we would have had decidedly the advantage
of him.  I had no anxiety on that point.  When informed, about
midnight, that Cox had arrived, I understood that my orders had
been exactly executed, and then ordered Cox to take the lead and
the other divisions to follow, from the right by the rear, in the
march to Franklin.

But it happened that only Whitaker's brigade of Kimball's division,
to which I gave the orders in person, followed Ruger's.  Hence
that one brigade was the only force we had in line between Hood's
bivouac and the turnpike that night.  If that fact had been known
to the enemy, the result would have been embarrassing, but not very
serious.  If the enemy had got possession of a point on the pike,
the column from Duck River would have taken the country road a
short distance to the west of Spring Hill and Thompson's Station,
and marched on it to Franklin.  The situation at Spring Hill in
the night was not by any means a desperate one.  Veteran troops
are not so easily cut off in an open country.

                                           NO SERIOUS DANGER AT SPRING HILL

The annotation upon the copy filed in the War Department of the
order actually given to the troops on November 29 explains how that
mistake occurred.  In brief, the draft of an order prepared in
writing for another purpose, but not issued, was by some unexplained
blunder substituted for the oral orders actually dictated to a
staff officer.  It was an example of how the improvised staff of
a volunteer army, like the "non-military agencies of government,"
may interfere with military operations.

The serious danger at Spring Hill ended at dark.  The gallant action
of Stanley and his one division at that place in the afternoon of
November 29 cannot be over-estimated or too highly praised.  If
the enemy had gained a position there in the afternoon which we
could not have passed round in the night, the situation would then
have become very serious.  But, as I had calculated, the enemy did
not have time to do that before dark, against Stanley's stubborn

The following, from the official records, has been quoted as an
order from General Thomas to me, though I never received it, the
enemy's cavalry having got possession of the road between Franklin
and Spring Hill:

  "Nashville, November 29, 1864, 3:30 A. M.
"Major-General Schofield, near Columbia:

"Your despatches of 6 P. M. and 9 P. M. yesterday are received.
I have directed General Hammond to halt his command at Spring Hill
and report to your for orders, if he cannot communicate with General
Wilson, and also instructing him to keep you well advised of the
enemy's movements.  I desire you to fall back from Columbia and
take up your position at Franklin, leaving a sufficient force at
Spring Hill to contest the enemy's progress until you are securely
posted at Franklin.  The troops at the fords below Williamsport,
etc., will be withdrawn and take up a position behind Franklin.
General A. J. Smith's command has not yet reached Nashville; as
soon as he arrives I will make immediate disposition of his troops
and notify you of the same.  Please send me a report as to how
matters stand upon your receipt of this.

  "Geo. H. Thomas,
  "Major-General U. S. Vols., Commanding."(16)

This despatch does not appear upon any of the records as having
been received by me.  If it was telegraphed in cipher to Franklin,
and there deciphered and sent by courier, this should have reached
me not long after noon.  But the courier was probably driven back
or captured by the enemy's cavalry, who had possession of the direct
road, near Spring Hill, about noon.

If any "orders" had been necessary in such a case, they had been
rendered unnecessary by Hood's movement to cross Duck River, of
which I had already learned at 2 A. M. of the same day (November
29).  The only question in my mind that General Thomas could solve
--namely, to _what place_ I must retire--was settled by his despatch
of 10:30 P. M., November 28, above quoted, received by me about
8 A. M. of the 29th.  But there still remained the question _when_
I must do it; and that I must solve myself, for General Thomas was
much too far away, and communication was much too slow and uncertain,
for him to give me any help on that subject.

I had received information of Hood's movement at 2 A. M., _six
hours earlier_, and I had ample time to get out of his way before
morning.  After 8 A. M. it would, of course, not have been so easy.
Yet a retreat to Franklin that day (November 29), commencing at
eight or nine in the morning, and across the Harpeth that night,
would not have been at all difficult or dangerous.  There would
have been some fighting with Hood's cavalry, but little or none
with his infantry.  Hood would have had to lay a pontoon bridge at
Columbia, after my rear-guard had withdrawn, before his advance
from that point could begin; and, as events proved, he could not
reach Spring Hill by his mud road from Huey's Mill until late in
the afternoon.  I had time to pass Spring Hill with my entire army
before Hood's infantry advance-guard could reach that place.  Hence
I had ample time to consider the mathematical and physical questions
involved before deciding finally that I would not let Hood drive
me back from Duck River that day.  But I did not at any time
contemplate a retreat that day farther back then Spring Hill, as
is shown by my direction to Ruger to have his regiment from Ducktown
join him there that night.

                                           NO SERIOUS DANGER AT SPRING HILL

I am entirely willing to leave to intelligent military criticism
any question in respect to the accuracy of my calculations, also
the question whether I was justifiable, under the conditions then
existing or understood to exist respecting Thomas's preparations
in the rear to fight a decisive battle, in taking the risks, which
are always more or less unavoidable, of failure in the execution
of plans based upon so close an estimate of what could be done by
my adversary as well as by myself.  I content myself with the simple
remark that, in my opinion, if my own orders had been carried out
as I gave them, and my reasonable suggestion to my superior in the
rear to bridge the Harpeth at Franklin had been promptly acted on,
there would have been far less risk of failure than must frequently
be incurred in war.

If I had had satisfactory assurance of the timely arrival of
sufficient reinforcements on the line of Duck River, I would have
been justified in dividing my infantry into several detachments to
support the cavalry in opposing the crossing of Duck River at the
numerous places above Columbia.  But, sooner or later, Hood could
have forced a crossing at some one of those places, and thus have
interposed a compact body of troops, larger than my entire army,
between my detachments.  If that had occurred before my reinforcements
arrived, I would have been caught in the worst possible condition.
Hence, in the absence of certain information in respect to when
reinforcements would arrive, and their aggregate strength, a division
of my force was inadmissible.  An inferior force should generally
be kept in one compact body, while a superior force may often be
divided to great advantage.

I now direct attention to the correspondence between General Thomas
and myself, on November 30, before the battle of Franklin, showing
that he was not ready for battle at Nashville, and his desire that
I should, if possible, hold Hood back three days longer; and showing
that my estimate of the importance of time when I was at Columbia
was by no means exaggerated; also showing General Thomas's views
and mine of the military situation before the battle, and the action
then determined on and ordered and partially executed by the movement
of trains toward Nashville before the battle opened.  The results
of the battle were not such, even if they had been fully known at
the time, as to have rendered admissible any change in those orders.

  "Nashville, [November] 30, [1864,] 4 A. M.
"Captain A. J. Twining, Franklin:

"Your despatch of 1 A. M. to-day is received.  Please inform General
Schofield that Major-General Smith's troops have just arrived at
the levee and are still on boats, and that it is impossible for
them to reach Franklin to-day.  He must make strong efforts to
cover his wagon-train, protecting it against the enemy, as well as
to reach Franklin with his command and get into position there.
I will despatch him further in a few hours.

  "Geo. H. Thomas"


The next despatch from General Thomas was at 10:25 A. M.  By that
time he had received two more despatches from me, as follows, I
having arrived at Franklin between 4 and 5 A. M.:

  "Franklin, November 30, 1864, 5 A. M.
"Have just seen your despatch to Captain Twining of 4 A. M.  If
Smith is not needed for the immediate defense of Nashville, I think
he had better march for Franklin at once.  He could at least cover
my wagon-train if I have to fall back from here."

  "Franklin, November 30, 1864, 5:30 A. M.
"I hope to get my troops and material safely across the Harpeth
this morning.  We have suffered no material loss so far.  I shall
try and get Wilson on my flank this morning.  Forrest was all around
us yesterday, but we brushed him away in the evening and came
through.  Hood attacked in the front and flank, but did not hurt

This last despatch was written before daylight, on my arrival at
Franklin, before I learned that there were no bridges across the
river.  If pontoons had been laid or the wagon and railroad bridges
improved on the 29th, as was done by me after my arrival, all could
have crossed by noon of the 30th.

General Thomas's reply of 10:25 A. M. was as follows:

"Your despatches of 5:30 and 5:50, and Wilson's despatches, forwarded
by you, have been received.  It will take Smith quite all day to
disembark; but if I find there is no immediate necessity to retain
him here, will send him to Franklin or Brentwood, according to
circumstances.  If you can prevent Hood from turning your position
at Franklin, it should be held; but I do not wish you to risk too
much.  I send you a map of the environs of Franklin."

Again I telegraphed at 9:50 A. M.:

"My trains are coming in all right, and half of the troops are here
and the other half about five miles out, coming on in good order,
with light skirmishing.  I will have all across the river this
evening.  Wilson is here, and has his cavalry on my flank.  I do
not know where Forrest is.  He may have gone east, but, no doubt,
will strike our flank and rear again soon.  Wilson is entirely
unable to cope with him.  Of course I cannot prevent Hood from
crossing the Harpeth whenever he may attempt it.  Do you desire me
to hold on here until compelled to fall back?"

And at 11 A. M. I telegraphed:  "Troops and trains in all right."

At noon I answered as follows General Thomas's last despatch:

"Your despatch of 10:25 A. M. is received.  I am satisfied that I
have heretofore run too much risk in trying to hold Hood in check
while so far inferior to him in both infantry and cavalry.  The
slightest mistake on my part, or failure of a subordinate, during
the last three days might have proved disastrous.  I don't want to
get into so tight a place again; yet I will cheerfully act in
accordance with your views of expediency, if you think it important
to hold Hood back as long as possible.  When you get all your troops
together, and the cavalry in effective condition, we can easily
whip Hood, and, I believe, make the campaign a decisive one.  Before
that, the most we can do is to husband our strength and increase
it as much as possible.  I fear the troops which were stationed on
the river below Columbia will be lost.  I will get my trains out
of the way as soon as possible, and watch Hood carefully.  Possibly
I may be able to hold him here, but do not expect to be able to do
so long."

This despatch shows not only my opinion at that time of the kind
of "place" I had been in, but my belief that the character of that
situation had been due largely to Thomas's action in leaving me
without the expected reinforcements, and in not providing the means
of crossing the Harpeth River.


The following seems to show that General Thomas did not even then
see the importance of prompt concentration of all his available
force in front of the enemy, but expected me, with two corps, to
fight the entire hostile force until he could complete his
concentration at Nashville.  Even before the battle of Franklin he
seems to have thought he could take his time to concentrate,
reorganize his cavalry, and then "try Hood again."

  "Nashville, November 30, 1864.
"Major-General Schofield, Franklin:

"General Smith reported to me this morning that one division of
his troops is still behind; we must therefore try to hold Hood
where he is now until those troops can get up, and the steamers
return.  After that we will concentrate here, reorganize our cavalry,
and try Hood again.  Do you think you can hold Hood at Franklin
for three days longer?  Answer, giving your views; and I should
like to know what Wilson thinks he can do to aid you in holding

  "Geo. H. Thomas,
  "Major-General U. S. Vols, Commanding."

Thereupon, in the following telegram, dated 3 P. M., I proposed
Brentwood as a point where A. J. Smith's and all the other troops
could surely unite with mine:

"I have just received your despatch asking whether I can hold Hood
here three days.  I do not believe I can.  I can doubtless hold
him one day, but will hazard something in doing that.  He now has
a large force, probably two corps, in my front, and seems preparing
to cross the river above and below.  I think he can effect a crossing
to-morrow in spite of all my efforts, and probably to-night, if he
attempts it.  A worse position than this for an inferior force
could hardly be found.  I will refer your question to General Wilson
this evening.  I think he can do very little.  I have no doubt
Forrest will be in my rear to-morrow, or doing some greater mischief.
It appears to me that I ought to take position at Brentwood at
once.  If A. J. Smith's division and the Murfreesboro' garrison
join me there, I ought to be able to hold Hood in check for some
time.  I have just learned that the enemy's cavalry is already
crossing three miles above.  I will have lively times with my trains

This despatch gives a very accurate estimate of the true situation
at that time, except perhaps that I did not then fully appreciate
how much our cavalry had gained in effective strength by the
reinforcements that had joined the corps in the field during the
retreat.  I judged by the experience of the previous day (November
29).  But the result was very different in the afternoon of the
30th, when our cavalry repulsed and drove back that of the enemy;
at the same time the infantry assault was repulsed at Franklin.
There was no apprehension of the result of an attack in front at
Franklin, but of a move of Hood to cross the river above and strike
for Nashville before I could effect a junction with the troops then
at that place.

The following despatches must have been sent either during the
progress of the battle, or very soon afterward:

"Please send A. J. Smith's division to Brentwood early to-morrow
morning.  Also please send to Brentwood to-morrow morning 1,000,000
rounds infantry ammunition, 2000 rounds 3-inch, and 1000 rounds
light twelve artillery."

In reply to my advice, the following order to fall back to Nashville
was sent by Thomas _before_ the battle, but was received by me
_after_ the heavy fighting had ceased.  Communication was interrupted
for a short time during the transfer of the telegraph station from
the town of Franklin to a place on the north side of the Harpeth,
rendered necessary by the battle.

  "Nashville, November 30, 1864.
"Your despatch of 3 P. M. is received.  Send back your trains to
this place at once, and hold your troops in readiness to march to
Brentwood, and thence to this place, as soon as your trains are
fairly on the way, so disposing your force as to cover the wagon-
train.  Have all railroad trains sent back immediately.  Notify
General Wilson of my instructions.  He will govern himself accordingly.
Relieve all garrisons in blockhouses and send back by railroad
trains last over the road.  Acknowledge receipt.

  "Geo. H. Thomas, Major-General."


The following is my first report to General Thomas, sent immediately
after the battle:

"The enemy made a heavy and persistent attack with about two corps,
commencing at 4 P. M. and lasting until after dark.  He was repulsed
at all points with very heavy loss--probably five or six thousand
men.  Our losses probably not more than one fourth that number.(17)
We have captured about one thousand men, including one brigadier-
general.  Your despatch of this P. M. is received.  I had already
given the orders you direct, and am now executing them."

Before the battle, and in anticipation of the order from General
Thomas, the trains had been sent back and the preparations made
for the army to retire to Brentwood, the troops to commence
withdrawing from the line on the south side of the river immediately
after dark.  In consequence of the battle, the movement of the
troops was suspended until midnight.  General Thomas promptly
replied to my first report in these words:

"Your telegram is just received.  It is glorious news, and I
congratulate you and the brave men of your command; but you must
look out that the enemy does not still persist.  The courier you
sent to General Cooper, at Widow Dean's, could not reach there,
and reports that he was chased by rebel cavalry on the whole route,
and finally came into this place.  Major-General Steedman, with
five thousand men, should be here in the morning.  When he arrives
I will start General A. J. Smith's command and General Steedman's
troops to your assistance at Brentwood."

[( 1) See his "Memoirs," Vol. II, pp. 162, 163.]

[( 2) It appears from General Thomas's report that he did have in
his department, by November 29, the mounted cavalry force stated
by General Sherman--viz., 7700; but only 4800 of that force joined
the army in the field before the enemy forced the crossing of Duck
River.  The remaining 2900 were not available for service in the
field until after the crisis of the campaign was passed so far as
the cavalry could affect it.]

[( 3) See. Vol. XLV, parts I and ii.]

[( 4) See Vols. XXXIX and XLV.]

[( 5) See General Thomas's report:  War Records, Vol. XLV, part I,
p. 33.]

[( 6) War Records, Vol. XLV, part I, p. 1017.]

[( 7) Thomas to Steedman, November 25:  War Records, Vol. XLV, part
I, p. 1050.]

[( 8) War Records, Vol. XXXIX, part iii, p. 535.]

[( 9) _Ibid_., p. 536.]

[(10) War Records, Vol. XXXIX, part iii, p. 685.]

[(11) _Ibid_.]

[(12) War Records, Vol. XLV, part I.]

[(13) War Records, Vol. XLV, part I, p. 1143.]

[(14) War Records, Vol. XLV, part I, p. 1108.]

[(15) Cooper commanded the brigade guarding the river below

[(16) War Records, Vol. XLV, part I, p. 1137.]

[(17) At that time I did not know of our loss in prisoners, having
thought nearly all of Wagner's two brigades had come in with those
I had seen running to the rear.]

After the Battle of Franklin--The Arrival at Nashville--General
Thomas's Greeting--A Refreshing Sleep--Services of the Cavalry
Corps and the Fourth Army Corps--Hood's Mistake after Crossing Duck
River--An Incident of the Atlanta Campaign Bearing on Hood's
Character--An Embarrassing Method of Transmitting Messages in Cipher
--The Aggressive Policy of the South.

Early the next morning (December 1), after receiving at Brentwood
oral orders from General Thomas to continue the retreat to Nashville,
I lay on the ground until the main body of the troops had passed
and I had learned from the cavalry and from the infantry rear-guard
that nothing could occur in the rear which would require my attention.
I then rode forward and reported to General Thomas, whom I found
waiting for me at the place he had selected for the Twenty-third
Corps in the defensive line about Nashville.  He greeted me in his
usual cordial but undemonstrative way, congratulated me, and said
I had done "well."  I have often thought that I may not have shown
due appreciation of his kindness at that moment, for I did not then
feel very grateful to him; but he gave no indication that he
thought me unappreciative of his approbation.  On the contrary, he
said in the kindest manner that I appeared "tired."  To which I
replied, "Yes, I am very tired."  That was about all the conversation
we had that day.

                                               AFTER THE BATTLE OF FRANKLIN

As soon as I saw that my troops were moving into the position he
had indicated to the division commanders before my arrival, I rode
to the hotel in Nashville, went to bed, and slept from about noon
of the 1st, without awakening to full consciousness, until about
sunset the next day.  I only hope my weary soldiers enjoyed their
rest as much as I did mine, for they must have needed it even more.
When I awoke after that thoroughly refreshing sleep the annoyance
I had felt on account of the embarrassments experienced during the
retreat was replaced by reflections of a much more satisfactory
character.  From that time forward my relations with General Thomas
were of the same cordial character as they always had been; and I
was much gratified by the flattering indorsement he placed on my
official report, of which I then knew the substance, if not the
exact words.

The Fourth Army Corps and the cavalry corps of the Military Division
of the Mississippi having been under my command during only the
few days occupied in the operations between Pulaski and Nashville
(November 14 to December 1), no reports of the operations of those
two corps were ever made to me after the close of that brief period.
Hence it was not possible for me to give any full account of the
distinguished services of those two corps.  The cavalry were never
seen by me.  They were far in front or on the flank, doing all the
"seeing" for me, giving me information of vital importance in
respect to the enemy's movements.  How important that information
was then regarded may be learned by a perusal of the despatches to
and from General Thomas during those days of anxious uncertainty
as to the enemy's plans.  I believe no cavalry ever performed that
important service more efficiently.  At no time in that short
campaign did I suffer any inconvenience from lack of information
that cavalry could possibly give.  If it is true that the operations
of our cavalry were to some extent influenced by apprehension of
a cavalry raid on Nashville or other vital point in our rear, that
was only what General Thomas had been apprehending all the time,
and to meet with which he had assembled eight thousand troops in
Nashville, perhaps not informing the commander of his own cavalry
of that fact quite as early as he might have done.( 1)

In fact, the redoubtable Forrest had become famous, and his troopers
were esteemed a very large factor in the problem then undergoing
solution--greater in some respects, as I have pointed out, than
the events justified.  In my report of the battle of Franklin I
gave all the information in my possession of the gallant action of
our cavalry in driving that of the enemy back across the Harpeth
at the very time when his infantry assault was decisively repulsed.

I have always regarded it as a very remarkable, and to me a very
fortunate, circumstance that the movements of my infantry columns
were at no time seriously interfered with by the enemy's more
numerous cavalry--not even at Spring Hill, where Stanley was attacked
by cavalry as well as infantry.  Hence I have had no inclination
to make any investigation respecting the details of the action of
troops, only temporarily under my command, whose gallant conduct
and untiring vigilance contributed all that was needed to the
complete success of the military operations intrusted to my immediate
direction by our common superior, the department commander.  I have
now, as always heretofore, only words of highest praise for the
services of the cavalry corps under my command.

The Fourth Corps was under my own eye nearly all the time; and
sometimes, in emergencies, I even gave orders directly to the
subordinate commanders, without the formality of sending them
through the corps commander.  Hence I have spoken of that corps
with the same freedom as of my own Twenty-third; and I hope I have
not failed to give, so far as the very restricted scope of my
account would permit, full justice to that noble corps of veteran
soldiers, as well as to its officers.  As I have had special occasion
to say of the action of Opdycke's brigade and of the 12th and 16th
Kentucky of the Twenty-third Corps at Franklin, the conduct of
those troops was beyond all praise.

                                   HOOD'S MISTAKE AFTER CROSSING DUCK RIVER

I believe little disputes always arise out of the honorable rivalry
which exists between bodies of troops acting together in a great
battle.  Franklin was no exception to that general rule.  For the
purpose of "pouring oil on the troubled waters" after Franklin, I
said that in my opinion there was glory enough won in that battle
to satisfy the reasonable ambition of everybody who was on the
field, and of some who were not there, but who were at first given
"the lion's share"; but if the disputants were not satisfied with
that, they might take whatever share of credit was supposed to be
due to me, and divide it among themselves.  I was then, as I am
now, perfectly satisfied with the sense of triumph which filled my
soul when I saw my heroic comrades hurl back the hosts of rebellion
with slaughter which to some might seem dreadful, but which I
rejoiced in as being necessary to end that fratricidal war.  It is
not worth while to conceal the fact that most earnest patriotism
sometimes arouses in the soldier's breast what might seem to be a
fiendish desire to witness the slaughter of his country's enemies.
Only a soldier of fortune or a hireling can be a stranger to such
feelings.  Yet I aver that I had not the slightest feeling of
personal enmity toward my old friend and classmate General Hood,
or his comrades.  It was the "accursed politicians" who had led
them into such a fratricidal strife who were the objects of our
maledictions.  But even that feeling has been softened by time,
and by reflection upon the deeper and more remote causes of the
war, and that the glorious fruits of final victory have amply
repaid, and will continue to repay in all time, for all those
immense sacrifices and sufferings.

Hood undoubtedly made a mistake in his plan of operations after he
crossed Duck River above Columbia on the night of November 28-9.
His march on Spring Hill would have been the best _if it had
succeeded_.  But he failed to estimate accurately what he could
accomplish in a short winter day over a very bad road.  In a long
day of summer, with that road in the usual summer condition, he
might have reached Spring Hill early in the afternoon, with force
enough to accomplish his purpose before night, if he had found a
single division, or even two divisions, there.  But he failed simply
because he tried to do what was not possible.

When Hood crossed the river he was not more than five miles (his
own journal says three) from the left flank of my position on the
north bank.  The intervening space was open fields, not much, if
any, more difficult for the march of infantry than the dirt road
he actually used.  If he had moved directly upon my flank, he could
have brought on a general engagement about noon, with a force at
least equal to mine.  In anticipation of such a movement, I sent
a brigade toward Huey's Mill to watch Hood's movements, and formed
line of battle facing in that direction and covering the turnpike
to Spring Hill, for which purpose I detained one of the two divisions
of Stanley's corps which, at first, had been ordered to Spring
Hill.  I was willing to fight Hood in that position, and expected
to do so.  But I felt relieved when I found he had undertaken the
much more difficult task of marching to Spring Hill, where I believed
sufficient preparations had been made to oppose him until I could
reach that place by a broad macadamized road over which I could
march rapidly by day or by night.

I now believe my judgment at that time was correct:  That what I
had most to apprehend was not an attempt to get in my rear at Spring
Hill, but one to dislodge me from my position on Duck River by
defeating me in open battle.  But I believed I could fight Hood,
even where I was, from noon until dark, and then retreat to Spring
Hill or Franklin in the night.  At least I was willing to try it
rather than disappoint the expectation of General Thomas that I
would hold Hood in check until he could concentrate his reinforcements.
It seems to me clear that Hood's best chance at Duck River was to
force a general engagement as early in the day as possible, so as
to occupy the attention of all my infantry while his superior
cavalry was sent to occupy some point in my rear, and try to cut
off my retreat in the night.  Perhaps Hood did not appreciate the
very great advantage a retreating army has in the exclusive use of
the best roads at night, especially when the nights are long and
the days correspondingly short--an advantage which cannot be overcome
by any superiority of numbers in the pursuing force, except by a
rapid circuitous march of a detachment.

                                   HOOD'S MISTAKE AFTER CROSSING DUCK RIVER

As illustrating my accurate knowledge of Hood's character before
we ever met in battle, the following incident seems worthy of
mention.  When Sherman's army, after crossing the Chattahoochee
River, was advancing on Atlanta,--my troops being in the center,--
General Sherman was on the main road, a little in rear of me.  My
advance-guard sent back to me an Atlanta paper containing an account
of the visit of President Davis, and the order relieving General
Johnston and assigning General Hood to the command of the army.
General Sherman erroneously says one of General Thomas's staff
officers brought him that paper.  General Thomas was then off to
the right, on another road.  I stopped until Sherman came up, and
handed him the paper.  After reading it he said, in nearly, if not
exactly, the following words:  "Schofield, do you know Hood?  What
sort of a fellow is he?"  I answered:  "Yes, I know him well, and
I will tell you the sort of man he is.  He'll hit you like h--l,
now, before you know it."  Soon afterward, as well described by
Sherman, the sound of battle to our right gave indication of the
heavy attack Hood's troops made upon Thomas's advancing columns
that day, which failed of serious results, as I believe all now
admit, mainly if not entirely because Thomas himself was near the
head of the column which received the first blow.  Soon after, a
still more heavy attack was made on the Army of the Tennessee, our
extreme left, which resulted in one of the severest and most closely
contested battles of the war, and in which the knightly McPherson
was killed.

                                  METHOD OF TRANSMITTING MESSAGES IN CIPHER

Under the system enforced by the War Department in 1864-5, the
commanders of troops in the field were compelled to communicate
with each other either in plain language which the enemy could read
if a despatch fell into his hands, or else in a cipher which neither
of the commanders nor any of their staff officers could decipher.
They were made absolutely dependent upon the cipher-operators of
the telegraph corps.  Of course all this cipher correspondence
between commanding generals was promptly transmitted to the War
Department, so that the Secretary could know what was going on as
well as anybody.  Whatever may have been the object of this, perhaps
not difficult to conjecture, its effect was to make rapid correspondence
in cipher impossible when rapidity was most important and secrecy
most necessary.  In previous years I and one at least of my staff
officers were always familiar with the cipher code, so that we
could together, as a rule, quickly unravel a knotty telegram.
Indeed, I once had to decipher a despatch to which I had no key,
except I knew from internal evidence that it must be under the War
Department code, though written in a different key.  It was a
despatch from Grant, who was then besieging Vicksburg.  It had been
sent to Memphis by steamer, and thence by telegraph to St. Louis,
the place from which Grant's army drew its supplies.  A cipher
despatch sent under the circumstances from Grant to me, who was
not at that time under his command, must necessarily be of great
importance.  My staff officer at once informed me that it was in
some key different from that we had in use.  So I took the thing
in hand myself, and went to work by the simplest possible process,
but one sure to lead to the correct result in time--that is, to
make all possible arrangements of the words until one was found
that would convey a rational meaning.  Commencing about 3 P. M.,
I reached the desired result at three in the morning.  Early that
day a steamer was on the way down the river with the supplies Grant
wanted.  I never told the general how he came to get his supplies
so promptly, but I imagined I knew why he had telegraphed to me
rather than to the quartermaster whose duty it was to furnish
supplies for his army--and a most capable and efficient quartermaster
he was.  I had only a short time before voluntarily sent General
Grant 5000 men, and I inferred that there was some connection
between the incidents.

The immense change in the whole military situation which was produced
in a few minutes at Franklin (for the contest there was in fact
decided in that time, by the recovery of the breach in the line),
and that by a battle which had not been contemplated by either
General Thomas or myself (that is, on the south side of the Harpeth
River, with that stream in the rear of the army), nor yet by General
Hood until he saw the apparent opportunity to destroy his adversary;
and the fact that that dangerous situation had been produced and
the battle rendered necessary by slight accidents or mistakes which
might easily have been foreseen or avoided, cannot, it seems to
me, but produce in every thoughtful mind some reflection upon the
influence exercised by what is called "accident" or "chance" in
war.  The "fortune of war" was, upon the whole, always in my favor,
in spite of adverse accidents; yet I have always acted upon the
principle that the highest duty of a commander is to anticipate
and provide for every possible contingency of war, so as to eliminate
what is called chance.

                                         THE AGGRESSIVE POLICY OF THE SOUTH

Both Johnston and Hood refer in their narratives to the earnest
desire of their commander-in-chief, President Davis, that the army
they in succession commanded should undertake an aggressive campaign.
Johnston demonstrated that, under the circumstances existing while
he was in command, such an undertaking could not possibly have been
successful.  Hood tried it under far more favorable circumstances,
and yet he failed, as had every former attempt of the Confederate
armies.  The result in every case was costly failure, and in the
last overwhelming defeat.  How much greater would have been the
military strength of the South if those losses had been avoided,
and how much greater would have been her moral strength if she had
maintained from the start a firm, consistent, and humane defensive
policy!  How long would the conservative people of the North have
sustained the "invasion" of States where the people were fighting
only to "defend their homes and families."  Did not the South throw
away a great moral advantage when it waged aggressive war upon the
North?  No doubt it was necessary at first, from the secession
point of view, to "fire the Southern heart" by attacking Fort
Sumter.  And, also from that point of view, that attack was fully
justifiable because that fort was in "Confederate" territory.  The
invasions of Maryland and Pennsylvania were far different, and much
more so were the relentless guerrilla war waged in the border
States, attended with horrible massacres like that of Lawrence,
Kansas, which, though no one charges them to the government or
generals of the South, were unavoidable incidents of that species
of warfare; and the inhuman cruelties incidentally suffered by
Union prisoners.

It is true that the slavery question was a very powerful factor in
our Civil War, and became more and more so as the war progressed.
But opinion on that question at the North was very far from unanimous
at the first, and it is a fair and important question how far the
growth of sentiment in the free States in favor of emancipation
was due to the slaveholders' method of carrying on the war.

My desire here is to refer to these questions solely from the
military point of view, and for the consideration of military
students.  The conditions upon which depends success or failure in
war are so many,--some of them being more or less obscure,--that
careful study of all such conditions is demanded of those who aspire
to become military leaders.

[( 1) See Thomas's despatch of 8 P. M., November 29, to Colonel H.
C. Wharton, Wilson's staff officer:  War Records, Vol. XLV, part
I, p. 1146.]

Grant Orders Thomas to Attack Hood or Relinquish the Command--
Thomas's Corps Commanders Support Him in Delay--Grant's Intentions
in Sending Logan to Relieve Thomas--Change of Plan before the Battle
of Nashville--The Fighting of December 15--Expectation that Hood
would Retreat--Delay in Renewing the Attack on the 16th--Hopelessness
of Hood's Position--Letters to Grant and Sherman--Transferred to
the East--Financial Burden of the War--Thomas's Attitude toward
the War.

The perilous character of the situation in Tennessee, in which it
was left by Sherman's premature start for the sea and Thomas's
tardy concentration of troops, wholly disappeared with the repulse
of Hood at Franklin.  There was no further obstacle to the
concentration of Thomas's forces at Nashville, the organization
and equipment of his army, and the necessary preparations to assume
the offensive.  Hood's army was too much shattered and crippled to
make any serious movement for some days, during which it was easy
for Thomas to prepare for battle all his troops except the cavalry,
of which latter, however, it required a longer time to complete
the remount.  Indeed, Thomas could have given battle the second or
third day after Franklin with more than a fair prospect of success.

Considering the feeling of nervous anxiety which prevailed in
Washington and throughout the country at the time, possibly he
ought to have assumed the offensive on the 2d or 3d of December.
But that state of anxiety was at first unknown at Nashville, even
to General Thomas, and was never fully appreciated or understood.
No one at Nashville, so far as I am aware, shared that feeling.
We knew, or thought we knew, that Hood could do nothing, unless it
were to retreat, before we would be prepared to meet him, and that
every day's delay strengthened us far more that it possibly could
him.  His operations, which were closely watched every day, indicated
no intention to retreat; hence all at Nashville awaited with
confidence the period of complete preparation which was to give us
the decisive victory.


The anxiety felt elsewhere, especially by General Grant, was probably
due to some doubt of the wisdom of Sherman's plan of going off with
his main army before disposing of Hood, contrary to Grant's first
advice; to the discovery of Sherman's error in supposing he had
left Thomas in complete condition to cope with Hood; to some
misapprehension as to the degree in which the situation in Tennessee
had been changed by the battle of Franklin; as well as to lack of
confidence in General Thomas on account of his well-known deliberation
of thought and action.

Little was known of this state of anxiety by me, or, I believe, by
the corps commanders, until December 9, when General Thomas, calling
us together at his headquarters, informed us that he was ordered
to attack Hood at once or surrender his command (not saying to
whom), and asked our advice as to what he ought to do.  One of the
officers present asked General Thomas to show us the order, which
he declined to do.  This confirmed the belief which I had at first
formed that the successor named by General Grant could be no other
than myself--a belief formed from the fact that I was, next to
General Thomas, the highest officer in rank on the ground where
immediate action was demanded, and from my knowledge of General
Grant's confidence, which belief has since been fully justified by
the record.  This, as I conceived, imposed upon me the duty of
responding at once to General Thomas's request for advice, without
waiting for the junior members of the council, according to the
usual military custom.  Hence I immediately replied:  "General
Thomas, I will sustain you in your determination not to fight until
you are fully ready."  All the other commanders then promptly
expressed their concurrence.

I do not know whether or not my declaration of purpose to sustain
General Thomas was made known to General Grant, or to any one in
Washington, either then or afterward.  I have never made any inquiry
on that subject.  Of course such information must have been conveyed
confidentially and indirectly, if at all, and hence would probably
not appear in the official records, though despatches and letters
marked "confidential" are sometimes published as official.  I have
only conjectured that some knowledge of my opinion and decision
may, perhaps, have influenced General Grant's final determination
to go to Nashville himself.  If some officer must go there to fight
a battle, Grant could get there about as soon as any other he could
well select.  The records now published seem to verify the belief
then (December 9, 1864) existing in my mind, that I had only to
withhold my support from General Thomas in his determination to
delay, and the chief command would have fallen to my fortune, where
I believed brilliant victory was as nearly certain as anything in
war can be.  But I never had the remotest idea of superseding
General Thomas.  As I explained to General Sherman, I volunteered
to go back to Tennessee, not to supersede Thomas, but to help him.
I knew him and his subordinates well, as I did also the antagonist,
my West Point classmate, whom they would have to meet.  I appreciated
Thomas's high qualities, his distinguished services, and, above
all, the profound affection and confidence of his troops--an element
of strength in a commander far greater than is generally understood,
even by military men, some of whom appear to be altogether ignorant
of its value as a factor in war.  A doubt of our complete success
under his leadership, after our troops were united, never entered
my mind, much less a desire to diminish or dim the laurels he might

                                         GRANT'S INTENTION IN SENDING LOGAN

General Grant's great anxiety on account of the situation at
Nashville was manifested for several days by urgent despatches to
General Thomas to attack at once without waiting for further
preparations; then by an order to Thomas to turn over the chief
command to me, Thomas to become subordinate, which order was
suspended; and finally by starting for Nashville himself to direct
operations in person.  In the meantime he ordered General John A.
Logan to go to Nashville to relieve Thomas in command of the Army
of the Cumberland, without thought, as he has said, of the question
whether Logan or myself should command the combined armies of the
Cumberland and of the Ohio.  Grant had reached Washington from City
Point, and Logan had gone as far as Louisville, when the report of
Thomas's victory of December 15 made it unnecessary for either of
them to proceed farther.  The following letters from Grant to Logan
are interesting as explaining the reasons and motives of his action
in sending Logan to Nashville, as well as his estimate of the
services I had rendered in the preceding operations:

  "New York, February 14, 1884.
"Hon. John A. Logan, U. S. Senate, Washington, D. C.

"Dear Sir:  In reply to your letter of the 11th, I have to say that
my response must be from memory entirely, having no data at hand
to refer to; but in regard to the order for you to go to Louisville
and Nashville for the purpose of relieving General Thomas, I never
thought of the question of who should command the combined armies
of the Cumberland and the Ohio.  I was simply dissatisfied with
the slowness of General Thomas moving, and sent you out with orders
to relieve him.  No doubt if the order had been carried out, the
question would immediately have arisen as to who was entitled to
the command, provided General Schofield was senior in rank to you,
which I do not know that he was.  I know that his confirmation as
a major-general took place long after yours, but I do not know the
date of his commission.  The question, in that case, of the command
of the whole would have been settled in a very few hours by the
use of the telegraph between Nashville and Washington.  I was in
Washington when you arrived at Louisville and telegraphed me that
General Thomas had moved, and, as I remember the telegram, expressing
gratification that he had done so.  I was then on my way to Nashville
myself, and remained over a day in Washington, hoping that Thomas
might still move.  Of course I was gratified when I learned that
he had moved, because it was a very delicate and unpleasant matter
to remove a man of General Thomas's character and standing before
the country; but still I had urged him so long to move that I had
come to think it a duty.  Of course in sending you to relieve
General Thomas, I meant no reflection whatever upon General Schofield,
who was commanding the Army of the Ohio, because I thought that he
had done very excellent service in punishing the entire force under
Hood a few days before, some twenty-five miles south of Nashville.
Very truly yours,

  "U. S. Grant
  "(_per_ Frank F. Wood)."

                                        GRANT'S INTENTIONS IN SENDING LOGAN

  "New York, February 23, 1884.
"Gen. John A. Logan, U. S. Senate, Washington, D. C.

"Dear General:  Since I have been confined to my room I have
conducted all my correspondence through a secretary, who is a
stenographer, and he takes my dictation to the office and writes
the letters out there as dictated, and by my direction signs my
name.  I intended that the letter which I wrote to you should be
brought back to me for my own signature, and I sign this myself to
show my entire responsibility for the one which you have just
received, and which I hope was satisfactory to you.

  "Very truly yours,
  "U. S. Grant."

The passion and prejudice begotten in the minds of Thomas's soldiers
and their friends by injustice, real or fancied, done or proposed
to be done to him by his superiors in rank, have rendered impossible
any calm discussion of questions touching his military career.
There is not yet, and probably will not be in our lifetime, a proper
audience for such discussion.  But posterity will award justice to
all if their deeds have been such as to save their names from

Time works legitimate "revenge," and makes all things even.  When
I was a boy at West Point I was court-martialed for tolerating some
youthful "deviltry" of my classmates, in which I took no part
myself, and was sentenced to be dismissed.  Thomas, then already
a veteran soldier, was a member of the court, and he and one other
were the only ones of thirteen members who declined to recommend
that the sentence be remitted.  This I learned in 1868, when I was
Secretary of War.  Only twelve years later I was able to repay this
then unknown stern denial of clemency to a youth by saving the
veteran soldier's army from disaster, and himself from the humiliation
of dismissal from command on the eve of victory.  Five years later
still, I had the satisfaction, by intercession with the President,
of saving the same veteran general from assignment to an inferior
command, and of giving him the military division to which my
assignment had been ordered.  When death had finally relieved him
from duty, and not till then, did I consent to be his successor.
In 1879 I had the satisfaction, after many months of patient
investigation, of rendering justice to the other of those two
unrelenting soldiers who, of all the thirteen, could not find it
in their hearts to recommend clemency to an erring youth; I was
president of the board which reversed the judgment of the court-
martial in the case of Fitz-John Porter.

I believe it must now be fully known to all who are qualified to
judge and have had by personal association or by study of history
full opportunities to learn the truth, that General Thomas did not
possess in a high degree the activity of mind necessary to foresee
and provide for all the exigencies of military operations, nor the
mathematical talent required to estimate "the relations of time,
space, motion, and force" involved in great problems of war.  His
well-known high qualities in other respects obscured these
imperfections from the great majority of those who surrounded him
during the war, and rendered the few educated soldiers who were
able to understand his true merits the more anxious to aid him and
save him from personal defeat.  And no one, I am sure, of his
comrades in arms desires to detract from the great fame which is
justly his due; for, according to the best judgment of mankind,
moral qualities, more than intellectual, are the foundation of a
great and enduring fame.  It was "Old Pap" Thomas, not General
Thomas, who was beloved by the Army of the Cumberland; and it is
the honest, conscientious patriot, the firm, unflinching old soldier,
not the general, whose name will be most respected in history.


Of the general details of the battle of Nashville I do not propose
to speak, but simply to notice a few of its most important points.
The plan of battle, as published, placed my command--the Twenty-
third Corps--in the left center of our line, where only a feint
was to be made.  The Fourth Corps was to carry a salient advanced
line, while the main attack was to be made on the enemy's extreme
left by A. J. Smith's corps and the cavalry.  After the order was
prepared I went to General Thomas with a map of the position showing
the exact length of the several parts of the enemy's line, and
explained to him that the force he had assigned to our left wing
was at least 10,000 men more than could be used to any advantage
unless for a real attack; and that, on the other hand, Smith's
force was not large enough for the real attack, considering the
extent of the ground occupied by the enemy on that flank.  Hence
I suggested that my corps should support Smith instead of remaining
on the left of Wood.  To this suggestion General Thomas readily
acceded, and orally authorized me to carry it into effect, but made
no change in his written order.  The result of this change of plan
was that the close of the first day's engagement found the Twenty-
third Corps on the extreme right of our infantry line, in the most
advanced position captured from the enemy.  Yet General Thomas, in
his official report, made no mention of this change of plan, but
said "the original plan of battle, with but few alterations, [was]
strictly adhered to."( 1)  The "alterations" were certainly "few".
A change from 10,000 to 20,000 infantry in the main attacking force
may not properly be described as _many_ "alterations," but it looks
like one very _large_ one--sufficient, one would suppose, to
determine the difference between failure and success.

The plan of battle issued December 14 had been matured and made
known to the principal subordinate commanders several days before,
when General Thomas intended to attack, but was prevented by the
storm.  Hence there had been ample time for critical consideration
and discussion of the details of that plan, the result of which
was the modification made at the conference in the afternoon or
evening of December 14, which modification was not embodied in the
written order, but was orally directed to be carried out.  If
General Thomas had caused that clerical work to be done in the
evening of December 14, his published orders and his battle of
December 15 would have been in complete harmony.  There would not,
so far as I know, have been even a "few alterations."  In this
connection, the difference between the "Special Field Order No.
342" of December 14, as recorded in General Thomas's order-book,
and the copy embodied in his official report, as explained in a
foot-note in the War Records, is not unimportant.( 2)  In the order-
book he says:  "Major-General Schofield _will mass_ the remainder
of his force in front of the works and co-operate with General
Wood, protecting the latter's left flank against an attack by the
enemy"; but in his report the words "_will move with_" are substituted
for "will mass."  The latter, in military parlance, meant placing
my corps in reserve, with a view to "co-operate with General Wood,"
etc., whenever such co-operation might be necessary; while the
words used in Thomas's final report meant active co-operation with
General Wood from the beginning of the engagement.  In the body of
his report General Thomas spoke of the position of the Twenty-third
Corps as "in reserve," from which position it was ordered to the
right to join A. J. Smith's troops in the attack.  Hence it would
seem that a position "in reserve" was what General Thomas had in
mind both when he prepared his order of battle and when he wrote
his report, and that the change to the words "will move with" was
simply a clerical error.

                                        EXPECTATION THAT HOOD WOULD RETREAT

After darkness had ended the first day's battle (December 15), I
received an order in writing from General Thomas, which was in
substance to _pursue the retreating enemy_ early the next morning,
my corps to take the advance on the Granny White pike, and was
informed that the cavalry had been or would be ordered to start at
the same time by a road on the right, and cross the Harpeth below
Franklin.  These orders seemed to be so utterly inapplicable to
the actual situation that I rode to the rear to where General
Thomas's headquarters were supposed to be, and there found that he
had gone back to his house in Nashville, to which place I followed
him.  He appeared surprised at my suggestion that we would find
Hood in line of battle ready to receive us in the morning, or even
ready to strike our exposed right flank before we could renew the
attack, instead of in full retreat, as he had assumed.  I told him
I knew Hood much better than he did, and I was sure he would not
retreat.  Finally, after considerable discussion I obtained a
modification of the order so far as to direct the cavalry to remain
where it was until Hood's action should be known, and an order for
some of A. J. Smith's troops to support the right if necessary.
But no orders whatever were given, to my knowledge, looking to a
battle the next day--at least none for my troops or the cavalry.

The next morning revealed the enemy in his new position, his left
remaining where it was the night before, in my immediate front,
but the rest of his line far back from the ground on which the
other portions of Thomas's army had passed the night.  Some time
was of course required for the other corps to come up and get in
contact with the enemy, and the whole forenoon was passed by me in
impatient anxiety and fruitless efforts to get from General Thomas
some orders or authority that would enable us all to act together
--that is, the cavalry and the two infantry corps on the right.
At length the cavalry, without order from General Thomas, had worked
well round on the enemy's left so as to threaten his rear; I had
ordered Cox, commanding my right division, to advance his right in
conjunction with the movement of the cavalry, and at the proper
time to attack the left of the enemy's intrenchments covering the
Granny White pike, and that movement had commenced; while, having
been informed by General Darius N. Couch, commanding my left
division, that one of Smith's divisions was about to assault, I had
ordered Couch to support that division, which movement had also
commenced.  Then General Thomas arrived near our right, where I
stood watching these movements.  This, about four o'clock P. M.,
was the first time I had seen or heard from General Thomas during
that day.  He gave no order, nor was there time to give any.  The
troops were already in motion, and we had hardly exchanged the
usual salutations when shouts to our left announced that McArthur's
division of Smith's corps had already carried the enemy's work in
its front, and our whole line advanced and swept all before it.

In my judgment, General Thomas gave a little less than full credit
to McArthur's division, and considerably more than full justice to
the other troops, in his description of that assault, which was
distinctly seen by him and by me.

The resistance along the whole left and center of Hood's line cannot
be said to have been strong or obstinate.  Our total losses were
comparatively insignificant; and whatever may have been the appearance
to the troops under fire, to a cool observer out of the smoke the
enemy's fire seemed no more than that of an ordinary skirmish.
But with the exception of the comparatively feeble resistance of
the enemy, that splendid assault of McArthur's division, as I saw
it, was very accurately described by its gallant commander in his
official report, and also in that of General A. J. Smith.

                                   DELAY IN RENEWING THE ATTACK ON THE 16TH

The fact is that Hood's left wing had been much weakened to strengthen
his right, which had been heavily pressed a short time before, as
fully described by General Thomas, and his army was already
substantially beaten.  Its spirit seemed to be gone.  What little
fight was left in it after November 30 had been greatly diminished
on December 15.  Hood, almost alone of that army, was not whipped
until the 16th.  He, the responsible leader of a desperate cause,
could not yield as long as there was a ray of hope.  Under any
ordinary circumstances a commander even of the most moderate capacity
must have admitted his campaign a failure the morning after Franklin.
It would be absurd to compare the fighting of Hood's troops at
Nashville, especially on the second day, with the magnificent
assaults at Atlanta and Franklin.  My own appreciation of the result
was expressed in the following despatch:

  "Headquarters, Army of the Ohio,
  "December 16, 1864, 7:45 P. M.
"Major-General George H. Thomas,
  "Commanding Department of the Cumberland.

"General:  I have the honor to report four pieces of artillery and
a considerable number of prisoners captured by General Cox's division
this afternoon.  General Cox also reported four other pieces and
caissons captured in the valley between the hill carried by General
McArthur and that taken by General Cox.  I learned, however, upon
inquiry, that General McArthur's troops claimed, and I have no
doubt justly, the honor of capturing the last four.  My provost-
marshal reports seventy-four prisoners captured this P. M.  I have
conversed with some of the officers captured, and am satisfied
Hood's army is more thoroughly beaten than any troops I have ever

"I congratulate you most heartily upon the result of the two days'
operations.  My messenger will wait for any orders you may have to
send me.  Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

  "J. M. Schofield, Major-General."

It now appears to be fully established by the records that Hood's
infantry force in the battle of Nashville was very far inferior to
that of Thomas, and he had sent a large part of his cavalry, with
some infantry, away to Murfreesboro'.  This disparity must have
been perfectly well known to Hood, though not to Thomas.  Hence it
would seem that Hood must have known that it was utterly impossible
for his army to resist the assaults which he must expect on December
16.  Since all this has become known, it is impossible not to see
now that the comparatively feeble resistance offered by the
Confederate troops at Nashville was due not so much, perhaps, to
any lack of valor on the part of those troops, as to their
comparatively small numbers.  I recall distinctly the conversation
I had with a Confederate field-officer a few minutes after he was
captured that day, and which I reported to General Thomas that
evening.  In answer to my question as to when the Confederate troops
recognized the fact that they were beaten, he answered, "Not till
you routed us just now."  I did not believe him then, for I thought
they must have recognized their defeat at Franklin, or at least on
the 15th, at Nashville.  But now I think he probably told me the
exact truth.  I doubt if any soldiers in the world ever needed so
much cumulative evidence to convince them that they were beaten.
"Brave boys were they!"  If they had been fighting in a cause that
commanded the sympathy and support of the public conscience of the
world, they could never have been beaten; it is not necessary to
search for any other cause of the failure of the Confederate States.

                                   DELAY IN RENEWING THE ATTACK ON THE 16TH

The most notable failure, on our side, of the battle of December
16 was the wasting of nearly the entire day, so that operations
ended with the successful assault at dark.  What was left of Hood's
army had time to retreat across the Harpeth during the night and
destroy the bridges before the pursuit could be commenced.

But the results of the two days' operations at Nashville were too
gratifying to admit of contemporaneous criticism.  The battle has
been generally accepted as a perfect exemplification of the art of
war.  It is certainly a good subject for the study of military
students, and it is partly for their benefit that I have pointed
out some of its prominent defects as I understood them.  Its
commendable features are sufficiently evident; but in studying the
actions that have resulted in victory, we are apt to overlook the
errors without which the victory might have been far more complete,
or even to mistake those errors for real causes of success.

The pursuit from Nashville was necessarily an imperfect one from
the start, simply because the successful assault having been made
at the close of day, the broken enemy had time to get across the
Harpeth and destroy the bridges before morning.  The singular
blunder by which General Thomas's pontoon-train was sent toward
Murfreesboro' instead of Franklin added somewhat to the delay, but
probably did not essentially change the result.

The state of all the roads except the one turnpike, the soft
condition of the fields everywhere, the bad weather,--rain, sleet,
and ice,--made the movements of troops which were necessary to an
effective pursuit extremely difficult, and often impossible.  The
energy and determination of General Thomas and of all who could
take any active part in that pursuit were probably never surpassed
in military history, but the difficulties to be overcome were often
insurmountable.  Under the conditions at that season of the year
and in that state of weather, the only possible chance of reaping
fruits commensurate with the brilliant victory at Nashville and
with the great preparations which had been made for pursuit was to
make the final assault at Nashville early enough in the day to
leave time before dark to prevent the enemy from crossing the
Harpeth and destroying the bridges.

If Hood had retreated in the night of December 15, as Thomas presumed
he would, the result would doubtless have been even less serious
to the enemy; for he would not have suffered at Nashville the great
losses and demoralization which occurred to him on the 16th, and
would have been in better condition to make an effective retreat,
and even better able to cross the Harpeth in the night and destroy
the bridges.  But this would have been difficult, if not impossible,
to prevent on the 15th, on account of the great extent and nature
of the movements necessarily required to open the battle on that
day.  I now recall very distinctly the desire manifested by General
Thomas that those initial operations might, if possible, be expedited.
As we sat together on horseback just in rear of Wood's right and
of Smith's left, on ground overlooking nearly the entire field,
the general would frequently reach for my glasses, which he had
occasionally used before and said were the only field-glasses he
had ever found of much use to him, and try to peer through the
misty atmosphere far over the woods and field where his infantry
and cavalry were advancing against the enemy's left.  After thus
looking long and earnestly, he would return the glasses to me, with
what seemed to be a sign of irritation or impatience, for he uttered
very few words in that long time, until late in the afternoon,
when, after using my field-glasses for the last time, he said to
me, with the energy which battle alone could arouse in his strong
nature:  "Smith has not reached far enough to the right.  Put in
your troops!"

Occasionally, when a shell struck and exploded near where we were,
causing his horse to make a slight start, and only a slight one,--
for the nature of the horse was much the same as that of the rider,
--the only change visible in the face or form of that stout-hearted
soldier was a slight motion of the bridle-hand to check the horse.
My own beautiful gray charger, "Frank Blair," though naturally more
nervous than the other, had become by that time hardly less fearless.
But I doubt if my great senior ever noticed that day what effect
the explosion of a shell produced on either the gray horse or his
rider.  He had on his shoulders the responsibilities of a great
battle, while I then had better than ever before opportunity to
study the character of my chief.

                                            HOPELESSNESS OF HOOD'S POSITION

A wiser commander than Hood might very probably have saved his army
from that terrible and useless sacrifice of December 16.  But that
last and bravest champion of a desperate cause in the west appears
to have decided to remain and invite the total destruction of his
army.  The position which the Confederates occupied in the morning
of the 16th was so close to that of more than half of the Union
troops that Hood's left could easily have been crushed by an infantry
assault and his rear reached by Thomas's cavalry before noon, and
nothing less than a miracle could have prevented the capture of
Hood's army.

It is worthy of note as instructive comparison that on November
30 Hood advanced from Spring Hill to Franklin and made his famous
assault in just about the same length of time that it took our
troops to advance from the first to the second position at Nashville
and make the assault of December 16; and that the Fourth and Twenty-
third corps on November 29 and 30 fought two battles--Spring Hill
and Franklin--and marched forty miles, from Duck River to Nashville,
in thirty-six hours.  Time is an element in military problems the
value of which cannot be too highly estimated, yet how seldom has
it been duly appreciated!

The remnant of Hood's army having made its escape across the
Tennessee River, the pursuit terminated, and General Thomas issued
his remarkable General Orders No. 169, announcing that "the rear-
guard of the flying and dispirited enemy was driven across the
Tennessee River. . . ."( 3)

Orders were then issued by General Thomas distributing his army
along the Tennessee River in winter quarters, and he commenced
planning a campaign for the ensuing spring, the general features
of which he telegraphed me, asking my opinion.  His proposition
seemed to show so different an appreciation from my own of the
actual state of the war and of the demands of the country upon its
army at that momentous crisis, and views so different from mine in
respect to the strategic principles that should govern future
operations, that I wrote to General Grant and General Sherman,
giving them briefly my views upon the subject, and requesting an
order to join them on the Atlantic coast, to aid in terminating
the rebellion.  My letter to General Grant was promptly followed
by a telegram to General Thomas directing him to send me east with
the Twenty-third Corps, which enabled me to participate in the
closing campaign of the war.

                                                            LETTER TO GRANT

The following are the letters, above referred to, to Grant and
Sherman, whose appreciation of the views therein expressed is
sufficiently shown by the published history of subsequent operations,
and the orders sent to Thomas by General Grant and the War Department
during that time:

  "Columbia, Tenn., December 27, 1864.
"Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant, Commanding U. S. Armies, City
Point, Va.

"General:  My corps was sent back to Tennessee by General Sherman,
instead of remaining with him on him march through Georgia, according
to his original design, for two reasons, viz.:  First, because
General Thomas was not regarded strong enough after it became
evident that Hood designed to invade Tennessee; and, second, in
order that I might fill up my corps from the new troops then arriving
in Tennessee.  These reasons now no longer exist.  By uniting my
troops with Stanley's, we were able to hold Hood in check at Columbia
and Franklin until General Thomas could concentrate at Nashville,
and also to give Hood his death-blow at Franklin.  Subsequent
operations have shown how little fight was then left in his army,
and have taken that little out of it.  He now has not more than
fifteen thousand infantry, about ten thousand of whom only are
armed, and they greatly demoralized.  With time to reorganize and
recruit, he could not probably raise his force to more than half
the strength he had at Franklin.

"General Thomas has assigned several new regiments to my command,
and I hope soon to make them effective by distributing them in old
brigades.  I will have from fifteen to eighteen thousand effective
men, two thirds of whom are the veterans of the campaigns of East
Tennessee and Georgia:  A small force, it is true, yet one which
would at least be an appreciable addition to your army in Virginia
or elsewhere where decisive work is to be done.

"It may not be practicable now for me to join General Sherman, but
it would not be difficult to transfer my command to Virginia.

"I am aware that General Thomas contemplates a 'spring campaign'
into Alabama or Mississippi, with the Tennessee River as a base,
and believe he considers my command a necessary part of the operating
force.  Without reference to the latter point, permit me to express
the opinion that such a campaign would not be an economical or
advantageous use of so many troops.

"If aggressive operations are to be continued in the Gulf States,
it appears to me it would be much better to take Mobile and operate
from that point, thus striking vital points, if there are any such,
of rebel territory by much shorter lines.

"But it appears to me that Lee's army is virtually all that is left
of the rebellion.  If we can concentrate force enough to destroy
that, we will destroy with it the rebel government, and the occupation
of the whole South will then be but a matter of a few weeks' time.

"Excuse, General, the liberty I have taken in expressing my views
thus freely and unsolicited.  I have no other motive than a desire
for the nation's good, and a personal wish to serve where my little
command can do the most.

"The change I suggest would of course deprive me of my department
command, but this would be a small loss to me or to the service.
The present arrangement is an unsatisfactory one at best.  Nominally
I command both a department and an army in the field; but in fact
I do neither.  I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient

  "J. M. Schofield, Major-General."

                                                          LETTER TO SHERMAN

  "Columbia, Tenn., December 28, 1864.
"My dear General:  Accept my hearty congratulations on the happy
termination of your 'pleasure excursion' through Georgia.  You must
have had a merry Christmas.

"As was predicted, you have had the fun, and we the hard work.
But altogether your plan has been a brilliant success.  Hood didn't
follow _you_, . . . but he did _me_.  I held him at Columbia several
days, and hurt him considerably.  Finally he got across the Duck
River above, and made for Franklin via Spring Hill.  I headed him
off at Spring Hill with a division, and concentrated at Franklin.
There he made the heaviest assaults I have ever seen, but was fairly
repulsed and terribly punished.  In fact we pretty much knocked
all the fight out of him on that occasion, and he has shown very
little since.  Now I reckon he has n't any left.

"I barely succeeded in delaying Hood until Thomas could get A. J.
Smith and Steedman to Nashville, when he became abundantly strong,
and after getting Wilson's cavalry together moved out and gave Hood
a most thorough beating with all ease.  The fact is, Hood's army
showed scarcely any fight at all.  I have never seen anybody except
Jeff Thompson so easily beaten.

"Stoneman has cleaned out Breckinridge and destroyed the salt-works
and everything else in southwest Virginia; so all together matters
are in pretty good shape in this part of the military division.

"Thomas has given me nine new regiments, and promises three more.
These will make a pretty good division for new troops.

"All this being true, I take it the objects for which I was left
in this part of the country have been accomplished, and I would
like very much to be with you again, to take part in the future
operations of the Grand Army.  Cannot this be brought about?

"Of course I can only conjecture what your operations will now be,
and can hardly judge of the practicability of my joining you, but
I hope I may be able to do so.  I have written to General Grant on
this subject, and suggested that if I cannot reach you, I might
with propriety be sent to Virginia.  I feel certain that I am no
longer needed here, for without me Thomas is much stronger than

"I have not talked with General Thomas on the subject, but intend
to do so as soon as I can see him.( 4)  No doubt he will be opposed
to any reduction of his force, but I go for concentrating against
Lee.  If we can whip him now, the rebellion will be virtually ended.

"My corps is small, it is true, but it is 'powerful willing,' and
can help some anyhow.

"Please present my kindest remembrances to my old comrades, and
favor me with an early reply.  Yours very truly,

  "J. M. Schofield, Major-General.
"Major-General Sherman, Com'd'g, etc., Savannah, Ga."

On my passage through Washington in January, 1865, Mr. Stanton,
the Secretary of War, confirmed the view I had taken of the situation,
and gave reasons for it before unknown to me, by telling me it was
regarded by the administration as an absolute financial necessity
that the war be ended in the campaign then about to begin.  It is,
perhaps, not strange that General Thomas had not thought of this;
but it does seem remarkable that he had proposed to let a broken
and dispirited enemy have several months in which to recuperate
before annoying him any further.

The expectation and instructions of General Grant and General
Sherman were that General Thomas should, as soon as he was ready
to take the offensive, pursue Hood into the Gulf States.  General
Thomas appears to have forgotten that part of his instructions.
As soon as he had driven Hood across the river, he proposed to go
into winter quarters, and "hold the line of the Tennessee" till
some time the next spring.  If General Sherman had confided to
General Thomas, as he did to General Grant, his ulterior purpose
to march from Savannah toward Richmond, for which reason he wanted
Hood kept out of his way, Thomas would have perceived the necessity
of pressing the pursuit of Hood into the Gulf States.  But if Thomas
supposed, as he might naturally have done, that Sherman had only
shifted his base with a view to further operations in Georgia and
the Gulf States, under the plan of the last autumn, with which
Thomas was perfectly familiar, he may well have seen no necessity
for his pressing the pursuit beyond the Tennessee River in

Some of our military operations in the Civil War remind me of the
spirit of "fair play" shown by our old doctors in the West in the
days of malarial fever.  When the poison had fully developed its
power, and threatened the destruction of its victim, the good doctor
would come in and attack the enemy with heroic doses of quinine.
In a few days medical science would prevail.  Then the fair-minded
physician would retire, and give the worsted malaria a chance to
recuperate and "come to time" for another attack; and so on
indefinitely until either the man or the malaria--often the man--
finally got "knocked out."  It was not until after much study and
some practice of the art of war that I conceived for myself the
idea of giving the enemy of my youth, which still clung to me, no
chance to recover after I once got him down.  He has never got the
better of me since.

                                           THOMAS'S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE WAR

Had Thomas's plan been carried out, he would have been ready, with
a fine army splendidly equipped and supplied, to start from the
Tennessee River to invade the Gulf States, as had been done the
year before, just about the time the plans actually adopted resulted
in the surrender of all the Confederate armies.  In Thomas's mind
war seems to have become the normal condition of the country.  He
had apparently as yet no thought of its termination.  The campaign
from the Tennessee River as a base had then become, like the "autumn
manoeuvers" of an European army, a regular operation to be commenced
at the proper time every year.  In his general order of December
29, he said the enemy, "unless he is mad, must forever relinquish
all hope of bringing Tennessee again within the lines of the accursed
rebellion"; but the possible termination of that rebellion appeared
to be a contingency too remote to be taken into account in planning
future military operations.

[( 1) War Records, Vol. XLV, part I, p. 39.]

[( 2) See Vol. XLV, part I, p. 37.]

[( 3) War Records, Vol. XLV, part I, p. 50.]

[( 4) I did not see General Thomas after this letter was written.]

Hood's Motive in Attempting the Impossible at Nashville--Diversity
of Opinions Concerning that Battle--No Orders on Record for the
Battle of December 16--That Battle due to the Spontaneous Action
of Subordinate Commanders--Statements in the Reports of the Corps
Commanders--Explanation of the Absence of Orders--The Phraseology
of General Thomas's Report.

The official records, Hood's statement, and Sherman's estimate,
made at the time, agree pretty closely in placing Hood's infantry
force at about 30,000 men when he crossed the Tennessee and began
his advance toward Nashville.  He lost a considerable number at
Spring Hill on November 29, and over 6000, besides thirteen general
officers, at Franklin on November 30.  Therefore 24,000 must be a
liberal estimate of his infantry strength after the battle of
Franklin.  The infantry strength of the Fourth and Twenty-third
corps did not exceed 22,000 present for duty equipped, of which
one brigade (Cooper's) of the Twenty-third was sent by General
Thomas to guard the fords of Duck River below Columbia, and did
not rejoin the corps until after the battle of Franklin.  Hence
Hood's infantry force at Columbia and Franklin was nearly one half
greater then mine.  The disparity in cavalry was still greater at
first, but was reduced very considerably by the arrival of cavalry
sent from Nashville by General Thomas, especially Hammond's brigade,
which arrived in the field on the 29th, too late to assist in
holding the line of Duck River.

                                                 HOOD'S MOTIVE AT NASHVILLE

It follows that Hood had an opportunity to conduct operations
against an adversary of, at the most, only two thirds his own
strength in infantry and in cavalry--an opportunity such as had
never before been presented to any Confederate general.  That he
thought his chance a very brilliant one is not remarkable.  If he
could cut off my retreat or force me to a pitched battle, he had
full reason to hope for the most decisive results.  This fact should
be given full weight in connection with the question why Hood did
not avoid intrenched positions and make a raid into Kentucky, which
he could easily have done at that time, because Thomas was not yet
ready to meet him in the open field.  The moral effect of such a
raid would, of course, have been very great; but it must have proved
disastrous in the end, for the reason that Thomas would in a short
time have had in Hood's rear a far superior force to cut off his
retreat and force him to a decisive battle; whereas if Hood could
defeat and seriously cripple, if not destroy, the only organized
army in the field then opposed to him, he could afterward attend
to Thomas's scattered detachments in succession, or invade Kentucky,
as he might think expedient.  As Hood was operating in the country
of his own friends, he did not lack full and accurate information
of the strength and movements of his adversary.  Indeed, we were
also fully informed in due time of all of Hood's movements, but
overestimated his strength because we did not have friends residing
in his camps.

But the defeat of Hood at Franklin, and Thomas's concentration of
troops at Nashville, completely reversed the situation.  When Hood
recovered from the blow received at Franklin sufficiently to make
any further move, he found himself confronted no longer by an
inferior force, but by one of more than twice his own strength in
infantry, and not far, if at all, inferior to him in cavalry.  The
artillery in the field is not specially considered in any of these
estimates, because it was ample in quantity and efficient in quality
on both sides, and need not be compared.  This formidable army was
now in Hood's immediate front at Nashville, while the important
strategic points of Murfreesboro' and Chattanooga were strongly
garrisoned and fortified, and the railroads strongly guarded.  It
had become too late for Hood to attempt a raid into Kentucky.
Thomas would have been close upon his rear with an army at least
twice as strong, with all the important points in Tennessee still
securely held.  But successful operations against Nashville were
far less possible to Hood than an invasion of Kentucky.  While no
commander could possibly think of destroying his own army by
assaulting a fortified place in which the garrison was more than
double his own strength, or indulge the hope of any valuable results
from a less than half investment of such a place, so bold a commander
as Hood might possibly attempt a raid into Kentucky, as the only
thing he could possibly do except retreat across the Tennessee
River, and thus abandon his cause as lost.  It was this view of
the situation by General Grant and the authorities in Washington
that caused such intense anxiety on account of the delay of General
Thomas in attacking Hood at Nashville.  It was perfectly evident
that Thomas could beat Hood whenever he chose to attack him, and
that Hood must be fully aware of that fact.  Hence it was naturally
apprehended that Hood would either make a raid into Kentucky or
else retreat across the Tennessee River without suffering any
further damage.  To those who were watching Hood closely at Nashville,
and especially to those who understood his character, there seemed
no ground for either apprehension.  All his operations indicated
a serious attempt to besiege Nashville, though it was impossible
to imagine what he could hope to accomplish, unless it was to wait
in the most convenient place while his adversary, with all the
great resources of the country at his back, got ready to crush him.

                                                 HOOD'S MOTIVE AT NASHVILLE

As stated in his report, Thomas estimated Hood's strength as being
at least equal to his own, and with all the deliberation of his
nature, he insisted upon making the full preparations which he
considered essential to success not only in battle, but in pursuit
of a defeated enemy.  From his point of view, Thomas was unquestionably
right in his action.  How he came to make so great an overestimate
of the Confederate strength, in view of the means of information
in his possession and the estimate General Sherman had given him
before he started for Savannah, it is difficult to conjecture.
But the fact is now beyond question that Thomas made all those
elaborate preparations to attack an enemy of less than half his
own strength, under the belief that his adversary was at least
equal in strength to himself.  That Hood then knew his own exact
strength is a matter of course, and that he did not underestimate
the strength of his adversary is almost equally certain.  During
the two weeks in which his army lay in front of Nashville, if not
before, he must have ascertained very closely the strength of the
Union forces in his front.  Hence Hood's "siege" of Nashville for
two weeks could not be regarded otherwise than as a stupendous
farce, were it not for the desperate bravery with which he thus
kept up the appearance of still fighting for a lost cause rather
than be the first to admit by his own action that it was indeed
lost.  It is now well known that the feeling among the Southern
people and that of some of the highest officers of the Confederate
government made it impossible for any officer of their army to
admit in any public way the failure of the Confederacy until after
the enforced surrender of Lee's army in Virginia.  Indeed, it
required much moral courage on the part of General Johnston
voluntarily to enter into a capitulation even after the capture of

This is unquestionably the explanation of Hood's desperate act in
waiting in front of Nashville and inviting the destruction or
capture of his army.  The crushing blow he there received was like
a death-blow delivered by a giant full of strength and vigor upon
a gladiator already beaten and reduced in strength nearly to
exhaustion.  Sherman was not very far wrong when he said that "the
battle of Nashville was fought at Franklin."  The gladiator had
been reduced to less than one third of his former strength by a
long series of combats with a more powerful antagonist all the past
summer, and finally by his unexpected repulse at Franklin.  It
required only one or two more blows from the powerful enemy at
Nashville to complete his destruction.  Any estimate of the battle
of Nashville which fails to take into account the foregoing facts
must be essentially erroneous, and it is not doing any honor to
the great soldier who fought that battle to compare it with his
previous achievements when he heroically met and defeated superior
numbers of fresh and vigorous troops.

A wide diversity of opinion has always existed among military men
in respect to the battle of Nashville, ranging all the way from
the view taken in historical accounts heretofore published to the
opinion expressed by General Sherman, in language intended of course
to be hyperbolical, namely that "the battle of Nashville was fought
at Franklin."  The truth is to be found somewhere between these
two extremes.  But the exact truth respecting that battle can
perhaps hardly yet be told.  I will, however, state such facts of
my own knowledge and experience, and make such references to data
to be found in the voluminous records, as it seems to me may assist
the future historian, together with such comments as I deem
appropriate upon the information now available.  As will be explained
hereafter, some important documents which originally formed part
of the records have disappeared therefrom.  Their influence upon
historical opinion, if ever recovered, may now only be suggested.

                                    NO ORDERS FOR THE BATTLE OF DECEMBER 16

It must be observed as a very notable fact that the official records,
replete with orders and instructions issued every day, and almost
every hour, contain no record whatever of any written order or
instructions from General Thomas, given after the close of operations
on December 15, for the operations which actually took place the
next day.  The only indications in the records, so far as I have
been able to discover, that any orders were given by General Thomas,
either orally or in writing, on the night of December 15, are the
following "orders of the day" for the Fourth Army Corps, issued by
General Wood after a personal interview with General Thomas that
night; the order in writing from General Thomas to General Wilson,
December 15; and the despatch from General Wilson to myself, dated
December 16, 10:10 A. M.  They are as follows:

  "Headquarters Fourth Army Corps,
  "Near Nashville, Tenn., December 15, 1864, 11:20 P. M.
"Orders of the day for the Fourth Army Corps for to-morrow, December
16, 1864:

"If the enemy is in their front at daylight to-morrow morning,
division commanders will advance at that time, attack, and carry
whatever may be before them.  If the enemy retreats to-night, we
will follow them.  General Elliott, commanding Second Division,
will cross to the east of the Franklin pike, then move southward
parallel to it.  He will deploy two regiments, connect with
skirmishers, and the rest of his division will move by flank.
General Kimball will follow, then General Beatty.  The batteries
attached to each division to-day will accompany them to-morrow.
Ten ambulances and five ammunition-wagons will follow each division.

  "By the order of Brigadier-General Wood:
  "J. S. Fullerton,
  "Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General."

  "Headquarters, Department of the Cumberland,
  "Nashville, Tenn., December 15, 1864.
"Major-General J. H. Wilson, Commanding Cavalry Corps, Military
Division of the Mississippi.

"General:  I am directed by the major general commanding to say to
you that you will remain in your present position until it is
satisfactorily known whether the enemy will fight or retreat.  In
case he retreats, you will move your command on the Hillsborough
pike across the Harpeth, and then take the most direct road or
roads to the Franklin pike, and endeavor to capture or destroy the
enemy's trains in their rear.

"I have the honor to be, General, very respectfully your obedient

  "Robt. H. Ramsey, Assistant Adjutant-General."

Both of these orders indicate a not unnatural state of doubt as to
whether the enemy would "fight or retreat."  The former directs
what is to be done by the Fourth Corps in either case, while the
latter directs what shall be done in case the enemy retreats, but
says nothing about what shall be done if he does not retreat.

  "Hdqrs. Cavalry Corps, Mil. Div. of the Mississippi,
  "In the Field, December 16, 1864, 10:10 A. M.
"Major-General Schofield, Commanding Twenty-third Army Corps.

"General:  The regiment sent to the Granny White pike reports it
strongly picketed toward us, with troops moving to our left.  This
is probably Chalmers' division.  I have heard nothing from Johnson
this morning; but, from what General Croxton reports, there is no
doubt that Chalmers crossed the Hardin pike, moving toward Brentwood.
The country on the left of the Hillsboro' pike, toward the enemy's
left, is too difficult for cavalry operations.  It seems to me if
I was on the other flank of the army I might do more to annoy the
enemy, unless it is intended that I shall push out as directed last

  "Very respectfully,
  "J. H. Wilson, Brevet Major-General."
"Respectfully forwarded to Major-General Thomas.

  "J. M. Schofield, Major-General."

                                    NO ORDERS FOR THE BATTLE OF DECEMBER 16

This last, while showing that General Wilson had not received at
10:10 A. M. on the 16th any orders from General Thomas later than
that above quoted, appears to indicate that he had received some
previous order, referred to in the words "unless it is intended
that I shall push out as directed last night"; for the order above
quoted from the records did not indicate any intention that he
should "push out" unless the enemy was in retreat.

An order in writing, as heretofore stated, was received by me very
soon after dark on the 15th.  It has disappeared from the official
records, both those of General Thomas and mine.  If any other orders
were issued by General Thomas, I have no personal knowledge of the

In my judgment, whatever orders were issued by General Thomas on
the night of December 15 or in the morning of the 16th are essential
to truthful history; and I am sure they must have been more creditable
to General Thomas, though they may have been based upon erroneous
foresight of the enemy's action, which is necessarily very common
in war, than the absence from the records of any orders from him
to govern the operations of the army the next day, and the fact,
which appears from the records, that some of the troops at least
did not receive any orders from General Thomas, at any time, upon
which they could act on December 16.

It seems at least strange that this absence of orders given in the
night of the 15th or morning of the 16th should have passed without
comment, especially in view of the very full orders issued on the
14th and in the night of the 16th.

It will also be observed that General Thomas, in his official report
of the battle of Nashville, dated January 20, 1865, makes no mention
of any orders issued in the night of December 15 or morning of the
16th.  He simply says in that regard:  "The whole command bivouacked
in line of battle during the night on the ground occupied at dark,
whilst preparations were made to renew the battle at an early hour
on the morrow"; but does not say what those preparations were.
Then, after describing what had been done in the forenoon of the
16th, he says:  "As soon as the above dispositions were completed,
and having visited the different commands, I gave directions that
the movement against the enemy's left flank should be continued";
but no sub-report mentions the receipt of any such directions.
The report then proceeds to give a graphic and, I believe, nearly
accurate though brief description of what followed.

It may also be observed that in my official report of the battle
of Nashville, dated December 31, 1864, the following appears:  "In
the night of the 15th I waited upon the major-general commanding
at his headquarters, and received his orders for the pursuit of
the enemy on the following day."  This report was, of course, before
General Thomas when he wrote his own, and had necessarily been read
by him and doubtless by some of his staff officers; yet no reference
was made in his report to the subject referred to in the words
above quoted from mine.  These facts from the records may perhaps
be accepted as sufficient indication of the general purport of
whatever orders were issued in the night of the 15th, after the
close of that day's operations, and sufficient evidence that no
orders of a general character were given by General Thomas, either
oral or written, on the 16th until after he had "visited the
different commands."

                                    NO ORDERS FOR THE BATTLE OF DECEMBER 16

The report of General Steedman, dated January 27, 1865, says:
"December 16, at 6 A. M., in obedience to the orders of Major-
General Thomas, my command moved on the enemy's works."  It is not
stated whether these orders were oral or written.  No copy of them
appears in the records, nor any mention of a personal interview
with General Thomas or any of his staff.  (Steedman was the man
who published a falsehood about an alleged telegram from me to
Grant about Thomas.  See page 296.)

General T. J. Wood's report, dated January 5, 1865, after describing
the operations of the morning of December 16, says:  "After the
dispositions above recounted had been made, the commanding general
joined me near our most advanced position on the Franklin pike,
examined the positions of the troops, approved the same, and ordered
that the enemy should be vigorously pressed and unceasingly harassed
by our fire.  He further directed that I should be constantly on
the alert for any opening for a more decisive effort, but for the
time to bide events.  The general plan of the battle for the
preceding day--namely, to outflank and turn his left--was still to
be acted on.  Before leaving me, the commanding general desired me
to confer with Major-General Steedman, whose command had moved out
that morning from Nashville by the Nolensville pike, and arrange
a military connection between his right and my left."  This appears
from General Wood's report to have occurred a short time before
noon, and seems to have been the first information given to any of
the corps commanders of the general plan of operations for December
16.  General Wood's report does not suggest that even he, who had
visited the commanding general the night before, had been given
any information about any such general plan; and that statement of
Wood's, "the general plan of the battle for the preceding day--
namely, to outflank and turn his left--was still to be acted on,"
was written many days after the battle, and then did not say that
General Thomas had at any time so ordered.

In the report of General A. J. Smith, dated January 10, 1865, occurs
the following:  "About 3 P. M. (December 10) General McArthur sent
word that he could carry the hill on his right by assault.  Major-
General Thomas being present the matter was referred to him, and
I was requested to delay the movement until he could hear from
General Schofield, to whom he had sent. . . . General McArthur,
not receiving any reply, and fearing that if the attack should be
longer delayed the enemy would use the night to strengthen his
works, directed the first brigade (Colonel W. L. McMillen, 95th
Ohio Infantry, commanding) to storm the hill on which was the left
of the enemy's line," etc.  This statement, which appears to be
nowhere dissented from, seems to show that very nearly the hour of
the day--not very long after 3 P. M.--when was initiated by General
McArthur the general attack which resulted in the brilliant and
final success of the day; that this initial movement was not made
in pursuance of any orders or directions from General Thomas, but,
on the contrary, during a period in which General Thomas had
requested General Smith to "delay the movement."

General Wilson's report, dated December 21, says:  "About 4:30 P. M.
the enemy, pressed in front, flank, and rear, broke in disorder.
Croxton's brigade, which had been held in reserve on the Hillsboro'
pike, as soon as the success of these dispositions had become
apparent was ordered to march rapidly across the country to the
Granny White pike, and beyond the right flank of Hammond's brigade;
but owing to the lateness of the hour and heaviness of the road
over which he was compelled to move, he secured but few prisoners."
This report also seems to be silent in respect to any order from
General Thomas.

There was another good reason why the cavalry secured but few
prisoners at that time:  There were very few left to secure behind
_that part_ of the line, the infantry having captured nearly all
of them.


My own official report, dated December 31, gave the following
account of the operations of December 16, to the accuracy of which
no exception was taken by General Thomas.  The only order therein
mentioned as coming from General Thomas was that received in the
night of the 15th, "for the pursuit of the enemy on the following

"In the night of the 15th I waited upon the major-general commanding
at his headquarters, and received his orders for the pursuit of
the enemy on the following day.  Our operations during the 15th
had swung the right and right center forward so that the general
direction of the line was nearly perpendicular to that before the
attack; only the right was in contact with the enemy, and was
therefore much exposed.  Apprehensive that the enemy, instead of
retreating during the night, would mass and attack our right in
the morning, I requested that a division of infantry be sent to
reinforce the right, which was ordered accordingly from Major-
General Smith's command.  In response to this order, General Smith
sent five regiments and a battery (about 1600 men), which were put
in reserve near the right.  In the morning it was found that the
enemy still held his position in our front, of which the hill in
front of General Couch was the key, and had thrown up considerable
breastworks during the night.  He had also increased the force on
his left during the night, and continued to mass troops there during
the early part of the day.  During the morning, therefore, our
operations were limited to preparations for defense and co-operation
with the cavalry, which was operating to strike the Granny White
pike in rear of the enemy.  About noon, the troops on my left
(Generals Smith and Wood) having advanced and come in contact with
the enemy in his new position, the enemy again withdrew from his
left a considerable force to strengthen his right and center, when
I ordered General Cox to advance in conjunction with the cavalry,
and endeavor to carry a high wooded hill beyond the flank of the
enemy's intrenched line, and overlooking the Granny White pike.
The hill was occupied by the enemy in considerable force, but was
not intrenched.  My order was not executed with the promptness or
energy which I had expected, yet probably with as much as I had
reason to expect, considering the attenuated character of General
Cox's line and the great distance and rough ground over which the
attacking force had to move.  The hill was, however, carried by
General Wilson's cavalry (dismounted), whose gallantry and energy
on that and other occasions which came under my observation cannot
be too greatly praised.

"Almost simultaneously with this attack on the extreme right, the
salient hill in front of General Couch was attacked and carried by
General Smith's troops, supported by a brigade of General Couch's
division; and the fortified hill in front of General Cox, which
constituted the extreme flank of the enemy's intrenched line, was
attacked and carried by Colonel Doolittle's brigade of General
Cox's division, the latter capturing eight pieces of artillery and
200 to 300 prisoners.  These several successes, gained almost
simultaneously, resulted in a complete rout of the enemy.  The
cavalry had cut off his line of retreat by the Granny White pike,
and such of his troops as were not captured on the line could only
escape by climbing the Brentwood Hills.  It is believed all of the
artillery along the left and center of the enemy's line fell into
our hands.  Our troops continued the pursuit across the valley and
into the Brentwood Hills, when darkness compelled them to desist,
and they bivouacked for the night."

In the histories of the battle of Nashville heretofore published,
it appears to have been assumed that the plan of battle issued to
the troops before the movement of December 15 was equally applicable
to the operations of the 16th, was so understood by the subordinate
commanders, and was the authoritative guide for their action during
the entire day of the 16th.  Hence it has seemed to me necessary
to direct attention to the above extracts from the official records,
as well as to give my own personal recollections, for the benefit
of future historians.

                                       EXPLANATION OF THE ABSENCE OF ORDERS

Unquestionably the _general plan_ of battle embraced in the orders
of December 14 for the attack on the 15th was well applicable to
the situation which actually existed in the morning of the 16th.
It was requisite only to direct in what manner the several corps
of the army should act in _concert_ in the _changed situation_ of
both armies, as had so clearly been done for the 15th, in the
_situation then existing_.  But the detailed orders requisite for
such joint action given in the plan for the battle of the 15th,
were _absolutely inapplicable_ in most essential particulars to
the situation of the 16th, or to the battle actually fought on that
day.  In view of the fact that much time had very wisely been spent
by General Thomas in remounting his cavalry and in making all other
preparations necessary to insure not only the defeat, but the
destruction or capture of the enemy, and of the further fact that
the operations of the 15th had so damaged the enemy that his retreat
that night was thought at least probable, if not certain, it hardly
seems possible that General Thomas could have been willing to
postpone a renewal of the attack until he could have time to visit
"the several commands" in person, and see for himself what the
situation actually was the next day, as if the operations he had
to determine on and order were the original plans of a battle yet
to be opened, instead of the final blow to be struck against an
enemy already substantially beaten and quite probably already in
full retreat.

The only possible explanation of this very remarkable absence of
timely orders from General Thomas for the battle of December 16,
and of the long delay on that day, seems to be found in his well-
known constitutional habit, sometimes spoken of by his brother
officers who had long been familiarly acquainted with him.  Unless
the opinions of those familiar acquaintances and friends were
substantially erroneous, General Thomas's habit of great deliberation
did not permit him to formulate in the night of December 15 the
comparatively simple orders requisite for the several corps to
_resume_, in the morning of the 16th, the movement "against the
enemy's left flank," which he says he "directed" to be "continued"
some time in _the afternoon_ of that day--so late, however, that
some of the troops, at least, becoming impatient at the long delay,
did not wait even for the orders they had asked for, but initiated
on their own responsibility the action which resulted in victory
before any directions whatever from General Thomas had reached
them.  Or else, if General Thomas had clearly in his mind the
appropriate action of his several corps suggested by the condition
of the enemy _as he himself had seen it_ just before dark, or as
it might be modified during the night, he must, it would seem, have
felt so sure of Hood's retreat in the night that he did not think
it worth his while to give any orders except for pursuit.  However
this may be, it seems to be clearly established by the records that
the movements which prepared the way for the final assault, and
that assault itself, were both made under the orders of subordinates,
and not in obedience to any orders or directions from General
Thomas, nor in accordance with any general plan which he had informed
them was to be the guide for their action that day.

The battle of the 15th was fought in very close conformity to the
plan prepared, some time before the 14th, doubtless by General
Thomas himself, though spoken of by General Wood, in his confidential
letter of the 14th to Thomas, as "our plan," and modified at the
conference which was called that day upon the suggestion of Wood
in that confidential letter, and, as he said, "at the instance of
Schofield and Smith."( 1)  But the battle of the 16th appears to
have been emphatically a battle of the troops themselves, acting
under the independent orders of their own subordinate commanders,
with such co-operation and support as they had arranged among
themselves, in the absence of any orders or instructions from their
common superior.

                                 THE PHRASEOLOGY OF GENERAL THOMAS'S REPORT

It seems proper for me to say that I have never claimed for myself
any part of the credit due to subordinates that day (December 16).
Having failed in the night of December 15 to obtain any appropriate
orders for my action, or for the conjoint action of the corps on
my right and left, and also to obtain any such orders on the 16th,
the only orders I gave were those to support the movements on my
right and left initiated by the subordinate commanders there.  For
this action General Thomas, in his report, gave the full credit
due to my troops, and, inferentially at least, more than was due
to me.  I must also add, in order that there may be no misunderstanding
on the subject, that General Thomas also gave full credit to me
and to the Twenty-third Corps for the part we took in the battle
of December 15.

The only special credit to which I have thought myself entitled in
respect to Nashville was for two incidental services which General
Thomas did not seem to think worthy even of mention.  They were,
in fact, only such services as any efficient staff officer possessed
of unusual knowledge of the character and habits of the opposing
commander could have rendered to General Thomas as well as I could.
The two services referred to were the suggestion relative to the
change in the details of the plan of battle for December 15, by
which the infantry attacking force on our right was increased from
about ten thousand to nearly twenty thousand men; and the information
I gave to General Thomas, in the night of the 15th, that Hood would
not retreat without another fight, about which I had not the
slightest doubt, and which seemed to me more important than the
information I had given about the relative lengths of the several
parts of the enemy's line of defense and of his (General Thomas's)
line of attack, as proposed in his written orders.  But these little
services, not worthy of mention in terms of special praise, seemed
to me worthy of record, especially the latter, since I had made a
long ride in a dark night, after having already been in the saddle
from daylight till dark, to carry the information to the commanding
general in person, and try to convince him of its correctness.

A single word signifies sometimes much more than is imagined by
him who uses it.  If General Thomas had said _resumed_ instead of
"continued," his statement of what he said he "directed" would have
corresponded very nearly with what was actually done after those
directions were given on December 16.  But the continuation, at 3
or 4 P. M. of one day, of action which had been suspended at
nightfall the preceding day, hardly accords with the rule of accuracy
which is demanded in maturely considered military reports.  Indeed,
when a military movement is suspended at nightfall on account of
darkness, it is properly spoken of as _resumed_, not "continued,"
even at daylight.  The word "continued" was used to express what
was directed to be done at three or four o'clock in the afternoon
--"the movement against the enemy's left flank," which was not any
movement that had been going on that day and which could therefore
be continued, but the movement which, in fact, had ended the day
before in a very important success which had materially altered
the military situation under which the orders for the previous day
had been given.  Hence the use of the word "continued" furnishes
food for thought.  To have _resumed_, some time in the afternoon,
those operations of the preceding day would have been to state that
they had been suspended, not only during the night on account of
darkness, but during the greater part of the next day for no apparent
reason.  That would have been manifestly inconsistent with the
theory that the operations of the second day were only a continuation
of those of the first, all in accordance with the plan of battle
published two days before, upon which theory the reports of General
Thomas and of some of the sub-commanders appear to have been based.
The logical conclusion of this reflection, in view of all the facts
now established by the records, seems to be that the plan of battle
for December 16 was matured and published to the army, as well as
to the world at large, some time after the event.

                                 THE PHRASEOLOGY OF GENERAL THOMAS'S REPORT

It may be worthy of note that none of the officers whose reports
reveal their ignorance of that plan belonged to the Army of the
Cumberland, with which General Thomas had so long been identified.

[( 1) War Records, Vol. XVL, part ii, p. 184.]

General Thomas's Indorsement on the Report of the Battle of Franklin
--Courtesies to Him in Washington--Peculiarities of the Official
Records in Regard to Franklin and Nashville--Documents Which Have
Disappeared from the Records--Inconsistencies in General Thomas's
Report--False Representations Made to Him--Their Falsity Confirmed
by General Grant.

After I parted from General Thomas in Tennessee, having at our last
meeting there congratulated him on his well-deserved promotion to
the highest permanent grade, that of major-general in the regular
army, I had no further official intercourse with him, and, so far
as I can recollect, did not see him until after June 1, 1868, when
I entered the War Department.  During the intervening time--more
than three years--my attention had been absorbed by important
duties, including a mission to France in defense of the then violated
"Monroe doctrine," and command in Virginia during a part of the
period of "reconstruction."  I had not even seen the official
reports of the campaign in Tennessee, they having been made public
while I was in Europe.

                                               GENERAL THOMAS'S INDORSEMENT

Some time in 1868-9 a staff officer in the War Department brought
to my notice the indorsement made by General Thomas on my report
of the battle of Franklin, and of the preceding operations from
the time when, by his order, I assumed command of the army in the
field, as follows:

  "Headquarters, Department of the Cumberland, Nashville, Tenn.,
   December 7, 1864.
"Respectfully forwarded to the adjutant-general of the army,
cordially recommending the gallantry and skill of Major-General
Schofield to the commendation of the War Department.

  "Geo. H. Thomas,
  "Major-General U. S. Volunteers, Commanding."

Of course I was much gratified by this high commendation, of which
I had never before seen the text, though I had known the substance.
I was also shown the telegram from General Thomas to Secretary
Stanton recommending that I and Stanley be brevetted one grade in
the regular service for our conduct at Franklin.  As I received,
a short time after that recommendation was made, the appointment
of brigadier-general in the regular service, I supposed that General
Thomas had based his recommendation for brevet upon his knowledge
or belief that I had been, or soon would be, appointed brigadier-
general.  Hence I had the great satisfaction of believing that I
owed my brevet of major-general in the regular army, at least in
part, to General Thomas's recommendation.

I cannot now recollect whether or not I saw at that time General
Thomas's report of the operations in Tennessee.  If I did, there
was nothing in it to attract my special attention, as I was too
much occupied with the important affairs of the time to think or
care very much about anything that was already three years old.

My relations with General Thomas during that time--the winter and
spring of 1868-9, when he was, by my selection, president of a very
important military court, with General Hancock and General Terry
as the other members, and General Holt as the judge-advocate--were
very cordial, at least on my part.  He was my guest at a large
dinner given to the members of the President's cabinet and the
Diplomatic Corps, to which the only other gentlemen invited were
Generals Thomas and Hancock, as a special mark of distinction to
two of my brother officers in the army.  When General Grant was
inaugurated President I went with General Sherman in person to ask
the President to give General Thomas command of the Division of
the Pacific, which I had before proposed for him, but which the
President had designated for me, under the impression that General
Thomas did not want it.

A few days after that we went to our respective commands--General
Thomas to San Francisco, and I to Fort Leavenworth.  From that time
we had no official or personal relations or correspondence during
the short remainder of his life.

In respect to what was made public during that brief period, I long
since refused to believe that the superior officer whom I had always
so highly respected could possibly have been capable, in his own
mind and heart, of doing me the grievous wrong which I at one time
believed he had done.  I now add, as the result of calm and
dispassionate judgment, that any criticism at that time, even under
great provocation, that could seem unkind, not to say unjust, to
that noble, patriotic, and brave soldier, from any source, not
excluding myself, was wholly unjustifiable and worthy only of
condemnation.  His great services had entitled him to the kindest
possible consideration of any imperfections, either real or supposed,
in his military operations.

                                      PECULIARITIES OF THE OFFICIAL RECORDS

Now, in this winter of 1896-7, I have made a careful examination,
for the first time since the events, of all the published records
of the campaign of 1864 in Tennessee, for the purpose of doing
exact justice to the principal actors in that campaign, so far as
it is possible for me to do so.  In this examination I have discovered
some things that have surprised me, but they have not altered my
deliberate judgment of the character of the great soldier under
whom I had the honor to serve in that campaign.  I refer to them
only for the consideration of others.

(1) In the report of General Thomas dated January 20, 1865, covering
the entire period of the campaign, including both the battles of
Franklin and Nashville, in his commendation of subordinates he made
no distinction between the corps commanders who had served immediately
under him and only in the battle of Nashville, and the army commander
who, besides the like service at Nashville, had commanded the army
in the field, in the absence therefrom of General Thomas, up to
and including the battle of Franklin, where signal victory had
prepared the way for the less difficult but brilliant success of
General Thomas at Nashville.

(2) In the first letter from General Thomas recommending promotions
for service in the campaign, containing the names of a large number
of officers, no mention was made of my name or that of General
Stanley, who had been conspicuous for gallantry at Spring Hill and
at Franklin, where he was wounded.

(3) In a telegram from the Secretary of War calling for recommendations
for promotion, General Thomas had been informed that while there
was no vacancy in the grade of major-general (the last having, in
fact, been given to General Thomas himself), there were then two
vacancies in that of brigadier-general; and it was after the receipt
of that information, and in view of all it might be understood to
imply, that General Thomas sent his telegram to the Secretary of
War recommending that Stanley and I be brevetted one grade in the
regular service, not, as he had said in his indorsement on my report
of the battle of Franklin, for "skill," but for "good conduct."
As General Thomas well knew, I was then only a captain in the
regular army.  Hence he recommended me for the brevet of major--
that is, of commander of a single battalion of four companies--for
my services in command of an army of thirty thousand men, including
artillery and cavalry.

(4) The telegram from General Thomas to Secretary Stanton recommending
those brevets for Stanley and me was dated December 31, 1864, 5 P. M.,
while my general report including that of the battle of Nashville
bears the same date without hour, but may have been, and probably
was, received by General Thomas before he sent his telegram
recommending my promotion.

(5) Neither the report of General Thomas nor of any of his corps
commanders made any mention of order for "pursuit" in the morning
of December 16, and General Thomas himself in his report took no
notice whatever of the glaring discrepancy between my report and
some of the others, nor of any facts demonstrated or suggested by
the correspondence which was made a part of my report, nor made
any mention of the change in his plan of battle for December 15,
which was made the day before.

(6) In the publication of my report in the War Records there is a
foot-note which says that the orders and correspondence referred
to are not found with the report filed in the War Department--a
fact similar to that which I had found in respect to my own retained
copies of orders and correspondence, which I understood had been
carefully locked up in a strong leather trunk ever since I left
Washington in March, 1869, but which had nevertheless mysteriously

In that report of mine was a reference to the modification made in
General Thomas's published plan of battle for December 15, though
no intimation that it was made at my suggestion; also the statement
that I had, after the close of the battle of December 15, "waited
upon the commanding general and received his orders for the pursuit,"
but no mention of the previous written orders to the same effect,
which had become obsolete by operation of the subsequent orders
received in person.  There were attached to my report, and made a
part thereof, copies of all the orders and correspondence in my
possession relating to the battles of Franklin and Nashville, and
to the preceding operations of that campaign, including those about
the false position of the troops at Pulaski, those about the
concentration of the troops in Thomas's department, that about the
need of a pontoon bridge at Franklin, that about punishing the
telegraph-operator by whose desertion I was deprived of communication
with General Thomas during the most critical part of the campaign,
and, probably, the order in writing which I had received from
General Thomas after the battle of December 15.  But of course
there were no copies of orders or despatches which I had _not_
received; and the desertion of my telegraph-operator and the
operations of Forrest's cavalry in my rear had made it probable
that there must have been some such despatches sent but not received.
There were no annotations or other suggestions as to their significance
attached to any of those copies at that time.  They were simply
included, without comment, as an essential part of the report.
The explanations found in this volume were made many years

In respect to the appendix to my report, I am now compelled to call
attention to the fact that it was an absolute necessity.  I could
not possibly have made a truthful and rational report which would
have stood the test of a just criticism without reference to the
documents in that appendix; and it was far more respectful to
General Thomas simply to attach the documents, leaving him to make
any explanations he might think necessary, then to call attention
myself to the necessity for any such explanations.  It would have
been impossible to give any rational explanation of the false
position occupied by the troops at Pulaski up to the very last
moment of safety except by reference to Thomas's orders to Stanley
and me, and the subsequent correspondence on that subject.  Stanley,
with the blunt frankness justified by comradeship, had pointed it
out to me the moment we met at Pulaski, while I was governed by
the utmost delicacy in discussing the question with General Thomas,
so as to avoid suggesting to him that he had made a mistake.  Yet
so evident was the mistake that I stopped the advance of the Twenty-
third Corps some miles north of Pulaski, and no part of that corps
actually went to that place.  Cox was sent back to a point where
he could interpose between Hood and Columbia, and Ruger was stopped
at Columbia.

The great tenacity with which I held on at Columbia and on the
north bank of Duck River could not have been justified except by
reference to the despatches showing Thomas's wishes and his assurance
of reinforcements at those points.  If I had been free to do so,
nothing could have been plainer than my duty to have fallen back
behind the Harpeth when I found that Thomas could not or would not
reinforce me on the line of Duck River, and before Hood could
endanger my retreat.  Hence I was compelled to include in the
history of that retreat the entire record of facts relating to it.

Again, necessity was the only possible excuse for fighting the
battle of Franklin on the south side of the Harpeth, where defeat
would have been disastrous; and that necessity had arisen absolutely
and solely from the want of a bridge across that river, which I
had suggested that General Thomas place there.  It was not possible
for me, without utter disregard for the truth of history as well
as for my own military reputation, to attempt to conceal those


It must seem remarkable that in my report, dated December 7, of
operations from November 14 to December 1, 1864, including the
battle of Franklin, on which General Thomas placed his indorsement
commending my "skill," no mention whatever was made of any orders
or instructions from General Thomas.  The simple fact was that I
could not have quoted the orders and instructions General Thomas
had given me for my guidance during those operations without implied
criticism of General Thomas; hence it was then thought best to omit
any reference to any such orders or instructions, and to limit the
report to a simple recital of the facts, thus making the report
strictly truthful so far as concerned my own action and that of
the troops under my command, without any reference whatever to my
superior at Nashville, under whose orders I was supposed to be
acting; and that report of December 7 appeared to be entirely
satisfactory to General Thomas in that respect as well as in all
others.  But when the time came to make my final report of the
entire campaign, which must go upon the public records as my full
and exact contribution to the history of military operations in
which I had taken an important part, truth and justice to all
required me to make the records complete so far as lay in my power;
and if there was anything in the record, as submitted by me to
General Thomas, to which he took exception, it was as plainly his
duty to truth and justice to place those exceptions also on the
public records.  So far from suggesting in my final report any
possible criticism of General Thomas, I put the best possible
construction upon all the despatches I had received from him, by
accepting them together as showing me that his object was "to hold
the enemy in check" until he (Thomas) could concentrate his
reinforcements, and not to fight Hood at Pulaski, as he (Thomas)
had at first ordered.  I simply submitted to him the plain record,
with the best possible construction I could put upon it, and that
only so far as it was necessary for me to construe it to give the
general basis of my action.  If any official duty remained to be
done in that regard, that duty devolved on General Thomas, not on

In my final report, dated December 31, 1864, I said, as above
indicated, that my instructions from the major-general commanding
were embraced in a telegram to General Stanley (dated November 8),
in which General Thomas said, "Should the enemy overpower them [the
cavalry] and march on Pulaski, you must hold that place," "a copy
of which was furnished with the order to assume command at Pulaski,
and subsequent despatches, explaining that the object was to hold
the enemy in check, should he advance, long enough to enable General
A. J. Smith's corps, then expected from Missouri, to reach Nashville,
other troops in the Department of the Cumberland to be concentrated,
and General Wilson's cavalry to be remounted and fitted for the
field.  The reinforcements thus expected were about equal to the
force we then had in the field, and would make our entire force,
when concentrated, equal, or somewhat superior, to that of the
enemy.  To effect this concentration was therefore of vital
importance, a consideration to which all others were secondary.
This required that the enemy's advance should be delayed as much
as possible, and at the same time a decisive battle avoided, unless
it could be fought on favorable terms."

I refrained from quoting either of the despatches from General
Thomas,--that dated November 8 to Stanley, or that dated 19,
repeating in substance that of the 8th,--or my reply of November
20 pointing out the reasons by the position at Pulaski was a false
one to occupy under the circumstances; and I still think, as I then
thought, that that was done as delicately as possible so as to
avoid suggesting to General Thomas that I thought his order a
blunder.  His reply of the same date shows that he so appreciated
it.  This despatch last referred to from General Thomas, and all
the other correspondence after I reached Pulaski, fully justified
to me in the statement made in my report, above mentioned, as to
whence I derived my information of his plans.

                                 INCONSISTENCIES IN GENERAL THOMAS'S REPORT

But in the report of General Thomas dated January 20, 1865, appears
the following:  "Directions were then sent to General Schofield to
leave a sufficiently strong force for the defense of that point,
and with the balance of his command proceed to carry out the
instructions already given him, viz., to join the Fourth Corps at
Pulaski, and assume command of all the troops in the vicinity,
watch the movements of Hood, and retard his advance into Tennessee
as much as possible, without risking a general engagement, until
Maj.-Gen. A. J. Smith's command could arrive from Missouri, and
Maj.-Gen. J. H. Wilson could have time to remount the cavalry
regiments dismounted to furnish horses for Kilpatrick's division,
which was to accompany General Sherman in his march through Georgia.
. . . My plans and wishes were fully explained to General Schofield,
and, as subsequent events will show, properly appreciated and
executed by him."

Thus, General Thomas, being fully satisfied with the operations of
the troops while under my immediate command in the field, asserted
that those operations were based upon his "plans and wishes," which
had been "fully explained" to me _before I went to Pulaski_, and
"properly appreciated," instead of upon what I had gathered from
General Thomas's orders to Stanley and subsequent orders to me
about fighting Hood at Pulaski, absolutely contradictory to that
stated in his report, "without risking a general engagement," and
his assent to my _radically different_ suggestions made _after I
assumed command at Pulaski_, as stated in my report.  It is not
incumbent upon me to try to reconcile this statement in General
Thomas's report with the correspondence, above referred to, found
in the official records; and I see no reason for desiring any
further corroboration of the strict accuracy of the contrary
statement made by me in my report.  I am entirely willing to leave
any discussion of that subject to others.

In view of the fact that I was not one of General Thomas's corps
commanders, but an army commander, holding the same grade of command,
by special assignment of the President under the law, as General
Thomas himself, he might without military impropriety have left to
me in his report, as he had before done in fact, whether intentionally
or not, the entire responsibility of the operations of the army
under my immediate command from Pulaski to Nashville.  The record
shows that, from the necessities of the case, I was compelled to
act, and did act, upon my own judgment from the beginning to the
end, not only without any timely orders, but generally without
timely or accurate information from General Thomas; and that he
approved, from time to time and finally, all that I had done.  The
question as to why he afterward claimed that all had been done in
pursuance of his plans and wishes, fully explained to me _in
advance_, I must leave to others.  He was certainly under no official
obligation to take upon himself any such responsibility.  It may
be true, as General Sherman said and General Thomas admitted, that
it was his duty to take command in the field himself.  But it was
not his duty, being in the rear, to hamper the actual army commander
in the field with embarrassing orders or instructions, nor to take
upon himself the responsibility of failure or success.  If I had
failed in those hazardous operations, nobody could have held General
Thomas responsible, unless for neglect of duty in not commanding
himself in person, or in not sending me possible reinforcements.
No obedience to any erroneous orders or instructions of his, sent
from a distance whence the actual situation could not be seen as
clearly as at the front, could have justified me in case of failure.
The actual commander of an army in the field must act upon his own
judgment and responsibility, though with due deference to the plans
and wishes of his superior, so far as they are made known to him,
having in view the general object of a campaign.  This sound military
principle appears to have been fully recognized by General Thomas
when he made his report.  He only claimed that his "plans and wishes
were fully explained" and "properly appreciated and executed," not
that he had given any specific orders or instructions.  Why, then,
did he assert, in contradiction of my statement previously made to
him, and in contradiction of the official record I had submitted
to him with that statement in my report, that those "plans and
wishes" of his had been "fully explained" to me _before_ instead
of _after_ I went to Pulaski?  What possible difference could it
have made to General Thomas, personally or officially, whether the
records showed that his plans and wishes were made known to me
before or after I assumed command, provided they were received by
me in due time for my action?  What possible motive could General
Thomas have had in putting on the public records what was in
substance a flat contradiction of an official statement I had made
to him with full documentary evidence to support it, and that in
the absence of any possible ground for his own contradictory
statement, except his own recollection of some conversation we may
have had more than two months before, in which he might have
explained to me his "plans and wishes"?  I cannot believe that
General Thomas ever consciously did any such thing.  That feature
of the report must have had some other author besides George H.
Thomas.  It is true that the orders telegraphed to me by General
Thomas, November 19, "to fight him [Hood] at Pulaski, if he advances
against that place," were inconsistent with the statement in his
report that he had fully explained to me his plans and wishes as
specified in that report, and in plain disregard of the general
principle recognized in his report, as well as likely to lead to
disastrous results if obeyed.  But those orders were on the records,
and could not be expunged, even if such a man as General Thomas
could possibly have wished to expunge anything from his official
record.  Hence, I repeat, that feature of the report signed by
General Thomas could not have been his.

                                 INCONSISTENCIES IN GENERAL THOMAS'S REPORT

In this connection it is to be observed that General Thomas had
not, at the time I went back to report to him in Tennessee, any
anxiety about his inability to cope with Hood after the arrival of
the Twenty-third Corps.  He had assured General Sherman of his
entire confidence.( 1)  He had ordered me to march, as Stanley had
done, from Tullahoma to Pulaski; but the action of Forrest at
Johnsonville about that time caused General Thomas to change his
orders and hurry me by rail to Nashville, and thence to Johnsonville,
with the advance of my troops, he wishing to see me in person as
I passed through Nashville.( 2)  It would not be an unreasonable
presumption that the burden of conversation in that brief interview
was in respect to the alarming condition of Johnsonville at that
time, rather than in respect to some future defensive operations
against Hood, then hardly anticipated.  Indeed, the entire
correspondence of that period, including that which occurred between
General Thomas and General Sherman, about which it is important to
note that I knew nothing at that time, shows that General Thomas
then expected to concentrate his troops at Columbia or Pulaski, or
both, in a very short time, take command in the field in person,
and begin aggressive operations against Hood.  It seems extremely
probable that General Thomas had given very little thought at that
time to the subject of defensive action, except as against what
that troublesome cavalryman Forrest might do.  It seems far more
probable from the record that General Thomas's "plans and wishes"
in respect to defensive action against Hood's advance into Tennessee,
which I had so "properly appreciated and executed," were, like the
plans of the battle of December 16 at Nashville, matured after the
event, or at least after Hood's advance into Tennessee had actually
begun, and after I had, in my telegram to General Thomas of November
20, pointed out to him the dangers of his previous plan, telegraphed
to me the day before.

I do not think much importance is generally to be attached to what
any man may or may not recall to memory after the lapse of many
years, although the recollection of a recent event, repeated in
the memory, for good and sufficient reasons, very frequently during
a long time, may continue to be very accurate.  However this may
be, perfect candor compels me to say here that I have never been
able to recall any conversation with General Thomas at any time in
respect to his plans or wishes in the event of Hood's advance from
the Tennessee before Thomas was ready to assume the offensive.  I
now believe, as I always have done, that the only information I
ever received from General Thomas on that subject was that contained
in the telegraphic correspondence quoted in this volume.  There is
now no doubt in my mind, and, so far as I can recall, never has
been any, that when I met General Thomas at Nashville, on my way
to Johnsonville, he expected A. J. Smith to arrive from Missouri
very soon, when he intended to concentrate all his available troops
at Columbia and Pulaski, take command in person, and move against
Hood; and that he considered his orders of November 8 to Stanley,
to fight Hood at Pulaski or Columbia, as Hood might elect, until
he (Thomas) could get there with reinforcements, all the orders
that could be necessary, even if Hood did get a little the start
of him.  The records seem to show, still further, that even after
Hood's plans of aggression had developed so long in advance of
Thomas's preparations to meet him, Thomas did not then see the
great danger that might result from obedience to his orders of
November 8 to Stanley, and even went so far as to repeat those
orders to me on the 19th; but that he promptly corrected that
mistake when I pointed it out to him, and then authorized me to
act upon my own judgment.

Now, at this late day, when I am so much older than General Thomas
was at the time of these events, I feel at liberty to discuss them
without reserve.  I am not criticizing the acts of my official
superior.  In my mature judgment, General Thomas was not justifiable,
in 1864-1865, in claiming the credit for what had been done by his
inferior in rank in actual command of the army in the field while
General Thomas himself was absent.

                                 INCONSISTENCIES IN GENERAL THOMAS'S REPORT

So, in respect to the battle of Nashville, it would have been
utterly impossible to have given any rational explanation of the
action of my troops on December 15 under the published orders for
that battle.  Hence I alluded, as lightly as possible, to the
modification in those orders which accounted for what I had done,
but gave no hint of the fact that I had suggested that modification.
I cannot now recollect whether I had any expectation at that time
in respect to what General Thomas would say on that subject in his
report; but, in my opinion, his well-known character would have
been fully justified the expectation that he would say in substance
that the foregoing plan of battle, which had been previously
prepared, was so far modified, upon the suggestion of General
Schofield and with the concurrence of other commanders, as to order
the Twenty-third Corps to a position in rear of our right, from
which it could reinforce the main attack on the enemy's left,
instead of to the reserve position on the left of the Fourth Corps.
It does not seem to me that a veteran general could have suffered
in his own estimation or in that of the world by such an act of
justice or generosity to a young subordinate.  But the plain,
unavoidable truth is that General Thomas said in his report, besides
his statement about the "few alterations":  "Finding General Smith
had not taken as much distance to the right as I expected he would
have done, I directed General Schofield to move his command (the
Twenty-third Corps) from the position in reserve to which it had
been assigned over to the right of General Smith . . ."--leaving
it necessarily to be inferred that "the position in reserve" referred
to was that to which it had been assigned in the published orders,
and that the Twenty-third Corps moved "over" from that position
"to the right of General Smith" after General Thomas gave directions
to that effect in the afternoon of December 15.  Whereas, in fact,
that corps had moved over to the right at daylight in the morning,
so as to be ready for the action which General Thomas finally
ordered; otherwise it could not possibly have moved over to Smith's
right before dark.  In fact, one of the divisions (Couch's) of the
Twenty-third Corps advanced with Smith's corps, "keeping within
supporting distance," as stated in my report, so that Couch was
able to take a very important part in the attack that day; while
Cox, though much nearer than General Thomas indicated, could not
reach the right till near the close of the day's operations, though
in time to take part in the final engagement in repelling the
enemy's attempt to regain lost ground.  When it is remembered that
General Thomas was at the rear of our right, where all this could
be distinctly seen, no comment seems to be necessary on this feature
of his report.

In respect to the statement in my report that I had in the night
of December 15 "waited upon the commanding general and received
his orders for the pursuit," that was simply a fact without which
there was possible no rational explanation of what occurred, or
did not occur, the next day.  I must have taken it for granted that
General Thomas would make some frank and candid explanation of all
those matters in his own report, and I could not have imagined that
I might incur his displeasure by telling the simple truth.  My
opinion of his character forbade the possibility of any supposition
that he would desire to conceal anything, even if concealment were
possible, of facts to which there were so many witnesses.  Hence
my astonishment at the discovery of so much that I cannot even
attempt to explain.

It was publicly stated, soon after the death of General Thomas,
that his mortal stroke occurred when he was trying to write something
in regard to the use made of the Twenty-third Corps in the battle
of Nashville.  If he then saw, as it would seem he must have done,
the wrong into which he had been betrayed, his sudden death is
fully accounted for to the minds of all who knew his true and honest
and sensitive nature.  He had been betrayed by some malign influence
into an outrage upon his own great reputation which it was not
possible to explain away, while the slight wrong he had done to
me, even if he had intended it, had already proved utterly harmless.
His own great record could not possibly suffer from my discussion
of the facts, unless those facts themselves proved damaging to him;
and he had been too much accustomed to such discussion to be
disturbed thereby.  There seems no possible explanation of the
great shock General Thomas received but the discovery that he had
apparently done an irreparable injury to himself.  But I do not
believe General Thomas himself was the author of those acts which
were so foreign to his nature.


At Nashville, in December, 1864, and afterward, General Thomas
appears to have been made the victim of a conspiracy to poison his
mind by false accusations against his senior subordinate.  A press
report of a conversation said to have taken place in San Francisco
in the year 1869, between General Thomas and General Halleck, gave
some indication of the effect which had been produced on the mind
of General Thomas.  From that time forward there appeared frequent
indications of the secret operations of that conspiracy; but no
public knowledge of its character or authors came to my knowledge
until 1881, when there appeared in the "New-York Times" of June 22
an article, copied from the Toledo "Northern Ohio Democrat," which
disclosed the character of the false accusations which had been
made to General Thomas at Nashville, and the name of their principal,
if not sole, author.  That publication gave me for the first time
the means of refuting a vile slander which had been doing its deadly
work in secret for nearly seventeen years.  The following correspondence
with General Grant shows the character of that slander, and its
complete refutation:

  "London, England, July 12, 1881.
"General U. S. Grant, New York, U. S. A.

"My dear General:  For a long time I have been made aware of the
fact that a base falsehood was secretly circulated throughout the
country, to the effect that while General Thomas's army was at
Nashville in December, 1864, I endeavored in some way to influence
you or somebody in Washington to remove him from the command and
to place me in his stead.  I have not heretofore been able to defend
myself against this slander because of its secrecy.  But now, for
the first time within my knowledge, this falsehood has made its
appearance in public print, in the form of an article in the Toledo
"Northern Ohio Democrat," copied into the "New-York Times" of June
22, of which I send you a slip.

"You, my dear General, are probably the only man now living who is
able to make an authoritative statement of the facts in respect to
this matter, such as must be accepted without question.

"I hope, therefore, it is not asking too much to request you to
give me, in a form which I may use publicly, a full and explicit
statement of the facts in respect to this accusation.

"Perhaps you may also be able to recall the substance of a conversation
between you and me, on the subject of the delay of Thomas to attack
Hood at Nashville, which occurred on the naval steamer on our way
from Hampton Roads to Cape Fear River, when we went down to see
Admiral Porter and General Terry while my troops were delayed by
the ice in the Potomac.

"In that conversation I tried to justify Thomas's delay during the
storm at Nashville, and, I thought, perhaps succeeded in modifying
to some extent your opinion on the subject.  If you are able to
recollect the substance of that conversation, a statement of it
would be an effective answer to the malicious charge that I was
not faithful to Thomas as my commanding officer.

"Not knowing where you may be when this letter reaches the United
States, I send it to Colonel Wherry, to be sent you by mail or
handed you by one of my aides, as may be most convenient.  Please
do me the great favor to send to Wherry, or the other officer who
may call upon you, an answer which he may use in public refutation
of the malicious charge which has been made against me.

"He can then send it to me.  The vipers are taking advantage of my
absence to publish falsehoods and given them a long start of the
truth which must be sent in pursuit.  I am, dear General, as ever,
sincerely yours,

  "J. M. Schofield."

                                   THEIR FALSITY CONFIRMED BY GENERAL GRANT

  "New York, August 1, 1881.
"General J. M. Schofield.

"Dear General:  Your letter of the 12th of July has just been handed
me by Colonel Wherry of your staff.  I have read it carefully,
together with the article from the Toledo "Democrat."  The elapse
of time since the event spoken of in that article is so great that
I feel some hesitation in answering your letter and the article
from the "Democrat" as I might do if I had access to the archives
at Washington; but, writing from memory, I think I can say with
great positiveness there was never any despatch from you to me, or
from you to any one in Washington, disparaging General Thomas's
movements at Nashville.  On the contrary, my recollection is that
when I met you on your way to Wilmington, N. C., subsequent to the
battle of Nashville, you explained the situation at Nashville prior
to General Thomas's movement against Hood, with a view of removing
the feeling that I had that Thomas had been slow.  I was very
impatient at that time with what I thought was tardiness on the
part of General Thomas, and was very much afraid that while he was
lying there at Nashville and not moving his army, Hood might cross
the Tennessee River either above or below the city of Nashville,
and get between him and the Ohio River, and make a retrograde
movement of our army at Nashville a necessity, and very much
embarrass and delay future operations of the armies.  Laboring
under this feeling and impression, I was telegraphing General Thomas
daily, and almost hourly, urging him to move out and attack Hood,
and finally became so impatient that I contemplated his removal
and the substitution of another officer in his place; but this
feeling on my part was not added to by any despatches from any
person from the scene of action, except those from General Thomas
himself.  I have certainly no recollection of receiving any despatches
from Nashville, during the time spoken of in the article in the
"Democrat," from any person but General Thomas himself.  I feel
very sure that if any despatches had been received from you, I
should now recollect it; and I am free to say that it would have
created a prejudice to your disadvantage if I had received any such
despatches.  This much you are at liberty to use in any way you
may deem proper.  The other reflections which the author of the
article alluded to [made] against you I of course am not called
upon to say anything in regard to.  The fact is, your subsequent
promotions are proof positive that I entertained none of the views
set forth to your disadvantage in this article.  Very truly yours,

  "U. S. Grant."

The article above referred to asserted that "General Thomas knew
three days before the battle of Nashville that Schofield was playing
the part of Judas by telegraphing to General Grant, at Washington,
disparaging suggestions about the action of Thomas," and pretended
to quote the language of one of those despatches, as follows:  "It
is the opinion of all our officers with whom I have conversed that
General Thomas is too tardy in moving against the enemy . . . "
It is also stated that "it was known to a number of our officers
that . . . Schofield was intriguing with Grant to get Thomas
relieved, in order that he might succeed to the command of our army
as the general next in rank to Thomas, . . . and he was watched
and exposed to Thomas."

This boastful avowal by James B. Steedman of his own crime in making
reports which were false and slanderous to his commanding general
must doubtless be accepted as conclusive proof of his own guilt.
But a statement by such a witness cannot be regarded as proof that
any other officer was guilty of the same crime.  So far as I know,
no other has ever made any avowal, public or private, of his own
guilt, or that of any one else.  Nor has any other, so far as I
know, denied the truth of my statements, repeated in this volume,
of what occurred in the council held at Nashville on December 9,

It does not seem probable that one such man as James B. Steedman
could have exerted such a powerful and baneful influence over
General George H. Thomas as that which now appears to have governed
his action.  There must, it would seem, have been some others, as
Steedman asserted.  If so, it is time for them, if living, to come
to the front and claim their share in the work of falsifying history,
of poisoning the mind and heart of their great and noble commander,
causing his untimely death, and endangering his great reputation
as a man of honor, truth, and justice.

                                   THEIR FALSITY CONDEMNED BY GENERAL GRANT

The complete refutation by General Grant of the falsehood ended
the hostility which had been shown toward me during all that time,
and gradually led to a general recognition of the truth, which had
always been known and maintained by the most ardent friends of
General Thomas, like the late General J. S. Fullerton and General
H. V. Boynton, and the staff officers and the relatives of the
general himself.  Finally, when it was proposed in Congress to
recognize my past services by promotion to the grade of lieutenant-
general on the eve of my retirement from active service, not a
voice in opposition was heard from the old Army of the Cumberland;
and when we met, for the first time in many years, by their cordial
invitation, on the historic fields of Chickamauga and Chattanooga,
to dedicate those grounds as sacred to the memory of the Army of
the Cumberland and its great commander, we met again as brother
soldiers, without any trace of the bitterness which malicious
slander had for so many years sunk deep into our hearts.

For my part, I had for many years before refused to believe that
my old commander, whom I had so faithfully served and so highly
respected, could possibly have done me in his own mind and heart
the grievous wrong which he appeared to have done.  Not long after
his death, and many years before the public refutation of the
slander which he was said to have accepted and believed, I put on
record my deliberate opinion that of General Thomas's character as
a man and a soldier his warmest eulogists had not spoken too highly.
And now, no matter what injustice General Thomas may have done me
under the malign influence which surrounded him, I refuse to alter
that deliberate judgment.  He is to me in memory the same noble
old soldier and commander that he was when he intrusted to me the
command of his army in Tennessee, from Pulaski through Columbia,
Spring Hill, and Franklin to Nashville, and commended all I had
done in that command.

Truthful military history cannot be written without some criticism.
"He who never made a mistake never made war."  I am keenly sensible
of the delicacy of my personal relation to the history of General
Thomas, as well as of my obligation to contribute my share to that
history, which no other man could ever do if I neglected it.  I
have written it with the greatest possible care.  If I have fallen
into error in anything, there are men still living who can correct
my mistakes.  It will be more just to the memory of General Thomas
to publish it now than to wait until all who could correct any
errors of mine are silent in death.  Thus far none of the several
friends of General Thomas to whom I have applied have been able to
give me any explanation of the record referred to which modifies
that which I have stated.  If any one can suggest a more satisfactory
explanation, he will earn my gratitude.

[( 1) See Thomas to Sherman, November 12, 1864, 8:30 A. M.:  "Your
despatch of 12 last night received.  I have no fear that Beauregard
can do us any harm now; and if he attempts to follow you, I will
follow him as far as possible.  If he does not follow you, I will
then thoroughly organize my troops, and I believe I shall have men
enough to ruin him unless he gets out of the way very rapidly.
The country through middle Alabama, I learn, is teeming with supplies
this year, which will be greatly to our advantage.

"I have no additional news to report from the direction of Florence.
I am now convinced that the greater part of Beauregard's army is
near Florence and Tuscumbia, and that you will at least have a
clear road before you for several days, and that your success will
fully equal your expectations."]

[( 2) War Records, Vol. XXXIX, part iii, p. 624.]

Sherman's "March to the Sea"--The Military Theory On Which It Was
Based--Did It Involve War or Statesmanship?--The Correspondence
Between Grant and Sherman, and Sherman and Thomas--The Effect of
Jefferson Davis's Speech on Sherman--Rawlins's Reported Opposition
to the March, and Grant's Final Judgment On It.

During the Atlanta campaign the principal commanders of the army
assumed, as a matter of course, that Atlanta would be ours in due
time, and hence there was much discussion of the question, What
next?  It was evident the army could not go much farther and rely
upon its present line of supply, although General Thomas said,
immediately after the capture of Atlanta, that he had "a plan for
the capture of Macon" which he would like to execute.  What the
plan was he did not divulge, General Sherman turning the conversation
in another direction.  At that time it was presumed Hood would
oppose whatever move was attempted, and hence a new base, to be
provided in advance, if practicable, by the capture of some place
on the gulf or on the Atlantic, was evidently essential to further
operations in Georgia.  This new base being provided, Sherman could
move out from Atlanta with twenty or thirty days' supplies in
wagons, and swing round Hood so as to place his rear toward the
new base and open communication therewith.  Evidently the march to
the sea, as it was actually made, was impossible, and was not
thought of until Hood moved from Sherman's front and cleared the

In the popular judgment formed immediately after important events,
success or failure is the only criterion of wisdom; but the historian
must go deeper, and consider the merits of a general plan in view
of the greater or less probability of failure of any one of its
parts.  What would have been the just judgment of mankind upon
Sherman's march to the sea if Thomas had failed, as Sherman with
a much larger force had done, to destroy or seriously cripple Hood's
army?  Or what, if Hood had succeeded in his projected invasion of
Kentucky--an event much less improbable than many that have actually
occurred in war?  If Hood had succeeded in overwhelming the smaller
force that opposed him at Columbia, Spring Hill, and Franklin, as
he came near doing, Nashville would have fallen an easy prey, for
it was not defensible by any force Thomas then had there.  Thomas's
cavalry was not yet remounted, and Forrest, with his troopers,
would have had nearly a clear field of Kentucky while Hood marched
to the Ohio.  What offset to this would have been the capture of
Savannah as a "Christmas gift" to the nation?

The situation at that time was certainly a perplexing one to Sherman.
He could not permit Hood to put him, with his superior force, on
the defensive, nor even to appear to do so for a moment; and it
was not easy for him to consent that his enemy should entirely
nullify all his elaborately considered plans for future operations
in Georgia.  What operations Sherman decided on in that unprecedented
case is well known.

                                               SHERMAN'S "MARCH TO THE SEA"

When Sherman cut loose and started for Savannah on November 12, he
had not, as events proved, sufficient reason for assuming "Thomas's
strength and ability to meet Hood in the open field," or even to
hold Nashville against him, much less to hold "the line of the
Tennessee River firmly," which was the condition upon which Grant
at first consented that Sherman might make "the trip to the sea-
coast."( 1)

Thomas's concurrence in Sherman's opinion, as shown in his despatch
of November 12, simply shows that they were both in the same error;
for A. J. Smith's troops did not begin to arrive at Nashville until
the day of the battle of Franklin (November 30), and they were a
very important part of the force relied upon in Sherman's plan.
The whole fate of the Tennessee campaign was decided by the delay
of Hood at Columbia and Spring Hill and his defeat in the desperate
battle of Franklin, and this by two of Sherman's six corps, without
the aid of any of the reinforcements upon which he counted so
largely, and about which he says so much.  It is not too much to
say that the hazards of that retreat from Pulaski and of the defense
at Franklin were far greater than any portion of Sherman's army
had ever before encountered, and far greater than any army ever
ought to meet except in case of necessity--hazards which, at that
stage of the war, with our vastly superior armies in the field, it
would have been inexcusable voluntarily to incur.  If it is asked
why such hazard was taken, the answer has heretofore been given.
By it alone could the time be gained which was necessary for Thomas's
reinforcements to reach Nashville.  The time gained was barely
sufficient; one day less might have been fatal.

The question that at once arises is, Why have taken even a chance
of error in a matter of so vital moment--an error that might have
led to disastrous consequences?  Hood was already on the Tennessee
River, preparing to cross and begin his march to Nashville.  Thomas
had ready to meet him only about two thirds Hood's strength in
infantry, and less than half in effective cavalry.  A few days'
delay on Sherman's part in commencing his march would have disclosed
to him the impossibility of Smith's arrival in time, and have
enabled him to send another corps from his superabundant force to
assist Thomas.  Such delay of only a few days could not have been
of serious consequence in respect to Sherman's plans.  The near
approach of winter was the only reason why an early start was
important; and that was not considered any very serious obstacle
to the operations of Hood or Thomas in a more unfavorable country
for winter operations.

The railroad was in running order to Atlanta, and the enemy's
cavalry were then known to be far from it.  Sherman could have kept
his army supplied, and ready to start any day he pleased.  Why not
have waited to see whether Thomas could get together troops enough
to cope with Hood, and then, when sufficient preparation had been
assured to fight the enemy, and only then, start off on a march
where there was no considerable enemy to fight?

In the estimate of time, Sherman had no right to disregard even
Thomas's well-known "slowness of thought and action," but was bound
to take that into account.

I have never yet been able to see the wisdom of taking any hazard
of defeat in Tennessee when we had ample force at command to secure
victory there, with enough remaining to march wherever its commander
pleased through the South, except where Hood's or Lee's army might
be.  By this I mean to say that three, or even two, of Sherman's
corps could have gone to Savannah, or anywhere else, just as well
as four, and thus have left Thomas force enough to make the defeat
of Hood sure beyond contingency; or that Sherman should have delayed
his march to the sea until Thomas had concentrated troops enough
to defeat Hood.

                                  THE MILITARY THEORY ON WHICH IT WAS BASED

The question which now presents itself for critical consideration
is, Upon what military theory was Sherman's "march to the sea"

Sherman himself explains it as a change of base, and he estimates
its value in comparison with that of his subsequent operations in
the ratio of one to ten.  But why those subsequent operations, or
a change of base with a view to any such ulterior purpose?  Grant
had not at that time even suggested the need of Sherman's aid
against Lee, and events proved that no such need existed.  When
Sherman started for Savannah from Atlanta, the Confederate force
in the Gulf States was quite equal to Lee's army in Virginia, while
Grant's army was larger than Sherman's.  Could Sherman have
contemplated at that time such a thing as going to Grant's assistance,
where he was not needed, and leaving Hood's army behind him?

A change of base to Savannah or Mobile had been contemplated as a
probable necessity of future operations in Georgia or in the Gulf
States, upon the capture of Atlanta; but that of course upon the
supposition that there would still be a formidable army of the
Confederacy in those States against which operations were to be
conducted.  When that Confederate army, under Hood, marched toward
the west, with the evident intention to carry the war into Tennessee
and Kentucky, why a change of base by Sherman in the opposite
direction, to Savannah?

Sherman appears to have supposed at first that Hood would follow
him when he started on his march through Georgia, as Hood had
supposed that Sherman would follow him into Tennessee.  Was there
any more reason for the one supposition than the other?  Ought not
Sherman as well as Hood to have known his antagonist better than
such a supposition would imply?  Was it not extremely unreasonable
to suppose that Hood, after he had marched hundreds of miles west
from Atlanta and reached the base of his projected operations in
Tennessee, would turn back and follow Sherman at such a distance
in his rear?  It is perfectly evident that such a stern-chase by
Hood was contemplated only as a bare possibility, not by any means
as a probable result of Sherman's march.  It could have had no
influence in forming Sherman's final determination to make that
march.  In fact, the march does not appear to have been finally
decided on--certainly it was not commenced--until Hood had gone so
far in the opposite direction as to make his pursuit of Sherman
out of the question, and had fully disclosed his plan to invade
Tennessee.  It was surely, therefore, an extraordinary spectacle
to see the main Union army marching where there was no considerable
hostile force to meet it, leaving a comparatively small detachment
to cope with the formidable enemy!

Of course Sherman could not fall back into Tennessee, and thus let
Hood put him on the defensive, even for a short time.  He could
afford only to send back a detachment large enough to enable Thomas,
with the other forces he could assemble, to hold Nashville and
prevent Hood from crossing the Cumberland.  This is virtually but
little more than what Sherman did in that regard.

                                  THE MILITARY THEORY ON WHICH IT WAS BASED

There then remained to Sherman practically only one line of action
at all consistent with the dictates of established principles in
the conduct of a military campaign:  That was to strike with his
superior remaining force for Hood's rear, south of the Tennessee
River.  Such a movement could have been commenced immediately upon
Hood's march in that direction.  Supplies would have been drawn,
first from Chattanooga, and afterward from Stevenson, and then from
Decatur, Sherman's line of supply being thus very much shortened.
A small detachment at Atlanta could have destroyed the works of
military value in that place, and the railroad thence back to
Chattanooga, being completely covered in this work by Sherman's
army, without delaying its march a single day.  Sherman could thus
have easily struck Hood south of the Tennessee before the latter
could have made his preparations for crossing that river.  Indeed,
with Sherman marching in that direction, even so bold a man as Hood
could hardly have been so reckless as to have crossed the Tennessee;
and if he had, his destruction must have been sure.  Hence the
least result would have been simply to transfer the theater of
operations from Georgia to Alabama, or perhaps to Mississippi, and
greatly to shorten Sherman's line of supply.  And what possible
difference could it make in which part of the revolted States the
theater of war might be, so long as the Confederate army, to destroy
which was the only important object of a campaign, was there?  To
avoid a transfer of the battlefield from Georgia to Alabama or
Mississippi, was it wise to run the risk of transferring it to
Kentucky or Ohio?  Perhaps no movement which could have been
contemplated by the Confederate authorities would have been more
greatly to Sherman's advantage over Hood than the one they adopted.

I cannot better show my own exact impression at the time respecting
the operations of Sherman and Hood in 1864, than by an illustration
that will be at once appreciated on every farm in America.  When
two fighting-cocks meet for the first time, battle is joined without
delay, and is prosecuted with all possible vigor and skill.  If
the result is decisive the victor's triumph is loudly proclaimed,
while the defeated combatant, with lowered crest, seeks safety in
flight.  If, on the contrary, the result is a drawn battle, the
two antagonists, as if by common consent, slowly separate, carrying
their heads high, and sharply watching each other.  When distance
has assured the close of that contest, they severally go to feeding,
as if nothing unusual had happened, or else march off to seek some
less formidable foe.  Neither utters a note of defiance until he
is well beyond the other's reach.

The correspondence between Grant and Sherman, especially the letters
from Grant of September 12, and from Sherman of September 20, both
carried by Grant's staff officer, Colonel Horace Porter, show a
complete understanding of the situation at that time, and perfect
accord in respect to the operations appropriate to that situation.( 2)
Savannah was to be captured, if practicable, by military and naval
forces from the east, and Sherman was so to manoeuver in respect
to Hood's army as to swing round the latter and thus place himself
in position to open communication with Savannah as his new base.
This was the simple, logical plan dictated by the situation, which
had for a long time been considered and worked out after weighing
all the advantages and disadvantages of other possible plans.

But very soon after Sherman despatched his letter of September 20
by Colonel Porter, Hood commenced his movement to Sherman's rear,
and then far to the west, which was designed to and did radically
change the military situation in view of which the carefully matured
plan described in Sherman's letter of September 20 had been formed.
Sherman, as clearly appears from his despatches later than September
20, considered long and apparently with great doubt what change
ought to be made in his own plans in consequence of the altered
situation due to the unexpected movements of his enterprising
adversary.  That some very important change in Sherman's plans was
imperative was a matter of course.  A general cannot well make his
own plans entirely upon his own theory as to what his enemy will
or ought to do, but must be governed in some measure by what the
other actually does.  General Sherman evidently perceived quite
clearly what established rules of action required to be done, and
General Grant even more clearly, as was shown in his despatches of
October 11, 1864, and others.

                                  THE MILITARY THEORY ON WHICH IT WAS BASED

It seems hardly possible to speak seriously of many of the reasons
given by Sherman for finally deciding to leave his old adversary
to the care of Thomas's inferior force.  He said, for instance, in
his despatch to Grant of November 2:  "If I could hope to overhaul
Hood, I would turn against him with my whole force. . . . No single
army can catch him."( 3)  Sherman had been "catching" Hood with a
single army all summer, and without the slightest difficulty.  What
reason had he to conclude that it would be impossible to do so
later?  As my experience proved, it was as easy to "catch" him in
November, though with a smaller force, as it had been in July and
August with a much larger force, and Thomas had the same experience
in December.  As Sherman knew from his own experience, as well as
I, whether the pursuing force was larger or smaller, Hood was about
the easiest man in the world to "catch," even by a "single" army.
But Sherman had under his command at that time, in Georgia and
Tennessee, as he said with great emphasis and confidence, two
armies, each larger than Hood's, even assuming the largest estimate
then made of the strength of Hood's army.  It appears that Sherman
gave Hood credit at that time for only thirty thousand infantry,
besides cavalry.( 4)  If that was his estimate, then he had at
least three or four armies (including the reinforcements he counted
on for Thomas in Tennessee), each equal in strength to Hood's.  Is
it possible Sherman thought he could not catch Hood with three or
four armies?  But another despatch from Sherman, dated November 2,
seems to show that his estimate of Hood's army was more than 50,000,
instead of 30,000; for in that despatch he said in substance that
unless he drew Slocum's corps back from Atlanta, and abandoned that
place, his army would be inferior to Hood's.( 5)  Now Slocum's
corps numbered 10,000 men, and Sherman marched to the sea with
60,000 after stripping down to the best possible fighting condition.
Hence Sherman, after sending back the Fourth and Twenty-third corps
to Thomas, and leaving out Slocum's corps, had 50,000 men, and
therefore according to this reckoning Hood had _more_ than 50,000.
Forty thousand would have been a reasonable estimate for Sherman
to have made of Hood's strength, with his more accurate knowledge
than any of his subordinate commanders could have.  But, somehow,
the estimate of Hood's force at that time accepted by Thomas and
his subordinates in Tennessee was 45,000, besides cavalry, which
as understood to be 10,000, or even 12,000 including Forrest's
separate command.  But even this was less than half of Sherman's
two armies.

Sherman made no attempt to "catch" Hood during his raid in Sherman's
rear in September, 1864, nor to interfere with his movement to the
west.  In his "Memoirs,"( 6) Sherman says:  "At first I thought of
interposing my whole army in the Chattooga Valley, so as to prevent
Hood's escape south. . . . He would be likely to retreat eastward
by Spring Place, which I did not want him to do."  Even thus early
in the game Sherman saw the opportunity Hood was probably going to
give him to make his projected change of base to Savannah, and
hence he took care not to prevent Hood from completing his "co-
operative" movement.

Sherman determined to destroy Atlanta and his railroad back to
Chattanooga, abandon entirely his former base of operations and
line of supply, and assume a new base of future operations on the
Atlantic or the gulf.  In other words, Sherman decided that he
could not attempt to hold any part of the territory he had conquered
in the Atlanta campaign; that conquest was valuable only in the
opportunity it gave him to destroy everything of military importance
in that territory--that is, Atlanta and the railroads.  The question
then arises, What possible difference could it make in which
direction he moved after having decided not to hold any part of
that territory, but to destroy it?  Why would a move toward the
west any more than a move toward the east have the appearance of
losing all that had been gained, after he had destroyed it?  The
simple fact is, the Confederate commander had abandoned Georgia to
its fate in the vain hope of putting Sherman on the defensive, not
realizing, apparently, that Sherman had ample force for defensive
purposes, besides an army superior to Hood's for aggressive
operations.  The Southern army was thus placed where Sherman could
operate against it by a much shorter line, and hence with a much
larger force, if that was what he wished to do.  He could at the
same time, if he thought it necessary or desirable, inflict upon
Georgia the destruction which the Confederate commander wanted to
prevent, but had in fact invited by abandoning that State, and that
without materially impairing the strength of his (Sherman's) main
army operating against the main force of the enemy.  As suggested
by Grant, a cavalry raid through Georgia would have accomplished
that destruction as well as a march of 60,000 men.  Hence, in the
light of all that appears in the records up to the time when Sherman
actually started on his march, no valid military reason had been
given why Sherman should not have sent a cavalry raid into Georgia,
as Grant suggested, to destroy everything there, and thus negative
Mr. Davis's promise of protection, while he (Sherman) pursued
relentlessly the strictly military plan Grant had prescribed for
him to break up Hood's army or capture it, which Sherman had yet
failed to accomplish.

Manifestly some other motive besides the motives stated in Sherman's
telegraphic despatches must have decided him to carry out his plan
to make the march to the sea.

The boastful assurance and threat of the Confederate commander-in-
chief,( 7) referred to by Sherman, gave at least some reason for
Sherman's defiant response by himself marching through Georgia
instead of sending a subordinate; and the partial execution of that
threat by Forrest's cavalry, referred to in Sherman's despatch of
November 1 to Grant, gave a strong reason for Sherman's eager
determination to march at once, without waiting for anything but
his own preparations.  In his article, "The Grand Strategy of the
Last Year of the War,"( 8) Sherman reveals one of the reasons for
his haste in starting on his march.  "How free and glorious I felt,"
he says, "when the magic telegraph was cut, which prevented the
possibility of orders of any kind from the rear coming to delay or
hinder us!"  A letter written by Sherman to Grant, November 6, on
the eve of his start for the sea, also gave reasons, other than
military, for his famous march.  In Sherman's "Memoirs" no quotation
is made from this letter,( 9) and it is referred to very briefly
without giving any suggestion of its important contents.

General Sherman thus stated his reasons for writing that letter:
"I have heretofore telegraphed and written you pretty fully, but
I still have some thoughts in my busy brain that should be confided
to you as a key to future developments."

                                       DID IT INVOLVE WAR OR STATESMANSHIP?

Then Sherman explained, with the art of which he was master, clearly,
logically, and convincingly, the reasons for the operations of his
army from the fall of Atlanta down to the time of his writing, by
which he had completely defeated his adversary's designs, closing
with the following language:

"Now, as to the second branch of my proposition, I admit that the
first object should be the destruction of that army; and if Beauregard
moves his infantry and artillery up into that pocket about Jackson
and Paris, I will feel strongly tempted to move Thomas directly
against him, and myself move rapidly by Decatur and Purdy to cut
off his retreat. . . . These are the reasons which have determined
my former movements."

General Sherman then continues by explaining the reasons which
induced him not to carry out the movement above suggested.

Now come the reasons for the future movements upon which Sherman
had then fully decided, after having obtained General Grant's
consent, and which he was about to begin.  After stating what he
had done "in the last ten days" to prepare for his march, he said:

"Then the question presents itself what shall be done?  On the
supposition always that Thomas can hold the line of the Tennessee,
and very shortly be able to assume the offensive as against
Beauregard, I propose to act in such a manner against the material
resources of the South as utterly to negative Davis's boasted threat
and promises of protection.  If we can march a well-appointed army
right through his territory, it is a demonstration to the world,
foreign and domestic, that we have a power which Davis cannot
resist.  This may not be war, but rather statesmanship; nevertheless
it is overwhelming to my mind that there are thousands of people
abroad and in the South who will reason thus:  If the North can
march an army right through the South, it is proof positive that
the North can prevail in this contest, leaving only open the question
of its willingness to use that power."

It was, perhaps, not _war_, but rather _statesmanship_ upon which
Sherman was about to enter--not to defeat and destroy or capture
the Confederate armies, but to demonstrate in the most positive
manner that the "North can prevail in this contest," provided only
it is willing to use its power.  And by what means was this
demonstration to be made?  By marching a large army through the
South where there was and could be no Confederate army able to
oppose it, destroying everything of military value, including food,
and continuing this operation until the government and people of
the Southern States, and people abroad, should find the demonstration
convincing.  Again I quote:

"Now, Mr. Lincoln's election, which is assured, coupled with the
conclusion thus reached, makes a complete, logical whole.  Even
without a battle, the result, operating upon the minds of sensible
men, would produce fruits more than compensating for the expense,
trouble, and risk."

The election of Mr. Lincoln meant, of course, continued ascendancy
of the "war party" at the North, and that, coupled with the conclusion
above reached, made, as Sherman so forcibly stated it, "a complete,
logical whole."

General Sherman then went on to give in his masterly way the
advantages and disadvantages of the several objectives open to him
as the goal of his march, reserving to himself finally the choice
between three,--Savannah, Mobile, and Pensacola,--trusting to
Richmond papers to keep Grant well advised of his movements and of
his final choice of the objective; and then, near the close of this
letter, in discussing the military aspects of his proposed march,
upon which he was about entering, he reverted to the old theory of
the line of the Tennessee--"on the supposition always that Thomas
can hold the line of the Tennessee, and very shortly be able to
assume the offensive as against Beauregard."

                                       DID IT INVOLVE WAR OR STATESMANSHIP?

It is impossible not to admire the thoroughness with which Sherman
had considered all possible or even imaginary difficulties in his
way, nor to suppress a smile at the supreme confidence with which
he set out, with sixty thousand of the best soldiers in the world,
upon a march through a fine healthy country laden with abundance
of supplies for men and animals, at a time when only two armies in
the South were strong enough to offer him any serious opposition,
both of them farther from his line of march than he was from his
goal when he started, one besieged by Grant in Petersburg, and the
other already commencing an aggressive campaign against Thomas in
Tennessee!  It is equally impossible to speak seriously of the
apprehension of some geographers and logisticians that Hood would
interfere in some way with Sherman's march through Georgia.  Hood
could not have got within two hundred miles of Sherman before the
latter had destroyed as much of Georgia as he wished, and then
captured Savannah.  Of course Sherman was not disturbed by any
apprehension that Hood might possibly oppose the march to Savannah.
He could have meant by what he said in his despatches on the subject
only that Hood would be compelled by "public clamor" to return to
Georgia to defend that State against Sherman's _further_ operations.
Hence his strong insistence that Thomas pursue Hood with energy,
and thus keep him out of his (Sherman's) way.

It had never occurred to me, if the fact ever existed, that the
rebellion could not be suppressed by crushing or capturing the
Confederate armies, or that our vastly superior military strength
must necessarily be employed in crushing the Southern people,
however much they might deserve crushing, or else that we must give
up the contest.  Yet while I never saw the necessity for what
Sherman called "statesmanship" rather than "war," I would never
have hesitated for a moment to say, what I now repeat, if it really
was necessary, in order to put down the rebellion and restore the
Union, to destroy all the property in the South, in the name of a
just and beneficent God, destroy it all!  Hence my objection to
Sherman's plans was based upon my conviction that such plans were
not at that time, and never had been, necessary.  Yet such plans
are legitimate and often necessary, and no man is wise enough to
tell in advance whether they may prove to be necessary or not.
The surest way to reach results is the way Sherman adopted.  In
either a civil or foreign war, such methods may be very bad policy;
but very few men are cool-headed enough in civil war, even if wise
enough, to see what good policy dictates, and this is even more
true of men at a distance than of those at the front.  Men who have
been fighting most of the time for three or four years generally
become pretty cool, while those in the rear seem to become hotter
and hotter as the end approaches, and even for some time after it
is reached.  They must in some way work off the surplus passion
which the soldier has already exhausted in battle.  Whatever may
be true as to Sherman's methods before Lee surrendered, the
destruction inflicted on the South after that time was solely the
work of passion, and not of reason.  Of this last Sherman was

Sherman's destruction of military supplies and railroads did
undoubtedly render impossible any great prolongation of the war,
if that would otherwise have been possible; but it did not materially
hasten the actual collapse of the rebellion, which was due to
Grant's capture of Lee's army.  Besides, if Grant had not captured
Lee, Sherman would.  Lee could not possibly have escaped them both.
Hence Sherman's destruction of property in Georgia, South Carolina,
and North Carolina did not hasten the end of the rebellion.  If
General Sherman was, at the time he planned his march to the sea,
informed of the nearly bankrupt condition of the United States
treasury, that fact went far toward justifying his action in leaving
as small a force as possible with Thomas, and even in starting on
his march before Thomas was fully ready to meet Hood.  For to make
his demonstration early enough and as convincing as possible to
the people of the South and all the world, it was important to move
at once, and to show that his march was not a mere rapid _raid_,
but a deliberate march of a formidable army capable of crushing
anything that might get in its way, and that without waiting for
anything that might occur in its rear.  Such a march of such an
army might well have been sufficient to convince everybody that
the United States had the military power to crush the rebellion,
and even destroy everything in the South, before the world should
find out that the resources of the government had been exhausted,
and that the United States had not the financial strength necessary
to make any further military use of the million of men they then
had on the muster- and pay-rolls.  To have given the still more
convincing proof of the power of the Union, by destroying one of
the Confederate armies, would have taken a longer time.

                                   CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN GRANT AND SHERMAN

The following despatches fully show Sherman's first plan, assented
to by Grant, the essential feature of which was that Thomas should
be able to "hold the line of the Tennessee firmly," and the
corresponding information and instructions to Thomas:

  "Sherman to Grant
  "Cartersville, Ga., October 10, 1864, 12 M.
". . . Hood is now crossing the Coosa, twelve miles below Rome,
bound west.  If he passes over to the Mobile and Ohio road, had I
not better execute the plan of my letter sent by Colonel Porter,
and leave General Thomas with the troops now in Tennessee to defend
the State?  He will have an ample force when the reinforcements
ordered reach Nashville."

  "Grant to Sherman
  "City Point, Va., October 11, 1864, 11 A. M.
"Your despatch received.  Does it not look as if Hood was going to
attempt the invasion of middle Tennessee? . . . If he does this,
he ought to be met and prevented from getting north of the Tennessee
River.  If you were to cut loose, I do not believe you would meet
Hood's army. . . . Hood would probably strike for Nashville, thinking
by going north he could inflict greater damage upon us than we
could upon the rebels by going south.  If there is any way of
getting at Hood's army, I would prefer that, but I must trust to
your own judgment.  I find I shall not be able to send a force from
here to act with you on Savannah.  Your movements, therefore, will
be independent of mine, at least until the fall of Richmond takes
place.  I am afraid Thomas, with such lines of road as he has to
protect, could not prevent Hood going north.  With Wilson turned
loose with all your cavalry, you will find the rebels put much more
on the defensive than heretofore."

  "Sherman to Grant.
  "October 11, 1864, 10 A. M.
"Hood moved his army from Palmetto Station across by Dallas and
Cedartown, and is now on the Coosa River, south of Rome.  He threw
one corps on my road at Acworth, and I was forced to follow.  I
hold Atlanta with the Twentieth Corps, and have strong detachments
along my line.  These reduce my active force to a comparatively
small army.  We cannot remain now on the defensive.  With 25,000
men, and the bold cavalry he has, he can constantly break my road.
I would infinitely prefer to make a wreck of the road and of the
country from Chattanooga to Atlanta, including the latter city,
send back all my wounded and worthless, and, with my effective
army, move through Georgia, smashing things to the sea.  Hood may
turn into Tennessee and Kentucky, but I believe he will be forced
to follow me.  Instead of being on the defensive, I would be on
the offensive; instead of guessing at what he means to do, he would
have to guess at my plans.  The difference in war is full 25 per
cent.  I can make Savannah, Charleston, or the mouth of the
Chattahoochee.  Answer quick, as I know we will not have the
telegraph long."(10)

  "Grant to Sherman.
  "October 11, 1864, 11:30 P. M.
"Your despatch of to-day received.  If you are satisfied the trip
to the sea-coast can be made, holding the line of the Tennessee
firmly, you may make it, destroying all the railroad south of Dalton
or Chattanooga, as you think best."

                                  CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN SHERMAN AND THOMAS

  "Sherman to Thomas.
  "October 20, 1864.
". . . I want all things bent to the following general plan of
action for the next three months.  Out of the forces now here and
at Atlanta I propose to organize an efficient army of from 60,000
to 65,000 men, with which I propose to destroy Macon, Augusta, and,
it may be, Savannah and Charleston, but I will always keep open
the alternatives of the mouth of Appalachicola and Mobile.  By this
I propose to demonstrate the vulnerability of the South, and make
its inhabitants feel that war and individual ruin are synonymous
terms.  To pursue Hood is folly, for he can twist and turn like a
fox and wear out any army in pursuit.  To continue to occupy long
lines of railroads simply exposes our small detachments to be picked
up in detail, and forces me to make countermarches to protect lines
of communication.  I know I am right in this, and shall proceed to
its maturity.  As to detail, I propose to take General Howard and
his army, General Schofield and his, and two of your corps, viz.,
Generals Davis and Slocum. . . . I will send General Stanley, with
the Fourth Corps, across by Will's Valley and Caperton's to Stevenson
to report to you. . . . I want you to retain command in Tennessee,
and before starting I will give you delegated authority over
Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, etc., whereby there will be unity
of action behind me.  I will want you to hold Chattanooga and
Decatur in force, and on the occasion of my departure, of which
you shall have ample notice, to watch Hood close.  I think he will
follow me, at least with his cavalry, in which event I want you to
push south from Decatur and the head of the Tennessee for Columbus,
Miss., and Selma, not absolutely to reach those points, but to
divert or pursue according to the state of facts.  If, however,
Hood turns on you, you must act defensively on the line of the
Tennessee. . . . I do not fear that the Southern army will again
make a lodgment on the Mississippi. . . . The only hope of a Southern
success is in the remote regions difficult of access.  We have now
a good entering wedge, and should drive it home. . . ."

  "Sherman to Grant.
  "Gaylesville, Ala., October 22, 1864.
"I feel perfectly master of the situation here.  I still hold
Atlanta and the road, with all bridges and vital points well guarded,
and I have in hand an army before which Hood has retreated
precipitately down the valley of the Coosa.  It is hard to divine
his future plans; but by abandoning Georgia, and taking position
with his rear to Selma, he threatens the road from Chattanooga to
Atlanta, and may move to Tennessee by Decatur.  He cannot cross
the Tennessee except at Muscle Shoals, for all other points are
patrolled by our gunboats.  I am now perfecting arrangements to
put into Tennessee a force able to hold the line of the Tennessee
whilst I break up the railroad in front of Dalton, including the
city of Atlanta, and push into Georgia, and break up all its
railroads and depots, capture its horses and negroes, make desolation
everywhere, destroy the factories at Macon, Milledgeville, and
Augusta, and bring up with 60,000 men on the sea-shore about Savannah
or Charleston.  I think this far better than defending a long line
of railroad.  I will leave General George H. Thomas to command all
my division behind me, and take with me only the best fighting

                                   CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN GRANT AND SHERMAN

But a few days later Sherman had made a radical change in his
previous plan.  He telegraphed Grant, from Rome, Georgia, November
1, as follows:

"As you foresaw, and as Jeff. Davis threatened, the enemy is now
in the full tide of execution of his grand plan to destroy my
communications and defeat this army.  His infantry, about 30,000,
with Wheeler's and Roddey's cavalry, from 7000 to 10,000, are now
in the neighborhood of Tuscumbia and Florence, and, the water being
low, is able to cross at will.  Forrest seems to be scattered from
Eastport to Jackson, Paris, and the lower Tennessee; and General
Thomas reports the capture by him of a gunboat and five transports.
General Thomas has near Athens and Pulaski Stanley's corps, about
15,000 strong, and Schofield's corps, 10,000, en route by rail,
and has at least 20,000 to 25,000 men, with new regiments and
conscripts arriving all the time; also Rosecrans promises the two
divisions of Smith and Mower, belonging to me, but I doubt if they
can reach Tennessee in less than ten days.  If I were to let go
Atlanta and north Georgia and make for Hood, he would, as he did
here, retreat to the southwest, leaving his militia, now assembling
at Macon and Griffin, to occupy our conquests, and the work of last
summer would be lost.  I have retained about 50,000 good troops,
and have sent back full 25,000; and having instructed General Thomas
to hold defensively Nashville, Chattanooga, and Decatur, all strongly
fortified and provisioned for a long siege, I will destroy all the
railroads of Georgia and do as much substantial damage as is
possible, reaching the sea-coast near one of the points hitherto
indicated, trusting that General Thomas, with his present troops
and the influx of new troops promised, will be able in a very few
days to assume the offensive.  Hood's cavalry may do a good deal
of damage, and I have sent Wilson back with all dismounted cavalry,
retaining only about 4500.  This is the best I can do, and shall,
therefore, when I get to Atlanta the necessary stores, move as soon
as possible."

To that despatch General Grant replied, November 2:

"Your despatch of 9 A. M. yesterday is just received.  I despatched
you the same date, advising that Hood's army, now that it had worked
so far north, be looked upon more as the objective.  With the force,
however, you have left with Thomas, he must be able to take care
of Hood and destroy him.  I do not really see that you can withdraw
from where you are to follow Hood without giving up all we have
gained in territory.  I say, then, go as you propose."

Thus Grant gave his assent to Sherman's proposition that Nashville,
Chattanooga, and Decatur be held defensively, even during a long
siege if necessary, instead of the line of the Tennessee, as at
first insisted on by General Grant.  Yet Grant's assent was given
in view of Sherman's trust that Thomas would be able _in a very
few days_ to assume the offensive.

Sherman's despatch to Thomas of the same date (November 1) instructed
him as to the policy then determined on, in lieu of that which had
contemplated holding the line of the Tennessee firmly, as follows:

"Despatch of last night received.  The fact that Forrest is down
about Johnsonville, while Hood, with his infantry, is still about
Florence and Tuscumbia, gives you time for concentration.  The
supplies about Chattanooga are immense, and I will soon be independent
of them; therefore I would not risk supplies coming in transitu
from Nashville to Chattanooga.  In like manner, we have large
supplies in Nashville, and if they be well guarded, and Hood can't
get our supplies, he can't stay in Tennessee long.  General Schofield
will go to you as rapidly as cars can take him.  I have no doubt,
after the emergency is past, and the enemy has done us considerable
damage, reinforcements will pour to you more than can be provided
for or taken care of.  In the meantime do your best.  I will leave
here to-morrow for Kingston, and keep things moving toward the
south; therefore hold fast all new troops coming to you, excepting
such as are now at Chattanooga, to whom I will give orders."

Yet in his letter to Grant, five days later, Sherman reverts to
the original plan:  "On the supposition, always, that Thomas can
hold the line of the Tennessee."

November 7, Sherman telegraphed Grant: ". . . On that day [November
10] or the following, if affairs should remain as now in Tennessee,
I propose to begin the movement which I have hitherto fully described
. . ."  To which despatch General Grant replied:  ". . . I see no
present reason for changing your plan. . . ."

General Grant does not refer to the later despatches in his general
report, July 22, 1865, quoted in his "Memoirs," but uses the
following language:

"With the troops thus left at his disposal, there was little doubt
that General Thomas could hold the line of the Tennessee, or, in
the event Hood should force it, would be able to concentrate and
beat him in battle.  It was therefore readily consented to that
Sherman should start for the sea-coast."

                                   CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN GRANT AND SHERMAN

General Sherman also omits to make any reference in his "Memoirs"
to the despatches respecting a possible long siege of Nashville,
Chattanooga, and Decatur; but he says in a despatch of November 2
to Grant, quoted in his "Memoirs":

"If I turn back, the whole effect of my campaign will be lost.  By
my movements I have thrown Beauregard [Hood] well to the west, and
Thomas will have ample time and sufficient troops to hold him until
the reinforcements from Missouri reach him.  We have now ample
supplies at Chattanooga and Atlanta, and can stand a month's
interruption to our communications.  I do not believe the Confederate
army can reach our railroad lines except by cavalry raids, and
Wilson will have cavalry enough to checkmate them.  I am clearly
of opinion that the best results will follow my contemplated movement
through Georgia."

The following language is found in a despatch dated November 11,
midnight, from Sherman to Thomas, which is especially important as
giving the last expression of his views of the situation, and of
what Thomas would be able to do after Sherman started for the sea:

"I can hardly believe that Beauregard would attempt to work against
Nashville from Corinth as a base at this stage of the war, but all
information seems to point that way.  If he does, you will whip
him out of his boots; but I rather think you will find commotion
in his camp in a day or two.  Last night we burned Rome, and in
two or more days will burn Atlanta; and he must discover that I am
not retreating, but, on the contrary, fighting for the very heart
of Georgia. . . . These [some Confederate movements about Rome and
Atlanta] also seem to indicate that Beauregard expects me to retreat.
. . . To-morrow I begin the movement laid down in my Special Field
Orders, No. 115, and shall keep things moving thereafter. . . . By
using detachments of recruits and dismounted cavalry in your
fortifications, you will have Generals Schofield and Stanley and
General A. J. Smith, strengthened by eight or ten new regiments
and all of Wilson's cavalry.  You could safely invite Beauregard
across the Tennessee River and prevent his ever returning.  I still
believe, however, that public clamor will force him to turn and
follow me, in which event you should cross at Decatur and move
directly toward Selma as far as you can transport supplies. . . .
You may act . . . on the certainty that I sally from Atlanta on
the 16th instant with about 60,000 well provisioned, but expecting
to live chiefly on the country."

The reason for this sudden and radical change of program is made
perfectly clear by Sherman's despatch of November 1 and others:
"The enemy is now in the full tide of execution of his grand plan
to destroy my communications and defeat this army."  Sherman's
defiant spirit, thus aroused, brooked no delay.  He would not wait
for anything but his own necessary preparations.  Nashville,
Chattanooga, and Decatur could stand a long siege, and these alone
he regarded as of strategic importance.  The enemy would doubtless
do "considerable damage," but afterward "reinforcements will pour
to you" (Thomas).  He convinced himself that Thomas had troops
enough; but, "to make things sure," he might "call on the governors
of Indiana and Kentucky for some militia"!  In the meantime, he
(Sherman) would "destroy all the railroads in Georgia and do as
much substantial damage as is possible."  Thus recklessly challenged
by the Confederate chief, Sherman must not only accept that challenge,
but do it at once.  Perhaps if Jefferson Davis had known William
T. Sherman as well as some of us did, he would not have uttered
that challenge.

                                 RAWLINS'S REPORTED OPPOSITION TO THE MARCH

From Grant's "Memoirs"(11) it appears that General Grant not only
confirms Sherman's claim in respect to his independent authorship
of the plan, but says he (General Grant) was in favor of that plan
from the time it was first submitted to him, and credits his chief
of staff, General Rawlins, with having been "very bitterly opposed
to it," and with having appealed to the authorities at Washington
to stop it.

This recollection of General Grant, after the lapse of so long a
time, and when he was suffering almost beyond endurance from a
fatal disease, may possibly, it seems to me, not express the views
he entertained in October, 1864, quite so fully or accurately as
his despatch of October 11, 1864, 11 A. M., to General Sherman,
heretofore quoted.

That despatch was a literal prediction of what Hood actually did.
It was dictated by a clear military foresight, whether of Grant or
Rawlins.  How far world-wide approval of Sherman's plans after
their brilliant success may have obscured the past can only be
conjectured.  As distinctly stated by Grant himself soon afterward,
he clearly saw that somebody ought to be criticized; but, in view
of the results, he decided to let it pass.

However all this may be, even my respect for the opinions of the
greatest of Union soldiers cannot alter the conclusion I have
reached after many years of study and mature consideration.  I can
only say that the opinion ascribed to General Rawlins, as opposed
to General Grant's, was in my judgment the better of the two; and
that General Rawlins, though he had not the advantage of an early
military education, was a man of great natural ability, and had
learned much from more than three years' experience in war, after
which the differences in military judgment which had existed at
the beginning must have very largely, if not entirely, disappeared.
General Rawlins was my immediate successor in the War Department,
and would, I doubt not, have made a great reputation there if his
life had been prolonged.

I believe Grant's own sound military judgment dictated his first
answer to Sherman, dissenting from the proposition to begin the
march to the sea before Hood's army was disposed of, or that result
assured.  His great confidence in the genius of his brilliant
subordinate, and in Sherman's judgment that he had given Thomas
ample means to take care of Hood, no matter what that bold and
reckless adversary might do, dictated Grant's final assent to
Sherman's project.  Their correspondence shows this so clearly and
fully that there would seem to be no need of my making any special
reference to it.  I do so only because of the statement in General
Grant's "Memoirs."  Very possibly General Grant may have meant, in
his "Memoirs," only that he approved the general project, under
the condition that sufficient force would be left "to take care of
Hood and destroy him," not caring to say anything about the
fulfillment or nonfulfillment of that condition.

From about October 1 till the time Sherman started on his march--
six weeks--he seems to have been so intent on the execution of that
project, and upon doing it with as large an army as possible, that
no question of military principle or of fact could be permitted to
stand in his way.  He assumed and maintained throughout that the
only question was whether he should continue the aggressive, or
allow the enemy's movements to put him on the defensive, refusing
to consider any other possible plan of aggressive operations, except
for a moment in response to advice from Grant, and then brushing
it aside as impracticable.--"If I could hope to overhaul Hood,"
etc.  In like manner, he appears to have convinced himself that
his arrangements for direct operations against Hood by Thomas in
Tennessee were very materially more complete than they were in
fact, and he so represented the matter to General Grant.  It seems
quite certain that Grant was laboring under a serious misapprehension
in respect to Thomas's condition to cope with Hood, and no doubt
Grant's subsequent impatience in respect to Thomas's action was
largely due to this fact.  This point deserves close consideration.

                                               GRANT'S FINAL JUDGMENT ON IT

Grant's first assent to Sherman's plan was made, October 11, on
the condition of "holding the line of the Tennessee firmly."  On
October 22 Sherman telegraphed:  "I am now perfecting arrangements
to put into Tennessee a force able to hold the line of the

Even as late as November 1, Grant again suggested to Sherman that
Hood ought to be his "objective," now that he "has gone so far
north."  At an earlier hour the same day, in the despatch above
quoted, Sherman telegraphed, "trusting that General Thomas . . .
will be able in a very few days to assume the offensive."  To this
Grant replied November 2:  "With the force, however, you have left
with Thomas, he must be able to take care of Hood and destroy him."
In that despatch of November 1 Sherman had made a statement of the
troops Thomas would have, including A. J. Smith's from Missouri,
adding, "but I doubt if they can reach Tennessee in less than ten
days."  Now Smith's troops did not reach Tennessee in less than
_thirty_ days instead of ten days, and after the crisis of the
campaign was passed; and the effective force in Tennessee before
Smith's arrival was 13,000 men less than Sherman had stated it.
So that the whole brunt of the fight with Hood fell upon the two
corps which Sherman had sent back, without any help from the
reinforcements upon which Sherman counted so largely.  It was, in
fact, _six weeks_ instead of a "very few days" before Thomas was
able "to assume the offensive."  It was not attempted to "hold the
line of the Tennessee" either "firmly" or at all.

Having been absent from the army in the field during Hood's raid
in Sherman's rear, I knew little personally about those estimates
of the strength of the opposing forces.  For the same reason, I
knew nothing of Sherman's plans or correspondence with Grant which
were considered or took place after the fall of Atlanta, though I
had been perfectly familiar with the plans discussed previous to
that time having in view a change of base to some point on the
Atlantic or on the gulf, with a view to further operations in
Georgia or the Gulf States, wherever there might be a hostile army
to operate against.  Yet when I met Sherman at Gaylesburg I was
surprised to learn that he was going off to the sea with five sixths
of his army, leaving Thomas, with only one of his six corps, and
no other veteran troops then ready for field service, to take care
of Hood until he could get A. J. Smith from Missouri, incorporate
new regiments into the army and make them fit to meet the veteran
enemy, remount his cavalry, and concentrate his garrisons and
railroad guards in Tennessee!  Of course I knew far less than
Sherman did about all that, for I had no responsibility and little
knowledge about Thomas's department.  But I knew enough to feel
astonished when Sherman told me what he proposed to do.  I plainly
told Sherman so, and urged him to send me back with my corps to
join Stanley and help Thomas.(12)

Here arise several interesting questions which would be worthy of
consideration, although a satisfactory solution of them might not
be possible.  Under Sherman's assurance as to what he had done for
Thomas in Tennessee, Grant appears to have been fully satisfied
that Thomas would be able to take care of Hood and destroy him,
thus eliminating that Confederate army from the future problem in
the Atlantic States.  But could Sherman, with his more exact
knowledge of what he actually had done, have felt the same confidence?
In view of that knowledge and of the results of his own previous
operations against Hood, could he have expected any such result?
Is it not more probable that Sherman simply expected to take
advantage of Hood's temporary absence from Georgia to make his own
change of base to Savannah?  Did Sherman not, in fact, really expect
Hood to follow him, even though at so great a distance, and be
prepared to resist his future operations from Savannah?  Sherman
repeatedly said, in his despatches before he started, that he
believed Hood would follow him, being compelled to do so by public
clamor.  What was Sherman's plan when he started for Savannah?
Was it simply to effect a change of base, or was it for well-defined
ulterior purposes?  When did Sherman mature his plan to march to
Virginia, and when did that plan first dawn upon Sherman's mind?
In this connection, what significance is to be attached to the
dates of events in Tennessee, especially the battles of Franklin
and Nashville?

                                               GRANT'S FINAL JUDGMENT OF IT

By the first mails which reached Sherman after he arrived on the
coast, December 14 and 15, containing letters from Grant dated
December 3 and 6, full information was received of the battle of
Franklin, which had occurred November 30.  Thomas's official report
of the battle of Nashville was received by Sherman on December 24,
but rumors of that victory had reached him earlier.  Sherman's
first letter to Grant, relative to future operations, written in
reply to those from Grant of December 3 and 6, was dated December
16.  In that letter was mentioned Sherman's plan in the following
words:  "Indeed, with my present command I had expected, upon
reducing Savannah, instantly to march to Columbia, South Carolina,
thence to Raleigh, and thence to report to you."  Sherman's second
letter to Grant, on the same subject, written in reply to Grant's
letter of the 18th, was dated December 24, the day on which he
received Thomas's report of the battle of Nashville.  In this letter
Sherman said:  "I am also gratified that you have modified your
former orders. . . . I feel no doubt whatever as to our future
plans.  I have thought them over so long and well that they appear
as clear as daylight."

When Sherman first mentioned his future plan he knew that the
success of his past plan in Tennessee had been assured.  Thomas
had succeeded in concentrating his forces at Nashville, and Hood
had suffered a severe defeat in attempting to prevent it.  At the
time of Sherman's second letter, mentioning his very mature
consideration of his future plans and perfect confidence in respect
to them, he knew that Hood's army had been broken up, and had become
a small factor in the future problem.  How long, and to what extent,
had Sherman anticipated these results in Tennessee, and matured
the plans of future operations, which were dependent upon those
results?  I shall consider these several questions, which involve
so intimately the character of my old commander.

[( 1) War Records, Vol. XXXIX, part iii, p. 202.]

[( 2) War Records, Vol. XXXIX, part ii, pp. 364, 411.]

[( 3) War Records, Vol. XXXIX, part iii, p. 594.]

[( 4) _ibid_., p. 576.]

[( 5) _Ibid_., p. 594.]

[( 6) Vol. II, p. 154.]

[( 7) Mr. Jefferson Davis's speech.  See General Sherman's "Memoirs,"
Vol. II, p. 141.]

[( 8) See the Century War Book, "Battles and Leaders of the Civil
War," Vol. IV, p. 257.]

[( 9) War Records, Vol. XXXIX, part iii, p. 658.]

[(10) War Records, Vol. XXXIX, part iii, p. 202.]

[(11) Vol. II, pp. 374-6.]

[(12) See my letter to General Sherman, December 28, 1864, p. 254.]

Sherman's Purpose in Marching to the Sea--His Expectations that
the Change of Base Would Be "Statesmanship," If Not "War"--The
Thousand-Mile March of Hood's Men to Surrender to Sherman--The
Credit Given by Grant to Sherman--"Master of the Situation"--The
Fame of Sherman's Grand Marches--His Great Ability as a Strategist.

The actual result in Tennessee was more decisive than Sherman had
any good reason to expect.  But he had good reason to expect, and
evidently did, that Thomas would be able, after he had concentrated
his troops, and after Hood had done considerable damage, to drive
the latter out of Tennessee and pursue him with such force and
energy as fully to occupy his attention and prevent him from
interfering in any manner with Sherman's own operations.  Hence
Sherman as well as Grant had reason to assume that Hood's army
would be eliminated from the military problem in the Atlantic
States.  Again, the general military situation as known to General
Sherman, or probably to anybody else, in October and November,
1864, did not indicate that Grant, with the force he then had in
Virginia, would be able to capture or destroy Lee's army.  He might
undoubtedly capture Petersburg and Richmond, but Lee would probably
be able to withdraw his army toward the south, nearer to his sources
of supply, and by skilful manoeuvers prolong the contest until the
National Government might abandon it.  Grant's letters at that time
confirm this view of the military situation.

Some writers have attempted to explain and justify Sherman's action
in taking with him so large an army, while leaving Thomas one so
much smaller, on the ground that he might meet in his march to the
sea such opposition as possibly to require so large a force to
overcome it.  But to any one familiar with the facts, and to no
one more than to Sherman, his army of 60,000 men was evidently all
out of proportion to any possible resistance it could meet in
Georgia.  But when he should start northward from Savannah the case
would become vastly different.  At any point in the Carolinas he
might possibly meet the whole of Lee's army.  That is to say,
Sherman's ulterior plan could not be prudently undertaken at all
without an army as large as that with which he actually marched to
the sea, namely, 60,000 men.  Indeed, as the records show, Sherman
considered a long time before he decided that he could spare the
Twenty-third Corps to go back and help Thomas.  If any question
can possibly exist as to what was the essential part of Sherman's
plan in marching to Savannah, what other possible military reason
can be given for that march except to make the subsequent march to
Virginia with so large an army?  Why change his base to Savannah?
What was he to operate against after he got there?

Nothing could have been clearer to any military mind in the fall
of 1864, than that if either Lee's or Hood's army could be captured
or destroyed, the surrender of the other must necessarily follow
very quickly, and the rebellion be ended.  No man could have been
more earnest than Sherman in his laudable desire to make the capture
of his own adversary the beginning of the end.  Sherman's well-
known character leaves this beyond question.  It is not possible
that he could have preferred a manifestation of the power of the
nation by destroying Southern property rather than by destroying
a Southern army.

                                   SHERMAN'S PURPOSE IN MARCHING TO THE SEA

But there was one objection--absolutely overruling, apparently, in
Sherman's mind--to any further attempt by Sherman himself, with
the main body of his army then in Georgia, to prosecute the primary
military object of his campaign--the destruction or capture of
Hood's army.  To have done so would have conceded a temporary
triumph to the chief of the Confederate armies, who had loudly
proclaimed his purpose to drive Sherman out of Georgia, and protect
that State from any further invasion.  Such a concession, however
temporary, was manifestly intolerable to Sherman's mind.( 1)
Besides, Sherman had formed and announced, with Grant's cordial
concurrence, a well-matured plan of future operations.  As "master
of the situation," he could afford to go on and substantially
execute that plan, or at least the primary part of it,--the change
of base,--treating almost with contempt the enemy's bold design to
thwart him.  Although this must, at least for the time being, compel
him personally to forego and leave to a subordinate the primary
operations of a military campaign,--those directly against the
opposing army,--the joint action of Sherman and Grant, each with
a powerful army, directly against Lee's army in Virginia, was the
surest and probably the shortest possible way to end the war.
Hence Sherman's broad view of the entire national military situation,
including the moral aspect of it, which was then of very great
importance, gave rise to that grand conception of far-reaching
strategy which must ever stamp its author as a master of that great

Sherman having thus come to the conclusion that he personally must
abandon the attempt to "catch Hood," as he called it, his "busy
brain" did not fail to perceive every possible alternative plan of
operations.  The abandonment of Georgia by Hood had completely
opened up two other alternatives, one of which was before not
possible, and the other only partly so.  The one was a movement
upon Richmond or its communications to join with Grant in the
capture of Lee's army, and the other was to destroy the military
resources of the Southern Atlantic States.  The first was too grand,
and perhaps might seem too visionary, to be talked about at first,
nor was any mention of it at that time necessary.  Besides, events
might possibly render the march to Richmond unnecessary or
impracticable; or, possibly, Sherman might be compelled for some
reason to make his new base at Pensacola or Mobile, though he was
determined to make it at Savannah, if possible; and hence it was
necessary to have, in reserve as it were, a sufficient logical
reason for the preliminary operation, if that finally had to stand

Again, that part of the original plan which contemplated the capture
of Savannah in advance could not be carried out.  Grant could not
spare the troops from the east for that purpose.  If that had been
done, Sherman could have marched to Augusta, there replenished his
supplies by the river from Savannah, and marched thence northward
by the upland route instead of through the swamps of South Carolina.
But, as it was, Sherman was, as he thought, compelled to go to
Savannah first, capture that place himself, and make that the base
for his northward march.  Hence there was no need to say anything
to anybody about what further was to be done until after Savannah
was in Sherman's possession, and the time had arrived for him to
consult Grant about the future.  Yet in Sherman's remarkable letter
to Grant, dated November 6, 1864,( 2) written after it was too late
to have any influence upon Grant's approval of Sherman's march, he
disclosed to Grant the ulterior object he had in view.  In discussing
the reasons for selecting the route to Savannah rather than either
of the others, he said:  "Incidentally I might destroy the enemy's
depots at Macon and Augusta, and reach the sea-shore at Charleston
or Savannah, from either of which points I could reinforce our
armies in Virginia."

                                   SHERMAN'S PURPOSE IN MARCHING TO THE SEA

Of course Grant, no less than Sherman, must have perceived instantly
the full significance of Sherman's change of base to Savannah the
moment that move was suggested.  The question in what manner that
concerted action between Grant and Sherman against Lee should be
arranged could well be considered later, after that march had been
made and a new base established at Savannah.  The correspondence
between Grant and Sherman previous to Hood's march to the west,
including the letters of September 12 and 20, simply shows that
neither had at that time conceived the possibility of any movement
of Sherman toward Virginia.  All their thoughts had reference to
continuing operations in the south, Sherman's most important object
being to get control of the Savannah River; or, as expressed, in
his last words:  "If you can whip Lee, and I can march to the
Atlantic, I think Uncle Abe will give us a twenty days' leave of
absence to see the young folks."  Their joint action against Lee
does not appear to have been suggested by either until Sherman's
letter of November 6, which was probably received by Grant after
Sherman started.

The first thought suggested to Sherman by Hood's movement "leaving
open the road to Macon, as also to Augusta," as embodied in his
despatch to Halleck on September 25, related simply to the opportunity
thus offered to carry into effect without difficulty the original
plan of a change of base to Savannah.  But when Hood's movement
had gone so far, and his designs were so fully disclosed, as
practically to eliminate his army from the problem in the Atlantic
States, Sherman determined to march as soon as possible, with the
ulterior purpose to "reinforce our armies in Virginia."  He
telegraphed his determination to Grant on November 1, and on November
6 wrote him very fully, giving his reasons, including that to
reinforce Grant.  Hence Sherman was well able to say at Savannah
on December 24:  "I feel no doubt whatever as to our future plans.
I have thought them over so long and well that they appear clear
as daylight."

It should be observed that Sherman's letter of November 6 to Grant
was strictly confidential.  "I have still some thoughts . . . that
should be confided to you [that is, to Grant and to nobody else]
as a key to future developments."  Neither Grant nor Sherman appears
to have made any use of that "key" for the public benefit.  But it
now unlocks the store-house of Sherman's mind, and shows to the
world more of the real character of the great strategist than any
other public document he ever wrote.

Then Grant was ready with his plan, first to seize and hold the
Southern railroads by which supplies could reach Lee, and second,
for Sherman and the most of his army to come to Virginia by sea,
to which Sherman responded with all the loyalty of his most loyal
nature, only mentioning incidentally his own plan.  Thereupon, when
Grant gave him an invitation to speak freely, he replied as above
quoted, and explained in detail his plans for the northward march,
to "be on the Roanoke, either at Raleigh or Weldon, by the time
the spring fairly opens; and if you feel confident that you can
whip Lee outside of his intrenchments, I feel equally confident
that I can handle him in the open country."

But Sherman's "busy brain" had provided in advance even for the
worst possible contingency--that after all his long march, however
long it might prove to be, that march might have to "stand alone"
--he might not actually take part in the capture of either of the
Confederate armies.  Hence, before starting on his march, in his
letter of November 6 to Grant he explained that his march would be
"statesmanship" anyway, even if it was not "war."  Sherman was not
a man to be "left out," no matter what might happen.

                                   SHERMAN'S PURPOSE IN MARCHING TO THE SEA

But Sherman's good fortune was almost equal to his strategy and
his skill in marching an army.  Although, as fate would have it,
he did not have a chance to assist in the capture of Lee, Thomas
had failed to obey his instructions to pursue Hood into the Gulf
states, whereby the fragments of that "broken and dispirited" army,
as Thomas well called it, were gathered together, under their old,
able commander, General Johnston, and appeared in Sherman's front
to oppose his northward march, and finally to capitulate to him at
"Bennett's House" in North Carolina.  The remnant of that army
which Sherman had disdained to pursue into Alabama or Mississippi
had traveled a thousand miles to surrender to him!  No story of
fiction could be more romantic than that fact of real war history.

It was not necessary for Sherman to produce his letter of November
6, 1864; but I have quoted from it here very largely to show that
there was no possible contingency which his far-reaching mind had
not foreseen and provided for.

Sherman's plan was so firmly fixed in his own mind, almost from
the very start, that he was determined to adhere to it in spite of
all possible opposition, even including the adverse opinions and
advice of General Grant.  Hence, as was his habit in such cases,
he invented every imaginable reason, without regard to their logical
or illogical character, to convince others of the soundness of his
conclusion.  But the logic of the real reasons which convinced his
own mind is, when the chaff is all winnowed away, as clear and
bright as the golden grain.

In view of the great strategical project which Sherman had mapped
out for himself and which required a formidable army, and of his
responsibility for what might be the result of operations against
Hood in Tennessee, it was a difficult and delicate question to
decide what force he should take with him, and what send back.  My
own belief always has been, and is now, that in view of his exact
knowledge of Thomas's character and habits of thought and action,
Sherman ought to have sent back another corps of veteran troops,
or else have waited to see that Thomas was actually prepared to
cope with Hood, preferably the latter, before going so far away
that he could not render him any assistance.  Yet, as has heretofore
been shown, if Thomas had carried out Sherman's instructions by
promptly concentrating his troops, there would have been no risk
of serious results in Tennessee.

In connection with Sherman's operations it is essential to bear in
mind the distinction between two radically different kinds of
strategy, one of which has for its object the conquest of territory
or the capture of places by defeating in battle or out-manoeuvering
the defending armies; while the other has for its object the
destruction or capture of those armies, resulting, of course, in
the conquest of all the enemy's territory.  The first kind may be
all-sufficient, and hence best, in a foreign war having for its
object anything less than total conquest; but in the suppression
of a rebellion, as in a foreign conquest, the occupation of places
or territory ought to be entirely ignored except so far as this
contributes to the successful operation of armies against opposing
forces.  This fundamental principle appears to have been duly
appreciated by the leading Union commanders near the close of the
Civil War, though not so fully in its earlier stages.  Military
critics are apt to fall into error by not understanding the principle
itself, or by overlooking the change of policy above referred to.

                                   SHERMAN'S PURPOSE IN MARCHING TO THE SEA

It is necessary not to confound the "march to the sea" as actually
conceived and executed by Sherman as a preliminary to the march
northward for the capture of Lee's army, with the previous far-
reaching strategic plans of Grant, of which Sherman and other chief
commanders were informed in the spring of 1864.

Grant's plans had in view, as their great object, again to cut in
two the Confederate territory, as had been done by the opening of
the Mississippi River to the gulf.  This next line of section might
be Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Savannah, or Chattanooga, Atlanta,
Montgomery, and Mobile.  But with the disappearance of Hood's army
from that theater of operations, all reason for that plan of
"territorial" strategy had disappeared, and the occasion was then
presented, for the first time, for the wholly different strategical
plan of Sherman, of which Lee's army was the sole military objective.
Grant was perfectly just to himself as well as to Sherman in giving
the latter full credit for this last plan; and he modestly refrained
from any more than a brief mention of his own plans, which unforseen
events had made it unnecessary fully to execute.  But history will
do justice to Grant's great strategical designs as well as to his
great achievements.  I trust it may be my good fortune to contribute
something hereafter toward the payment of this debt of gratitude
which all Americans owe to the greatest soldier of the Union.

The fact that Savannah was one of the points in both Grant's plans
and Sherman's was merely an incident, and a very unimportant one.
Indeed, after Hood got out of his way, Sherman might as well, and
I think better, have marched direct to Augusta, and thence northward,
wholly ignoring Savannah as well as Charleston, except that he
would have arrived in Virginia rather early in the season.  Savannah
was a good place to go in order to spend the winter, besides
destroying Georgia en route.

Of course it is much easier to see what might have been done than
to see in advance what can or ought to be done.  But it can hardly
be believed that Sherman did not think of everything that was
possible, as well as many things that were not.  At least, so simple
a proposition as the following could not have escaped his mind.

Sherman was, as he so confidently said, absolute "master of the
situation" before he started for Savannah.  Hood and Forrest had
utterly failed so to damage his communications that they could not
be put in order again in a few days.  He was able, if he chose, to
remain in perfect security at Atlanta all winter, with two or three
corps, while he sent back to Thomas ample force to dispose of Hood.
Then, if the result of the operations of a larger force in Tennessee
had been as decisive as they actually were with the smaller one
Thomas had, Sherman could have recalled to Atlanta all of the troops
he had sent to Tennessee, and thus marched toward Virginia with
eighty-five or ninety or even one hundred thousand men, instead of
sixty thousand.  All this could have surely been accomplished by
the middle of January, or before the time when Sherman actually
began his march from Savannah.  From Atlanta to Columbia, South
Carolina, crossing the Savannah River above Augusta, is an easier
march than that from Savannah to Columbia.  Or if Sherman had not
cared about paying a visit to Columbia en route, he could have
taken the much shorter "Piedmont route" to Charlotte, North Carolina,
and thence northward by whichever route he pleased.  Instead of
retaining the dominant attitude of "master," Sherman lost it the
moment he started eastward with his main army, leaving an inferior
force to cope with his enemy; and the march through Georgia and
the capture of Savannah did not by any means restore that mastery
to Sherman.  It was not restored until Hood was actually defeated
in Tennessee.

                                        THE FAME OF SHERMAN'S GRAND MARCHES

I have referred to the possibilities of a direct march from Atlanta
via Columbia or Charlotte, with a much larger army, at exactly the
same time, for the purpose of showing that even Sherman's grand
strategic plan to assist in the capture of Lee's army did not
necessitate or justify his action in marching to Savannah and
quitting his own theater of operations before his adversary there
had been disposed of.  The plan above suggested would have negatived
even more positively the boast and promise of the Confederate chief
that Sherman should be driven out of Georgia.  The fact that Sherman
personally, with an army about as large as, or larger than, Hood's,
could and did remain quietly at Atlanta while one of his subordinates
disposed of Hood and his army, would have been the most emphatic
possible defeat of the Confederate plan to force him back by
operations in his rear.  Only one part of Sherman's earnest desires
would have been unrealized--namely, to destroy Georgia.  But even
that could have been, at least in a great measure, compensated for
by the more complete destruction of South Carolina, the cradle of
secession and rebellion.

The more carefully Sherman's great operations are examined, the
more clearly it will appear that while his plans were magnificent,
their execution was not perfect.  And this is the legitimate aim
of just military criticism, not to build up or pull down the
reputations of commanders, but to assist military students in their
efforts to perfect themselves in the art and science of war.

Sherman's great marches, especially through the enemy's country
and over such obstacles as those found from Savannah to Goldsboro',
showed him to be a master of the auxiliary art of logistics no less
than of the great science of strategy.  Even to those who have had
no means of duly appreciating the higher merits of Sherman's general
plans, his marches have seemed the wonder of the world.  Yet,
strangely enough, the march through Georgia, which was in fact the
simplest thing possible, has been regarded as the great exploit,
while the vastly more difficult and important march through the
Carolinas appears to have been taken as a matter of course, perhaps
because of the conviction, which had by that time become general,
that Sherman could do anything he might undertake.

In respect to Sherman's skill in grand tactics, I have only a few
words to say here.  The part assigned him in Grant's general plan
of operations for all the armies, in 1864, in his "private and
confidential" letter of April 6, was as follows:  "You I propose
to move against Johnston's army to break it up, and to get into
the interior of the enemy's country as far as you can, inflicting
all the damage you can against their war resources."  It is a
simple, plain matter of history that Sherman did not accomplish
the first and more important part of the task assigned him--"to
break it up"--in the four months of almost constant fighting with
Johnston's army.  In the comments I have made upon the Atlanta
campaign, I believe I have shown clearly why Sherman did not
accomplish that result by the tactical operations to which he
limited himself.  The manner in which that army, then under Hood
instead of Johnston, was finally broken up by Sherman's subordinates
in Tennessee, shows clearly enough what kind of modification of
Sherman's tactical methods was requisite to enable him to reach
the same result in Georgia.

                                    SHERMAN'S GREAT ABILITY AS A STRATEGIST

Sherman's tactical operations during the entire Atlanta campaign
were marked by the highest degree of prudence and caution.  Even
his one assault upon fortified lines at Kenesaw was no exception;
for the worst that could happen in that was what actually did
happen, namely, a fruitless loss of a considerable number of men,
yet a number quite insignificant in comparison with the total
strength of his army.  Johnston displayed similar qualities in an
equal degree so long as he was in command; and his well-known
ability may have suggested to Sherman the wisdom of like prudence
in all his own operations.  But Hood signalized his accession to
the command by the boldest kind of tactics, amounting even to
rashness in the commander of a force so inferior to that of his
adversary.  Yet Sherman continued his own cautious methods to the
end.  Even his last move, which resulted in the capture of Atlanta,
--the only one which had even the general appearance of boldness,
--was, in fact, marked by the greatest prudence throughout.  The
Twentieth Corps occupied a strongly fortified bridge-head at the
Chattahoochee River, and the Twenty-third Corps another equally
strongly fortified "pivot" around which the grand wheel of the army
was made.  That moving army was much larger than Hood's entire
force, and had all the advantage of the initiative, which completely
disconcerted the opposing commander, and caused him to commit a
blunder that ought to have proved fatal, namely, that of dividing
his inferior force and permitting his superior opponent to occupy
a position between the widely separated wings of his own army.
Yet Sherman refused to take any advantage of that blunder, and sat
still while Hood leisurely reunited his divided forces.

Even if such extreme caution in handling a superior force against
such an antagonist as Johnston could be regarded as wise, it surely
could not against such an antagonist as Hood, whose character of
extreme audacity in the aggressive should have assured his destruction
by a more skilful adversary in command of a superior force.  But
Sherman's own knowledge of his own impulsive nature made him unduly
distrustful of his own judgment when under great responsibility in
emergencies, and this in spite of his unusual intellectual activity
and his great confidence in his deliberately matured judgment.
This is the opinion of Sherman's character formed by me after the
closest possible observation and study.  For this reason Sherman's
capacity as a tactician was not by any means equal to his ability
as a strategist.  He lacked the element of confident boldness or
audacity in action which is necessary to gain the greatest results
by taking advantage of his adversary's blunders, and by tempting
or forcing his adversary into positions of which he might take
advantage.  Yet Sherman was very far from lacking skill as a
tactician.  Both he and Johnston might well be likened to masters
of the sword so skilful and so equally matched that neither could
give any material advantage over the other.  In my opinion, their
duel of ten weeks' duration was never surpassed in the history of
the world for the masterly skill and execution with which the one
pressed the other back step by step, and the other disputed every
foot of the ground, neither giving nor attempting to make an
opportunity to strike a decisive blow.  If the object of that
campaign was to capture Atlanta on the one side, and to defend it
on the other, the handling of those two splendid armies was simply
magnificent.  It would be a great pity that an end was put to that
duel by the removal of Johnston, and the military world thus deprived
of a complete lesson, except for the fact that, whether or not the
contest finally resulted in the fall of Atlanta, the rebellion in
that part of the South would have been practically as far from an
end as it was the first of May!  Johnston would have been there in
front of Sherman, all the same, and at least one more campaign
would have been required before the march to the sea could have
been made.

                                    SHERMAN'S GREAT ABILITY AS A STRATEGIST

Although Sherman did not himself accomplish the first part of
Grant's plan in respect to Johnston's army,--namely, "to break it
up",--the second part, "to get into the interior of the enemy's
country, . . . inflicting all the damage you can against their war
resources,"( 3) was carried out as thoroughly as Grant or anybody
else could have wished.  It is also true that Sherman claimed the
credit for the breaking up of Hood's army in Tennessee, while he
was marching to Savannah, as a legitimate and foreseen part of his
general plan, like his successful march and capture of Savannah.
But he appeared not to see that in such a claim he was condemning
himself for not having done with a superior force what Thomas
actually did with a smaller one.  That result was, in fact, due
largely to an accident which, in the ordinary course of military
operations, ought not to have happened, and by which Hood was
tempted to make at Franklin one of those furious assaults upon
troops in position and ready to receive him which are almost always
disastrous.  It was just the kind of temptation to Hood's army that
was necessary "to break it up," and it did so very effectually.
The old "Army of Tennessee," which had been so formidable, ceased
to be a formidable army on November 30.  Its fighting days were
nearly over.  After that it never did any fighting at all worthy
of its old record.  And there was hardly a single day while Hood
was in command in the Atlanta campaign when a similar result might
not have been reached by a similar method, and that without any
risk of disaster to the Union army, because the force assaulted by
Hood might always have had a more powerful army near to hand to
support it if necessary.

In his special field order of January 8, 1865, announcing to all
the troops of his military division the results of his great
campaign, General Sherman said:  "Generals Thomas and Schofield,
commanding the departments to our rear, returned to their posts
and prepared to decoy General Hood into their meshes."  If the
purpose that prompted Sherman to send me back to Tennessee was to
serve as a "decoy" to Hood, I must say that my part of the sport
would have been more enjoyable if it had taken place earlier in
the season, when Sherman was near by with his sixty thousand men
to help "bag the game."

It has occurred to me as at least possible that Sherman's recollection
of the suggestions I had repeatedly made to him during the Atlanta
campaign may have been in his mind when he ordered me back to report
to Thomas, and when he wrote his special field order.  If so, I
must protest my innocence of any intention to play the role of
"decoy" at Franklin when one of the great gunners was twenty miles
away, and the other several hundred!

Yet, accepting even the most unfavorable view of Sherman's tactical
as well as of his strategical operations in connection with the
operations of all the other armies under Grant's general plans and
direction, there was nothing in them all that could possibly have
prevented their complete ultimate success in the capture of Lee's
army.  If Grant had not captured that army, Sherman would.  And
the surrender of Lee was necessarily followed by that of all the
other Confederate armies.  Hence, whatever might have happened if
Sherman's great march had not been made, that march with so large
an army made the end of the rebellion in the spring of 1865 sure
beyond any possible doubt.  In view of a public service so original
in its conception, so grand in its magnitude, and so brilliant in
its execution, any criticism respecting details cannot diminish
the fame of the general who planned and executed that grand campaign,
nor that of the general-in-chief, the success of whose far-reaching
plans had made the brilliant exploit of his subordinate possible.
Such criticisms are justifiable only in the interest of exact truth
and of exact military science, so that imperfections in the operations
of the greatest commanders may not be mistaken by the military
student as having been among the causes which led to success.

[( 1) Sherman's "Memoirs," Vol. II, p. 141.]

[( 2) War Records, Vol. XXXIX, part iii, p. 658.]

[( 3) War Records, Vol. XXXII, part iii, p. 245.]

Transfer of the Twenty-Third Corps to North Carolina--Sherman's
Plan of Marching to the Rear of Lee--The Surrender of J. E. Johnston's
Army--Authorship of the Approved Terms of Surrender--Political
Reconstruction--Sherman's Genius--Contrast Between Grant and Sherman
--Halleck's Characteristics--His Attempt to Supplant Grant--Personal
Feeling in Battle--The Scars of War.

Upon the termination of the campaign of 1864 in Tennessee, General
Grant ordered me, with the Twenty-third Corps, to the coast of
North Carolina, via Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Washington,
and the sea.  Under the direction of the Assistant Secretary of
War, Charles A. Dana, and the personal management of Colonel Lewis
B. Parsons of the quartermaster's department, that movement was
made without any necessity for the exercise of direction or control
on my part, in respect to routes or otherwise.  I enjoyed very much
being a simple passenger on that comfortable journey, one of the
most remarkable in military history, and exceedingly creditable to
the officers of the War Department who directed and conducted it.
I did not know at the time anything about the details of the
arrangements made for transportation, nor who made them; but I have
always thought it an excellent illustration of the good results to
be obtained by a judicious distribution and division of duty,
authority, and responsibility in military operations on a large
scale.  This being done under one common, competent head, to whom
all subordinates are alike responsible, the military system becomes
as nearly perfect as possible.

While the transports were detained by an ice blockade in the Potomac,
I joined General Grant at Fort Monroe, and went with him on the
war-steamer _Rhode Island_ to Cape Fear River, where we met General
Terry and Admiral Porter, discussed the military situation, and
decided on the general plan of operations for the capture of the
defenses of Cape Fear River and the city of Wilmington, and subsequent
operations.  On our return to Fort Monroe, I proceeded to Washington,
and sailed with the advance of the Twenty-third Corps, arriving at
the mouth of Cape Fear River on February 9, 1865, where we joined
General Terry, who with two divisions had already captured Fort
Fisher.  I was then assigned to command the new department of North
Carolina.  We turned the defenses of Cape Fear River by marching
round the swamps, and occupied Wilmington with little loss; then
we captured Kinston, after a pretty sharp fight of three days, and
occupied Goldsboro' on March 21, within one day of the time indicated
by Sherman, from Laurel Hill, N. C., March 8, for our junction at
Goldsboro'.  General Sherman, who had been delayed by his battle
at Bentonville, did not reach Goldsboro' until the 23d, but the
sound of his guns on the 20th and 21st informed me that he was
near, and I put a bridge across the Neuse River, so as to go to
his assistance if necessary.  After the junction at Goldsboro', I
commanded the "center," one of the three grand divisions of Sherman's

For the elucidation of some things in this campaign which have
seemed obscure, and some acts of General Sherman which have been
severely criticized, it is necessary to know the ruling ideas which
actuated him.  As Sherman says, in his own estimate of the relative
importance of his march through Georgia and that through the
Carolinas, the former was only a change of base preparatory to the
latter, the great final campaign of the war, which had for its end
the defeat and capture of Lee's army.  Sherman and his army expected
to share the glory of capturing Richmond and Lee's army, which had
baffled the Eastern troops for four years.  This feeling in the
army was very general and very manifest at the time.

                              SHERMAN'S PLAN OF MARCHING TO THE REAR OF LEE

After the concentration at Goldsboro', Sherman's plan was to march
straight for Lee's rear at Petersburg, and he expected Johnston to
keep ahead of him and to unite with Lee for the final struggle at
or near Richmond.  Grant's idea was quite different:  He wanted
Sherman to keep between Lee and Johnston and prevent their union,
as well as to cut off Lee's retreat if he should escape before
Grant was ready to move, the latter alleging that he had ample
force to take care of Lee as soon as the necessary preparations
were made and the roads would permit him to move.  It was this
important difference of plan that occasioned Sherman's visit to
City Point, where he hoped to gain Grant's acquiescence in his own
plans.  The result was the movement ordered by Sherman on his return
to Goldsboro', which was substantially the same as that which Grant
had before proposed.  Grant's immediate army proved to be, as he
predicted it would, amply sufficient for the capture of the whole
of Lee's army.  Hence it is difficult to see in what respect
Sherman's campaign of the Carolinas was essential to this great
result, or proved to be more important than his march through
Georgia.  Each was a great raid, inflicting immense damage upon
the enemy's country and resources, demoralizing to the people at
home and the army in Virginia, cutting off supplies necessary to
the support of the latter, possibly expediting somewhat the final
crisis at Richmond, and certainly making the subjugation more
complete of those of the Southern people who were thus made to
"feel the weight of war."  Considered as to military results,
Sherman's march cannot be regarded as more than I have stated--a
grand raid.  The defeat and practical destruction of Hood's army
in Tennessee was what paved the way to the speedy termination of
the war, which the capture of Lee by Grant fully accomplished; and
the result ought to have been essentially the same as to time if
Sherman's march had never been made.  The capitulation of Johnston
was but the natural sequence of Lee's surrender; for Johnston's
army was not surrounded, and could not have been compelled to
surrender.  Indeed Sherman could not have prevented that army from
marching back into the Gulf States and continuing the war for a
time.  In military history Sherman's great march must rank only as
an auxiliary to the far more important operations of Grant and
Thomas.  Sherman at the time saw clearly enough this view of the
case; hence his undeviating bent toward the final object of his
march, disregarding all minor ends--to take part in the capture of
Lee's army.

During General Sherman's interviews with the President and General
Grant at City Point, his mind must have been absorbed with this
one idea which was the sole reason of his visit.  Terms of surrender
and the policy to be pursued toward the conquered South must have
been referred to very casually, and nothing approximating instructions
on the subject can have been received or asked for by General
Sherman.  Else how is it possible that the very pointed and emphatic
instructions of the President to General Grant, dated March 3,
1865,( 1) were not made known to him or the spirit of them conveyed
to him in conversation?

                                     THE SURRENDER OF J. E. JOHNSTON'S ARMY

The question of the abstract wisdom of the terms of the Sherman-
Johnston "memorandum" has little to do with that of Sherman in
agreeing to it.  Any person at all acquainted with the politics of
the dominant part at that time would have known that it was at
least unwise to introduce political questions at all.  Besides, he
had the example of his superior, the general-in-chief, who had just
accepted the surrender of the principal Confederate army from the
Confederate generalissimo without any political conditions; and
the knowledge of President Lincoln's assassination, which must have
made the country unwilling to consent to more liberal terms than
had before been granted.  Yet, however unwise Sherman's action may
have been, the uproar it created, and the attacks upon his honor
and integrity for which it was made the excuse, were utterly
inexcusable.  They were probably unexampled as an exhibition of
the effect of great and unusual excitement upon the minds of men
unaccustomed to such moral and mental strain.

The most charitable view of this matter seems also to be the most
just--namely, that the high officers of government were completely
unnerved and lost their heads under the terrible strain produced
by President Lincoln's assassination, increased somewhat, perhaps,
by a natural apprehension of what might come next.  The contrast
between this state of excitement in Washington and the marked calm
that prevailed throughout the army was very instructive, and it
was difficult for any soldier to understand at that time the state
of mind in Washington.  No part of the people could have felt more
deeply or with greater indignation the loss the country had suffered,
and the infamous crime by which it had been accomplished.  Yet not
a ripple of excitement could be seen anywhere in the army.  The
profound calm which pervades the atmosphere surrounding a great,
disciplined, self-confident army is one of the most sublime
exhibitions of human nature.

That Sherman felt "outraged beyond measure" was natural and indeed
inevitable.  He had committed an error of judgment arising from
political inexperience and a failure to appreciate the difference
between Mr. Lincoln's humane purposes toward individual Confederates
and his political policy.  But the error was of the least possible
practical consequence, and there was not the slightest excuse for
making it public at the time, in violation of all rules of official
courtesy.  All that it was necessary or right to do was to tell
Sherman to correct his error.

While the effect of these ferocious bulletins received some time
later was such as General Sherman fully describes, the first effect
of the simple disapproval of the convention, both upon Sherman and
Johnston, not referred to by either in their published narratives,
may be interesting to readers of history.  General Sherman was
manifestly much disappointed and mortified at the rejection of his
terms, although he had been prepared somewhat by expressions of
opinions from others in the interval, and both he and Johnston at
their last meeting seemed sad and dejected.

To understand this, it must be remembered that Johnston's army was
not surrounded, and its surrender could not have been compelled.
Unless the terms of capitulation could be made such as the troops
themselves would be willing to accept, they would, it was apprehended,
break up into guerrilla bands of greater or less strength and carry
on the war in that way indefinitely.  So strongly was I impressed
at the time with General Johnston's apprehension, that I was often
thereafter haunted in my dreams with the difficulties I was actually
encountering in the prosecution of military operations against
those remnants of the Confederate armies, in marshy and mountainous
countries, through summer heats and winter storms.  It was several
years after the war that I became fully satisfied, at night, that
it was really over.


At the time of Sherman's first interview with Johnston I hinted
that I would like to accompany him; but he desired me to remain in
immediate command, as I was next in rank, and we could not tell
what might happen.  He took some others with him, but I believe
had no one present in the room to assist him in his discussion with
Johnston and Breckinridge.  At his last interview I accompanied
him, by his special request.  On meeting at Bennett's House, after
the usual salutations General Sherman and Johnston retired to the
conference room, and were there a long time with closed doors.  At
length I was summoned to their presence, and informed in substance
that they were unable to arrange the terms of capitulation to their
satisfaction.  They seemed discouraged at the failure of the
arrangement to which they had attached so much importance, apprehensive
that the terms of Grant and Lee, pure and simple, could not be
executed, and that if modified at all, they would meet with a second
disapproval.  I listened to their statements of the difficulties
they had encountered, and then stated how I thought they could all
be arranged.  General Johnston replied, in substance, "I think
General Schofield can fix it"; and General Sherman intimated to me
to write, pen and paper being on the table where I was sitting,
while the two great antagonists were nervously pacing the floor.
I at once wrote the "military convention" of April 26, handed it
to General Sherman, and he, after reading it, to General Johnston.
Having explained that I, as department commander, after General
Sherman was gone, could do all that might be necessary to remove
the difficulties which seemed to them so serious, the terms as
written by me were agreed to, as General Sherman says, "without
hesitation," and General Johnston, "without difficulty," and after
being copied _without alteration_ were signed by the two commanders.
Johnston's words, on handing the paper back to Sherman, were:  "I
believe that is the best we can do."  It was in pursuance of this
understanding that I made with General Johnston the "supplemental
terms," and gave his disbanded men the two hundred and fifty thousand
rations, with wagons to haul them, to prevent the troops from
robbing their own people, for which, in his "Narrative," he very
properly credits General Sherman.

But I also gave to the troops from each State arms enough to arm
a guard to preserve order and protect citizens en route, the arms
so used to be turned over to United States officers after the troops
got home.  This was one of the things most bitterly condemned in
Sherman's first agreement.  Yet not a word was said when I did it!
It would be difficult for a soldier to imagine anything more
monstrous than the suggestion that he could not trust the officers
and men whom he had been fighting four years to go home and turn
in their arms after they had voluntarily surrendered and given
their parole of honor to do so.  Yet there seem to be even in high
places some men who have no conception of the sense of honor which
exists among brave men.

When that second "convention" was handed to General Grant the same
evening, he said that the only change he would have made would have
been to write General Sherman's name before General Johnston's.
So would I if I had thought about it; but I presume an unconscious
feeling of courtesy toward a fallen foe dictated the order in which
their names were written.


It seems to me a little singular that neither General Sherman nor
General Johnston thought the circumstances above referred to worthy
of being preserved in memory, and I am not quite willing that
General Breckinridge shall carry off all the honor of assisting
the great commanders to make "memoranda" and "military conventions"
at "Bennett's House."  But Sherman and Johnston were writing their
own defense, and it was natural that they should omit matter not
pertaining thereto.  Besides, I was General Sherman's subordinate,
and owed him all the help I could give in every way.  He may have
regarded my services, and perhaps justly, as little more than
clerical, after it was all over, even if he thought of the matter
at all.( 2)

The Confederate troops were promptly furnished with all needed
supplies of food and transportation and sent in comfort to their
homes, freed from the necessity of taxing the slender resources of
the impoverished people on their routes.  The surplus animals and
wagons remaining with the army were given to the people of North
Carolina in large numbers, and they were encouraged at once to
resume their industrial pursuits.  In the meantime, all who were
in want were furnished with food.

It may not be possible to judge how wise or unwise Sherman's first
"memorandum" might have proved if it had been ratified.  It is
always difficult to tell how things that have not been tried would
have worked if they had been.  We now know only this much--that
the imagination of man could hardly picture worse results than
those wrought out by the plan that was finally adopted--namely, to
destroy everything that existed in the way of government, and then
build from the bottom on the foundation of ignorance and rascality.

The de facto State governments existing at the time of the surrender
would have been of infinite service in restoring order and material
prosperity, if they had been recognized by the military authority
of the United States and kept under military control similar to
that exercised by the district commissioners under the "reconstruction
acts."  And such recognition would in no manner have interfered
with any action Congress might have thought it wise to take looking
to the organization of permanent governments and the admission of
senators and representatives in Congress.  After two years of
"reconstruction" under President Johnson's "policy," the Southern
State governments were no better than those he had destroyed.  Then
Congress took the matter in hand, and after years of labor brought
forth State governments far worse than either of those that had
been torn down.

Party ambition on the one hand, and timidity on the other, were
the parents of these great follies.  The presidential succession
was the mainspring of the first movement and of the opposition
thereto, while that and party majority in Congress were the motives
of the later "reconstruction."  Both ingloriously failed, as they
deserved to do.  How much stronger the Republican party would have
been if it had relied upon the loyal States which had sustained it
through the war, instead of timidly distrusting them and trying to
bolster itself up by the aid of the negro and "carpet-bag" governments
in the South!

Political reconstruction ought not to have been thought of at the
close of the war.  What was then needed was local civil government
under such military control as might be necessary, restoration of
order, industry, and material prosperity, leading to a gradual
reorganization of the society which had been completely broken up
by the war.  After this had been done, and Congress had decided
upon the conditions of full restoration, it would have been time
enough to inaugurate political reconstruction.  This was clear
enough at the time to those who had studied the subject and knew
by personal observation the real condition and feeling of the
Southern people.  But the leading politicians of either party do
not appear to have had the wisdom and moral courage to advocate
such a policy.  Both were impatient to see their party represented
on the floors of Congress by members from the South.

                                                   POLITICAL RECONSTRUCTION

It was something of the kind above suggested which was aimed at by
Generals Sherman and Johnston, and which was deemed wise by the
leading generals both North and South.  There were several conditions
in the memorandum that were clearly inadmissible, though easy of
correction without changing the essential features of the document.
This was to be expected from a hasty effort to solve a great
political problem by a man without political education or experience.
Sherman's failure was not unlike that of great politicians who
undertake to command armies.  Their general ideas may be very good,
but they have no knowledge of details, and hence make mistakes
resulting in failure.

As now seen, projected upon the dark background of the political
history of the Southern States during the twelve years from 1865
to 1877, and compared with the plans of political doctrinaires in
1865, under the light of experience and reason, the Sherman-Johnston
memorandum and Sherman's letters of that period seem self-luminous
with political wisdom.  Sherman needed only the aid of competent
military advisers in whom he had confidence to have made him one
of the greatest generals of any age, and he would have needed only
the aid of competent political advisers to have made him a great
statesman.  But he looked almost with contempt upon a "staff," and
would doubtless have thought little better of a "cabinet."

The efforts of political leaders to establish an absolutely impossible
popular government in the South seem to show the necessity of
general political education, no less than the military blunders of
the war show the necessity of general military education.  If our
schools would drop from their course of studies some of the
comparatively unimportant "ologies," and substitute the qualifications
for good citizenship, the change would be greatly for the better.

General Sherman was one of those rare actors in historic events
who require no eulogy.  All his important acts were so unqualifiedly
his own, and so emphatically speak for themselves, that it is only
necessary to judge of the quality and merits of those acts.  There
is no question of division of honors between him and any other
respecting any of his important operations.  It is not meant by
this that he was disdainful of the advice or opinions of others.
On the contrary, although naturally impulsive and self-reliant,
his acquired habit was to study carefully and consult freely with
his subordinate commanders respecting all important movements.
Yet discussion resulted almost if not quite invariably in the
adoption of his own original plans.  As to details, he was wont to
leave them very much to his subordinates, and, I think, did not
estimate very accurately the possibilities or probabilities of the
accomplishment of the details necessary to the success of his
general plans.  It is certainly not too much to say that his
expectations in this regard were very frequently unrealized.  But
of this it must be observed that the character of the theater of
war made the handling of a large army extremely difficult, precision
of movement impossible, and any accurate estimate of the time in
which projected operations could be accomplished by no means easy.
Criticism of General Sherman, or of his subordinates, based upon
military experience in other countries or upon the success of his
able antagonist General Johnston, to whom Sherman's difficulties
were corresponding advantages, is likely to be extremely unjust.
In short, Sherman's campaigns stand alone, without a parallel in
military history; alike unique in their conception, execution, and
final results; in most respects among the highest examples of the
art of war.  Plans so general and original in conception and
successful in execution point unmistakably to a very high order of
military genius.

                                                           SHERMAN'S GENIUS

In the order of nature, comparison with those that follow as well
as those that precede is needed to establish the merits of any
individual.  A commander may be a great captain compared with his
military predecessors, and yet some of his operations be regarded
as very faulty by more modern commanders.

Some future historian, with the example before him of a later
chieftain who, on a similar field and under similar but improved
conditions, may have won more brilliant successes, may be able to
determine Sherman's rank among the commanders of past, present,
and future ages.

Sufficient is not yet known in this country of the credit due any
one individual for the success achieved in the recent campaigns in
Europe to furnish the means of just comparison between the European
and American commanders of this generation.  And even between Grant
and Sherman there are so few points of resemblance in military
character or methods, that they must be judged by contrasts rather
than by comparison.  Hence it may always be difficult to determine
their exact relative merits as military leaders.  Upon this point
I forbear, for the present, to express any opinion.

In some other respects, Grant and Sherman were hardly less in
contrast than in their military characteristics.  At the close of
the Atlanta campaign, in his letter of September 12, 1864, Grant
paid to Sherman the following generous and glowing tribute:  "In
conclusion, it is hardly necessary for me to say that I feel you
have accomplished the most gigantic undertaking given to any general
in this war, and with a skill and ability that will be acknowledged
in history as unsurpassed, if not unequaled.  It gives me as much
pleasure to record this in your favor as it would in favor of any
living man, myself included."

To this Sherman replied, September 20:  "In the meantime, know that
I admire your dogged perseverance and pluck more than ever."

There has been much learned discussion of the relative merits of
McClellan's, Grant's, and other plans for the "capture of Richmond,"
as if that was the object of the campaign.  In fact, though the
capture of Richmond at any time during the war would have produced
some moral effect injurious to the rebellion and beneficial to the
Union in public opinion, it would have been a real injury to the
Union cause in a military sense, because it would have given us
one more important place to garrison, and have increased the length
of our line of supplies, always liable to be broken by the enemy's

The worst form of operations in such a war is "territorial" strategy,
or that which aims at the capture and occupation of territory as
a primary object.  The best is that which aims at the destruction
or capture of the opposing armies as the first and only important
object.  Grant at Donelson, Vicksburg, and in Virginia best
illustrated this kind of strategy.

                                                  HALLECK'S CHARACTERISTICS

Halleck was probably the chief of the "territorial" strategists of
our Civil War period.  In the winter of 1861-1862 the counties of
north Missouri bordering on the Missouri River were infested with
guerrillas.  Halleck sent Pope, with a force of all arms amounting
to a considerable army, to "clear them out."  Pope marched in
triumph from one end of that tier of counties to the other, and
Halleck then informed me with evident satisfaction that north
Missouri was cleared of rebels, and that the war was ended in that
part of the State!  In fact, the guerrillas, "flushed" like a flock
of quail by Pope's advance-guard, had taken to the bush until the
rear-guard had passed out of sight, and then were found "feeding"
again on their old ground.

I felt greatly complimented when Halleck, on his return from Corinth
to St. Louis, en route to Washington to take command of the army,
gave me a full explanation of his "siege of Corinth," including
his application of the standard European tactics of a former
generation, with its rule of 10,000 men to the mile in line and
regular approaches.

I was many years younger than Halleck, Thomas, Sherman, Grant, and
the other chief commanders, and hence had much more to learn than
they.  Perhaps I was also, on account of comparative youth, more
teachable.  At any rate, the two lessons from Halleck above referred
to, and later experience, cause me to do "a world of thinking"; so
that I was amazed beyond expression when, in the winter of 1863-
64, just before Grant was made lieutenant-general, Halleck told me
that _his_ plan for the next campaign was to send west of the
Mississippi River force enough to finish the war in all that region
of country, and then return and clear up the States east of that
river!  I said nothing, but could not help thinking that it was,
sure enough, time to have another general-in-chief of the army.
But accepting his strategic theory of operations in the American
Civil War,--territorial conquest,--his plans of campaign were
unquestionably sound.

Halleck was, I believe, a man of great ability and of high military
education, though with little practical experience in war; yet his
peculiar views, and still more singular action, have seemed to me
very remarkable.  He remained in Washington, practically inert,
while one of the great armies of which he was general-in-chief was
suffering sore reverses, almost in sight of the Capitol, and the
country's cause greatly imperiled for want of a competent commander
for that army.  How could a soldier resist the impulse to "do or
die" at the head of that army?  But General Halleck must have known
better than any one else at that time the limits of his own capacity.
He probably knew that even his great ability and education did not
suffice to qualify him for the command of an army in the field.
If so, his action afforded a patriotic example which some others
would have done well to imitate.

As I have before stated, General Halleck was always kind and just
to me, so far as I ever knew, and I was much indebted to him for
support when it was needed.  Now I find in the records the following

  "Richmond, Va., May 10, 1865, 10:30 A. M.
"Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War:

"I beg leave to withdraw for the present my recommendation of
Schofield as military governor of North Carolina.  It is represented
to me that he and General Blair were the principal advisers of
Sherman in his armistice with the rebel General Johnston.  If so,
he is not a proper person to command in North Carolina.  I therefore
suspend my recommendation for further developments.

  "H. W. Halleck, Major-General."

The fact was that I had not been present when Sherman's memorandum
was agreed upon, had not been consulted about in any way, and knew
nothing of its character until after it had been sent to Washington.
All of this Halleck could have learned at once if he had inquired,
which he did not.  So far as I know, he left on record, without
any subsequent explanation or correction, a report which was without
the slightest foundation in fact, and which he understood to be
very damaging to my reputation.  Hence it seems necessary for me
to record the fact that there was no foundation for that report.
Beyond this I will only say that I think General Halleck, in this
slight matter, as in his far more serious conduct toward General
Sherman, was inexcusably thoughtless respecting the damage he might
do to the reputation of a brother soldier.  The least a true man
can do is to make suitable public reparation if he has for any
reason done publicly a personal injustice.

                                        HALLECK'S ATTEMPT TO SUPPLANT GRANT

I knew personally at the time the exact truth respecting the action
of General Halleck toward General Grant before the battle of Shiloh,
especially in ordering Grant to remain in the rear while General
C. F. Smith was sent with the advance of the army to Pittsburg
Landing, as described by General Grant in his "Memoirs."  Halleck
hoped Smith might fight a battle and win a victory in Grant's
absence, which would naturally be followed by an order putting
Smith in command in place of Grant.  But Halleck had not anticipated
Grant's soldierly action in applying to be relieved, and was not
prepared to face that emergency.  As soon as Grant's application
reached St. Louis, Halleck abandoned that line of action, but he
did not abandon his purpose to supersede Grant in some way until
some time later.  Whatever excuse there may have been at that time
for Halleck's opinion of Grant, nothing can be said in favor of
the method he adopted to accomplish his purpose to supersede him.

The action of Grant in this case well foreshadowed that which
occurred when he was tendered the commission of lieutenant-general
and the command of all the armies.  Grant would not hold any
commission or command without full authority to perform the duties
belonging to it.  In his "Memoirs" he modestly refrains from relating
the most important part of that action, as he told it to me on the
war-steamer _Rhode Island_ the next January.  Before accepting the
commission from President Lincoln, as Grant describes, he said in
substance that if it meant that he was to exercise actual command
of all the armies, without any interference from the War Department,
he was willing to accept it, otherwise he could not.  To illustrate
what he meant, Grant said to me that when he was coming East to
accept that commission he determined that he would not be

The personal observation, experience, and emotions of an individual
soldier may perhaps be interesting to the reader.  I have never
been a lover of war or of strife, and have never been disposed to
seek a fight or quarrel.  But when once engaged in or challenged
to battle all the combativeness in human nature is at once aroused.
It is then difficult, if not morally impossible, to decline the
challenge.  At all events, that question is not even thought of at
times.  One of the most difficult lessons a commander has to learn
is when to offer or accept battle, and when to refrain or decline
--that is, to be complete master of his own natural combativeness.
That courage which is the highest quality of a private or a
subordinate officer may become extremely dangerous in a commander,
unless dominated by that higher moral courage which is undisturbed
by excitement or passion.  Grant probably possessed this higher
quality in a greater degree than any other commander of our time.
Sherman and Thomas also possessed it in a very high degree.  In
Sherman it was the more remarkable because he was naturally impulsive,
and often manifested this trait, especially in minor matters.  He
acquired the power of absolute self-command in battle.  With Thomas
this quality appeared to be perfectly natural, as it did with Grant.

Since I had to fight, I sometimes regretted that I could not have
a chance with a musket in the ranks (behind a good parapet and
"head-log," of course!), for I was a remarkably good shot in my
youth.  But I never had a chance to fire a shot in battle except
once, and that was with my artillery at Fredericktown, Missouri,
where not an officer or man in the battery had any idea how to
point a field-piece and give it proper elevation according to the
distance.  I quickly found the proper elevation by the means well
known to artillerists, and then directed the battery to go on firing
at that elevation, while I was called upon by the commanding officer
to devote myself to some men with muskets.  I have seen this passion
so strong that a major-general commanding an army corps would
dismount and act the part of a gunner to a field-piece, apparently
oblivious to the battle raging all along the line of his corps.

                                                 PERSONAL FEELING IN BATTLE

Personal feeling in battle is sometimes remarkable, even to the
person himself.  In my own experience, the degree of danger was
not often entirely unthought of; and in the comparatively few cases
where it was, the actual danger was much the greatest ever experienced
by me.  That such should be the experience of a general in chief
command, under the responsibilities of a great battle, is natural
enough; but that the same should occur when there is little or no
responsibility seems worthy of remark in reference to its apparent
cause.  In my first battle,--that of Wilson's Creek,--where I was
a staff officer under a soldier of great experience, ability, and
unsurpassed courage,--General Lyon,--I felt for a long time no
sense of responsibility whatever.  I had only to convey his orders
to the troops.  Yet the absorption of my mind in the discharge of
this simple duty, and in watching the progress of the battle, was
so complete that I absolutely had no thought whatever of self.
Even after Lyon had been twice wounded, both of our horses killed,
the troops on our left given way in disorder, leaving us standing
in the line, only a few feet to the left of Totten's battery, under
a murderous fire, it did not occur to me that I also might possibly
be hit.  I had not even thought for a moment that the commanding
general ought not to be in such an exposed position, or that his
wounds ought to have surgical treatment!  My absolute confidence
in my chief left no room in my mind for even such thoughts as those.
It was not until wounds had produced discouragement in the bravest
soul I ever knew that I was aroused to some sense of my own
responsibility as his senior staff officer, and spontaneously said:
"No, general, let us try it again."  I was so much absorbed in the
battle itself at that time, and even after Lyon's death, that it
did not occur to me that wounds and death, even of the commanding
general himself, were of any consequence except as they might
influence the progress and final result of the battle.  This is
the feeling that must dominate the action of every successful
commander.  It is remarkable only because of its early development
in one not then under any such responsibility.

It may not be a proper subject for criticism at this time, and
certainly is not for any that might seem harsh or unkind, yet it
is an instructive lesson which ought never to be forgotten, that
feeling and passion sometimes more than reason, sound military
principles, or wise statesmanship, dictated military as well as
political policy during and long after the Civil War.

No doubt all are now ready to admit this in respect to the political
measures which wrought so much evil in the South during the so-
called reconstruction period.  But those who are not familiar with
the facts will, I think, be amazed when they see the evidences of
this influence in military operations, and perhaps at no time more
strikingly than during the last period of the Civil War.  It would
seem that the official correspondence of that period ought to be
a sufficient warning to deter any future generation from bringing
the country into a condition where even some of the most distinguished
citizens, statesmen, and soldiers seem to be governed more by
passion than by reason in the conduct of public affairs.  The
inevitable horrors of war are bad enough in any case, but they are
vastly increased when the passions begotten of civil strife become
dominant.  While all parts of the United States have reason for
pride in the manhood and valor of American soldiers, and in the
patriotic devotion of citizens to the cause which they believed to
be right, and profound gratitude for the restoration of the Union
of the States, the people of this entire country should bow their
heads in humiliation when they think of the general low state of
civilization which made such a war possible, and much of its conduct
the dictate of passion and hate rather than of reason or regard
for the public good.  Even if it is true, as some soldier-statesmen
have said, but which I do not believe, that occasional wars are
necessary to the vitality of a nation,--necessary to keep up the
fires of patriotism and military ardor upon which the national life
depends,--let them be foreign and not civil wars.  It is a great
mistake, though apparently a common one, to suppose that a country
benefits ultimately, in some mysterious way, by civil war, in spite
of all its losses during the war.  That able scientist General M.
C. Meigs demonstrated years ago that this country had, in accordance
with a general law, suffered permanent national injury, irreparable
in all future time, by its Civil War, and showed very closely the
amount of that injury.

It is, no doubt, true that the body politic, like the natural body,
may in extreme cases be so diseased either by inheritance or from
violation of natural laws, as to require the surgeon's knife to
remove the diseased part.  But in such a case there is little cause
for pride except in the skill of the surgeon, and little cause for
rejoicing except in the fact that the operation was successful,
that neither the disease nor the surgeon's knife killed the patient.

While the great Von Moltke and others were unquestionably right in
their views of the necessity for thorough preparation for war at
all times, I believe that indispensable preparation can be made in
a way vastly more satisfactory than by actual war.  And this can
be done with only a trifling expenditure of treasure, and at no
cost whatever in blood or sorrow, nor in suspension of peaceful
pursuits, nor in burdensome debts, nor in enormous disbursements
for pensions.  Let the schools of all kinds and all grades teach
patriotism, respect for law, obedience to authority, discipline,
courage, physical development, and the rudiments of practical
military manoeuvers; let the national and State military schools
be fostered and perfected, and the volunteer citizen soldiery given
material aid proportionate to their patriotic military zeal.  Let
the fortifications of the sea-coasts and the fleets of battle-ships
and cruisers on the ocean be commensurate with the vast national
interests and honor intrusted to their protection and defense; let
the standing army be sufficient to discharge the duties which
require long and scientific education and training, and to serve
as models and instructors for the millions of young citizens: then
will the United States, by being always ready for war, insure to
themselves all the blessings of peace, and this at a cost utterly
insignificant in comparison with the cost of one great war.  It is
a source of profound gratification to an old soldier who has long
worked toward this great end to know that his country has already,
in his short lifetime, come so near this perfect ideal of a peace-
loving yet military republic.  Only a few more years of progress
in the direction already taken, and the usual prolongation of
natural life will yet enable me to witness the realization of this
one great object of my earthly ambition.

[( 1) War Records, Vol. XLVI, part ii, p. 802.]

[( 2) For the military convention of April 26, 1865, signed by
Sherman and Johnston, and the supplemental terms, signed by Johnston
and Schofield, see War Records, Vol. XLVII, part iii, pp. 313, 482.]

The Restoration of Civil Government in the Southern States--The
Course Pursued in North Carolina--An Order from General Grant in
Regard to Cotton and Produce--Suggestions for the Reorganization
of Civil Government--A Provisional Governor for North Carolina.

Being in command in North Carolina at the close of the war, I was
connected for a short period with the very earliest consideration
of the vital question of the restoration of civil government in
the Southern States, in which I acted a more important part at a
later period.  The moment the surrender of Johnston's army made it
evident that the end was near, the question arose, and was much
discussed among some of the prominent officers, as to the status
of the negroes in the South.  The position was promptly taken by
me, as the responsible commander in North Carolina, that the question
at that time was solely one of fact.  The President's proclamation
of emancipation was virtually a military order to the army to free
all the slaves in the insurgent States as rapidly as military
operations should bring them within its control.  Whatever the
legal effect of the proclamation upon the status of slaves not
within the reach of the army when it was issued, there could be no
question of its binding obligation, as an order to the army, to be
executed and made practically effective as rapidly as it came within
the power of the army to execute it.  Accordingly, the following
order was issued by me to give full practical effect to the
proclamation, and to maintain the freedom of all former slaves, so
long as the subject-matter should remain under military control.
This order, which was the first public official declaration on the
subject, was mentioned by one of the leading journals of New York
at the time as having at least the merit of "saving a world of
discussion."  However this may be, little or no discussion followed,
and the freedom of all slaves in the States lately in insurrection
at once became an established fact.

  "(General Orders, No. 32.)
  "Hdqrs. Dept. of North Carolina, Army of the Ohio, Raleigh, N. C.,
   April 27, 1865.
"To remove a doubt which seems to exist in the minds of some of
the people of North Carolina, it is hereby declared that by virtue
of the proclamation of the President of the United States dated
January 1, 1863, all persons in this State heretofore held as slaves
are now free, and that it is the duty of the army to maintain the
freedom of such persons.

"It is recommended to the former owners of the freedmen to employ
them as hired servants at reasonable wages; and it is recommended
to the freedmen that, when allowed to do so, they remain with their
former masters, and labor fruitfully so long as they shall be
treated kindly and paid reasonable wages, or that they immediately
seek employment elsewhere in the kind of work to which they are
accustomed.  It is not well for them to congregate about towns or
military camps.  They will not be supported in idleness.

"By command of Major-General Schofield:
  "J. A. Campbell, Assistant Adjutant-General."

On the same day I issued the following:

  "(General Orders, No. 31.)
  "Hdqrs. Dept. of North Carolina, Army of the Ohio, Raleigh, N. C.,
   April 27, 1865.
"The commanding general has the great satisfaction of announcing
to the army and to the people of North Carolina that hostilities
within this State have definitively ceased; that for us the war is
ended; and it is hoped that peace will soon be restored throughout
our country.

"It is now the duty of all to cultivate friendly relations with
the same zeal which has characterized our conduct of the war, that
the blessings of Union, peace, and material prosperity may be
speedily restored to the entire country.  It is confidently believed
and expected that the troops of this army and the people of North
Carolina will cordially unite in honest endeavors to accomplish
this great end.

"All good and peaceable citizens will be protected and treated with
kindness, while those who disturb the peace or violate the laws
will be punished with the severity of martial law.

"The troops will be distributed so as best to secure the interests
of the United States government and protect the people until a
civil government can be established in harmony with the constitution
and laws of the United States.

"The most perfect discipline and good conduct are enjoined upon
all officers and soldiers, and cordial support upon all good

"All who are peaceably disposed are invited to return to their
homes and resume their industrial pursuits.  Such as have been
deprived of their animals and wagons by the hostile armies will be
temporarily supplied, as far as practicable, upon application to
the nearest provost-marshal, by loans of the captured property in
possession of the quartermaster's department.  The needy will also
be supplied, for the time being, with subsistence stores from the
commissary department. . . .

"By command of Major-General Schofield:
  "J. A. Campbell, Assistant Adjutant-General."

On May 4, I issued a circular to this effect:

"Local commanders and provost-marshals will encourage all refugees,
white and colored, to return to their homes; and for this purpose
will furnish them the necessary railroad passes and subsistence.

"Such persons must not be given passes to Raleigh or points on the
sea-coast, nor be permitted to congregate about towns or camps,
there to live in idleness."

On May 5, I wrote to General Sherman:

"When General Grant was here, as you doubtless recollect, he said
the lines had been extended to embrace this and other States south.
The order, it seems, has been modified so as to include only Virginia
and Tennessee.  I think it would be an act of wisdom to open this
State to trade at once.  I hope the government will make known its
policy as to organization of State governments without delay.
Affairs must necessarily be in a very unsettled state until that
is done.  The people are now in a mood to accept almost anything
which promises a definite settlement.  What is to be done with the
freedmen is the question of all, and it is the all-important
question.  It requires prompt and wise action to prevent the negro
from becoming a huge elephant on our hands.

"If I am to govern this State, it is important for me to know it
at once.  If another is to be sent here, it cannot be done too
soon, for he will probably undo the most of what I shall have done.
I shall be most glad to hear from you fully when you have time to
write. . . ."

Two days later I wrote to General Halleck:

"I have received your despatch concerning slavery, the treatment
of freedmen, etc.  I will send you my orders issued some days ago,
which agree perfectly with your views on this subject.  I have not
recognized in any way any of the civil officers of the State--not
being willing to act in such matters in the absence of any indication
of the policy of the government, and taking it for granted that
instructions would be given soon.  In this connection, I desire to
suggest that the sooner a military governor is appointed for this
State, and steps taken to organize a civil government, the better.
The people are now in a mood to accept anything in reason, and to
do what the government desires.  If I am, by virtue of my command,
to perform the duties of military governor, I would like to know it.

"If another is to be appointed, it ought to be done before I have
been compelled to do something which he may think it necessary to
undo.  I think it would be eminently wise to retain in office
justices of the peace, sheriffs, and other inferior officers who
may prove to be loyal and worthy; but this should be done by the
military governor.  I believe the administration need have no
anxiety about the question of slavery, or any other important
question, in this State.  But the proper care of the freedmen should
be provided for by State legislation as soon as possible.  I shall
be thankful for any information or instructions you may be able to
give me on these subjects."

A week later more precise rules governing the freedmen were issued:

  "(General Orders, No. 46.)
  "Hdqrs. Dept. of North Carolina, Army of the Ohio, Raleigh, N. C.,
   May 15, 1865.
"The following rules are published for the government of freedmen
in North Carolina until the restoration of civil government in the

"I.  The common laws governing the domestic relations, such as
those giving parents authority and control over their children, and
guardians control over their wards, are in force.  The parent's or
guardian's authority and obligations take the place of those of
the former master.

"II.  The former masters are constituted the guardians of minors
and of the aged and infirm, in the absence of parents or other
relatives capable of supporting them.

"III.  Young men and women under twenty-one years of age remain
under the control of their parents or guardians until they become
of age, thus aiding to support their parents and younger brothers
and sisters.

"IV.  The former masters of freedmen may not turn away the young
or the infirm, nor refuse to give them food and shelter; nor may
the able-bodied men or women go away from their homes, or live in
idleness, and leave their parents, children, or young brothers and
sisters to be supported by others.

"V.  Persons of age who are free from any of the obligations referred
to above are at liberty to find new homes wherever they can obtain
proper employment; but they will not be supported by the government,
nor by their former masters, unless they work.

"VI.  It will be left to the employer and servants to agree upon
the wages to be paid; but freedmen are advised that for the present
season they ought to expect only moderate wages, and where their
employers cannot pay them money, they ought to be contented with
a fair share in the crops to be raised.  They have gained their
personal freedom.  By industry and good conduct they may rise to
independence and even wealth.

"VII.  All officers, soldiers, and citizens are requested to give
publicity to these rules, and to instruct the freed people as to
their new rights and obligations.

"VIII.  All officers of the army and of the county police companies
are authorized and required to correct any violation of the above
rules within their jurisdictions.

"IX.  Each district commander will appoint a superintendent of
freedmen,--a commissioned officer,--with such number of assistants
--officers and non-commissioned officers--as may be necessary,
whose duty it will be to take charge of all the freed people in
his district who are without homes or proper employment.  The
superintendents will send back to their homes all who have left
them in violation of the above rules, and will endeavor to find
homes and suitable employment for all others.  They will provide
suitable camps or quarters for such as cannot be otherwise provided
for, and attend to their discipline, police, subsistence, etc.

"X.  The superintendents will hear all complaints of guardians or
wards, and report the facts to their district commanders, who are
authorized to dissolve the existing relations of guardian and ward
in any case which may seem to require it, and to direct the
superintendent to otherwise provide for the wards, in accordance
with the above rules.

  "By command of Major-General Schofield:
  "J. A. Campbell, Assistant Adjutant-General."

On May 29, General Grant, from Washington, ordered me to "give
every facility and encouragement to getting to market cotton and
other Southern products.  Let there be no seizure of private property
or searching to look after Confederate cotton.  The finances of
the country demand that all articles of export should be gotten to
the market as speedily as possible."  I answered at once:

"Your despatch concerning cotton and other products is received.
I some time ago removed all military restrictions upon trade, and
have given every facility for carrying cotton and other products
to market.  The only obstacles in the way are the restrictions of
the Treasury Department.  It would be a blessing to the country if
the whole system could be abolished.  Now only one man in North
Carolina is authorized to buy cotton, and he does not pay money
for it.  It is impossible for people to get their products to market
in this way."

The imperative need of the Southern States at the close of the war
was temporary military government, and permission, under such full
military protection, to reorganize their civil governments.  In
the following letter to General Grant, dated May 10, I submitted
by views concerning the policy that ought to be pursued:

"I desire to submit to you my views concerning the policy that
ought to be pursued in North Carolina, leaving it to your judgment
whether or not to submit them to the President or Secretary of War.
I am now led to this mainly by a letter which I received on the
7th from Chief Justice Chase, giving some points of the policy
advocated by him, which, if adopted in this State, would in my
opinion lead to disastrous results.

"The points I refer to are briefly as follows, viz.:

"The organization of the State government to be left to the people
acting in their original sovereign capacity.

"In determining the right of suffrage, the old Constitution, amended
in 1835, to be followed in preference to the new one which was in
force at the commencement of the rebellion--the object being to
give negroes the right to vote.

"The first proposition is not, I think, open to serious objection.
With proper assistance from the military authorities, it can be
successfully carried out.

"The second proposition is the one to which I refer as specially
objectionable, and this for two reasons.

"First.  The Constitution of the State as it existed immediately
prior to the rebellion is still the State Constitution, and there
is no power on earth but the people of the State that can alter it.

"The operations of the war have freed the slaves in this and most
other States, and, doubtless, slavery will be constitutionally
abolished throughout the country.  But the United States cannot
make a negro, nor even a white man, an elector in any State.  That
is a power expressly reserved by the Constitution to the several
States.  We cannot alter or amend the Constitution of North Carolina,
as it now exists, without either first altering or else violating
the Constitution of the United States.

"If we hold that by the rebellion the States have lost their
existence as States, and have been reduced to unorganized Territories
under the absolute sovereign authority of the United States, then
undoubtedly we may declare that all inhabitants, white and black,
shall have equal political rights and an equal voice in the
organization of a State to be admitted into the Union.  But I
understand President Johnson repudiates this doctrine; hence it
may be left out of the question.

"It appears to me beyond question that the Constitution of North
Carolina is now valid and binding as the law of the State, and that
any measures for the reorganization of the State government must
be in accordance with the provisions of that instrument.  This, I
am convinced, is the unanimous opinion of the leading Union men of
the State.

"My second reason for objecting to the proposition is the absolute
unfitness of the negroes, as a class, for any such responsibility.
They can neither read nor write.  They have no knowledge whatever
of law or government.  They do not even know the meaning of the
freedom that has been given them, and are much astonished when
informed that it does not mean that they are to live in idleness
and be fed by the government.

"It is true they are docile, obedient, and anxious to learn, but
we certainly ought to teach them something before we give them an
equal voice with ourselves in government.  This view is so fully
recognized as correct by all who are familiar, by actual contact,
with the negro character and condition, that argument seems
superfluous.  I have yet to see a single one among the many Union
men in North Carolina who would willingly submit for a moment to
the immediate elevation of the negro to political equality with
the white man.

"They are all, or nearly all, content with the abolition of slavery.
Many of them are rejoiced that it is done.  But to raise the negro,
in his present ignorant and degraded condition, to be their political
equals would be, in their opinion, to enslave them [the white
citizens].  If they did not rebel against it, it would only be
because rebellion would be hopeless.  A government so organized
would in no sense be a popular government.

                                     THE REORGANIZATION OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT

"After careful consideration of all the questions involved, I am
fully convinced as to the best policy to be adopted in this State,
which I will submit in outline:

"A military governor to be appointed, who shall have command of
all the troops in the State; or the department commander be authorized
to assume, by virtue of his command, the function of military
governor, which naturally devolves upon him.

"The military governor to declare the Constitution and laws of the
State in force immediately preceding the pretended Act of Secession
(so far as the same are not inconsistent with the Constitution and
laws of the United States and the war proclamations of the President)
to be still in force.

"To make provisional appointments of justices of the peace, sheriffs,
and such other inferior officers as the State laws empower the
governor to appoint, to serve until the organization of a civil

"To order an enrolment of all electors who may take the President's
amnesty oath.

"As soon as this enrolment shall be completed, to call an election
for delegates to a State convention.  The qualifications of voters
and candidates to be those prescribed by the State laws, and that
they shall take the amnesty oath.  All acts of the convention to
be submitted to the people, for their ratification or rejection,
at the same time with the election of governor and members of the
legislature, which would be ordered by the convention.

"I would confidently expect a convention, so chosen, to repudiate
the doctrine of secession, abolish slavery, and fully restore the
State to its practical constitutional relations to the Government
of the United States.  The people are now ripe for such action.
They only ask to know what the government desires them to do, and
how they are to do it.

"If, however, they should fail to do this, I would regard them as
having violated their oaths, would dissolve the convention, and
hold the State under military government until the people should
come to their senses.  I would have a lawful popular government or
a military government--the latter being a necessary substitute in
the absence of the former.

"I am willing to discharge, to the best of my ability, any duty
which may properly devolve upon me.  Yet if a policy so opposed to
my views as that proposed by Mr. Chase is to be adopted, I respectfully
suggest that I am not the proper person to carry it out.

"If, however, after knowing my views fully, it be desired that I
execute the President's wishes, would it not be well for me to have
a personal interview with him, in order that I may fully understand
his plan and the principles upon which it is founded?"

The fundamental principles of my suggestion were:

First.  The Constitution and laws as they were before secession,
modified to embrace the legitimate results of the war--namely,
national integrity and universal freedom.

Second.  Intelligent suffrage, to be regulated by the States
themselves; and

Third.  Military governments, in the absence of popular civil
governments, as being the only lawful substitute, under our system,
for a government by the people during their temporary inability,
from whatever cause, to govern themselves.

But these constitutional methods were rejected.  First came the
unauthorized system of "provisional" governors, civilians without
any shadow of lawful authority for their appointments, and their
abortive attempts at "reconstruction."

Next the Fourteenth Amendment, disfranchising nearly all the trusted
leaders of the Southern people, and then the "iron-clad oath,"
universal enfranchisement of the ignorant blacks, and "carpet-bag"
government, with all their offensive consequences.  If wise
statesmanship instead of party passion had ruled the hour, how
easily could those twelve years of misrule in the South, and
consequent disappointment and shame among its authors in the North,
have been avoided!

                                  A PROVISIONAL GOVERNOR FOR NORTH CAROLINA

A "provisional" governor (William W. Holden) having been appointed
for North Carolina, I relinquished command of the department in
June, 1865, to enter upon more important service in respect to the
then existing military intervention in Mexico by the Emperor of
the French.

French Intervention in Mexico--A Plan to Compel the Withdrawal of
the French Army--Grant's Letter of Instructions to General Sheridan
--Secretary Seward Advocates Moral Suasion--A Mission to Paris With
That End in View--Speechmaking at the American Thanksgiving Dinner
--Napoleon's Method of Retreating with Dignity--A Presentation to
the Emperor and Empress.

While the government of the United States was fully occupied with
the contest for the preservation of the Union, Napoleon III, Emperor
of the French, attempted to overthrow the republican government of
Mexico, and establish in its stead an empire under the Archduke
Maximilian of Austria.  If the American conflict had resulted in
the triumph of secession, so also might Napoleon have succeeded in
re-establishing monarchical government on the American continent.
But from the moment when the Union of the States became reassured,
European interference in the political affairs of the American
republic became impossible.  Upon this subject there appeared to
be no division of sentiment among the people of the United States.
Certainly there was none among the responsible American statesmen
of that time.  It was their unanimous voice that the French
intervention in Mexico must be speedily terminated; but there was
naturally some division of opinion respecting the means by which
this should be effected.  Some favored the most prompt and vigorous
military action, while others, not unmindful of the long-existing
friendship between the people of the United States and France,
preferred more peaceful measures.

                                              FRENCH INTERVENTION IN MEXICO

As the first and necessary step in either line of policy, whether
for immediate active military operations or as conclusive evidence
of ultimate military purpose in aid of diplomacy, General Sheridan
was sent, with an army of about fifty thousand men, to the line of
the Rio Grande.  But Sheridan's troops were Union volunteers who
had been enlisted especially for the Civil War, then terminated;
and the necessity was at once recognized of organizing a new army
for the express purpose of acting against the French army in Mexico,
in case of need.  It was proposed that this new army should be
enlisted and organized under the republican government of Mexico,
the only government recognized by the United States in that country.
This course would avoid the necessity of any political action of
the government of the United States in the premises.  Lieutenant-
General U. S. Grant, then commander-in-chief of the armies of the
United States, was requested to select an officer to organize and
command the proposed army.

In June, 1865, at Raleigh, North Carolina, I received a message
from General Grant informing me of my selection, and desiring me,
if I was willing to consider the proposition, to come to Washington
for consultation on the subject.  Upon my arrival in Washington,
I consulted freely with General Grant, Señor Romero (the Mexican
minister), President Johnson, Secretary of State Seward, and
Secretary of War Stanton, all of whom approved the general proposition
that I should assume the control and direction of the measures to
be adopted for the purpose of causing the French army to evacuate
Mexico.  Not much was said between me and the President or either
of his secretaries at that time about the means to be employed;
but it appeared to be understood by all that force would probably
be necessary, and for some time no other means were considered.
The subject was fully discussed with General Grant and Señor Romero,
and I then consented to take charge of the matter, with the
understanding that I should have perfect freedom of action and
choice of means and of time, so far as circumstances would permit.
To enable me to do this, the War Department gave me leave of absence
for twelve months, with permission to go beyond the limits of the
United States and to take with me any officers of my staff whom I
might designate.  It was proposed to organize in Mexican territory
an army corps under commissions from the government of Mexico, the
officers and soldiers to be taken from the Union and Confederate
forces, who were reported to be eager to enlist in such an

The Mexican authorities proposed to furnish the means by which this
army should be paid and the expenses of military operations defrayed,
and to that end a loan was to be negotiated in the United States.
To facilitate the enlistment and equipment of the proposed army
corps, General Grant gave me a manuscript order, dated West Point,
July 25, 1865, addressed to General P. H. Sheridan, then commanding
the Military Division of the Gulf, with a large force near the
Mexican frontier.  The following is a copy of General Grant's order:

                                 GRANT'S LETTER OF INSTRUCTIONS TO SHERIDAN

"Head Quarters Armies of the United States.

  "West Point, N. Y., July 25, 1865.
"Maj.-Gen. P. H. Sheridan, Com'd'g Mil. Div. of the Gulf.

"General:  Maj.-General J. M. Schofield goes to the Rio Grande on
an inspection tour, carrying with him a leave of absence for one
year, with authority to leave the United States.  If he avails
himself of this leave he will explain to you the object more fully
than I could do in the limits of a letter, and much more fully than
I could do now, under any circumstances, because much that will
have to be learned to fix his determination, whether to go or not,
has yet to be found out in Washington whilst I shall be away.
This, however, I can say:  Gen. Schofield's leave has been given
with the concurrence of the President, he having full knowledge of
the object.  I have both written my views to the President and had
conversations with him on the subject.  In all that relates to
Mexican affairs he agrees in the duty we owe to ourselves to maintain
the Monroe doctrine, both as a principle and as a security for our
future peace.

"On the Rio Grande, or in Texas, convenient to get there, we must
have a large amount of surrendered ordnance and ordnance stores,
or such articles accumulating from discharging men who leave their
stores behind.  Without special orders to do so, send none of these
articles back, but rather place them convenient to be permitted to
go into Mexico if they can be got into the hands of the defenders
of the only Government we recognize in that country.  I hope Gen.
Schofield may go with orders direct to receive these articles; but
if he does not, I know it will meet with general approbation to
let him have them if contrary orders are not received.

"It is a fixed determination on the part of the people of the United
States, and I think myself safe in saying on the part of the
President also, that an empire shall not be established on this
continent by the aid of foreign bayonets.  A war on the part of
the United States is to be avoided, if possible; but it will be
better to go to war now, when but little aid given to the Mexicans
will settle the question, than to have in prospect a greater war,
sure to come if delayed until the empire is established.  We want,
then, to aid the Mexican without giving cause of war between the
United States and France.  Between the would-be empire of Maximilian
and the United States all difficulty can easily be settled by
observing the same sort of neutrality that has been observed toward
us for the last four years.

"This is a little indefinite as a letter of instructions to be
governed by.  I hope with this you may receive them--instructions
--in much more positive terms.  With a knowledge of the fact before
you, however, that the greatest desire is felt to see the Liberal
Government restored in Mexico,--and no doubt exists of the strict
justice of our right to demand this, and enforce the demand with
the whole strength of the United States,--your own judgment gives
you a basis of action that will aid you.

"I will recommend in a few days that you be directed to discharge
all the men you think can be spared from the Dept. of Texas, where
they are, giving transportation to their homes to all who desire
to return.  You are aware that existing orders permit discharged
soldiers to retain their arms and accoutrements at low rates, fixed
in orders.

  "Very respectfully, your obt. svt.,
  "U. S. Grant, Lt.-Gen."

In effect this order required General Sheridan to turn over to me
all of his volunteer troops who might wish to take part in the
Mexican enterprise, with their arms and equipments, and all
"surrendered ordnance and ordnance stores," etc., thus making it
easy for me to arm and equip at small cost the ex-Confederates and
others who would join my standard.  Soon after the date of General
Grant's order to General Sheridan, and at the request of Secretary
Seward, conveyed to me by Mr. Stanton, I met Mr. Seward at Cape
May.  He then proposed to me to go to France, under authority of
the State Department, to see if the French emperor could not be
made to understand the necessity of withdrawing his army from Mexico,
and thus save us the necessity of expelling it by force.  Mr. Seward
expressed the belief that if Napoleon could be made to understand that
the people of the United States would never, under any circumstances,
consent to the existence in Mexico of a government established and
sustained by foreign power, he would withdraw his army from that
country.  If this were done, the friendly relations between the
people of France and the United States would not be disturbed,
while the expulsion of a French army from Mexico by American
volunteers would engender great bitterness of feeling among the
French people, even if it did not lead to war between France and
the United States.

                                   SECRETARY SEWARD ADVOCATES MORAL SUASION

This proposition from Mr. Seward seemed to put upon me the
responsibility of deciding the momentous question of future friendship
or enmity between my own country and our ancient ally and friend.
I had, on the one hand, full authority from the War Department and
the general-in-chief of the army, given with the knowledge and
consent of the President of the United States, to organize and
equip an army for the purpose of driving the French out of Mexico,
and on the other hand a request from the State Department to go to
France and try by peaceful means to accomplish the same end.

As the negotiation of the Mexican loan had not made great progress,
the funds were not yet available for the support of an army.  It
was expected that the actual beginning of operations on the Rio
Grande would stimulate subscriptions to the loan, yet the lack of
ready money was a sufficient cause for some delay in making the
proposed "inspection tour" to the Rio Grande; and this fact, added
to a natural love of peace rather then of war, and a due sense of
the dictates of patriotism as contrasted with mere military ambition,
determined the decision of that question.  It is reason for profound
thankfulness that the peaceful course was adopted.

In a letter dated August 4, 1865, I informed Mr. Seward of my
decision, "after mature reflection," "to undertake the mission"
which he had proposed.  Mr. Seward acknowledged my letter on August
9, and on the 19th I received a telegram from the War Department
to "report at the State Department upon your [my] next visit to
Washington."  This order was promptly obeyed.  On August 23 the
Secretary of War sent a letter to the Secretary of State, accrediting
me as an officer of the army, in which capacity, and unofficially,
I was to be understood by the public as visiting Europe.  A copy
of this letter, inclosed in one from the State Department, was sent
to Mr. Bigelow, United States minister at Paris; and similar letters
were sent to several other United States ministers in Europe.  But
time passed until November 4, and thus more than two months elapsed
before the Secretary of State was ready for me to start to Europe.
Mr. Seward then gave me a confidential letter, dated November 4,
1865, addressed to Mr. Bigelow, and a letter of credit on the
Barings, and requested me to proceed on my mission.

In his letter to Mr. Bigelow he said:  "General Schofield proceeds
to Paris.  He is, I believe, fully informed of the feelings and
sentiments, not only of this government, but of the American people.
I commend him to your confidence," etc.  Mr. Seward explained to
me several times during this period of delay that correspondence
then going on with the French government rendered it advisable that
my visit be delayed until he should receive expected answers from
that government.  The Atlantic cable did not then exist, and hence
correspondence across the ocean was necessarily slow.  The expected
despatch--viz., that from the French Foreign Office to their minister
at Washington, dated October 18, 1865, and communicated to Mr.
Seward on the 29th of the same month--was no more satisfactory,
though in better tone, than those which had preceded.  In effect
it demanded a recognition by the United States of the government
of Maximilian in Mexico as a condition precedent to the recall of
the French army.  The time had evidently arrived when Napoleon must
be informed in language which could not be misunderstood what was
the real sentiment of the government and people of the United States
on the Mexican question.  It was difficult, perhaps impossible, to
express that sentiment in official diplomatic language that an
emperor could afford to receive from a friendly power.  It was
therefore desirable that the disagreeable information be conveyed
to Napoleon in a way which would command his full credence, and
which he yet need not regard as offensive.  Mr. Seward's explanation
and instructions to me, after several long conversations on the
subject, were summed up in the words;  "I want you to get your legs
under Napoleon's mahogany, and tell him he must get out of Mexico."

                                                         A MISSION TO PARIS

In my visit to Paris I was accompanied by two officers of my staff,
Brevet Brigadier-General William M. Wherry and Brevet Brigadier-
General G. W. Schofield, who had been given leave of absence for
the purpose of going with me to Mexico or elsewhere.  We sailed
from New York, November 15, 1865, on the Cunard steamer _Java_,
and stayed a day in Liverpool and several days in London, where I
explained to Mr. Adams, United States minister, the purpose of my

Mr. Adams expressed hearty sympathy with the object of my mission,
and gave cordial assent to my wish that I might feel at liberty to
consult him in regard to it at any time.

Mr. Motley, United States minister at Vienna, whom I had the pleasure
of meeting at the residence of Mr. Adams, assured me that the
government of Austria was especially desirous of not being regarded
by the United States as responsible in any manner for the attempt
to establish an empire under the Austrian archduke in Mexico.  Mr.
Motley thought a visit by me to Vienna while the Mexican question
was pending might produce undue excitement.  Hence I limited my
tour in that direction to Italy.

We proceeded to Paris on the 2d of December.  Our arrival had been
preceded by vague rumors of an official mission more or less hostile
to the interests of France, which caused great excitement among
the French people and the American residents in Paris, and serious
depression of United States, Mexican, and French securities in the
financial markets of Europe.  It was also understood that no little
anxiety was felt at the French court, then at Compiègne.  It was
manifestly desirable to allay so far as possible this undue excitement
in the public mind.  Hence I availed myself of an early opportunity,
given by the American Thanksgiving dinner at the Grand Hotel, to
intimate in unmistakable terms that my mission, if any, was one
entirely friendly to the people of France.


The following is a part of the account of that banquet given by
the Paris correspondent of the "New York Herald," under date of
December 8, 1865:

"The American residents and transient sojourners in Paris celebrated
the national Thanksgiving by a grand dinner at the Grand Hotel,
which passed off in splendid style. . . . The next toast was the
long-looked-for-one of the evening, for it was known that it would
call up a distinguished guest from whom all were anxious to hear.
It was "The Army and Navy of the United States."  When the band
had ceased playing "Yankee Doodle," Major-General Schofield rose
to reply to this toast, and was received with tremendous enthusiasm.
The ladies rose and waved their handkerchiefs, and gentlemen shouted
until they were hoarse.  The general, after bowing his acknowledgments,
said:  'Fellow-countrymen--I want words to express to you the
satisfaction which will be felt in the heart of every soldier and
sailor when he learns the manner in which the names of the army
and navy have been received by you to-night.  I will at this time
allude but briefly to one of the great lessons taught by the American
war--the grandest lesson of modern times.  A great people who have
heretofore lived under a government so mild that they were scarcely
aware of its existence have found, in time of war, that government
to be one of the strongest in the world [cheers], raising and
maintaining armies and navies vaster than any ever before known
[cheers].  In point of character, in point of physical and moral
qualities, in point of discipline and of mobility in large masses,
the armies of the United States have never before been equaled
[loud cheers].  Yet this, great as it is, is not the greatest wonder
of the American war.  This vast army, as soon as its work was done,
was quietly disbanded, and every man went to his home, as quietly
as the Christian goes back from church on Sabbath morning; and each
soldier re-entered upon the avocations of peace a better citizen
than he was before he became a soldier [renewed applause].  This
was the grandest lesson of the war.  It shows that the power of a
nation to maintain its dignity and integrity does not result from
or depend upon its form of government; that the greatest national
strength--the power to mass the largest armies in time of war--is
entirely consistent with the broadest liberty of the citizen in
time of peace [enthusiasm].  Permit me, in conclusion, to propose
a toast which I know will be heartily responded to by every true
American--"The old friendship between France and the United States:
May it be strengthened and perpetuated!"'  General Schofield's
toast was drunk with great enthusiasm, and upon his taking his seat
the applause which followed his remarks was deafening."

The situation of Napoleon's government at that time was extremely
critical.  The opposition was powerful and aggressive.  The
intervention in Mexican affairs was very unpopular in France, and
yet the national pride of the people would not permit the Emperor
to yield to menace even from the United States, nor allow his army
to be driven by force from Mexico without a supreme effort to
maintain it there.  Napoleon could not have submitted to such
humiliation without the loss of his throne.  In short, forcible
intervention by the American people in the Mexican question, or
the public threat of such action, arousing the national pride of
France, must have led to a long and bloody war, resulting, doubtless,
in final success to America and probably in a revolution in France.

Such a result would have been a just punishment to Napoleon for
his conduct toward the United States and Mexico during our Civil
War.  But why involve the people of France and the people of the
United States in this punishment?  Why make enemies of our ancient
friends?  Our sister republic of Mexico must be relieved from
foreign domination, at whatever cost; but strife and lasting enmity
between the United States and France would be a fearful price to
pay for even so great a good as the freedom of Mexico.  Manifestly
such extreme measures should not be resorted to until all peaceful
means had failed.  Considerations of this nature determined my
course while in Paris.  I had sufficient opportunity in two interviews
with Prince Napoleon, and in several conversations with officers
of high rank on the Emperor's staff, to make known to the Emperor
the views and purposes of the government and people of the United
States in respect to Mexican affairs.  Our conversation was without
reserve on either side, and with the understanding that nothing
said by me would be withheld from the Emperor.

The principal of these staff-officers was the distinguished Admiral
de la Gravière, who had commanded the French squadron in American
waters in the early part of our Civil War and in the capture of
Vera Cruz.  This gallant and honest old sailor had reported to his
government the exact truth about the enterprise which Napoleon had
undertaken when he ordered the bombardment and capture of the
Mexican seaport for the alleged purpose of collecting a French
claim--namely, that he was no better able to collect that claim
after the city was in his possession then he had been before, and
that the conquest of Mexico by the operations of a large army would
be necessary before any financial return could be expected.  This
unwelcome report led to the admiral's recall to France, and he was
sent to his home in disgrace.  But in due time the Emperor learned
that while all others had deceived him, the admiral had told him
the truth, whereupon he was called to Paris, restored to the
confidence of his chief, and appointed aide-de-camp on the staff
of the Emperor.  Admiral de la Gravière was a warm friend of America,
rejoiced in the triumph of the Union cause, understood and appreciated
the sentiments of the people of the United States, among whom he
had made many friends, and was a very willing medium of communication
to the Emperor of the exact attitude of the American people respecting
the Monroe doctrine, which the Emperor of the French had been
betrayed into violating through the influence of persons high in
his confidence, but governed by sordid motives.


Admiral Reno, Assistant Minister of Marine, was another of the high
French officials with whom free conversation was held.

The fidelity with which Prince Napoleon and others reported to the
Emperor the character of the unofficial message which I had to
deliver rendered it quite unnecessary that it be delivered in
person, and quite impossible that the Emperor should be willing to
receive it in that way.  Hence, though I received several intimations
that I would be invited to a private interview, no invitation came,
and none was sought.  My letters from Paris to Mr. Seward, to
General Grant, and to Señor Romero, reported the progress made,
and the nature of the situation as it then appeared to me.

On January 22 I was present at a dinner given by Prince Napoleon
in the Palais Royal.  Every shade of political opinion in Paris
was represented among the guests.  Political discussion seemed to
be entirely unrestrained, with one exception, when a remark which
savored of disloyalty to the empire was rebuked by the prince.

In the Emperor's address to the French legislature on January 22,
his future policy in respect to Mexico had been hinted at in the
words:  "[Our expedition] _touche à son terme_."  The declared
purpose of speedily terminating the intervention in Mexico having
been applauded by all, the prince inquired pointedly of me whether,
in my opinion, the Emperor's declaration would be satisfactory to
the United States, and received the unreserved reply that it would,
as I believed, be accepted as satisfactory.

In my report to Mr. Seward of January 24, I expressed the belief
that even his enemies in France would not be disposed to embarrass
the Emperor with respect to Mexico, "well satisfied to see him get
out of that country by any means, and thus avoid war with the United
States"; and I ventured the suggestion that "this course would also
seem wise on our part."  In my letter of the same date to General
Grant I said:

"You will get by this mail Napoleon's speech delivered at the
opening of the French legislative session.  I was present and heard
the speech delivered.  That part of it relating to Mexico and the
United States was received with very general tokens of approbation,
while most of the remainder met with a cold reception.  I have
since heard it discussed very freely by many prominent men of all
shades of political opinion, among others the Prince Napoleon.
All seem to recognize the falsity of the Emperor's assumptions
where he says:  'In Mexico the government founded by the will of
the people is consolidating itself,' etc.  Yet his statements are,
no doubt, believed by a large majority of the French people, and
therefore afford him a very good reason for yielding to the demand,
made in common by the people of France and the United States, that
his intervention in Mexico shall be brought to an end.  This is
the logic of his position and the solution of his difficulty, viz.:
To assert that he has accomplished the object of his expedition to
Mexico, and hence to end it.  While we laugh at the absurdity of
his premises, we can hardly find fault with his conclusion, and
hence it is not worth while to criticize any part of his argument.
Rather I think it well to let him make the most of his audacity in
the creation of convenient facts.  The opinion seems to be universal
here that the Emperor is sincere in his declarations of intention
as to Mexico; indeed, that he has adopted the policy of making the
strongest possible bid for the friendship of the United States.
It is certainly easy to derive such an opinion from his speech,
and I am strongly inclined to believe it correct.  Yet we cannot
forget the fact that in his speech of last year he used quite as
strong language as to the speedy termination of his Mexican
expedition.  Hence I shall indulge in some doubt until I see the
actual development of his present plans.  I have no idea that
Napoleon believes that Maximilian can remain long in Mexico after
the French troops are withdrawn; but it is very important for him,
in order to give some appearance of truth to his assumed grounds
of action, that Maximilian be allowed to stay there some time
without French aid.  And for this reason he wants some assurance
of neutrality from the government of the United States.  Prince
Napoleon and others with whom I have conversed express the decided
opinion that Maximilian will come away with Marshal Bazaine, in
spite of all the Emperor may say to induce him to try to stand
alone.  This, I apprehend, will be the difficulty, and may cause
much delay, unless the United States kindly lend a helping hand.
Would it not be wise for us to abstain for a few months from all
interference, direct or indirect, and thus give Napoleon and
Maximilian time to carry out their farce?  Mexico would thus be
rid of the French flag in the least possible time.  If the French
troops come also, Juarez can easily dispose of Maximilian at any
time.  If they succeed in getting the French troops to remain as
colonists, then the United States can easily find a good reason
for disposing of the whole matter, and Napoleon will not dare to
interfere. . . . An officer of the Emperor's household left here
about ten days ago with despatches for Mexico which, it is understood,
contained the Emperor's declaration to Maximilian of his intention
to recall his troops.  This will give you some idea of the time
when the matter may be arranged if all works well."


My views relative to the purposes of the French government appear
to have been in accord with those of Mr. Bigelow at the time, as
shown in his official despatches afterward published, and adopted
by Mr. Seward in his subsequent correspondence with the French
minister at Washington.  They were soon afterward confirmed by the
official announcement which the French minister was authorized to
make to the government of the United States.  In fact, I was in
almost constant conference with Mr. Bigelow during that time, and
knew that my views, as communicated to Mr. Seward and General Grant,
were in close accord with his, although I could not know anything
of Mr. Bigelow's despatches to the State Department until they were
published.  Mr. Bigelow's comprehension of the French view of the
Mexican question proved to be perfectly exact.  While awaiting
further instructions in reply to my report of January 24, I occupied
my time in visits to the south of France, Italy, Switzerland, and

Among the personal incidents connected with my stay in Paris which
seem worthy of record were the following:

Soon after my arrival in Paris, in company with Mr. Bigelow I called
upon Marshal Randon, Minister of War, who was the only minister of
the French government then in Paris.  We were received with cold
and formal politeness.  Some days later, the Emperor having returned
to Paris, and having apparently become satisfied that I was not
occupied with any designs hostile to France, I received a very
courteous letter from the Minister of War, dated December 13, and
addressed to Mr. Bigelow; and Captain Guzman, the officer therein
named, reported to me immediately.  Under the guidance of this
accomplished officer I saw in the most agreeable manner all the
military establishments about Paris.  These courtesies were
acknowledged in a letter dated February 25, 1866, addressed to Mr.

                                  A PRESENTATION TO THE EMPEROR AND EMPRESS

My presentation to the Emperor and Empress occurred at one of those
brilliant occasions at the Tuileries for which the second empire
was famous.  In conversing with the Emperor, he desired to know
something of the operations of the American armies, and especially
their marvelous methods of supply at great distances from a base
of operations.

It gives me great pleasure to record here, as I did in my correspondence
at the time, the great courtesy, the kindness, and the charming
hospitality shown me by Mr. Bigelow and his amiable family during
my stay in Paris.  Mr. Adams, United States minister at London,
was also exceedingly kind, inviting a very distinguished company
to meet me at dinner, taking me to several charming entertainments,
and presenting me to the Prince of Wales, who then received in
place of the Queen.  General King at Rome, and Mr. Marsh at Florence,
also entertained me very courteously during my short stay at those
places.  The warmth of greeting by Americans everywhere, and the
courteous reception by all foreigners whom I met, lent a peculiar
charm to the first visit of a Union soldier among those who had
watched from a distance the great American conflict.

I now have the satisfaction of knowing, in the light of subsequent
events, that whatever my mission to France contributed toward the
solution of the momentous question of that day was wisely directed
in the interest of peace at home, continued friendship with our
former allies, the people of France, and the relief of an American
republic from foreign domination; these great blessings were combined
in the final result.

Too much cannot be said in praise of the able and patriotic
statesmanship displayed by Secretary Seward in his treatment of
the French violation of the Monroe doctrine.

Early in May, 1866, I received from Mr. Seward his final reply to
my report of January 24, in which he said:  "The object for which
you were detailed to visit Europe having been sufficiently
accomplished, there is considered to be no further occasion for
you to remain in that quarter in the service of this department."
Whereupon I returned to the United States, and reported at the
State Department on the 4th of June.

The condition of the Franco-Mexican question at the time of my
return from Europe gave no further occasion for my offices in either
of the ways which had been contemplated in behalf of Mexico.
Subsequent events in Mexico included the sad fate of Maximilian
and the sadder fate of Carlotta.

Reconstruction in Virginia--The State Legislature Advised to Adopt
the Fourteenth Amendment--Congressional Reconstruction as a Result
of the Refusal--The Manner in Which the Acts of Congress Were
Executed--No Resort to Trial by Military Commission--The Obnoxious
Constitution Framed by the State Convention--How Its Worst Feature
Was Nullified--Appointed Secretary of War.

In August, 1866, after my return from Europe, I was assigned to
command the Department of the Potomac, which included the State of
Virginia, then governed in part by the Freedmen's Bureau and in
part by the provisional government which had been organized at
Alexandria while the war was still in progress.  The State had yet
to obtain from Congress a recognition of its government, which
recognition was understood to depend upon the ratification by the
State legislature of the then pending Fourteenth Amendment to the
Constitution of the United States.  This subject was very fully
discussed between me and the leading members of the legislature.
I advised them to accept the proposed amendment as the only means
of saving the State from the more "radical" reconstruction under
act of Congress, which was then threatened.  It was urged that
Virginia would not suffer much from the operation of the Fourteenth
Amendment, because of the general intelligence of her white population
and their superiority in numbers over the negroes--advantages which
some of the other Southern States did not enjoy; that if the Virginia
legislature would ratify the pending amendment, Congress could not
refuse to recognize the existing State government and make it
permanent; and that Virginia would thus be restored at once to her
full privileges as a State in the Union.  I visited Washington,
and obtained from leading Republicans in Congress the assurance,
so far as it was in their power to give it, that such would be the
result.  On my return to Richmond, it at first seemed that the
amendment would be speedily ratified.  But other influences,
understood to come from some source in Washington (probably President
Johnson), finally prevailed; the amendment was rejected; and Virginia
was thus doomed to undergo "congressional reconstruction" in company
with her sister States.

                                                 RECONSTRUCTION IN VIRGINIA

The "policy" of President Johnson having resulted in an "irrepressible
conflict" between him and Congress, finally culminating in his
impeachment, the reconstruction of the States lately in insurrection
was undertaken by Congress.  First an act dated March 2, 1867, was
passed for the military government of the "rebel States," and then
another act, dated March 23, 1867, prescribing the conditions of
organization of State governments preparatory to restoration to
the Union; the last-named act was supplemented by the act dated
July 19, 1867.  All of these acts were passed over the President's
veto.  They provided for the assignment of military commanders in
the several districts, with nearly absolute powers to govern those
States and direct the steps in the process of reconstruction.  It
fell to my lot to command the First Military District, into which
Virginia was converted by the act of Congress.

The terrible oppression of the Southern people embodied in those
acts of Congress has hardly been appreciated by even the most
enlightened and conservative people of the North.  Only those who
actually suffered the baneful effects of the unrestrained working
of those laws can ever realize their full enormity.  The radical
Congress was not content to impose upon the Southern States impartial
suffrage to whites and blacks alike.  They were not content even
to disfranchise the leading rebels, according to the terms of the
Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.  Even those would not be
sufficient to put the Southern whites under the domination of their
former slaves and of adventurers from the North, and thus to secure
the radical supremacy in the reconstructed States.  Hence another
and an enormous stride was taken, with the purpose of putting those
States under what became known as "carpet-bag" governments, so
offensive as to be nearly intolerable even to their authors.  That
stride consisted in imposing the so-called "iron-clad oath" upon
all officers, of whatever grade or character, in all the former
Confederate States.  That oath excluded from office not only all
who had in any way taken active part in the rebellion, but even
the most constant Union men of the South who had remained at home
during the war; for not one of them had escaped "giving aid or
comfort" in some way to those engaged in the rebellion.  Even so
conspicuous a loyalist as Judge Rives, afterward United States
district judge, declared, after mature deliberation, that he could
not take that oath, although his constant fidelity to the Union
was known to all of Virginia.

I asked this noted Union man to accept the office of chief justice
of the State, but he could not take the prescribed oath.  He had
permitted his boy, about to join the Confederate army, to take
one of his horses rather than see him go afoot.  Perhaps the judge
was too conscientious.  But it was the evil effect of the law to
exclude the highly honorable and let the rascals in.  Thus the
Union could not have the benefit of Judge Rives's eminent services
in the vital work of reconstruction, and some "carpet-bagger" had
to take his place.  And thus, although the acts of Congress permitted
a majority of the whites to vote, their choice of officers was
restricted to negroes and "carpet-baggers"!  To these latter,
therefore, was committed the entire work of organizing and
administering the Southern State governments, which required the
aid of the United States troops to support them, and which fell by
their own weight the moment that support was withdrawn.

                                                 RECONSTRUCTION IN VIRGINIA

The manner in which I executed those "reconstruction" acts of
Congress in Virginia, so as to save that State from the great evils
suffered by sister States, is perhaps an instructive part of the
history of that time.  The following extracts from my orders and
correspondence clearly show the constitutional principles upon
which my administration was based.  They also give the essential
points in the history of Virginia reconstruction up to the time
when the Convention had completed its work of framing a constitution.
My "General Orders, No. 1," dated Richmond, Va., March 13, 1867,
was as follows:

"I.  In compliance with the order of the President, the undersigned
hereby assumes command of the First District, State of Virginia,
under the act of Congress of March 2, 1867.

"II.  All officers under the existing provisional government of
the State of Virginia will continue to perform the duties of their
respective offices according to law, unless otherwise hereafter
ordered in individual cases, until their successors shall be duly
elected and qualified in accordance with the above-named act of

"III.  It is desirable that the military power conferred by the
before-mentioned act be exercised only so far as may be necessary
to accomplish the objects for which that power was conferred, and
the undersigned appeals to the people of Virginia, and especially
to magistrates and other civil officers, to render the necessity
for the exercise of this power as slight as possible, by strict
obedience to the laws, and by impartial administration of justice
to all classes. . . ."

On April 20 was issued "General Orders, No. 16":

"I.  Temporary appointments to fill vacancies which may occur in
county or city offices will, in general, be made upon the concurrent
recommendations of the County Court or City Council and of the
President of the Board of Registration ( 1) for the county or city.

"II.  The several County Courts and City Councils are requested to
confer with the Presidents of the Boards of Registration concerning
such appointments, and to agree upon a suitable person to fill any
vacancy that may occur.

"III.  The President of the Board of Registration will forward to
the assistant adjutant-general the recommendation of the court or
council, with his own indorsement thereon.

"IV.  When a County Court is not in session, a recommendation signed
by five justices, including the presiding justice, will be received
in lieu of the recommendation of the court.

"V.  County and corporation officers appointed by the commanding
general will be required to give the bonds required by law, and
will be subject to indictment for malfeasance, misfeasance, or
neglect of official duty, the same as if they had been elected by
the people."

On May 28 was issued "General Orders, No. 31," in part as follows;

". . . IV.  The military commissioners [officers of the army] will
make a prompt report to these headquarters of each case of which
they may take jurisdiction, and the disposition made of such case.
Where parties are held for trial, either in confinement or under
bail, such full statement will be made of the facts in each case
as will enable the commanding general to decide whether the case
shall be tried by a military commission or be brought before a
civil court.

"V.  Trial by the civil court will be preferred in all cases where
there is satisfactory reason to believe that justice will be done.
But until the orders of the commanding general are made known in
any case, the paramount jurisdiction assumed by the military
commissioner will be exclusive.

"VI.  All persons, civil officers and others, are required to obey
and execute the lawful orders of the military commissioners to the
same extent as they are required by law to obey and execute writs
issued by civil magistrates.  Any person who shall disobey or resist
the lawful orders or authority of a military commissioner shall be
tried by a military commission, and upon conviction shall be punished
by fine and imprisonment according to the nature and degree of the
offense. . . .

"VII.  This order will not be construed to excuse civil officers,
in any degree, from the faithful discharge of their duties.  It is
intended to aid the civil authorities, and not to supersede them,
except in cases of necessity."

                                  NO RESORT TO TRIAL BY MILITARY COMMISSION

No case arose in Virginia in which it was found necessary, in my
opinion, to supersede the civil authorities in the administration
of justice.  Not a single citizen of that State was tried by military
commission.  Yet some cases arose which well illustrate the
fascinations of absolute power to those who desire the benefit of
its exercise in its own interests.  Some of the most prominent
citizens of Virginia, men who had earnestly opposed the general
policy of military government then in force, came to me to settle
their petty differences summarily.  They seemed much disappointed
when I declined to adjudicate such cases, and informed them that
they must be content with the slow process of trial before their
own civil magistrates.  Other orders were in part as follows:

  "Richmond, Va., July 26, 1867.
". . . III.  The governor and other executive officers, the courts
of law, and councils of cities are invited to recommend suitable
persons for appointment to such offices as, under the existing laws
of Virginia, are usually filled by their appointment or upon their
nomination. . . ."

  "Richmond, Va., August 8, 1867.
". . . VI.  Military commissioners are reminded that they are to
be 'governed in the discharge of their duties by the laws of
Virginia, so far as the same are not in conflict with the laws of
the United States, or orders issued from these headquarters,' and
that they are not to supersede the civil authorities, except in
cases of necessity.  In such cases the action, or failure to act,
of the civil officers should be fully reported, in order that the
commanding general may hold them to a proper accountability for
any neglect of duty. . . ."

                                                 THE OBNOXIOUS CONSTITUTION

Upon the adjournment of the State Convention, I sent the following
letter to General Grant:

  "Richmond, Va., April 18, 1868.
"Dear General:  In spite of every effort that could be made to
prevent it, the Virginia Convention has adhered to its proscriptive
measures, or rather to the most objectionable of them.

"After every other means had failed, I even went so far as to visit
the Convention, and urge the repeal of the test oath.  But what I
said seemed not to have the slightest influence.  I inclose a
newspaper report, which is a pretty accurate one, of what I said,
and which will show that I have at least done my duty in that
regard, if not more.

"The same baneful influence that secured the election of a majority
of ignorant blacks, and equally ignorant or unprincipled whites,
to the Convention, has proved sufficient to hold them firmly to
their original purpose.  They could only hope to obtain office by
disqualifying everybody in the State who is capable of discharging
official duties, and all else to them was of comparatively slight
influence.  Even the question whether their Constitution will be
ratified or rejected, the treat with indifference.  Congress, they
say, will make it right anyway. . . .

"Of course I may be mistaken, but my opinion is that the Constitution
must be adopted.  This would not be a serious matter if it (the
Constitution) were a good one, and good officers could be elected
under it.  But it seems hardly possible that the Union party can
organize upon a satisfactory basis for the election.  The negroes
and their associates will doubtless insist upon unqualified
indorsement of the Constitution by their nominees.  This the
respectable whites will not give.  Hence the late Convention will
be reproduced in the legislature, a large majority being either
worthless radicals, white and black, or bitter opponents of
reconstruction upon the congressional plan.  The danger is that we
will have on our hands, not only one big elephant in the Constitution,
but a host of little ones in the shape of officers-elect who are
not fit to be installed--a prospect not very encouraging, at least.

"My impression is that the wisest course would be to let the thing
fall and die where it is--not submit it to the people at all.  We
can then go on putting Union men in office and reorganizing the
provisional government upon a loyal basis, until the friends of
reconstruction get control of the State.  Then a convention can be
called which will frame a Constitution fit to be ratified by the
people of the State and approved by Congress and the country at

"If Congress would give a little more latitude in the selection of
officers, by modifying the test oath, there would be no difficulty
in filling all the offices in the State with men who would aid
restoration.  Without some such change, the work of reorganization
cannot be carried very far.  The view of the question which I have
given above is, of course, the local one; but it seems to me the
national one leads to the same conclusion.  I can't see how the
indorsement of such a Constitution as this one, by the Republican
party, can be otherwise than damaging to them in the North.  Would
it not be wise for Congress to say at once, We reject, once and
for all, proscriptive constitutions?

"I have written this letter merely to suggest points that occur to
me as worthy of very careful consideration.  I suppose Congress
alone can determine what is to be done.

"As explained in my official letter to-day, I feel bound to await
the action of Congress before ordering an election.  The nominating
conventions of the two parties meet in Richmond on the 6th and 7th
of May.  Perhaps it may be best for Congress to await their action
before determining the question. . . . "

The newspaper clipping inclosed in the above letter to General
Grant was a report of the proceedings of the Convention which
appeared in the "Richmond Dispatch" of April 18, 1868.  Several
other letters to General Grant, near the same time, explained the
situation in detail.

As was to be expected, and in spite of any influence which the
military commander could properly exert, that proposed Constitution,
like those framed in the other States, perpetuated the worst features
of the acts of Congress.  It disqualified all the respectable whites
from any active part in the government, leaving the negroes and
"carpet-baggers" full sway.  So sweeping was this disqualification
that in many parts of the State not a native Virginian, white or
black, could be found who could read or write, and who would be
eligible for election or appointment to any office.  In my great
anxiety to save the State from so great an evil, I went to the hall
of the Convention and explained the impossibility of organizing a
government under such a Constitution, and besought the Convention
to strike out the disqualifying clause.  I was listened to with
cold respect, my advice was disregarded, and promptly after my
departure the Constitution was finally adopted, and the Convention
adjourned _sine die_.

But the State was, nevertheless, saved from the impending disaster.
The act of Congress required that the Constitution be submitted to
the people for ratification or rejection; but Congress had failed
to appropriate money to pay the expenses of an election.  If an
election was to be held, the money must be taken from the treasury
of the State, by the order of the district commander, or else
Congress must make a special appropriation for that purpose.  I
declined to sanction the use of the people's money for any such
purpose, refused to order an election for ratification or rejection
of the obnoxious Constitution, and referred the matter to Congress,
with a recommendation that the people be authorized to vote separately
on the disqualifying clause--a privilege which the Convention had

                                        HOW ITS WORST FEATURE WAS NULLIFIED

The radicals in Congress were so glad, apparently, of this mode of
escape from a result so obnoxious to the better sense of the Union
people at that time, that not a voice was raised in favor of the
"carpet-bag" Constitution or in disapprobation of my action in
regard to it.  The instrument was permitted to rest quietly in the
pigeonhole of the district commander's desk until the next year.
Then an act was passed providing for submitting that Constitution
to the people of Virginia, with the privilege of voting separately
on the disfranchising clause, which clause they, of course, rejected.
Thus Virginia was saved from the vile government and spoilation
which cursed the other Southern States, and which the same radical
Congress and its successors sustained until the decent public
sentiment of the North would endure them no longer.

It is, perhaps, not too much to say that if the other district
commanders had in like manner refused to make themselves parties
to the spoilation of the people placed under their charge, Congress
would have shrunk from the direct act of imposing upon them such
obnoxious governments, and the country might have been saved the
disgrace of the eight years of carpet-bag rule in the South.  At
least it is certain that a large proportion of the more moderate
among the Republican majority in Congress at that time indulged
the hope that respectable governments might be organized under the
acts of Congress.  But they made this difficult, if not impossible,
when they gave their assent to the amendment of those acts, prepared
by the extremest radicals, depriving the Southern whites of any
active part in the organization of their governments.  Impartial
justice, as expressed in "impartial suffrage," might have led to
tolerable results even in those States where the blacks were in
the majority.  But under a law which gave universal suffrage to
the blacks and disfranchised the influential whites, any tolerable
result was impossible unless under the administration of a man who
had the independence and courage to disarm such a law of its
poisonous sting.  However this may be, it is certain that Virginia
owes its escape from the sad fate of her sister States to the action
of her district commander, who has abundant reason for the belief
that the good people of that State fully appreciated the fact.

                                                 APPOINTED SECRETARY OF WAR

With this service to the people of Virginia, my duty in that State
practically terminated.  The impeachment trial of President Johnson
had reached its crisis.  It had become evident to those who were
wise enough to discern the "signs of the times" that the Senate
would probably not sustain the articles of impeachment by the
necessary two-thirds majority.  This would leave unsettled the
quarrel between the President and Congress over the War Department,
and that on the eve of an exciting Presidential election, in which
several of the newly reconstructed States were expected to take
part.  In not one of these States was the new government able to
stand alone or to preserve the peace within its borders.  A firm
and impartial administration of the War Department in the sole
interest of peace and order during the coming contest was the one
indispensable want of the country.  Without that, a revival of
civil strife seemed inevitable.  Under these circumstances, I was
urged to accept the office of Secretary of War, with the assurance
that in this way the contest which endangered the peace of the
country could be adjusted.  I gave my consent, the nomination was
promptly sent to the Senate, and that body, in spite of its very
large majority in opposition to the President, confirmed the
appointment with almost entire unanimity.  The impeachment was
dismissed, and that dangerous farce, which had come within one or
two votes of inflicting lasting disgrace upon the country, happily
came to an end.

Upon the inauguration of the newly elected President in March,
1869, I laid down the war portfolio without having incurred censure
from either party for any of my official acts, and with the
approbation of all for impartial discharge of duty.  But, apparently
lest such a thing might possibly happen again, Congress made haste
to pass a law prohibiting any army officer from thereafter holding
any civil office whatever!  In 1895 that law was so modified as
not to apply to officers on the retired list!  It is a singular
coincidence that I had just then been retired.

[( 1) The presidents of Boards of Registration were army officers
detailed by me for that duty.]

Differences Between the Commanding General of the Army and the War
Department--General Grant's Special Powers--His Appointment as
Secretary of War _Ad interim_--The Impeachment of President Johnson
--Memorandum of Interviews with William M. Evarts and General Grant
in Regard to the Secretaryship of War--Failure of the Impeachment
Trial--Harmony in the War Department--A New Policy at Army

During nearly the entire history of the government of the United
States the relations between the general-in-chief, or nominal
commanding general of the army, and the War Department have been
the cause of discord, sometimes descending to bitter personal
controversy, and in a few instances leading to very serious results.

The differences between General Scott and the Secretary became so
serious that the general removed his headquarters from Washington
to New York, and remained away from the capital several years,
until the time when civil war was imminent.  General Sherman also
found it necessary to escape from an intolerable situation by
removing to St. Louis, and did not return to Washington until the
condition of the War Department led to the impeachment of the
Secretary of War.  During their long absence from the capital
neither of these generals could exercise any appreciable influence
over either the administration or the command of the army.  It is
thought to be worthy of note that during one of these periods of
absence of the general-in-chief the military resources of the
country were mostly placed within easy reach of those about to
engage in an effort to break up the Union, and that during the
other period corruption in the War Department led to impeachment.
It is no reflection upon the many eminent, patriotic citizens who
have held the war portfolio to say that the very few men who have
proved unworthy of that great trust would have been much less likely
to do serious harm to the public interests if they had been under
the watchful eye of a jealous old soldier, like Scott or Sherman,
who was not afraid of them.


As hereafter explained, the controversy between General Grant and
the Secretary of War was the primary cause which finally led to
the impeachment of the President of the United States.  The cause
of this trouble has seemed to be inherent in the form and character
of the government.  An essential provision of the Constitution
makes the President commander-in-chief of the army and navy.  It
is manifestly indispensable that the executive head of a government
be clothed with this authority.  Yet the President is not, as a
rule, a man of military education or experience.  The exigencies
of party politics also seem to require, in general, that the
Secretary of War be a party politician, equally lacking with the
President in qualifications for military command.

The art of war has in all ages called forth the highest order of
genius and character, the great captains of the world having been
esteemed as among the greatest men.  So, also, and in continually
increasing degree in modern times, the military art has called for
scientific education of the very highest character, supplemented
by practical experience.  It cannot be questioned that the military
profession requires ability, education, and practical training no
less than the legal or any other profession.  A Supreme Court of
the United States composed of merchants and bankers would be no
more of an anomaly than a body of general and staff officers of
like composition.  The general policy of our government seems to
be based upon a recognition of this self-evident principle.  We
have a national military academy and other military schools inferior
to none in the world, and well-organized staff departments which
are thoroughly efficient in war as well as in peace.  The laws also
provide a due proportion of subordinate general officers for the
command of geographical departments in time of peace, or of divisions
and brigades in the field in time of war.  But no provision is made
for an actual military commander of the entire army either in peace
or in war.  During only a single year since the adoption of the
Constitution of the United States has this not been the fact.  In
pursuance of a special act of Congress and the orders of President
Lincoln, General Grant in fact commanded "all the armies of the
United States" during the last year of the Civil War; but at no
other time has there been an actual military commander of the army
or armies whose authority as such was recognized by the War

Why, it may be asked, this strange departure from the recognized
rule of organization in all governmental and business affairs?
Why provide educated and trained experts for all subordinate
positions, and none for the head or chief, vastly the most important
of all?

In the first place, it is important to observe that the matter
rests absolutely in the hands of the President.  Congress has no
power in the matter.  To create by law a military head for the army
would be a violation of the essential provision of the Constitution
which makes the President commander-in-chief.

                                             GENERAL GRANT'S SPECIAL POWERS

In the case of General Grant, Congress fully recognized this fact,
saying:  "Under the direction and during the pleasure of the
President" he "may" command the armies of the United States.  Even
this, if intended as conveying authority to the President, was
superfluous, and if intended as more than that would have been
unconstitutional.  In fact, it was only a suggestion, intended to
be entirely within the limits of constitutional propriety, of what
was the general opinion of the people and of Congress, that after
three years of failure the President ought to select a soldier and
put him in actual command of all the armies.  The President then
went far beyond the suggestion of Congress, and even to the extreme
limit of military abdication.  He not only gave General Grant
absolute, independent command, placing at his disposal all the
military resources of the country, but he even denied to himself
any knowledge whatever of the general's plans.  In this patriotic
act of extreme self-abnegation President Lincoln undoubtedly acted
in exact accord with what he believed to be the expressed popular
opinion, and probably in accord with his own judgment and inclination;
for no one could have been more painfully aware than he had by
that time become of the absolute necessity of having a military
man actually in control of all the armies, or more desirous than
he of relief from a responsibility to which he and his advisers
had proved so unequal.  But it must be admitted that in this
President Lincoln went beyond the limit fixed by his constitutional
obligation as commander-in-chief.  He would have more exactly
fulfilled that obligation if he had endeavored faithfully to
comprehend and adopt as his own all the plans proposed by his chosen
and trusted general-in-chief, guarding the latter against all
possible interference, theretofore so pernicious, from the War
Department or any other source.  By such means the President could
have actually exercised the chief command imposed upon him by the
Constitution, sharing in due measure with his chief military officer
the responsibilities imposed by their high offices.  In no other
way, it is believed, can the duties imposed upon a constitutional
commander-in-chief who is not possessed of military education and
experience be fully and conscientiously performed.  Indeed, such
is the method pursued by great military sovereigns all over the
world, except in a few instances where the monarch believes himself,
either truly or falsely, superior in military ability to his chief
of staff.  It is only in this country, where the chief of state
has generally no military training, and his war minister the same,
that a chief of staff of the army is supposed to be unnecessary.
While it is easy to understand the reasons which led to the action
of the government in the spring of 1864, it is much less easy to
understand why some reasonable approximation to that course, as
above suggested, and in accord with the practice of all military
nations, has never been adopted as a permanent system in this
country.  Perhaps it may be like the case of that citizen of Arkansas
who did not mend the roof of his house when it was not raining
because it did not then need mending.  But it would seem the part
of wisdom to perfect the military system so far as practicable in
time of peace rather then continue a fruitless controversy over
the exact location of an undefined and undefinable line supposed
to separate the military administration from the command in the
army, or the functions of the Secretary of War from those of the
commanding general.  The experience of many years has shown that
the Secretary was sure to get on both sides of that line, no matter
where it was drawn.  But it is encouraging to note that some
experiments made in more recent years, in the direction of the
generally recognized sound military system, have not proved by any
means unsatisfactory.

                                             GENERAL GRANT'S SPECIAL POWERS

This chronic controversy between the military administration and
the command once gave rise to one of the most dangerous crises in
American history.  The facts in respect to the origin of that crisis
soon became obscured by other events, and have never been correctly

The assassination of President Lincoln occurred a very short time
before the end of the Civil War.  It appears that his successor in
the Presidential office did not withdraw any part of the supreme
authority which had been conferred upon General Grant by President
Lincoln a year before.  Nevertheless, Secretary Stanton, who had
very reluctantly yielded to President Lincoln's order, began, soon
after the end of hostile operations, to resume the exercise of
those functions which had formerly been claimed as belonging to the
War Department, and which had been suspended by President Lincoln.
Stanton "boldly took command of the armies."( 1)  By this General
Grant was deeply offended, and finally declared that the action of
the Secretary of War was intolerable; although he refers to it in
his "Memoirs" as "another little spat."  The authority which Stanton
assumed was the constitutional authority of the commander-in-chief
of the army, a large part of which authority had been delegated by
the President to General Grant, not to Secretary Stanton.  Hence
the Secretary's assumption was offensive alike to the general and
to the President.  General Grant acted with great forbearance, and
endeavored to obtain from Secretary Stanton due recognition of his
rightful authority as general commanding the army, but with no
permanent effect.( 2)

General Grant opposed the removal of Mr. Stanton by the exercise
of the President's prerogative alone, for the reason, with others,
that such action would be in violation of the Tenure-of-Office
Act.( 3)  He also objected at first to either removal or suspension,
mainly for fear that an objectionable appointment might be made in
Stanton's place.( 4)  But those two objections being removed by
Johnson's tender of the appointment to Grant himself, _vice_ Stanton
suspended instead of removed, General Grant gave his full countenance
and support to President Johnson in the _suspension_ of Mr. Stanton,
with a view on the part of the President to his ultimate removal,
either with the concurrence of the Senate or through a judicial
decision that the Tenure-of-Office Act was, as Johnson claimed,
unconstitutional.( 5)

On August 12, 1867, Grant himself accepted the appointment of
Secretary of War _ad interim_, and informed Stanton that he had
done so.  Stanton denied the right of the President to suspend him
without the consent of the Senate, but wrote to the President, and
to the same effect to General Grant:  "But inasmuch as the general
commanding the armies of the United States has been appointed _ad
interim_, and has notified me that he has accepted the appointment,
I have no alternative but to submit, under protest, to superior

In 1866, 1867, and 1868 General Grant talked to me freely several
times of his differences with Secretary Stanton.  His most emphatic
declaration on that subject, and of his own intended action in
consequence, appears from the records to have been made after
Stanton's return to the War Office in January, 1868, when his
conduct was even more offensive to Grant than it had been before
Stanton's suspension in August, 1867, and when Grant and Sherman
were trying to get Stanton out of the War Office.( 6)  At the time
of General Grant's visit to Richmond, Va., as one of the Peabody
trustees, he said to me that the conduct of Mr. Stanton had become
intolerable to him, and, after asking my opinion, declared in
emphatic terms his intention to demand either the removal of Stanton
or the acceptance of his own resignation.  But the bitter personal
controversy which immediately followed between Grant and Johnson,
the second attempt to remove Stanton in February, 1868, and the
consequent impeachment of the President, totally eclipsed the more
distant and lesser controversy between Grant and Stanton, and,
doubtless, prevented Grant from taking the action in respect to
Stanton's removal which he informed me in Richmond he intended to
take.( 7)

                                     GRANT AS SECRETARY OF WAR _AD INTERIM_

Of the impeachment and trial of President Johnson it is not my
province to write.  My special knowledge relates only to its first
cause, above referred to, and its termination, both intimately
connected with the history of the War Department, the necessities
of which department, real or supposed, constituted the only vital
issue involved in the impeachment trial.  The following memorandum,
made by me at the time, and now published with the consent of Mr.
Evarts, explains the circumstances under which I became Secretary
of War in 1868, and the connection of that event with the termination
of the impeachment trial:

"May, 1868

"In compliance with a written request from Mr. W. M. Evarts, dated
Tuesday, April 21, 1868, 2 P. M., I called upon that gentleman in
his room at Willard's Hotel, Washington, a few minutes before three
o'clock P. M. of the same day.

"Mr. Evarts introduced conversation by saying something about the
approaching trial of Mr. Jefferson Davis, but quickly said that
was not what he wished to see me about.  The business upon which
he wished to see me was of vastly greater importance, involving
the safety of the country and the maintenance of the Constitution.
Mr. Evarts then asked my consent that the President might at any
time before the close of the impeachment trial send my nomination
to the Senate as Secretary of War in place of Mr. Stanton.  I asked
upon what ground, and for what reasons, the proposition was made,
which question was then answered in part, and in the evening of
the same day more fully, as hereafter related.  It having been
announced that General Grant was waiting at the door for me, this
first interview was cut short with an agreement to renew it about
eight o'clock the same evening.  Before separating I asked Mr.
Evarts whether I was at liberty to mention the subject to any other
person.  Mr. Evarts replied:  'I suppose you mean General Grant.'
I said:  'Yes, my relations with General Grant, and his with the
President, are such that I do not wish to act in such a matter
without consulting him.'  Mr. Evarts said he could not give consent
that any persons should be informed that such a proposition had
been made on behalf of the President, and suggested some objections
to consulting General Grant on the subject, for the reason of his
being a candidate for the Presidency, but finally intimated that
it might be well to talk to General Grant about it incidentally,
and thus learn his views.

                                           INTERVIEWS WITH EVARTS AND GRANT

"While walking with General Grant after dinner the same day, I said
to him, in effect, that I had reason to believe that a proposition
like to one referred to above would probably be made to me, and
that upon the theory, as I understood, that the President would
not be convicted by the Senate, and I asked General Grant's opinion
in regard to it.  General Grant replied that he had supposed there
was no reasonable doubt of the President's removal, but if that
was not the case, or if it were, he (General Grant) would be glad
to have me as Secretary of War during the remainder of the term;
that Mr. Wade would have some difficulty in making up a cabinet
for so short a portion of a term.

"About eight o'clock P. M. of the same day (April 21) I again called
upon Mr. Evarts at the hotel, when a long conversation took place
upon the subject referred to in the morning.  The substance of what
Mr. Evarts said was as follows:  He was fully satisfied that the
President could not be convicted upon the evidence; if he was
removed, it would be done wholly from supposed party necessity;
that this was the opinion and feeling of a considerable number of
the ablest lawyers and statesmen among the Republican senators;
that it was his and their opinion that if the President was removed,
it would be not really from anything he had done, but for fear of
what he might do; that he (Mr. Evarts) did not believe the President
could possibly be convicted in any event, but that senators were
at a loss how to remove the apprehensions of the Republican party
as to what the President would do in case of acquittal, unless the
War Department was placed in a satisfactory condition in advance.
He said:  'A majority of Republicans in both houses of Congress
and throughout the country now regret the commencement of the
impeachment proceedings, since they find how slight is the evidence
of guilty intent.  But now the serious question is, how to get out
of the scrape?  A judgment of guilty and removal of the President
would be ruinous to the party, and cause the political death of
every senator who voted for it as soon as the country has time to
reflect upon the facts and appreciate the frivolous character of
the charges upon which the removal must be based.  The precedent
of the impeachment and removal of the President for political
reasons would be exceedingly dangerous to the government and the
Constitution; in short, the emergency is one of great national

"He added that this was the view of the case entertained by several
among the most prominent Republican senators, and that from such
senators came the suggestion that my nomination as Secretary of
War be sent to the Senate, in order that the Senate might vote upon
the President's case in the light of that nomination.  Mr. Evarts
believed that I was so named because my appointment would be
satisfactory to General Grant, and would give the Republican party
a sense of security as to the President's future action in reference
to the War Department and the military districts of the South; that
it was not with anybody a question of friendship or hostility toward
the President personally, for he really had no friends.  That while
the Democrats in the Senate would of course vote for his acquittal,
and do their whole duty in the case, just so soon as he was removed
they would rejoice that it was done, feeling confident that it
would cause the overthrow of the Republican party and the defeat
of General Grant.  Mr. Evarts was not at liberty to mention names
of senators holding these views and originating the proposition of
my nomination.

"I suggested a number of objections, some personal as to myself,
and others of a public character, to giving my assent to the proposed
nomination, in reply to which objections many of the above statements
by Mr. Evarts were made.  I then said I would again talk with
General Grant upon the subject, and give a definite reply the next
morning.  About eleven o'clock the same night (April 21) I informed
General Grant at his house that the proposition above named had
been (or it would be) made to me; that it originated with Republican
senators; and I gave in substance the reasons above stated as what
I understood to be the grounds upon which the proposition was made.
I did not give any names of senators, nor the channel through which
my information or the proposition came.  My remarks to General
Grant were prefaced by the statement that while I would be glad of
General Grant's advice if he felt at liberty to give it, I did not
wish to ask General Grant to commit himself in so delicate a matter
unless he desired to do so; but that the matter was one of so great
importance that I thought it my duty to tell him all about it, and
what I believed I ought to do, and leave General Grant to advise
me or not, as he thought best.  I said that although the statement
of the views and wishes of senators above referred to came to me
indirectly, they came in such a way as not to permit me to doubt
their correctness, and I believed it my duty to yield to the request.
General Grant at once replied that under those circumstances he
did not see how I could do otherwise.  General Grant said he did
not believe in any compromise of the impeachment question.  The
President ought to be convicted or acquitted fairly and squarely
on the facts proved.  That if he was acquitted, as soon as Congress
adjourned he would trample the laws under foot and do whatever he
pleased; that Congress would have to remain in session all summer
to protect the country from the lawless acts of the President; that
the only limit to his violation of law had been, and would be, his
courage, which had been very slight heretofore, but would be vastly
increased by his escape from punishment.  General Grant said he
would not believe any pledge or promise Mr. Johnson might make in
regard to his future conduct.  In his opinion, the only safe course,
and the most popular one, would be to remove the President.  He
could understand the grounds of apprehension in the minds of some
leading Republicans, but he did not agree with them.  He believed
the safest and wisest course was the bold and direct one.  In this
General Grant was very emphatic; he said he would not advise me to
enter into any project to compromise the impeachment question, but
if the facts were as represented that I could not well do otherwise
than to acquiesce in the nomination.

                                           INTERVIEWS WITH EVARTS AND GRANT

"The next morning (April 22), about ten o'clock, I called upon Mr.
Evarts at Willard's Hotel, and informed him that I had considered
the matter as carefully as I was able to do, and that there was
only one difficulty in my mind.  That was as to what would be the
policy of the President during the remainder of his term, in the
event of his being acquitted.  I mentioned some of the President's
recent acts, such as the creation of the Military Division of the
Atlantic, disregard of military usage in sending orders to army
officers out of the regular channels, etc.--acts for which no good
reason could be given, and which at least tended to create discord
and trouble.  Mr. Evarts replied that he could not tell anything
about those matters, but presumed that such annoying irregularities
would disappear with the removal of their cause, namely, hostility
between the President and the Secretary of War.  Mr. Evarts said
he did not see how I could satisfy myself of that subject without
a personal interview with the President, which would not be advisable
in the circumstances.  I then said I did not expect any pledge from
the President, and did not expect to receive any communication from
him on the subject, either directly or indirectly; and that I was
not willing to converse with the President, nor with any other
person except Mr. Evarts, on the subject; but that I wished the
President to understand distinctly the conditions upon which I was
willing to accept the appointment, and desired Mr. Evarts to inform
the President of these conditions.  If the nomination was then
made, I would take it for granted that the conditions were
satisfactory.  I then said I had always been treated kindly by the
President, and felt kindly toward him; that I had always advised
him, whenever any excuse had been given for offering advice, to
avoid all causes of irritation with Congress, and try to act in
harmony with the legislative department; that I regarded the removal
of Mr. Stanton, in the way it was done, as wrong and unwise; that
I understood this proposition as coming originally from the Republican
side of the Senate, and as being accepted by the President in the
interest of peace, and for the purpose of securing harmony between
the legislative and executive departments of the government, and
a just and faithful administration of the laws, including the
reconstruction acts.  I added:  'And the President knows from
General Schofield's acts what he means by this,--if, after these
conditions have been fully stated to the President, he sends my
name to the Senate, I will deem it my duty to say nothing on the
subject of accepting or declining the appointment until the Senate
has acted upon it.'

"Mr. Evarts intimated that the above was satisfactory, and the
interview then ended."

I returned to Richmond on Thursday, April 23, being then in command
in Virginia, executing the reconstruction acts.  On the 24th the
President sent to the Senate my nomination as Secretary of War.
On the morning of the 26th I received from General Grant a confidential
letter, dated April 25, advising me under the circumstances to
decline the secretaryship in advance.( 8)

To the above letter I sent the following letters in reply:

  "Richmond, Va., April 26, 1868.
"Dear General:  I regret exceedingly that your advice came too
late.  I have already promised not to decline the nomination in
advance of any action of the Senate.

  "Yours very truly,
  "J. M. Schofield, Bvt. Maj.-Gen.
"Gen'l Grant, Washington, D. C."

  "Richmond, Va., April 26, 1868.
"Dear General:  I see from the papers that the President has
nominated me to the Senate as Secretary of War.  You are aware that
I do not want that office; yet under existing circumstances, if
the Senate should wish me to serve I could not decline.  I presume
my nomination will not be confirmed, but have no right to act upon
any such presumption.

  "Yours very truly,
  "J. M. Schofield, Bvt. Maj.-Gen.
"Gen'l Grant, Washington, D. C."

                                           FAILURE OF THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

I have no means of knowing to what extent, if any, the Senate was
influenced by this nomination, but anxiety about the ultimate result
seemed to be soon allayed.  About a month later a vote was taken
in the Senate, and the impeachment failed; my nomination was then
confirmed, as stated at the time, by a nearly unanimous vote of
the Senate.

I entered upon the duties of the office as Secretary of War on the
first day of June, and continued to discharge them until a few days
after General Grant's inauguration in March.  I was greeted very
cordially by the President, by all the members of his cabinet, by
General Grant, and by a large number of senators who called upon
me at the War Department.

The duties devolved upon me were often of a very delicate character,
and it required at times no little tact to avoid serious trouble.
President Johnson's views were sometimes in direct conflict with
those which I felt compelled to maintain under the acts of Congress
affecting the States lately in rebellion; but it is due to the
memory of President Johnson to say that he did not at any time
require me to do anything contrary to my interpretation of the acts
of Congress, and the he in general acquiesced without objection in
all the measures I deemed necessary to preserve the peace and secure
a fair vote of the newly enfranchised citizens of the Southern
States in the Presidential election.  The cordial assistance of
Mr. Evarts as Attorney-General was a great help to me in such
matters.  When he was present I had little difficulty in respect
to the law involved in any question; but when he happened to be
absent, and I was compelled to stand alone against all the cabinet,
or all who chose to take any interest in the question, it was hard
work.  But I always carried the day--at least, in act if not in
argument.  The President never decided against me.  He thus fulfilled
to the letter the implied promise made when he submitted my nomination
to the Senate.

If there ever had been any real ground for the wide-spread apprehension
of criminal purpose on the part of President Johnson, certainly
all indication of any such purpose disappeared with the failure of
his impeachment and the settlement of the long-standing controversy
respecting the War Department.  The so-called reconstruction laws,
which the President so emphatically condemned as being unconstitutional,
were carried out without any further objection from him; the
Presidential election in the Southern States was conducted with
perfect good order; a free ballot and a full count were secured
under the supervision and protection of the army--a thing supposed
to be so dangerous to the liberties of a free people.  This and
many other examples in the history of this country, from the time
when Washington surrendered his commission to the Continental
Congress down to the present time, show that a "free people" have
nothing to fear from their army, whether regular, volunteer, or
militia; the soldiers are, in fact, among the most devoted and
loyal citizens of the republic, and thoroughly imbued with the
fundamental principle of subordination of the military to the civil

                                              HARMONY IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT

With General Grant my relations while in the War Department were
of the most satisfactory character.  As a candidate for the
Presidency, and as President-elect, he naturally desired to be as
free as possible from the current duties of his office as general
of the army, and he was absent from Washington much of the time,
his chief of staff, General Rawlins, remaining there to promulgate
orders in his name.  Thus it devolved upon me to exercise all the
functions of "commander-in-chief of the army"--functions which it
is usually attempted to divide among three,--the President, the
Secretary of War, and the general-in-chief,--without any legal
definition of the part which belongs to each.  Of course "the
machine" ran very smoothly in the one case, though there had been
much friction in the other.

In compliance with the wish of General Grant, I remained in office
under him for a few days, for the purpose of inaugurating the system
which he hoped would end the long-standing controversy between the
War Department and the headquarters of the army.  The order which
was issued assigning General Sherman to command the entire army,
staff as well as line, was prepared by me under General Grant's
instructions, and the draft of the order was approved by him as
expressing the views he had maintained when he was general-in-chief.
As President he very soon yielded to the opposite views, and caused
the order to be amended accordingly.

That General Sherman then entertained views of his authority which
were too broad, as General Grant had also done, is no doubt true;
but it ought not to have been very difficult to correct such errors.
It was easier to take away all administrative authority and all
command over the general staff of the army, and the latter course
was adopted.  The ancient controversy was up to 1888 no nearer
settlement than it was in 1869, though in General Sheridan's time
some progress had been made in the persistent efforts to deprive
the general-in-chief of the little authority which had been left
to General Sherman.  General Sheridan had, with his usual gallantry
and confidence, renewed the contest, but had been worsted in his
first encounter with the Secretary, and then gave up the struggle.

Upon my assignment to the "command of the army" in 1888, I determined
to profit so far as possible by the unsatisfactory experience of
Generals Scott, Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan--at least so far as
to avoid further attempts to accomplish the impossible, which
attempts have usually the result of accomplishing little or nothing.
In fact, long study of the subject, at the instance of Generals
Grant and Sherman, earnest efforts to champion their views, and
knowledge of the causes of their failure, had led me to the conclusion
heretofore suggested, namely, that under the government of the
United States an actual military commander of the army is not
possible, unless in an extreme emergency like that which led to
the assignment of Lieutenant-General Grant in 1864; and that the
general-in-chief, or nominal commanding general, can at most be
only a "chief of staff,"--that or nothing,--whatever may be the
mere title under which he may be assigned to duty by the President.

                                          A NEW POLICY AT ARMY HEADQUARTERS

As the first step in the experimental course decided upon, I sent
an order in writing to the adjutant-general, directing him never,
under any circumstances, to issue an order dictated by me, or in
my name, without first laying it before the Secretary of War; and
I made it known to all the staff that I disclaimed the right to
issue any order to the army without the knowledge of the President
or the Secretary.  I also forbade the issuing of any order in my
name without my knowledge.  The first rule was easy, the latter
very difficult, to enforce.  I found, with no little surprise, that
the office of the "commanding general" usually learned for the
first time of routine orders issued in his name by seeing them
published in the New York papers the next day; and it was quite
difficult at first to make it distinctly understood that such a
practice could not be tolerated.  In fact, it became necessary to
call attention to the question of veracity involved in such a use
of the general's name.  Such was the condition the War Department
had reached.  The adjutant-general had acquired the habit of issuing
nearly all his orders to the army without the knowledge of any one
of his superiors--the President, the Secretary of War, or the
general-in-chief.  In fact, the adjutant-general had in practice
come very near being "commander-in-chief."

Some time and much patience were required to bring about the
necessary change, but ere long the result became very apparent.
Perfect harmony was established between the War Department and the
headquarters of the army, and this continued, under the administrations
of Secretaries Proctor, Elkins, and Lamont, up to the time of my
retirement from active service.  During all this period,--namely,
from 1889 to 1895, under the administrations of Presidents Harrison
and Cleveland,--the method I have indicated was exactly followed
by the President in all cases of such importance as to demand his
personal action, and some such cases occurred under both administrations.
The orders issued were actually the President's orders.  No matter
by whom suggested or by whom formulated, they were in their final
form understandingly dictated by the President, and sent to the
army in his name by the commanding general, thus leaving no possible
ground for question as to the constitutional authority under which
they were issued, nor of the regularity of the methods, in conformity
with army regulations, by which they were communicated to the army.

It is, I think, to be hoped that the system thus begun may be fully
developed and become permanent, as being the best practicable
solution of a long-standing and dangerous controversy, and as most
in accord with the fundamental principles of our constitutional
government, under which the President, whether a soldier or a
civilian, is in fact as well as in name the commander-in-chief of
the army and navy.

[( 1) Grant's "Memoirs," Vol. II, p. 105.]

[( 2) Grant's "Memoirs," Vol. II, pp. 104, 105; Sherman's "Memoirs,"
second edition, Vol. II, pp. 446-450.]

[( 3) See General Grant's letter to President Andrew Johnson, August
1, 1867, in McPherson's "History of Reconstruction," p. 307.]

[( 4) See General Grant's letter to President Andrew Johnson,
February 3, 1868, in McPherson's "History of Reconstruction," p.

[( 5) Sherman's "Memoirs," second edition, Vol. II, p. 241; and
McPherson's "History of Reconstruction," pp. 282-293.]

[( 6) Sherman's "Memoirs," second edition, Vol. II, pp. 422-424.]

[( 7) The records of the Peabody trustees show that their meeting
in Richmond, when General Grant was present, occurred January 21
and 22, 1868.]

[( 8) From all circumstances it is fair to assume that General
Grant's change of attitude was owing to his opinion as to the effect
the nomination would have upon the impeachment proceedings.]

Assignment to the Department of the Missouri--A Cordial Reception
from Former Opponents in St. Louis--Origin of the Military School
at Fort Riley--Funeral of General George H. Thomas--Death of General
George G. Meade--Assigned to the Division of the Pacific--A Visit
to Hawaii--Military Men in the Exercise of Political Power--Trouble
with the Modoc Indians--The Canby Massacre.

When I went into the War Office in 1868, the cordial greeting
extended from all quarters was exceedingly gratifying to me, and,
I thought, highly honorable to those gentlemen, especially in the
Senate, who had so long opposed me, only one of whom, I believe,
failed to call at the office and express a kindly welcome; and that
one was so great a man, in his own estimation, I flattered myself
that was the only reason he had not called to greet me.  So when
I returned to St. Louis in March, 1869, the good citizens of that
place gave me a banquet and a most cordial welcome, in which all
participated, save one, of those who had seemed to be my most bitter
enemies in 1862 and 1863.  It was especially noteworthy that the
Hon. Charles D. Drake, who had been chairman of the large delegation
which went to Washington, and one of the recognized leaders in the
movement, to obtain my removal from the command in Missouri, was
among the most cordial in his expressions of esteem and regard from
March, 1869, up to the time of his death, at which time I was in
command of the army.  But his principal associate, the Hon. Henry
T. Blow, could not forgive me, for what thing especially I do not
know, unless for my offense in arresting a "loyal" editor, for
which he denounced me in a telegram to the President.  That was,
no doubt, a very grave offense, but a natural one for a young
soldier.  Indeed, old as I am now, and much sad experience as I
have had with the press, I would probably do the same thing again.
That "loyal" editor, professing the greatest zeal for the Union
cause and devotion to the National Government, had published, in
a city under martial law, a confidential letter from the President,
the commander-in-chief of the army, to the commanding general of
that department.  The ever kind and indulgent President was only
too willing to overlook such an offense on the part of one who
professed to be a friend of the Union.  But a soldier could not
overlook such an outrage as that upon his commander-in-chief, and
upon the cause he was sworn to defend.  Though his respect for a
free press be profound, there are some kinds of freedom which must,
in time of war, be crushed, even though the soldier himself may
also be crushed.  A soldier who is not ready to meet his fate in
that way, as well as in battle, is not fit to command.


In President Grant's order of March, 1869, assigning the general
officers to commands, the Department of the Missouri again fell to
my lot.  I relieved Lieutenant-General Sheridan, who took command
of the Division of the Missouri, and removed his headquarters from
St. Louis to Chicago, which then became for the first time the
principal military center of all the Western country.  These
arrangements were intended to be as nearly permanent as practicable,
so that all might have a period of comparative rest after the eight
years of war and strife.  I then reverted, for the first time in
those eight years, to the thoughts and ambitions of my youth and
young manhood, for I had grown much older in that time.  First was
the ambition, inherited from my grandfather McAllister, to acquire
a farm big enough to keep all the neighbors at a respectful distance.
In company with my brother and another officer, I bought in Colorado
a ranch about ten miles square, and projected some farming and
stock-raising on a large scale.  My dream was to prepare a place
where I could, ere long, retire from public life and pass the
remainder of my days in peace and in the enjoyment of all those
out-of-door sports which were always so congenial to me.  But events
"over which I had no control" soon defeated that scheme.  That,
like all the other plans of my own invention, came to naught.  The
ranch was sold, and I got out of it, as I always tried to do, about
as much as I had put in.

Upon a suggestion from General Henry J. Hunt, the famous chief of
artillery, when I was in the War Department, I ordered a light-
artillery school to be established at Fort Riley, Kansas.  Also,
upon his suggestion, I directed that the four batteries which were
to compose that school should be supplied with carbines, so that
they might serve as cavalry when necessary to protect the neighboring
settlements against Indian raids, and thus overcome any objection
which might be urged on the ground that the barracks at Fort Riley
were needed for cavalry.  The school was organized, under Colonel
John Hamilton; the batteries did good service as cavalry in the
summers of 1869 and 1870; and all was working, as I thought, in a
highly satisfactory manner so long as I remained in command of that
department.  But after I went to California, for some inscrutable
reason the school was broken up and the batteries again scattered
to separate posts.

                                ORIGIN OF THE MILITARY SCHOOL AT FORT RILEY

When that department again came under by command, as part of the
Division of the Missouri, and General Sheridan was in command of
the army, a move was made by somebody to get possession of that
splendid military reservation of Fort Riley for some other purpose.
Hence it became necessary to manifest in some more striking way
the importance of that place for military uses.  The occasion had
again come for carrying out that scheme which Hunt and I had devised
for doing what was so much needed for the artillery.  Fortunately,
General Sheridan wanted also to do something beneficial for the
cavalry, in which he felt much the same special interest that I
did in the artillery.  So a sort of alliance, offensive and defensive,
was formed, which included as its most active and influential member
Senator Plumb of Kansas, to obtain the necessary funds and build
a suitable post and establish at Fort Riley a school of cavalry
and light artillery.  The result finally attained, when I was in
command of the army, is well known, and is an honor to the country.

The department headquarters were removed to St. Louis during the
winter of 1869-70 to make room at Fort Leavenworth for the cavalry
who had been on the plains during the summer.  I then had the
pleasure of renewing the intimate friendships which had been formed
between 1860 and 1863 in that most hospitable city.  Even those
ties which had been so rudely severed by war in the spring of 1861
were restored and became as strong as ever.  I found that the memory
of a little humanity displayed in mitigating somewhat the horrors
of war had sufficed to obliterate in those few years the recollection
of a bitter sectional enmity; while, on the other hand, a record
of some faithful service far enough from their eyes to enable them
to see it without the aid of a microscope, and the cooler judgment
of a few years of peace, had so far obscured the partizan contests
of a period of war that none were more cordial friends in 1869 than
those who had seemed bitterest enemies six years before.  Human
nature is not half so bad as it sometimes pretends to be.  As a
rule, it would be pretty good all the time if men could only keep
cool.  Among all the enjoyments of that season in St. Louis, that
which left the deepest impression on my memory, as has always been
the case with me, was the sport at Hat Island, under the management
of that most genial of companions, Ben Stickney.  We hunted with
hounds before breakfast every morning, and shot water-fowl from
breakfast till supper.  What was done after supper has never been
told.  What conclusive evidence of the "reversionary" tendency in
civilized man to a humbler state!  He never feels so happy as when
he throws off a large part of his civilization and reverts to the
life of a semi-savage.  The only thing that saves him from total
relapse is the fact that he takes with him those little comforts,
both liquid and solid, which cannot be found in the woods.  He thus
keeps up the taste that finally draws him back again to a civilized,
or, more accurately, semi-civilized life.  If any sportsman knows
any better reason than that for not living like a savage when in
his hunting-camp, I would like him to give that reason to me!

We returned to Fort Leavenworth in the spring, and expected to make
that our permanent home.  Some necessary improvements had been made
in the quarters during the winter, and no one could have desired
a more comfortable residence, more congenial companionship, or more
agreeable occupation than that of guarding and protecting the infant
settlements of industrious but unarmed and confiding people rapidly
spreading far out upon the plains.  With my cavalry and carbined
artillery encamped in front, I wanted no other occupation in life
than to ward off the savage and kill off his food until there should
no longer be an Indian frontier in our beautiful country.

                                        FUNERAL OF GENERAL GEORGE H. THOMAS

But soon after my pickets were put out on the plains, there came
the sad news of the sudden death, in San Francisco, of my old
commander, General George H. Thomas.  His body was brought east to
Troy, New York, for interment.  All his old companions, including
President Grant, assembled to pay the last tribute of respect and
honor to that noble old soldier, whose untimely death was deeply
mourned by all.  It was a most impressive scene,  All the high
commanders of the vast army which had been disbanded five years
before assembled around the grave of one of their number.  The hero
was buried, as he had lived, honored by all who knew him, and
mourned by the nation he had so faithfully served.

Immediately after the funeral of General Thomas there was, if I
recollect rightly, a large assembly, in Philadelphia, of the Society
of the Army of the Potomac.  General Grant and General Sherman were
there, and we met at an early dinner at the house of General Meade,
who had been designated by General Sherman to succeed General Thomas
in command of the Division of the Pacific.  After dinner General
Meade took me to drive through Fairmount Park, in which he was
greatly interested as president of the commission having it in
charge.  He explained to me the great sacrifice he would make in
giving up command of the Division of the Atlantic, and his congenial
occupation and pleasant home in Philadelphia, where he was best
known and most highly respected, and where, as I could see in
driving along, almost everybody recognized and saluted him.  I
thought he had indeed better reason to feel satisfied with his home
than any other man I had known.  But he, too, great and brave
soldier, was given but little longer to enjoy the high honors he
had so nobly won in command of the Army of the Potomac.  When I
had so far recovered from a severe attack of pneumonia as to be
permitted to look for the first time at a morning paper, one of
the first things that attracted by attention was the death of
General Meade, from the same disease, the day before.

Of course the President did not hesitate to accede to General
Meade's desire, for he had given him, only a year before, the
division of his choice.  As is well known, the relations between
General Meade and General Hancock were not at that time quite
satisfactory.  As I knew the exact truth at the time, I think it
my duty to state that General Grant believed that General Hancock
had not at one time shown that degree of subordination which a
soldier ought always to feel.  But to the honor of both be it said
that their difference was ere long removed, and General Hancock
was assigned to command the Division of the Atlantic, according to
his rank.  In the meantime, it fell my lot to take the Division of
the Pacific, which I had a year before gladly relinquished in favor
of General Thomas.

Soon after my arrival in San Francisco, General Sherman met me
there, and we went together, by sea, to Oregon, where we met General
Canby, then commanding the Department of the Columbia.  We ascended
the Columbia River to Umatilla, and rode by stage from that place
to Kelton, on the Central Pacific Railroad, seven hundred and fifty
miles. After a visit to Salt Lake City, we returned to St. Louis,
where I had some work to complete as president of a board on tactics
and small arms, upon the completion of which I returned to San

In the summer of 1871, after the great earthquake of that year, I
made a trip across the Sierra to Camp Independence, which had been
destroyed, to consider the question of rebuilding that post.  Of
the buildings, brick or adobe, not one remained in condition to be
occupied.  Very fortunately, all in the garrison had received timely
warning from the first shock, so that none were injured by the
second and third shocks, which tumbled everything to the ground.
Some thirty people living in small adobe houses in Owens River
valley were killed.  Sounds like heavy artillery in the distance
were still heard at intervals after our arrival.  For many miles
along the length of the valley a great crevasse had been formed by
the upheaval, which must have been many feet in height.  In the
subsidence one side had fallen several feet lower than the other,
and at a place where the crack crossed the wagon-tracks a horizontal
motion of several feet had taken place, the road marking its
permanent effect.

                                    ASSIGNED TO THE DIVISION OF THE PACIFIC

We ascended Owens River valley to the source of that stream,
recrossed the mountains by the "bloody" cañon, and descended through
the great Yosemite valley, which from the higher altitude looked
like a little "hole in the ground."  That was the least interesting
of all my four visits to that wonderful work of nature.  Our round
trip occupied about seven weeks.

At our last camp, in Tuolumne meadows, some time in August, after
the temperature had been above eighty degrees in the daytime, it
fell below thirty at night.  I contracted a cold which developed
into pneumonia, from which I did not recover for many months.  It
was during my convalescence that I went with Colonel B. S. Alexander
to the Hawaiian Islands, under an arrangement previously made with
the War Department.

It was the year 1872 when I and Colonel Alexander, the senior
engineer officer on the Pacific coast, who had applied to the War
Department and obtained an order to visit the Hawaiian Islands for
the purpose of reporting to the War Department, confidentially,
the value of those islands to the United States for military and
naval purposes, went to Hawaii with Rear-Admiral Pennock on the
flag-ship _California_, and returned, three months later, on the
war-steamer _Benicia_.  During our stay we visited the largest
island of the group,--Hawaii,--and its principal seaport,--Hilo,--
and the great crater of Kilauea.  We made a careful examination of
the famous harbor of Pearl River, in the island of Oahu, a few
miles from Honolulu, including a survey of the entrance to that
harbor and an estimate of the cost of cutting a deep ship-channel
through the coral reef at the extremity of that entrance toward
the sea.

At that time the young king Lunalilo had just ascended the throne
made vacant by the death of the last of the ancient reigning house
of Hawaii.  The policy of the preceding king had been annexation
to the United States; but the new sovereign and his advisers were
opposed to that policy, although very friendly to Americans, and
largely controlled by their influence in governmental affairs.  It
was manifest that the question of annexation ought not to be
discussed at that time, but that action ought to be taken at once
to secure to the United States the exclusive right to the use of
Pearl River harbor for naval purposes, and to prepare the way to
make annexation to the United States sure in due time.  This could
readily be done by making such concessions in favor of the products
of Hawaiian industries as would develop the resources of the islands
and increase their wealth, all of which would be to the ultimate
benefit of the United States when the islands should become a part
of this country.

                                                          A VISIT TO HAWAII

The continuous and rapid decay of all the ancient families of
chiefs, from which alone would the people ever think of electing
a king or a queen, and the notorious corruption in blood and
character of the few remaining half-castes nominally belonging to
those ancient families, made it plain to all that the monarchical
government must soon die a natural death, or become so intolerably
corrupt as to make its overthrow inevitable.  Americans by birth
or descent were then, and had been for a long time, the controlling
element in the government.  While perfectly faithful to that
government, they had lost none of their love for their native
country, and looked forward with confidence to the time when the
islands, like ripe fruit, should fall into the lap of their beloved
mother.  These American Hawaiians were men of very high character,
and much above the average of intelligence even in this country.
They had no desire to force the ripening of the fruit, but were
perfectly content to bide the course of nature, which must of
necessity produce the result in no long time.

It seems to me a very narrow view of the intelligence of the people
of this country which suggests any serious difficulty in the
government of outlying possessions which are essentially military
and naval outposts simply because their heterogeneous populations
are not yet capable of self-government, or fit for admission to
the Union as a State.  If the Territorial system to which the
country is accustomed is not appropriate in any special case, and
the prejudice against a military government is regarded as
insurmountable, we have an example in the present government of
the District of Columbia,--one of the best and most economical in
the world,--which would require very slight modification to make
it perfectly applicable to any of the islands of the Atlantic, the
Pacific, or the gulf which may be acquired by this country.  I do
not believe any man worthy of the title of statesman will admit
for a moment that the United States cannot govern, and govern well,
any national outposts or other possessions which the interests of
the country may require it to hold.  In fact, it seems an almost
self-evident proposition that a government, under exclusive national
authority, exercised over comparatively small districts of country
and small population, under the constant observation of the people
and public press of the entire country, is more likely to be just
and pure than any other.  Responsibility to a local constituency
undoubtedly has great advantages, but responsibility to the government
and entire people of the United States has vastly greater.

When it was proposed to me in Virginia, in 1867, that I become a
candidate for the United States Senate under the State government
which I was trying to "reconstruct," I replied that in my opinion
the highest qualification I possessed for that difficult duty I
was then required to perform resided in the fact that there was
"nothing in the gift of Virginia which I could afford to accept."
I believe now that the highest external incentive to honorable
conduct anywhere in the world is that of responsibility to the
government and the whole people of the United States.  There need
be no apprehension that any American who has a national reputation
at stake will be guilty of any of the crimes which are said to
stain the administration of viceroys in some parts of the world.
The prejudice which still exists in this country in respect to
military government is due solely to the fact that the people do
not yet appreciate the legitimate influence which they themselves
exercise over their public servants, military no less than civil.
Indeed, there is perhaps no other class of citizens so sensitive
to public criticism as those in the military service, certainly
none who value more highly their reputation for faithful and
honorable conduct in the public service.  I do not hesitate to give
it as my deliberate judgment, based upon the experience of half a
century, that the best and most satisfactory government any island
of the West Indies can have in the next hundred years will be a
military government under an officer of the United States army.

It is only an incident of despotic governments, past or present,
that soldiers have been employed to execute despotic orders.  The
common inference that military government is essentially despotic
is absolutely false.  On the contrary, military men are, as a rule,
the most humane. This has been most notably so in the history of
this country.  Almost without exception, the soldiers of all grades
in the Union army desired to treat the conquered South with all
possible kindness and humanity, while the men who inflicted upon
the Southern people the worst form of cruelty were men who had
never fought a battle.  There have been some cruel soldiers in the
world, many more cruel men who were not soldiers except perhaps in
name.  Men of that character generally avoid danger.  What mankind
has most to dread is the placing of military power in the hands of
men who are not real soldiers.  They are quite sure to abuse it in
one way or the others, by cruelty to their own men, or else to
others.  The same disregard for human life which induces an ignorant
man to take command of troops and send them to useless slaughter
may well manifest itself in barbarity toward prisoners of war or
non-combatants; but a real soldier is never guilty of either of
those crimes, which seem to me alike among the greatest in military

                                             TROUBLE WITH THE MODOC INDIANS

The Modoc Indians were a brave people, and had always been friends
of the whites; but their old home in southern Oregon was rich
grazing-land, and was much coveted by the ranchmen of that region.
Hence the Modocs were induced in some way to leave their homes and
go upon the Klamath reservation.  There they were starved and
generally abused until they could stand it no longer.  They went
back to their old place, and declared they would die rather than
go to live with the Klamaths again.  Repeated requests were made
by the Indian Bureau to the War Department to force the Modocs to
go back to the Klamaths; but this was firmly opposed by General
Canby, commanding the department; by me, who then commanded the
Division of the Pacific; and by General Sherman, commanding the
army.  No such order could be obtained in the regular way.  Resort
was had to an innocent old army regulation which directed department
commanders to render such military assistance as might be necessary
to enable the Indian superintendents to carry out their orders from
Washington.  Without the knowledge of the President, or the Secretary
of War, or the general of the army, an order was sent from the
Indian Bureau in Washington to send the Modocs back to the Klamath
reservation, and to call on the department commander for troops to
enforce the order.  General Canby, honorable and simple-hearted
man that he was, never imagined that such an order could come from
Washington, after all that had been said about it, unless with the
sanction of the highest authority and the knowledge of the War
Department.  He did not even think it necessary to report to the
division commander the requisition which had been made upon him
for troops, but loyally obeyed the old regulation.  The first
information that came to me was that the troops had been beaten
with heavy loss, and that many of the surrounding settlers had been
killed by the Indians.  A long and bloody war ensued, with some
results which were deplorable in the extreme.  General Canby's
confiding nature had led him into a terrible mistake.  He had
executed an unwise regulation which placed military power in unworthy
hands, without waiting to inquire whether that power was not, in
fact, about to be unlawfully abused, and thus had become a party
to the sacrifice of many innocent lives.  The brave and noble-
hearted Canby strove in every possible way to make peace with the
Modocs without further shedding of innocent blood.  But the savage
red man, who had never been guilty of breaking faith with a civilized
white man, would no longer trust any one of the "treacherous race."
He paid them back "in their own coin," according to his traditional
method.  Though warned of the danger, Canby went calmly into the
trap they had laid for him, in the hope that his confidence might
inspire their respect; but he was the very man whose troops had
been ordered to drive them out from their happy homes, and they
treacherously killed him.  And I doubt not, if more blood must be
shed, he preferred to be the first to die.  This is the true history
of the "Canby massacre."

                                                         THE CANBY MASSACRE

After a long contest, costing many lives, the Modocs were subdued
and made prisoners.  Those Indians who had been engaged in the
massacre were tried and justly executed according to the laws of
civilized war, while those white men who, in no less flagrant
disregard of the laws of civilization, brought on the war were not
called to any account for their crime.  But President Grant, when
I called his attention to the abuse of that old regulation, promptly
abolished it.  Since that time, as I understand it, no man but the
head of the nation can order the army to kill unless necessary in
defense, nor determine for what purposes the army may be employed.
The people of the United States are advancing, though slowly, in
civilization.  Their fundamental law has very wisely always provided
that Congress alone should have power to "declare war"; but for
many years any Indian agent, or any bloodthirsty white man on the
frontier, who chose to kill an Indian in cold blood, could inaugurate
a war without waiting to declare it, and that without the slightest
danger of punishment.  A little military justice, in the absence
of any possible civil government, in what was so long called the
"Indian country" would have saved many hundreds of millions of
dollars and many thousands of lives.  But the inherited prejudice
against "military despotism" has hardly yet been eradicated from
the minds of the millions of freemen who inhabit this country--as
if seventy or fifty, or even thirty, millions of people could not
defend their liberties against a little standing army!  A white
murderer was long regarded as so much better than an honest Indian
that the murderer must go free because there was no judge or jury
to try him, while the Indian must be shot by the soldiers, without
trial, for trying to protect himself from murder.  If the innocent
could be separated from the guilty, "plague, pestilence, and famine"
would not be an unjust punishment for the crimes committed in this
country against the original occupants of the soil.  And it should
be remembered that when retribution comes, though we may not
understand why, the innocent often share the fate of the guilty.
The law under which nations suffer for their crimes does not seem
to differ much from the law of retribution which governs the savage

No possible plea of the demands of civilization, or of the interests
of a superior race, can be held to justify such a policy as that
long pursued by the people of this country.  The natural law of
the "survival of the fittest" may doubtless be pleaded in explanation
of all that has happened; but that is not a law of Christianity,
nor of civilization, nor of wisdom.  It is the law of greed and
cruelty, which generally works in the end the destruction of its
devotees.  In their greedy and blind pursuit of their own prey,
they lose sight of the shark that is waiting to devour them.  It
is still the "fittest" that survives.  It were wiser to remember
that the shark is always well armed, and if you would survive him
you must be fitter than he.  If the benign law of civilization
could be relied upon always to govern, then all would be well.
But as long as sharks still live, the cruel law of nature cannot
be ignored.  The highest principles and the highest wisdom, combined,
would seem to suggest the higher law as the rule of action toward
the weaker, and the natural law as the rule for defense against
the stronger.  This country has, happily, already made some progress
in both directions.  If that is continued a few more years, then
all, strong as well as weak, will be glad to "arbitrate" if we ask
them to.

Superintendent at West Point--General Sherman's Ulterior Reasons
for the Appointment--Origin of the "Department of West Point"--Case
of the Colored Cadet Whittaker--A Proposed Removal for Political
Effect--General Terry's Friendly Attitude--A Muddle of New Commands
--Waiting Orders, and a Visit to Europe--Again in Command in the
West--The Establishment of Fort Sheridan at Chicago.

In the centennial year, 1876, I committed the mistake of my life
by consenting, in deference to the opinions and wishes of my
superiors and in opposition to my own judgment and interests, to
give up the command of a military division appropriate to my rank
of major-general, and accept a position which by law and custom
was appropriate to the rank of colonel.  The following extracts
from correspondence will sufficiently explain the reasons for this
extraordinary action, and the assurances which induced it:

  "Washington, D. C., March 28, 1876.
"General John M. Schofield, San Francisco, California:

"Will you accept the superintendency of the military academy at
West Point?  I advise it.  Your rank and history will elevate it
and solve all trouble.  Admiral Porter's example at Annapolis is
suggested as precedent.  The President, Secretary Taft, and I are
unanimous on the wisdom and propriety of it.  Advise me of your
decision as early as you can--certainly this week.  You will be
subject to no supervision except by the usual board of visitors
and the general commanding the army.

  "W. T. Sherman, General."

  "San Francisco, Cal., March 29, 1876.
"General Sherman, Washington, D. C.:

"I appreciate the importance of the superintendency of the academy,
and the compliment paid me by the President, Secretary of War, and
yourself in desiring me to accept it.  Under the circumstances I
cannot decline. . . .

  "J. M. Schofield, Major-General."

  "Headquarters of the Army,
  "Washington, D. C., March 30, 1876.
"General J. M. Schofield, San Francisco, California.

"Despatch received, and am much pleased; think you could add new
luster to the old academy.  It has always needed a head with rank
and experience, and now I am sure that the whole country will be
satisfied. . . . I am not yet resolved on my own course of action,
but will be governed by events to occur in this week.

  "W. T. Sherman, General."

                                               SUPERINTENDENT AT WEST POINT

  "Headquarters Mil. Div. of the Pacific,
  "San Francisco, Cal., March 30, 1876.
"General Sherman, etc., Washington, D. C.

"My dear General:  I was not taken entirely by surprise by your
despatch relative to the West Point superintendency.  General Grant
mentioned the subject to me soon after the war, and army officers
since that time have spoken of it often enough to keep me in mind
of the fact that I might some time be called upon to assume that
responsibility.  Yet it is with a strong feeling of reluctance that
I have brought myself to regard it as a thing to be done.  This
feeling results from several causes, which I desire to explain to
you, while I know you will give me credit for a desire to do what
appears best for the public service, and satisfactory to all
concerned, without too much concern for my own personal preference.

"In the first place, I have no little doubt of the possession of
any special fitness for that position, and have pretty strong
appreciation of its difficulties and importance.  I do not feel at
all confident that the flattering expectations of my friends will
be realized from my management of the academy.

"I have been there enough to know pretty well how difficult a post
that of superintendent is, and how varied the good qualities a man
ought to possess to fit him in all respects for it.

"Rank and reputation will of course be of some assistance, but
their good effect will be greatly impaired without the dignity of
command belonging to them.  To transfer an officer of rank from a
high command and post of great responsibility and trust to one
heretofore regarded as appropriate to an inferior grade, may be
regarded as elevating the dignity of the new command, but looks
much more like degrading the officer, and to that extent impairs
the good effect desired to be produced.  Besides, it is impossible
for any officer not to _feel_ that in taking such inferior command,
although it is even for the avowed purpose of raising its dignity,
that he is stooping to do so.  Especially must both these effects
be produced when the assignment is only an executive act.  If it
was done in pursuance of law, the case would be materially different.
. . .

"We were all delighted at the news of your return to Washington
and the prospect of your restoration to the proper duties and
authority of general of the army; and I sincerely hope the events
to occur this week, alluded to in your telegram to-day, may be such
as to justify you in taking the course universally desired by the
army.  We want our general where he can best look after all the
interests of the military service, with power to command the army
in fact as well as in name.

"I have read with the greatest pleasure your capital speech to the
Knights of St. Patrick.

"Please present my respectful compliments to the Secretary of War,
and my kindest regards to the President.

  "I am, dear General, as ever, truly yours,
  "J. M. Schofield."

During the Civil War the demand for the services in the field of
the most capable officers had, as was generally understood, been
prejudicial to the interests of the military academy; and this
continued some time after the close of the war, in consequence of
the unusual increase in rank of those officers who were known to
be fitted in all respects for the head of that institution.  This
difficulty was increased by the very unreasonable notion that
because the law had opened the academy to the line of the army,
the superintendent must necessarily be taken from the line, and
not from the corps of engineers, although the latter contained many
officers of appropriate rank who had then added to their high
scientific ability and attainments distinguished services in the
field.  Even in the line, officers were not wanting of appropriate
rank, character, ability, education, and experience to qualify them
for the duties of superintendent.  For example, my immediate
predecessor, Major-General Thomas H. Ruger, then a colonel of
infantry, was in all respects highly qualified for that office;
and when I relived him I found the academy in about the same state
of efficiency which had characterized it before the war.  There
was, in fact, at that time little, if any, foundation for the
assumption that the interests of the military academy required the
assignment of any officer of higher rank than colonel to duty as
superintendent of the academy.  Of course I did not know this before
I went there, and it was a matter for the judgment of my superiors,
whose duty, and not mine, it was to know the facts.

                                       ULTERIOR REASONS FOR THE APPOINTMENT

But General Sherman had other reasons, some of them very cogent in
his own estimation at least, for desiring my presence somewhere in
the Eastern States; and the West Point "detail" was the only way
in which that could be readily brought about.  He had just been
restored, or was about to be, to the actual command of the army,
after having been practically suspended from command a long time
because of his differences with the Secretary of War.  He desired
especially to bring the military academy under his command, and
appears to have been assured of President Grant's support in that
regard.  General Sherman also wished me to revise the army regulations,
so as to incorporate the theory of relation between the administration
and the command which he and General Grant had maintained as the
true one, but which had generally, if not always, been opposed by
the Secretaries of War and by the chiefs of staff departments.
These were doubtless the principal reasons for General Sherman's
anxiety to have me accept the assignment to West Point.  But very
soon after my arrival in the East I found that I was also expected
to preside over a board of review in the case of General Fitz-John
Porter and in that of Surgeon-General William A. Hammond; and that
my junior in rank, Major-General Irvin McDowell, could not be given
a command appropriate to his rank unless it was the division which
I had consented to vacate.  Of course I could not but feel complimented
by this indication that my superiors thought me capable of doing
well so many things at once, nor yet could I fail to see that,
after all, my care of West Point had not been considered of so
vital importance, since it would not interfere with the all-important
revision of the army regulations, and the retrial of Porter and

But I had given my consent, though under erroneous impressions as
to reasons and necessity, to what my superiors desired, and hence
determined to keep my thoughts to myself so long as the promises
made by General Sherman were fulfilled.  But I had hardly got
settled in the academic chair before I received a great affront
from the Secretary of War, through the adjutant-general of the
army, in direct violation of General Sherman's promise that I should
"be subject to no supervision except by the usual board of visitors
and the general commanding the army."  This offensive action arose
not simply from ignorance of General Sherman's promise, of which
the adjutant-general and the Secretary of War had evidently not
been informed, but from culpable ignorance of the academic regulations
on the part of the adjutant-general, and still more culpable
disregard of the invariable rule of courtesy enjoined by military
law among military men.  With no little difficulty I restrained my
indignation so far as to write a calm and respectful letter to the
Secretary of War, inclosing a copy of my correspondence with General
Sherman respecting my command at West Point, and pointing out the
regulation which he or the adjutant-general had ignored, and
requesting him to submit the whole matter to the President.  It is
due to the Honorable Secretary, and is a pleasure to me, to say
that he did not wait the slow course of the mail, but telegraphed
me at once that it was all a mistake, and that he made all the
amend that a gentleman could make under the circumstances.  He as
well as I had been made the victim of the ignorance and discourtesy
of a staff officer, in a matter about which the Secretary of War
could of necessity know nothing unless the staff officer informed
him.  But I was determined to guard against any such outrage in
the future, and hence insisted that West Point be erected into a
military department.  By this means I would become entitled to the
effective intervention and protection of the general of the army.
This is the origin of that anomaly which must have puzzled many
military men, namely, the "Department of West Point."

But I discovered in time that even this safeguard was by no means
sufficient.  I had some apprehension on this subject at the start,
and telegraphed General Sherman about it; but his answer of May 25
was accepted as sufficiently reassuring.  Indeed it could hardly
have been imagined that a President of the United States would
disregard an honorable obligation incurred by his predecessor; but
before I got through with that matter I was enlightened on that

                                        CASE OF THE COLORED CADET WHITTAKER

In the spring of 1880 there arose great public excitement over the
case of the one colored cadet then at West Point.  This cadet,
whose name was Whittaker, had twice been found deficient in studies,
and recommended by the academic board for dismissal; but had been
saved therefrom by me, in my perhaps too strong desire to give the
young colored man all possible chance of ultimate success, however
unwise his appointment to the military academy might have been.
As was stated by me at the time, in my report of the case to the
War Department, that second and unusual indulgence was based upon
the fact that he was the only representative of his race then at
the academy.  Being again, for the third time, in danger of dismissal,
that colored cadet, either by his own hands, or by others with his
consent (of which he was finally convicted by a general court-
martial), was bound hand and foot and mutilated in such manner as,
while doing him no material injury, to create a suspicion of foul
play on the part of other cadets.  An official investigation by
the commandant, Colonel Henry M. Lazelle, led him to the conclusion
that the other cadets had no knowledge whatever of the outrage,
and that the colored cadet himself was guilty.  Not being fully
satisfied with that conclusion, I appointed a court of inquiry to
investigate the matter more thoroughly.  The result of that
investigation fully sustained the finding of Colonel Lazelle, that
the colored cadet himself was the guilty person.

But those judicial conclusions did not suffice to allay the public
clamor for protection to the recently emancipated negroes in the
enjoyment of the privileges in the national institutions for which
they had not become either mentally or morally fitted.  A presidential
election was pending, and the colored vote and that in sympathy
with it demanded assurance of the hearty and effective support of
the national administration.  Nothing less than a radical change
at West Point would satisfy that demand, and who could be a more
appropriate victim to offer as a sacrifice to that Moloch than one
who had already gone beyond the limits of duty, of justice, and of
wisdom in his kind treatment of the colored cadet.  It was decided
in Washington that he, the over-kind superintendent himself, should
be sacrificed to that partizan clamor before the coming election.
Some rumor of this purpose had reached me, though it had been
concealed from General Sherman, who assured me that no such purpose

                                          GENERAL TERRY'S FRIENDLY ATTITUDE

In General Sherman's absence, General Alfred H. Terry was chosen
to succeed me.  He came to West Point, August 14, for the purpose
of learning from me in person the truth as to the assertion made
to him that the proposition to relieve me from duty at West Point
was in accord with my own wishes.  When informed, as he had suspected,
that I could not possibly have expressed any such wish under the
circumstances then existing, he positively refused, like the
honorable man that he was, to be made a party to any such act of
wrong.  There was not the slightest foundation in fact for the
assumption that my relief from command could be based upon my own
request, and no such reason could have been given in an order
relieving me.  That assumption could have had no other apparent
motive than to induce my warm friend General Terry to accept the
appointment.  As soon as he learned the truth from me, General
Terry went to Washington and exposed the falsehood of which he and
I together were the intended victims.  This action of a true friend,
and the correspondence which had passed between General Sherman
and me, sufficed to prevent the consummation of the wrong which
had been contemplated.

After the presidential election was over, and partizan passion had
subsided, I made a formal application, November 12, 1880, to be
relieved from duty at West Point on or before the first of May
following, and to be permitted to await orders until an appropriate
command became vacant.  I repeatedly expressed my desire that none
of my brother officers should be disturbed in their commands on my
account, and that no new command should be created for me.  I was
entirely content to await the ordinary course of events, in view
of pending legislation relative to retirements for age, and of
retirements which might be made under the laws then existing.

My relief from West Point was effected earlier than General Sherman
or I had anticipated.  Before the end of 1880 the following
correspondence passed between me and the general of the army:

  "Headquarters, Army of the United States, Washington, D. C.,
   December 13, 1880.
"General J. M. Schofield, West Point, New York.

"Dear General:  General Drum has just shown me the memorandum for
orders.  The President has worked out this scheme himself, without
asking my help, and I am glad of it, for I would not like to burden
my conscience with such a bungle.

"He creates a new department out of Louisiana, Arkansas, and the
Indian Territory, to be commanded by the senior officer present.
. . .

"You are to command the Department of Texas and this new department,
called a division, of what name I don't know.

"Howard is to replace you at West Point.  I suppose the order will
issue at once.

  "Yours truly,
  "W. T. Sherman."

  "West Point, N. Y., December 14, 1880.
"General Sherman, Washington, D. C.

"My dear General:  I have received your confidential letter of
yesterday, informing me of the bungling scheme which has been worked
out without your help.  I presume it would be fruitless to attempt
any opposition to the species of mania which manifests itself in
such action.  It may be best to let it run its course during the
short time which must yet elapse until a reign of reason is again
inaugurated with the incoming administration.  But it occurs to me
that you may be able to save the useless expense to the government
and the great inconvenience and expense to staff officers which
would necessarily result from the organization of a division which
could only last for a few months.  To me personally it is a matter
of little moment; but not so with the staff officers and the military
appropriations.  I am not willing to have such a thing done, even
apparently, on my account.  Please advise what official action, if
any, should be taken by me in this matter.  Personally I am perfectly
ready to obey the President's order, without a word of protest;
but I am not willing to be the occasion of manifest injury to the
public service, and of useless inconvenience and expense to the
officers of the general staff who must be assigned to the headquarters
of the new division.

  "Very truly yours,
  "J. M. Schofield."

                                                   A MUDDLE OF NEW COMMANDS

But the public interests, and my desire to make my own entirely
subservient thereto, were alike disregarded.  A new division was
carved out of three old ones, in violation of the plainest dictates
of military principles.  The government was subjected to a worse
than useless expense of many thousands of dollars, and a number of
staff officers to like useless expense and trouble.  For all this
there was no other apparent motive but to make it appear that there
were appropriate commands for all the major-generals then in active
service, and hence no reason for placing any one of them on the
retired list.  As a part of that scheme, one of the most active
brigadier-generals, younger than one of the major-generals, was
selected instead of the latter to make way for an aspirant having
greater "influence."  The correspondence of that period shows the
indignation felt in the army at such disregard of the just claims
of officers and of the interests of the military service.  Neither
General Sherman nor any of the several higher officers at that time
could hope to derive any advantage from the passage of the act of
Congress, then pending, to retire all officers at a fixed age.  On
the contrary, such a law would most probably cut them off when in
the full prime of activity and usefulness.  But all were more than
willing to accept that rather than still be in a position to be
arbitrarily cut off to make place for some over-ambitious aspirant
possessed of greater influence, of whatever kind.  I know perfectly
well that General Sherman was governed by a generous desire to give
General Sheridan command of the army for a number of years, while
the latter was still in the prime of life.  But that he could have
done, and had announced his intention to do, by requesting to be
relieved from the command and permitted to await the President's
orders, performing such duties, from time to time, as the President
might desire of him.  Such a status of high officers of great
experience, whose inspections, observations, and advice might be
of great value to the President and to the War Department, would
manifestly have been far better for the country than that of total
retirement, which deprives the President of any right to call upon
them for any service whatever, even in an emergency.  This was one
of the subjects of correspondence between General Sherman and me
while I was in Europe in 1881-2.  But it was finally agreed by all
concerned that it would be best to favor the uniform application
of the rule of retirement for age, so that all might be assured,
as far as possible, of a time, to which they might look forward
with certainty, when they would be relieved from further apprehension
of treatment which no soldier can justly characterize without
apparent disrespect to his official superior.

Such treatment is indeed uncommon.  The conduct of the commander-
in-chief of the army toward his subordinates has been generally
kind and considerate in this country.  But the few opposite examples
have been quite enough to cloud the life of every officer of high
rank with the constant apprehension of an insult which he could
neither submit to nor resent.

Soon after the inauguration of President Garfield, the "Division
of the Gulf" was broken up, and I was permitted to visit Europe,
as I had requested in the preceding November, until the President
should be pleased to assign me to a command according to my rank.

  "Washington, D. C., May 3, 1861.
"General J. M. Schofield, Commanding Division, New Orleans, La.:

"In case the President will repeal the orders creating the new
division and department, and agree to give you the Division of the
Pacific in a year, will you be willing to take your leave to go
abroad meantime?  Telegraph me fully and frankly for use.

  "W. T. Sherman, General."

                                      WAITING ORDERS, AND A VISIT TO EUROPE

  "Headqrs. Mil. Div. Gulf,
  "New Orleans, La., May 3, 1881.
"General W. T. Sherman, Washington, D. C.:

"Your telegram of this date just received.  I am debarred, by a
promise made to General McDowell about two years and a half ago,
from making any condition affecting his command of the Division of
the Pacific.  If I am to displace him, it must be without regard
to any wish of mine.  If it is the purpose of the President to
assign me to that command in a year, I would like to go abroad in
the meantime, as it would not be convenient to go afterward, though
I would prefer to go next year rather than this.  But I cannot
afford to go on leave with reduced pay.  If it is not found
practicable to give me a command according to my rank, and so
organized as to benefit rather than injure the military service,
I am willing to await orders for a year without reduction of pay.

"This is substantially the proposition I made in my application to
be relieved from duty at West Point; and I am still willing to
abide by it, although my wishes were then disregarded, if it will
relieve the present administration from embarrassment.  But I would
much prefer to have a proper command. . . .

  "J. M. Schofield, Maj.-Gen."

  "Washington, D. C., May 5, 1881.
"General J. M. Schofield, Commanding Division, New Orleans, La.:

"Your despatch of the third was duly received, and a copy thereof
laid before the Secretary of War, who has received the orders of
the President to repeal all parts of General Orders, No. 84, of
December 18, 1880, which refer to the Division of the Gulf and
Department of Arkansas, restoring the _status quo_ before that
order was made.  You will be placed on waiting orders, with full
pay, till further orders of the President.  You may take action

  "W. T. Sherman, General."

My stay in Europe--from May, 1881, to May, 1882--was marked by only
one incident of special military interest.  Under orders of the
War Department, upon invitation from the government of France, I
witnessed the autumn manoeuvers of the Twelfth Corps of the French
army at and about Limoges.  A few other officers of our army, and
many from other countries, enjoyed the same privilege.  The
operations, which were interesting and instructive, culminated in
an assault upon and the capture of Limoges.  The next day the corps
was reviewed in the streets of the city.  The general-in-chief and
his staff and suite rode along the line at full speed.  The head
of the cavalcade, consisting of the French and American generals,
and a few other officers of high rank, came out in good order.
The others were much disordered, and so covered with dust that the
uniforms of all nations looked very much alike.  The ceremony was
terminated at the public square, where the cavalry was formed along
one side, and the opposite was occupied by high officials and
prominent citizens of the town.  The charge of the squadrons across
the square, halting at command within a few feet of the reviewing
general, was a fine exhibition of discipline and perfect control.

After the review the general-in-chief made a long address to his
assembled officers, explaining in much detail the important lessors
taught by the manoeuvers.  He closed with a feeling allusion to
his own mental and physical strength and vigor, which had been so
fully displayed in the last few days, and which were still at the
service of his beloved France.  But the gallant old soldier was
retired, all the same, at the end of the year.  Republics seem to
have much the same way of doing things on both sides of the ocean!

A pleasing incident occurred at one time during the manoeuvers.
At the hour of halt for the midday rest a delicious repast was
served at the beautiful home of the prefect of the department,
between the two opposing lines.  The tables were spread in lovely
arbors loaded with grapes.  When the déjeuner was ended, speeches
were made by the distinguished prefect and the gallant general-in-
chief, to which, as senior of the visiting officers from foreign
countries, I was called upon to respond.  Thus suddenly summoned
to an unwonted task, I was much too prudent to address the guests
in a language which they all understood.  But by a free use of the
words and phrases which are so common in the military language of
France and of this country, linked together by as little Anglo-
Saxon as possible, I made a speech which was warmly received, and
which, after careful revision with the aid of a highly accomplished
French officer who had been educated in England as well as in
France, was made to appear pretty well when printed in both

The charming hospitality of the general-in-chief of the Twelfth
Army Corps and of the prefect of Limoges, with all the other
incidents of the autumn manoeuvers of 1881, are an ever fresh and
pleasant memory, with the many other recollections of beautiful
France under the empire and under the republic.

                                               AGAIN IN COMMAND IN THE WEST

According to the understanding expressed in my correspondence with
General Sherman of May 3, 1881, I returned from Europe at the end
of a year, and reported for duty.  But in the meantime President
Garfield had been assassinated, and the bill then pending in Congress
providing for the retirement of officers at a fixed age was amended
so as to make that age sixty-four years instead of sixty-two.
Hence I continued to wait without protest until the retirement of
my junior in rank, the next autumn, for the fulfilment of General
Sherman's assurance conveyed in his despatch of May 25, 1876:  "If
any hitch occurs at any future time, you can resume your present
or some command due your rank."  Although this long suspension from
command was very annoying, I had the satisfaction of knowing that
none of my brother officers had been disturbed on my account.

In the fall of 1882, I was again assigned to the command of the
Division of the Pacific, awaiting the time of General Sherman's
retirement under the law and the succession of General Sheridan to
the command of the army.  Nothing of special interest occurred in
that interval.  In 1883 I succeeded to the command of the Division
of the Missouri, with my headquarters in Chicago.  One of the first
and most important subjects which impressed themselves upon my
attention after the generous reception and banquet given by the
citizens of that hospitable city, was the necessity for a military
post near that place.  The location of Chicago makes it the most
important strategical center of the entire northern frontier.  It
is also the most important center of interstate commerce and
transportation anywhere in the country.  Yet in 1883 there were no
troops nearer than St. Paul, Omaha, and Leavenworth.  At the time
of the railroad strikes in 1877, troops had been brought there in
time to render the necessary service, but no thought appears to
have been given to the necessity of better provision for the future.


There had been in early times a military reservation at the mouth
of the Chicago River, on which old Fort Dearborn was located.  But
that had become far too valuable to be retained for military use,
and no longer suitable for a military post, being in the heart of
a great city.  Hence it had passed out of the hands of the government.
Upon consultation with Senator Logan and a few others, it was not
thought possible to obtain from Congress the large sum of money
necessary to buy ground for a post near Chicago; but that if the
United States owned the ground, the appropriations to build a post
could readily be obtained.  Hence the subject was mentioned to a
few prominent citizens, with the suggestion that a site be purchased
by subscription and presented to the United States.  I was soon
invited to meet the Commercial club at one of their monthly dinners,
where the matter was fully discussed.  At another meeting, some
time later, it was made the special subject for consideration, and
this resulted in the organization of the plan to raise the money
and purchase the ground.  All the eligible sites were examined,
the prices obtained, and the purchase-money pledged.  Then the
proposition was submitted to the War Department and approved.
General Sheridan was sent out to select the best of the sites
offered, and his choice fell on that which all, I believe, had
esteemed the best, though the most expensive--a beautiful tract of
land of about six hundred acres, situated on the shore of Lake
Michigan twenty-five miles north of Chicago.  The cost was nothing
to the broad-minded and far-sighted men of that city.  The munificent
gift was accepted by Congress, and appropriations were made for
the finest military post in the country.  It was appropriately
named Fort Sheridan, not only in recognition of the great services
the general had rendered to the country, but as a special and
graceful recognition of the services he had rendered Chicago in
the time of her sorest need.

During my brief service--two years and some months--in the Division
of the Missouri, I traveled many thousands of miles, and visited
nearly all parts of that vast territory, from the Canadian line to
the Gulf of Mexico, some of which was then new to me, attending to
the ordinary routine duties of a time of comparative peace.  Nothing
else occurred at all comparable in importance, in my judgment, to
the establishment of the post of Fort Sheridan.

The Death of General Hancock--Assigned to the Division of the
Atlantic--Measures for Improving the Sea-Coast Defense--General
Fitz-John Porter's Restoration to the Army--President of the Board
Appointed to Review the Action of the Court Martial--General Grant's
Opinion--Senator Logan's Explanation of His Hostile Attitude Toward
General Porter.

In the spring of 1886 we were again called to meet around the grave
of one of the bravest and best of our companions.  The almost
incomparably gallant Hancock, the idol of his soldiers and of a
very large part of the people, so perfectly stainless in life and
character that even political contest could not fan the breath of
slander, had suddenly passed away.  We buried him with all honor
at his home in Pennsylvania.  Again it fell to my lot--the lot so
common to the soldier--to step into the place in the ranks where
my comrade had suddenly fallen.

                                   ASSIGNED TO THE DIVISION OF THE ATLANTIC

The Division of the Missouri was then larger in territory and much
larger in number of troops than that of the Atlantic, and had been
far more important.  But Indian wars were, as we hoped, approaching
an end, while we also hoped that the country might soon be aroused
to the necessities of the national defense.  The Division of the
Atlantic, including also the greater part of the Gulf States and
those of the northeastern frontier, would then resume its rightful
place as by far the most important of the grand military divisions
of the country.  Hence I accepted without hesitation the command
of that division.  My natural tastes and favorite studies had led
me largely in the direction of these modern sciences which have in
a few years imparted such enormous strides to the development of
the mechanical means of attack and defense, changing in a corresponding
degree the great problems of war.  The valor of great masses of
men, and even the genius of great commanders in the field, have
been compelled to yield the first place in importance to the
scientific skill and wisdom in finance which are able and willing
to prepare in advance the most powerful engines of war.  Nations,
especially those so happily situated as the United States, may now
surely defend their own territory against invasion or damage, and
the national honor and the rights of their citizens throughout the
world, by the wise scientific use of surplus revenue, derived from
high import duties if the people so please, instead of by the former
uncivilized method of sacrificing the lives of hundreds of thousands
of brave men.  Far more, such sacrifice of the brave can no longer
avail.  As well might it be attempted to return to hand- or ox-
power, freight-wagons and country roads, in place of the present
steam-locomotives, trains of cars, and steel tracks, for the enormous
transportation of the present day, as to rely upon the bravery of
troops for the defense of a city.

Science has wrought no greater revolution in any of the arts of
peace than it has in the art of war.  Indeed, the vast national
interests involved all over the world have employed the greatest
efforts of genius in developing the most powerful means of attack
and defense.

Such were the thoughts with which I entered upon my duties in the
Division of the Atlantic, and such guided my action there and in
the subsequent command of the army.  That not very much was
accomplished is too painfully true.  Yet a beginning was at once
made, and progress, though slow, continued until the hope now seems
justified that our country may be ready before it is too late to
"command the peace" in a voice which all must heed.

I was ably and zealously assisted in all this work by Major Joseph
P. Sanger, one of my aides until his well-merited promotion to
inspector-general.  Then Captain Tasker H. Bliss took Major Sanger's
place, and helped me to carry forward the work with his well-known
ability, devotion, and industry.  The army owes much to those
faithful officers, without whose help little could have been done
by me.  I quote here from a memorandum, prepared at my request by
Major Sanger, showing in detail the measures taken to perfect, so
far as possible in advance, the instruction of the artillery of
the army in the service of the modern high-power armament, so that
every new gun and mortar should have, the moment it was finished
and placed in position, thoroughly qualified officers and men to
use it:

"Major-General J. M. Schofield assumed command of the Division of
the Atlantic and Department of the East April 13, 1886; and during
the remaining months of that year, as opportunity afforded, gave
much attention to the condition of the sea-coast forts and their
garrison from the Canadian line to the Gulf of Mexico.

"There were at this time sixty-six posts in the division, of which
twenty-seven were garrisoned and thirty-five ungarrisoned; of the
total number, fifty-one were sea-coast forts and the balance
barracks, properly speaking.  Of the garrisoned forts, fifteen had
no armaments, and the armaments of all the others were the old
muzzle-loading types of low power.  The efficiency of the artillery
personnel was far from satisfactory, from lack of proper instruction,
due in turn to lack of facilities.  Artillery target practice,
except at Forts Monroe, Hamilton, and Wadsworth, had practically
ceased in the division; and of the forty-five companies of artillery,
comprising seventy-five per cent. of the entire artillery troops
of the army, only two batteries continually at Fort Monroe had had
annual artillery target practice during the preceding ten years,
and some of the batteries had not fired a shot.


"To remedy these defects, and at the same time provide a system of
fire control applicable to the defense of all our harbors, orders
were issued in 1887 for mapping the harbors, establishing base
lines, and arranging the extremities for the use of angle-measuring
instruments, and graduating traverse circles in azimuth.  Systematic
artillery instruction and target practice were ordered, and a system
of reports suited to the preservation and utilization of all data
resulting from the firing.

"Thus, for the first time in the history of the country, an effort
was made to establish and develop a system of artillery fire control
adapted to our fortifications and armament.  In 1888 General
Schofield succeeded General Sheridan in command of the army, and
in December issued 'General Orders, No. 108' from the headquarters
of the army.  This order extended to all the artillery troops of
the army the system of artillery instruction and target practice
which had been established in the Division of the Atlantic.  As it
had not been found practicable to equip all the artillery posts
with the necessary appliances for carrying out the provisions of
the order, the eleven principal posts on the Eastern, Western, and
Southern coasts were designated as artillery posts of instruction,
and provided with all the guns, implements, and instruments necessary
for the instruction and target practice of such of the neighboring
garrisons as were unprovided with proper facilities.

"To insure the proper execution of the order, there was appropriated
March 2, 1889, twenty thousand dollars to be expended under the
direct supervision of the Board of Ordnance and Fortifications,
which had been created by the Fortification Appropriation Act of
September 22, 1888, and of which General Schofield was the president.
The Army Regulations of 1889 were published on February 9, and
paragraph 382 authorized the commanding general of each geographical
division within which were the headquarters of one or more artillery
regiments to designate, with the approval of the general commanding
the army, a division inspector of artillery target practice, whose
duty it was to make inspections with a view to insuring uniform,
thorough, and systematic artillery instruction.

"On June 11, 1889, 'General Orders, No. 49' was issued from the
headquarters of the army, in anticipation of the more complete
equipment of the artillery posts with the apparatus necessary for
the proper conduct of artillery instruction and target practice.
The course of instruction covered the use of plane tables, telescopic
and other sights, electrical firing-machines, chronographs,
velocimeters, anemometers, and other meteorological instruments,
stop-watches, signaling, telegraphy, vessel tracking, judging
distance, and, in short, everything essential to the scientific
use of the guns.  By 'General Orders, No. 62, Headquarters of the
Army,' July 2, 1889, Lieutenant T. H. Bliss, Fort Artillery, Aide-
de-Camp to General Schofield commanding, was announced as inspector
of small arms and artillery practice.  As an inducement to greater
application on the part of the student officers of the Artillery
School and of the Infantry and Cavalry School, the distinction of
'honor graduate' was conferred on all officers who had graduated,
or should graduate, either first or second from the Artillery
School, or first, second, or third from the Infantry and Cavalry
School: the same to appear with their names in the Army Register
as long as such graduates should continue on the active or retired
list of the army. . . ."

                                 FITZ-JOHN PORTER'S RESTORATION TO THE ARMY

In August, 1886, after the passage of a bill by Congress, General
Fitz-John Porter was restored to the army, as colonel, by President
Cleveland.  When I was in the War Department in 1868, General Porter
had come to me with a request that I would present his case to the
President, and recommend that he be given a rehearing.  I declined
to do so, on the ground that, in my opinion, an impartial investigation
and disposition of his case, whatever were its merits, could not
be made until the passions and prejudices begotten by the war had
subsided much further than they had done at that time.  In the
course of conversation I told him that while I never permitted
myself to form an opinion of any case without much more knowledge
of it than I had of his, I presumed, from the finding of the court-
martial, that he had at least been guilty of acting upon what he
supposed to be his own better judgment under the circumstances he
found to exist, instead of in strict obedience to General Pope's
orders.  He said that was not the case; that he had not even
literally disobeyed orders; that in so far as he had acted upon
his own judgment, he had loyally done all that could be done to
carry out General Pope's wishes; and that all he wanted was an
opportunity to prove such to be the facts.  I replied that if he
could prove what he stated beyond question, he would of course have
a case worthy of consideration--not otherwise.  Nothing was said
in respect to the facts or the evidence in contravention of the
judgment of the court-martial which tried him.  Hence, beyond that
above stated, I had no knowledge of his case when the board of
review, of which I was president, met in 1878 to hear the new
evidence; and I believe neither of the other members of the board
--Generals A. H. Terry and George W. Getty--was any better informed.

The duty of the board was very different from that of a court-
martial appointed to try an original case.  The accused had already
been tried and convicted.  He was not to have a new trial.  He
could not have any benefit whatever of any doubt that might exist
after all the evidence, old and new, had been fully considered.
He must prove his innocence positively, by absolutely convincing
evidence, or else the original judgment of the court-martial must
stand.  This view of the issue was fully accepted by General Porter
and his counsel.  This caused a new and peculiar duty to devolve
upon the board--at least it was so to me; that is, to find, if
possible, some view of all the evidence, or of all the facts
established by the evidence, that could be regarded as consistent
with the theory or supposition that Porter was guilty.

When the evidence was all in, the members of the board separated
for several weeks to let each examine all the evidence and reach
his own conclusion, to be presented in form at the next meeting of
the board.  I believe I devoted more earnest work to the examination
and analysis than I had ever done to any one thing before in my
life.  I tried in succession every possible explanation of the
established facts, in the effort to find some one consistent with
the theory that Porter had been guilty of disobedience, as charged,
or of any other military offense.  But I could not find one, except
the very patent one that he had sent despatches to Burnside which
were by no means respectful to Pope; and the board expressed an
opinion in condemnation of that, which Porter's counsel very frankly
admitted to be just.

In the course of that long and earnest effort to find Porter guilty,
--for that is what the effort was in effect,--the whole story of
his conduct and of the operations of the two opposing armies and
the actions of other prominent officers became so clear, and his
honorable and soldierly conduct so absolutely demonstrated, that
it was exceedingly difficult, in view of all the wrong he had
suffered, to write a cold judicial statement of the facts.  The
first draft was toned down in many particulars in the effort to
bring it within the strictest rules of judicial decisions.  I have
sometimes thought since that if the report of the board could have
been much colder, it might have been better at first for Porter,
though less just.  But I do not think he or any of his companions
and friends will ever feel like finding fault because the board
could not entirely suppress the feelings produced by their discovery
of the magnitude of the wrong that had been done to a gallant fellow-

                                                    GENERAL GRANT'S OPINION

The first time I met General Grant after the decision of the board
was published was very soon after he had published in 1882 the
result of his own investigation of the case.  He at once introduced
the subject, and talked about it for a long time in the most earnest
manner that I ever heard him speak on any subject.  He would not
permit me to utter a single sentence until he had gone all over
the case and showed me that he understood all its essential features
as thoroughly as I did, and that his judgment was precisely the
same as that which the board had reached.  He intimated very
decidedly that no impartial and intelligent military man could, in
his opinion, possibly reach any other conclusion.  The general
evidently desired to make it perfectly clear that he had not adopted
the opinion of a board of which I was a member, nor that of any
one else; but that he had thoroughly mastered the case for himself,
and formed his own judgment in regard to it.  I take pleasure in
recording the fact that he unquestionably had done it, and I never
knew a man who could form more positive opinions, or one who could
express them more convincingly, than General Grant.

The board was not called upon the express any opinion respecting
the action of the court-martial upon the evidence before it, and
it would have been manifestly improper to do so.  Speaking for
myself, and not for any other member of the board, I do not now
hesitate to say that the finding and sentence of the general court-
martial which tried General Fitz-John Porter were not justified by
the evidence before that court.  In my judgment, formed from long
observation and much experience, the passions of warfare often
render the administration of justice impossible.  A suggestion once
made to me by a man in very high military authority, that a finding
and sentence of court-martial rendered in time of war should be
regarded as _res adjudicata_, produced in my mind the painful
impression that a very great man did not find the word "justice"
anywhere in his vocabulary; and I watched for many years the
conversation and writings and public speeches of that man without
finding that he ever made use of that word, or ever gave as a reason
for doing or not doing anything that it would be just or unjust.
In his mind, whatever might have happened to any person was simply
a matter of good or bad fortune which did not concern him.  He
refused even to consider the question whether injustice had or had
not been done, or whether the operation of a law was not relatively
unjust to some as compared to others.  When to such natural character
and habits of thought are added the stern necessities of war as
viewed by a commander and many other officers, what possible chance
of justice can be left to an _unfortunate_ man?

It is true that even if the life of an innocent man may have been
sacrificed under the stern necessities of discipline, that is no
more than thousands of his fellow-soldiers have suffered because
of the crimes and follies of politicians who brought on the war.
But that is no reason why his memory as well as those of his comrades
should not be finally honored, if it can be proved that, after all,
he also was innocent and brave.

In my opinion, no government can be regarded as just to its army
unless it provides, under appropriate conditions, for the rehearing
of cases that may be tried by court-martial in time of war.  Perhaps
it may most wisely be left for the President and Congress to
institute appropriate action in each individual case.  That is a
matter for mature consideration.  My only desire is to suggest the
necessity for some such action, whenever reasonable grounds for it
may be presented.  I have no respect for the suggestions sometimes
urged that labor and expense are sufficient grounds for failure to
secure justice to every citizen or soldier of the republic, whether
at home or abroad.

                                                SENATOR LOGAN'S EXPLANATION

Soon after General Logan's last election to the Senate, I had a
very interesting and unreserved conversation with him, at his house
in Chicago, in respect to his action in the Porter case.  He spoke
of it with evident candor, acknowledged that his view of the case
was probably wrong, and as if to excuse his mistake, volunteered
an explanation as to how he came to take that view of it.  He told
me that when he found that the case might probably come before
Congress, he wanted to prepare himself in advance as far as possible
to deal with it justly, and to defend the right effectively.  Hence
he went to General Grant to obtain the best possible view of the
military questions involved.  General Grant gave him the theory of
the military situation and of the operations of the opposing armies,
as well as that of Porter's own conduct, which had been presented
to, and evidently accepted by, the court-martial, as presenting
the true merits of the case.  General Logan accepted that theory
as unquestionably correct, and bent all his energies to the
construction of unanswerable arguments in support of Porter's

At that time neither General Grant nor General Logan knew anything
of the new evidence which was afterward submitted to the board of
review.  Logan's powerful arguments in the Senate were based upon
the preconceived idea of the case, supported by such part of the
new evidence, as well as of the old, as could be made to support
that view.  In reply to my statement that he had unquestionably
been led astray, he said that that was quite probable, but that
Grant was responsible, and that it was then too late to change.
I do not think that anybody will now hesitate to say that General
Grant's view of his duty in respect to this last point was the more
to be commended.  But the fact I wish to record is that of Logan's
sincerity in the great efforts he had made to convict Porter on
the floor of the Senate, and his explanation of the way in which
he had been led into the greatest possible error.  It suggests the
reflection that even a senator of the United States might better
form his own opinions rather than adopt those even of the highest
authority, when the only question involved is one of justice, and
not one of public policy, in which latter case differences of
opinion must of necessity be reconciled for the purpose of securing
unity of action.

As an illustration of the necessity for an absolutely impartial
review of cases which have involved the passions of war, reference
must be made to the action of one member of the Porter court-martial
who made it generally understood that his individual opinion
supported the finding of that court.  He went so far as to make
inquiries whether precedents could be found in American or English
history to sustain a member of a court-martial in publicly defending
the finding of that court, notwithstanding the oath of secrecy
imposed by law upon every member.  And this same member of the
court was furnished by a very able lawyer with an argument in
support of the findings of the court, based upon a review of the
evidence submitted to the subsequent board, as if that member of
the court might make public use of that argument as his own.

The Death of General Sheridan--His Successor in Command of the Army
--Deplorable Condition of the War Department at the Time--A Better
Understanding Between the Department and the Army Commander--General
Sheridan's Humiliating Experience--The Granting of Medals--The
Secretary's Call-Bell--The Relations of Secretary and General--
Views Submitted to President Cleveland--The Law Fixing Retirement
for Age--An Anecdote of General Grant.

Again, in 1888, only two years after Hancock's death, another of
our most gallant companions, the matchless Sheridan, was suddenly
stricken down, and soon passed away, before the expiration of half
the term allotted for his command of the army.  As next in rank,
upon the request of the general's family and upon the order of the
Secretary of War it became my duty to arrange and conduct the
military ceremonies at the funeral.

We buried our companion in beautiful Arlington, the choicest spot
in America for the last resting-place of a soldier.  It was a bright
summer's day, and the funeral ceremonies, both religious and
military, were the most impressive I have ever seen.  As a special
tribute of respect to my brother soldier, a staff officer in uniform
was sent to meet and escort the archbishop who came to celebrate
the funeral mass.

The death of General Sheridan placed me in a position which I had
never anticipated--that of senior officer on the active list of
the army.  The President had known little of me either officially
or personally, and I had some grave differences with the Secretary
of War upon subjects of great importance in my estimation, though
doubtless less in his.  I had defended as well as I could, and with
some persistence, what I then believed and now know was the right,
but had been worsted, as a matter of course.  It is due to the
Honorable Secretary to say that he disclaimed, many months later,
ever having knowingly given his sanction to the document announcing
one of the military doctrines which I had so persistently but
ineffectually combated.  But I did not know that in August, 1888,
and he did not then know that he had been thus betrayed.  Hence I
thought it quite improbable that a general holding opinions so
radically opposed to those of the Secretary of War would be called
to the command of the army.  But I quietly waited in Washington
for the President's orders, neither seeking nor receiving any
opportunity for explanation of the supposed irreconcilable difference
with the Secretary of War.  What occurred in that secret council-
chamber of the commander-in-chief, where the fate of so many anxious
soldiers has been sealed, I have never known or inquired; but in
no great length of time came the President's order assigning me to
the command of the army,--six or seven hours, as I afterward learned,
after it was received in the War Department and given to the press.

                                 DEPLORABLE CONDITION OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT

It is not too much to say that the condition of the War Department
at that time was deplorable.  It was the culmination of the
controversy respecting the relations between the administration
and the command which had lasted, with slight intermissions, for
forty years.  It is not my purpose to go into the history of that
long controversy, but only to state briefly its final result, part
of which was perhaps due to General Sheridan's extreme illness for
some time before his death, and his retention in nominal command
and in the nominal administration of military justice long after
it had become impossible for him to discharge such duties intelligently.
But that result had been practically reached a long time before
General Sheridan became seriously ill.  He had long ceased, as
General Sherman and General Scott had before him, not only to
command, but to exercise any appreciable influence in respect to
either the command or the administration.  The only difference was
that General Scott went to New York and General Sherman to St.
Louis, while General Sheridan stayed in Washington.

I have always understood, but do not know the fact, that in former
times the Secretary of War had exercised some intelligent control
over military affairs, so that there was at least unity in the
exercise of military authority.  But in 1888 even that had ceased,
and it had been boldly announced some time before that each
departmental chief of staff, in his own sphere, was clothed with
all the authority of the Secretary of War.  All that a major-general
as well as an officer of lower grade had to do was to execute such
orders as he might receive from the brigadiers at the head of the
several bureaus in Washington.  It was not even necessary for those
mighty chiefs to say that their mandates had the sanction of any
higher authority.  Their own fiat was all-sufficient for a mere
soldier of the line or for his commanding general, of whatever
grade of rank or of command.  It is not strange that the Secretary
was finally unable to admit that he, great lawyer as he was, could
possibly have given his sanction to such an interpretation of the
law as that; but the decision was given by his order, and it governed
the army for a long time.  Of course the adjutant-general became
by far the chiefest of those many chiefs; for it is his function
to issue to the army all the orders of both the Secretary of War
and the commanding general.  Be it said to his credit that he did
not assume to issue orders in his own name, after the manner of
other chiefs.  Like a sensible man, he was content with the actual
exercise of power, without caring to let the army know that he did
it.  He had only to use the name of the Secretary or the general,
as he pleased; either would answer with the army.  Of course I knew
something of this before I went to Washington, for the evidence of
it was sometimes too plain to be ignored.  Yet it did seem to me
passing strange to sit in my office about noon, where I had been
all the day before, and learn from the New York papers what orders
I had issued on that previous day!  Upon inquiry I was told that
that was only a matter of routine, and a rule of long standing.
But I mildly indicated that such a practice did not meet my approval,
and that I wished it changed, which was finally done, as explained
in a previous chapter.  But even then I had no means of knowing
whether an order sent to me in the name of the Secretary of War
had ever been seen by him, or whether it was the work of the adjutant-
general, or the product of some joint operations of two or more of
the several chiefs, each of whom had the Secretary's authority to
do such things.  At length the Secretary, though with evidently
serious misgivings respecting some deep ulterior purpose of mine,
consented that I might have an officer of the adjutant-general's
department, whom I knew, in my own office, to keep me informed of
what I was to do, and, if possible, what orders I might actually
receive from the Secretary himself, and what from the several other
heads of that hydra called the War Department.

                                                     A BETTER UNDERSTANDING

After that change things went on much better; but it was at best
only an armed truce, with everybody on guard, until the end of that
administration, and then it came very near culminating in a pitched
battle at the very beginning of the next.  By what seemed at the
time a very sharp trick, but which may possibly have been only the
natural working of the vicious system, I was made to appear to the
new Secretary of War as having failed promptly to give effect to
an order authorized by his predecessor, but on which no authentic
marks of _his_ authority appeared, only such as might indicate that
it came from another source.  But if it was a trick, it signally
failed.  A few candid words from one soldier to another, even if
that other had not been a solider all his life, were quite sufficient
to dissipate that little cloud which at first had threatened a
storm.  Then sunlight began to appear; and when, in due time, by
the operation of some natural laws, and some others happily enacted
by Congress, certain necessary changes came about, the sky over
the War Department became almost cloudless, and I trust it may
never again be darkened as it had been nearly all the time for
forty years.

General Sheridan had entered upon his duties with all the soldierly
courage and confidence of his nature, declaring his purpose to
regain the ground lost by General Sherman when, to use Sheridan's
own expressive words, "Sherman threw up the sponge."  He announced
his interpretation of the President's order assigning him to the
"command of the army" as necessarily including _all_ the army, not
excepting the chiefs of the staff departments; and he soon gave
evidence of his faith by ordering one of those chiefs on an inspecting
tour, or something of that kind, without the knowledge of the
Secretary of War.  Thus the Secretary found the chief of one of
the bureaus of his department gone without his authority, he knew
not where.  It was not difficult for the Secretary to point out to
the general, as he did in writing, in a firm, though kind and
confidential way, that such could not possibly be the true meaning
of the President's order.  No attempt appears to have been made to
discuss the subject further, or to find any ground broad enough
for both Secretary and general to stand upon.  Nothing further
appears to have been said or done on that subject during that
administration.  But upon the inauguration of the next, the Secretary
of War sent out to all the commanding generals of the army copies
of that letter of his predecessor, in which the general-in-chief
had been so mildly and respectfully, yet so thoroughly, beaten.
The army was thus given to understand on that occasion that their
senior in command had not even been given a chance to "throw up
the sponge," as his predecessor had done, but had been "knocked
out" by the first blow.

                                  GENERAL SHERIDAN'S HUMILIATING EXPERIENCE

As if that was not humiliation enough for a great soldier to bear,
whenever the Secretary went away one of the same chiefs of bureaus
that the general thought he had a right to command acted as Secretary
of War, to dominate over him!  But the loyal, subordinate soldier
who had commanded great armies and achieved magnificent victories
in the field while those bureau chiefs were purveying powder and
balls, or pork and beans, submitted even to that without a murmur,
for a great lawyer had told him that such was the law, and how
could he know any better?  It was only when the adjutant-general,
his own staff-officer, so made by the regulations which the general
knew, was thus appointed over him, that his soldierly spirit
rebelled.  The humblest soldier of a republic could not endure
that.  All this was based upon the theory that the general of the
army was not an officer of the War Department, and hence could not
be appointed acting Secretary of War.  What other great department
of the government could recognize the standing army as belonging
to it, if not the Department of War?  Surely the little army had
a hard time while it was thus turned out into the cold, not even
its chief recognized as belonging to any department of the government
of the country which they were all sworn to serve, but subject to
the orders of any bureau officer who happened to be the senior in
Washington in hot summer weather, when nearly all had gone to the
mountains or the sea?

That same great lawyer announced in my hearing, very soon after
his accession to power, in response to a suggestion that war service
was entitled to weight in appointments and promotions, that in his
judgment "that book was closed."  Could any one of the million of
soldiers still living, and the many more millions of patriots who
are always alive in our country, be expected to support such a
policy as that?  In my opinion, that one short speech cost the
national administration more than a million of votes.  Soldiers
don't say much through the press, but they quietly talk things over
around their campfires.  And I hope many generations will pass away
before they and their sons will cause thus to keep alive the fires
of patriotism kindled by the great struggle for American Union.

Thank God, that "law" did not last many years.  There was great
rejoicing throughout the little army when it was again recognized
as belonging to the Department of War.  But that cause of rejoicing
was soon beclouded.  By another of those inscrutable dispensations
of Providence, another superior, under the title of Assistant
Secretary of War, was interposed between the commander-in-chief of
the army and the general appointed to assist him in the command.
It had been thought, and so stated in writing, that the major-
general commanding, and the ten heads of staff departments and
bureaus, with their many assistants, all educated men of long
experience in the several departments of military affairs, and some
of them tried in war, might give the Secretary all the assistance
he needed, if they were permitted to do it.  But no; it appears to
have been thought that some other, who had had no education or
experience in the affairs of the War Department, could better assist
a Secretary who to similar acquired qualifications for his office
added far greater natural endowments and the just confidence of
his country.  Thus the major-general was treated as much worse than
the lieutenant-general had been, as he was inferior to him in rank.
But I also submitted without a word, because it was this time
unquestionably the law as well as the will of my lawful superiors
in office.  I waited as patiently as I could, as the lieutenant-
general had done, the time when by operation of law, human or
divine, welcome relief from a burdensome duty would come, upon the
official declaration that I had done, as best I could, all the duty
that God and my country required of me.

                                                     THE GRANTING OF MEDALS

One illustration will suffice to show the working of this new
invention by which the general-in-chief was still further removed
from the commander-in-chief, whose chief military adviser he was
supposed to be.  An act of Congress authorized the President to
confer medals of honor upon soldiers of all grades who might be
most distinguished for bravery in action.  It is the most highly
prized of all military rewards because given to the _soldier_,
without regard to rank, for that service which every true soldier
regards as of the greatest merit.  The standard of merit deserving
that reward is essentially the same in all the armies of the
civilized world, and the medal is made of iron or bronze, instead
of anything more glittering or precious, to indicate the character
of the deed it commemorates.  That standard of merit is the most
heroic devotion in the discharge of _soldierly duty_ in the face
of the enemy, that conduct which brings victory, honor, and glory
to the country for which a brave man has devoted his life in
obedience to the orders which have come down to him from the head
of the nation, which spirit of obedience and devotion creates armies
and saves nations from defeat, disaster, or domestic convulsion.
These highest tokens of a nation's honor had for many years been
given with the greatest care, after most rigid scrutiny of the
official records and all other evidence presented, laboriously
reviewed by the general-in-chief in person, recommended by him
under the universal rule of civilized nations, and approved by the
Secretary of War, whose approval is considered equivalent to the
order of the President, by which alone, under the law, a medal of
honor can be granted.  But at length these carefully considered
recommendations were disapproved by the Assistant Secretary of War,
on the ground that the soldier had only done his duty!  He had only
done, or heroically tried to do until stricken down by the enemy's
fire, what his commander had ordered!  Some other standard of
soldierly honor was set up, not involving obedience to orders nor
discharge of duty, but instead of that some act of each soldier's
own volition, as if what a nation most highly honored was independent
action of each one of its million of soldiers, without any special
regard to the orders of the commander-in-chief or any of his
subordinate commanders!  Thus the most dearly bought honor of a
citizen of this great republic, intrusted by Congress to the
commander-in-chief of the army, to be duly awarded to his subordinates,
passed into the hands of an Assistant Secretary of War, to be
awarded by him under his own newly invented theory of soldierly
merit!  After a laborious but vain attempt to obtain recognition
of the time-honored standard of soldierly honor and merit, the
general-in-chief was forced to admit that the new standard set up
by the Assistant Secretary of War did not afford him any intelligible
guide by which he could be governed in making his recommendations,
and hence he requested to be relieved _by the Secretary of War_
from consideration of such cases in future, presuming that the
vital question would thus, as a matter of course, receive the
_personal_ consideration of the _Secretary_.  The formal action of
the "Secretary of War," relieving the general from that important
duty involving the honor of those under his command, was very
promptly made known to him.  But now there is very good reason for
the belief that the honorable and very worthy Secretary knew nothing
at all of the whole transaction!

It was my good fortune to have had, by close personal association,
exact knowledge of the difficulties which my predecessors had
encountered, as well as, perhaps, a more modest ambition, and hence
to avoid some of those difficulties.  Yet in view of the past
experience of all commanders of the army, from that of George
Washington with the Continental Congress down to the present time,
I advise all my young brother soldiers to limit their ambition to
the command of the Division of the Atlantic or Department of the
East.  But since some of them must in all probability be required
to discharge the duties of the higher position, I trust the varied
experiences of their predecessors may serve as some help to them
in the discharge of those duties, which are vastly more difficult
and far less agreeable than any other duties of an American soldier.
They are the duties which most closely concern the subordinate
relation of the military to the civil power in a republic.  In that
relation I had the great good fortune to enjoy most cordial and
considerate personal treatment on the part of my distinguished
associates representing the civil power.  Hence my advice to my
young military friends may be fairly regarded as based upon the
most favorable view of what any of them may reasonably expect.  It
is the one position of all in the army which most severely tries
the spirit of subordination which is so indispensable in a soldier
of a republic.  I have not thought it surprising that none of my
great predecessors were quite able to endure the trial.

                                                  THE SECRETARY'S CALL-BELL

It is there where the polished surfaces of military etiquette and
modern methods come in contact with the rough cast-iron of those
which often prevail in civil administration, and the former get
badly scratched.  Military rules are invariable, with rare exceptions
understood and observed by all, while civil practice varies according
to the character and habits of the chief in authority, from those
of the illustrious Stanton, now well known in history,( 1) to the
opposite extreme of refined courtesy.  Long observation and experience
have led to the belief that such rasping of feelings, too sensitive
perhaps, even more than substantial difference, has often been the
cause of discord.  A single example may suffice to illustrate what
is meant.  In the arrangements of the room especially designed for
the office of the Secretary of War in the splendid new State, War,
and Navy Departments building, was a great table-desk on which was
a complete system of electric buttons connected with wires leading
to bells in all the principal offices in the department, the buttons
bearing the titles of the officers at the head of the several
bureaus, etc., so that the Secretary could "ring up" any colonel,
brigadier-general, or major-general whom he wished to see, just as
a gentleman in private life does his coachman, butler, or valet.
To an army officer who had for many years, in lower grades, been
accustomed to the invariable formula, delivered by a well-dressed
soldier standing at "attention" and respectfully saluting, "The
commanding officer sends his compliments to Captain B---, and wishes
to see the captain at headquarters," the tinkling of that soft
little bell must have sounded harsh indeed after he had attained
the rank of brigadier-general.  Twice only, I believe, my own old
soldier messenger who attended in the room where the telephone and
bells were located, came to my room, with an indescribable expression
on his face, and said, "The bell from the Secretary's office is
ringing!"  I replied, "Indeed?  Go up and inquire what it means."
Presently the Secretary's own messenger appeared, and delivered a
message in courteous terms--whether the same the Secretary had
given to him I did not know, but had reason to doubt, for I had
seen and heard the Secretary violently ring a certain bell several
times, and then say with great emphasis to his messenger, "Go and
tell ---- to come here," not even using the high military title by
which "----" was habitually addressed in the War Department.  But
those uncivil methods of an imperfect civilization are gradually
passing away, and the more refined courtesies, taught, I believe,
in all our great schools as well as in the military and naval
service, are taking their place.  It is now a long time since that
reform was practically complete in the War Department.

                                     THE RELATIONS OF SECRETARY AND GENERAL

Thus it appeared, when I went into the office in 1888, that of my
predecessors in command of the army, Scott and Sherman had given
up the contest, Sheridan had been put quickly _hors de combat_,
while Grant alone had won the fight, and that after a long contest,
involving several issues, in which a Secretary of War was finally
removed from office with the consent of his own personal and
political friends, a President was impeached and escaped removal
from office by only one vote, and the country was brought to the
verge of another civil war.  As I had helped Evarts, Seward, and
some others whose names I never knew, to "pour oil on the troubled
waters" in the time of Grant and Stanton, and to get everybody into
the humor to respond heartily to that great aspiration, "Let us
have peace," I thought perhaps I might do something in the same
direction in later years.  Be that as it might, I had no desire to
try again what so many others had failed to accomplish, but thought
it better to make an experiment with a less ambitious plan of my
own, which I had worked out while trying to champion the ideas
entertained by all my predecessors.  At the request of General
Grant and General Sherman, when the one was President and the other
general of the army, I studied the subject as thoroughly as I was
capable of doing, and formulated a regulation intended to define
the relations between the Secretary of War, the general of the
army, and the staff departments.  I still think that plan of my
great superiors, only formulated by me, would have worked quite
satisfactorily if it could have had general and cordial support.
Yet I do not think it was based upon the soundest view of the
constitutional obligations of the President as commander-in-chief
of the army, nor at all consistent with the practice in this country
of giving the command of the army to the officer happening to be
senior in rank, without regard to the "special trust and confidence"
reposed in him by the President for the time being.  It was based
too much upon the special conditions then existing, wherein the
general of the army, no less than the Secretary of War, enjoyed
the confidence of the President in the highest degree.  The plan
proposed to give far too great authority to the general, if he did
not, for whatever reason, enjoy the full confidence of the President.
It also trusted too much to the ability and disinterested fidelity
of the several chiefs of the staff departments.  In short, it was
based upon a supposed higher degree of administrative virtue than
always exists even in this country.

However all this may be, the proposed regulation did not meet with
cordial support, so far as I know, from any but General Grant,
General Sherman, and General M. C. Meigs, then quartermaster-general.
The other bureau chiefs earnestly opposed it.  It was near the end
of General Grant's second term, and no effort was made, so far as
I know, to adopt any regulation on the subject in the next or any
succeeding administration.  The personal controversy between General
Scott and the Secretary of War many years before had resulted in
the repeal, through revision, of the old and quite satisfactory
regulation on the subject, and no other worthy of the name has ever
been adopted in its place.

Soon after I was assigned to the command of the army I submitted,
in writing, to President Cleveland my own mature views on the
subject.  They received some favorable consideration, but no formal
action, in view of the near approach of the end of his first term.
From that time till near the present the paper was in the personal
custody of the Secretary of War.  What consideration, if any, it
ever received, I was never informed.  But it was the guide of my
own action, at least, while I was in command of the army.  It is
now on file in the War Department.  It is to be hoped that some
future military and administrative geniuses, superior to any of
the last hundred years, may be able to solve that difficult problem.
I can only say that my own plan worked well enough so long as I
helped to work it.  How it may be with anybody else, either under
my plan or some other, only the future can determine.  I so far
succeeded that the most intelligent staff officers used to say,
"For the first time the general actually does command the army."
They saw only the results, without exactly perceiving the nature
of the motive-power.

The way to success in rendering efficient public service does not
lie through any assumption of the authority which the nation may
have given to another, even if not most wisely, but rather in
zealous, faithful, and subordinate efforts to assist that other in
doing what the country has imposed upon him.

                                          THE LAW FIXING RETIREMENT FOR AGE

A soldier may honorably crave, as the dearest object of his life,
recognition of his _past services_ by promotion to a higher grade.
That is his one reward for all he may have done.  But the desire
for higher command, greater power, and more unrestrained authority
exhibits ambition inconsistent with due military subordination and
good citizenship.  It is a dangerous ambition in a republic.  The
highest examples of patriotism ever shown in this country have been
in the voluntary surrender of power into the hands of the people
or of their chosen representatives, not in efforts to increase or
prolong that power.  Following those highest examples, in the year
1882 all the senior officers of the army, including Sherman,
Sheridan, and Hancock, united in advocating the measure then pending
in Congress, to fix a limit of age when every officer should
relinquish command and return to the ranks of private citizenship.
In doing so, nearly all of those seniors, especially Hancock,
relinquished forever all hope of rising to the command of the army.
My case was not so strong as that of Hancock, because I was younger.
But Sheridan was only six months older than I, and his "expectation
of life" was far beyond the time when I should become sixty-four
years old.  Hence I cheerfully relinquished in 1882 any reasonable
ambition I may ever have had to command the army.  My ultimate
succession to that command in 1888 was, like all other important
events in my personal career, unsought and unexpected.  Hence
whatever I did from 1888 to 1895 was only a little "extra duty,"
and I have had no reason to find fault on account of the "extra-
duty pay" which I received, though none of it was in money.  I am
inclined to think it a pretty good rule for a soldier to wait until
he is "detailed," and not to try to put himself "on guard."  I do
not know any case in American history where the opposite course
has not resulted in irretrievable injury to him who adopted it.
Temporary success in gaining high position, before education and
experience have given the necessary qualifications, necessarily
results finally in failure; while slower advancement, giving full
opportunities for education and experience in the duties of each
grade, insures full qualification for the next higher.  American
history is full of such examples, as it is--alas! too truly--of
those cases where the highest qualifications and most becoming
modesty have not met with any appropriate advancement or other

                                               AN ANECDOTE OF GENERAL GRANT

In the official intercourse of a soldier with the great departments
of government, he often finds useful those maxims which have served
him as commander of an army in the field.  The most important of
these is, not to enter a combat where he is sure to be beaten, as,
for instance, where his opponent is the judge who is to decide the
issue.  As in war, so in administration, battle once joined,
questions of right become obscured.  The most powerful guns and
battalions are sure to win.  It is much wiser to seek an ally who
carries a heavier armament.  Some subordinates of mine--clerks and
messengers, I believe--were once required to refund some money
which had been paid them on my interpretation of the law and
regulations.  My careful explanation of the ground of my action
was promptly disapproved.  I then requested that the money be
charged to me and the whole matter referred to Congress, in reply
to which request I was informed that the accounts had been settled.
In another case I requested that my appeal from adverse action be
submitted to President Grant, who had had occasion to know something
about me.  I was requested by telegraph, in cipher, to withdraw
that appeal, as it was liable to cause trouble.  Being a lover of
peace rather than war, I complied.  In that perhaps I made a mistake.
If I had adhered to my appeal, it might have saved a public
impeachment.  Again, I was called upon by one of the Treasury
bureaus to refund some money which had been paid me for mileage by
the Secretary of War, on the alleged ground that the Secretary
could not lawfully give me such an order.  I referred the matter
to the Secretary, as one that did not concern me personally, but
which involved the dignity of the head of the War Department as
compared with that of a subordinate bureau of another department.
The Treasury official soon notified me that the account had been
allowed.  To illustrate the application of the same principle under
opposite conditions, I must relate the story told of President
Grant.  When informed by a Treasury officer that he could not find
any law to justify what the President had desired to be done, he
replied, "Then I will see if I can find a Treasury officer who can
find that law."  Of course no change in the incumbent of that office
proved to be necessary.  I have thought in several cases in later
years that Grant's military method might have been tried to

"Be ye wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove" is the only rule
of action I have ever heard of that can steer a soldier clear of
trouble with the civil powers of this great republic.  Yet he must
sometimes, when his honor or the rights of his subordinates are
involved, make the fight, though he knows he must be beaten.  A
soldier must then stand by his guns as long as he can, and it has
happened that such a fight, apparently hopeless at the time, has
given victory to a future generation.

[( 1) Sherman's "Memoirs," second edition, Vol. II, p. 422.]

President of the New Board of Ordnance and Fortifications--Usefulness
of the Board--Troubles with the Sioux Indians in 1890-1891--Success
of the Plan to Employ Indians as Soldiers--Marriage to Miss
Kilbourne--The Difficulty with Chili in 1892.

Even as late as the year 1882, very high military authority in
this country advocated with great earnestness the proposition that
our old brick and stone forts, with their smooth-bore guns, could
make a successful defense against a modern iron-clad fleet!  At
the same time, and even much later, high naval authority maintained
that the United States navy should be relied upon for the defense
of our many thousands of miles of sea-coast!  In view of such
counsel, it does not seem strange that Congress, after all the old
ships had nearly all rotted away, began to give some attention to
a new navy, but thought little or nothing of land defenses.  The
old brick and stone parapets and the cast-iron guns were still
there; none of them had become rotten, though the wooden carriages
had gone to decay, and the guns were lying on the ground!  Yet,
after a long dream of security, the Great National Council announced
the decision that _something_ ought probably to be done for sea-
coast defense.  Provision was made by law for a very high board,
with the Secretary of War presiding, to report to Congress what
was required--a thing which, if Congress had only known it, the
Engineer Bureau of the War Department could have reported just as
well in far less time.  But a length a very able report was submitted,
which inspired the confidence of Congress.

                                        BOARD OF ORDNANCE AND FORTIFICATION

In the meantime there had arisen a condition which can best be
expressed as "want of confidence" in the chief of the Ordnance
Department of the army on the part of committees of Congress.  From
this it resulted that no appropriations were made for several years
for any new armament, and hence none for fortifications.  Thus by
a trifle were the wheels of a great government blocked for a long
time!  Yet that government still survives!  Finally, in the year
1888 an act was passed creating a Board of Ordnance and Fortifications,
of which the commanding general of the army should be president,
and appropriating quite a large sum of money to be expended, under
the direct supervision of that board, to commence the work of
fortification and armament of the sea-coast.  After a very careful
examination and full consideration and discussion, the board adopted
the plans prepared by the Bureaus of Engineering and Ordnance, and
the work was began and carried forward substantially the same as
if the expenditure of the appropriation had been intrusted to the
two bureaus concerned and the Secretary of War.

The board did perform, and still continues to perform, a very
important and essential duty, and one which cannot be satisfactorily
intrusted to any one man, namely, that of deciding the delicate
and difficult questions constantly arising in respect to the
practical utility and economy of new inventions having reference
to works of defense or of attack.  But these questions had no
immediate bearing whatever upon the all-important problem of the
day--to place the sea-coasts of the United States in a satisfactory
state of defense according to the best scientific methods then
known to the world.  And that problem had already been solved, in
all respects save one, namely, how to get out of Congress the
necessary money to do the work?  Genius will never cease to invent
something better.  If we are to wait for the best, the next war
will be over long before we shall begin to prepare for it.  All
great military nations had been engaged for many years in elaborate
and costly experiments, to develop the best possible means of attack
and defense, and our Engineer and Ordnance departments had not
failed to profit thereby to the fullest extent.  They were ready,
without any such costly experiments, to make our defenses as good
as any in the world.  Yet that work of so vital importance must be
delayed until American genius could also be assured of a chance,
at government expense, of developing something better than anybody
else in the world had done!  An end was finally, in 1888, put to
that dangerous delay by the device, so happily invented by somebody
in Congress, of a Board of Ordnance and Fortification.

                                                    USEFULNESS OF THE BOARD

The board has also served, and will doubtless continue to serve,
another very important purpose.  It brings together, in close
consideration and discussion of all details of the system of national
defense, representative officers of the engineers, the ordnance,
and the artillery, together with a representative civilian who has
become, by service in Congress, far better able than any other
member to insure that perfect understanding between the board and
the committees of Congress which is essential to harmonious action.
Above all, it has given to the commanding general an opportunity
to become perfectly familiar with all the details of the coast
defenses, and to exert a legitimate influence in making preparations
for war, which must be of vital importance to him and to the country
when he has to bear the great responsibility of command.  I used
to say that it would not be just to me to deprive me of such
opportunities for education, and I doubt not all my successors will
share that feeling.  Thus, what may prove to be of the greatest
benefit to the military service has finally come out of that evil
of "want of confidence" in an ordnance chief.

When in command of the Division of the Atlantic in 1886-7, I made
a careful estimate of the aggregate strength of the war garrisons
required for the fortifications and armament recommended by the
Endicott board, and of the peace garrisons which would be absolutely
required for the care of the new works and for the instruction of
the militia artillery reserves.  It was found that the addition of
two regiments to the present artillery strength of the army would
provide the requisite force.  Hence a measure was formulated and
submitted to Congress to convert the present five regiments into
seven, with some proportionate reduction in the number of officers,
intended to promote efficiency and economy.  That measure has
appeared to meet with the approval of nearly all concerned, but is
still pending in Congress.  It is probably the most important
military measure now awaiting favorable action.  The measure which
accompanies it for the reorganization of the infantry, though not
of so pressing necessity, is based upon sound military principles,
and is worthy of prompt and favorable action.

The first introduction of the policy of confining the warlike tribes
of Indians upon very restricted reservations necessarily caused
great discontent, especially among the younger men, who where thus
cut off from the sports of the chase and the still greater sport
of occasional forays into frontier settlements, which were the only
means known in Indian custom by which a young warrior could gain
a name and a position of honor in his tribe.  Either through too
limited appropriations or bad management, the provisions furnished
for the support of the Indians, in lieu of those to which they had
been accustomed, proved inadequate.  This caused the spirit of
discontent to increase and to become general among all ages.  The
natural result was such a threat of war from the great Sioux nation
in the winter of 1890-91 as to necessitate the concentration of
quite a large army to meet the danger of a general outbreak.  In
the course of military operations, accidents rather than design on
either side occasioned some serious collisions between the troops
and the Indians, especially at Wounded Knee, resulting in desperate
conflict and much loss of life.  But by very careful management on
the part of the commanding general in the field, Major-General
Miles, a general conflict was averted, and the Sioux made their
submission.  They had had no general intention to go to war, if
they could avoid it without starvation.  After a large sum of money
had been expended by the War Department in this way, the deficiencies
in food were supplied at about the same cost as would, if made in
advance, have removed the cause of war.  The Indians gained their
point of getting as much food as they needed, and the War Department
paid the extra bills, but out of the same public treasury which
has so often been bled in that way.

                                 TROUBLES WITH THE SIOUX INDIANS IN 1890-91

It was quite beyond the power of the War Department to guard against
a recurrence of that greatest danger of Indian wars--starvation of
the Indians.  But long experience and accurate knowledge of Indian
character had suggested a method by which the other cause of
discontent among the young Indian warriors might be, at least in
a great measure, removed.  That was by providing a legitimate method
by which their irrepressible love of military life and exploits
might be largely gratified, and, at the same time, those ambitious
young men transferred from the ranks of more or less probable savage
enemies to the ranks of friends and practically civilized allies.
Fortunately, the strongest trait of the Indian character, namely,
fidelity to the war chief, lent itself to this project.  Long
experience had shown the existence of this Indian trait.  In only
one solitary instance had the Indian scouts so long employed by
the army ever proved unfaithful, though often employed in hostilities
against their own tribes.  Hence, if the ardent young warriors
could be induced to enlist for three years in the army, they would,
at least for that time, be converted from enemies into allies, even
against such of their own tribes as might refuse to enlist.  Of
course the army must suffer somewhat, in its effective strength
for all purposes, during this experiment; for it is evident that
a company or troop of Indians would not be quite as valuable for
general service as the same number of white men.  Yet the transfer
of a few hundred of the best Sioux warriors from the Sioux side to
our side would much more than compensate for the loss of the same
number of white troops.  The result of that experiment seemed to
be entirely satisfactory.  At all events, there has been no great
Indian war, nor any threat of one, since that experiment was begun.
It has served to tide over the time during which the young men,
who had from earliest childhood listened to stories of the Custer
massacre and other great Indian achievements, were undergoing
transformation from the life and character of savage warriors to
those of civilized husbandmen, under the system of allotments in
severalty.  When the short warlike part of the life of one generation
is past, the danger will no longer exist.

In June, 1891, at Keokuk, Iowa, I married Miss Georgia Kilbourne,
daughter of Mrs. George E. Kilbourne of that city.  Then a host of
old soldiers of the Union army reassembled to greet their comrade.

In 1892 this country seemed to be on the verge of war with the
little republic of Chile.  So confident were some officials of the
administration that war was inevitable, that I was asked to make
an estimate of the military force which would be necessary to occupy
and hold a vital point in Chilean territory until the demands of
the United States were complied with.  It was assumed, of course,
that the navy could easily do all the rest.  Pending the consideration
of this subject, so disagreeable to me, I had a dream which I
repeated at the time to a few intimate friends.  I saw in the public
street a man holding a mangy-looking dog by the neck, and beating
him with a great club, while a crowd of people assembled to witness
the "sport."  Some one asked the man why he was beating the poor
dog.  He replied:  "Oh, just to make him yelp."  But the dog did
not "yelp."  He bore his cruel punishment without a whine.  Then
he was transformed into a splendid animal, one of the noblest of
his species, and the entire crowd of bystanders, with one accord,
rushing in and compelled the man to desist from beating him.

Services of the Army During the Labor Strikes of 1894--Military
Control of the Pacific Railways--United States Troops in the City
of Chicago--Orders Sent to General Miles, and his Reports--The
Proclamation of the President--Instructions to Govern the Troops
in Dealing with a Mob--The Duties of the Military Misunderstood--
Orders of the President in Regard to the Pacific Railways.

In 1894 the vast development of railroad communication between the
Mississippi valley and the Pacific Ocean, and the similar building
of new cities and founding of industrial enterprises in the region
between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific, both in anticipation
of the future development of the country rather then in response
to any demand then existing, having been substantially completed,
or suspended for an indefinite time, a large amount of capital so
invested was found for the time unproductive, and a great number
of laborers were left in the Pacific States without any possible
employment.  The great majority of these laborers were, as usual,
without any accumulated means to pay their transportation to any
other part of the country, and hence were left to drift as they
might toward the East, subsisting by whatever means they could find
during their long tramp of many hundreds of miles.  Similar and
other causes had produced at the same time industrial depression
throughout the country, so that the unfortunate laborers drifting
eastward were only an additional burden upon communities already
overloaded with unemployed labor.  Thus the borrowing of foreign
capital to put into unprofitable investments, and the employment
of great numbers of laborers in making premature developments, met
with the consequences which are sure to follow disregard of natural
laws.  The management of the Pacific railroads did not appear to
appreciate the wisdom of mitigating, so far as was in their power,
the evil which had resulted from their own policy, by giving free
transportation to the laborers who had been stranded on the Pacific
coast.  Hence all the transcontinental roads were soon blocked by
lawless seizures of trains, and suffered losses far greater than
they saved in transportation.  Indeed, the requisite transportation
of destitute laborers eastward would have cost the roads practically
nothing, while their losses resulting from not providing it were
very great.  Every possible effort was made for a long time to deal
effectively with this evil by the ordinary course of judicial
proceedings; but such methods proved entirely inadequate.  The
government was finally compelled, in consequence of the almost
total interruption of interstate commerce and of the transportation
of the United States mails and troops, to assume military control
along the lines of all the Pacific roads, and direct the department
commanders to restore and maintain, by military force, traffic and
transportation over those roads.

                                   MILITARY CONTROL OF THE PACIFIC RAILWAYS

For some time those lawless acts did not seem to result from any
general organization.  But they gradually developed into the
formidable character of a wide-spread conspiracy and combination,
with recognized general leaders, to obstruct and prevent the due
execution of the laws of the United States respecting transportation
and interstate commerce.  The principal center of this conspiracy,
and by far the most formidable combination, was in Chicago, where
the greatest material interests, both public and private, were at
stake, though many other important railroad centers and many thousand
miles of road were involved.  There the insurrection was so great
in numbers and so violent in its acts as to require the most prompt
and energetic action of a very large force to suppress disorder,
protect public property, and execute the laws.  The city police
were utterly powerless in such an emergency, and deputy United
States marshals, though employed without limit as to numbers, were
no more effective.  The State militia were not called out in time
to meet the emergency.  Hence nothing remained but for the National
Government to exercise the military power conferred upon it by the
Constitution and laws, so far as the same were applicable.( 1)
Fortunately, the acts of Congress passed in pursuance of the
Constitution, although never before made effective in a similar
case, were found to give ample authority for the action then
required.  Fortunately, also, the wise foresight of the government
in establishing a large military post at Fort Sheridan, near Chicago,
made a regiment of infantry, a squadron of cavalry, and a battery
of artillery immediately available for service in that city.  But,
unfortunately, the commanding general of that department was absent
from his command, where superior military capacity was so much
needed at that time.  Although the troops west of the Mississippi
had been engaged for a long time, under the President's orders, in
overcoming the unlawful obstruction of railroad traffic above
referred to, the general appears not to have anticipated any
emergency which would in his judgment require or justify such use
of troops in his own department, and hence remained in the Eastern
States, where he had gone some time before.  From this it resulted
that when the troops at Fort Sheridan were ordered into Chicago,
the execution of the order devolved upon subordinate officers, and
the troops were so dispersed as to be unable to act with the
necessary effect.

It having become apparent that the services of troops would probably
be required in the city of Chicago, and in anticipation of orders
from the President, instructions were telegraphed on July 2 to the
commanding general of the Department of the Missouri to make
preparations to move the garrison of Fort Sheridan to the Lake
Front Park in the city.  The reply of his staff-officer, Colonel
Martin, showed that the department commander, Major-General Miles,
was not in Chicago, and the adjutant-general of the army did not
know where he was, but, after several inquiries by telegraph,
learned that the general had started that afternoon from Long Island
for Washington instead of Chicago.  The next day (July 3), in the
President's room at the Executive Mansion, in reply to my suggestion
that his presence was needed with his command, General Miles said
he was subject to orders, but that in his opinion the United States
troops ought not to be employed in the city of Chicago at that
time.  No reply was made by the President or the Secretary of War,
who was also present, to that expression of opinion, but the
President approved my further suggestion that General Miles should
return at once to his command.  The general started by the first
train, but could not reach Chicago in time to meet the emergency.
It became necessary in the judgment of the President to order the
Fort Sheridan garrison into the city in the afternoon of the same
day (July 3).

                                UNITED STATES TROOPS IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO

The instructions given the day before about moving the troops to
Lake Front Park were not complied with.  From that point they could
most readily have protected the sub-treasury, custom-house, post-
office, and other United States property, and also have acted in
a formidable body at any other point where their service might
properly have been required.  But instead of that, the troops were
so dispersed that they could not act with much effect anywhere,
and could give no protection whatever to the vast amount of United
States property exposed to destruction.  This error appears to have
resulted in some measure from the too great deference paid by
commanding officers to the advice or wisdom of civil officers to
whom they were referred to for information, and much more from lack
of knowledge of the lawful relations existing between the national
troops and the civil authorities in this country, although those
relations had been plainly defined in an order dated May 25, quoted
below.  Like ignorance in respect to the proper tactical methods
of dealing with insurrection against the authority of the United
States caused halting and ineffective action of the troops.  To
correct this error and make known to all the rules which must govern
United States troops in like emergencies, the subjoined order,
dated July 9, was issued.  The extracts from correspondence quoted
below, indicate the nature of the errors above referred to, and
their correction some time after the arrival of General Miles in

The garrison of Fort Sheridan proved sufficient, notwithstanding
the first faulty disposition and action of troops, to hold the mob
in check until reinforcements arrived from distant stations and
the State troops were brought into effective action.  Finally, the
proclamation of the President of the United States, quoted below,
which was issued at the moment when ample military forces had been
placed in position to enforce his constitutional mandates, very
quickly terminated all forcible resistance to the execution of the
laws of the United States.  The same result, though perhaps with
greater destruction of life and far less destruction of property,
would probably have been accomplished in a single day by the Fort
Sheridan garrison alone, acting in one compact body, according to
the tactics prescribed for such service.  If a like occasion ever
again occurs, the action of the troops will doubtless be governed
by such tactics.  Delay is too dangerous in such cases.

  "Headquarters of the Army, Washington, D. C., July 2, 1894.
"To the Commanding General, Department of the Missouri, Chicago,

"You will please make all necessary arrangements, confidentially,
for the transportation of the entire garrison of Fort Sheridan--
infantry, cavalry, and artillery--to the Lake Front Park in the
city of Chicago.  To avoid possible interruption of the movement
by rail and by marching through a part of the city, it may be
advisable to bring them by steamboat.  Please consider this matter,
and have the arrangements perfected without delay.  You may expect
orders at any time for the movement.  Acknowledge receipt, and
report in what manner the movement is to be made.

  "J. M. Schofield, Major-General Commanding."

  "Chicago, Illinois, July 2, 1894.
"Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

"Confidential despatch this date received at three-thirty P. M.
Arrangements can be made to bring troops from Sheridan to Lake
Front Park by steamer, but there would be difficulty in disembarking
them there, as the Van Buren street viaduct has been torn down;
and, besides, transportation from barracks to pier at Sheridan
would necessarily be slow.  They can be brought from Sheridan to
Lake Front direct by rail, and disembark on grounds, thus avoiding
marching through city.  Suggest the latter plan as best, especially
as rail transportation is now at the post sufficient to bring the
whole command--infantry, artillery, and cavalry--as soon as they
can be loaded on cars at that point.

  "Martin, Asst. Adjt.-Genl.
  "(in absence of Major-Genl. Comdg.)."

                                UNITED STATES TROOPS IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO

  "Washington, D. C., July 3, 1894, four o'clock P. M.
"To Martin, Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Dept. of the Missouri, Chicago,

"It having become impracticable, in the judgment of the President,
to enforce, by ordinary course of judicial proceedings, the laws
of the United States, you will direct Colonel Crofton to move his
entire command at once to the city of Chicago, leaving the necessary
guard at Fort Sheridan, there to execute the orders and processes
of the United States court, to prevent the obstruction of the United
States mails, and generally to enforce the faithful execution of
the laws of the United States.  He will confer with the United
States marshal, the United States district attorney, and Edwin
Walker, special counsel.  Acknowledge receipt, and report action

"By order of the President:
  "J. M. Schofield, Major-General."

  "Chicago, Ills, July 4, 1894.
"Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

"At ten-fifteen this morning Colonel Crofton reports his command
in the city; located, infantry at Blue Island and Grand Crossing,
cavalry and artillery at stock-yards; cannot learn that anything
definite has been accomplished, but there has been no active trouble.
People appear to feel easier since arrival of troops.  General
Miles is expected to arrive in city within an hour or at twelve.

  "Martin, Asst. Adjt.-Genl."

  "Chicago, Ills., July 4, 1894.
"Adjt. Genl. U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

"Returned at eleven-thirty this morning.

  "Miles, Maj.-Genl. Commanding."

  "Chicago, Ills., July 4, 1894.
"Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

"Cavalry and artillery moving to the stock-yards were delayed by
obstructions placed upon the track, also cars being overturned on
track and the threatening mob in the vicinity.  A report is received
that a mob of about two thousand men has gathered near Blue Island
and threatened to take that place at four o'clock this afternoon.
It is occupied by four companies of infantry.  At the request of
U. S. Marshal Arnold, troops had been located at Blue Island, the
stock-yards, and the crossing at Forty-seventh street of the Lake
Shore and Rock Island railroads before my arrival, and others are
desired at South Chicago.  I have directed all commanding officers
not to allow crowds or mobs to congregate about the commands in a
menacing or threatening manner, and to keep out pickets and guards;
and, after due warning, if the mobs approach the commands in a
threatening manner, they must be dispersed, even if firearms have
to be used.  A large number of men in the city are wearing white
ribbon, the color ordered by Debs to indicate their allegiance to
his orders.  Owing to the feeling of feverish excitement in the
city, and the large number of unoccupied, the condition of to-day
is more critical than at any other time.  Most of the roads are
moving mail and passenger trains.  All of the roads will attempt
to move their trains to-morrow morning.  Sufficient number of men
are available and anxious to work to take the place of all the
strikers, provided proper protection can be given them.  Seven
roads have moved a few cars of perishable freight.  All the troops
from Sheridan are occupied, and I renew my recommendation that the
garrison be very largely increased at once to meet any emergency
that may arise.  The effect of moving troops through the country,
especially from Kansas to Chicago, at this time would be desirable.

  "Nelson A. Miles, Major-General Commanding."

Additional troops were concentrated in Chicago as rapidly as they
could be transported, until the force there aggregated about two
thousand men.  More were in readiness to move if necessary.

                              ORDERS SENT TO GENERAL MILES, AND HIS REPORTS

  "Chicago, Ills., July 5, 1894.
"Adjutant-General, U. S. A., Washington, D. C.:

"Owing to the excellent discipline and great forbearance of officers
and men, serious hostilities were avoided yesterday; several small
fights and affrays occurred.  Matters look more favorable to-day,
although interference exists on five roads.  All railroads are
endeavoring to move freight and mail trains.

  "Miles, Major-General Commanding."

  "Chicago, Ills, July 5, 1894.
"Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

"The mob of several thousand are moving east along Rock Island
nearer center of city, overturning cars, burning station-houses,
and destroying property.  There is a report that the mob intend
sacking some of the principal building near Rookery Building to-
night.  The riot will soon embrace all the criminals of the city
and vicinity.  Unless very positive measures are taken, the riot
will be beyond the control of any small force.  Has the government
any additional instructions?

  "Nelson A. Miles, Major-General Commanding."

  "Chicago, Ills, July 5, 1894.
"Adjutant-General, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

"While most of the roads are moving passenger and mail trains,
nearly all the freight trains are interfered with, and but very
few are moving.  This morning a mob of over two thousand men gathered
at the stock-yards, crowded among the troops, obstructed the movement
of trains, knocked down a railroad official, and overturned some
twenty freight-cars on the track, which obstructs all freight and
passenger traffic in the vicinity of the stock-yards, and thereby
the transit of meat-trains to different parts of the country, as
well as the passenger traffic of the Rock Island Railroad.  The
mob also derailed a passenger-train coming into the city on the
Pittsburg, Fort Wayne, and Chicago Railroad, and burned switches,
which destroys track.  The injunction of the United States Court
is openly defied, and unless the mobs are dispersed by the action
of the police, or they are fired upon by United States troops, more
serious trouble may be expected, as the mob is increasing and
becoming more defiant.  Shall I give the order for troops to fire
on mob obstructing trains?

  "Miles, Major-General Commanding."

The following extracts from correspondence and orders, and the
proclamation of the President, with the foregoing explanation,
sufficiently indicate the methods by which the unlawful combination
in Chicago was suppressed:

  "Headquarters of the Army, Washington, D. C., July 5, 1894, 10:15
   P. M.
"To Major-General Miles, Headquarters Department of the Missouri,
 United States Army, Chicago, Illinois.

"In view of the situation in Chicago, as reported in your despatches
to the adjutant-general this evening, it is your duty to concentrate
your troops so as to enable them to act effectively either in
execution of the orders heretofore given, or in protecting the
property of the United States, as in your judgment may be necessary.
In any event, the troops should not be scattered or divided into
small detachments, nor should they attempt to do service in several
places at the same time, which their numbers will not enable them
to do effectively.

"The mere preservation of peace and good order in the city is, of
course, the province of the city and State authorities.

  "J. M. Schofield, Major-General Commanding."

                              ORDERS SENT TO GENERAL MILES, AND HIS REPORTS

  "Chicago, Ills., July 6, 1894.
"Adjutant-General, U. S. A., Washington, D. C.:

"In accordance with the orders of the War Department, the troops
were sent to Blue Island, stock-yards, Grand Crossing, and Forty-
ninth street, at the request of the U. S. marshal.  This disposition
was made before my arrival yesterday.  The roads were obstructed
in several places by mobs; the largest and most violent gathered
near the stock-yards at noon, and gradually moved east along the
line of the Rock Island road, overturning cars, burning station-
house, roundhouse, and other property.  The mob was estimated at
ten thousand men, three miles long and half a mile wide; it moved
steadily north until after dark, destroying property and setting
fires, and the cry of the mob was "To hell with the government!"
It reached Eighteenth street after dark, and then dispersed.  While
this threatening movement was in action I withdrew some of the
troops on the outskirts of the city, and in the evening the battery
and one troop of cavalry, to the Lake Front Park, for the purpose
of attacking the mob should it reach the vicinity of the government
building between Adams and Jackson sts.  During the afternoon,
night, and this morning I have concentrated nine (9) companies
infantry, troop cavalry, and the battery of artillery on the Lake
Front Park.  This includes troops from Leavenworth and Brady.
During last night a proclamation was issued by the mayor directing
the police to disperse mobs and prevent the lawless from interfering
with railroads.  If this order is executed there will be no further
trouble.  One engineer has been stoned to death.  During the night
a dozen fires were started in different places, but destroying very
little property, except the principal buildings of the World's Fair
and more than a hundred cars; this morning a mob has gathered near
the stock-yards in as large numbers as yesterday at this time; they
threatened to hang U. S. marshals and policemen.  The law-breakers
constitute a very small percentage of the people.  The mass of the
people desire the maintenance of law and order.  The action of the
Chief Executive has given universal satisfaction.

  "Miles, Major-General Commanding."

                                          THE PROCLAMATION OF THE PRESIDENT

"By the President of the United States of America.
"A Proclamation.

"_Whereas_, by reason of unlawful obstructions, combinations, and
assemblages of persons, it has become impracticable, in the judgment
of the President, to enforce, by the ordinary course of judicial
proceedings, the laws of the United States within the State of
Illinois, and especially in the city of Chicago, within said State:

"_And whereas_, for the purpose of enforcing the faithful execution
of the laws of the United States and protecting its property and
removing obstructions to the United States mails, in the State and
city aforesaid, the President has employed a part of the military
forces of the United States:

"_Now, therefore_, I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United
States, do hereby admonish all good citizens and all persons who
may be, or may come, within the city and State aforesaid, against
aiding, countenancing, encouraging, or taking any part in such
unlawful obstructions, combinations, and assemblages; and I hereby
warn all persons engaged in, or in any way connected with, such
unlawful obstructions, combinations, and assemblages, to disperse
and retire peaceably to their respective abodes on or before twelve
o'clock noon on the ninth day of July instant.

"Those who disregard this warning and persist in taking part with
a riotous mob in forcibly resisting and obstructing the execution
of the laws of the United States, or interfering with the functions
of the government, or destroying or attempting to destroy the
property belonging to the United States or under its protection,
cannot be regarded otherwise than as public enemies.

"Troops employed against such a riotous mob will act with all the
moderation and forbearance consistent with the accomplishment of
the desired end; but the stern necessities that confront them will
not with certainly permit discrimination between guilty participants
and those who are mingled with them from curiosity and without
criminal intent.  They only safe course, therefore, for those not
actually unlawfully participating is to abide at their homes, or
at least not to be found in the neighborhood of riotous assemblages.

"While there will be no hesitation or vacillation in the decisive
treatment of the guilty, this warning is especially intended to
protect and save the innocent.

"_In testimony whereof_, I have hereunto set my hand and caused
the seal of the United States to be hereto affixed.

"Done at the city of Washington, this eighth day of July, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-four, and
of the independence of the United States the one hundred and

  "Grover Cleveland.
"By the President:
  "W. Q. Gresham, Secretary of State."

  "(General Orders, No. 6).
  "Headquarters Department of the Missouri, Chicago, Illinois, July
   9, 1894.
"To all United States troops serving in the Department of the

"The acts of violence committed during the past few days in
obstructing the mail-trains and post-roads; the blocking of the
interstate commerce; the open defiance and violation of the injunction
of the United States Court; the assaults upon the Federal forces
in the lawful discharge of their duties; the destruction, pillage,
and looting of the inland commerce property belonging to citizens
of the different States, and other acts of rebellion and lawlessness,
have been of such a serious character that the duties of the military
authorities are now clearly defined.

"The proclamation of the President, the commander-in-chief of the
land and navy forces and the State militia when called into service,
is understood by the military to be in the interests of humanity
and to avoid the useless waste of life, if possible.  _It is an
executive order for all law-abiding citizens to separate themselves
from the law-breakers and those in actual hostility to the action
of the United States Court and the laws of the National Government._
He has defined the attitude of these law-breakers to be that of
enemies of the government, and hence it is the duty of the military
forces to aid the United States marshals to disperse, capture, or
destroy all bodies of men obstructing the mail-routes and in actual
hostility to the injunction of the United States Court and the laws
of the United States.

"This does not change the relations of the Federal officials with
those of the local authority, as it is expected that the State and
municipal governments will maintain peace and good order within
the territory of their jurisdiction.  Should they fail or be
overpowered, the military forces will assist them, but not to the
extent of leaving unprotected property belonging to or under the
protection of the United States.

"The officer in the immediate command of troops must be the judge
as to what use to make of the forces of his command in executing
his orders, and in case serious action be required and there be
time, he will communicate with his next superior for his

"The earnest efforts of the law-abiding citizens have done much to
improve the condition of affairs during the last few days, and I
earnestly request all law-abiding citizens to do whatever is possible
to assist in maintaining the civil government and the authority of
the municipal, State, and Federal governments in preserving peace
and good order.

"By command of Major-General Miles:
  "J. P. Martin, Assistant Adjutant-General."

  "(General Orders, No. 23)
  "Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant-General's Office, Washington,
   July 9, 1864.
"The following instructions are published for the government of
the army:

"A mob forcibly resisting or obstructing the execution of the laws
of the United States, or attempting to destroy property belonging
to or under the protection of the United States, is a public enemy.

"Troops called into action against such a mob are governed by the
general regulations of the army and military tactics in respect to
the manner in which they shall act to accomplish the desired end.
It is purely a tactical question in what manner they shall use the
weapons with which they are armed--whether by the fire of musketry
and artillery, or by the use of the bayonet and saber, or by both,
and at what stage of the operations each or either mode of attack
shall be employed.

"This tactical question must necessarily be decided by the immediate
commander of the troops, according to his best judgment of the
situation and the authorized drill regulations.

"In the first stage of an insurrection lawless mobs are frequently
commingled with great crowds of comparatively innocent people drawn
there by curiosity and excitement, and ignorant of the great danger
to which they are exposed.  Under such circumstances the commanding
officer should withhold the fire of his troops, if possible, until
timely warning has been given to the innocent to separate themselves
from the guilty.

"Under no circumstances are the troops to fire into a crowd without
the order of the commanding officer, except that single sharp-
shooters, selected by the commanding officer, may shoot down
individual rioters who have fired upon or thrown missiles at the

"As a general rule, the bayonet alone should be used against mixed
crowds in the first stages of a revolt.  But as soon as sufficient
warning has been given to enable the innocent to separate themselves
from the guilty, the action of the troops should be governed solely
by the tactical considerations involved in the duty they are ordered
to perform.  They are not called upon to consider how great may be
the losses inflicted upon the public enemy, except to make their
blows so effective as to promptly suppress all resistance to lawful
authority, and to stop the destruction of life the moment lawless
resistance has ceased.  Punishment belongs not to the troops, but
to the courts of justice.

"By command of Major-General Schofield:
  "Geo. D. Ruggles, Adjutant-General."

                                         INSTRUCTIONS IN DEALING WITH A MOB

  "(General Orders, No. 15)
  "Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant-General's Office, Washington,
   May 25, 1894.
"The following instructions are issued for the government of
department commanders:

"Whenever the troops may be lawfully employed, under the order of
the President, to suppress 'insurrection in any State against the
government thereof,' as provided in section 5297 of the Revised
Statutes; or to 'enforce the execution of the laws of the United
States' when 'by reason of unlawful obstructions, combinations, or
assemblages of persons' it has 'become impracticable, in the judgment
of the President, to enforce, by the ordinary course of judicial
proceedings, the laws of the United States,' as provided in section
5298 of the Revised Statutes, the troops are employed as a part of
the military power of the United States, and act under the orders
of the President, as commander-in-chief, and his military subordinates.
They cannot be directed to act under the orders of any civil officer.
The commanding officers of the troops so employed are directly
responsible to their military superiors.  Any unlawful or unauthorized
act on their part would not be excusable on the ground of any order
or request received by them from a marshal or any other civil

"By command of Major-General Schofield:
  "Geo. D. Ruggles, Adjutant-General."

It appears to have been thought in Chicago that "the request of
the United States marshal," with whom the commanding officer of
the troops had been directed to "confer," was equivalent to "orders
of the War Department," notwithstanding the order of May 25, above
quoted, strictly prohibiting any such use of the troops.  Hence
the faulty disposition of the troops which was corrected when the
mob was approaching the heart of the city.  Then "some of the troops
on the outskirts of the city" were withdrawn, and "in the evening
the battery and one troop of cavalry" were moved "to the Lake Front
Park, for the purpose of attacking the mob should it reach the
vicinity of the government building between Adams and Jackson sts."
And during the afternoon and night of the 5th and morning of the
6th an effective force was concentrated on the Lake Front Park,
forty-eight hours after the time when the orders from Washington
indicated that the Fort Sheridan garrison should be at that place.

                                   THE DUTIES OF THE MILITARY MISUNDERSTOOD

On July 9, the day after the President had issued his proclamation,
it appeared in Chicago that "the duties of the military authorities
are now clearly defined."  The President's proclamation was
"understood by the military to be in the interests of humanity,"
and to concern, in some way, "the State militia," as if they had
been "called into the service" of the United States.  It was "the
duty of the military forces to aid the United States marshals."
Again, "it is expected the State and municipal governments will
maintain peace and good order . . . . Should they fail or be
overpowered, the military force will assist them  . . "--and this
notwithstanding the well-known law on that subject to which allusion
was made in the despatch of July 5 from the headquarters of the

The President's proclamation was strictly limited to "the purpose
of enforcing the faithful execution of the laws of the United
States, and protecting its property, and removing obstructions to
the United States mails," for which purpose the proclamation stated
"the President has employed a part of the military forces of the
United States"--not _is about to employ_, but _has employed_, under
specific orders, which were telegraphed to Colonel Martin on July
3, to do certain things which were precisely the things specified
in the proclamation of July 8, and not "to aid the United States
marshals" in doing those things or any others.  Yet it was not
until July 9, six days after the order to Colonel Martin, that
those duties became "clearly defined," and then they were misunderstood
in the very essential particulars above specified.

The lawless interruption of traffic on the Pacific roads had
continued from the latter part of April till early in July,--two
months and a half,--in spite of all the efforts to enforce the
laws, in each special case, by the ordinary course of judicial
proceedings.  Yet as soon as full discretionary authority was given
to the several department commanders to act promptly as each
emergency might require, all obstruction to the operations of the
Pacific railroads rapidly disappeared.

The ordinary course of judicial proceedings is generally far too
slow to produce satisfactory results when military force is required.
Fortunately the Constitution and laws of the United States do not
require such ineffective mixture of civil and military methods.
When the civil power ceases to be effective and the President is
required to exercise his authority as commander-in-chief of the
army, his acts become purely military, untrammeled by any civil
authority whatever.  This is perhaps one of the strongest and most
valuable provisions of the Constitution and laws--one which, if
generally known, is most likely to deter the lawless from any
attempt to act in defiance of the judicial authority of the United
States.  The General Order No. 15, issued at the time herein referred
to (May 25, 1894), was based upon the foregoing interpretation of
the Constitution and laws.

Under the Constitution and existing statutes of the United States
it is not proper to use the troops, either in large or small numbers,
to "aid the United States marshals."  When the civil officers, with
their civil posse, are no longer able to enforce the laws, they
stand aside, and the military power, under the orders of the
commander-in-chief, steps in and overcomes the lawless resistance
to authority.  Then the civil officers resume their functions, to
make arrests of individuals, hold them in custody, and deliver them
to the courts for trial.  It is not the duty of the troops in such
cases to guard prisoners who are in the custody of civil officers;
but it is the duty of the troops, if necessary, to repel by force
of arms any unlawful attempt to rescue such prisoners.  This
distinction should be clearly understood by all army officers, and
it is of universal application.  The duty of the army is, when so
ordered by the President, to overcome and suppress lawless resistance
to civil authority.  There military duty ends, and civil officers
resume their functions.

                                   THE DUTIES OF THE MILITARY MISUNDERSTOOD

The distinction between the authority of the United States and that
of the several States is so clearly defined that there can be no
possible excuse for ignorance on that subject on the part of any
officer of the army.  But the relation between the civil and the
military authorities of the United States had not been clearly
defined, after the passage of the "Posse Comitatus Act," until the
order of May 25, 1894, was issued.  But that can hardly excuse
continued ignorance of the law a month or more after that order
was issued; and it is worthy of note that at least one department
commander showed himself familiar with the law before the order
was issued, by correcting the mistake of a subordinate, which called
attention to the necessity of issuing some such order.

Of course that order had the sanction of the President, after
consideration and approval by the Attorney-General, before it was

The acts of Congress creating the Pacific railroads and making them
military roads justify and require that the government give them
military protection whenever, in the judgment of the President,
such protection is needed.  It is not incumbent on the commander-
in-chief of the army of the United States to call on civil courts
and marshals to protect the military roads over which he proposes
to move his troops, whether on foot or on horseback or in cars.
It appears to have been almost forgotten that the transcontinental
railroads were built, at great expense to the national treasury,
_mainly as a military bond_ between the Atlantic States and the
Pacific States, and that this is by far their most important service,
and this explains the meaning of the language employed by the acts
of Congress creating them.

At the time of the massacre of Chinese laborers at Rock Springs,
Wyoming, during President Cleveland's first administration, I was
ordered by the President to go to that place from Chicago and
suppress that violation of the treaty obligations between this
country and China.  On my arrival at Omaha, I was informed by the
press reporters that a grand conclave at Denver that night was to
consider a proposition to order out all the train-men on the Union
Pacific Railroad the next morning, for the purpose, as I understood,
of preventing the passage of my train.  I told the reporters they
might telegraph those people in Denver, but not for publication,
that I was traveling over a military road, on military duty, under
orders from the commander-in-chief of the army; that interference
with that journey would be regarded by me as an act of war, and
would be so treated.  I heard no more on that subject.  That
interpretation of the Pacific Railroad acts was suggested several
times, but never officially accepted until 1894.

                                                    ORDERS OF THE PRESIDENT

The following are in substance the orders sent on July 6 and 7, by
the President's direction, to all the department commanders in the
country traversed by the Pacific railroads, and the President's
proclamation which followed two days later, under the operation of
which traffic was resumed throughout all that vast region of country
as rapidly as trains carrying troops could be moved.  No serious
opposition or resistance was offered anywhere.

  "Headquarters of the Army, Washington, July 7, 1894.
"Brigadier-General Otis, Commanding Department of the Columbia,
 Vancouver Barracks, Washington:

"In view of the fact, as substantiated by communications received
from the Department of Justice, from military official reports,
and from other reliable sources, that by reason of unlawful
obstructions, and combinations or assemblages of persons, it has
become impracticable, in the judgment of the President, to enforce,
by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, the laws of the
United States, and to prevent obstructions of the United States
mails, and interruptions to commerce between the States, on the
line of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and to secure to the United
States the right guaranteed by section II of the act approved July
2, 1864, constituting the Northern Pacific Railroad 'a post route
and military road subject to the use of the United States for
postal, military, naval, and all other government service,' you
are directed by the President to employ the military force under
your command to remove obstructions to the mails, and to execute
any orders of the United States courts for the protection of property
in the hands of receivers appointed by such courts, and for preventing
interruption of interstate commerce, and to give such protection
to said railroad as will prevent any unlawful and forcible obstruction
to the regular and orderly operation of said road 'for postal,
military, naval, and all other government service.'

  "J. M. Schofield, Major-General Commanding."

  "Headquarters of the Army, Washington, July 7, 1894.
"Brigadier-General Otis, Commanding Department of the Columbia,
 Vancouver Barracks, Washington:

"The order of the President sent you this morning by telegraph is
the same in substance as one sent last night to General Merritt,
the purpose being to extend military protection over the entire
line of the Northern Pacific Railroad from St. Paul to Puget Sound.
In the movement of the troop-trains along the line of the road in
the execution of this order, the Department of Justice will furnish
a sufficient force of marshals to make arrests and hold prisoners
subject to the orders of the United States courts.  You will please
concert with General Merritt by direct correspondence the necessary
exchanges of guards upon moving trains at the military posts in
your department and in his, nearest to each other, so that the
troops may return to their proper stations without unnecessary

  "J. M. Schofield, Major-General Commanding."

"By the President of the United States of America.
"A Proclamation.

"_Whereas_, by reason of unlawful obstruction, combinations, and
assemblages of persons, is has become impracticable, in the judgment
of the President, to enforce, by the ordinary course of judicial
proceedings, the laws of the United States at certain points and
places within the States of North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington,
Wyoming, Colorado, and California, and the Territories of Utah and
New Mexico, and especially along the lines of such railways traversing
said States and Territories as are military roads and post routes,
and are engaged in interstate commerce and in carrying United States

"_And whereas_, for the purpose of enforcing the faithful execution
of the laws of the United States, and protecting property belonging
to the United States or under its protection, and of preventing
obstructions of the United States mails and of commerce between
the States and Territories, and of securing to the United States
the right guaranteed by law to the use of such roads for the postal,
military, naval, and other government service, the President has
employed a part of the military forces of the United States:

"_Now, therefore_, I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United
States, do hereby command all persons engaged in, or in any way
connected with, such unlawful obstructions, combinations, and
assemblages, to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective
abodes on or before three o'clock in the afternoon on the tenth
day of July instant.

"_In witness whereof_, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the
seal of the United states to he hereto affixed.

"Done at the city of Washington, this ninth day of July, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-four, and
in the independence of the United States the one hundred and

  "Grover Cleveland.
"By the President:
  "W. Q. Gresham, Secretary of State."

[( 1) See the report of Attorney-General Olney, December 1, 1894,
p. 31.]

Lessons of the Civil War--Weakness of the Military Policy at the
Outbreak of the Rebellion--A Poor Use of the Educated Soldiers of
the Army--Military Wisdom Shown by the Confederate Authorities--
Territorial Strategy--General Military Education Indispensable to
Good Citizenship--Organization of the National Guard--General Grant
Without Military Books--Measures Necessary to the National Defense.

In my opinion, the most important of all the lessons taught by the
Civil War is the necessity of using in the most effective manner
the means at the disposal of the government when war breaks out.
The necessity for adequate preparation is a different question,
which has been much discussed, and in regard to which some progress
has been made toward a satisfactory solution.  Whatever the outcome
may be in respect to preparation for war, certainly the government
and the people ought to adopt such a policy as will lead to the
best practicable use of the preparations which have actually been

In this respect the policy adopted by the National Government in
1861 was about as weak as possible, while that of the Confederates
was comparatively strong.  It is said that this weak policy was
due largely to General Scott, and grew out of his distrust of
volunteer troops; he having thought it necessary to have a considerable
body of regular troops to give steadiness and confidence to the
volunteers or militia.  This is a very good theory, no doubt,
providing the regulars could be provided in advance in such numbers
as to produce the desired effect.  But if that theory had been
relied upon in 1861, the "Confederate States" would have established
their independence long before the regular army could be organized
and made effective.  What was demanded by the necessities of the
country in 1861 was the best large army that could be made in the
shortest possible time, not a better small army to be made in a
much longer time.

The United States government actually had in hand the means of
creating in a very short time a far larger efficient army than the
South could possibly have raised in the same time.  This means had
been provided, with great care and at great expense, through a long
term of years, by the education of young men at the Military Academy,
and their practical training in the small regular army in all kinds
of actual service, including one foreign war and almost constant
campaigns against the Indians.  Nowhere in the world could have
been found a better corps of officers to organize, instruct, and
discipline new troops.  Yet those officers were hardly employed at
all in that service at first, when it was of supreme importance.
Some time later, when the necessity was not so great, a few officers
of the army were permitted to accept commands in the volunteers.
Even then it often required great "influence" to secure such
"indulgences."  Scores of young officers, qualified in every way
to do such service in the first six months of the war, sought in
vain for opportunities to render the valuable services for which
the government had educated them, and were compelled to drag along
four years in the discharge of duties several grades below their

                                            WEAKNESS OF THE MILITARY POLICY

In the regular army in 1861 there were, exclusive of those who went
South, at least 600 officers who, after graduating at West Point,
had served several years with their regiments, and were well
qualified to drill a regiment and command it in battle.  A large
proportion of them were fitted to command brigades, and some of
them divisions, and even army corps.  The three years' volunteers
first called out could have been fully supplied with brigade,
division, and corps commanders from graduates of West Point who
were thoroughly qualified by theoretical education and established
character, and many of them by practical experience in the Mexican
war and Indian campaigns, for the instruction, discipline, and
command of troops, still leaving a sufficient number with the
regulars for efficient service.  The old sergeants of the army in
1861 were relatively competent company commanders.  One commissioned
officer to four companies of these veteran Indian-fighters made as
reliable a battalion as any general could wish for in the conditions
then existing.

Experience demonstrated that a volunteer regiment could in a very
few weeks be converted into an efficient and thoroughly reliable
force in battle by a single young officer of the regular army.  In
other words, by a judicious use of the small body of officers whom
the country had educated at so great an expense, a fine army of
500,000 men, or more, could have been called into service, organizied,
disciplined, and put into the field by August 1, 1861; and that
without interfering in any way with the three months' militia called
out to meet the first emergency, which militia ought, of course,
to have acted strictly on the defensive until the more permanent
force could take the field.  In a few months more, certainly by
the spring of 1862, the instruction, discipline, and field experience
of the first levy would have given good officers enough to organize
and command a million more men.  It required, in short, only a wise
use of the national resources to overwhelm the South before the
spring of 1863.

The supply of arms, it is true, was deplorably deficient in 1861.
But the South was only a little better off than the North in that
regard.  Besides, the National Government had command of all the
markets of the world, and of the means of ocean transportation.
It could have bought at once all the available arms everywhere,
and thus fully equipped its own troops, while preventing the South
from doing the same.  Hence the excuse given at the time--namely,
want of muskets--was no excuse whatever for delay in the organization
of armies.

The rebellion made some progress at first, and offered effective
resistance for a long time, simply because the Southern authorities
manifested greater military wisdom than the Northern.  The difference
in preparations and in military training in advance was quite
insignificant.  The North had many more educated and competent
military men than the South.  The difference was that the South
used the few they had to the best advantage, while the North so
used only a very few of their many.

The lesson next in importance taught by our experience is the
necessity of general military education in a country having popular
government.  No man can be fully qualified for the duties of a
statesman until he has made a thorough study of the science of war
in its broadest sense.  He need not go to a military school, much
less serve in the army or in the militia.  But unless he makes
himself thoroughly acquainted with the methods and conditions
requisite to success in war, he is liable to do almost infinite
damage to his country.  For instance, the very first success of
the Union armies--the capture of Fort Donelson--was quickly followed
by a proclamation of thanksgiving and an order to stop recruiting.
That one act of "statesmanship" cost the country untold millions
of dollars and many thousands of lives.  It was necessary only to
take the ordinary military advantage of the popular enthusiasm
throughout the country after Grant's first victory to have made
the Union armies absolutely irresistible by any force the South
could raise and arm at that time.


There has been much irrelevant discussion about the ability or
inability of commanders in the North and South.  The fact is that
political instead of military ideas controlled in a very large
degree the selection of commanders in the Union armies; while for
three whole years the authorities in Washington could not see the
necessity of unity of action in all the armies under one military
leader.  It required three years of costly experience to teach the
government that simple lesson, taught in the military text-books!
As experience finally proved, there was no lack of men capable of
leading even large armies to victory; but, with few exceptions,
they were not put in command until many others had been tried.
Information as to military fitness was not sought from military
sources.  If a lawyer is wanted for the supreme bench, or an engineer
to construct a great bridge, information is sought from the best
men of the profession concerned; but the opinions of politicians
were thought sufficient in determining the selection of major-

Again, the policy of the government required the capture and
occupation of all the important seaports and other places in the
South, and the permanent occupation and protection of all the
territory gained in military operations.  Until near the close of
the war, neither the public nor the government seemed to have the
remotest conception of the fundamental fact that Confederate armies,
wherever they might go, instead of places and States, were the only
real objectives.  Even some of the best Union generals were
constrained to act upon this popular heresy, contrary to their own
sound military judgment and education.  Yet while this erroneous
"territorial" strategy was insisted on, no adequate conception was
formed of the vastly greater force required to hold all the territory
gained, and to push aggressive operations still further into the
heart of the South.  Very rarely indeed were the Union armies large
enough, until near the end of the war, to assure success.  The end
finally came through a long succession of desperate battles between
forces so nearly equal that decisive victory was impossible until
the weaker side finally became exhausted.  Thus the aggregate loss
in men as well as in money was vastly greater than it would have
been if the Union had put forth its full strength and ended the
rebellion in two years instead of four.

It is true that some of the worst of these "blind guides" were men
supposed to have a very high military education.  But if sound
military education had been at all general in the country, statesmen
would have known by what standard to judge of any one man's fitness
for high command.

It is true that no amount of military education can supply the
place of military genius or create a great commander.  It may
possibly happen at any time that there may not be among all the
living graduates of West Point one Grant or Sherman or Sheridan,
or one Lee or Johnston or Jackson.  So much greater the need of a
well-educated staff and a well-disciplined army.  Nobody is wise
enough to predict who will prove best able to command a great army.
But it is the easiest thing in the world to tell who can best create
such an army and command its subdivisions, and this is the work to
be done instantly upon the outbreak of war.  The selection of
commanders for the several armies, and, above all, of a general-in-
chief, must of course be the most difficult; for it is not probable
that any man young enough will have had any experience in such
commands in this country.  But even this difficulty will disappear
in a very great measure if statesmen will make the study of the
art and science of war, instead of far less important subjects, a
part of their pastime.  They will thus acquire the ability to judge,
from personal acquaintance with military men and conversation with
other best informed, of the relative fitness of officers for the
highest commands.

                                   GENERAL MILITARY EDUCATION INDISPENSABLE

There is no possible remedy for such evils as this country has
suffered except general military education.  In my opinion, no man
is fit for a seat in Congress unless he has had such an education.
The first thing he ought to learn is the old and trite military
maxim that the only was to carry on war economically is to make it
"short, sharp, and decisive."  To dole out military appropriations
in driblets is to invite disaster and ultimate bankruptcy.  So it
is in respect to the necessary preparations for war in time of
peace.  No man is wise enough to tell when war will come.  Preparations
are made upon the theory that it may come at any time.  If a hundred
millions are necessary for adequate preparation for defense, and
you have spent only fifty when war comes, you might as well have
thrown your fifty millions into the sea.  There is no such thing
as partial defense in modern war.  If there are weak points in your
defense, your enemy is sure to find them.  Indeed, he knows about