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Title: Personal Recollections of Distinguished Generals
Author: Shanks, William Franklin Gore
Language: English
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  Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand
  eight hundred and sixty-six, by


  In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District
  of New York.


The purpose of this volume is to make more familiar to the general
public the actual characters of some of our great military leaders
during the late war. I have attempted to portray them not as on
parade, but in undress uniform, and to illustrate not only their great
military qualities, but more particularly their mental peculiarities
and characteristics. These pages will be found to contain many facts
about some of the great battles which official reports have left
untold, with such recollections of our generals as history proper
will not perhaps condescend to record, and to embrace singular facts
about great campaigns and strange stories of great men. The portraits
are freely drawn. They are made from actual studies, if not special
sittings, and while taking care to give every beauty, I have omitted
none of the deformities or blemishes of my subjects, though I have
told in full detail their virtues, and have touched on their faults
and vices lightly. I have avoided alike extreme extravagance in
praise or censure. Still there is enough shadow to the pictures to
give the necessary, if not agreeable contrast to the lights. The
reader must not, however, mistake the stand-point from which I have
written. Distance, unfortunately for truth, lends enchantment not
only to objects, but to men. The atmosphere of Olympus produces many
phantasmagoria, and the great at a distance exist to our eyes in a sort
of mirage. The philosophy of perspective as applied to natural objects
is reversed when applied to mankind, and there are very few men who
do not grow smaller as one approaches them. Most men are pyramidal in
shape only, not proportions. "No man is a hero to his valet." Even
Jupiter was ridiculous at times to Homer. Very few generals have
appeared great to the war correspondents; and though very few of the
latter can claim to be descendants of Diogenes, they can assert, with
equal positiveness, that very few of the generals have been Alexanders,
and that "the very sun shines through them." I have written under the
disadvantage of being too near the objects drawn; and those who do not
know the subjects as well may imagine I have made them undeservedly
Liliputian in dimensions.

Writing contemporaneous history is the most thankless of tasks, and I
discover also one of the least independent of labors. Still I have not
written with a goose-quill, and there has been some gall in my ink, yet
I do not think I have any thing in the ensuing chapters to blot. I do
not think I have done any man injustice. I have written many sentences
and made many assertions which will doubtless be termed strong, but
in writing these I am only the amanuensis of truth; and I write with
the firm belief that "historical truth should be only less sacred than
religious truth."

I have no doubt, however, that others will think differently after
perusing the book. When publishing in Harper's Magazine I was told that
the language of some of these sketches offended the subjects, but I
have been unable to find any fact that ought to be stated otherwise. I
think it best to say, for the benefit of all who may choose to object
or condemn the volume as now published, that I have written nothing
that I do not believe to be true--I trust not one sentence that, dying,
I would wish to blot, and certainly not one word that, living, I intend
to retract.

  NEW YORK, _Sept., 1866_.




  The most original Character developed by the War.--No Parallel for
  Sherman.--His nervous Energy the secret of his great Success.
  --Incidents illustrative of his great Energy.--Restlessness of Manner
  and nervousness of Expression in Conversation.--His bad Temper.
  --Appearance in Battle and under Excitement.--Vigorous Style as a
  Writer.--He ought to have been a War Correspondent rather than a
  General.--The Story of his Lunacy.--How it originated.--Method in
  his Madness.--Habit of Decision.--How he came to leave the Law
  and return to the Army.--His uncontrollable Temper nearly Ruins
  him.--The Quarrel with Halleck and Stanton.--Failure as a Tactician
  and Disciplinarian.--All his Battles Defeats.--Never won a
  Battle.--His great strategic Marches.--The Campaign of Atlanta
  his greatest Achievement.--Joe Johnston a Foeman worthy of his
  Steel.--Sherman's Egotism.--His dislike for Correspondents and
  independence of the Press mere Affectation.--Nicknames bestowed on
  him by the Soldiers.--An inveterate Smoker.--His personal Appearance
                                                                Page 17



  Sherman and Thomas match Horses.--A Contrast drawn between them.
  --Methodical Habits of Thomas.--System necessary to his Existence.
  --Fury of his Anger when aroused.--Great Self-control and Coolness
  in Danger.--Illustrative Incidents of his Imperturbability.
  --Cold-blooded upon Principle.--He Studies to avoid the display of
  his Emotions.--Personal Description and Habits in Camp.--His tactical
  Ability.--Affection of his Soldiers for Thomas.--The Bayard of the
  Army.--His uniform Success as a Commander.--Thomas entitled to the
  Credit of Sherman's March to the Sea.--The Battles of that Campaign
  fought at Nashville by Thomas.--The Battle at Nashville his
  greatest Action                                                    58



  The proper Conception of his Character.--Grant a Combination of
  Sherman and Thomas.--Contrasted with Lee.--Resemblance between Grant
  and Sherman.--Energy of both.--Comparison between Grant and
  Thomas.--The Persistence and Tenacity of each.--Grant's
  Practicability and Magnanimity.--His Taciturnity.--His Idea of
  Strategy.--His numerous Battles the most successful and important of
  the War.--Campaign at Chattanooga and Knoxville.--The remarkable
  Campaign to the Rear of Richmond the most brilliant of the War.--His
  great Vice, a Habit of Smoking.--His great Weakness, a Love of
  Horses.--Grant and Sherman as Damon and Pythias.--His Generosity
  to his Subordinates.--Superiority to his principal Leaders.--What his
  Character in the Future will be                                    91



  The Union Cause rich in its Leadership.--The Rebellion very weak.
  --Sheridan one of the most able of our Leaders.--A Miracle of War.
  --An Inspiration rather than a General.--A "Fighting" General.
  --Reminiscences of his Youth.--His Career as a "belligerent Cadet" at
  West Point.--His Class-mates and their Success.--Sheridan and Hood
  compared.--Sheridan's early Career as a Lieutenant and Failure as a
  Quarter-master.--A Favorite with both Grant and Halleck.--Sheridan a
  Colonel of Cavalry.--His first Cavalry Victory.--Promoted Brigadier
  General of Infantry.--Repeated Defeats as a Commander of Infantry.
  --His Failures at Stone River and Chickamauga.--Success in Pursuit of
  Bragg from Tullahoma and at Chattanooga.--Promoted to the Command of
  all Grant's Cavalry.--His Success in this Capacity.--The Belligerent
  in his Organization.--Personal Appearance and Habits.--A modern
  Scipio                                                            128



  General Hooker a Cosmopolitan.--Naturally "a Fighting General."
  --Career in Mexico.--Difficulties in obtaining a Command.--His
  inspiring Presence.--Critical Account of his "Battle above the
  Clouds."--He manufactures the Clouds in order to fight above them.
  --His Weakness consists in his Disposition to criticise every thing.
  --His Candor.--Opinion of McClellan.--"The young Napoleon conducting
  War in order to get into the best Society."--Hooker's Vanity and
  Valor.--How he obtained a Command.--Sharp Criticisms in official
  Reports.--Hooker's Criticism on Sherman.--His untiring Energy.--The
  Title of Fighting Joe offensive to him.--How it was obtained.
  --Personal Description and Habits                                 165



  Strategic _versus_ fighting Generals.--Strategy always an Excuse for
  military Failures.--Four fighting Generals compared.--Rousseau
  naturally a Leader of Men.--His early Career.--He Acts as "the Member
  from Louisville, Kentucky," in the Indiana Senate.--Always in the
  Minority and always Popular.--Adventures in Kentucky as a criminal
  Lawyer.--Success as a special Pleader.--Startling Adventure in
  Defense of four Negroes charged with Murder.--Election to the
  Kentucky State Senate.--The true Story of Kentucky Neutrality.--Simon
  Bolivar Buckner and his Schemes.--How they were frustrated by
  Rousseau.--Denunciation of Neutrality.--Forcing an Issue.--Division
  of the State Guard into two rival Organizations.--Defection of the
  "Lexington Chasseurs."--How Rousseau obtained Authority to raise
  Troops for the United States Service.--Opposition of the neutral
  Union Men to his Scheme.--How he overcame their Objections.--Himself
  and Troops exiled.--Singular Scenes in the neutral State.--Recruiting
  for both Armies in the same City.--Sad Divisions created in Families.
  --A Rebel and Union Praying-match.--The News of the Bull Run Disaster
  in Louisville.--The Secessionists take Possession of the City.--A
  Riot instantaneously quelled.--A Peace Meeting turned to a War
  Gathering.--Rousseau's Parade through Louisville.--Buckner's
  traitorous Scheme, and what was to have been effected by it.--Attempt
  to seize the City.--Rousseau saves it from Capture.--A neutral
  Editor's History of Neutrality.--Popularity of Rousseau with his
  People.--His military Career.--Great Daring at Perryville.--Incidents
  of that Battle.--Admiration of his Men for Rousseau.--New Mode of
  taking Care of Prisoners.--Sherman's Idea of Rousseau's Raid to the
  Rear of Hood's Army.--Return to political Life.--His Crusade against
  Slavery.--Intimacy between Rousseau and Sherman.--Personal Appearance
  of Rousseau                                                       193



  General Don Carlos Buell.--One of the greatest Generals, also one of
  the greatest Failures of the War.--Buell too methodical to be
  practical.--Weakness of his Army Organization.--Three Corps
  Commanders without Ability.--Perryville a Battle lost by Jealousy of
  our Commanders.--Quarrel between Buell and Governor Johnson of
  Tennessee.--The true Story of the proposed Evacuation of Nashville.
  --Thomas and Buell compared.--William Starke Rosecrans a great
  Failure.--His utter Incompetency.--His extreme Nervousness unfitting
  him for a Command.--His Campaign of Chickamauga one Series of
  Mistakes.--The Battle an unnecessary Slaughter.--The worst managed
  Battle of the War.--Rosecrans not on the Field.--Gordon Granger's
  Peculiarities.--His Predilection for artillery Fights.--His
  Resemblance to Joe Hooker.--Retort upon Sherman.--"Living off the
  Country."--His Opinion of Gideon Pillow and "painted Mules."--Grief
  at the Death of Captain Russell.--"Old Steady" Steedman one of the
  most positive Men of the War.--His Boldness and Impudence.--Daring
  Charge at Chickamauga.--His March from Chattanooga to Nashville to
  ask for Orders.--His Faith in Negro Troops.--Generals Wood and
  Negley the Victims of Chickamauga.--Military Character of each.
  --General Howard a Soldier on Principle.--His firm Faith in the Cause
  and its Success.--Methodical Turn of Mind.--Religious Habits and
  Training.--Mayor William H. Sidell as Sherman's Counterpart.--General
  John A. Logan the representative General of the Western Army.--His
  Readiness in Emergencies, and his great personal Daring.--General
  John W. Geary's adventurous Career.--His famous midnight Battle with
  Longstreet, and how he defeated him                               242



  Superiority of educated over uneducated Soldiers.--Contrast in the
  _personnel_ of European and American, between Union and Rebel, and
  between Eastern and Western Troops.--Superiority of the Union Armies.
  --Anecdotes and Incidents illustrating the Peculiarities of our
  Veterans                                                          321



  SHERIDAN'S RIDE TO THE FRONT                          _Frontispiece._

  WILLIAM T. SHERMAN                                                 16

  GEORGE H. THOMAS                                                   58

  ULYSSES S. GRANT                                                   90

  ROBERT E. LEE                                                      95

  PHILIP H. SHERIDAN                                                131

  JOSEPH HOOKER                                                     164

  LOVELL H. ROUSSEAU                                                194

  DON CARLOS BUELL                                                  245

  WILLIAM S. ROSECRANS                                              261

  GORDON GRANGER                                                    268

  JAMES B. STEEDMAN                                                 276

  OLIVER O. HOWARD                                                  299

  JOHN A. LOGAN                                                     307

  JOHN W. GEARY                                                     317







Of the few really great men who have been developed by the late war
in this country, and who will leave a lasting impression on the
minds of the people, William Tecumseh Sherman may be regarded as the
most original. His name has been made more widely prominent, and his
character more universally popular, than that of any other of our
heroes; but it has been less in consequence of his brilliant success
as a leader than by reason of his strongly-marked characteristics of
person and mind. He is, without doubt, the most original and eccentric,
though not the most powerful--the most interesting, though not the
most impressive character developed by the rebellion. He is by far our
most brilliant general, but not by any means the most reliable; the
most fascinating, but not the most elegant; the quickest, but not the
safest; the first to resolve, but not the most resolute. As a man he is
always generous, but not uniformly just; affectionate by nature, but
not at all times kind in demonstration; confiding, and yet suspicious;
obstinate, yet vacillating; decided, but not tenacious--a mass of
contradictions so loosely and yet so happily thrown together as to
produce the most interesting combination imaginable. General Sherman's
character has many beauties and virtues, but also many glaring defects
and faults. His picture, as I have seen and studied it, possesses what
the artists call "great breadth of light and shade," and is full of
contrasts alternately pleasing and offensive, and which, in order to
properly analyze the character, should be portrayed and described with
equal force and impartiality. He is a character without a parallel
among his contemporaries, though not without a contrast; and it is for
the latter reason that I have chosen his character as the one upon
which to base, as it were, the following estimates of the characters of
his fellow-officers of the United States army, and not because I think,
as may be supposed, that he deserves the first place in the rank of our
great captains. The war lasted long enough to give the leaders, if not
their proper places in popular estimation, at least their true linear
rank in the army. General Sherman may be considered as first among
the strategists of the war; General George H. Thomas as first among
the tacticians; but Grant, combining the qualities of both tactician
and strategist, must always be ranked as greatly the superior of both
Thomas and Sherman.

General Sherman may be described as a bundle of nerves all strung to
their greatest tension. No woman was ever more painfully nervous; but
there is nothing of the woman's weakness in Sherman's restlessness.
It is not, as with others, a defect of the organization; it is really
Sherman's greatest strength, for from it results the brilliancy of
conception and design which has characterized his strategic movements,
the originality which has appeared in his views on political economy
and the policy of war, and the overwhelming energy which is "his all
in all," the secret and cause of his great success. From his extreme
nervousness results the most striking feature of his character--a
peculiar nervous energy which knows no cessation, and is resistless.
It is not merely that energy and quickness of movement which naturally
belongs to nervous organizations, but intensified a hundred fold. At
the same time, it is energy without system, and oftentimes without
judgment, but nevertheless always effective. General Sherman is the
engine, but he is not always the engineer. He furnishes the motive
power, but he frequently requires some person or thing to keep him
to the track; in fact, he requires to be controlled and directed.
He is untiring in his efforts; you can never dismay him with the
amount or frighten him with the dangers of a task; and he hesitates
at nothing, matters great and small receiving his attention. He is no
believer in that too common fallacy that labor is a wearisome waste
of the physical and vital powers; a punishment, not a privilege; and
degrading, not elevating. Work is necessary to his existence, and
hard, earnest work at that. Always a hard, earnest worker, he devoted,
during the continuance of the war, but little time to sleep, and that
little sleep was never sound. His active mind, I once heard him say
to a fellow-officer, delights in preposterous dreams and impossible
fancies, and, waking or sleeping, continues ever active in planning
and executing.

A few anecdotes will perhaps better illustrate the nature of this
nervous energy. The most remarkable instance of this characteristic
which I can now recall occurred at Nashville, Tennessee. When Sherman
assumed command there in March, 1864, the great difficulty in the way
of an advance from Chattanooga upon the enemy, then covering Atlanta
and the Georgia railroads, was the lack of provisions at Chattanooga
and Knoxville. The military agent of the railroads from Nashville to
Chattanooga was running through to the army at the latter point about
ninety car-loads of rations per day. This merely served to feed the
army then gathered there; nothing was accumulating for the spring
campaign. General Sherman demanded the cause of this insufficient
supply of rations. The agent reported that he needed both cars and
locomotives, and added it was impossible to obtain them. General
Sherman answered that nothing was impossible, and immediately began to
devise means by which to remedy the evil. After a short deliberation,
he decided to seize a sufficiency of cars and locomotives in Indiana,
Ohio, and Illinois, and at once went to work to do so. In an incredibly
short space of time he extended the northern terminus of the Louisville
and Nashville Railroad through the former city, a distance of three
miles, to the Ohio River. On the levee, or wharf, he built an inclined
plane to the water's edge. One of the ferry-boats which plied between
Louisville and Jeffersonville was seized, and especially prepared
by the laying of rails across its bow and stern to carry cars and
locomotives. On the Indiana side of the river he extended the
Jeffersonville Railroad through that town to the Ohio River, and built
another inclined plane from the bluff on which the town is situated
down the steep wharf to the water's edge. At the same time he ordered
the impressment of the necessary cars and locomotives from the various
northwestern railroads, taking them off routes as far north as Chicago,
and rushed them off to Nashville, crossing the Ohio by the means he had
provided. The effect was soon visible. In a month after this movement
began the railroad agents reported that they were running two hundred
and seventy cars per day through to Chattanooga. By the 20th of April,
the day Sherman left Nashville to begin his Atlanta campaign, he had
accumulated at Knoxville eighteen, and at Chattanooga thirteen days'
rations for his whole army of 120,000 men. The energy which inspired
the railroad agents was communicated to the quarter-masters located at
Nashville, and the result was the increase of the laboring force of
this department from four or five thousand to nearly sixteen thousand
men. During the progress of this work General Sherman required the
railroad agents and quarter-masters to report progress daily. I
happened to be in his office one morning when assistant quarter-master
General James L. Donnalson reported a small increase in the number of
cars forwarded on that day over the supply of the day before. General
Sherman received the announcement with more evidences of gratification
than he would have shown on hearing of a heavy re-enforcement of his
numbers, for at this time he had more men than he well knew what to do
with. "That's good!" he exclaimed--"that's good, Donnalson; we'll be
ready for the start;" and then he hastily resumed his seat, and made
a rapid calculation of some sort, which he showed with much apparent
delight to Generals Donnalson and Webster, the latter his chief of
staff. He could not have been more delighted if he had heard the news
of a great victory. A moment afterward he turned to me to deny, in a
very gruff way--he was always gruff to newspaper correspondents--my
application for a pass over the military railroad to Chattanooga. "You
see," he said, "I have as much as I can do to feed my _soldiers_," with
a very ungracious emphasis on the word soldiers. As I had Lieutenant
General Grant's pass to any point and by any route in my pocket, and
had only submitted the question to General Sherman through deference
to him as the immediate commander of the department, I could afford to
smile at the slur conveyed in his emphasis, and turned away enriched
with a reminiscence, and with increased admiration of the man.

Some former experience with, or, rather, observation of the general,
had given me somewhat of the same opinion of his energy and
earnestness. When he first assumed command at Louisville, Kentucky,
in 1861, the agents of the New York Associated Press throughout the
country were employed by the government in transmitting its cipher
or secret messages, and correspondence between the various military
commanders, by telegraph. In consequence of this arrangement, General
Sherman frequented the office of the Louisville agency, in which I was
at the time employed. He was always at this office during the evening,
often remaining until three o'clock in the morning, when the closing
of the office would force him to retire to his rooms at the hotel.
During these hours he would pace the floor of the room apparently
absorbed in thought, and heedless of all that was going on around him.
He would occasionally sit at the table to jot down a memorandum or
compose a telegram. He would sometimes stop to listen to any remark
addressed to him by other occupants of the room, but would seldom
reply, even though the remark had been a direct question, and would
appear and act as if the interruption had but momentarily disturbed his
train of thought.

In July, 1864, while besieging the enemy's position at Kenesaw
Mountain, an incident occurred which may be given as illustrative
of Sherman's energy. When the campaign opened he had published an
order informing the army, in terms which were laughed at at the time
as rather bombastic and slightly egotistical, that "the commanding
general intended making the campaign without a tent," and during the
greater part of the march his head-quarters actually consisted of
nothing more than a tent-fly for the use of his adjutant general.
He generally slept under a tree during dry weather, and in very wet
weather in any convenient house. When the army was concentrated in
the gorge of Snake Creek Gap, in which there was not a house of any
character, General Logan "raised the laugh" on Sherman by sending him
a tent to protect him from the rain, and which, owing to the terrible
state of the weather, Sherman was compelled to use. But the greater
part of the campaign was actually passed by Sherman without any other
quarters than I have described as for the convenience of his adjutant
general. Early one morning a regiment of troops passed his bivouac
near Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia, and saw him lying under a tree near
the roadside. One of the men, not knowing the general, and supposing
him, from his jaded, weary, and generally dilapidated appearance, to be
drunk, remarked aloud, "That is the way we are commanded, officered by
drunken generals." Sherman heard the remark and instantly arose. "Not
drunk, my boy," he said good-humoredly, "but I was up all night looking
after your rations, and am very tired and sleepy." He soon after broke
up head-quarters, and, passing the same regiment on the march, was
received with loud and hearty cheers.

He makes his subordinates work, too, with the same zeal. When the
rebels, in evacuating Resaca, succeeded in burning the railroad bridge
over the Oostenaula River, he turned to Colonel Wright, his engineer
in charge of railroads, and asked him how long it would take him to
replace that bridge. Colonel Wright replied after a short calculation,
during which Sherman showed his impatience at the delay in the answer,
that he could rebuild it in four days.

"Sir," exclaimed the general, hastily, "I give you forty-eight hours,
or a position in the front ranks."

The bridge was forthcoming at the proper time.

This nervousness of Sherman's organization has naturally produced a
peculiar restlessness of manner and admirable vigor of expression. He
talks with great rapidity, often in his haste mingling his sentences in
a most surprising manner, and accompanying his conversation by strange,
quick, and ungraceful gestures, the most common of which is the
knocking of the ashes from his cigar with the little finger of his left
hand, frequently knocking at it until ashes and light too are gone.

In a conversation of importance, and particularly on a battle-field, he
seldom gives a person time to finish his remarks or reports. He replies
as soon as he has heard enough to convey the idea, never waiting its
elaboration. In giving his instructions and orders, he will take a
person by the shoulder and push him off as he talks, following him to
the door, all the time talking and urging him away. His quick, restless
manner almost invariably results in the confusion of the person whom he
is thus instructing, but Sherman himself never gets confused. At the
same time, he never gets composed. Under all circumstances, he is thus
restlessly, never timidly nervous. In danger the restlessness is not so
visible, and hence it is apparent that there is nothing of timidity in
it. On the battle-field where he commands Sherman's nervous manner is
toned down. He grates his teeth, and his lips are closed more firmly,
giving an expression of greater determination to his countenance. His
eyes are somewhat closed, as if endeavoring to see the furthermost
limits of the battle-field, and, as it were, peer into the future and
see the result. His cigar is always kept firmly between his lips, but
he suffers its fire occasionally to die out. He is less restless of
body; his arms are more confined to their proper limits; and he is
content to stay in one spot. He talks less at such moments than at
calmer ones. On light occasions, however, he is invariably ill at ease.
His fingers nervously twitch his red whiskers--his coat buttons--play
a tattoo on his table or chair, or run through his hair. One moment
his legs are crossed, and the next both are on the floor. He sits a
moment, and then rises and paces the floor. He _must_ talk, quick,
sharp, and yet not harshly, all the time making his odd gestures,
which, no less than the intonation of his voice, serve to emphasize his
language. He can not bear a clog upon his thoughts nor an interruption
to his language. He admits of no opposition. He overrides every thing.
He never hesitates at interrupting any one, but can not bear to be
interrupted himself. He is very well aware, and candidly admits that
his temper is uncommonly bad, and, what is worse, he makes no attempt
to control or correct it. In speaking of the late General McPherson,
of the Army of Tennessee, he once remarked, "He is as good an officer
as I am--is younger, and has a better temper." Grant, once speaking of
Sherman's peevishness, said, "Sherman is impetuous and faulty, but he
sees his faults as soon as any man." The fact is, if Sherman's faults
alone could be given to another, they would serve to distinguish him
from the common herd.

The idea generally prevails that commanding generals are very didactic
on the battle-field, and give their orders in precise language and
stentorian voice. A little familiarity with actual war will soon
dispel this false impression, particularly if you meet Sherman on the
battle-field, for there is less of dignity, display, and grandiloquence
in him than any other general whom I have met during the war. At the
battle of Chattanooga he gave his orders for the advance of his troops
against the enemy's strongly fortified position to his brother in law,
General Hugh Ewing, in the words uttered between two puffs at a bad
cigar: "I guess, Ewing, if you are ready, you may as well go ahead."
Ewing asked a few questions in regard to retaining the _échelon_
formation of his command as then marshaled for the advance. Sherman
replied, "I want you to keep the left well toward the river (the
Chickamauga), and keep up the formation four hundred yards distance,
until you get to the foot of the hill."

"And shall we keep it after that?" asked Ewing.

"Oh, you may go up the hill as you like," said Sherman; and then he
added, _sotto voce_, with a smile and a wink to his aid, and General
Ewing's brother, Charley Ewing, who stood near by, "if you can." As
General Ewing was mounting his horse and about to leave, Sherman called
out to him,

"I say, Ewing, don't call for help until you actually need it." General
Frank Blair, and others of the Army of the Tennessee who were standing
near Sherman, laughed at this in such a manner as left the impression
on the minds of others, as well as myself, that on some former occasion
General Ewing had called for help before General Sherman thought that
he really needed it.

It is recorded of Sherman that, on witnessing from the top of a
rice-mill on the Ogeechee River the capture of Fort McAllister by
General Hazen's forces, and the successful termination by that capture
of the "march to the sea," he exclaimed, imitating the voice of a
negro, "Dis chile don't sleep dis night," and hurried off to meet
General Foster and complete the junction of the two armies.

His nervousness is not less perceptible in his writings than in
his conversation and manners. His writings lack in elegance, but
not in force. Some of his letters, remarkable for absence of grace
and presence of vigor, are already accepted as among the model
documents of the war, not only as to style, but as to argument. His
speeches, letters, and orders are seldom more than skeletons, framed
of sharp, pointed, but disjointed sentences, from which the ideas
to be conveyed protrude so prominently as to be comprehensible when
the sentence is but half conveyed. His ideas are never elaborated in
his letters, though given more fully than in his conversations, but
you never have to finish the sentence to discover its meaning. There
are several specimens which every reader will naturally think of in
this connection. His letter to the rebel General Hood on the proposed
depopulation of Atlanta is a curious document, an impromptu reply,
thrown off-hand from his pen, and it reads as if it were Sherman
talking. He begins this letter by acknowledging the receipt of a
communication at the hands of "Messrs. Bull and _crew_." The bearers,
who were designated by this undignified title, were members of the
Common Council of Atlanta, for whom Sherman does not appear to have
entertained the most profound respect. The letter ends by advising
Hood to tell his tale of oppression "to the marines," as he (Sherman)
is not to be imposed upon. In the same correspondence he indicates
his action in depopulating Atlanta, and gives his peculiar "theory of
suppression." Sherman's whole theory, in which, by the way, he has been
consistent from the first, is embraced in the proposition to "fight
the devil with fire." He was for vigorous war all the time--hard blows
at the organized armies, frequent and oft repeated. He has none of
the elements of Fabian in him. He writes in defense of the action at
Atlanta alluded to: "We must have peace, not only in Atlanta, but in
all America. To secure this, we must stop the war that now desolates
our once happy and favored country. To stop war, we must _defeat the
rebel armies_ that are arrayed against the laws and Constitution, which
all must respect and obey. To defeat these armies, we must prepare
the way to reach them in their recesses provided with the arms and
instruments which enable us to accomplish our purpose." His expression
in the same letter, "War is cruelty--you can not refine it," is a
sharp, terse rendition of an undisputed truth, to the illustration
of which whole chapters have been less successfully devoted by more
distinguished writers.

While endeavoring to fill up his dépôts at Chattanooga and Knoxville
preparatory to the campaign against Atlanta, Sherman was asked by
members of the United States Christian Commission for transportation
for their delegates, books, tracts, etc., for the army. His reply is
very characteristic of the man: "Certainly not," he wrote; "crackers
and oats are more necessary to my army than any moral or religious
agency." As this incident shows, Sherman is not a very firm believer
in the utility of Christian or Sanitary Commissions, or aid societies
generally. He thinks female nurses about a hospital or an army a
great nuisance. He once alluded contemptuously to the efforts of a
large number of ladies at Louisville, Kentucky, to send clothing,
lint, sweetmeats, etc., to his troops, but was induced, in lieu of
discouraging their efforts, to take steps to properly direct them. He
met the ladies by agreement in one of the public halls at Louisville,
now known as Wood's Theatre, and made an address to them. He went among
the lambs with all the boldness and dignity of a lion; but the rough,
uncouth manner of him who had frowned on thousands of men melted in
the presence of a few hundred ladies. They found that, though "he was
no orator as Brutus is," he could talk very tenderly of the soldier's
wants, very graphically of the soldier's life and sufferings, and very
gallantly of woman and her divine mission of soothing and comforting.

During the campaign of Atlanta communication with the rear was very
much obstructed, the news correspondents found many difficulties in
forwarding information, and telegrams to the press seldom reached
New York. During the movement around Atlanta Sherman was applied
to directly by the news agent at Louisville for the details of the
movement. In reply the general telegraphed, "Atlanta is ours, and
fairly won;" following up the expression, which has already passed
into song, with a brief and graphic report of the flank movement
around Atlanta and the battle of Jonesborough. This report is one of
the most admirable narratives I remember to have ever read, and at the
time of its publication I wrote for the Herald, of which I was then
a correspondent, a long criticism of it. The letter never appeared,
however, for the reason that I endeavored to show that, successful as
he had been, Sherman had mistaken his vocation as a general, and ought
to have been a war correspondent. I suppose Sherman would have been
mortally offended at such language, particularly as he affected to
hold correspondents and editors in contempt; but undoubtedly he would
have been invaluable to the New York Herald or London Times in such a
capacity, and could have made more money, if not more reputation, in
that capacity than as a major general. He has lately declared that he
does not believe he will ever have occasion to lead men again, and I
advise him by all means to go into the newspaper business. Any of the
principal papers of New York will be glad to give him double the pay of
a major general to act in the capacity of war correspondent.

Until Sherman had developed his practicability, this peculiarity of
expression and manner were accepted as evidences of a badly-balanced
mind. It will be remembered that in his early career a report was
widely circulated to the effect that he was a lunatic; but the origin
of this story, if properly stated, will redound to his credit, as
evincing admirable foresight and sagacity. The true origin of this
report is as follows: Sherman succeeded General Robert Anderson in
command of the Department of the Ohio on October 13, 1861. Up to that
time about ten thousand United States troops had been pushed into
Kentucky. The Western governors were under a promise to send as many
more, but were slow in doing so. General A. Sidney Johnston, the rebel
commander at Bowling Green, was endeavoring to create the impression
that he had about seventy-five thousand men, when he really had only
about twenty-eight thousand. In this he succeeded so far as to cause
it to be supposed that his force largely exceeded Sherman's. Sherman
urged upon the government the rapid re-enforcement of his army, but
with little effect. The troops did not come, for the reason that the
government did not credit the statements of the perilous condition
of Sherman's army. So repeated and urgent were Sherman's demands for
re-enforcements, that at last the Secretary of War, Mr. Cameron,
visited Louisville in order to look into the situation of affairs. An
interview took place at the Galt House at Louisville, Sherman, Cameron,
and Adjutant General Thomas being present. Sherman briefly explained
the situation of affairs, stated his own force and that of the enemy,
and argued that re-enforcements were necessary to hold Kentucky, to say
nothing of an advance. "My forces are too small for an advance," he
said--"too small to hold the important positions in the state against
an advance of the enemy, and altogether too large to be sacrificed
in detail." On being asked how many men were required to drive the
enemy out of the state, he answered, without hesitation, "Two hundred
thousand." The answer was a surprise to the two officers, which they
did not attempt to conceal. They even ridiculed the idea, and laughed
at the calculation. It was declared impossible to furnish the number
of men named. Sherman then argued that the positions in Kentucky ought
to be abandoned, and the army no longer endangered by being scattered.
This was treated more seriously, and vigorously opposed by Cameron and
Thomas. They declared the abandonment of Kentucky was a step to which
they could not consent. Subsequently they broached a plan which had
been devised for dividing the Department and Army of the Ohio into
two; one column to operate under Mitchell from Cincinnati as a base
against Knoxville, and the other from Louisville against Nashville.
To this Sherman was strongly opposed. Satisfied by the persistence of
Cameron on this point that the government was not disposed to second
his views of conducting the affairs of the Department, Sherman asked to
be relieved and ordered to duty in the field. Cameron gladly acquiesced
in his wishes, and he was relieved by Buell, November 30, 1861.

On the same evening of the famous interview between Cameron and
Sherman, the latter paid his customary visit to the Associated
Press-rooms at Louisville. Here, while still in a bad humor over the
result of the interview, he was approached by a man who introduced
himself as an attache of a New York paper, and asked permission to pass
through the lines to the South in the capacity of a correspondent.
Sherman replied that he could not pass. The correspondent, with
unwarrantable impertinence, replied that Secretary Cameron was in
the city, and he would get a pass from him. Sherman at once ordered
him out of his department, telling him that he would give him two
hours to make his escape; if found in his lines after that hour he
"would hang him as a spy." The fellow left the city immediately, and
on reaching Cincinnati very freely expressed his opinion that the
general was crazy. A paper published in that city, on learning the
story of the interview between Cameron and Sherman, which soon became
public, employed the fellow to write up the report which was thus first
circulated of Sherman's lunacy. His opinion that two hundred thousand
men were required to clear Kentucky of rebels was quoted as proof of
it by this man, and thus the story came into existence.

Subsequent events revealed the fact that Sherman did not much
exaggerate the force necessary to carry on the war in the central zone
of the field of military operations. Although we have never had a
single army numbering two hundred thousand men in the West, much larger
armies have been necessary to the accomplishment of the campaign of the
Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers than any person other than Sherman
thus early in the war imagined. The army of Grant at Fort Donelson and
Shiloh, combined with that of Buell, was not over eighty thousand men.
That of Halleck before Corinth numbered exactly one hundred and two
thousand. Sherman left Chattanooga in May, 1864, with one hundred and
twenty thousand men, the largest army ever gathered in one body in the
West. At the same time, he had under his command at different points
on the Mississippi River and in Kentucky an additional force of about
fifty thousand, while the forces operating under other commanders in
the West would, if added to his, make a grand total of two hundred and
fifty thousand men operating on the Mississippi River, every one of
whom was necessary to the conquest and retention of the Mississippi

Sherman may have been at one time crazy, but his madness, like
Hamlet's, certainly had marvelous method in it. Such lunatics as he
have existed in all ages, and have, when as successful as himself, been
designated by the distinctive title of "genius," in contradistinction
to men of medium abilities. Not only Shakspeare, but Dryden, seems to
have encountered such madness as Sherman's, and to have appreciated the
truth that

    "Great wits are sure to madness near allied,
    And thin partitions do their bounds divide."

Doubtless the same author had such a genius or madman as Sherman in his
mind when he described one of his characters as

    "A fiery soul, which, working out its way,
    Fretted the pigmy body to decay."

The peculiar formation of Sherman's head shows his great development
of brain. His forehead is broad, high, and full, while the lower half
of his face and head are of very diminutive proportions. In a person
of less physical strength and vitality, this great preponderance of
the mental over the physical powers would have produced perhaps actual
lunacy. The head of Sherman is of the shape peculiar to lunatics
predisposed to fanciful conceptions. There is too much brain, and
in Sherman it is balanced and regulated only by his great physical
development. Sherman's brain, combined with bad health, would have
produced lunacy; his brain and sinewy strength combined produced his
peculiar mental and physical nervousness. Had he been a sedentary
student instead of an active soldier, the last line of Dryden's poem
might also have applied to him, and we should know of him only as an
"o'er informed tenement of clay."[1]

When this report of his lunacy was first circulated, Sherman was
much chagrined at it, and often referred to it in bitter terms.
Time and success have enabled him to frown it down, and justified
him in laughing at it. He once laughingly referred to this report
about himself, and the rumor which simultaneously prevailed regarding
Grant's drunkenness during the battle of Shiloh as illustrative of the
friendship existing between them. "You see," he said to a gentleman,
"Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was

During the siege of Corinth he commanded the right wing of Thomas's
corps, while T. W. Sherman, of Port Royal memory, commanded the
left. The latter was very unpopular with his division on account of
a painfully nervous manner and fretful disposition, and the officers
of the command discussed him critically with great freedom, many
condemning his manner as offensive. One day General W. T. Sherman was
visiting General Steedman--then a brigade commander in T. W. Sherman's
division--and the latter's name was brought up, Steedman giving a very
ludicrous account of Sherman's conduct.

"Oh!" said William Tecumseh, "this is the crazy Sherman, is it?"

Great difficulty was found during the operations before Corinth in
distinguishing the two Shermans. The soldiers solved the problem
by giving each Sherman a nickname. T. W. Sherman was called "Port
Royal Sherman," in allusion to his services in South Carolina, while
W. T. Sherman was known by the somewhat inappropriate title of
"Steady-old-nerves," in contradistinction to the other, who, as before
stated, was more timidly nervous. Mr. Lincoln, with some recollection
of this coincidence of names on his mind, asked General Grant, on
being introduced to General Sherman, if he was W. T. or T. W., and
laughed with boyish glee at the "joke on Sherman."

As another natural result of Sherman's nervous energy, he has acquired
the habit of decision in the most perfect degree, and his peculiar
organization has tended to make him practical as well as petulant. He
never seems to reason, but decides by intuition, and, in this respect,
has something of the mental as well as bodily peculiarities of the
gentler sex, who are said to decide intuitively. But Sherman is by no
means a woman--he would have been a shrew had he been--and possesses
not one particle of the sex's beauty or gentleness. Sherman jumps at
conclusions with tremendous logical springs; and, though his decisions
are not always final, they are in effect so, for, if he is forced
to retire an inch, his next jump will probably carry him forward an
ell. Facts are the only argument which prevail with him, and the best
arguments of wise men are wasted in endeavoring to convince him without
undeniable facts at hand. Obstinate, and vain, and opinionated as he
is, and indisposed as he may be to listen to or heed the arguments of
equals or inferiors, he never hesitates to sink all opposition before
the orders of his superiors, and pay the strictest deference to their
views when expressed authoritatively.

I have before said this nervousness of mental and bodily organization
was the main-spring of Sherman's character. From it result not only
his virtues, but his faults, and as man and commander he has many. He
is as petulant as a dyspeptic; excessively gruff, and unreasonably
passionate. His petulance does not, however, prevent his being
pleasant when he is disposed; his gruffness does not destroy all his
generosity, and his passionate moods are usually followed by penitence.
His fits of passion are frequent but not persistent, and, though
violent, are soon appeased.

His gruffness often amounts to positive rudeness. While in command
at Louisville in 1861, the wife of the rebel commander Ingraham
passed through the city _en route_ to the South. The lady, who was
rebelliously inclined, pleaded consumption as her excuse for wishing
to inhale the Southern air. Sherman gruffly advised her to "shut
herself up in a room and keep up a good fire--it would do her just
as much good." He often replies in this petulant tone to both sexes,
particularly if the person addressed has no business of importance.

He once took great offense at having his manners, and particularly this
habit of gruffness, compared to the manners of a Pawnee Indian, and
expressed his contempt for the author of the slur in a public manner.
He was much chagrined shortly after to find that the correspondent
who had been guilty of the offensive comparison had heard of his
contemptuous criticism, and had amended it by publicly apologizing to
the whole race of Pawnees!

During the battle of Bull Run, where General Sherman commanded a
brigade, he was approached by a civilian, who, seeing him make some
observations without the aid of a field-glass, proffered him the use of
his own. Sherman turned to the gentleman and gruffly demanded,

"Who are you, sir?"

"My name is Owen Lovejoy, and I am a member of Congress."

"What are you doing here? Get out of my lines, sir--get out of my

Nothing satisfied Sherman but the immediate retreat of the member of
Congress to the rear.

I have heard that Sherman's bad temper was the cause of his leaving his
chosen profession of the law. After resigning his commission in the
army in 1853, he became, after several changes, a consulting lawyer in
the firm of his brothers-in-law, the Ewings, at Leavenworth, Kansas.
He had entered into the copartnership with the distinct understanding
that he was not to be called upon to plead in the courts; for, though
possessing a thorough knowledge of legal principles, a clear, logical
perception of the equity involved in all cases, and though perfectly
_au fait_ in the authorities, he had no confidence in his oratorical
powers. He was not then the orator he has latterly become, and utterly
refused to take any part in legal debate or pleadings. One day a case
came up in the Probate Court of Kansas requiring immediate attention.
Tom and Hugh Ewing were busy; McCook was absent, and Sherman was
forced, _nolens volens_, to go into court. He carefully mapped out
his course until it looked like plain sailing; laid down his plan of
procedure, as he used subsequently to do his plans of marches; but he
was destined to be driven from his chosen route, not by a Joe Johnston
or "foeman worthy of his steel," but by a contemptible, pettifogging
lawyer, with more shrewdness than honesty, and more respect for the end
to be attained than the means to be used. In the debate which the trial
involved, Sherman lost his temper, and, consequently, his case. He
returned to his office in a towering rage, dissolved the partnership
with his brothers-in-law, and, without farther hesitation, accepted the
presidency of the Louisiana Military Academy, the proffer of which he
had received a day or two before.

General Sherman's violent temper greatly endangered his reputation
toward the close of the war, and he came near sacrificing, in an evil
hour of passion, all that he had won before. His passion was to him
as the unarmored heel was to Achilles, and the vulnerable point of
his character came near costing him even more dearly than did the
vulnerable part of the Grecian warrior's body. His diplomatic feat with
Joe Johnston was generally denounced as a blunder, but it was not the
blunder which came near costing him so dearly. That piece of diplomacy
took the shape of a blunder in consequence of the unfortunate and
unforeseen circumstances and disasters which occurred simultaneously
with it. Had Mr. Lincoln lived, General Sherman would to-day have
borne a brilliant reputation as a diplomatist, and his agreement with
Johnston would have been at once, as it was eventually, accepted as the
basis for the political reconstruction of the country. That agreement
was repudiated by the people and President Johnson in an hour of
frenzied passion, though the latter has since modeled his plan upon
it; and Sherman lost his chance for becoming a great diplomatist. But
he, and he only, was to blame for the grave blunder which immediately
afterward nearly cost him his fame and position as a soldier. Sullen
at the repudiation of his agreement with Johnston, angry at the
interference of General Halleck with the co-operative movements of
himself and Sheridan, and furious at the countermanding of his orders
to his subordinates by the Secretary of War, Sherman forgot himself,
and marched to Washington with his army, breathing vengeance upon
Halleck, and hate and contempt for Stanton. Fortunately for Sherman,
history will not record the scene. History never yet recorded--no
nation ever before safely witnessed such a spectacle as that of a
victorious general, at the head of eighty thousand men devoted to him
and jealous of his fame as a part of their own, marching to the capital
of the country with threats against his military superiors breathing
from his lips and flowing from his pen. For days Sherman raved around
Washington, expressing his contempt for Halleck and Stanton in his
strongest terms, and denouncing them as "mere non-combatants" whom he
despised. More than this, he wrote to his friends, and through them
to the public, comparing Stanton and Halleck to "cowardly Falstaffs,"
seeking to win applause and honor for the deeds he had done; accusing
the Secretary of War of suppressing his reports, and endeavoring to
slander him before the American public in official bulletins. For days
his army roamed the streets of the capital with the same freedom with
which they had roamed through the fields of Georgia and the swamps of
the Carolinas, and no man dared to raise his voice in condemnation
of their leader, or approval of the superiors who had opposed him.
No republic ever before survived such a condition of affairs; this
republic never was in such danger before, and yet the danger was
hardly suspected. The spectacle is one which Sherman will ever regret,
but every true American, and every lover of republican liberty, can
point to it with pride as a remarkable illustration of the stability
of republican institutions. Powerful as Sherman was against Stanton
and Halleck (and a word from him would have destroyed them), he was
powerless against the nation, and not one man of his mighty host would
have followed him in an attempt upon its existence. It is, perhaps,
a still greater proof of the power of republican principles that, in
the midst of his furious rage, such a thought as the injury of the
government never for a passing second entered the brain of the leader
of these men. He has reason to be thankful that the nation was as
generous as he was honest; and that the people made no record against
him for the offense against discipline which in any other country would
have cost him not merely his position, but his reputation, and in any
other army his head. At the same time, the nation must and will cherish
the honest man who, thus tried and tempted, never for a single second
forgot his allegiance to the principles for which he had fought and the
country which he had served.

General Sherman's reputation as a soldier must rest entirely on his
strategic abilities. His successes were those of strategy only--not
of tactics. His faults as a commander are glaring as his faults of
character. As an organizer of armies for the field, and as a tactician
in battle, he was an utter failure. He never commanded a well-organized
army whose discipline did not become relax under his administration,
and he was never commander-in-chief in any battle which was not a
failure. Instead of being an organizer, Sherman was a disorganizer;
he was always chief among the "Bummers" which he made his soldiers,
and by which name they were eventually designated. His whole career
shows him to have been solely a strategist, absolutely incapacitated
by mental organization for disciplining and fighting an army. His
attempt to organize the army in Kentucky in 1861 was a most egregious
failure. He gave it up in despair to General Buell, who, on assuming
command, found it a mob without head or front, or appropriate parts.
Buell, in contradistinction to Sherman, was great as an organizer
and disciplinarian, and he soon made a fine army out of Sherman's
unorganized mob. General Sherman shortly afterward went into the battle
of Shiloh with a division of troops who were also unorganized, and only
escaped annihilation by the timely appearance of Buell and the now
thoroughly disciplined troops which Sherman had originally commanded.
When Buell's troops on this occasion made their appearance on the
small plateau which is called Pittsburg Landing, the great numbers of
Sherman's demoralized new recruits who were there huddled together
welcomed them as veterans. "Buell! Buell!" was their cry; "here come
Buell's veterans." One can not but smile when he remembers that the
men thus hailed as veterans had never been engaged in even so much as
a skirmish. Their conduct in the desperate battle which followed on
the day after their arrival proved them to be worthy of the name. One
year's thorough discipline had made them veterans without having fought
a battle.

Throughout Sherman's career his troops were noted for their lack of
discipline. When he assumed command of the Army of Tennessee on the
promotion of General Grant in 1863, he found it one of the best
disciplined armies in the country, though not the best provided.
I doubt if there was ever a division, brigade, or even regimental
drill in that army after Sherman took command. He subsequently became
indirectly in command of the Army of the Cumberland, which, though
directly commanded by that strict disciplinarian, General George H.
Thomas, soon felt the effect of Sherman's presence and control, and
became very relaxed in discipline. Subsequently, on the march to the
sea and through the Carolinas under Sherman, the discipline of the
formerly model armies became still more relaxed, and gradually the
whole army became regular "Bummers," a term which is not generally
understood in its proper sense of reproach. The people to this day
only half know what a "bummer" is, from having a general idea of the
character of Sherman as the chief of bummers. The veil of romance
which surrounded Sherman's army has never been entirely torn away.
Its pilgrimages are still romances. It has always been viewed in
that dim and distant perspective which adds a charm to beauty, and
hides internal troubles and blemishes, and the evils it did and the
outrages it committed have never been made public. But the friends of
Sherman might reasonably claim even the want of this special tact for
organizing and disciplining troops as a virtue. It can not really be
said to have detracted from Sherman's ability as a soldier. What was
lost thereby to the army in discipline was made up in mobility. If its
morale was bad, the marching was good, and that satisfied Sherman. If
he did not teach his soldiers how to fight, he gave them the mobility
which the execution of his strategic designs required of them, and
thus the end aimed at was gained, and the country was satisfied. He
merely changed his men from heavy to light infantry. Success justifies
all means, and thus Sherman became--and justly became--a great general
without ever having won a battle.

It is very strong language, I admit, to say that Sherman never won a
battle, but considerately so, for if the purely tactical operations of
General Sherman be critically examined, it will be found that they were
almost invariably failures. He was the chief in command, the central
and controlling power, in the battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Resaca,
Kenesaw Mountain, and Jonesboro, all of which, with the bare exception
of the latter, where his overpowering force and strategic march of
the night before insured victory, were tactically great failures. The
failure of the co-operative movements of Grant at Chickasaw Bayou
doubtless caused Sherman's defeat at that point--at least it has
served to explain it away, and stands as the excuse for it; but all
will remember how signal a failure it was. The battle of Resaca was
a still greater failure. Doubt, delay, and inaction lost Sherman the
great advantage which his strategic march through Snake Creek Gap had
given him in placing him in the rear of the enemy's position, and he
ought to have captured every gun and wagon of the enemy, and dispersed
the army which subsequently retarded his advance in Atlanta; but the
battle was begun too late and pushed too feebly. Sherman's strategy
had at one time rendered a battle unnecessary, and it was forced on
him through another's indecision (I believe that General McPherson
admitted before his death that that fault was his), but certainly it
was the fault of Sherman that the battle, when fought, was indecisive.
Every body will remember the Kenesaw Mountain battle and its useless
sacrifices, and every body will remember, too, the candor with which
Sherman wrote that it was a failure, and that the fault was his. All
the minor engagements of his great campaign against Atlanta were
either positive defeats or negative advantages, and yet that wonderful
campaign was won, and all the advantages which could have under any
circumstances accrued from it were gained to us without the losses
which a great battle would have caused. The strategic marches executed
during that campaign are now chapters in the theory and history of
war, and the close student of the art will see more to admire in the
passage of the Chattahoochee River, the march through the gorge of
Snake Creek Gap, and across the Allatoona Mountains, and the flank
movements around Kenesaw and Atlanta, than in the more dashing but
less skillful marches through Georgia and the Carolinas. The campaign
of Atlanta was made in the face of the enemy commanded by their most
skillful general, while during the other and more famous marches no
enemy was met. The campaign through Georgia was merely extensive;
that against Atlanta was both grand in conception and difficult in
execution. One was accomplished at a stride, the other step by step.
The campaign of Atlanta gave rise not only to a new system of warfare,
but even to a new system of tactics. Never before in the history of
war had an army been known to be constantly under fire for one hundred
consecutive days. Men whom three years of service had made veterans
learned during that campaign a system of fighting they had never heard
of before. The whole army became at once from necessity pioneers and
sharp-shooters. The opposing armies lay so close to each other that not
only pickets, but whole corps were within musket range of each other,
and every camp had to be intrenched. As a singular fact, showing the
impression made on the minds of the men by the changed tactics which
this campaign rendered necessary, I may mention that the soldiers
called each other "gophers" and "beavers;" and "gopher holes" were
more common in the armies' track than were camp-fires. It used to be
laughingly said of the men that, instead of "souring onto," i.e. taking
without leave each other's rations, they were in the habit, during the
Atlanta campaign, of purloining each other's pick-axes and spades with
which to dig their "gopher holes" or trenches for their protection from
the enemy's sharp-shooters. I imagine it is on this campaign and its
results, rather than on that from Atlanta to the sea, and from thence
to Goldsboro', that General Sherman would prefer to rest his reputation
in the future.[2] We of to-day study the holiday marches from a very
different stand-point from that which the generations which follow us
will view them. When all things come to be critically examined and
carefully summed up, it will be decided and adjudged that the battles
which made the campaign to the sea and through the Carolinas successes
were fought on the hills around Nashville by General Thomas, not by
General Sherman. Yet they are not without their great merit. Undertaken
with deliberation and after elaborate preparation, they were not
wanting in boldness and originality of design, but they do not serve to
illustrate strategy: it is only the logistics which are so admirable.

A great deal has been said and written about General Sherman's dislike
for the newspapers and for that class of necessary nuisances which were
with every army, the war correspondents; but it was a dislike that was
in a great measure affected. All men are egotists, Grant and Sherman
among the rest, and both like to be well spoken of and written about;
they would hardly be human if they did not. In fact, if Sherman can
not find somebody to write about him, he does it himself. One of the
instances in which he has complimented himself is destined to give
every student of the art of war a knowledge of this weak point of his
character. Shortly after the successful passage of the Chattahoochee
River in the face of the enemy, an operation which was among the
finest accomplishments of the campaign of Atlanta, Sherman published
an address to his troops, in which he said, with pardonable egotism,
"The crossing of the Chattahoochee and breaking of the Augusta Road was
most handsomely executed by us, and will be studied as an example in
the art of war." A still greater piece of egotism from his pen is not
less amusing. It is that letter in which he refers to his having been
a scourge to the South, and in which he adds, "Think how much better
that it was I than Ben Butler or some other of that school." This, to
say the least, must have been pleasant to "Ben" and "others of that
school," if not modest in General Sherman.

This egotism led to an affectation of simplicity in style and
carelessness in habits which produced a very pleasant incident at
Nashville in 1864. Sherman was very fond of the theatre, and would
go as often as he found time. When he first arrived in the "City of
Rocks," the manager of the "New Nashville Theatre" waited on him with
the tender of a private box. The general declined it, and instead of
appearing in a private box, would be found very frequently sitting in
the pit of the theatre surrounded by his "boys in blue," and laughing
at the comicalities or applauding the "points" with as much gusto as
any of the audience. This affectation of the republican in manners
gained him more notice than if he had sat in a private box, and every
body enjoyed seeing him there except the manager, who complained that
it was injuring his business. No officer dared to sit in a private
box with Sherman present in the pit, and these places became, during
Sherman's stay, "a beggarly account of empty boxes" indeed.

I once had a long conversation with General Sherman on the subject of
the press and war correspondents, from which I learned very little more
than that he was very much disposed to underrate the advantages of the
one and the abilities of the other, but very willing to accept, though
with an affected ill grace, the praises of either. He declared in that
conversation that the government could well afford to purchase all the
printing-presses in the country at the price of diamonds, and then
destroy them, and that all the war correspondents should be hung as
spies. Sherman, with all his affected contempt for the press, is more
indebted to it than any other officer in the army.

From time immemorial--at least from the days of Suwarrow and of "Old
Fritz"--Frederick the Great--troops have always given nicknames to
the commanders they adored. The veteran soldier is an affectionate
creature, and he evinces his lovable disposition pretty much as the
women do, by the use of pet names and expressive adjectives. The
veterans had a slang of their own, as expressive to the initiated and
as incomprehensible to the ignorant as the more systematically arranged
jargon of the showman, gambler, or peddler. Increasing affection for
a popular leader was evinced by an increase in the intensity of the
adjective or pronoun applied to the person. A popular leader may have
at one time been only "Colonel," but as his popularity increased and
he won the affection of his men, he was called "_The_ Colonel,"
"Our Colonel," and "Our Bully Colonel." At the height of McClellan's
popularity his soldiers invariably called him "Little Mac." Sheridan
was always "Little Phil," John A. Logan always "Black Jack," and Thomas
has successively been known as "Old Slow Trot," "Uncle George," and
"Old Pap," the latter being the superlative form of expression.

Sherman has not entirely escaped "nicknames," though he has been more
fortunate in this respect than some other commanders. In 1861 the Home
Guards of Louisville gave him a name which has never been used by any
other body of troops. It was under the following circumstances: The
Home Guard marched under Sherman's leadership from Louisville to meet
the invasion of Buckner. While moving to Lebanon Junction the general
spoke to the men, telling them of the necessity which had arisen for
their services, and proposed to muster them into the United States
service for thirty days. Few of them had blankets, none had haversacks,
and no tents were at the time on hand. The men were really not prepared
to remain long in the field, and some demurred at the length of time
mentioned. Sherman grew very angry at this, and spoke very harshly,
intimating that he considered the Home Guards a "paltry set of
fellows." The men were chagrined at this, and much embittered against
him, and on the spot voted him "a gruff old cock." They soon found,
however, that they had to accept him as a commander, when one of them
remarked, "It was a bitter pill." Out of this grew the title of "Old
Pills," which was at once fastened upon the general. The men consented
to be mustered for fifteen days. This put Sherman in an excellent humor
again, and he promised them tents, blankets, etc., immediately. This,
in turn, put the Guards in a high glee, and one of them suggesting that
"Old Pills" was sugar-coated, the nickname was modified, and he was
known ever after as "Old Sugar-coated Pill."

Later in the war his troops fixed upon one title of endearment for
Sherman which will doubtless stick to him to the last. It expressed no
peculiarity, was not properly a nickname, but simply an expression of
affection. He will always be known to his veterans as "Old Billy." His
veterans of 1861 and 1862 called him "Old Sherman," and few will forget
it who heard General Rousseau's brigade hail him by that title during
the battle of Shiloh. On the day of that battle, while hotly engaged
near the log church which gave its name to the field, Sherman met a
brigade of Buell's fresh troops moving forward to his support, and
hastily asked whose troops they were. General Rousseau, who commanded
the brigade, rode hastily through the line to meet Sherman, who had
been dismounted for the third time by the fire of the enemy, and had
one wounded arm in a sling, while his face was blackened by the fire of
his own artillery.

"Rousseau's brigade," said that officer--"your old troops, General

At the mention of Sherman's name, Rousseau's men, who had made their
first campaign under Sherman, recognized him. "There's old Sherman,"
ran along their lines, and in an instant more there broke above the din
of the battle three loud ringing cheers for "Old Sherman." Sherman
took no notice of the cheers at the time, but his subsequent report of
the battle showed that he was not oblivious to the compliment. At the
moment he simply ordered the brigade forward. It was about the time the
rebels began falling back, and soon the advance thus ordered became a
pursuit of the foe.

Sherman is an inveterate smoker. He smokes, as he does every thing
else, with an energy which it would be supposed would deprive him of
all the pleasure of smoking. He is fully as great a smoker as Grant,
whose propensity in that line is well known, but he is very unlike
him in his style of smoking. Grant smokes as if he enjoyed his cigar.
Sherman smokes as if it were a duty to be finished in the shortest
imaginable time. Grant will smoke lying back in his chair, his body and
mind evidently in repose, his countenance calm and settled. He blows
the smoke slowly from his mouth, and builds his plans and thoughts in
the clouds which are formed by it about his head. He smokes his tobacco
as the Chinese do their opium, and with that certain sort of oblivious
disregard for every thing else which it is said characterizes the opium
smoker. He enjoys his mild Havana in quiet dignity, half-smoking,
half-chewing it. Sherman puffs furiously, as if his cigar was of the
worst character of "penny grabs" and would not "draw." He snatches it
frequently, and, one might say, furiously, from his mouth, brushing the
ashes off with his little finger. He continually paces the floor while
smoking, generally deep in thought of important matters, doubtless;
but a looker-on would imagine that he was endeavoring to solve the
question of how to draw smoke through his cigar. He seldom or never
finishes it, leaving at least one half of it a stump. When he used to
frequent the Associated Press-rooms at Louisville in 1861, he would
often accumulate and leave upon the agent's table as many as eight
or ten of these stumps, which the porter of the rooms used to call
"Sherman's old soldiers." Even until long after Anderson's assumption
of command at Louisville the agent of the New Orleans papers continued
sending his telegrams for the rebel papers to New Orleans. This man was
a rabid secessionist, and disliked Sherman exceedingly. He used to say
of him that he smoked as some men whistled--"for want of thought." This
is undoubtedly a mistake; for close observers say that, while smoking,
Sherman is deepest absorbed in thought.

He is certainly, when smoking, almost totally oblivious to what is
going on around him. This peculiar absence of mind had an excellent
illustration in a circumstance which occurred at Lebanon Junction,
Kentucky, when first occupied by Sherman and the Home Guards. While
walking up and down the railroad platform at that place, awaiting
the repair of the telegraph line to Louisville, Sherman's cigar gave
out. He immediately took another from his pocket, and, approaching
the orderly-sergeant of the "Marion Zouaves"--one of the Home Guard
companies--asked for a light. The sergeant had only a moment before
lighted his cigar, and, taking a puff or two to improve the fire, he
handed it, with a bow, to the general. Sherman carefully lighted his
weed, took a puff or two to assure himself, and, having again lapsed
into his train of thought, abstractedly threw away the sergeant's
cigar. General Rousseau and several other officers were standing by at
the time, and laughed heartily at the incident; but Sherman was too
deeply buried in thought to notice the laughter or mishap. Three years
subsequently, at his head-quarters in Nashville, Rousseau endeavored
to recall this occurrence to Sherman's mind. He could not recollect
it, and replied, "I was thinking of something else. It won't do to let
to-morrow take care of itself. Your good merchant don't think of the
ships that are in, but those that are to come in. The evil of to-day is
irreparable. Look ahead to avoid breakers. You can't when your ship is
on them. All you can then do is to save yourself and retrieve disaster.
I was thinking of something else when I threw the sergeant's cigar
away." And then he added, laughing, "Did I do that, really?"

With the personal appearance of General Sherman the public are but
little acquainted. Very few full-length pictures of him have been made.
Of the numerous engravings and photographs which have been published
since he became famous very few are good likenesses, and none convey a
proper idea of his general appearance. The best picture which I have
seen is the one from which the accompanying engraving is made. The
outlines of the features are given with great accuracy, and any one
familiar with the general's physiognomy will pronounce it a faithful
likeness, though the position in which the subject sat serves to
conceal the extreme Romanism of his nose. There is a scowl on the face,
and yet the expression is that of Sherman in a good humor. He seldom
has such a self-satisfied air. A critical observer of the picture in
question would remark that Sherman has done in this case what he seldom
takes time or has inclination to do, and has given the artist a special
sitting. He has "made himself up" for the occasion. If the critic were
one of Sherman's soldiers, he would notice the absence from his lips
of the inevitable cigar. The coat, it will be observed, is buttoned
across the breast, and is the chief fault of the engraving, for Sherman
seldom or never buttons his coat either across his breast or around
his waist. His vest is always buttoned by the lower button only, and,
fitting close around his waist, adds to his appearance of leanness. It
is doubtful if at this time any one can be found, except the general's
tailor, who can tell when his coat was new. He appears to have an
aversion to new clothes, and has never been seen in a complete new suit
or heard in creaking boots. It may be said that he never conforms to
the regulations in respect to the color of his suit; for the uniform he
generally wears has lost its original color, and is of that dusty and
rusty tinge, and with that lack of gloss which follows constant use.
One would readily imagine, judging by its appearance, that he purchased
his uniform second-hand. The hat which he generally wears is of the
same order of faded "regulation," with the crown invariably puffed out
instead of being pushed in, in the "Burnside style." The regulation
cord and tassel he does not recognize at all.

With the exception of his eyes, none of the features of Sherman's
countenance are indicative of his character. Altogether he is
commonplace in appearance, neither excessively handsome nor painfully
repulsive. At the same time, divest him of his regulations, and in a
crowd his face would attract attention and afford a study. His eyes,
conforming to his general character, are as restless as his body or
mind. They are rather of a dull though light color, their restlessness
giving them whatever they possess of brilliancy and animation. His
lips close firmly and closely, and with the deep lines running from
his nostrils to either corner of his mouth, give to the lower half of
his face an air of decision indicative of his character. His hands
are long, slender, and tapering, like those of a woman, and are in
admirable keeping with his figure. His short, crisp whiskers, which
grow unshaven, and which appear to be stunted in growth, are of a dingy
red, or what is commonly called "sandy" color. He takes very little
care of his whiskers and hair, each having to be content, with one
careless brushing a day. He has, perhaps, as great a disregard for his
personal appearance as he pretends to have for what others may say or
think of him.


[1] "A fiery soul, which, working out its way,
    Fretted the pigmy body to decay,
    And o'er informed the tenement of clay."

[2] A more laborious campaign than that of Atlanta was never
undertaken, and it is difficult to say which soldier deserves the most
credit for the movements, Sherman or Joe Johnston. The retreats of the
latter were not less admirable than the flank marches of the former,
and Johnston showed as clean heels as Sherman did a fully guarded
front. His camps were left barren; Sherman found only Johnston's
smoking camp-fires, but no spoils left behind him. It was looked upon
by the officers of Sherman's army as the "cleanest retreat of the war,"
and it is very evident now that, had Johnston remained in command,
and been allowed to continue his Fabian policy, Sherman could never
have made his march to the sea, and the capture of Atlanta would have
been a Cadmean victory to him. Johnston proved himself a very superior
soldier--in fact, the superior general of the Southern armies. If it
could be said of any of the rebels, it could be said of Johnston that,
in fact, he was

          "The noblest Roman of them all:
    All the conspirators, save only he,
    Did that they did in envy of great Cæsar.
    He only, in a generous, honest thought,
    And common good to all, made one of them."



While General Sherman was pursuing Hood, when that gallant but not
very sagacious rebel was making his ill-judged and ill-advised but
bold march northward, leaving Atlanta and our armies in his rear,
some exigency arose which made General Sherman regret the absence of
General George H. Thomas, who had been sent to Nashville. I do not now
distinctly remember what the exigency was other than that it related to
some important movement--perhaps the movement to the sea--but, at any
rate, so undecided and troubled was Sherman in coming to a decision,
that he suddenly broke a long silence, during which he had been
seriously meditative, by exclaiming to one of his aids,

"I wish old Thom was here! He's my off-wheel-horse, and knows how to
pull with me, though he don't pull in the same way."

[Illustration: GEORGE H. THOMAS.]

There was never a truer word uttered in jest, and describing Thomas as
the "match horse" of Sherman is a comparison by no means as inaccurate
as it is rude. In the chapter which precedes this I have endeavored to
show that the distinctive feature of Sherman's character is a certain
nervousness of thought and action, inspiring a restless and resistless
energy. The best idea of General Thomas is obtained by contrasting
him with Sherman, and illustrating Sherman as a great strategist,
Thomas as a great tactician. Sherman is not merely a theoretical
strategist as Halleck is, as McPherson was, but one of great
practicability, and an energy which has given practical solutions to
his strategic problems. Thomas is not merely a theoretical tactician,
with a thorough knowledge of the rules, but one who has illustrated
the art on extensive battle-fields, and always with success. The two
appear in every respect in contrast, and possess no similarities. One
may be called a nervous man, and the other a man of nerve. Sherman
derives his strength from the momentum resulting from the rapidity
with which he moves; Thomas moves slowly, but with equally resistless
power, and accomplishes his purposes by sheer strength. Sherman is
naturally the dashing leader of light, flying battalions; Thomas the
director of heavily-massed columns. He may be called heavy ordnance in
contradistinction to Sherman, who may be likened to a whole battery of
light rifle-guns; or, in the language of the prize-ring, Sherman is
a light-weight and quick fighter, while Thomas is a heavy, ponderous
pugilist, whose every blow is deadly. Sherman's plans are odd, if
not original. Though I have heard learned military critics deny that
they embraced new rules of war, still it can not be denied that his
campaigns have been out of the general order of military exploits.
Thomas, on the other hand, originates nothing, but most skillfully
directs his army on well-defined principles of the art. Sherman jumps
at conclusions; Thomas's mind and body act with equal deliberation, his
conclusions being arrived at after long and mature reflection. Sherman
never takes thought of unexpected contingencies or failure. There is
always a remedy for any failure of a part of Thomas's plans, or for
the delinquencies of subordinates. Sherman never hesitates to answer;
Thomas is slow to reply. One is quick and positive; the other is slow,
but equally positive. Thomas thinks twice before speaking once; and
when he speaks, his sentences are arranged so compactly, and, as it
were, so economically, that they convey his idea at once. It is given
as advice, but men receive it as an order, and obey it implicitly.

The habits of the two men are radically different. Sherman is an
innovator on the customs not only of the army, but every phase of
social life, and is at least one generation ahead of the American
people, fast as it imagines itself. Thomas belongs to a past
generation, and his exceedingly regular habits belong to the "good old
time." He has been confirmed by long service in the habits of camp,
and appears never to be satisfied unless living as is customary in
camps. In September, 1862, his division of Buell's army was encamped at
Louisville, Kentucky, his quarters being in the outskirts of the city.
While encamped here, Colonel Joe McKibbon, then a member of General
Halleck's staff, arrived from Washington City and delivered to Thomas
an order to relieve Buell, and assume command of the Army of the Ohio.
In order to put himself in communication with the commander-in-chief,
Thomas was compelled to ride into the city and take rooms at the hotel
nearest the telegraph office. He employed the day in communicating
with General Halleck, urging the retention of Buell, and in declining
the proposed promotion. Late at night he retired to his bed. But the
change from a camp-cot to clean feathers was too much for the general.
He found it impossible to sleep, and at a late hour in the night he
was compelled to send Captain Jacob Brown, his provost-marshal, to his
head-quarters for his camp-cot. The reorganization of the army, the
murder of General Nelson by Jeff. C. Davis, and other events occurring
about the same time, conspired to keep the general a guest or prisoner
at the hotel for a week. During all that time he slept as usual on his
cot, banished the chamber-maids from his room, and depended for such
duty as they usually performed on the old colored body-servant who had
attended him for many years.

System and method are absolutely necessary to Thomas's existence, and
nothing ruffles or excites him so much as innovations on his habits or
changes in his customs. He discards an old coat with great reluctance;
and during the earlier part of the war, when his promotions came to him
faster than he could wear out his uniforms, it was almost impossible to
find him donning the proper dress of his rank. He wore the uniform of
a colonel for several months after he had been confirmed a brigadier
general, and only donned the proper uniform when going into battle at
Mill Spring. He was confirmed a major general in June, 1862, but did
not mount the twin stars until after the battle of Stone River, fought
on the last day of the same year, and then they found their way to his
shoulders only by a trick to which his body-servant had been incited by
his aids. This methodical and systematic feature of his character found
an admirable illustration in an incident to which I was a witness
during the battle of Chickamauga. After the rout of the principal part
of the corps of McCook and Crittenden, Thomas was left to fight the
entire rebel army with a single corps of less than twenty thousand men.
The enemy, desirous of capturing this force, moved in heavy columns on
both its flanks. His artillery opened upon Thomas's troops from front
and both flanks; but still they held their ground until Steedman, of
Granger's corps, reached them with re-enforcements. I was sitting on my
horse near General Thomas when General Steedman came up and saluted

"I am very glad to see you, general," said Thomas in welcoming him.
General Steedman made some inquiries as to how the battle was going,
when General Thomas, in a vexed manner, replied,

"The damned scoundrels are fighting without any system."

Steedman thereupon suggested that he should pay the enemy back in his
own coin. Thomas followed his suggestion. As soon as Granger came up
with the rest of his corps, he assumed the offensive; and while Bragg
continued to move on his flanks, he pushed forward against the rebel
centre, so scattering it by a vigorous blow that, fearful of having
his army severed in two, the rebel abandoned his flank movement in
order to restore his centre. This delayed the resumption of the battle
until nearly sunset, and Thomas was enabled to hold his position until
nightfall covered the retirement to Rossville Gap.

Thomas is not easily ruffled. It is difficult alike to provoke
his anger or enlist his enthusiasm. He is by no means blind to the
gallantry of his men, and never fails to notice and appreciate their
deeds, but they never win from him any other than the coldest words in
the coldest, but, at the same time, kindest of commendatory tones. He
grows really enthusiastic over nothing, though occasionally his anger
may be aroused. When it is, his rage is terrible. During the campaign
in Kentucky, in pursuit of Bragg in 1862, Thomas was second in command
of the army under Buell. The new recruits committed many depredations
upon the loyal Kentuckians. While the army was passing a small stream
near Bardstown, called "Floyd's Fork of Salt River," Thomas was
approached by a farmer whom he knew to be a good Union man, and who
made complaint that one of the general's staff officers had carried off
the only horse left on his farm. The general turned black with anger at
such an accusation against one of his staff officers, and demanded to
know who and where the offender was. The farmer pointed to a mounted
infantry officer, who was attached to one of the regiments and not to
the general's staff. The general rode up to him and demanded to know
where he had obtained the horse which he rode. The officer replied
that he had "impressed" him. The general knew the man had no authority
to impress horses, and, choking with rage, he poured on the devoted
head of the delinquent a torrent of invective. He drew his sword, and,
putting the point under the shoulder-straps of the officer, ripped them
off, and then compelled him to dismount and lead the animal to the
place whence he had stolen him. He also required him to pay the farmer
for his trouble and the loss of service of the animal.

When the battle of Mill Spring began it found Thomas in a bad humor,
and on the first opportunity he had for "pitching into" any one he did
not fail to take advantage of it. The victim was Colonel Mahlon D.
Manson, a rough, excitable, but gallant old Indianian, who was acting
brigadier in command of his own and two or three other regiments. Under
the old organization of the volunteer army no adequate provision for
aids for acting generals had been made, and Manson's only aid, his
regimental adjutant, happened to be out of the way; so, when the battle
opened, and he had posted his regiments to receive the attack, he
hastily rode back to General Thomas to report in person the disposition
he had made of his forces. It happened that in doing this Manson
lost his hat, and he made his appearance before Thomas hatless, with
disheveled hair, unwashed face, and incomplete toilet, and Thomas's
pent-up rage vented itself on him. He had no sooner begun to state his
position to Thomas than that officer interrupted him with,

"Damn you, sir, go back to your command and fight it."

Excited as Manson was, he caught the full meaning, and the perhaps
unmeant insinuation of the general's words, and returned to his command
much chagrined. Thomas's anger did not last long after finding this
vent. He grew pleasanter before the day was over, was in spirits long
before Zollicoffer's rout was complete, and when he came to write his
report a week afterward, spoke very highly of Manson.

The self-control and coolness of Thomas under fire, and amid the
excitement and dangers of battle, is absolutely surprising, and, until
I had seen at Chickamauga repeated instances of his imperturbation,
I did not believe that human nature was capable of it. In relating
one of the episodes of the battle, an account of which I published
at the time, I alluded, I thought then, and think now, very happily
to the general as the "Statue Thomas." During that terrible conflict
the statue warmed into life but twice. At daylight on the second day,
before the battle had been resumed, General Rosecrans rode along the
line of battle, examining the position which the troops of McCook and
Crittenden had taken as best they could, without other guide than
the sound of cannon or other director than stern necessity. He rode
up to Thomas's quarters near the left centre of the field and asked
him several questions regarding the battle of the day before. Thomas
alluded briefly to the events of the fight, and in speaking of his
brilliant charge exclaimed rather warmly, "Whenever I touched their
flanks they broke, general, they broke," repeating the last words with
unusual zest and evident satisfaction. I was listening with great
eagerness and looking squarely at the general, when he caught my eye,
and, as if ashamed of his momentary enthusiasm, the blood mounted to
his cheeks and he blushed like a woman. His eyes were bent immediately
on the ground, and the rest of his remarks were confined to a few brief
replies to the questions addressed to him.

The other instance to which I was a witness occurred during the
afternoon of the second day's battle, and in the midst of a lull which
had followed the retreat of McCook and Crittenden and the falling back
of Thomas's right division. The general was sitting in the rear of the
line of battle of his right as re-formed, engaged in watching a heavy
cloud of dust in the distance, and in such a direction that it might
be the enemy, or it might be the reserve forces of Gordon Granger,
which had been posted some distance in rear of the battle-field at
Rossville, and which it was hoped would march to the aid of the
army. The doubt under which he labored cast a visible cloud over the
general's spirits, and excited his nerves to an unusual degree. He had
no disposition to resume the fight, and, fearful of the result of the
next attack of the rebels, was anxious to avoid a resumption of the
battle. He consequently watched the development of the cloud of dust in
the distance with painful anxiety. If it dissolved to reveal friends,
then they were doubly welcome, for fresh friends insured the safe
retirement of that fraction of the army which still held its ground.
If it disclosed the enemy, then the day and army were lost, and it
became the duty of those who formed this "last square" at Chickamauga
to throw into the teeth of the victorious enemy a defiance as grandly
contemptuous as that of Cambronne, and die. There was no escape if the
troops advancing from the rear were, as it was feared, the cavalry of
the enemy. General Tom Wood, hearing some one express himself to this
effect, threw in a word of encouragement by saying that it was evident
it was not cavalry, "for," said he, "don't you see the dust rising
above them ascends in thick misty clouds, not in spiral columns, as it
would if the force was cavalry," a remark which indicated the close
observation of General Wood. The anxiety of General Thomas increased
with every moment of delay in the development of the character of
the advancing columns. At one time he said nervously to his staff,
"Take my glass, some of you whose horse stands steady--tell me what
you can see." I was standing near him at the moment looking through a
field-glass, and remarked that I felt sure that I could see the United
States flag.

"Do you think so? do you think so?" asked the general, nervously.

Shortly after, Captain G. M. L. Johnston, of General Negley's staff,
reported to Thomas for duty, and the general requested him to venture
toward the advancing force, and learn, if possible, to which army
it belonged. Johnston was gone for some time, running the gauntlet
of the rebel sharp-shooters, who were fast enveloping Thomas's left
wing. During his absence the anxiety of Thomas increased until it
grew painful to the observer, and the relaxation which followed the
revelation of the fact that the coming force were friends was a
positive relief to the by-standers. As Johnston returned with General
Steedman the nerves of Thomas calmed down, and his excitement was
hardly visible save in the petulant tone and manner in which he cursed
Bragg for fighting without any system. During the fight which ensued he
remained as passive and apparently as unconcerned as if he were in the
safest place imaginable.

During the morning of the second day of the same battle I was again
near General Thomas when the rebels made a vigorous attack on his
breast-works. He and a single staff officer were sitting a little in
the rear of the centre of the line, and just in range of the shells
which the enemy was throwing with great vigor and rapidity. While thus
exposed, a shell passed between the general and his aid, causing them
to look at each other with a quiet smile. A moment afterward another
shell took the same route. The general, instead of smiling this time,
turned to his aid and said,

"Major, I think we had better retire a little," and fell back a few
yards to a small wood.

On the night after this battle, and when the troops had retired to
Rossville, General Thomas was asked by Colonel B. F. Scribner to
take a cup of coffee at his camp-fire, and did so. Scribner had been
slightly wounded in the head, and the clotted blood still stood upon
his face, left there in order to prevent the wound from continuing to
bleed. Thomas sat down by Scribner, drank his coffee, saw the wound of
Scribner, talked of commonplace matters for half an hour, but never by
word or act alluded in the slightest way to the fact that he had just
fought one of the most important battles of the war, and saved the army
from annihilation. No one could have known from Thomas's remarks that a
battle had been raging, or that his host had been wounded.

One of the great faults of Thomas's character is due to this extreme
solidity of his nervous system. Without rendering him exactly selfish
or acrimonious, it has made him cold and undemonstrative in manner,
and rather insensible to the emotions. He is generous without being
enthusiastic, and kind without being at all demonstrative. He has
been compared to Washington, but the comparison was made by General
Rosecrans, who, by the way, knew nothing whatever of human nature,
and could not read it even with the best spectacles of saddest
experience; and the comparison holds good only thus far, that Thomas,
as Washington was, is portly of person and dignified of manner. His
undemonstrative manner has given to many the idea that he was incapable
of strong affections, firm friendships, or noble emotions; and the
only enemies whom he had were men with whom he had been on terms of
friendship, and who, falling under disfavor, looked in vain to him
for some demonstration of aid. There are two or three instances, not
proper to relate in detail, which have given Thomas's fellow-officers
the idea that he was selfishly cold; but I do not think such to be the
case, for, though cold and undemonstrative, Thomas has never revealed
aught of the selfish or envious in his character. His blood ran as
sluggishly as oil upon water, but it was from principle, if such a
thing could be, and I think it was in this case. One of the subordinate
commanders of Thomas's army, who distinguished himself at Stone River
and Chickamauga, was an Indiana colonel named Ben F. Scribner, a brave
officer, who, from his action at the battle of Perryville, Kentucky,
went by the name of "gallant little Scrib"--a sobriquet bestowed upon
him by General Lovell H. Rousseau, his immediate commander. After
the battle of Chickamauga, Scribner was not treated fairly in the
reorganization of the army by Rosecrans, and complained to General
Thomas, his corps commander, of the injustice done him. During the
conversation Colonel Scribner used the expression that he could not but
feel that a serious wrong had been done him, when Thomas slowly and
sadly said,

"Colonel, I have taken a great deal of pains to educate myself not to

This remark gives a wonderful insight into Thomas's nature, and will
explain much in his manner that is a mystery to thousands who have
studied his character.

General Garfield used to relate a story which gave rather a comical
turn to the general's undemonstrative style, and one which I do not
remember to have ever seen in print. In fact, it has been a somewhat
doubtful question with me as to whether I should be justified in
relating it, and only do so with the warning, "_Honi soit qui mal y
pense_." When General Thomas relieved Rosecrans at Chattanooga in 1863,
General Garfield remained with him for a time as chief of staff. One
morning the two officers were riding around the town, examining the
defenses which were then being built, when they heard some one hailing
with the cry,

"Hello, mister! you! I want to speak with you."

On looking around, General Thomas discovered that he was the "mister"
wanted, and that the person who had hailed him was one of those East
Tennessee soldiers who were always easily distinguishable from the
Northern soldiers by their peculiar rough, uncouth, and backwoods
appearance. He stopped, and the man approached him and began,

"Mister, I want to get a furlough."

"On what grounds do you want a furlough, my man?" asked the general.

"I want to go home and see my wife," replied the East Tennesseean.

"How long since you saw your wife?" asked the general.

"Ever since I enlisted--nigh on to three months."

"Three months!" exclaimed the general, good-naturedly. "Why, my good
man, I haven't seen my wife for three years."

The East Tennesseean stopped whittling the stick which he had in his
hand, and stared for a moment incredulously at the general.

"Wall, you see," he said at length, with a sheepish smile, "me and my
wife ain't that kind."

Shaking all over with laughter, the general put spurs to his horse and
galloped away, leaving the astonished soldier unanswered.

I should have enjoyed hugely hearing Thomas laugh aloud. During the
three years in which I saw him almost daily, and under all sorts of
circumstances, I never saw him _smile_ but once, and that was under
circumstances so peculiarly ridiculous that it would have provoked
laughter from Patience on a monument, or even the grief that she smiled
at. A low comedian, named Alf. Burnett, from one of the Cincinnati
theatres, essayed to become a war correspondent, and during the
summer of 1863 made his appearance in the camp of General Rosecrans,
quartering himself at Triune with Colonel James Brownlow, son of
the famous Parson Brownlow, and at that time in command of an East
Tennessee regiment. Burnett was very good as a mimic, and particularly
excelled in his delivery of a burlesque sermon in which the sentence
"He played upon a harp of a thousand strings, spirits of just men made
perfect," frequently occurred as a refrain. Colonel Brownlow on one
occasion invited Burnett to deliver this sermon before his regiment,
and, as a joke upon the chaplain of the command, that worthy was
requested to announce the occasion of its delivery, and when the time
arrived to open the services with a hymn. Burnett began his burlesque
sermon, and had gone through a considerable portion of it before the
chaplain and the soldiers began to suspect how much they had been
outraged. As soon as he perceived the nature of the performance, the
chaplain approached Burnett, took him by the back of the neck, marched
him to the camp limits, and with the injunction to "go and sin no
more," kicked him out of the camp. The facts were at the same time
represented to Rosecrans, who expelled Burnett from the department,
but, at the solicitations of some friends, the mimic was allowed to
return to make his explanations. After hearing Burnett's explanations,
Rosecrans insisted on hearing the "Hard-shell Baptist sermon," and
Burnett gave it in his best style. Rosecrans was delighted, declared
it was inimitable, and told Burnett he should remain at his quarters,
should deliver it nightly, and would have put him on his staff if
Burnett had asked it. The sermon became Rosecrans's hobby; he thought
and talked for a time of nothing else, and one night invited General
Thomas to quarters to hear it. The general and his staff came, and the
performance began with songs which did not interest, and continued with
the sermon, which, much to Rosecrans's surprise, did not amuse "old
Thom." But, after Burnett's farce had been finished, Rosecrans called
upon Colonel Horace Porter, of the Ordnance Department, for a song, and
Porter gave a comic Irish song in the best brogue, accompanying himself
by imitating the playing upon Scotch bagpipes. Porter was one of the
most dignified, quiet, sedate, and elegant officers of the army at
Rosecrans's head-quarters; and the ridiculousness of his attitude, the
contrast with his usual appearance and manner, was too much for General
Thomas, and he "smiled" almost audibly several times during the song. I
never afterward saw the fun stirred up in Thomas.

The contrast between Thomas and Sherman may be extended even to their
personal appearance and habits; and in these, as in character, the
difference is most marked. Thomas's figure is very striking. Something
of his height is lost to the eye by the heaviness of his figure. If he
were as thin as Sherman, he would look the six feet two or three inches
which have been ignorantly attributed to him. He is really about five
feet ten or eleven inches in height, but so much does his heaviness
detract from the appearance of height that he does not appear so tall.
Thick-set, robust, and healthy, he moves heavily and slowly, but by
no means feebly or unsteadily. His beard and hair were sandy at the
beginning of the late war, but they have since become silver sprinkled,
and add to the great dignity of his appearance. His features are all
large, with the exception of his nose--a long, thin Grecian feature
which Napoleon would have admired. His lips are rather thick, rounded,
and red. His chin and jaws, large and squarely cut, with his great,
steady, though not bright eyes, indicate, more than any others of his
features, his firmness and positiveness of character. His countenance
is at all times severe and grave, but not necessarily stern. He
seldom smiles; but the constant seriousness of his countenance is not
repulsive. It may be said to be forbidding. It certainly forbids
trifling. The simplest-minded man, seeking audience of him, will
understand, on being received by the general, by a glance at his
countenance, that he must be brief and to the point. His presence is
no place for loungers. His visitors must have business to transact or
retire, and they never require any other hint than the countenance
of the general. He is a man in earnest, and it does not take long
to discover it. He is perhaps as free from display and pretension
as any man in the army. He never does any thing for "effect." His
manner admits of no familiarity. There is dignity in every gesture,
but not necessarily either grace or love. His style of living in camp
is comfortable and even elegant. His mess consists of himself and
two aids. His mess ware is principally silver of elaborate finish.
I breakfasted once or twice with the general during the Chickamauga
campaign. On the occasion of each visit daylight and breakfast were
announced simultaneously by an elderly, dignified, and cleanly-attired
colored servant, who brought me an excellent punch, with "Colonel
Flynt's compliments," as an appetizer. The breakfast-table was spread
under the fly of the tent, which served as a kitchen, and on it smoked
fresh beef, ham, and strong black coffee. At each silver plate was a
napkin of the purest white, artistically folded in the latest style of
the first-class hotels, a silver water-goblet, a china cup, and the
usual knives and silver forks. Better beef and better coffee could not
have been found in the country in which the army was campaigning, while
the hot rolls and potatoes, baked in the hot ashes of a neighboring
fire, would have made many a French cook blush.

When beginning the campaign of Atlanta Sherman endeavored to effect an
important innovation in the habits of his army by carrying out to the
very letter his instructions to "move light," _i.e._, without extra
baggage. In order to impress upon his officers the necessity of setting
a good example to the men, he published an order, in which he stated
that the "general commanding intended making the campaign without tent
or baggage." The hint was lost on most of the officers, and among
others on Thomas, who moved in his usual heavy style, with a complete
head-quarter train and the usual number of tents, adding indeed to the
usual allowance a large wagon arranged with desks, which, when covered
by a hospital-tent fly, made a very complete adjutant general's office.
The campaign began, and Sherman made several days' march without
his tent, sleeping any where that night overtook him, but before
reaching Resaca he was very glad to take up his abode near Thomas's
head-quarters, and make use of his tents and adjutant general's office.

No one has ever accused General Thomas of being a genius either
militarily or otherwise. He neither plans campaigns with the aptitude
and originality of Sherman, nor fights battles with the vigor and
abandon of Sheridan. Thomas's success has been obtained by long service
and patient industry, and he is an example of what may be accomplished
by the unremitting toil of a practical man. He is possessed naturally
of that good, clear sense which is often inappropriately called
common sense, but which is of no common order at all. He has never
been brilliantly educated, and is neither a brilliant thinker nor
converser. He is doubtless well versed in West Point lore and the art
of war. His education has been derived principally from a long and
varied experience with the world, which has rendered him pre-eminently
a practical man. His mind consequently takes naturally, as has been
before stated, to method, and every thing he does is completed (in
the full sense of the word) in a methodical manner. There is little
that is original in his plans or his mode of executing them, but
all are distinguished for their practicability and completeness.
His calculations leave a wide range for contingencies, delays, and
accidents, and are not easily disturbed by untoward incidents and
unexpected developments. He never goes into a campaign or battle
without knowing exactly how to get out of it safely, in case the
necessity for retreating arises. He has on more than one occasion
furnished the means of getting the armies of others out of danger.
At Stone River, when Rosecrans was defeated and his council of war
proposed to retreat, Thomas showed that the safety of the army depended
upon remaining and assuming the defensive. At Chickamauga, when the
same leader left his army in the midst of a terrible battle and at the
beginning of a rout of the greater part of it, Thomas again came to the
rescue, and covered the retreat in a manner which saved the day and the

With his troops Thomas is a most popular leader. He has the deep-seated
and deep-rooted affection of his men, which is not the less sincere
because it is undemonstrative. He is looked upon by the army with a
sort of affectionate reverence, and he possesses in the highest degree
the confidence of his men. To this more than to any other feeling,
person, or circumstance, the nation owed the safety of its army at
Chickamauga. This feeling of confidence in its leader did more to
hold his corps together on that day--did more to keep up the _esprit
de corps_ of his command during the terrible attacks to which it was
subjected, than did all the discipline which had otherwise been drilled
into the men. The men of the two routed _corps_ were just as good,
just as brave, and just as tenacious fighters as were Thomas's men,
but they had no faith at all in the wisdom of their leaders, McCook
and Crittenden, who were not men of either inspiring presence or iron
qualities. Men will not stand and fight under officers in whom they
have not the most implicit faith. Such confidence is reposed in Thomas
to the fullest degree, and is accompanied by an affectionate regard
which adds to its strength.

Soldiers, as I have had occasion to remark elsewhere, have a very
natural mode of expressing their affection by titles of endearment,
indicative of the peculiarities of the subjects of their admiration.
Thomas has been christened with dozens of "nicknames." When he was
at West Point and in the regular army in Mexico, he was called "Old
Reliable," from his recognized and proverbial fidelity to the service.
During the Mill Spring and Stone River campaigns he won from his men
the sobriquet of "Old Pap Safety." This was subsequently boiled down
into "Pap Thomas," by which name he is called more frequently than
by any other. His slow gait, and quiet, dignified style of riding,
gained him the title of "Old Slow-trot." "Uncle George" and "George H."
are often used by the men in facetious hours, and the titles always
linger on the tongues of the soldiers like sweet morsels. And though
these titles are used by the men with an air and in a tone indicating
familiarity with their leader, none of them ever knew him, in his
communication with them, to sacrifice his dignity in the slightest
degree. They have no difficulty in reaching his ear. They always find
a patient listener and a sound adviser, and a kindly mannered and
pleasant director. He never laughs and jokes with soldiers or officers,
but his mild voice and quiet manner win him more of the love of his men
than any momentary familiarity could do. I have known him to halt in
the march and spend ten or fifteen minutes in directing stragglers to
their commands.

General Thomas is the purest man I met in the army. He was the Bayard
of our army--"_sans peur, sans reproche_," and I have endeavored in
vain to find a flaw in his character. His character is free from every
stain, and he stands forth in the army as above suspicion. He has gone
through the war without apparently exciting the jealousy of a single
officer. He has so regulated his advancement--so retarded, in fact,
his promotion, that when, as the climax to two years' hard service,
he fought a great battle and saved a great army, and was hailed and
recognized by the whole country as a hero, not one jealous or defeated
officer was found to utter dissent to this popular verdict.

There was at one time some ill feeling between Grant and Thomas,
growing out of the anomalous position in which both were placed by
Halleck when the army was besieging Corinth, but I believe that was
cleared up. General Grant was made second in command under Halleck,
and his army was given to Thomas, who remained in active command in the
field. Grant's position was really none at all; it was not recognized
by regulations or uses, and was felt by him to be an insult put upon
him (he imagined at one time) at the instigation of General Thomas.
Such was not the fact, however, and General Grant so became finally

The late rebellion was the school of many of our best officers, and
dearly did the country pay in its best blood the tuition of some. Bull
Run was the price which the country paid for having its erroneous
idea of war violently corrected. The failure of the first assault on
Vicksburg and of the attack on Kenesaw Mountain were fearful prices
paid to correct certain errors of judgment in Sherman's mind. We paid
for McClellan's violation of a well-known rule of war in placing the
Chickahominy between his battalions. Numerous similar instances might
be named, showing how the country has been compelled to pay terrible
penalties of blood for the ignorance of unworthy and incompetent
leaders; but enough. Thomas's training in the art of war has cost the
country not a single disaster or sacrifice. On the contrary, he has
saved the country, on more than one occasion, the fearful penalty
it was about to pay for the ignorance of other leaders. He has been
prominent in three grand campaigns. Two of them he has conducted on his
own plans and in person. In the other he acted as second in command.
The two which he planned and conducted were complete successes; and the
other, as far as he was concerned, a magnificent triumph. His first
campaign in the war for the Union was that against the fortified
camp of Zollicoffer at Mill Springs, Kentucky. His plan embraced an
assault upon the rebel works; but before he could get into position
to do this the enemy marched out of his works and attacked him in his
camp, failing in an attempt to surprise him. The rebels failed also
in the battle which ensued, and were terribly defeated, with heavy
loss, and at the sacrifice of the organization of their army. Night
alone, under cover of which it crossed the Cumberland River, prevented
the capture of the entire rebel force. Fourteen pieces of artillery,
fifteen hundred horses, with all the stores of the enemy and a large
number of prisoners, fell into our hands. This victory was complete,
and doubly welcomed as the first positive success since the battle of
Bull Run. The country hailed it as the first sign of the rejuvenation
and reorganization of the army. The rebel "army of Western Kentucky"
has never been heard of since that disastrous day; and George B.
Crittenden, its commander, sank at once into disgrace and oblivion as a
consequence of his defeat.

In the campaign and battle of Chickamauga Thomas was second in command
to Rosecrans, but in all its important actions his is the principal
figure. The story of Chickamauga has been often, and, in one or two
instances, well told; but the whole truth about it must be reserved
until time shall permit the historian to tell it without fear or
favor. Thomas stands forth the undisputed hero of that day--the single
spirit upon whom all depends. He is the central figure. There are no
heroes beside him. The young and noble ones who died, as Lytle and
Burnham, Van Pelt and Jones, and those not less noble spirits who
distinguished themselves and lived to be rewarded, as Baird and Dick
Johnston, old Steedman and young Johnston, who guided his columns to
the assault, Wood and Harker--all these surrounding Thomas but add to
his glory as the parhelion adds to the beauty of the sun. On the first
day at Chickamauga Thomas did his share toward the destruction of a
great rebel army, but it was in vain. The fruits of his victory were
frittered away by the incompetency of others. There was no general
advance when he advanced. On the second day it was too late; the enemy
had succeeded in crossing his whole army over the Chickamauga, and
the opportunity to destroy his forces in detail was gone forever.
Circumstances then devolved upon Thomas the task of saving a great
army, not destroying one. The duty was nobly performed, and the army
nobly saved; and though those who were not present, and who judge
of the battle from hearsay, may be mystified by the circumlocution
and vagueness of official reports, those who stayed at Chickamauga
know very well that Thomas _alone_ retrieved that disaster and saved
Rosecrans's army.

A short time after I had published in Harper's Magazine the sketch of
General Thomas, of which this is a revised edition, I received many
letters from old friends complaining that I had not done him justice
in using the expression "Thomas originates nothing," and many were the
instances quoted showing his originality of mind and plans. None of the
arguments or examples given were convincing, however, and I have left
the expression unchanged. One of these complainants stated that General
Thomas was the originator of the plan to go through Snake Creek Gap in
order to get upon Joe Johnston's rear and flank; but I am inclined to
think this an error. The writer narrated that a few days after starting
on the Atlanta campaign in May, 1864, Sherman, having thoroughly
reconnoitred Rocky Face Ridge, the defensive line of the enemy, decided
that it was necessary to storm and carry the position. Sitting one day
on the railroad bank in front of Buzzard Roost Gap, he confided this
opinion to General Thomas.

"It can't be done, general," Thomas answered; "the ridge can not be

"But it must be," said the impetuous Sherman, with his usual petulance.
General Thomas repeated his observation.

"But then we can't stay here," urged Sherman; "we must go ahead--we
can't stop here. There is nothing left but to assault the ridge."

"Have you tried every other means, general? Can't we go around them?"
asked Thomas, at the same time unfolding his map.

"Yes, yes, we have tried all other means."

"Why can't we go through Snake Creek Gap?" asked Thomas. The voices
of the two, according to my informant, here became lowered; the two
generals bent their heads over the map; and it is claimed by Thomas's
admirer that the result of that conversation was the occupation of
the mountain gorge of Snake Creek Gap. Although told with much detail
and precision, I am not at all disposed to credit this story, and I
am convinced that, though not without foundation, there is an error
somewhere. Another admirer of General Thomas wrote me claiming for him
the credit of having originated and planned "Sherman's march to the
sea." He states that, shortly after the occupation of Atlanta, and
while Hood's army was still in Sherman's front, General Thomas proposed
to General Sherman to take the 14th and 20th _corps_, and march through
the state to Savannah or some point on the coast equally important.
The plan was not immediately acted on; information was received of
Hood's purpose to flank Atlanta and go northward, and General Thomas
was sent to Nashville to organize the forces there in order to meet
him. Hood did move north, and Sherman decided to leave him to the care
or the mercy of Thomas, while he, with the 14th, 15th, 17th, and 20th
corps, twice the force originally said to have been proposed by Thomas,
and really three times the force actually necessary for the movement,
made the march which Thomas had planned. I very much doubt the full
truth of this statement, though I do not know that it is untrue in any
particular. But whether or not he planned it matters little; Thomas
at Nashville may be said to have executed it, and to him, and not to
Sherman, belongs the credit of its success. I have always wondered how
Sherman came to delegate the subordinate, Thomas, with the lesser half
of the army, to fight the main battles and conduct the real campaign,
while he, the superior officer, with the greater half of the force,
made a detour in which no danger was encountered--no danger, in fact,
apprehended--and which could have been better effected with half the

When the London Times characterized Sherman's march to the sea as the
"Anabasis of Sherman," and declared that it was virtually a retreat,
the London Times was exactly right, but the American people "could not
see it." But the stupidity of the rebels made that retreat a success
instead of a disaster to us. Had the Fabian policy of Joe Johnston
prevailed--had Atlanta been surrendered without a struggle, and had
the rebels been content to cover Macon with their infantry and employ
their cavalry in destroying the single railroad which inadequately
supplied Sherman's army, the retreat to Savannah and the sea would have
been instead a retreat to Chattanooga. When Hood removed his army from
Sherman's front, he presented that already doubting general with a
second alternative, whereas he had but one before, and permitted him to
choose of two routes by which to retreat. Sherman chose, for the sake
of the morale of his men and of the people, to "retreat forward" to
Savannah instead of "advancing backward" to Chattanooga, and went off
at a tangent to the sea. His unexpected detour did not interfere with
Hood's plans. The rebel had no more and no fewer enemies to fight than
he would have had if Sherman had followed him. Sherman could not have
concentrated his forces at Nashville in time to meet Hood, for portions
of the last force which, under General Steedman, fell back from
Chattanooga to re-enforce Nashville were cut off by the enemy and did
not reach the field at all. With this view in his mind, apprehending no
danger from Sherman, and believing he could defeat Thomas, Hood pushed
on, with what result is known. He met Thomas at Nashville, and the
consequence was his annihilation. The success of Thomas made Sherman's
march a success, and hence the former deserves the full credit for the
latter's achievement. How great this credit is can be seen by forming
in the mind an idea of the consequences which would have attended a
failure on Thomas's part. Had he been defeated Nashville would have
fallen; Hood would have marched into Kentucky and appeared on the line
of the Ohio, while Sherman, making his appearance a thousand leagues
away on the South Atlantic coast, would have found himself written down
a great failure instead of a great general.

The battles of Nashville were not greater in result than grand in
execution, and are, to my mind, Thomas's finest examples of grand
tactics. I can not here allude to them in detail. The operations were
conducted in a manner characteristic of the man. The retreat and
concentration at Nashville was a masterly performance, executed without
confusion and completed without loss. The battle before the city was
one of hard blows and simple manœuvres, fought after ample preparation
and due deliberation. The columns were heavy and massed, and the lines
strong and deep. The action was slow and measured. In the midst of
the engagement there were numerous lulls--pauses employed in dreadful
preparation, in re-arranging lines and massing columns. There were
numerous deliberate assaults of strong positions, and in every minute
detail of the general plan there was visible a combined effort of each
part of the army to reach some vital point of the enemy's position,
the key of the battle-field. When this was won the battle was ended.
The victory was the result of cool, deliberate action. The troops were
tools in the hands of their leader, and were made willing and trusty
instruments through the absolute and unbounded confidence which they
felt in him.

In the three campaigns of Mill Spring, Chickamauga, and Nashville, the
career of General Thomas is chiefly embraced. In the minor events of
his military career there is nothing to detract from the glory which
attaches to him in these.

[Illustration: ULYSSES S. GRANT.]



The clearest conception of the characters of Generals Sherman and
Thomas is obtained by contrasting them. A correct estimate of General
Grant may be had by forming in the imagination a character combining
the peculiarities of both Sherman and Thomas; for in the person of
the lieutenant general the very opposite qualities which distinguish
the others meet and combine with singular grace and felicity. General
Grant does not make so effective, or, so to speak, so dramatic a
picture as Sherman, nor does he present so dignified, that is to say,
so stately an appearance as Thomas; yet he combines in himself the
originality and energy of the first, with the deliberation, coolness,
and pertinacity of the latter. Without the constant fire and fury
of Sherman, without the occasional sudden, fiery impulse of Thomas,
Grant, always cool, calm, and dispassionate, is also always firm,
always decided, and always progressive. Sherman is as mercurial as a
Frenchman, and as demonstrative as an Italian; Thomas as phlegmatic
as a Dutchman, and as tenacious as an Englishman; while Grant in
every characteristic, in doggedness, pertinacity, positiveness, and
taciturnity, is thoroughly American, and nothing else. Grant is a true
sailor, in that he dreads both the storm of battle and the calm of
inactivity, and his appropriate motto is "_In medio tutissimus ibis._"
Thomas delights most in calm--is always calm himself, even in the midst
of roughest seas. Sherman, on the contrary, delights in tempests, and
would now be nothing if there had been no storm. Professor Mahan, who
was the tutor of Grant and Sherman, has furnished a very handsome
illustration of the contrast between them by comparing the first-named
to a powerful low-pressure engine "which condenses its own steam and
consumes its own smoke, and which pushes steadily forward and drives
all obstacles before it," while Sherman belongs to the high-pressure
class of engines, "which lets off both steam and smoke with a puff
and a cloud, and dashes at its work with resistless vigor." Grant
has Sherman's originality of mind, and, like him, gave expression to
several new and striking thoughts upon the subject of the rebellion and
its suppression, but they were invariably clothed in the full, rounded,
and stately periods of Thomas rather than the sharp, curt, and nervous
language of Sherman. He has planned several campaigns with not less of
originality than that displayed by Sherman, but they have always been
executed with the deliberation and persistence which is so prominent
a characteristic of Thomas. Sherman has given us several splendid
illustrations of strategy and logistics, as witness his marches in
Mississippi, Georgia, and the Carolinas, but his battles will never be
quoted as brilliant examples of grand tactics. Thomas has displayed
abilities chiefly in the tactics of the battle-field, and has given
us at Mill Spring and Nashville two splendid illustrations of the
offensive, and at Chickamauga a magnificent example of defensive
battle; but his marches, which are always slow and labored, are never
likely to become famous. Grant has excelled in both these important
branches of the art of war, and has given us brilliant examples of
each, proving himself a master in each branch of the art of war. He
uses the strategy of Sherman to reach his chosen battle-field, and then
employs the grand tactics of Thomas to win the victory. At the risk of
becoming tedious in endeavoring to impress this idea on the mind of
the reader, I can not here repress the desire to again call attention
to the natural and singular manner in which the three great generals
of the war alternately appear in contrast and comparison as the great
strategist, the great tactician, and the great general of the age.

[Illustration: ROBERT E. LEE.]

After the great success of Grant below Richmond, culminating in the
surrender of Lee, the rebels, though they had persistently ignored
any latent greatness in Grant, were delighted to frequently discover
similarities between the victor and the vanquished, and numerous
were the comparisons which were instituted commendatory of Lee, and
patronizingly of Grant. The two, as men and as generals, should rather
have been placed in contrast; for, save in the silent, observant
thoughtfulness which distinguishes both, they have hardly a trait
in common. It is impossible to compare the most positive man of the
war with the least resolute of the rebellion; the strongest of the
true with the weakest of the false cause; the grandest character
with the most contemptible; a great and successful general on the
offensive with a weak and unsuccessful general on the defensive. As
a general, Grant always assumed the offensive, and was uniformly
successful. The opposite is strictly true of Lee. Lee's first offensive
campaign in Western Virginia against McClellan was a failure; his
first defensive efforts against the same leader a great success.
His second offensive movement against Pope failed, and his third
offensive movement, culminating at Antietam, was a great disaster. His
second and third defensive battles, Fredericksburg against Burnside,
and Chancellorsville against Hooker, were successful. His fourth
offensive campaign signally failed at Gettysburg. His next campaign was
defensive. It was fought in a country naturally strong for defensive
purposes, in opposition to the man to whom he is compared, where he
should be contrasted. Though conducted with energy and stubbornness,
it was finally a great defeat, and annihilated Lee's army as it should
have done, his pretensions to great generalship. Lee saw fit only to
be a soldier and obey, not a leader to direct. He had none of the
attributes of a revolutionist or of greatness; else, when seeing and
declaring that the cause of the rebel leaders was hopeless, he would,
as morally the strongest man in the South, and practically the head of
the rebellion as the head of the army, have declared that no more blood
should be uselessly shed, no more of war's desolation be visited upon
the people. But it does not seem ever to have entered the head of this
man that, perceiving the cause hopeless, and wielding the power which
temporarily sustained that cause, it was his duty to forbid its farther
prosecution at the price of blood. Had Lee possessed the courage,
decision, and positiveness of Grant, he would himself have been peace
commissioner instead of Stephens and his colleagues, and he alone the
contracting power. A truly great and honest soldier in Lee's position,
and with the convictions of the hopelessness of the rebel cause
expressed by him in 1865, would have made peace, even if he had been
compelled to put Jeff. Davis in irons to do so. As a man, compared with
Grant, Lee has none of the characteristics natural to greatness; and
when he joined the rebels for the sake of no great principle involving
honor, but simply, as he declared in a letter to his sister, because he
did not wish to raise his hand against relatives and children, although
he believed them engaged, if not in a bad cause, at least in one for
which there was no just occasion, he sank all individuality, and became
a traitor out of mere indecision of character. If Lee is never hung
as a traitor, he ought to be as a warning to all people who have not
minds and opinions of their own. For this, the weakest act of a weak
existence, there is no counterpart in Grant's life, but a thousand, or
rather, I should say, one constant and unvarying contrast.

The resemblance between Generals Grant and Thomas in personal
appearance and character is more marked than between the former and
Sherman. The comparison between Grant and Sherman must indeed be
confined to their military characteristics. The resemblance is most
noted in the fertility of invention which distinguishes both in a
higher degree than any two men hitherto developed by the war. Neither
ever lacks for resources. Grant, with an inventive faculty truly
wonderful, extricates himself from all difficulties with an originality
not less admirable on account of the boldness with which his designs
are accomplished. The originality of his designs, not less than the
boldness with which he acts, adds to the certainty of success. If
one resource fails he has another at hand. He creates opportunities,
and, though he is no Cadmus, at whose will armed men spring from the
ground, yet he may be said to originate the materials of action, and
to supply by his energy and his spirit, his invention and tactics,
many of the deficiencies existing in his physical force. He is not
easily disheartened, but seems greatest in disaster or when surrounded
by difficulties. He is not easily driven from the prosecution of a
plan. He carefully examines its merits before he decides upon it, and
fully tests its practicability before he abandons it for another. That
to which he is compelled to resort by reason of the failure of one
is not less matured than the first. It may be said with truth that
he has never been forced to abandon any general plan upon which he
had determined, though the campaign against Richmond was modified by
circumstances and facts developed at the Wilderness and Spottsylvania.
The purpose of the campaign overland was the destruction of an
important line of railroad, and the desolation of a rich country,
by and in which the enemy was enabled to exist at the very doors of
Washington, and by thus forcing him to abandon his threatening and
offensive attitude, enable Grant to place the army operating against
Richmond in its only true strategical position south of the James
River. It is now apparent to all that, had the attack of General W.
F. Smith on Petersburg in June, 1864, proved successful--as there was
every reason to suppose it would, and really no good reason why it did
not--the capture of Richmond would have followed immediately. There
exists a notable resemblance between this campaign of Grant's and that
of Sherman against Atlanta. Both were prosecuted against large armies
posted and fortified in a country naturally difficult to penetrate,
and in which the enemy had all the advantages arising from defensible
positions. Both were characterized by brilliant flank movements made
in the very teeth of the enemy. And though Sherman's campaign embraced
none of the desperate and lengthy battles in which Grant engaged, it is
marked by several combats of unusual desperation, generally occurring
on the march and fought for position.

Like Sherman, Grant is a fine mover and feeder of an army. The
marches of each are made with great precision, and their logistical
calculations are marked by great accuracy. If such were not the
case, the dangerous flank movements of the one at the Wilderness and
Spottsylvania Court-house, and of the other across the Allatoona
Mountains and around Atlanta, might have resulted in very grave and
serious disasters. Both generals have a full and genuine appreciation
of the importance of economy of time in the collection, and of
quantity in the distribution of supplies; and in view of the fact that
both have at all times operated at a great distance, and at times
entirely disconnected from their bases of supply, the regulation and
completeness with which their vast armies have been fed is surprising,
and calls forth the fullest admiration for the administrative ability
which each has displayed. The energy which Grant possesses, in a degree
fully equal to that of Sherman, differs materially, however, in
character from that of that erratic warrior. There is nothing nervous
about it, nor can it be said to be inspiring like that of Sherman, but
it is no less effective. Sherman's energy supplies all that may be
lacking in his subordinates, and retrieves their blunders and delays.
Grant's energetic manner of working soon teaches subordinates that
delinquencies are not allowable. The comparison might be extended
farther and to other features, while some minor traits of opposite
characteristics might be mentioned. Both are unselfish and unambitious,
or it would perhaps be a better expression to say both are unselfishly
ambitious, holding their own interests second to those of the country.
Sherman acknowledges Grant to have been the first to appreciate and
encourage him after his consignment to that tomb of military Capulets,
Jefferson Barracks. Grant attributes much of his uniform success to
the skill of his second in command. Neither ever wearies of sounding
the praises or of admiring the qualifications of the other. Among the
points of character in which they differ is temper, that of Grant being
exceedingly good in the sense of moderate and even, while Sherman's is
very bad in the sense of irritability and unevenness. There can be no
doubt that both are good, generous, and unselfish men at heart.

The persistence with which Grant pursues an object or executes a plan,
the tenacity with which he fights, his practicability, reservedness,
and taciturnity, are the strongest points of resemblance between
himself and Thomas. It is difficult to say which excels in these
qualities. Grant's famous dispatch from Spottsylvania, "I propose to
fight it out on this line if it takes all summer," was written with
compressed lips--the reader naturally reads it with clenched teeth--and
fairly and graphically illustrates the perseverance and stubbornness
of the man. It is even more forcible than the memorable dispatch of
Thomas, "We will hold Chattanooga till we starve;" and in better taste
than that of Granger's, "I am in possession of Knoxville, and shall
hold it till hell freezes over." Grant's criticism on the Army of
the Potomac, which is doubtless as just an opinion of that army as
has ever been uttered, illustrates this trait of his character still
more forcibly and elegantly. A short time after he assumed personal
supervision of Meade's army, General Oglesby asked him what he thought
of its _personnel_.

"This is a very fine army," he replied, "and these men, I am told, have
fought with great courage and bravery. I think, however, that the Army
of the Potomac _has never fought its battles through_." It certainly
fought them through at the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, and on the
Appomattox, and fully confirmed Grant's faith in the superior endurance
of the men.

It is also related of Grant that, when young, he was very fond of
playing chess, and played with great skill, but found among his
opponents one who was his superior, and who used to win the first games
of a sitting with ease. But Grant was never content to remain beaten,
and would insist on his opponent playing until he got the better of him
in the end by "tiring him out," and winning at chess as at war by his
superior endurance.

The following story of Grant may be apocryphal. If true, however, it is
a fine commentary on that trait of his character under consideration.
If not true, it shows that the feature is such a prominent one that
anecdotes have been originated to illustrate it. The story runs
that immediately after the battle of Shiloh, General Buell began
criticising, in a friendly way, what he termed the bad policy displayed
by Grant in fighting with the Tennessee River in his rear.

"Where, if beaten, could you have retreated, general?" asked Buell.

"I didn't mean to be beaten," was Grant's reply.

"But suppose you had been defeated, despite all your exertions?"

"Well, there were all the transports to carry the remains of the
command across the river."

"But, general," urged Buell, "your whole number of transports could not
contain over ten thousand men, and you had fifty thousand engaged."

"Well, if I had been beaten," said Grant, "transportation for ten
thousand men would have been abundant for all that would have been left
of us."

It is not to be lightly concluded that the act of Grant in encamping
on the same side of the river and within thirty miles of the enemy
was bad policy. If he had encamped on the east side of the stream the
rebels would have made the river, instead of the railroad at Corinth,
their line of defense, and rendered its navigation very difficult for
gun-boats and impossible for transports. The stream could not have been
made the base of operations as was intended. It is doubtful if we lost
more men in the battle of Shiloh than we should have lost in attempting
to force the passage of the stream. Grant's position was faulty
because it was not fortified. His camp ought to have been intrenched.
In the absence of works, he depended for protection on the flooded
streams which in a measure surrounded his camp, but which failed to
retard the rebel advance.

Grant's disposition to persevere has had a natural effect in creating
in him a firm reliance upon himself. It is very seldom that he
calls councils of war or asks advice in any shape. He fears no
responsibility, and decides for himself. General Howard, himself a
man of very marked characteristics, has noticed and alluded to this
confidence, adding that it amounted almost to the superstitious
fatality in which Napoleon was so firm a believer. This self-reliance
is doubtless, however, merely the full confidence which has resulted
from the habit of independent thought and action of a man of unusually
strong, iron will, determination, and tenacity of purpose. Though
his language often indicates this confidence in himself, it never
degenerates into boasting.

During the battles of the Wilderness an aid brought the lieutenant
general news of a serious disaster to the Second Corps, which was
vigorously attacked by A. P. Hill. "I don't believe it," was the prompt
answer of Grant, inspired by faith in his success. The aid was sent
back for farther reports, and found that the reported disaster had been

Among the most admirable qualities of Grant's mind and character, and
in which he is most like Thomas, is his practicability. Grant, like
Thomas, is not a learned scholar, but has grown wise from worldly
experience. His wisdom is that which results from a combination of
common sense trained to logical reflection with practical observation.
He deals with all questions in a plain, business-like manner, and with
all absence of ostentation or display, and in a systematic style, which
enables him to dispatch a great deal of business in a very short time.
His practicability renders him remorseless in the execution of his
plans. When he has decided it to be necessary, he pushes his massed
columns upon the enemy, and orders the desolation and depopulation of a
country with the same coolness, not to say indifference, with which he
would announce a common event of little importance. His administration
of the affairs of the Army of the Potomac, now universally
acknowledged to have been of the highest ability, fully displayed this
characteristic of practicability.

A fine illustration of his practicability is found in a story related
of him when operating before Fort Donelson. On the night before the
surrender, the preparations of a portion of the rebels to evacuate the
fort led General McClernand to believe they were meditating an attack,
and he communicated his suspicions to Grant, at the same time sending
him a prisoner who had been captured but a short time before. On
reading McClernand's dispatch, Grant ordered the prisoner's haversack
to be searched. It was found that it was filled with rations. "If the
rebels intend to hold the fort, they would not encumber their men with
rations. They are preparing to leave," was the very sage and practical
reasoning of the general; and he immediately ordered McClernand to
assume the offensive. The result was that a commanding ridge near
Dover, south of the fort, was carried, and only a portion of the
garrison escaped; the remainder capitulated.

During the battles of the Wilderness a rebel shell dropped within a few
feet of Grant and Meade, making a furrow in the ground and bursting
some distance beyond. Grant, without a word, drew from his pocket a
small compass with which he calculated the course of the shell. In
five minutes afterward he had a piece or two of artillery posted near
by, and opening upon, soon silenced the rebel battery, whose location
had been betrayed by the course of the projectile. As soon as this had
been done, he asked the elevation of the guns which had done such good
work. On being told, he soon established, by a calculation well known
to every artillerist, the important fact of the exact distance of the
enemy's line from his own.

Another illustration of his practicability is also an instance of his
magnanimity--a feature of his character equally prominent. The terms
of surrender granted to General Lee--the dismissal of the captured
army on parole, was a piece of strategy which was completely veiled by
the apparent magnanimity of the conqueror. It was a splendid stroke
of policy. The tender of such terms placed it at once out of the
power of General Lee to decline them. His army could not have been
kept together an hour after learning that they had been generously
offered and refused. Lee's reputation demanded his acceptance of them.
The rebel troops thus dismissed had to reach their homes by passing
through Joe Johnston's army. The tale of their utter discomfiture and
capture, and the generous treatment accorded them, Grant knew, would
be whispered in the ears of Johnston's men, to the utter demoralization
and disbandment of that army.

At Donelson and Vicksburg Grant's terms had been unconditional
surrender. Such a surrender was important for the moral effect to be
produced at the North. The surrender of Lee was demanded, and the most
generous of terms granted, in order to produce the desired moral effect
at the South. To my mind, this action illustrates the greatness of
Grant more forcibly than any one other act of his life.

General Grant fully appreciates, as does Thomas, the philosophy of
silence. His staff have learned to imitate his taciturnity; and
there is, consequently, an air of industry and business about his
head-quarters which no one who visits them can fail to observe. He
has, throughout his career, published no foolish proclamations and
made no visionary promises. His victories have been followed by
no high-sounding addresses to his armies; but he has confined his
compliments to a plain recital of the deeds of his men and the results
of their achievements. He has, moreover, gone through the war without
having made a single speech. At Lexington, Kentucky, in January,
1864, Grant met with a spontaneous reception from the citizens on his
arrival from East Tennessee. At the request of the populace he made his
appearance in front of his hotel, and, on being told that on account
of his short stature he could not be seen by those on the outskirts of
the crowd, he good-naturedly mounted a chair and bowed two or three
times to the people. A speech was called for, but he contented himself
with requesting Leslie Coombs, who was present, to state to the people
that he "had never made a speech in his life, knew nothing about the
business, and had no disposition to learn."

I have elsewhere, in endeavoring to show how Grant is a combination
of the strategist, Sherman, and the tactician, Thomas, used the
expression that he employed the strategy of one to reach his chosen
battle-field, and the tactics of the other to win the victory. Grant's
own definition of strategy will perhaps make this idea plainer. Shortly
after the battles of Chattanooga, he was sitting in his head-quarters
at Nashville, with his feet comfortably stretched before the fire,
while he enjoyed himself with purring and chewing his cigar with that
completeness of repose which strangers to his habits have called a
dullness of facial expression. Quarter-master General Meigs sat near
him, while General W. F. Smith, who had but a short time before made
himself quite a reputation with Grant by the skillful operations in
Lookout Valley in October, 1863, paced the floor apparently absorbed in
thought. Meigs, noticing this, broke the silence, which had lasted for
several minutes, by asking,

"What are you thinking about, 'Baldy?'"

On receiving no reply from the absorbed officer, he turned to Grant and
remarked, with a laugh,

"'Baldy' is studying strategy."

Grant removed his cigar from his lips and said, with a serious air, "I
don't believe in strategy in the popular understanding of the term.
I use it to get up just as close to the enemy as practicable with as
little loss as possible."

"And what then?" asked Meigs.

"Then? 'Up, guards, and at 'em!'" replied the general, with more than
usual spirit; then again lapsing into his accustomed taciturnity.

Grant has "crept" upon the enemy in this war on several occasions to
some purpose, and with an effect which proves that his strategy is
of a superior order. His strategic march to the rear of Vicksburg is
already accepted as an illustration of the art of war, and not many
years will elapse before it will be quoted as such in the military
academies of the country. The combinations against Richmond are full
of fine strategic marches and manœuvres. The flank movement around
Spottsylvania Court-house, and the march upon Petersburg, accomplished
in the face of the enemy, are not less brilliant than that of
Vicksburg; while the defeat, pursuit, and capture of Lee are by far
the most brilliant operations known to the history of modern warfare.
General Grant's marches closely resemble in their general outlines
those of Sherman. They are executed with all the energy and certainly
as much of the skill as those of Sherman, but on a larger scale, with
larger forces, and in the face of greater natural obstacles. In none
of Sherman's operations has he made the passage of such streams as the
Mississippi or James Rivers. The mountains of Georgia furnish no more
difficult passes than those of Virginia. The marches of Sherman in
Georgia and South Carolina are wonderful and brilliant, but they were
made in the face of an enemy totally inadequate to cope with him. Those
of Grant in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia, are not the less
wonderful because made in the face of a strong, watchful enemy, who,
in Virginia at least, had an admirably mobilized army, and because
accompanied by weeks of hard contested encounters.

The numerous battles of Grant are the most important and the most
successful of the war. From his first victory at Fort Donelson,
through Shiloh, Corinth, and Iuka, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga, to the
battles before Richmond, and the surrender of Lee, he has been almost
uniformly successful, and his victories have been more complete,
and productive of more substantial fruits than those of any other
commander. As his strategy is that of Sherman on a larger scale, so
his grand tactics are those of Thomas on more extensive fields. The
movements and the manœuvres of the two men are the same. The movements
are always deliberate and heavy; the manœuvres are always executed
by massed columns formed in deep lines. Grant, like Thomas, appears
to decide in his own mind the key-point of the enemy's position, and
to direct his assaults to the ultimate possession of that point. He
devotes every energy, and, when it is necessary, every life, to the
attainment of this success, knowing that this ends the conflict. When
it is gained, as at Chattanooga and during the engagements of April 2d
before Petersburg, the battle is won. If he fails to reach this key of
the field, as in the first assault at Vicksburg and at the Wilderness,
he is beaten. If he wins the point and the victory, he immediately
pursues the retreating foe, as at Chattanooga and Petersburg. But if he
fails, he does not abandon the field. His mind is too rich in resources
for retreat. Ceasing to be Thomas, he becomes Sherman again, and has
recourse to strategy, whereby he forces the enemy to a field where
his grand tactics will stand a better chance of success. A critical
examination of Grant's campaigns will reveal these features fully
developed. He fully comprehends the specialty of Sherman, strategy, as
well as that of Thomas, grand tactics, and is master of both. He has
displayed in his campaigns, all of which have been of mixed operations,
all the persistence and pertinacity of Thomas combined with the
originality of design and resources of mind of Sherman. But in none of
his campaigns have these peculiarities been better or more brilliantly
illustrated than in the campaign and battles of Chattanooga, and the
not less wonderful campaign around Richmond. The first is an example of
his tactics, the latter of his strategy.

The operations of Hooker and W.F. Smith in Lookout Valley, which were
a part of the Chattanooga campaign, and which resulted in raising the
siege of that strong-hold by opening river communication with the base
of supplies, was not less original in conception or bold and brilliant
in execution than the famous march around Vicksburg. Bragg was
compelled to abandon all hope of starving out the garrison or capturing
Chattanooga, and he determined to attempt the seizure of Knoxville
with a portion of his army under Longstreet while he kept up a show of
besieging Chattanooga with the remainder. It was this movement which
gave Grant the opportunity for the display of his tactical abilities.
Burnside, in advising Grant of Longstreet's approach to attack him,
reported that he (Burnside) held a line on the Tennessee River,
from London to Kingston, possessing unusual natural advantages, and
expressed the opinion that he could easily defeat Longstreet in any
attempt he might make to cross the stream. Grant immediately ordered
Burnside to make no defense of the line which he held, but to fall
back to Knoxville and stand a siege, promising to relieve him in a few
days. The result of this was that Longstreet was deluded into crossing
the Tennessee, and thus placed himself far beyond supporting distance
of Bragg. Grant's strategy had thus far resulted in dividing the rebel
army into two. He immediately went to work to defeat the parts in

Bragg, learning of the approach of Sherman to Grant's aid, attempted,
on November 23, 1863, to evacuate his strong position before
Chattanooga, and retire for safety beyond the mountains. Grant,
unwilling to let him off so cheaply, made a movement to detain him,
and by commencing his proposed operations a day sooner than originally
intended, he forced the rebel leader to remain in his rifle-pits and
accept battle. Grant in nowise changed his plan as determined upon
six days before the operations began, except that he commenced them
eighteen hours sooner than intended. On the afternoon of November 23d
he did that which he had previously intended to do on the morning of
the 24th. It was the movement of Granger's _corps_ into a position from
whence, at the proper time, it was to assault the rebel centre. In this
position the _corps_ was compelled to lie idle, and in waiting for the
auspicious moment, for eighteen hours longer than it was originally
intended it should. This assault, which was made on the 25th, and was
the closing scene of the battles, has been erroneously called one of
those "blind, uncertain strikings which won the Alma and Magenta,"
when in reality Grant had determined upon it six days before it was
executed, and spent two entire days in watching from the very front of
the line for the moment at which to attempt it. The entire three days'
engagement is remarkable for the consistency with which the plan was
followed out. General Halleck pronounced the battle to be the "most
remarkable in history," and Meigs called it the "best directed battle
of the war." Never have operations in war better illustrated the vast
advantages of the offensive.

The several battles of Chattanooga were fought on purely offensive
principles, and I have often thought since that the secret of Grant's
success may be discovered in the fact that he has always taken the
offensive. I have heard men call him "the lucky Grant," and the
newspapers speak of his good fortune; but it is not luck--it is not
good fortune. It is "_Le genie de la guerre_." He does not depend upon
circumstances or good fortune, but controls both. One such illustration
from Grant, as witnessed at Chattanooga, shows more forcibly and
graphically the vast advantages of offensive warfare than can all the
maxims of Napoleon or Jomini. From the moment that Bragg at Chattanooga
was compelled to abandon his attempts at an orderly retreat and
evacuation of his position, his movements were forced upon him, and
his army was really controlled and commanded by Grant. Every movement
made by the enemy may be said to have been ordered by Grant. Bragg,
in command of the rebel army, was merely his mouth-piece. The plan of
the battle contemplated the breaking of the enemy's centre; but this
was so strongly posted on a mountain ridge almost inaccessible, that,
in order to render success possible, it was necessary to force him
to weaken his forces holding the centre. This was accomplished after
two days' labor by the attacks upon either flank of the rebel line by
Hooker and Sherman, and was no sooner made than perceived by Grant,
who instantly ordered the assault of the centre, which resulted in the
victory, and the capture of several thousand prisoners and sixty pieces
of artillery. To complete the success of the operations, Burnside about
the same time defeated Longstreet at Knoxville (Fort Saunders), and
Sherman approaching to the relief of the besieged, the rebels abandoned
the siege and retreated to Virginia, rejoining Lee soon after at

In conception, execution, and result, the closing operations of the
war--the campaign to the rear of Richmond--must be considered as by far
the most remarkable and brilliant movements of the rebellion. There is
every evidence necessary to show that the campaign, as deliberately
planned, was energetically carried out. The battles of April 1st and
2d, south of Petersburg, were absolutely necessary to the solution of
the strategic problem. The object was to gain a position on the right
flank of Lee, in order to force him not only to evacuate Petersburg,
but to compel him to evacuate it in such a way that he would have to
retreat by roads on the north side of the Appomattox River. By the
success of this battle Lee was thus forced north of the river, and
Grant gained a route to Burkesville Junction--the only point to which
Lee could retreat--which was parallel with that of the rebels, and
which, while separated from them a great part of the distance by a
river, was also much shorter and without any natural obstructions such
as lay in Lee's way. Lee had to retreat by the longer route, which
was practically made still longer by the necessity of recrossing the
Appomattox River. The consequence was that Grant reached Burkesville
Junction by the time Lee reached Amelia Court-house, and not only
interposed himself as an impassable barrier to the junction of Johnston
and Lee, but also continually presented a force between Lee and
Lynchburg. By keeping this force thus "heading Lee off," while at the
same time he continually attacked him in flank and rear, Grant forced
him, on the seventh day of the pursuit, to surrender his whole force.
From the moment of occupying Burkesville, Grant held Lee in a position
from which, if defeated in battle, he had no line of retreat. He was
forced to make a stand in a position in which, had he given battle,
he would have been forced to an unconditional surrender or equally
disastrous dispersion.

An idea of the character of General Grant must, of course, be
formed from the developments of the war. His life at West Point,
and his subsequent career in Mexico and in civil life, displayed no
particularly prominent trait of character other than an adaptation
to the practical in life. At West Point he is remembered as a quiet,
studious, and taciturn youth, only remarkable for the decision which
has since been so prominent a characteristic of the man. He was neither
a book-worm nor an idler, and graduated neither first nor last, but in
that medium rank in his class which has given to the country several
of its most thoroughly practical and successful men. In Mexico he was
distinguished only for the bravery which he displayed at Chapultepec.

In his manners, dress, and style of living, Grant displays more
republican simplicity than any other general officer of the army. In
manner he is very unassuming and approachable, and his conversation is
noticeable from its unpretending, plain, and straightforward style.
There is nothing declamatory nor pedantic in his tone or language. His
rhetoric is more remarkable for the compact structure than the elegance
and the finish of his sentences. He talks practically, and writes as
he talks; and his language, written and oral, is distinguished by
strong common sense. He seldom indulges in figurative language; but
when he does, his comparisons betray his habits of close observation.
He dresses in a careless but by no means slovenly manner. Though his
uniform conforms to army regulations in cut and trimmings, it is often,
like that of Sherman, worn threadbare. He never wears any article which
attracts attention by its oddity, except, indeed, the three stars which
indicate his rank. His wardrobe, when campaigning, is generally very
scant, while his head-quarter train is often the smallest in the army.
For several months of the war he lived in a log hut of unpretending
dimensions on the James River, sleeping on a common camp-cot, and
eating at a table common to all his staff, plainly furnished with good
roast beef, pork and beans, "hard-tack," and coffee. It is related of
the general that when the march to the rear of Vicksburg began, he
announced to his army the necessity of "moving light"--_i.e._, without
extra baggage. He set an example by sending to the rear all his baggage
except a green brier-root pipe, a tooth-brush, and a horn pocket-comb.
The story of his appearance in the Senate Chamber in February, 1865,
is still fresh in the minds of the public. He had no sooner left the
hall, after paying his respects to the senators, than one of the
Democratic members rose and asked the consideration of the Senate
upon what he termed the evident and gross mistake which had been made
in appointing Grant a lieutenant general, and declared it to be his
opinion that "there was not a second lieutenant of the Home Guard of
his state who did not 'cut a bigger swell' than this man who had just
left their presence!"

The general is not lacking in self-esteem. He very naturally desires
to be popular, likes to be well spoken of, but succeeds better than
Sherman in concealing what vanity he possesses. He often excites
admiration by the modesty of actions which in others would be
considered exceedingly immodest; as, witness the quiet manner in which
he accepted a present of a hundred thousand dollars from the citizens
of New York.

Those who are disposed, like himself, to be fatalists, may imagine
in the significance of Grant's surname, and the manner in which he
obtained his baptismal name, encouraging omens of his success and
that of the cause in which he is engaged. The surname Grant (derived
from the French word _grande_, great, or valorous) is that of a
Scottish clan, whose motto, as given in Burke's "Encyclopædia of
Heraldry," appears to have been adopted by General Grant. It is as
follows: "_Stand fast, stand firm, stand sure_." The slogan of the
clan was "Stand fast, Craigellachie." I believe there is no doubt that
General Grant is of Scotch descent, and from the Grants and Duffs of
Aberdeenshire. One of his aids, and a distant relation, Colonel Duff,
was born at Duff House, "in the shadow," of which Mr. James Gordon
Bennett, who was the first to appreciate and proclaim Grant's ability,
records that he also was born. The general's proper Christian name
received at baptism was Hiram Ulysses; but on entering West Point he
received, by the mistake of the person who nominated him, the name
of Ulysses Simpson, which, abbreviated, gives the same initials as
those used to indicate the government of which he is the servant.
"United States Grant" is an appellation much more common than Ulysses
S. Grant; while the patriotic friends of the general have given this
title several facetious variations, such as "Uncle Sam," "Unconditional
Surrender," and "United we Stand Grant."

The confidence of the fatalist is not necessary to courage. There
is a courage superior to the mere indifference to danger, and this
quality Grant possesses to the fullest degree. Sherman calls him one
of the bravest men he ever saw. His coolness and his clear-headedness
under danger and amid excitement is remarkable, and is superior to
that of Thomas, who, next to Grant, is the coolest and most clearly
administrative man under fire now in the army. During the battles
of Chattanooga Grant and Thomas established their head-quarters on
"Orchard Knoll," immediately in the rear of the centre of the field,
and from which they could have a full and close view of the column
which was to make the assault on the rebel centre. From the moment the
signal for the attack was sounded, the scene was of the most exciting
character; but during that important half hour in which the victory
trembled in the balance, Grant and Thomas remained passive, cool, and
observant. They were standing together when the assaulting column had
reached half way to the summit of Missionary Ridge, when a portion of
it was momentarily brought to a halt, and when the stream of wounded
retiring down the hill made the line look ragged and weak. At this
moment Thomas turned to Grant and said, with a slight hesitation, which
betrayed the emotions which raged within him,

"General, I--I'm afraid they won't get up."

Grant, continuing to look steadily at the column, hesitated half a
minute before answering; then taking the cigar he was smoking between
his fingers, he said, as he brushed away the ashes,

"Oh, give 'em time, general," and then as coolly returned his cigar to
his mouth.

Fifteen minutes later I met him on the summit of the hill, riding along
with head uncovered, receiving the plaudits of the men who had won,
but who had not yet secured the victory. The rebel centre had been
broken, but the right wing, which had just repulsed Sherman, was yet
intact, and, turning about face, attacked the troops which had carried
the centre of their line. Our line was much broken, and the troops
excited to such a degree at the victory they had gained that they had
become almost uncontrollable, and on the appearance of General Grant,
who, following in the wake of the advancing columns, had appeared in
their midst on the summit as the white-plumed helmet of Henry IV. had
appeared at Ivry, the men gathered around him shouting and hurraing,
grasping his hand and embracing his legs. But, while coolly receiving
these demonstrations of affection and delight, Grant was not blind
to the danger, and was using the necessary efforts to get his troops
in readiness for the expected attack, which, but for his precaution,
I am satisfied would have badly damaged us. He conveyed his fears
intuitively, as it were, to his staff, and each one exerted himself
to get General Turchin's brigade into position as ordered by Grant.
Mingling in the very thickest of what now became the hottest fire of
the day, they urged forward the troops, and personally gave directions
for their disposal. Turchin, finding some men moving a piece of
artillery to the rear in his way, raved and swore in broken English
until he had got his men up to the works, and Lieutenant Turner as
heartily cursed the fellows who were retiring the gun, and while doing
so got seriously wounded. General Meigs, quarter-master general, busied
himself in preparing friction primers for the captured guns which
General Grant was ordering into position, but got so excited over the
great victory gained that he gave the task up in despair to Captain
Ross, of General Grant's staff. General Turchin pushed forward his
troops, and no sooner had they appeared in line of battle in the fort,
than suddenly the battle ceased and was over. As if with one accord,
the rebels ceased to struggle. They broke in utter and total confusion,
and rushed down the hill. Volley after volley followed them as they
fled, but they did not halt. On they rushed, struggling and striving,
reckless of all now save safety.

During the siege of Vicksburg Grant personally superintended the
mounting of a number of Columbiads on a part of his line. While the men
were cutting the embrasures in the works he stood upon the epaulement,
and, though the rebels made a mark of him for their bullets, very
composedly whittled a rail until the guns were placed to suit him.

Whittling and smoking are among Grant's favorite occupations. He is
a true Yankee in these respects. It is recorded of him that, during
the battles of the Wilderness, he was engaged in whittling the bark
of a tree under which his head-quarters were established; and on all
occasions, great and small, he smokes. He is a more inveterate smoker
than either Sherman or Rosecrans, but he smokes in a different style
and for a different effect. Both Sherman and Rosecrans take to tobacco
as a stimulant to their nervous organizations. Grant smokes with the
listless, absorbed, and satisfied air of an opium-smoker, his mind and
body being soothed into repose rather than excited by the effect of
the weed. Neither Sherman nor Rosecrans are neat smokers, the velvet
breast-facing of their coats and their shirt-bosoms being generally
soiled. Grant, on the contrary, is very neat, and smokes only the best
of cigars. He smokes almost without cessation, and is never at ease
when employed at any thing which forbids smoking as an accompaniment.
During the famous interview with Pemberton before Vicksburg he smoked
with his usual composure. "We pardon General Grant for smoking a cigar
as he entered the smouldering ruins of the town of Vicksburg," said a
rebel paper after the surrender. "A little stage effect," it added,
"is admirable in great captains." But Grant never smokes dramatically.
His cigar is a necessary part of himself, and is neither assumed nor
abandoned for state occasions. He has been known to forgetfully smoke
at reviews, and has frequently been brought to a halt and notified by
sentinels or guards over commissary stores, "No smoking allowed here,
sir." On entering the Senate Chamber to be presented to the Senate, he
had to be requested to leave his cigar outside.

Sherman's erratic disposition caused him to be suspected of lunacy.
Grant's imperturbation and his dullness of expression, added to
exaggerated tales of his excessive use of strong tobacco as an opiate,
was the origin of the story which prevailed at one time to the effect
that he drank to excess. In early life he may have indulged in
occasional sprees, but he does not drink now at all. Swearing is not a
habit with him, and his phlegmatic temperament is seldom so ruffled as
to cause him to indulge in an oath. He seldom jokes, and rarely laughs.
His great "weakness" is Alexandrian, and consists in his love for fine
horses. When quite a boy he was remarkable for tact in managing horses,
"breaking" them with astonishing ease. When he was only fifteen years
old persons came to him from a great distance to have him teach their
horses to pace. This is not a great and exclusive quality of the man,
however, as it is well known that thousands of negroes on Southern
plantations were noted for the same knack or tact. It was doubtless the
result of the innate love of the boy for horses, a love now as strong
in the man and the general. He is said to be the best rider in the army.

Grant's undemonstrative manner has nothing of the repulsive about it.
He has won and retained many warm friends. The friendship between him
and Sherman has become historical, and is often quoted as in agreeable
contrast to the numerous bitter and disgraceful jealousies which have
too often been made public, but which exist in the army to an extent
not suspected by those who have no intimate acquaintance with its
secret history. There is much of romance in the story of Grant and
Sherman's friendship. It began in 1862, and has ever since continued
to grow in strength. When the armies of Halleck were lying--literally
so, indeed--before Corinth, Grant was, to all appearance, shelved
in disgrace. He was second in command, but to be second in command
then was to be the "fifth wheel to the coach." Grant was much
chagrined at his position, and felt in ten-fold degree each petty
indignity which Halleck heaped upon him. One day General Sherman,
who commanded one of the divisions of the wing under the command of
General George H. Thomas, went to General Grant's quarters, bolted
with his usual abruptness into his tent--they didn't stand on ceremony
in the field--and found the general actually weeping with vexation.
Sherman asked the cause, and, for the first time, Grant recounted the
indignities which he had endured, the troubles he had encountered, and
the false position in which he had been placed before the country.

"The truth is, Sherman," he said, "I am not wanted. The country has no
use for me, and I am about to resign and go home."

"No you are not," returned Sherman, impatiently; "you are going to do
nothing of the sort. The country does need you, and you must stay here,
bear these petty insults, and do your duty."

He gave Grant no time for argument, compelled him, in a measure, to
stay, cheered him up and kept him in the field until the appointment of
Halleck, as commander-in-chief, left the command in the West vacant,
and Grant again came into power.

Years afterward, at the close of the war, Sherman, returning from
his march through the Carolinas, having just received the surrender
of Joe Johnston, found himself placed in a false light before the
country by this same man Halleck. When he reached Washington City he
was boiling over with rage at the indignity which Halleck had placed
upon him by telegraphing that he had directed his troops to move
without reference to Sherman's truce or orders, and his naturally bad
temper became threateningly violent and uncontrollable. He denounced
Halleck in unmeasured terms, and, had the latter been in Washington, a
personal collision might have occurred. But, before the two could meet,
Grant saw Sherman, and the scene enacted in the tent before Corinth
three years before was re-enacted, save that the parts were changed.
Grant appeared as the peacemaker, and as positively, though in a very
different manner, advised Sherman to ignore Halleck and frown him down.
Sherman was wise enough to take the advice, and the "great marplot"
will make his chief appearance in history as one whom these men could
afford to ignore.

Grant has always been generous to his subordinates. His careful
consideration of the interests of his staff and general officers is
proverbial, while his generous treatment of inefficient officers, whom
he has been compelled to relieve, is well known. In the first action in
which he commanded, the battle of Belmont, his troops at first gained
an advantage over the rebels. They began to plunder the rebel camp in
spite of all that the general could do to stop them. At last Grant, who
knew that Confederate re-enforcements were coming up, got some of his
friends to set fire to the camp, so as to stop the plundering. Then
he got his troops together as well as he could, and retreated; but,
in the mean time, the Confederate re-enforcements came up, attacked,
and defeated him. There were five colonels under Grant who had not
by any means supported him efficiently in his attempts to stop the
plundering and collect his troops. Grant expected to be deprived of
his command on account of the defeat, and one of the colonels, fearful
of the same fate, called to see him about the prospect. He gave him no
satisfaction, but, on the colonel's departure, turned to a friend and
said, "Colonel ---- is afraid I will report his bad conduct."

"Why do you not?" asked his friend; "he and others are to blame for not
carrying out your orders."

"Why," said the generous Grant, "these officers had never been under
fire before; they did not know how serious an affair it was; they have
had a lesson which they will not forget. I will answer for it they
will never make the same mistake again. I can see by the way they
behaved in the subsequent action that they are of the right stuff, and
it is better that I should lose my command, if that must be, than the
country should lose the services of five such officers when good men
are scarce." Grant did not lose his command, and three out of the five
officers afterward greatly distinguished themselves.

The impression prevails to some extent among persons unacquainted with
Grant in the field, the only place where he shows to great advantage,
that he owes all his success to Sherman, Thomas, Sheridan, and his
other chief subordinates. The fact is, the indebtedness is on the part
of the subordinates. Grant owes his reputation to them just as every
schoolmaster owes his to the ability displayed by his scholars; but
the indebtedness of the pupil to the tutor who educates his mind and
directs his talent is not by any means repaid by this reflected credit.
Sherman was a complete failure; he was looked upon, indeed, as a
lunatic, until Grant saw what he was capable of, and directed his great
abilities into the proper channel. Sheridan met with an uninterrupted
series of defeats until Grant singled him out for his cavalry
commander, and then the "belligerent cadet" met with an uninterrupted
series of victories. Wilson stands similarly indebted; and Meade's
greatest successes were obtained under Grant's direction.

It is not only with such men as Sherman, Sheridan, Logan, Howard, and
others, with whom he bears the most intimate relations, but with his
whole army, that Grant is a well-beloved leader. He has gained the
universal admiration of his men by no clap-trap display or familiarity
at the expense of discipline, but by a constant and watchful care for
their interest. It is a boast in the Army of the Tennessee, which Grant
commanded in person for nearly three years, that the men never wanted
for food; Grant's commissary stores were always well filled. He was
always careful to protect his men from the imposition of sutlers and
army speculators, generally by fixing the prices of all articles sold
in his department; and he cut red tape for the benefit of the private
soldier with a remorseless hand.

When sitting for their photographs Grant and Sherman have dispensed
with their cigars, and the consequence is an imperfect picture.
None of the many artists who have painted them in oil have had the
independence to supply the deficiency of the photographs, and add the
cigar, which is a necessary accompaniment of the men, and which must be
an important feature of every pen-picture which will be made of them.
The addition of the cigar would doubtless detract from the dignity of
the picture, but it should be remembered that artists paint as well
for posterity as for the present generation. History will preserve in
its picture of Grant his peculiarities, and, among others, the fact
that he was an inveterate smoker. Why should not the artists preserve
such a peculiarity as this, as well as the outlines of his figure and
expression of his face? Is it any more important for posterity to know
that his eyes were blue than that he smoked incessantly?

Grant is not so tall as Sherman nor so heavy as Thomas. His short
stature would have made it difficult for him to enlist in the British
army. He is but an inch above the minimum standard of officers of our
army, but, being straight and somewhat spare, he has the appearance
of being above medium height. Sheridan and Logan are the only major
generals in our army who are shorter in figure than Grant. His
forehead is high and square. His hair was originally a dark brown,
but at forty-three, his present age, it is fast becoming sprinkled
with iron-gray. His eyes are sharp and expressive, though small,
peering out from under his overarching brow with great brilliancy. His
nose is aquiline. His mouth is small, and he has a habit of closely
compressing his lips. His chin and cheeks are covered with a heavy
beard, which he never shaves, but keeps closely cropped or trimmed.

Though the war in which he has won his reputation is now ended,
the future has still much to do in establishing the position which
Grant has to hold in history. Today he enjoys the confidence of his
countrymen to a degree unknown to military leaders during the war. If
ultimately successful in the end--if he directs his course through
the mazes of the political campaign which has followed hard upon the
close of the war as well as he has his military career, posterity
will delight, and will find little difficulty, in tracing out a
comparison between his character and that of the country's first great
leader. This it is hardly proper for the present age to do; and such
a comparison, if made in detail, would doubtless shock the modesty of
General Grant more than it would the nation's sense of propriety; but
if consistent in character and success to the end, the historian of the
future will not be content to draw simply the comparison which I have
imperfectly outlined, but will liken him to one who in every respect
was greater than the Sherman or Thomas to whom, combined as in one man,
I have compared him. But, whether successful to the end or not, if he
remains, as at present, aloof from politics and far above partisanism,
General Grant, like Washington, will live forever in the memories of
his countrymen as a good and honest man.



Very few wars of as short duration as was that of the late Southern
rebellion produced as many as three great and original military leaders
of the calibre of Sherman, Thomas, and Grant. The ancients could boast
of but one Alexander, one Cæsar, one Hannibal to an era; modern times
of but one Frederick, one Suwarrow, one Napoleon to an age. It took
half a century of constant and almost universal revolution to produce
Napoleon and his prodigies. Only this country, of all the universe,
can to-day boast of possessing a general universally conceded to be a
great military genius, and it has more than one. The rebellion, which
at its outset boasted of commanding nearly all the military talent of
the country, produced in the end only one really great soldier--Joseph
E. Johnston; all the rest were mediocre--hardly respectable, indeed,
if Stonewall Jackson, who was a fair, though unequal counterpart to
Sherman, be excepted. The loyal cause, which was thought to be weak
in its leadership, produced in the end all the really able statesmen
of the revolution, and, with the two exceptions noted, all the great
military leaders. These latter are not confined to the three whom I
have already sketched. Many of Grant's subordinates developed a genius
for war of no ordinary quality, and won on hard-fought fields fame
and reward as successful leaders. No general was ever seconded by
such numbers of able lieutenants, not even Napoleon; and nearly all
of Grant's chief subordinates won splendid reputations for skill,
energy, and daring, the three attributes of greatness accompanying and
necessary to success. When one looks at the developments of the war in
this respect, he may well accept without question Grant's declaration,
lately made in his usual modest style, that the country could readily
have found another than himself to bring about the end of the war


Philip Henry Sheridan, who is one of the most noted and noteworthy
of these subordinates of Grant, must always be looked upon as one of
the miracles of war, not so much from the result as the manner of his
achievements. If he were neither a great strategist, like Sherman, nor
a great tactician, like Thomas, nor both, like Grant, he would still
be a successful leader. I have endeavored to show in the preceding
chapters that the lieutenant general is, as a military leader, complete
in himself, possessing all the attributes of generalship; while
Sherman, embodying nervous intellectual force, and Thomas, representing
physical power, are constituted by nature, as well as by the choice of
Grant, to be his chief subordinate commanders. Sheridan, in character,
is like neither of the others, but is an original genius, and a leader
not unworthy to rank with Sherman and Thomas, or to hold position as
the third subordinate commander of General Grant. He may be said to be
an Inspiration rather than a General, accomplishing his work as much,
not to say more, by the inspiriting force of his courage and example
as by the rules of war. He supplies to the army the passion and fire
which is smothered in Grant and Thomas, and imperfectly developed in
Sherman. He renders an army invincible more by the impartation to it
of his own courage and fire than by any system of organization, and
appears to accomplish by this imparted enthusiasm all that results
under the leadership of the others from discipline. When the future
historian sums up Sheridan's character, with all the facts yet hidden,
as they must be for some years to come, laid profusely before him, he
will hardly rank Sheridan with those who have carefully and wisely
planned. He belongs rather to that class of our officers who have, by
skillful and bold execution, won the distinctive classification of
"fighting generals." He can not be said to have developed any strategic
genius, and his tactics have been of a strange and rather eccentric
character, but it can not be denied that, in every battle in which he
has been prominently engaged, he has given brilliant examples of his
courage, vigor, and skill as a quick, dashing, and stubborn fighter. He
is pre-eminently a "fighting general." He claims to be nothing else,
and can afford to rest his claim on his deeds during the rebellion.
His entire career in private and public has shown him to be impetuous,
passionate, bold, and stubborn. He was born a belligerent. His natural
element is amid the smoke, his natural position in the front line of
battle. He fights vigorously and roughly, and when the tide of battle
flows and ebbs most doubtingly he holds on most grimly. In private
life his great energy is a little curt, and his fiery temper a little
too quick, but his abruptness and belligerency are too honest and
natural to excite condemnation; while his manner, when not excited or
opposed, is distinguished by great courtesy, modesty, and pleasantry.
In battle the wildest and most impetuous of warriors, in peace he is
the "mildest mannered man" that ever scuttled canal-boats on the James
or crossed sabres with a rebel. He is as impetuous as Sherman and as
persistent as Thomas. He is cool and collected in the minor matters
over which Sherman grows nervous, and fiery and bold in great dangers
in which Sherman grows coolest and calmest. Sherman's energy is that
of the brain, inspired; Sheridan's that of the blood, inflamed. In
history Sheridan will stand forth as a type--a representative leader,
even more boldly, if not more prominently, than Sherman, or Thomas,
or even Grant. His was a specialty--he was great in a peculiar line
of duty, history and romance will unite to make him the type of the
"modern cavalier," and he will enjoy, in some degree, the semi-mythical
existence which all representative men hold in history.

Sheridan is descended from the same class of the north of Ireland
emigrants which produced Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson, save that
the parents of the latter were Protestants, while those of Sheridan
were Catholics. Having settled, on their arrival in this country, in a
more populous, thriving, educated, and free district, Ohio, they were
enabled to offer their son better educational advantages than were the
parents of Jackson and Johnson, who had settled in the less civilized
district of North Carolina, and hence young Sheridan became possessed
of a good common-school education in his native place, Perry County,
Ohio, where he was born in 1831. Any number of statements have been
made as to Sheridan's birthplace. Some writers have declared it to be
Boston, while still others have said it was Somerset, Ohio. He was
born, according to his own statement, near the town of Somerset, in
Perry County, Ohio, on the 6th of September in the year named. The
necessities of his family early forced him to manual labor, while
his own inclination led him to study. He was a quick though somewhat
careless student, while his great animal spirits made him early a
rather wild and belligerent youth, fond of a boyish frolic and a trick,
always lively and always generous, sometimes thoughtless in wounding
the feelings of others, but quick to generously heal when in fault.
When quite young, Sheridan was variously employed in his native county
in doing odd "chores," among others that of driving a water-cart
about the streets of Somerset, Ohio, and in sprinkling the dusty
thoroughfares of that old-fashioned town. When about twelve years of
age he entered the employment of a Mr. John Talbot, in Somerset, Ohio.
Talbot was an old gentleman who kept a country store in which was sold
every thing useful and ornamental, embracing dry goods and groceries,
confectionery and hardware, from rat-traps to plows, and from woolen
socks to ready-made overcoats, and Sheridan found himself in a
position to learn a little of every thing--every thing, at least, in
the country grocery line. Mr. Talbot was a man who delighted in being
thought, if not by others, at least by himself, a patron of youth, and
he patronized young Sheridan, and was, as he afterward declared, "a
friend to him when a friend was every thing." When Sheridan grew older
and famous, Talbot still continued to patronize him, and once said,
alluding to his former protégé, that, on taking him into his service,
he "perceived that he was smart and active, and took some pains to
instruct him not only in selling goods, etc., for that," he adds, with
great candor, "was our duty and interest," but when a leisure moment
offered he taught him to improve his "slight knowledge of writing,
arithmetic, pronunciation," etc. Young Sheridan did not remain long
with Mr. Talbot, but gave up his service for that of a gentleman named
Henry Dittoe, in the same trade and in the same town as that of Mr.
Talbot. While still here he attracted the attention of the Hon. Thomas
Ritchey, then member of Congress from the Congressional district in
which Perry County was located, and, owing to the influence of an
elder brother and the favorable impression he made upon Mr. Ritchey,
Sheridan obtained, very unexpectedly to him, the appointment of cadet
to the West Point Military Academy. This was immediately after the
close of the Mexican War, when it was a very difficult matter to obtain
appointments for others than the sons and orphans of officers who had
fallen in the war.

He therefore got into West Point pretty much as Mr. Lincoln used to
say General Rosecrans won battles, "by the skin of his teeth." The
fact is, he got out of the Academy with the honors of graduation in
pretty much the same way. The characteristics which had distinguished
him as a boy in his native town soon made him noted at West Point
as the "best-natured and most belligerent cadet" in the Academy. In
fact, his belligerent disposition retarded his advancement in youth
and as a cadet as much as it has since advanced him. He fought so
much at West Point, was so unruly, and "so full of deviltry," that,
despite his fine scholarly attainments, the future great cavalryman
graduated so low down in his class that he could only be commissioned
in the lowest arm of the service instead of the highest, in which he
has since so distinguished himself. As it was, he was a year longer in
his course than nine tenths of his classmates. He entered in 1848, and
should have graduated in 1852, but went over until the next year. I
have been told that, at this late day, he required only "five points"
more to his number of "black marks" to exclude him from the honors of
graduation; and if he had not, toward the close of the session, by
skillful management and unusual control over his quick temper, won the
good opinion of one or two of his tutors, the future major general
would have been forced to leave the Academy as he had entered it,
instead of having the brevet of second lieutenant of infantry in his
pocket. One of his instructors, who had admired his generous character,
employed the argument that belligerency was not a fault in a soldier,
and this is said to have done much in securing him the needed approval
of the West Point staff of instructors and the honors of graduation.
The argument was too powerful to be resisted by educated soldiers, and
Sheridan was consequently sent forth fully authorized to be as great a
belligerent in time of war as he desired.

Sheridan's class at West Point produced very few remarkable men.
The three ablest of his classmates, McPherson, Sill, and Terrill,
perished during the rebellion. McPherson, who graduated at the head
of the class, was a brilliant student, an admirable engineer, but
never a great leader. The student predominated in his organization,
and he lacked in decision and nerve. He rose very high in rank in
the regular army, but it was owing less to his available talents and
practicability than to the care of Grant and Sherman, with whom he was
a great favorite. Terrill made a fine soldier as an artillerist, and
won well-deserved renown and promotion by his admirable handling of his
battery at Shiloh. He was very ambitious of advancement. I was present
at his death at Perryville. His brigade was pushed by General McCook,
the corps commander, into a forest, in which the enemy surprised
and defeated his troops, who were raw recruits, scattering them in
every direction. Terrill's horse was shot under him, and, being thus
dismounted, and left without a command, he turned--the ruling passion
strong in death--to the artillery, and assumed command of a couple of
batteries fighting in General Rousseau's line. Thus returned to the
arm of the service for which education and inclination adapted him,
he did magnificent service. While thus engaged, and while in the act
of sighting a gun of Bush's Indiana battery, he was mortally wounded,
and died a few hours afterward, with a message to his wife unfinished
on his lips. Joshua W. Sill, who was, perhaps, the superior man of
the class of 1853, fell in a similar manner at Stone River. The enemy
had thrown himself upon Sheridan with great energy, and succeeded in
forcing him to retire. Sill was one of Sheridan's brigade commanders,
and in aiding the general to rally the retiring troops, and in leading
them to a charge, he was shot and instantly killed as the enemy were
temporarily repulsed. Sill was a practical man, of great resources,
energy, and courage, small of stature, and compactly built. He was
beloved and admired in the army for his great courtesy, kindness, and
good sense. There were also in Sheridan's class others who became
generals in the volunteer service during the late rebellion. William
Sooy Smith commanded infantry during the greater part of the war, but
conducted the cavalry expedition from Memphis in 1863, intended to
co-operate with Sherman in Mississippi, but miserably failed. R. O.
Tyler and B. F. Chamberlain were well known for services in the Potomac
Army. General John M. Schofield attained to some prominence during the
war, although he had more to do with combating the prejudice which
existed against him in the War Office and the army than in fighting
the rebels. William R. Boggs, who graduated fourth in Sheridan's
class, failed as a rebel brigadier, and at the close of the war turned
his attention, like Lee, to teaching young ideas how to shoot. John
R. Chamblis, H. H. Walker, and John S. Bowen, who were also rebels,
were failures. Hood was the only success among the seceding members
of the class. He owed his rapid promotion from colonel to lieutenant
general in the rebel army to something of the same qualities which won
his promotion for Sheridan. Hood was not less bold and impetuous than
Sheridan, but he lacked Sheridan's sound sense and quick judgment, and
doubtless would not have made the rapid progress he did but for the
aid and friendship of Jeff. Davis. Sheridan and Hood met in battle but
once during the rebellion. It was at Chickamauga, and that encounter
cost Hood his leg, although Sheridan was defeated. Hood commanded a
division of Longstreet's corps, Sheridan one of McCook's divisions.

Eight years of almost profound peace followed Sheridan's graduation,
and little opportunity offered for advancement. In May and June, 1855,
Sheridan, then promoted to be a lieutenant, was in command of Fort
Wood, New York Harbor, but in the July following he was ordered to San
Francisco in charge of a body of recruits. On arriving there he was
detailed to command an escort of cavalry intended for the protection
and assistance of Lieutenant Williamson and the party engaged in
the survey of the proposed branch of the Pacific Railroad from San
Francisco to Columbia River, Oregon. Sheridan succeeded shortly after
in getting himself detached from this command and ordered to join a
battalion of dragoons under Major Raine, of the Fourth Infantry, then
on an expedition against the Yakima Indians, and expecting active
service and severe warfare. In this expedition he distinguished himself
by gallantry at the "Battle of the Cascades" of the Columbia River
(April 28, 1856). Although his action on the occasion is not described,
it is not difficult to imagine it as of the same character as the later
deeds of daring which have distinguished him. He was rewarded for his
gallantry by being placed in command of the Indian Reservation of the
Coast Range. Here he was engaged for a year in keeping the Conquillo
Indians on Yakima Bay in proper subjection, and in building the
military post and fort at Yamhill.

From this distant post he was recalled in 1861 to find himself
promoted, by the resignation of large numbers of the Southern officers
of the army, to a captaincy in what was then Sherman's regiment, the
Thirteenth Infantry. He was ordered to join his regiment at Jefferson
Barracks, and thus became attached to the Trans-Mississippi, or Army
of the Southwest, in which he saw his first service in the present
war. Although this army had gone through a campaign under Lyon, the
preparations for another under Fremont, and was then under command of
Halleck, it was so far from being organized that Sheridan could find
no active duty, and was placed upon a military commission to inquire
into certain alleged irregularities of the Fremont administration of
Missouri affairs. About that time General Curtis, who had assumed
command of the troops in the field, was ready to begin an active
campaign, and Sheridan was appointed acting chief quarter-master,
with which the duties of commissary were at that time blended. He was
out of place and felt it, and his success as a quarter-master was
very indifferent indeed. He used to laugh and say many months after
that providing "hard-tack and sow-belly," as the soldiers called the
crackers and pork which formed the chief ingredients of their rations,
was not exactly in his line; and he was very fond of relating, in
connection with the remark, his first experience in restricting the
contraband traffic in salt with the rebels. As chief quarter-master,
it was his duty to take such steps as would not only provide for his
own troops, but deprive the rebels of contraband supplies. Hearing
that Price, then at Springfield, was suffering for salt, he employed
every means to stop the export of that article beyond our lines;
and, congratulating himself on his success, used often to say, with
a chuckle, that "the rebels were actually starving for salt." When
the advance of the army took place, and Price was hastily driven out
of Springfield, the only article left behind was, much to Sheridan's
disgust, an immense quantity of salt which had been smuggled through
our lines. He ever afterward professed himself disgusted with his
quarter-mastership, and fortunately soon after got himself under arrest
and sent to the rear.

Officers generally look upon arrests as misfortunes. Sheridan's arrest
was the turning-point in his fortunes, since it placed him, after
a brief delay, on the staff of a rising major general and in the
line of promotion. The circumstances of his arrest are not without
interest, as showing one or two of his characteristics. Like many
regular officers of the army as organized in 1861, Sheridan was in
favor of carrying on the war by striking hard blows at the organized
armies of the rebels, and generously providing for the people,
who, while remaining at home, under United States protection, as
non-combatants, still surreptitiously furnished men and material to
the rebels. It is difficult to conceive the "Ravager of the Shenandoah
Valley" entertaining any of these false notions of sympathy, yet such
were Sheridan's feelings at the time, so strict a stickler was he
for military discipline. He has overcome this too delicate and nice
consideration for the interests of rebel aiders and abettors, and,
like the country, has been educated by war in the belief that treason
is to be fought with fire. Feeling thus during the Pea Ridge campaign,
Sheridan was particularly disgusted with the ravages committed by a
regiment of Kansas Jay-hawkers in General Blunt's division, and used
often to denounce them in unmeasured terms. He was so much embittered
against the regiment and opposed to their style of warfare, that when
General Blunt ordered him to impress a large amount of provender from
the citizens for the use of the army, he replied in any thing but
decorous terms, declining to execute the order, and intimating in
conclusion that he was not a Jay-hawker. General Blunt, of course,
relieved him and preferred charges against him. Sheridan was ordered to
report to Halleck. The letter was forwarded as evidence against him,
and fell into Halleck's hands. That officer, having a just appreciation
of a good joke, laughed heartily over the letter; and, sharing
Sheridan's prejudices against "jay-hawking" and "bummers" generally, he
caused the charges to be withdrawn, and in May, 1862, ordered Sheridan
to duty on his own staff as acting chief quarter-master.

It is a singular fact that Sheridan was a protégé and favorite of
both Halleck and Grant, who had not a thought, feeling, or interest
in common. To have equally pleased Halleck, the theoretical, and
Grant, the practical soldier--Halleck, the wily and polite lawyer,
and Grant, the simple-minded, straightforward soldier--Halleck, who
attempted to rise by arts, and Grant, who trusted solely to action
for promotion, required very great qualities in a mind as young as
Sheridan's. The secret of his success in pleasing both doubtless lies
in the fact that he attempted to please neither. Sheridan has been
one of the most honest of our generals. There was nothing tricky
about him; his comrades all felt that he used no underhand influence
to rise. Yet to the friendship inspired in these two very opposite
natures by his honest and straightforward conduct Sheridan is doubtless
somewhat indebted for his rapid advancement from a captaincy to a major
generalcy in three years. When one reflects upon the rapidity of his
promotion, the days of France under the empire appear to have come
to us, and Bulwer's preposterous promotion of his hero in the play
becomes highly probable. "Promotion is quick in the French army," said
old Damas. Verily not more so than in the national army of the United
States during the rebellion.

General Halleck was at the time of this occurrence before Corinth, and
thither Sheridan repaired, to find himself suddenly and unexpectedly
transferred from the regular to the volunteer service as colonel of
the Second Michigan Cavalry, in place of Gordon Granger, who had been
promoted. Halleck had, with an appreciation which he subsequently
frequently displayed in organizing the United States armies, noticed
Sheridan's qualities, and placed him in the branch of the service for
which he was best qualified: But even Halleck did not fully appreciate
the admirable qualities of his young protégé, and failed, when
intrusted shortly after with the absolute organization of the armies,
to advance him to the position for which the quicker appreciation of
Grant afterward singled him out, after observing his conduct in one
battle only.

His promotion to colonel aroused the ambition of Sheridan, who had
before modestly hoped to eventually become a major. He now had
opportunities to distinguish himself, and immediately went to work to
improve the opportunity, determined to win rank and fame before the
close of the war, which, having now changed its character, also gave
promise of being long and adventurous, and full of occasions for one in
his arm of the service.

His regiment was brigaded with that of Colonel W. L. Elliott, who,
as the ranking officer, became brigade commander, and under his
leadership Sheridan made his first campaign as a cavalryman. It was
the famous raid around Corinth and upon Beauregard's communications at
Boonesville, which was noted at the time as one of the first and most
successful adventures of our then rapidly improving cavalry, and won
for its leader a reputation for dash that the loyal press, with very
questionable taste, continually compared to the daring of Stuart and
Morgan in their bloodless raids against weak outposts and unguarded
rear-lines. This irregular warfare of the rebel cavalry had not, up to
that time, partaken of the bloody character which has since been given
the cavalry encounters of the war, and Elliott and Sheridan were among
the first to expose the fallibility and weakness of the boasted rebel
cavalry when vigorously opposed. Elliott never accomplished any thing
afterward, and it is half suspected that Sheridan did the work on the
occasion which made Elliott famous.

It was but a short time after this affair that a second opportunity to
distinguish himself was offered Sheridan on the same field, and, taking
advantage of it, he fought his first cavalry battle.

This engagement, although of a minor character, served to illustrate
his characteristics as a quick, dashing, stubborn fighter, as more
brilliantly developed in Sheridan at more important engagements.
The rebels were commanded by General James H. Chalmers, who attacked
Sheridan's single regiment with a brigade of cavalry, evidently
expecting little resistance. Sheridan was not required, by the
importance of the post he commanded nor the position of the army whose
front he covered, to hold his ground, and could have with propriety
declined battle, and fallen back on the infantry line; but it was
not in the heart of the "belligerent cadet" to decline an invitation
to battle from any gentleman. He drew up his regiment in line, and
received the attack in handsome style. Chalmers's first repulse taught
him that he should have to proceed with his attack more systematically,
and he brought up his line for a more regular and general assault.
While he was thus engaged, Sheridan, with perhaps more enterprise
than sound discretion, in view of the insignificance of the stake
for which he contended, sent a detachment on a detour to the rear
of the rebel position. These, by strenuous exertions, succeeded in
effecting this purpose, and made an attack from that direction, while
Sheridan, attacking from the front, succeeded in surprising the rebels
and driving them from the field in confusion. Chalmers, his opponent
in this engagement, subsequently won, under Bragg and Forrest, a
character for belligerency similar to that now enjoyed by Sheridan,
but he was not as uniformly successful, and his belligerency got him
into difficulty. Bragg arrested him for his failure to carry the
works at Munfordsville, Kentucky, in September, 1862, when Chalmers
had assaulted them without orders. He subsequently got into like
difficulties with Forrest, but his readiness to fight and general good
qualities brought him safely out of his troubles. In the engagement
at Boonesville his readiness to fight was evinced to Sheridan's
satisfaction, while Sheridan's superior endurance and enterprise were
made apparent to the rebel at the same time.

It was this success which made Sheridan a brigadier general. It has
always been an unfortunate feature of our army organization that there
is no provision for the promotion of the deserving in the branch of
the service in which they have won distinction, and for which they
have evinced high qualifications. A colonel of cavalry shows himself
eminently deserving of promotion by his services in that branch, and he
is promoted to be brigadier general of _infantry_, and not only taken
from the line of the service for which he is best fitted, but, though
promoted in rank, is sent to command an inferior arm of the service.
By this fault of organization not only does the army lose the service
of the person thus promoted out of his sphere, but often the promotion
becomes the ruin of the recipient, who may be totally unfitted for this
new line of duty. There are numerous examples of this. Among several
of these failures, which have resulted from this cause, two of the
most notable were of persons in Sheridan's own class. I have elsewhere
already noticed how Terrill, who, as a captain of artillery, gained a
great reputation for his successful handling of his battery at Shiloh,
and who was promoted to be a brigadier general of infantry, to utterly
fail and throw away his young life in his chagrin and desperation.
McPherson's success outside of the engineer corps was no greater.
He graduated at the head of his class, distinguished himself as an
engineer, was promoted rapidly from captain to corps commander, only to
find himself totally unfitted for such duty, and in time to waste, by
his inadaptation to infantry and his lack of decision, the rich fruits
of Sherman's successful strategic march through Snake Creek Gap upon

Sheridan's fate was not exactly the reverse of this, for, when taken
from the cavalry, for which he was eminently fitted, and made brigadier
general of infantry, his success at first was not encouraging; but
under the various tests which these charges have proved to be, he was
more uniformly successful than any officer I remember placed in the
same position. I know, indeed, of no general officer who was subjected
to so many tests as Sheridan. He was alternately commanding cavalry
and infantry, then both together, constantly changing from one line of
operations to another, and thus being subjected to the study of new
lines and new topography, besides being forced to meet and overcome
the prejudices against new commanders local to every army. In fact,
Sheridan may be said to have begun his career anew three several
times, and his ultimate success in spite of these obstacles shows the
superiority of his mettle.

Immediately on his promotion Sheridan was placed in command in Kentucky
of a division of raw troops, for the organization of which he was not
so well fitted as for fighting them. The command was under General
Nelson. Shortly afterward Nelson was killed, and the reorganization
of his army, and its incorporation with that of General Buell, placed
Sheridan in command of a division of partly disciplined veteran troops.
A short time subsequently the army was again reorganized by Rosecrans,
and Sheridan was given a division and assigned to the corps of General
A. McD. McCook. Sheridan's division suffered defeat at Stone River
and Chickamauga. But amid those disasters and defeats the fighting
qualities of the "little cadet" found illustrations as brilliant, but
not so familiar as those of his greater victories at Cedar Creek, Five

Stone River was a battle in which the endurance of the soldiers rather
than the generalship of their leaders gave us possession of a field
in which the enemy retained, until his abandonment of the field, the
tactical and strategic advantage. Each corps, and even each division,
"fought on its own hook;" there was no generalship, no plan, no purpose
on our part. The official reports tell very elaborately of a grand
plan, and how, despite the reverses of the first day, it was carried
out to brilliant and successful completion, but that plan was arranged
after the battle was finished. There was no such plan before the
battle, for, like all of Rosecrans's battles, Stone River was fought
without any definite plan. Bragg was the tactician of Stone River.
He assumed and held the offensive during the whole engagement, and
our forces were kept continually on the defensive. It is a singular
fact, that so ignorant was Rosecrans of the position of the enemy, so
absolutely without a plan was he, that on the very morning of McCook's
disastrous defeat he ordered General Crittenden to occupy the town
which the enemy were covering in strong force, declaring that they
had evacuated it. General T. J. Wood protested against the blind
obedience which General Crittenden would have given to this command,
and, pending the reference of the remonstrance to Rosecrans, McCook
was attacked and whipped. The soldiers fought the battle on our part,
not the general commanding the army; and it was Thomas, Rousseau,
Sheridan, Negley, Wood, and Palmer, as leaders, who saved the day,
and retrieved the disaster precipitated by McCook's incompetency,
and Rosecrans's incapacity, from extreme nervousness, to direct a
large column of troops. Sheridan's division was posted on the left
of McCook's corps, which, being struck in flank and rear, was very
quickly and unexpectedly doubled up and thrown back upon Sheridan's
division, which was thus forced, while fighting a division in its
front, to turn and form a defensive _crotchet_ to the whole army, thus
being compelled to expose one or the other of its flanks. It was forced
back by superior numbers until its line of battle described three
sides of a square, and these being broken after a terrible resistance,
it was forced to retreat through a dense forest of cedars, in which
artillery could not be moved, to the line formed by the reserves
under General Rousseau. While the rest of the corps had been rapidly
driven, Sheridan's division fought for hours desperately, losing all
the brigade commanders, seventy other officers, and nearly one third
of the men killed and wounded. The other divisions of McCook's corps,
under Jeff. C. Davis and R. W. Johnson, were never rallied until they
reached Nashville, while Sheridan's fell back upon the line of reserves
and fought for two days afterward. This result was entirely owing to
the personal exertions, daring, and skill of Sheridan; and his conflict
formed such a brilliant episode of that badly-managed battle, and his
abilities shone so prominently in contrast with the delinquencies of
others, that he was at once made a major general.

In the dark cedars at Stone River he kept his men together, when almost
surrounded or entirely cut off, only by being at all times along the
front line of battle with them; by well-directed encouragement to the
deserving, and the blackest reproaches to the delinquents; by alternate
appeals and curses, and a constant display of a daring which was
inspiring, and in the presence of which no man dared betray himself a

"The history of the combat of those dark cedars will never be known,"
wrote the only historian who has as yet truly written of Stone River,
Mr. W. S. Furay, of the Cincinnati Gazette, a young man of very
extraordinary abilities, and the most conscientious of all the war
correspondents whom I met in the army. "No man," he adds, "could see
even the whole of his own regiment, and no one will ever be able to
tell who they were that fought bravest, or they who proved recreant
to their trust. It was left to Sheridan to stay the successful onset
of the foe. Never did a man labor more faithfully than he to perform
his task, and never was leader seconded by more gallant soldiers. His
division formed a kind of pivot, upon which the broken right wing
turned in its flight, and its perilous condition can easily be imagined
when the flight of Davis's division left it without any protection from
the triumphant enemy who now swarmed upon its front and right flank;
but it fought until one fourth of its number lay bleeding and lying
upon the field, and till both remaining brigade commanders, Colonel
Roberts and Shaeffer, had met with the same fate as General Sill."

When Sheridan had extricated his command from the forest and got in
line with the reserves, he rode up to Rosecrans, and, pointing to the
remnant of his division, said,

"Here is all that is left of us, general. Our cartridge-boxes contain
nothing, and our guns are empty."

The Tullahoma campaign, which followed that of Stone River, offered
few opportunities for the display of any other quality of the
soldier in Sheridan than that of energy. The pursuit of Bragg, which
formed the main feature of that campaign, required rapid marching,
but no fighting. After the expulsion of the rebels from Tullahoma
and Winchester the general pursuit was abandoned, as the enemy had
reached the mountains, and only Sheridan's division and Stanley's
cavalry received orders to pursue the enemy across the mountains to
the Tennessee. Sheridan moved with great alacrity, hoping to reach
the bridge over the Tennessee at Bridgeport in time to save it from
destruction. He moved so rapidly that he reached the river before
Stanley's cavalry, which had been ordered by an indirect route through
Huntsville. He succeeded in saving the greater part of the bridge.
He used to tell with great glee that on reaching Bridgeport he found
numbers of the rear-guard of Bragg's army sitting on the burned end of
the bridge, and asking his advance on the opposite bank of the river
if "they were part of Stanley's cavalry." The infantry had moved so
rapidly in pursuit that the enemy had all the while mistaken them for

Sheridan has since displayed the same energy in moving, with better
effect. The surrender of Lee was, without doubt, the effect of
the admirable and vigorous execution by Sheridan of Grant's plan
of operations from Five Forks to Burkesville Junction. It will be
remembered that Sheridan, by rapid movements, placed his forces at
Jettersville before Lee had reached Amelia Court-house, and thus
cut off all retreat to Danville. His dispatches relating to those
operations partake of the vigor of the actual movements, and handsomely
illustrate his energy.

"I wish you were here yourself," he wrote to Grant--a compliment that
the little lieutenant general may be proud to point to. "If things are
pressed," he added, "I think Lee will surrender."

"Press things," was Grant's order. It needed no other. Sheridan pushed
forward rapidly, struck right and left, punishing the enemy wherever
found, and at last forcing Lee to surrender. Grant returned the
compliment with interest in writing his final report of the closing
operations of the war. He describes, in his peculiarly forcible
language, that, on the eve of the battle of Winchester and the
beginning of Sheridan's valley campaign, he went to Sheridan's quarters
to examine his plans, forces, material, etc., and found that he had
only a single instruction to give his lieutenant--"Go in!"

"Press things" and "go in" are instructions as laconic as they are
indefinite. They betray Grant's practicability and plainness, and honor
Sheridan. It is, perhaps, better to be the one addressed in such terms
than even the author of them. Sheridan is not less plain and forcible
in his language than Grant, as witness his various reports, the
quotations above, and his opinion of Texas. "If I owned," he once said,
"Texas and hell, I would sell Texas and live in the other place."

The battle of Chickamauga, as far as McCook and Sheridan were
concerned, was only a repetition of Stone River. McCook's corps,
consisting then of Davis's, Sheridan's, and Negley's divisions, was
again defeated. General Negley, very unfortunately for that gallant
officer and gentleman, was taken from his division in the heat of
battle and ordered to the command of a number of batteries, and the
division suffered badly, while the other division, under General
Jefferson C. Davis, was scattered in every direction. Sheridan, who had
formed the extreme right, had a desperate though ineffectual fight,
but, after being separated from the rest of the army, eventually cut
his own way out, brought in his division about half organized, and
took his place in the line at Rossville, to which Thomas fell back at
night. On this occasion, as at Stone River, Sheridan was a subordinate.
The disaster to his division was general to his corps, and resulted
from the incapacity of others, and not his own bad management. He was
powerless to avert, he could only partly retrieve the disaster. On
both occasions he did so with a skillful hand, by the most strenuous
exertions, and at great personal risk.

Chattanooga was the battle in which Sheridan caught the eye of Grant,
who there selected him without hesitation for the important position
which he subsequently filled. Sheridan's division formed the right of
the centre column, which, in the engagement at Chattanooga on November
25, 1863, assaulted and carried Mission Ridge, and, breaking the rebel
centre, assured the victory. His men were kept in position waiting for
the signal to assault for over thirty-six hours, and they and their
leader had grown very nervous, half fearing the battle would be won
too soon by Sherman and Hooker, and the chance for glory stolen from
them, when at last the wished-for signal came, and away to the charge
sprang the assaulting columns. General T. J. Wood commanded one column,
and he and Sheridan strove with a lofty ambition, in which there
was nothing that a saint could condemn, to reach the summit first.
Sheridan gloried in the deed. He could not contain himself, and yet he
rode along the front line, half leading, half directing his men, as
clear-headed as if the cross-fire of the twenty rebel batteries that
opened upon his men were directed against charmed lives, and he knew
them to be futile as against him. During the charge he took a canteen
of whisky from his aid, Captain Avery, and, filling a cup which he
carried, raised it with a gesture toward Bragg's head-quarters, which
were plainly visible on the mountain crest, saying, in imitation of
the soldiers, "How are _you_, Mr. Bragg?" Before he could drink the
liquor, a rifle-ball carried away cup and beverage. Sheridan exclaimed,
"That's damned ungenerous!" There was no time for more, and he spurred
forward, and soon again formed part of his front line. His horse was
killed under him, and he led the remainder of the assault on foot,
reaching the summit with the first, and, as horses were not plentiful
on the ridge, he sprang upon one of the fifty captured guns, swinging
his sword over his head, and shouting for joy with his men, while, at
the same moment, he poured invective after invective on the heads of
the rebels whom he was unable to pursue. Before the battle was ended,
Grant, having left his head-quarters in Orchard Knob, rode along the
summit of the ridge, and before the fire of the enemy had ceased he had
marked Sheridan for future use. Chattanooga was the flood-tide of his
fortunes, and, without knowing it at the time, he that day launched his
bark anew. Henceforth his abilities were not to be lost by his being
made subordinate to men of inferior calibre. He was henceforth to win
great successes, not retrieve, in some degree, the great disasters of

Sheridan did not know for months after of his good fortune on that
day. On the contrary, his friends soon after had reason to imagine
that he was again under a cloud. It was but a few months after this
memorable battle that Gordon Granger and Sheridan were relieved of
their commands. It was generally known that Granger had offended Grant
by his delay in moving with Sherman to Burnside's aid at Knoxville, and
it was supposed that both he and Sheridan were laid on the shelf. I met
the latter as he passed through Nashville, and he told me that he did
not then exactly know his destination, except that it was Washington
City. The announcement was soon made, however, that he had been placed
in command of all of Grant's cavalry on the Potomac, and those who knew
Sheridan learned to appreciate more highly the clearness with which
Grant read the characters of his subordinates. Returning Sheridan to
the cavalry service was not by any means the least important of Grant's
services to the country.

It was not intended, in the scope of this chapter, to give a detailed
statement of the events of Sheridan's life. The purpose was rather to
make the public more familiar with his character than his history.
The prominent points of his later career are as well known to all
as myself. I have often had cause to regret that I have no personal
recollections of Sheridan's remarkable campaign in the Shenandoah
Valley. I should have been particularly glad to have had an opportunity
to witness and to analyze the wonderful effect of Sheridan's presence
on his men during the rout at Cedar Run. It can not be accounted for on
any theory, however philosophical, framed by a person who was not an
eye-witness, while it might be comprehended in the light of a minute
and graphic description of the manner of the general on that occasion.
His success in restoring order, and then confidence, was doubtless due
to his decisive manner, while the subsequent restoration of _morale_
was owing to the promptness with which the offensive was resumed.
The control which Sheridan then held over his men is certainly very
remarkable, in view of the short time during which he had commanded
them, and the condition in which he found them on this day. Absent
at the beginning of the battle of Cedar Creek, it will be remembered
that he pushed forward to the front to find his troops retreating
rapidly, and, although not pursued, much demoralized. Demoralized
does not necessarily, as I have found by experience on more than one
doubtful field, imply defeat. Sheridan appears to have felt so; for, on
being told by a colonel whom he met that the "army was whipped," the
indomitable Sheridan exclaimed, "You are, but the army isn't." His
presence seemed to inspire the men with a new purpose. He possesses a
secret similar to that of Cadmus. Though not making soldiers spring
ready-armed from the earth as Cadmus did, he creates an enthusiasm
which gives additional power and strength to those he has. On the
occasion alluded to, so powerful was this inspiring presence that, in
an incredible short space of time, he had his routed men re-formed
in line, and ready to receive the onslaught of the enemy. But the
enemy, intent on rifling the captured camps, had not pursued in force,
and Sheridan found waiting was in vain. The confidence of the troops
had been restored by the presence of their leader, the facility with
which he re-established the broken lines, and the cheering language
and encouraging tone of his conversation and orders. He fully
re-established the morale of the men when, finding the enemy failed to
pursue, he ordered an advance. The fact that he did advance on the same
day of the rout serves to show, among Sheridan's other great qualities
as a leader, his decision and daring. There are few generals, in our
own or any other service, who would have conceived the idea, or for a
moment entertained the purpose of immediately resuming the offensive.
Two years before, pursuit after a victory, not to mention pursuit after
a defeat, was held to be impossible. The fact that Sheridan was able on
this occasion to resume the offensive with complete success shows how
absolute was the confidence of the men in this comparative stranger,
who had plead, entreated, cursed, and browbeat the flying army into
order again. The magnificent ride from Winchester to the field, which
at the time was made in all the accounts the salient feature of the
battle, grows commonplace when compared to "Little Phil's" ride among
the routed masses of his corps. He may be said to have been every where
at once, for his presence was felt in every battalion. His orders,
so brilliantly illustrated and varied by his peculiar and numerous
oaths, found their natural echoes in the cheers of the men, in whose
hearts his presence restored confidence. The rapidity with which he
rallied his broken lines and brought order out of chaos is incredible
even to those who have seen the "belligerent cadet" in the midst of
battles; and to one who has never witnessed the singular effect which
the reception of orders to attack have on men, it will still remain
incredible how he so far restored the confidence and morale of his
troops as to enable him on that occasion to snatch victory from defeat.

There was some occasion for the display of the same personal daring,
and the exercise of the same influence by example, on the part of
Sheridan, at the battle of Five Forks. His _presence_ on every part
of that contested field, it is now generally conceded, had as much to
do as generalship with the final result of that battle, where every
thing depended on the persistence of the attack on the weak point which
Sheridan had discovered. It is doubtful if success would have followed
the efforts of a general who had been content to _direct_ the battle.
Sheridan _led_. He was in the front line, under the heaviest fire, at
all times, waving his sword, encouraging his men, exhorting them to
incredible deeds, and, as usual with him, swearing alternately at the
enemy and his own skulkers. He is represented by those present as the
"impersonation of every thing soldierly." He rode up and down the
lines, under fire, continually waving his sword, commanding in person,
exhorting them to seize the opportunity within their grasp, and sweep
their enemies to destruction. It is related of him, and the story is
characteristic enough to be true, that, at the conclusion of the first
day's unsuccessful battle at Five Forks, while striding up and down in
front of his field head-quarters, apparently absorbed in deep and calm
thought, he suddenly startled his staff by breaking out in a series of
horrible oaths, in which he swore he would carry the rebel lines next
day, or "sink innumerable fathoms into hell."

Despite several remonstrances which I have received from him and his
friends, I must say that Sheridan occasionally indulges in oaths, but
one can easily find it in his heart to forgive them. They are merely
the emphasis to his language. Oaths are said to be fools' arguments.
Sheridan throws them at one in a discussion not from a want of more
forcible arguments, but from a lack of patience to await the slow
process of logical conclusions. For this same reason he heartily
despises a council of war, and never forms part of one if he can
possibly avoid it. He executes, not originates plans; or, as Rosecrans
once expressed it in his nervous manner, "He fights--he fights!"
Whatever is given Sheridan to do is accomplished thoroughly. He does
not stop to criticise the practicability of an order in its detail, and
at the same time does not hesitate to vary his movements when he finds
those laid down for him are not practicable. He does not abandon the
task because the mode which has been ordered is rendered impossible by
any unexpected event. If the result is accomplished Sheridan does not
care whose means were employed, or on whom the credit is reflected.
He grasps the result and congratulates himself, the strategist of the
occasion and the men, with equal gratification and every evidence of
delight. His generous care for the reputation of his subordinates,
his freedom from all petty jealousy, his honesty of purpose, and the
nobleness of his ambition to serve the country and not himself, his
geniality and general good-humor, and the brevity of his black storms
of anger, make him, like Grant, not only a well-beloved leader, but one
that the country can safely trust to guard its honor and preserve its
existence. It is easy for one who knows either of the two--Grant and
Sheridan--to believe it possible that, during all the period in which
they held such supreme power in our armies, not a single thought of how
they might achieve greatness, power, and position, at the expense of
country, has ever suggested itself to their minds. There are few other
characters known in profane history of whom the same thing can be truly

Sheridan goes into the heat of battle not from necessity merely. The
first smell of powder arouses him, and he rushes to the front of the
field. It is related of him that when the engagement of Winchester
began, he stood off a little to the rear, as Grant would have done, and
endeavored to calmly survey the field and direct the battle. But it was
not in his nature to remain passive for a great while. When the fight
warmed up and became general, he could stand it no longer, and, drawing
his sword, he exclaimed, "By God, I can't stand this!" and rode into
the heat of the engagement.

The belligerent in Sheridan's organization is often aroused without
the stimulus of the smell of gunpowder. In 1863, while Sheridan was
encamped at Bridgeport, Alabama, he invited General George H. Thomas,
then encamped at Deckerd, Tennessee, to examine the works erected at
Bridgeport and the preparations going on for rebuilding the bridge.
I was then at Deckerd, and being invited to accompany the party to
Bridgeport, did so. At one of the way-stations the train halted for
an unusually long time, and Sheridan, on asking the conductor, a
great, burly six-footer, the reason, met with a somewhat gruff reply.
Sheridan contented himself with reproving his manner, and ordered him
to proceed with the train. The conductor did not reply, and failed
to obey. After waiting for a time, Sheridan sent for the conductor,
and demanded to know why he had not obeyed. The fellow answered, in
a gruff manner, that he received his orders only from the military
superintendent of the road. Without giving him time to finish the
insulting reply, Sheridan struck him two or three rapid blows, kicked
him from the cars and into the hands of a guard, and then ordered the
train forward, acting as conductor on the down and return trip. After
starting the train he returned to his seat near General Thomas, and,
without referring to the subject, resumed his conversation with that
imperturbable dignitary.

On another occasion Sheridan detected an army news-vender in some
imposition on the soldiers, and, without waiting for an explanation,
he seized him by the back of the neck and thumped his head against the
car, although he had to stand on tiptoe to do it.

Sheridan's appearance, like that of Grant, is apt to disappoint one
who had not seen him previous to his having become famous. He has none
of the qualities which are popularly attributed by the imagination
to heroes. "Little Phil" is a title of endearment given him by his
soldiers in the West, and is descriptive of his personal appearance. He
is shorter than Grant, but somewhat stouter built, and, being several
years younger and of a different temperament, is more active and wiry.
The smallness of his stature is soon forgotten when he is seen mounted.
He seems then to develop physically as he does mentally after a short
acquaintance. Unlike many of our heroes, Sheridan does not dwindle as
one approaches him. Distance lends neither his character nor personal
appearance any enchantment. He talks more frequently and more fluently
than Grant does, and his quick and slightly nervous gestures partake
somewhat of the manner of Sherman. His body is stout but wiry, and set
on short, heavy, but active legs. His broad shoulders, short, stiff
hair, and the features of his face, betray the Milesian descent, but no
brogue can be traced in his voice. His eyes are gray, and, being small,
are sharp and piercing, and full of fire. When maddened with excitement
or passion these glare fearfully. His age is thirty-four, but long
service in the field has bronzed him into the appearance of forty, yet
he is one of the most elegant of young bachelors, and answers fully
to the description of the first Scipio, "_Et juvenis, et cœlebs, et

[Illustration: JOSEPH HOOKER.]



The name and fame of General Joe Hooker are, as they ought to be,
dear to every American, for he is eminently a national man. Born in
Massachusetts, he has resided in every section of the country, and is
cosmopolitan in habits and ideas. Nature never made him for one part of
the land. He has fought over every part of the country from Maryland
to Mexico, from the Potomac to beyond the Rio Grande, and from a
private citizen of the most westerly district of California, he rose to
command as brigadier general of the regular army in the most easterly
department of the reunited country. Every Californian, if not every
American, _is_ proud of Joe Hooker, for he is a representative man of
that peculiar race of pioneers drawn from every state of the Union and
nationality of the globe.

Hooker is naturally a fighting man, a belligerent by nature as much
as Philip Sheridan, and he insists on forcing every dispute to the
arbitrament of arms. Actual blows satisfy him best, and, from the
very nature of his mental organization, "war to the knife" is an
admitted motto with him. A curious accident gave Hooker the title of
"Fighting Joe;" but few of the multitude who read of him under that
appellation, and none of those who, in the heat of political and
partisan discussion, which during the war seemed to partake of the
extreme bitterness created by the conflict, endeavored to ridicule
both person and expression, suspected how accurately the title
described the character of the man. A man born with this disposition
would naturally seek the army. Hooker entered West Point and studied
his way through with a zeal and industry which must have placed him
higher than twenty-eight in a class of fifty graduates had he not,
like Sheridan, suffered for his belligerency in the estimation of the
staid and steady professors of that institute. He was not a student,
nor was he an idler, nor yet a plodding, industrious, dull scholar, who
learned with great difficulty, and retained only what he was taught.
On the contrary, he was quick to learn, original in applying what
he learned, and critical of the ideas and facts taught him. At West
Point he as frequently criticised the rules of war laid down by the
authorities of the past age as in the field as a general he was free in
criticising his contemporaries. He got through the course creditably
in 1837, and managed, being still young, and the belligerency of his
nature not fully developed, to exist in the quiet position of adjutant
of West Point. Afterward he also managed to endure the monotony of the
adjutant general's department for five years, until the war with Mexico
broke out, when he sought adventure, promotion, and fame in the active
service. The Mexican War was the great opportunity of many young lives,
the practical schooling of nearly all who distinguished themselves
during the late war for the Union. To Hooker, young, ambitious, and
belligerent, the opportunity was highly welcomed. The declaration of
war was hailed by him with an intense joy that would have horrified his
Puritan fathers if they could have been cognizant of it.

Hooker's career in Mexico was not remembered when the rebellion
began, or he would have earlier stood high in the confidence of the
government, for it was among the most brilliant of the many successes
attained by the many very able young men engaged in that war. To have
risen under the old and very faulty organization of the army in a
short war, in which there were few casualties, from a lieutenant to
be brevetted lieutenant colonel of the regular army, was no small
achievement. Hooker was successively brevetted captain, major, and
lieutenant colonel "for gallant and meritorious conduct" in the several
conflicts at Monterey, in the affair at the National Bridge, and in the
assault of Chapultepec. He was detailed, if I remember rightly, early
in the campaign as adjutant general on the staff of General Gideon
Pillow, and, though Gabriel Rains and Ripley were associated with him
on duty, it was generally understood and felt that the young chief of
staff furnished all the brains and most of the energy and industry
to be found at the head-quarters of the division. Pillow, Rains, and
Ripley became somewhat notorious during the late rebellion as officers
of the rebel army. During the war with Mexico sectional feeling ran
high on the subject of supporting the administration in the prosecution
of an offensive war, and very often young Hooker was compelled to
hear tirades uttered by these Southern officers against his native
state, which gave only a lukewarm support to the war of invasion which
that against Mexico was deemed, but he never allowed them to pass
unreproved or unresented. A less positive character than Hooker might
have been influenced in his state allegiance by such surroundings in
a camp composed almost exclusively of Southern soldiers, and at a
head-quarters where prevailed the most intensely bitter sectionalism
which then disgraced the army. The discussions which grew out of the
objections which the young chief of staff took to the peculiar views of
the embryo rebels only served to confirm him in his adherence to and
love of the government; and none of the old army officers entered into
the war for the Union with more alacrity or with a clearer conception
of the desperate purposes and characters of the traitors than did Joe

The peace which ensued in 1847 found Hooker with the natural
belligerency of his quick temper fully developed, his ambition
fired, and his restless activity of mind and body increased. He had
no disposition to return to the monotony of the adjutant general's
office, or to that quiet of garrison duty, that a captain of artillery,
which he had become, would have to endure. The unadventurous career
which a professional life in a settled country among civilized people
promised was also without charms to his restless mind. He remained
in the army only as long as the prospect of service in Mexico and on
the Pacific Coast had any promise of activity; but soon finding that
the peace which followed the Mexican War was likely to be profound
and undisturbed, he resigned his commission, and plunged into the
excitement of pioneer life in the newly-discovered gold regions of
California. He purchased a ranche across the bay from the city of
San Francisco, and for a short time became interested in the, to him,
novel duties of a farmer. It is natural to suppose that this monotonous
existence soon became painfully dull to a person of Hooker's restless
disposition. The ranche was neglected for other objects affording more
excitement and adventure; but by the year 1860 this existence had lost
many of its charms, and Hooker again found the "horrors of peace"
upon him. Peace, it must be known, has its horrors for some men, just
as the calm has its terrors for the seaman. The consequence was that
Hooker fell into some of the bad habits which follow idleness. He
was a "fish out of water," with nothing of an agreeable character to
do, and he restlessly ran into some excesses, which I have heard his
California friends allude to as the process of "going to the dogs." His
business-character suffered, but not his social standing. His ranche
was neglected and went to ruin. His health became somewhat impaired,
when, fortunately for him, the rebellion broke out. He hastened to
Washington to offer his services to the President.

He succeeded after much difficulty in obtaining a commission, and
gladly launched again into active service. He became a changed man. He
had abandoned his bad habits with the ease and readiness of a man of
resolute and determined mind, and now, engaged in that profession which
had every charm for him, he began in earnest the prosecution of the
true aim of his life. He believed in fate and destiny; believed that
strong minds and brave hearts control their own fortunes; and, with
firm confidence in himself, announced to his friends, who congratulated
him on his appointment, that one day he would be at the head of the
army, of which he was then only a brigade commander.

If Hooker's military career be examined critically, it will be found
that his success as a leader has been due to the impetuosity, boldness,
and energy with which he fights. His presence on a battle-field may
be said to be calculated to supply all deficiencies in the discipline
of the troops. His presence and demeanor inspired his troops with
the qualities of courage and daring which distinguished himself, and
restored morale to broken columns with the same success as that which
ever marked the presence of Philip Sheridan. As commander of the Army
of the Potomac, General Hooker never met with brilliant success. He
assumed command at a time when the bitter jealousies which disgraced
that army most impaired its energies and retarded its action. He had
little of the love or admiration, and, consequently, little of the
genuine support of his subordinate commanders; while he was, by reason
of his promotion, farther removed from immediate direction of his
troops, and the inspiration of his presence was lost on those who had
learned to believe in him.

Success with Hooker depended upon his immediate presence with his
troops, and to remove him from close intimacy with them was to impair
his effectiveness. No one will attempt to deny that Hooker held such an
inspiring control over his men, and that his presence among his troops
in battle had much to do with their effectiveness. He was what has
been called "a powerful presence." He was destined for a leader, not a
director of troops, and hence his great success has been as the leader
of fractional corps of great armies. His battles on the Peninsula; his
vigorous pursuit of the rebels from Yorktown; his conduct throughout
the "battle-week on the Chickahominy," and his engagement at Malvern
Hill, were the deeds which are familiarly known throughout the country.
His success as the commander of a _corps_ in the West has become not
less familiar to the public; and his achievements at Lookout Mountain,
Resaca, and before Atlanta, will be the basis for the establishment
of his true character as a military man. I do not mean by this to
say that Hooker can not command with success a great army. I have no
personal knowledge of his career as a commanding general, but from his
mental organization it is evident that he is greater as a leader than
as a director of men. My personal recollections of Hooker's battles
are confined to a few, the most remarkable of which was the battle of
Lookout Mountain. The "battle above the clouds," as the assault of
Lookout Mountain was called, was one of the most remarkable operations
of the war. The mountain which was carried is fourteen hundred feet
above the Tennessee River, and was held by a force of at least six
thousand rebels strongly fortified. It is not a regular slope from the
summit of Lookout to the foot, but the first twenty-five or thirty feet
of the descent is perpendicular rocks, or what is generally understood
to be meant by "palisades." These are very high and grand, and there
are but two routes by which they can be overcome. One of these is a
gap twenty miles south of the point on the Tennessee River where the
assault was made. The other is by a road to Summertown, which winds
up the east side of the mountain, ascending the palisades by a steep
acclivity and narrow road. General Hooker's plan of operation was to
get possession of the road. To do so was to gain possession of the
mountain. He must be a regular mountaineer who can unopposed make the
ascent of the Lookout without halting several times to rest; and the
story of the assault seems incredible to one standing on the summit,
where the rebels were posted, and looking at the rough ascent over
which Hooker charged. Only a general in whom the disposition to fight
was largely developed could have conceived such a project, and only
troops inspired by the presence of one whom they knew to be a brave and
daring leader could have executed the ambitious plan. It was planned in
all its details, and executed in all its completeness by Hooker. The
original intention of General Grant, who was commander-in-chief, was
to attack Lookout with a force only sufficiently large to keep busy
the rebel force occupying it while the main attack was made elsewhere.
The destruction of a pontoon bridge, which connected Hooker's camp
with that of the main army, forced Grant to leave him a much larger
corps than he had at first intended, and he then gave Hooker permission
to assault the mountain with all his force. The order was received
about noon on the 25th of November, 1863, but before nightfall General
Hooker had planned and had executed an attack which was as brilliant as
daring. Two months' observation of the mountain from his camp in the
valley had given him a full knowledge of all its outlines, its roads,
etc., and it is easy to believe that the plan which Hooker decided
upon had had for some time a place in his mind. It was as unique in
conception as it proved successful in execution.

A small force under General Osterhaus was ordered to make a feint upon
the enemy's rifle-pits at the point (or "nose," as Rosecrans calls
it) of the mountain, while with Geary, and Ireland, and Crufts, and
Whitaker, General Hooker moved up the valley west of the mountain until
a mile in rear of the enemy's position; the troops then ascended the
side of the range until the head of the column reached the palisades
which crown the mountain, and formed in line of battle at right angles
with them; they then marched forward as Osterhaus made a sharp attack
as a feint, and, by taking the rebel works in flank and rear, secured
about thirteen hundred prisoners. The enemy fled around the "nose" of
the mountain, closely pursued, to a position on the opposite side,
where Hooker again attacked. After one or two desperate efforts the
rebel works were carried, but it was at such a late hour (midnight)
that it was impossible to dislodge them from the Summertown road, a
route by which they evacuated during the night. Hooker made a great
reputation by his unique plan, and the vigor with which he executed it.
The battle on the other parts of the line were suspended for that day,
and Hooker on the mountain became the "observed of all observers." The
troops in the valley watched him and his Titans with equal admiration
and astonishment; astonishment at the success attained, and admiration
of the daring displayed. When our troops turned the point of the
mountain, taking the rebels in rear, capturing many and pursuing the
rest rapidly, the troops in the Valley of Chattanooga cheered them
repeatedly. As the lines of Hooker would advance after nightfall,
those in Chattanooga and the valley could see the fires built by the
reserves springing up and locating the advancing columns. As each line
became developed by these fires, those on the mountain could plainly
hear the loud cheers of their comrades below. One of the expressions
used by a private who was watching the fires from Orchard Knob grew
at once into the dignity of a camp proverb. On seeing the line of
camp-fires advanced beyond the last line of rifle-pits of the enemy, a
soldier in General Wood's command sprang up from his reclining position
on Orchard Knob and exclaimed,

"Look at old Hooker: don't he fight for 'keeps?'"

"Fighting for keeps" is army slang, and signifies fighting in deadly

Those who remained in Chattanooga described this combat as the most
magnificent one of the grand panorama of war which the various battles
of Chattanooga proved to be. General Meigs has graphically described
it at a moment when it was just dark enough to see the flash of the
muskets, and still light enough to distinguish the general outline of
the contending masses. The mountain was lit up by the fires of the
men in the second line, and the flash of the musketry and artillery.
An unearthly noise rose from the mountain, as if the old monster was
groaning with the punishment the pigmy combatants inflicted upon him as
well as upon each other, and during it all the great guns on the summit
continued, as in rage, to bellow defiance at the smaller guns in our
forts on the other side of the river, which, with lighter tone and more
rapidly, as if mocking the imbecility of its giant enemy, continued to
fire till the day roared itself into darkness.

General M. C. Meigs has given the combat its name of the "battle above
the clouds." It is true that Hooker fought above the clouds, but more
than this, he manufactured the clouds that he might fight above them.
During the night before the engagement a slight, misty rain had fallen,
and when the sun rose, cold and dull, next morning, a fog hung over
the river and enveloped the mountain, serving as a convenient mask to
Hooker's movements. As the day advanced, however, the fog began to
lift, and was fast disappearing, when the battle on the west side of
the mountain began to rage heavily. Then the smoke of Hooker's musketry
and artillery began to mingle with the mist and clouds; they grew heavy
again, and settled down close upon the mountain, so that at one time
the clouds thus formed hid the contending forces from the view of those
in the valley, and Hooker literally fought the battle above clouds of
his own making.

The "inspiring presence" with which Hooker is endowed, and to which I
have alluded, has had many illustrations. McClellan, with whom Hooker
was no favorite, acknowledged that the loss of Hooker's presence by
wounds, during the battle of Antietam, cost him many valuable fruits
of that conflict. While such an acknowledgment is disgraceful to
McClellan, who could thus admit that the absence of one corps commander
out of five could lose him a battle, it is highly complimentary to
Hooker, who appears, by the way, to have been the only officer at
Antietam who was fighting for any definite object, any vital or
key-point of the field.

The well-known effect of Sheridan's presence at Cedar Creek was not
more remarkable in restoring the morale of his army than was that
of Hooker at Peach-tree Creek, Georgia, in retrieving the disaster
which was there threatened. The Army of the Cumberland was surprised
at that point on the 20th of July, while on the march, and, being
vigorously attacked, was in great danger of being routed. It was a
well-known fact that the presence of Hooker every where along the line
of the threatened and almost defeated army kept the men in line, at
the work, and finally saved the day. Were it within the purpose of
this sketch to do so, no better illustration of the fighting general
could be given than a detailed account of this battle, in which Hooker
was the central--only figure. The country is as much indebted to him
personally for the victory as to Sheridan for Cedar Creek, Rousseau for
Perryville, or Thomas for Chickamauga.

Hooker is "his own worst enemy"--not in a common and vulgar acceptance
of that term, now universally applied to those who indulge their
appetite at the expense of the brain. His weakness is not of the vulgar
order, but has been the disease of great minds immemorial. His great
crime against weak humanity lies in the fact that he was born a critic.
Iago was not more positively critical than Hooker, though the latter
is not necessarily "nothing if not critical," as was Othello's evil
genius. Hooker can not resist the temptation to criticise; and, being
unable to appreciate that questionable code of morality in which policy
dictates that the truth is not always to be spoken, he has made himself
life-long enemies. He can attribute with perfect justice every failure
of his life to that one "weakness of the noble mind." It accelerated
his retirement from the service in 1853; it originated the difficulties
which nearly prevented his re-entry into the service in 1861; it
retarded his promotion, lay at the root of all his difficulties as
commander of the Army of the Potomac, made enemies of his subordinates,
and defeated his every plan, and at last forced him to resign command
of the army. It nearly defeated his every effort to regain a command.
It cost him many difficulties in the event, and finally forced him to
retire from active command under Sherman just as the war was being
wound up with the grand _crescendo_ movement of Grant. He was bitterly
assailed by the press, and persecuted by fellow-officers for his
various criticisms, and even accused of insubordination by men who
did not know that from time immemorial the orders of generals have
been freely criticised by subordinates, who did not fail to obey them,
however. Diogenes was not the only critic of Alexander the Great.
Napoleon would have suffered even more than McClellan from criticism
if he had been as poor a soldier, for McClellan had but one honest
critic, Hooker, and all of Napoleon's marshals frequently criticised
his movements. Criticism forced the arbitrary Czar of Russia to abandon
the chief command of his army in the face of Napoleon's invasion of
1812, and turn over the command to a general who was not one of his
favorites. Hooker was, indeed, the only genuine military critic which
the war produced. Sherman occasionally indulged in critiques, but his
temper interfered with his judgment, and made his criticism as absurd
as vain. Fremont was merely a critic without being a general, and
found fault for the love of fault-finding. General Meigs, who also
tried his hand at criticism, was simply good-natured, not critical.
Cluseret and Gurowski were simply Bohemians, and Assistant Secretary of
War Dana won reputation only as "Secretary Stanton's spy."

The candor of Hooker's criticisms make them highly palatable. One
naturally admires the decision which marks them, and, though some may
consider his reasonings incorrect and his deductions unjust, they
must enjoy the perfect independence with which they are uttered.
His criticism on the battle of Bull Run first brought him to the
consideration of Mr. Lincoln, who read characters at a glance. His
famous criticism on McClellan, in which he did not hesitate (he never
hesitates either to censure or to fight) to attribute the failure
of the Peninsular campaign to "the want of generalship on the part
of our commander," gave him more publicity than his early battles.
The late President used to remark that he had never had occasion to
change the favorable opinion which he formed of Hooker on hearing
his criticism on the battle of Bull Run. The criticism on McClellan
indicates the character of the critic as that of a quick, resolute,
decided man, ready to take all responsibilities. The character has
been fully established by Hooker since he uttered that remarkably free
criticism. Hooker's opinion of McClellan has been attributed to envy
of the latter's position, but I think that he formed his conclusions
of the man long before the war of the rebellion. A circumstance which
happened during the Mexican War gave him his idea of McClellan, and
is so admirable an illustration of McClellan's character that I am
tempted to relate it here. Attached to Pillow's head-quarters, where
Hooker was chief of staff, was a young American, since celebrated as
an artist. He had long been resident in Mexico; was imprisoned on the
approach of our forces to the city, but managed to escape and reach our
army. Here he volunteered to act as interpreter to General Pillow, and
accompanied the army in this capacity through the rest of the campaign.
One day, while encamped in the city after its capture, Captain Hooker
requested the artist to make a drawing of a very superior piece of
artillery captured during the assault. It happened that this gun was in
the camp of a company of sappers and miners, and thither he repaired
to make the sketch. On going to the company head-quarters, he found
Gustavus Smith, the captain, and Callender, the first lieutenant of
the command, absent, while Second Lieutenant George B. McClellan, the
officer on duty, was making the rounds of the camp. The artist at once
repaired to the gun which he wished to sketch, and was engaged in doing
so, when McClellan, with an armed guard at his heels, stepped up, with
the martial air of one "dressed in a little brief authority," and
demanded to know who the intruder was, and by what authority he was
there engaged in sketching. The artist, smiling at the manner of the
young man, very quietly handed him Captain Hooker's authority for the
work he was doing. On reading it McClellan dismissed the guard, and
opened a conversation with the intruder, asking him various questions,
and at last eliciting the fact that he had been for several years past
a resident of the city of Mexico. Instantly McClellan's interest was
excited, and he propounded innumerable questions to the artist on--not
the history, wealth, resources, defenses, etc., of the city, as one
would naturally suppose a young soldier might consistently do, but
upon the condition, character, wealth, standing, etc., of the best
families of the first society of the city! He asked particularly after
the most fashionable, and aristocratic, and wealthy houses, and more
particularly still about the leading dames of the fashionable circles.
He finally concluded by complaining to his informant that he found it
difficult to get introduced to the first families, and had been much
disappointed in not getting admitted into the best Mexican society.
The story was too good to keep, and Hooker, Pillow, and all the staff
afterward enjoyed the artist's frequent relation of the story of the
young man who "fought to get into the best Mexican society." I have
often thought that the young Napoleon conducted his Potomac campaigns
as if his purpose was to place himself on such a footing that, on
arriving at Richmond, he would be readily admitted into "the best
Southern society." Advising a man of McClellan's character, as Hooker
once did, to disobey orders and move on Richmond, with the encouraging
comment that he "might as well die for an old sheep as a lamb," was
like throwing pearls to swine.

The criticism on McClellan and his want of generalship was mistaken
by a great many for vanity instead of candor, and the press of the
country heartily ridiculed Hooker's vanity. He was called an _exalte_,
an enthusiast. He has certainly a good opinion of himself, as all
great men, not only warriors, but philosophers, have invariably had of
themselves. Many not less famous men have been vain of lesser qualities
than Hooker boasts, and their own good opinions of themselves have
been adopted by posterity. Hooker is proud of his mental abilities.
Cæsar was proud of his personal appearance, and devoted more hours to
the plucking of gray hairs from his head than he did to sleep. Vanity
and valor often go hand in hand. Murat was equally brave and vain, and
made his famous charges bedizened in gold lace, and resplendent with
fanciful furs and ermine trimmings. Heroes are seldom sloven. Cromwell
and Sherman, in their slovenliness, are paradoxes in nature as they are
marvels in history.

Hooker's retirement from the army was accelerated, and his subsequent
return to the service was retarded, as has been stated, by this
habit of freely criticising the operations of the army. The history
of his troubles is as follows: Immediately after the close of the
war with Mexico, Hooker was called upon to testify before a court of
investigation, which had the settlement of the difficulties between
Generals Pillow and Worth growing out of the assaults on Chapultepec.
In the course of his examination he very freely criticised some of
the movements of General Scott, the commander-in-chief, and with that
confidence in his own judgment which is a marked characteristic of
Hooker, and which, strange to say, betrays nothing egotistical in it,
told how he would have accomplished the same ends attained by Scott at
less loss, by other movements. Scott, with good reason, was mortally
offended; and when Hooker's resignation reached his hands in the
routine channel of business, it was not delayed for lack of approval,
but was forwarded with a recommendation that it be accepted. When
Hooker wished, at the beginning of the rebellion, to return to the
army, General Scott stood in the way; and being supreme in authority,
under the President, he permitted Hooker to beg for admission for some
months, keeping him dancing attendance unavailingly at the doors of the
war office.

Hooker lingered for several months at Washington endeavoring to get
a command, only leaving the city to witness the Bull Run battle; but
at last wearied out, and seeing no hope of attaining his ends, he
determined to return to California. Before leaving, however, he called
upon the President, whom he had never met, to pay his parting respects,
and was introduced by General Cadwallader as "Captain Hooker." The
President received him in his usual kind style, but was about to
dismiss him, as time required that he should dismiss many, with a few
civil phrases, when he was surprised by Hooker's determined tones into
listening to his history.

"Mr. President," he began, "my friend makes a mistake. I am not
'Captain Hooker,' but was once Lieutenant Colonel Hooker, of the
regular army. I was lately a farmer in California, but since the
rebellion broke out I have been here trying to get into the service,
but I find I am not wanted. I am about to return home, but before going
I was anxious to pay my respects to you, and to express my wishes for
your personal welfare and success in quelling this rebellion. And I
want to say one word more," he added, abruptly, seeing the President
was about to speak; "I was at Bull Run the other day, Mr. President,
and it is no vanity in me to say I am a damned sight better general
than you had on that field." The President seized and shook Hooker's
hand, and begged him to sit down; began a social chat, which, of
course, led to a story, and thus on to a more intimate acquaintance.
The President, who was Hooker's firmest friend afterward, used to take
great pleasure in telling the circumstance, and the effect of the
speech upon him. The boast was made in the tone, not of a braggart,
but of a firm, confident man, who looked him straight in the eye, and
who, the President said afterward, appeared at that moment as if fully
competent to make good his words. He was satisfied that he would at
least try, and, impressed with the resolute air not less than with
the high recommendations of "Mr. Hooker," requested him to defer his
return to California. Hooker remained in Washington, and among the
numerous changes which shortly followed the battle of Bull Run and the
retirement of General Scott was the transformation of "Mr. Hooker" into
"Brigadier General Hooker."

Hooker sometimes indulged in sharp criticisms even in his official
reports. During the battle in Lookout Valley he sent a portion of his
left wing, under General Shurtz, to the assistance of General Geary;
but the former became mixed as to his topography, and did not reach
the battle-field until too late to aid Geary, who accomplished his
task successfully. He reported, in extenuation of his failure, that he
found a wide swamp in his path, and had been compelled to go around it.
Hooker, in his official report, after stating General Shurtz's excuse,
adds very quietly that he had thoroughly examined the country between
General Shurtz's camp and the battle-field, and that no such swamp as
described existed.

Another criticism on some of his subordinates during the battle of
Lookout Mountain reacted on Hooker in consequence of being too
delicately put by him, and too broadly by Grant in an indorsement.
During the assault of that mountain, General Walter Whitaker commanded
the second line of the attacking column under Geary, and the formation
being that of _échelon_ on the right, Whitaker was some distance in the
rear. When Geary's front line reached and took the rebel position, a
large number of prisoners and several cannon were captured, and turned
over by the front line to Whitaker. Whitaker sent the prisoners to the
rear, secured them and the guns; and in his official report represented
them as his captures. Geary, in his report, mentioned, as he had a
perfect right to do, the captures as his, and thus the reports showed
double the list of actual captures. Hooker, in a quiet, sarcastic
vein, whose irony is hardly visible to those not acquainted with the
circumstances, alluded to this double report, and gave the full number
of captured guns and men with an ironical exclamation point at the
end of the sentence. Grant turned the joke on Hooker by indorsing
his report, with the statement that the amount of captured material
enumerated exceeded the actual captures by the whole army!

When Burnside was in command of the Army of the Potomac he executed
an order, which was afterward suppressed by the President, dismissing
several officers of his army from the service for various reasons.
Among the number was General Hooker, dismissed, as might naturally be
supposed, for having criticised the action of his commanding general
at Fredericksburg. The order, which was known as "General Order No.
8," was not carried into effect, and only saw the light through the
treachery of a clerk in the adjutant general's office of the army.
Instead of the order being carried out, Burnside soon after resigned,
and Hooker assumed command of his army.

Hooker left the Army of the Cumberland in consequence of having freely
criticised Sherman's movements on the advance on Atlanta. The failure
of Sherman to promptly follow up his success in seizing Snake Creek
Gap, and to retrieve the blunder of McPherson on retiring from before
Resaca in May, 1864, was particularly provoking not only to Hooker, but
to every other commander who saw Joe Johnston slip through Sherman's
fingers in consequence of that delay, and Hooker very freely alluded
to it as a blunder. The natural consequence of this, and subsequent
instances of candid criticism on Hooker's part, was the creation of
some considerable prejudice against him in Sherman's mind. Sherman
was of too bilious a temperament ever to sacrifice an opportunity
to vent his spleen, and when he found an occasion he took care to
resent the insult of which Hooker had been guilty in criticising
him, forgetting that Curtius and Alexander, Jomini and Napoleon had
ever existed. The opportunity came. When McPherson, the commander of
the Army of the Tennessee, was killed in front of Atlanta, Hooker
was left the senior major general in command of a corps in Sherman's
department, and he naturally expected to be placed in command, the
more so as the President so desired. But Sherman appointed General O.
O. Howard to the command, subject, of course, to the approval of the
commander-in-chief. Mr. Lincoln telegraphed Sherman, requesting him to
appoint General Hooker; and on Sherman's reiteration of his desire to
have General Howard appointed, the President urged Hooker's appointment
in stronger terms. General Sherman was determined that Hooker should
not be appointed, and with an impertinence characteristic of Sherman,
replied, that "his resignation was at the service of the President."
Had Mr. Lincoln been a thorough military man instead of a good-natured
and indulgent President, he would have at least punished Sherman
for such an unwarrantable reply, but he only smiled at it and liked
Sherman, as every body else did, all the better for what looked like
independence rather than impertinence. The consequence was that Howard
was appointed. A thousand worse appointments might have been made, and
I don't know but what the methodical Howard better suited the command
than Hooker would have done. Hooker took umbrage at the appointment of
Howard--the insult was too glaring and offensive to be overlooked--and
at his own request he was relieved of command under Sherman by the
President, and given the command of the Department of the North.

It is not to be supposed, from what I have said about Hooker's
disposition to criticise, that he is of a vindictive nature. His
disgust is not irrevocable. He is always ready to forgive a blunder
when retrieved by a success. He is particularly constant in his
friendships. There are several instances of his friendship for men,
which are remembered without being remarkable except for their
constancy, and as illustrating the kindness of his heart. He was
particularly devoted years ago to the interest of an humble friend
whom he met in Mexico under rather singular circumstances. During the
battle of Churubusco he was sent by Pillow with an order to one of the
brigade commanders. Being compelled to cross a ditched field--very
common in Mexico--he went on foot, with only his sabre at his side.
While crossing the field he was suddenly attacked, not by Mexican
Lancers, but by a Mexican bull, who dashed unexpectedly at him. He
immediately turned and gave battle in the true _matador_ style,
thrusting with his sabre whenever an opportunity offered, and springing
out of the way, with all the activity of a bull-fighting Spaniard. He
was fast getting weary of the sport, however, when he saw at a distance
a private of the Mounted Rifles, and called on him to shoot the beast.
After much trouble he at last attracted the attention of the soldier,
who quickly obeyed orders, crossed the ditch and shot the bull, much to
the relief of Hooker. The soldier immediately afterward disappeared,
and Hooker found it impossible to discover him, though search was made
through camp for the preserver of his life, as Hooker persisted in
considering him. He did not give up the search, and at last discovered
the man years after in Washington. He was in want. Hooker, having
some influence, obtained him a position in one of the departments at
Washington, where he still remains, a firm friend of Joe Hooker, and
boasting of enjoying the friendship of the "commander of the best army
on the planet."

Like most nervous men, Hooker is untiringly energetic. He goes at
every thing, as he does at the enemy, with a dash. He talks at you
with vigor, piles argument on argument in rapid succession--argument
which requires not less vigorous thought to follow and answer--couples
facts with invectives, and winds up with a grand charge of resistless
eloquence which has much the same effect as the grand charge of a
reserve force in battle. He works with the same rapidity--the same
nervous, resistless energy, and does not know what fatigue is. He has
energy equal to Sherman, and in his organization and habits is somewhat
like Sherman, though more elegant. Hooker is the very impersonation of
manly grace, dignity, delicacy--a thorough-bred gentleman. Hooker has
energy equal to Grant, but he has not Grant's patience, stoicism, or
imperturbability. He is not content, like Grant, to wait for results.
His strength lies in his momentum; Grant's in his weight. It was
perhaps because Hooker so nearly resembles him, and because Howard
had such opposite characteristics, that Sherman preferred the latter
as commander of the Army of the Tennessee. Howard and Hooker have
certain qualities in common, but yet are as different in organization
as Sherman and Howard. Howard is, like Hooker, a finished gentleman,
princely in manners. No one meeting them can fail to notice that both
are equally graceful, equally handsome, equally dignified, considerate,
manly, and courteous. But Howard, unlike Hooker, is exceedingly
methodical, is always calm, self-possessed, and of a lymphatic rather
than a bilious temperament. Hooker is ever sanguine. It is not to be
supposed that, because he is a quick worker, he easily flags in his
hasty labor. His energy never gives out, and he is as persistent as
Thomas, more so than Sherman, and vies with Grant in this respect.

The title of "Fighting Joe" is very offensive to General Hooker, but
I have chosen to use it as the heading for this article because it
accurately as well as briefly describes the character of the man. It
was given him by an accident, but it was a happy one; and when history
comes to sum up the characteristics of our heroes, she will apply it
as indicative of Hooker's character. The circumstances under which it
was given are as follows: The agent of the New York Associated Press
is often compelled, during exciting times, to furnish his telegraphic
accounts by piecemeals, in order to enable the papers to lay the
facts before the public as fast as received, and hence, in order
to number the pages correctly, he has to originate what are called
"running heads," or titles, each being repeated with every page. When
the account of the battle of Malvern Hill was being received by the
Associated Press agent at New York, there was such great excitement
in that city that it even extended to the telegraph operators and
copyists, who were generally considered proof against such fevers of
excitement. In the midst of the sensation which that battle created,
one of the copyists, in his admiration of the gallantry and daring of
General Hooker as detailed in the report, improvised as a "running
head" the title "Fighting Joe Hooker," which was repeated page after
page. Two or three of the papers adopted it, in lieu of a better, as
the head-line for the printed accounts, and heralded the battle of
Malvern Hill under that title. The name "stuck," and has been fixed on
Hooker irretrievably. Instead of accepting the title as a decree of
fate, he can not bear to hear it. "It always sounds to me," he once
said, when allusion had been made to it, "as if it meant 'Fighting
Fool.' It has really done me much injury in making the public believe
I am a furious, headstrong fool, bent on making furious dashes at the
enemy. I never have fought without good purpose, and with fair chances
of success. When I have decided to fight, I have done so with all the
vigor and strength I could command."

A very general idea at one time prevailed that General Hooker was a
hard drinker, very often indulging to great excess, but this has of
late been corrected. As far as my rather close observation goes, the
impression was unfounded. It had its origin with that pestiferous class
of humorists who devote their energies to the renewal of old jokes for
the sake of modern application. Many of the false impressions which
were afloat regarding Mr. Lincoln found their origin in the habit
which the Joe Millers of the age had of crediting their stories, both
witty and vulgar, to Mr. Lincoln instead of to the Irish nation as
formerly. It is from these same fellows that Hooker has suffered, and
three fourths of those who declared him to be a drunkard had no better
foundation for the assertion than a story told as coming from Mr.
Lincoln, in which Hooker was recommended to avoid Bourbon County in his
passage through Kentucky. Hooker's style of living in camp was elegant,
more from the attention of the staff officers who messed with him than
from his own desire, taste, or exertions. He was always indifferent to
personal comfort, though very particular as to personal appearance.

His complexion may have been the origin of the stories about his
drunkenness, but every one familiar with him knows that his roseate hue
is natural to him. His complexion is red and white most beautifully
blended, and he looks as rosy as the most healthy woman alive. His
skin never tans nor bleaches, but peels off from exposure, leaving the
same rosy complexion always visible. The Spanish women in the city of
Mexico, with whom he was a great favorite, described his complexion by
an adjective, a mongrel Spanish word which I have now forgotten, but
which I remember signified "the only man as beautiful as a woman."

_El capitan hermoso_, "the handsome captain," was a phrase as common
with the Mexican ladies of the Mexican capital as "Fighting Joe"
is now with the American public. _El buen mozo_ was another phrase
among them; while more intimate admirers called him _El guero_, "the
light-haired." The light brown hair is now much tinged with gray, and,
until lately, _El buen mozo_, the comely youth, despite the ravages
of time, was a splendidly preserved young gentleman of fifty. But the
tall, erect, muscular figure of _El capitan hermoso_ has been bent
and weakened, but not by age. His animal spirits are just as great as
when he marched through Mexico, but his physical endurance is gone,
perhaps, forever. His full, clear eye is just as bright to-day as it
was when he was simply captain and chief of staff to General Pillow,
but he can not spring as nimbly into the saddle at the sound of opening
battle. On the 20th of November, 1865, while assisting at the reception
of General Grant at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York, he was suddenly
stricken with paralysis, and was carried to his residence in a helpless
state. He lost the use of his right side, leg, and arm, and will, it
is feared, become a confirmed invalid. His physicians declare that
the paralytic stroke was the result of a blow received by Hooker at
the battle of Chancellorsville nearly three years before. The general
became very much reduced by this disease; his frame became bent and
emaciated, and something of the symmetry of his features was lost. Very
little hope of his ultimate recovery is entertained by any other person
than himself; but nothing can convince the sanguine general that his
health will not return to him in time.

[Illustration: LOVELL H. ROUSSEAU.]



All failures find their special apologies, and some curious ones were
originated by the admirers of McClellan to account for the singular
ineffective policy of that officer. That policy is now generally known
as the "McNapoleonic," in contradistinction to the Fabian policy, from
which it differed only in that Fabian attained valuable results, while
McClellan did not. Every thing was to have been effected by the young
Napoleon, according to his admirers, by pure, unalloyed strategy, and
the rebellion and its armies were to be crushed without bloodshed. This
great strategist, according to these authorities, was without parallel;
all the rest of the generals, like Thomas, Grant, Hooker, etc., were,
according to the McClellan theory, _only_ "fighting generals." Their
battles were mere massacres; Grant was a butcher; they quote his
Wilderness campaign even to this day to prove it, and declare that he
lost a hundred thousand men in his battles north of the James, but
never reflect that McClellan lost ninety thousand without doing any
fighting, and while retreating instead of advancing to that same river.
Sheridan, to their mind, is a mere raider, without an idea of strategy,
and Thomas, Hooker, Hancock, and all the rest, were "_only_ fighting

Belonging to this "despised" class of fighting generals, of which
Hooker and Sheridan, as I have endeavored to show, despite this
McClellan theory, are brilliant graduates, are Major Generals John
A. Logan, of Illinois, and Lovell H. Rousseau, of Kentucky. Each of
these four is endowed mentally, and constituted by nature, to be a
leader of men. Hooker and Sheridan have been confirmed generals by
education. Rousseau and Logan owe every thing to nature, and are
leaders, not generals, intuitively. The first two have been educated
at West Point into being good directors of armed battalions, but it
goes "against the grain" with either to confine himself solely to the
direction of a battle, and hence they are often seen in battle obeying
the dictates of nature, and leading charges which they should direct.
Rousseau and Logan never enjoyed the advantages of West Point, and, as
nature is unchecked in them by education, he who hunts for them on the
battle-field must look along the front line, and not with the reserves.
Neither Logan nor Rousseau would be content--it can not really be
said that they are competent--to direct a battle on a grand scale: it
would simply be an impossible task on the part of either, for they are
neither educated nor constituted naturally to be commanders, in the
technical sense of the term. They are neither strategists nor even
tacticians. Both are bold, daring, enthusiastic in spirit; one has a
commanding presence, and the other an inspiring eye, and the natural
and most effective position of each is at the head of forlorn hopes, or
leading desperate charges to successful issues.

The same contrast in person between "Fighting Joe Hooker," tall,
towering, and always graceful, and "Little Phil Sheridan," short,
quick, and rough, can be traced between Rousseau, a huge, magnificent,
ponderous, and handsome figure, and "Black Jack Logan," a somewhat
short but graceful figure, in whose forehead is set the finest pair of
eyes ever possessed by a man. The _personnel_ of these four warriors
differs very much. Hooker and Rousseau are very different types of the
tall and elegant "human form divine," and Logan and Sheridan illustrate
the graceful and the graceless in little men; but the great hearts of
each beat alike, and on the battle-field the daring and boldness of
each are equally conspicuous and effective.

Of all these heroes, however, Rousseau is most naturally a leader. His
whole career, civil and military, illustrates him as such; and only in
a country of the extent of ours, with such varied and complex interests
existing within each other, could any man attain the success with which
he has been rewarded, without at the same time gaining such fame as
would have made his name as familiar in every home as household words,
and invested him with a national reputation. It is a fact illustrative
of the vast extent of the late war, and of the existence of the various
sectional interests which were second to the great, absorbing feeling
of devotion to the whole Union, that there are thousands of people
in the East who do not know aught of the geographical position of
Western battle-fields, or the history of the military career of the
more distinguished officers of the Western armies. The case is also
reversed, and such distinguished men as Meade, Hancock, and Sickles,
and hundreds less renowned, are hardly known at the West. The people
of the East, naturally absorbed in the interests which are nearest
and dearest to them, are intimately acquainted with the history and
achievements of the chosen leaders of their sons and brothers of
the Potomac armies, but know little in detail of the leaders of the
Western armies. To the people of the East, Rosecrans is a myth of whom
they remember only that he met disaster at Chickamauga; and of Thomas
they know little more than that he was the hero of that same defeat.
They know little of McPherson, McClernand, Dodge, Blair, Oglesby,
Osterhaus, and others, save that they "were with Grant" at Vicksburg
and elsewhere. Indeed, the whole army of the West enjoy in the East
a mythical existence, and Logan and Rousseau live in our memories as
undefinedly, though as firmly, as many of the characters of romance.
Nine out of every ten who are asked to tell who and what they are will
be puzzled for a reply, and will state much that is pure romance, and
nothing illustrative of their characters. And yet no two men have been
more prominent or more popular in the armies with which they were
connected than these two rising men of the West.

General Rousseau, of whom it is proposed to speak in this chapter, is
not a strategist nor a tactician according to the rules of West Point,
in whose sciences he is uneducated save by the practical experience of
the past four years of war. He makes no pretensions to a knowledge of
engineering, or strategy, or grand tactics, is not even versed in the
details of logistics; but of all those who have won reputation as hard,
pertinacious, and dashing fighters, none more deserve their fame than
he. His battles have been brilliant, if short; desperate and bloody
contests, in which more has resulted from courage and the enthusiasm
imparted to the men than from strategy and tactics. If examination is
made into Rousseau's career, it will be found that he has ever been in
the front line of battle, not only at Buena Vista, in our miniature
contest with Mexico, at Shiloh, Perryville, and Stone River, but
in every aspect, and under all circumstances of his career, always
ahead, and leading his people in politics as in war. A self-educated
and self-made man, of strong intellectual and reasoning powers, quick
to resolve and prompt to act, he appears at all times in that noble
attitude of one who has led instead of following public sentiment. In
youth he was left the junior member of an orphaned family, of which his
habit of decision made him the head and chief dependence. Emigrating
in 1841 to Indiana, he made himself, by his talents, the leader of a
party which had never attained success before his advent, and never
won it after his retirement. His personal popularity retained him a
seat in the Senate of Indiana for six years. In the middle of the term
for which he was elected in 1848, he returned to Kentucky, and began
the practice of law at Louisville. The Democrats of the Indiana Senate
insisted he should resign, because a non-resident, but his constituents
would not allow him to retire; and Rousseau threatened in retaliation
to return to reside in Indiana and again run for the Senate. The
Democrats were afraid of this very thing, and opposition to Rousseau's
retention of his seat for the rest of the term was silenced. The
Democrats contented themselves with trying to throw ridicule on him by
calling him "the member from Louisville."

Returning to Kentucky in 1849, Rousseau was one of the few of her sons
who were prepared to second or adopt the views then agitated by Henry
Clay in regard to emancipating slaves. In 1855, when "Know-Nothingism"
had swallowed up his old party--the Whig--and held temporarily a great
majority in his city, county, and state, Rousseau became the leader of
the small minority which rejected the false doctrines of the "American"
party. His bitter denunciation of its practices, its tendencies to
mob violence, and his persistent opposition to its encroachments on
individual rights, nearly cost him his life at the hands of a mob who
attacked him while defending a German in the act of depositing his
vote. He was shot through the abdomen, and confined for two months to
his bed, but had the satisfaction to know, when well again, that the
party he had fought almost single-handed had no longer an organized
existence. He was also instrumental, in 1855, in saving two of the
Catholic churches of Louisville from destruction at the hands of a
mob of Know-Nothings, and gained in popularity with both parties,
when the passion and excitement of the time had passed away, by these
exhibitions of his great courage and sense of right and justice.

It was not merely, however, through the political excitement of the
day that Rousseau won his popularity and established his character.
For many years past--for at least two generations before the war--the
courts of Kentucky have been noted for the many important and exciting
criminal trials which have come up in them, and no bar presented finer
opportunities for a young criminal lawyer. From the time of Rousseau's
return to Kentucky in 1849 to the period when he went into the army
in 1861, no important criminal case was tried in the Kentucky courts
in which he did not figure on one side or the other. In 1843, the old
system of pleading in the common law courts of England, as it existed
before it had been clipped and modified by legislation, was in vogue
at the Indiana bar, and on his advent in that state Rousseau soon
found that no lawyer could practice respectably there without special
pleading. A lawyer who was not a special pleader would in those days
frequently find his case and himself thrown out of court, without
exactly understanding how it was done. He therefore studied special
pleading as a system in itself, taking the old English authors on the
subject, and, after a few years' hard study and practice, soon made
himself one of the best special pleaders in the West. When he returned
to Kentucky, this system, not so thoroughly in use there, gave him
several triumphs, which at once established his character and gave
him plenty of practice. As a jury lawyer Rousseau has had no rival in
his district since 1855; and the late Attorney General of the United
States, James Speed, acknowledges himself indebted to Rousseau for
several of his worst defeats before juries. Knowing the particular and
peculiar legal talents of Rousseau, the attorney general employed him
to aid in the prosecution of Jeff Davis for treason, and to assist
Hon. John H. Clifford and William M. Evarts in the important duty of
endeavoring to define treason.

There occurred in Louisville in 1857 a trial of a very remarkable
character, which illustrates in a very interesting manner Rousseau's
legal ability and his decision and daring. A family of five or six
persons, named Joyce, were murdered, and their bodies burned in their
house near the city. Suspicion fell upon some negroes on the adjoining
plantation, and they were seized by the neighbors and threatened with
hanging if they did not confess. One or two of them were hung up for
a few moments and then let down nearly exhausted, but still persisted
in declaring their innocence. Another, however, tied to a stake, and
the fagots fired around him, agreed to confess, and, to avoid death
by burning, confessed that himself and the others arrested with him
had committed the murder. The negroes--four of them, all belonging to
one man--were thrown into jail to await their trial. Their master was
satisfied that they were innocent, and determined to engage the best
available counsel for them. This was easier to propose than to do, for
so great was the excitement among the people that, extending to the
lawyers, no other counsel besides Rousseau could be retained, and he
was compelled to undertake the defense unaided. He had always been very
popular in the district in which the murder had been committed, and
many of his old friends from the neighborhood visited him, and urged
him not to sacrifice his popularity with them by defending such abased
and brutal criminals as these negroes. In vain Rousseau urged that the
greater the guilt the greater the necessity for a lawyer. His friends
could listen to no reason, and saw no justification in defending
negroes who deserved to be hung according to their own confession. When
Rousseau intimated that he did not believe the confession, and alluded
to the manner in which it had been extorted, they would go away in
disgust, and many cursed him for "a damned abolitionist."

When the trial came on, the people of the district in which the murder
had been committed crowded the court-house night and day. The sole
surviving member of the family, a young man also named Joyce, occupied
a seat within the railing of the court-room, while the crowd of his
friends were kept outside of the bar. The feeling of animosity in the
crowd against the negroes was only kept from breaking out into fury
by the certainty of their conviction and punishment by law; but fears
were justly entertained that some development of the trial might so
excite the by-standers as to cause the instantaneous hanging of the
negroes. This fear was fully justified, and an attempt to hang them was
only frustrated by the prompt action and daring of Rousseau. The sole
evidence for the prosecution was that of the negro who had confessed,
and he was put upon the stand, after the usual preliminaries, to
give his statement in open court. The negro went on, in a hesitating
manner, to give, with many contradictions, the story of how the murder
had been committed, and the house fired in several places. He stated
that, after the house was almost encircled in flames, the youngest
child of the murdered family, a little girl of two years, who had
been overlooked in the hurry of the massacre, aroused by the light,
sat up in bed and asked, calling to her mother, to know "if she was
cooking breakfast." At this part of the evidence there was a deathlike
stillness through the court-room. The crowd, horrified, seemed afraid
to draw a breath for a moment, and the negro witness himself appeared
to fully comprehend the danger of the situation and hesitated. At
last one old gentleman--I think he was one of the jury--shading his
eye with his hands as if to shut out the scene, uttered, in a pitiful
tone through his clenched teeth, the sound which I can only express by
"tut! tut! tut! tut!" The half hissing sound could be heard all over
the court-room, and as it was heard a cold shudder ran through the
crowd, followed a moment after by crimson flushes of passion on bronzed
cheeks. In the midst of the silent excitement--for it was an excitement
so profound as almost robbed men of the power of speech--young Joyce
sprang to his feet and exclaimed,

"I want all my friends who think these negroes are guilty to help me
hang them."

He was answered by a wild shout and by the click of hundreds of
pistols. As he had spoken, young Joyce drew a huge knife from a sheath
fastened to his body, and, encouraged by the answering cry of his
friends, sprang toward the negroes. As he did so, however, Rousseau,
who stood between him and the prisoners, caught him by the throat with
one hand, and with the other clasped the wrist of the arm which held
the uplifted knife. It was but the work of a moment for a powerful man
like Rousseau to thrust Joyce back again in his seat and pinion him
there while he turned and confronted the crowd, who had made a rush for
the negroes, but who were being beaten back by the sheriff and one or
two policemen. As soon as they saw the position of young Joyce, still
held in his chair by the powerful arm of Rousseau, the crowd made a
rush in that direction. Rousseau was again prompt and decisive.

"Mr. Joyce," he said, "tell your friends that while they hang the
negroes I'll attend to you."

Joyce waved his friends back with the only hand left free, and quiet
again succeeded. It is hardly probable that even this promptness would
have saved Rousseau had he not been personally popular with the crowd.
As the crowd shrank back he released Joyce and turned abruptly to the
judge, who had ordered the sheriff to summon a force of the police to
protect the prisoners, and said,

"Don't do any thing of the sort. Don't do any thing of the sort, your
honor. We can protect the prisoners and ourselves. There are enough
true men here to protect them from the fury of this young man."

"Where are your friends?" cried the still furious crowd.

"You are!" exclaimed Rousseau, turning abruptly to them--I might say on
them. And then, without a single second's hesitation, he began a brief
speech, in which he passionately urged and entreated them to aid him
in preventing Joyce, whom he characterized as "this unfortunate young
man," from committing a deed which would forever be a curse to him as
long as he had a memory of it, and which would forever disgrace them
as a law-abiding community. While he was yet speaking the crowd calmed
down, and when he had finished painting the enormity of the offense
and the remorse of the young man if he had been permitted to commit so
great a crime, they cheered him, and through the room went frequent
and repeated whispers, "He's right;" "he's right;" "Rousseau's always

The trial thenceforth proceeded in quiet until the announcement of
the verdict of "not guilty," when another terrible scene ensued; but
provision having been made for such an occurrence, the negroes were
carried off to jail for protection. The people were satisfied that the
negroes were guilty, and the verdict (obtained by Rousseau by showing
the inconsistencies of the confession and the circumstances, the
threats and the terror, under which it was extorted) only increased
their passion. The jail was surrounded, and the night after the
acquittal the negroes were taken out by the mob and hung on the trees
in the City Hall grounds. During the riot the mayor of the city, Mr.
Pilcher, while endeavoring to quiet the crowd, was struck by a missile
in the head, and died soon after from the effects of the injury

This and several other trials eventually resulted in increasing
Rousseau's popularity. Two or three of his most important cases
embraced the defense of men accused and undoubtedly guilty of aiding
negroes to escape from slavery. It is hardly comprehensible that less
than a decade ago this offense was considered the most criminal act a
man could commit in Kentucky, or that men were sentenced to fifteen
years' hard labor for such offenses, or that convicts are still working
out their term for these offenses in Southern penitentiaries. To engage
in the defense of such criminals a few years ago, even in the latitude
of Louisville, was to be set down as an "abolitionist," and but few of
the Kentucky lawyers of the decade just before the war cared to bear
such a character. Rousseau, without courting the reputation, did not
fear it; and his manly bearing in all such cases, and in the political
excitement of the time, so advanced him in popular estimation that in
1860 he was elected to the State Senate of Kentucky without opposition
and as the candidate of both parties, whose only rivalry with regard
to him was as to which should first secure his acceptance of the
nomination. It was while holding this position as state senator that
Rousseau began his bold opposition to Kentucky neutrality, which
brought him so prominently before the country, and opened to him that
career in which he has won so much honor and such a high rank.

The true story of Kentucky neutrality is one of the most romantic
episodes of the war. The visionary schemers who planned the Southern
Confederacy were guilty of dozens of chimerical and fallacious schemes,
whose shallowness is now so apparent that one wonders how the Southern
people were ever deceived by them. The rebel leaders declared--and
declared it so often that they actually believed it themselves--that
the Northern people would not fight. They boasted, and boasted so
frequently that they began after a time to believe, that one Southern
man could really whip five Yankees. They deceived themselves for so
many years with the doctrine of States Rights that leaders and people
began to believe that a fraction of the body corporate could exist
without the aid of the rest, and offered to this modern and enlightened
age a national illustration of Æsop's fable of the stomach's folly.
When the schemes of the rebel leaders were culminating, and they found
that the people of the Border States were not disposed, like those of
the Cotton States, to be hurried, regardless of consequences, into a
war in which they had nothing to gain and every thing to lose, they
instituted, with a shrewdness worthy the fame of a Philadelphia
lawyer, the no less visionary schemes that there could be law without
power, and that a portion of the body, and that portion the heart,
could suspend its operations while the rest was being violently
agitated. In Tennessee, where the first-named scheme was successful,
the rebels deceived the Union men into advocating the doctrine of "no
coercion." In Kentucky, where their complete success in carrying out
the second design was frustrated only by the sagacity of Rousseau,
the rebels deceived the Unionists into advocating the doctrine of
"neutrality." Twice the people of Tennessee voted against co-operation
with the rebel states; and when the rebels again dared to test the
question at the polls, they embodied in the contest the principle
that "the general government could not coerce a sovereign state," and
into the support of this doctrine the anti-secessionists foolishly
acquiesced. The first act of the President in calling for troops to
enforce the laws was construed into coercion, and the state seceded.
Three times the State of Kentucky voted by large majorities against
secession, but the rebels did not despair, and, having failed to get
the people to secede, or to declare against the right of coercion, they
endeavored, with but partial success, to commit the authorities and the
Unionists to what was called "a strict neutrality."

The rebels in Kentucky were under the leadership of a Cassius-like
character named Simon Bolivar Buckner. He had been in the secrets and
the interests of the dis-union leaders for years before the first overt
act of secession was committed, and for three or four years previous
to 1861 had been engaged in schemes for carrying the state out of the
Union, and for furnishing troops to the rebel army that was to be. The
principal of these schemes was the organization of the very irregular
militia of the state into a strong body, known as the "State Guard."
Buckner, by every means in his reach--and his associates in treason,
who were also in power, gave him great assistance--fostered this
scheme. He created a martial spirit among the young men of Kentucky,
and by the aid of Tilghman, Hunt, Hanson, and others, who eventually
became rebel generals, extended this spirit to every part of the state.
He was a man eminently fitted for such a task, and by his duplicity and
skill undermined the faith in and love for the Union existing among
the young men who formed the State Guard. Years before the majority of
them suspected that secession would ever be attempted, they had grown
to look upon the institutions, doctrines, and even the flag of the
Union with indifference, if not contempt. The flag of Kentucky became
the flag of the guard, and Buckner even attempted to expel that of the
government from the organization. The various uniforms of the different
militia organizations of different districts were discarded, under
Buckner's orders, for a uniform of gray, which eventually proved to be
that of the rebel army. The various arms of the different companies
were discarded for weapons of a uniform calibre. The organization,
which had originally embraced only companies, was extended to divisions
and regiments, and brigades were formed and drilled in encampments as
such. In fact, nearly a year before South Carolina seceded, the State
Guard of Kentucky, with Simon Bolivar Buckner as Inspector General
commanding, was simply a body of recruits for the embryo rebel army.
It is slightly foreign to the subject, but I may as well add here the
fact I have never heard stated before, that, at the same time, and
undoubtedly for the same purpose, the martial spirit of the youth of
all the Southern States was being encouraged. Militia organization of
the various states were being thoroughly remodeled and systematized,
the best of arms obtained, uniforms of the same kind purchased, and,
to all appearances, the rebel army, as it afterward existed, was being
recruited in 1858-9 and '60.

This organization, under Buckner, existed when neutrality was
instituted, and the new doctrines gave it and the traitors who led it
additional strength, while it served to cloak their designs. Great
numbers of the leading Unionists of the state joined with the rebel
leaders in support of this doctrine, ridiculous and inconsistent as it
now appears to have been. A large majority of the people who had voted
against secession also became committed to the visionary doctrine,
until it came to be the accepted policy of the state; so that, when
Lovell Rousseau, in the Senate, in May, 1861, denounced neutrality as a
mask of the secessionists on the one hand, and a disgraceful yielding
of the Unionists on the other, he found few who agreed with him, and
less who seconded him in his avowed purpose of abolishing neutrality,
and placing the state, at all times, in her proper position as a true
member of the Union, amid the disasters of war as well as in the
prosperity of peace.

The public were not prepared to follow him, and he was forced to
accept neutrality as a compromise between union and secession, between
right and wrong, but doing so under public protest in the Senate
of the state, and declaring on every occasion which offered that it
was a debasing position, which he intended to abandon as soon as he
could induce the state to follow him. He found little support in this
honorable war upon neutrality until the secessionists, under Buckner,
went a step farther, and proposed, after hostilities had fairly begun,
to make the neutrality of Kentucky an "armed neutrality," urging that
the state troops be armed to resist encroachments from either rebel
or Union troops. In this proposition Rousseau saw an opportunity for
forcing a direct issue with the rebels, and he was quick to take
advantage of it. He saw in it actual aid to the rebellion. Against
this scheme, which proposed the appropriation of three millions of
dollars to arm the "Kentucky State Guard," he at once began a crusade
as earnest as it was untiring. He denounced the State Guard and its
leaders as secessionists and traitors, stormed at them in Senate-halls
and on the stump, and not only defeated the bill, but succeeded very
happily in dividing the State Guard into two rival organizations,
known as the "Home Guards" (Unionists) and "State Guardsmen" (rebels).
He called it at the time "separating the sheep from the goats." It
was a most fortunate achievement; for it not only saved thousands of
young men belonging to the State Guard from being unwittingly drawn
into the rebel army, but precipitated the designs of the rebels, and
hastened the defection which was inevitable. This was accomplished
under personal difficulties, opposition, and dangers, which only made
the labor more delightful to a person of Rousseau's temperament. He
delights in opposition; is in his element only when in the minority,
and strongly opposed; and his belligerent disposition led him to gladly
accept not only the numerous stump and street discussions and disputes,
but even street quarrels and fights with the secessionists. The rebel
sympathizers seldom dared attack him openly, his bold front, at all
times maintained, making them prefer to exercise their strategy and
trickery against him rather than come to open warfare. Upon him, as the
head and front of the offending party, they poured all their abuse and
vituperation, but dared to do little more.

This split in the State Guard soon proved a serious affair, and the
"defection," as the traitors called the retirement of the Union men,
became quite general. Every incident increased the feeling; every
day saw the differences of opinions and the breach grow wider. On
one occasion Buckner was reviewing the regiment of the Guard which
was stationed at Lexington, Ky. The feeling between the partisans
composing the regiment had become quite demonstrative, and on this
occasion Captain Saunders D. Bruce, a Union officer of the regiment
(subsequently colonel of the Twentieth Kentucky Infantry, now a
resident of New York, and editor of the "Field, Turf, and Farm"
newspaper), made his appearance in the line with two small United
States flags as guidons for his company. Buckner, noticing them,
approached Captain Bruce, ordered him to the front, in full view
of the regiment, explained to him that Kentucky was neutral in the
"unfortunate struggle" then going on, and directed him to replace the
guidons by flags of the state. Bruce, without replying, turned to
his company, and, as if about to obey, gave the orders, "Attention,
company;" "Shoulder arms;" "Right face;" "Forward march," and away went
the "Lexington Chasseurs" out of the line, and for that matter out of
the State Guard. No attempt was made to stop the company, or to call
Bruce to account for his "insubordination."

No sooner had the work of dividing the State Guard been thus
accomplished, than Rousseau hastened to Washington to obtain permission
from the President to raise troops in the state for the United
States service. While on the way to Washington, he had an interview
with General McClellan, then commanding the Western Department, at
Cincinnati, and found him opposed to his scheme. McClellan sent to
Washington his aid, Colonel Key (subsequently dismissed the service
for disloyal utterances), to represent Rousseau's scheme as rash and
ill-advised. At the same time, others were sent to Washington by the
"mild-mannered" Unionists to urge the President not to grant Rousseau
permission to raise troops, arguing that it would at once precipitate
the invasion of the state by the rebels. Rousseau consequently found
great difficulty in obtaining the required authority, but went at the
question boldly.

He was introduced to the President and the cabinet by Secretary Chase,
who was his energetic friend in the matter, and who subsequently
aided him materially in getting around the President's objections to
the project. Before he had finished shaking hands with the stalwart
Kentuckian and soldier, the President good-humoredly said, "Rousseau, I
want you to tell me where you got that joke about Senator Johnson, of
your state."

The "joke" alluded to was one of the neatest of Mr. Lincoln's numerous
dry humors, and was as follows: A state senator from Paducah, Ky., John
M. Johnson by name, who had made himself notorious as a secessionist,
wrote to Mr. Lincoln in May, 1861, a very solemn and emphatic protest,
in the name of the sovereign State of Kentucky, against the occupation
and fortification of Cairo, on the Illinois side of the Ohio River.
Mr. Lincoln replied in a letter written in his own peculiar vein,
apologizing for the movement, promising it should not be done again,
and declaring that if he had half suspected that Cairo, Illinois, was
in Dr. Johnson's Kentucky senatorial district, he would have thought
twice before sending troops there. Rousseau had heard the story, and
had repeated it in a speech in the Senate, and an explanation of how
it had gained publicity was what the President requested. Rousseau

"The joke was too good to keep, sir, and so Johnson told it himself."

The interview, thus auspiciously began, proved a failure. Cameron and
Chase were the only ones in the cabinet who favored the enlistment of
troops in Kentucky; and on their declaring this opinion, the President
advised them not to be too hasty, remarking,

"You know we have seen another man from Kentucky to-day."

"I don't ask you to say who that man was, Mr. President," said
Rousseau, suspecting it to have been Colonel Key, and anxious to
forestall him, as he had declared his intention to oppose the scheme;
"but Colonel Key is not a Kentuckian, and does not know or comprehend
our people. If you want troops in my state, I can and will raise
them; and I think it is your duty to our people in Kentucky to begin
the work of enlistment there, for if the rebels raise troops and we do
not, why, naturally, many young men will be led away from duty by their
sympathies for kindred and associates; while if you begin the work of
enlistment, the loyal youth will have something to guide and direct
them in the right course."

In this way Rousseau represented to the President what he had done
in the way of defeating the schemes of the rebels to arm themselves
at the expense of Kentucky, and in dividing the state militia into
two classes. He had inspired the loyal Home Guards with an _esprit de
corps_, which would save the greater part of them from any connection
with the secessionists; but he represented also that there were
thousands of young men in the state who had not decided to follow
either the rebel or loyal banner, and that, knowing this, the rebels
were recruiting in every part of the state. Thousands of the young and
thoughtless would be, and hundreds were being, drawn into the rebel
army by this means, and he argued that the government ought to recruit
in this neutral state as an encouragement to the young men to join the
loyal army.

But the President took time to consider, and Rousseau withdrew. The
next day Mr. Chase drew up in regular form the authority Rousseau
desired, and Cameron signed it and gave him a commission as colonel,
the rank dating from June 15th, 1861. Both Chase and Cameron promised
to endeavor to obtain the President's sanction of the act, that
Rousseau might feel perfectly free to go to work. Rousseau was granted
another interview with the President, who, after some farther
conversation on the subject, indorsed Rousseau's original application
to be permitted to raise troops as follows:

"When Judge Pirtle, James Guthrie, George D. Prentice, Harney, the
Speeds, and the Ballards shall think it proper to raise troops for the
United States service in Kentucky, Lovell H. Rousseau is authorized to
do so."

This he handed to Rousseau and asked, "Will that do?"

Rousseau read it carefully, and then replied, somewhat disappointed,

"No, Mr. President, that won't do."

"Why not, why not, Rousseau? These men are good Union men."

"Yes, sir, good men and loyal, Mr. Lincoln, but nearly all of them
differ with me on this subject, are committed to the abominable
doctrine of neutrality, and it would be too late when the majority of
them conclude that it would be proper to raise troops. Then I fear the
state will have seceded. I had hoped, sir, that what the War Department
has done in my case would be acceptable to you."

"What has Cameron done?" asked the President.

"He has, by the advice of Mr. Chase, authorized me to raise two
regiments in Kentucky."

"Oh!" said Mr. Lincoln, after reading the documents, "if the War
Department has acted in the matter, I have nothing to say in

Rousseau, fearful that too much might be said, at once arose, shook the
President's hand, and vanished.

On his return to Kentucky, Rousseau, in deference to the President's
wishes, as implied in the indorsement of his paper, consulted James
Speed, and through him called a meeting of the gentlemen named, and
also of others in the city of Louisville and interior counties of the
state. Much to the surprise of Mr. Speed, only himself, his brother
Joshua, Bland and John P. Ballard, Samuel Lusk, Morgan Vance, and John
H. Ward, a minority of the meeting, hardly respectable in numbers, were
in favor of the project. Pirtle, Guthrie, Prentice, Harney, Bramlette,
Boyle, and others, opposed it strongly, and in the end adopted
resolutions to the effect that the time had not come; that it was then
impolitic, unwise, and improper to enlist troops for the United States
service in Kentucky; but adding that when the time did arrive, they all
wished Rousseau, in whom they expressed every confidence, to head the
movement. Rousseau had made up his mind that such would be the result
of their deliberations (from which he had retired before the final
action), and had decided upon his course; so that when Joshua Speed
next day handed him the resolutions, Rousseau was neither surprised nor
chagrined, but very much disgusted. A few minutes after leaving Mr.
Speed on this occasion, he met Bramlette, subsequently governor of the
state, and that gentleman began to defend the majority of the meeting
of the night before for their action in the matter, when Rousseau
interrupted him by asking if any thing had been said in opposition to
the enlistment of troops by him in other states. Bramlette replied in
the negative, when the two parted, and Rousseau immediately began the
enlistment of Kentuckians, but established his camp and swore in his
recruits in Indiana. Being compelled to do this was very humiliating
to Rousseau, but it did not dishearten him, and he went at his work
energetically. There were greater obstacles in his way at that time
than the mere opposition of men as to time and place. When he began
the work of enlistment, the government had no credit in Kentucky, and
the expenses of enlisting and feeding his two thousand recruits were
defrayed by himself and a gentleman living in Indiana named Samuel
Patterson, whose name, for the sake of his devoted loyalty, deserves
to go down to history. Despite these obstacles, despite the fact that
every paper in the state ridiculed the project and laughed at the
projector, nevertheless Rousseau's recruits--the rebels called them
"Rousseau's ragamuffins"--increased in numbers and grew in discipline
until they became formidable, and eventually saved the city from rebel

From the time that loyal recruiting began, the issue between unionism
and secession became direct, and neutrality was practically a dead
letter. The mask of the rebels was stripped off, and the people were
no longer deceived by the schemes of the secessionists. Throughout
Kentucky, and particularly in Louisville, where the issue was
most saliently presented, singular scenes were the result of the
situation; and from this time until the occupation of the state by
the contending armies, Louisville was in a curious condition. Rebel
and Union recruiting stations were found in the same streets, and
presenting the same appearance, save that the rebels dared not plant
their flag, and displayed only that of Kentucky. Squads of Union and
rebel recruits daily passed each other on the streets _en route_ to
their camps, and saluted each other with groans, and hisses, and
ridicule, but attempted no violence. Day was made noisy with the
huzzas of the rebels "for Jeff. Davis and the Confederacy," and night
made hideous by rebel songs from rebel throats that had not the lame
excuse of being husky with liquor. Many of their songs were set to
very beautiful airs, and often large crowds of enthusiastic young men
would gather in the principal drinking saloons of the city and join
in these choruses, producing a very beautiful melody, but uttering
devilish poor sentiments. Frequently these songs were inspired by the
appearance of some well-known Union man, around whom they would gather,
like the witches in Macbeth, and at whom they sung their songs as if in
defiance. These scenes and songs often led to dangerous encounters and
riotous proceedings. The division of sentiment created by this state of
affairs entered into families, and extended even to the congregations
of churches. I remember one sad instance, in the family of Col. Henry
Clay, son of the sage of Ashland, and the one who fell so gloriously
at Buena Vista. In 1861, his two sons, Thomas and Henry Clay, were
living at Louisville. One of them, Thomas, became fascinated with the
manner and imbued with the ideas of Buckner, and followed him to the
Confederacy, and, as it happened, to ruin and to the grave. Henry, the
younger brother, a more thoughtful, quiet young man, less enthusiastic,
but more persistent than Thomas, joined the Union army, and served,
until his early death, on the staff of Gen. Richard W. Johnson. One of
the most amusing instances of the effects produced by the prevailing
sentiments occurred in one of the churches at Louisville, where, on
the occasion of a prayer-meeting, a notorious secessionist and a
prominent Union man had what was called at the time "a praying match."
During the prayer-meeting the minister asked the secession brother
to pray, which he did, asking, among other things, the "removal of
our evil rulers." He did not explain whom he meant by "evil rulers,"
but the congregation knew; so, not waiting to be called on, the Union
brother requested the congregation to join him in prayer, and prayed
for "the rulers set over us, and the removal from his place of power
of Kentucky's traitorous governor." This was a positive defiance; the
rebelliously-inclined brother felt it his duty to reply, and did so
in a regular secession prayer, asking the blessing of heaven on "the
Confederate government, rulers, and people," and "confusion upon the
councils of the Northern abolitionists and vandals." To close the bout
and end the affray of words, the Unionist replied in a regular true
blue Union prayer, asking that God would bless and prosper the Union
cause, smile upon her arms, lead her soldiers to triumph, smite the
traitors, and bring back to their allegiance our misguided brethren of
the South; and capped the climax which he had reached by giving out the
hymn beginning

    "Oh, conquer this rebellious will."

The secessionist did not reply, and thus the Unionist won his first
victory. He was a graduate of West Point, but I do not know that what
he learned there aided him much in his praying match.

The excitement of this conflict of ideas and passions reached its
culminating point at Louisville on the day following the battle of
Bull Run, and produced one of the most remarkable scenes I have ever
witnessed. The first telegraphic news of the battle, published on the
morning after the engagement, was of a highly favorable character,
and the Unionists of Louisville ate their breakfasts and digested the
good news of the first great victory with the firm conviction that
Mr. Seward was right, and that the war would be over in ninety days,
if not sooner. That morning every thing was _couleur de rose_ to even
less sanguine natures than Mr. Seward. About noon of the same day
the bad news began to arrive, but the people knew nothing definite
regarding the final result of the battle until about three o'clock
P.M., when the afternoon editions of the papers made their appearance.
Then the news of the rebel victory spread like wildfire, and in half
an hour--at the time, it seemed as if it were instantaneous--the
whole city was a perfect pandemonium. The rebel flag, which had until
then shrunk from the light, flaunted from buildings and dwellings,
from carriage windows in the hands of women, on omnibuses, and carts,
and trucks, and wagons in the hands of men wild with excitement.
Men on horseback, with the rebel flag flying, dashed wildly through
the principal streets, crying with husky voices, "Hurrah for Jeff.
Davis." The streets were alive with drunken and noisy rebels, who
hooted at Unionists, cheered secessionists, embraced each other, and
yelled themselves hoarse in bravos for "Jafe Davis." For nearly two
hours the rebels had full possession of the city, and crowded about
their ringleader, a notorious fellow named John Tompkins, with every
expression of their delight. It was decided, and Tompkins announced his
intention, to raise a flag-staff and display the rebel flag from the
roof of the Courier newspaper office, and to aid him in this the rebels
gathered around him. But it was destined that this feat should not be
accomplished. One of the policemen of the city, named Green, having
received orders to suppress all noisy demonstrations such as Tompkins
was guilty of in hallooing for Davis and the Confederacy, approached
him and ordered him to desist. The only reply was a repetition of the
offense. Green again repeated his order, explaining that these were
his instructions, when Tompkins drew a pistol, and, retreating a few
steps, fired at the policeman. Simultaneously Green had also retreated
a few steps, drawing his pistol at the same time, and, in answer to the
other's ineffective fire, shot the rioter directly through the heart,
killing him instantly. Never was a riot so cheaply suppressed nor so
instantaneously. In ten minutes after the death of the ringleader the
rioters dispersed, rebel flags disappeared, the huzzas for Davis were
hushed: not a rebel remained on the streets, not a flag was to be seen
unfurled, not a huzza was to be heard, and Louisville slept sounder
that night than she had slept for months.

The secessionists of Louisville did not, however, entirely desist from
their efforts to aid the rebels, but on the 17th of August they called
a meeting of sympathy with the South. At night, in pursuance of the
call, they early mustered their strength at the court-house. Their
leaders were on the stand, which was handsomely decorated with white or
"peace" flags, awaiting the filling of the hall by their friends, and
somewhat anxious at the appearance of numerous well-known Unionists, or
"abolitionists," as they were then called by the rebel sympathizers.
Every thing was in readiness to open the peace meeting, and James
Trabue, the principal secession leader, had risen to call the assembly
to order, when James S. Speed, late United States Attorney General,
quietly walked upon the stand and approached the desk prepared for the
chairman. He called the attention of the house by rapping on the desk
with his cane, knocked aside with an air of contempt the "peace" flags
on either side of him, and was about to speak, when he was interrupted
by the clamor of the rebel leaders, who insisted that the house was
theirs, and that the meeting was to be addressed by them. Amid the
excitement, and above the clamor which ensued, was heard the stentorian
voice of Rousseau, proposing Judge Speed as president of the meeting.
He immediately put the question to a vote. A deafening "Ay!" drowned
the "Noes" of the rebels, and, perfectly calm and cool, Mr. Speed
reached forward, removed the white flags from the stand, and unfurled
two small star-spangled banners in their stead. In an instant, as if by
preconcerted arrangement, from different parts of the hall, large and
small United States flags were unfurled, and ten minutes afterward the
secessionists had left the hall, amid the groans of the loyal citizens.
Judges Speed and Harlan, and Messrs. Wolfe, Rousseau, and others,
followed in strong Union anti-neutral speeches, and the meeting adopted
several very strong resolutions. Next to Rousseau's establishment of
the Union recruiting camp opposite Louisville, this affair was the
first determined step taken by the Unionists of Kentucky to keep the
state in the Union.

Meantime Rousseau had quietly, but rapidly, filled up his two regiments
as authorized, and they were sworn into the service. Fremont was then
in want of troops in Missouri, and sent his aid, Richard Corwin, of
Ohio, to inspect Rousseau's force, and, if found available for field
service, to make application at Washington for it. An intimation
came to Rousseau that he would be sent to Missouri (he was growing
anxious to go to any department in which active work would afford him
opportunities to win promotion and reputation), and he determined to
invade Kentucky soil at least once before going, and so announced his
intention of parading his corps through the streets of Louisville. A
delegation of rebel and neutral citizens waited on him, and begged him
to forbear his intention, representing that the indignant citizens
would rise up in their anger and attack his soldiers.

"By Heaven!" exclaimed Rousseau, "the d--d scoundrels shall have enough
of it, then, before I am done with them."

The march of the brigade through the city was undisturbed, and it
returned to camp without having received any more deadly volley than a
few curses from the neutrals and secessionists. One of the effects of
the parade, and the announcement of the intention to send Rousseau to
Missouri, was the presentation of an appeal to the President, signed
by the principal of the Union men, protesting against the removal
of Rousseau from the vicinity of the city. A copy of this protest
was shown by a friend to Colonel Rousseau. When he read it he grew
furiously enraged, cursing the protesting individuals as a set of
marplots who had opposed him at every turn, and he immediately took
steps to break up camp and be on the march to Missouri before the
countermanding order could come. He was stopped in the midst of his
preparations, however, and ordered by President Lincoln to remain in
camp at "Camp Joe Holt," the name given to his encampment, in honor of
the Secretary of War, Colonel Joseph Holt, now Judge Advocate General
of the Army. It was a fortunate order, that, for the fair "City of the

Buckner had not been idle all this time, and recruiting for "Camp
Boone," the rebel Kentucky encampment, had proceeded really under
his directions, but ostensibly in opposition to his wishes; and a
few thousand Kentuckians, and a large force of Tennesseeans and
other Southern troops, had gathered upon the southern border of the
state for the purpose of seizing Louisville and other places, and
establishing a defensive line along the Ohio River. Had that project
not been frustrated by the position and force of Rousseau, the fate
of the Confederacy would not have been sealed as soon as it was. The
line of the Ohio, occupied in force by the rebels, would have been
very difficult to break. If the Ohio River had been blockaded by rebel
guns, the Union forces along it would have been fed and moved with
great difficulty. Subsequently to the frustration of this project by
Rousseau, Kentucky furnished ninety thousand men to the Union army,
few or none of which would have been raised with the state under rebel
occupation, and numbers of whom would have been conscripted into the
rebel army. These would have been some of the results of the occupation
of the Ohio, and serious disasters they would have proved to the Union
cause. In the prosecution of this scheme, Buckner labored with a zeal
that one could confidently expect from a man of his Cassius-like
proportions. In the prosecution of the plan he went to Washington,
represented himself as a Union man, and obtained from Generals Scott
and McDowell much valuable information. When about to return to
Kentucky he called upon General McDowell, and, in parting with him,
placed both hands upon McDowell's shoulders, looked him steadily in the
eye, and said,

"Mack, I am going back to Kentucky to raise troops for my country."

McDowell wished him "God speed" in the undertaking, and they parted.
Buckner returned to Louisville, halted but a day, and hastened
southward to the rebel "Camp Boone" to doff his garb of neutrality for
the Confederate gray. A change can not be said to have been necessary,
for, as the rebels practiced neutrality in Kentucky, it was _bona fide_
rebellion, and wore the same outward garb. Three nights after the
countermanding of the order to Rousseau to march to Missouri, Buckner
invaded Kentucky and occupied Bowling Green. On the next day, September
17, 1861, he advanced with a large force upon Louisville, and Rousseau,
the rejected, with the "Home Guards," which he had preserved from the
defection which seized the State Guard, were the only defenders of
the city to be found. On the night of September 17, 1861, Rousseau
crossed the Ohio River, and marched through the uproarious streets of
the excited and endangered city to meet the invader. With this little
band he penetrated forty miles into the interior of the state, hourly
expecting to meet the enemy, and intending to fight him whenever and
wherever he did meet him. He made the passage of Rolling Fork River,
and occupied the heights of Muldraugh's Hills, where Buckner was
reported to be, but found the rebel had retired to Green River.

Ever since this memorable era, Kentucky has persisted in showing
herself on every important occasion as belonging to the neuter gender
of states, and her unenviable position on several questions of national
interest within the last five or six years has all been owing to
the influence of the same class of politicians as those who opposed
action in 1861. A few independent, energetic men, with opinions of
their own, and a spirit of progress consonant with that of the Union,
like Rousseau, Cyrus H. Burnham, and one or two others, have hardly
proven the leaven to the corrupt whole. Many of those who were neutral
when the success of secession was doubtful, when the constitutional
amendment was pending, would now like to present a different record;
and one or two of this class have written me, since the publication
of this sketch in "Harper's Magazine," to prove that they were not
neutrals in 1861. I have not considered their claims worth notice.
There are any number of men in Kentucky who would now like to have
it appear that they stood with Rousseau in 1861, but it would be
falsifying history to say so. I have written here the true story of
Kentucky neutrality, and do not propose to alter it. The sponsor of
that neutrality--the editor of the Louisville Journal--has corroborated
this story as I tell it. On the evening of the 17th of June, 1862,
exactly one year after having rejected Rousseau, and driven him to
encamp his troops in another state, the Union men of Louisville
welcomed him from the battle-field of Shiloh at a grand banquet, at
which George D. Prentice, the editor of the Journal, thus narrated the
trials and efforts of Rousseau, and condemned, as mistaken, himself and
his neutral comrades who had opposed Rousseau:

"We have come together," he said, "to honor a man, a patriot, a hero,
whom we can scarcely honor too much. A great debt is due to General
Rousseau from our city, from our state, from our nation. At the hands
of Louisville he deserves a civic wreath and a marble statue. He has
stood between her and desolation. We all know what bitter hostilities
on the one side, and what deep apprehensions and misgivings on the
other, he had to contend against when he undertook the bold enterprise
of raising a brigade to resist the rebellion. The best patriots among
us doubted, and hesitated, and faltered, and attempted to divert him
from his purpose, and he was even constrained by their appeals to go
beyond the river, and erect upon the soil of another state the glorious
standard around which he invoked Kentuckians to rally. Denounced,
maligned, and cursed by all the rebels, he received, at best, but a
cold, reluctant, and timid support from the masses of our loyal men.
When he came, one day, from his encampment with two full and splendid
regiments to pass a single hour in our city, the city of his home and
his love, he marched his gleaming columns through our streets amid
an almost deathless stillness, his enemies awed to silence by the
appalling spectacle before them, and his friends scarcely deeming it
prudent to give expression to the enthusiasm secretly swelling in their
bosoms. It must have been with a keen sense of disappointment, if not
of injustice and ingratitude, that he returned to the Indiana shore.
But ere long there came to us all a night of mystery and terror.
Suddenly the electric telegraph between our city and Nashville ceased
to give forth its signs, and the railroad train, anxiously awaited for
hours, came not. In every loyal soul there was a deep presentiment of
impending calamity. It pervaded and burdened the atmosphere. Brave men
gazed into each other's faces and whispered their fears. Then it was
that all loyal eyes and hearts turned instantly to General Rousseau and
his brigade. A signal apprised him of apprehended danger, and in an
incredibly brief space of time, in less than two hours, he crossed the
Ohio, and passed with his brigade so noiselessly through our streets,
that even our citizens, living within thirty yards of his route, heard
him not, and before midnight he was far on his way to meet the expected
invaders. He took his position between Louisville and that rebel army
which would have seized and despoiled her. He was her shield and her
sword. He was her salvation. For this, among other things, we tender
him our gratitude to-night; for this, we tender him our gratitude

This episode of neutrality must always remain the most remarkable event
of Rousseau's career. Very few lives find two such opportunities, and
half the credit due Rousseau has been lost to him by the fact that
it occurred amid a revolution which saw many more startling events.
Only the Union people of the interior of Kentucky seemed to appreciate
the magnitude of his service, and on every occasion expressed, in
their strange way, their admiration of and gratitude to the man. The
Army of the Ohio, under Sherman and Buell, was known to them only as
"Rousseau's Army." They never talked and hardly ever heard of Sherman,
or Buell, or Thomas; and Rousseau could never make them clearly
understand that he was not the supreme power and highest authority. His
popularity among the Union people of the state had a rather pleasing
illustration in October, 1862, when he was on the march to Perryville.
At Maxville the mountaineers from the district gathered around his
quarters in great numbers, and almost every family of the many which
visited the general had with it an infant named after him, either
"Lovell" or "Rousseau." When the first infant was presented, instead
of blessing it in the usual patriarchal style, the general picked out
one from among a number of silver half dollars he had and gave it to
the child's mother. Several of the other infant Rousseaus received
other half dollars, until the general began to suspect that the infants
would be produced as long as the money lasted, and so he announced a
suspension of specie payment. The children, however, continued to make
their appearance, until it became apparent that the name was never
likely to die out among the mountaineers. Rousseau used to tell with
great glee how two blind and deaf brothers presented themselves at his
quarters, and said that they "had walked five miles to _see_ Rousseau
and _hear_ him talk." The demonstrations of the poor mountaineers of
Chaplin Hills, as the region was called, greatly affected the general,
and, as a singular mode of expressing his gratification, he always
insisted on calling the battle of Perryville, which he fought next day
in the vicinity of Maxville, "the battle of Chaplin Hills."

Although Rousseau's military career was of the greatest credit to
him, nothing of it reflects such honor on the soldier, or illustrates
so nobly the character of the man, as did his conduct during the
operations which I have sketched. Still, his military career won for
him as great popularity with the army as his action in destroying
neutrality had done with the people. His principal achievements were
at Shiloh, Perryville, Stone River, the pursuit and defeat of Wheeler
in Tennessee, the defense of Fortress Rosecrans, and in the admirably
conducted and highly successful raid into Alabama. At Shiloh his post
was subordinate, and he will not occupy the foreground of the pictures
which history will paint of that field, though he won recognition from
Sherman, McClernand, and Grant for his gallantry. At Perryville the
glory is all his own, while no story of Stone River can be truthfully
written that does not give him much of the credit for that very
desperate "rough-and-tumble" fight, where, holding the reserve line,
he sent word to Rosecrans that, "though the right wing was gone," he
"would not budge a step--not a d--d inch, sir."

Without having the education, Rousseau had in him the military instinct
which lights the fire and gives inspiration to others, and his every
battle displays him in this light. During the engagement at Perryville
he displayed great courage, and inspired his men with the same spirit.
He laid no claim to tactical ability, and did not endeavor to manœuvre
his troops, but by his presence with them kept them well together, and
retained his organization during the whole day, although withstanding
with a single division the repeated attacks of Cheatham's, Buckner's,
and Anderson's divisions of Bragg's army, under the latter's personal
direction. Perhaps like a reckless general, but certainly like a
brave man, he was always with the front line, and as he rode among
the men encouraging them, they hailed him with enthusiastic cheers.
At one time during the battle, seeing preparations making on the part
of the rebels to repeat an attack on Harris's brigade, by which they
had just been repulsed, Rousseau dashed up to the commanding officer
of the Second Ohio, Major Anson McCook, who was on foot fighting his
regiment, and was warning him of the approaching attack, when the men
of the regiment, with shouts and hurrahs, gathered around him, hugging
his legs and grasping his hands, throwing their caps in the air, and
swearing to die with him. It was one of the most singular scenes ever
witnessed on a battle-field, and was subsequently alluded to by rebel
officers who had witnessed it, and who stated to our prisoners taken
during the day that they frequently saw and recognized Rousseau riding
up and down the line during the battle.

Rousseau was much predisposed, by reason of his mental organization, to
excitability under fire, but it did not detract from his administrative
power. He was as clearly administrative in danger as the more
phlegmatic Thomas or Grant, but in a different way. Rousseau made
very little, if any, use of his aids. If he had an order to give, he
galloped across the field and gave it himself. If he had an advance
to order, it was done by leading the troops in person. During this
battle of Perryville, General McCook sent me to inform Rousseau, who
was on the extreme left of the line, that his right was being turned
and was falling back. Rousseau galloped to the endangered part of the
line and rallied the troops in retreat, beating and cursing them into
line, and actually breaking his sword over the head of one demoralized
individual, who was thus brought to a stand. The enemy, however,
continued to advance, and Rousseau was compelled to look around for
farther assistance. Seeing Captain Charles O. Loomis's battery in
position, in reserve, commanding a little valley into which the enemy
had deployed, and through which they were rapidly advancing, he rode up
to Captain Loomis and ordered him to open with canister. Loomis had not
perceived the advancing enemy, and explained to Rousseau that he had
been ordered into reserve by General McCook, and told to reserve his
fire for close work.

"Close work!" exclaimed Rousseau; "what the devil do you call that,
Captain Loomis?"

He pointed down the valley, and Loomis saw in an instant the
advancing foe and his own danger. Loomis was a minute-man--one of the
quickest-witted and brightest-eyed men I ever met--and in a second
his six guns were pouring a destructive cross-fire into the rebel
ranks that at once played havoc with the enemy and encouraged our own
forces. The enemy thus advancing had flanked Lytle's brigade, and it
was now falling back toward Loomis's position, but Rousseau's personal
direction and appearance (Lytle had been left for dead on the field),
and the opening guns of Loomis, soon reassured the men in retreat, and
the line re-formed. About the same time Sheridan's brigade was ordered
in on the left by General Buell, and the enemy were speedily and
bloodily repulsed.

His conduct in this engagement gained Rousseau his promotion to a major
generalcy. The commission read, "promoted for distinguished gallantry,"
and was the first of the numerous promotions for gallantry issued
during the war for the Union. His great popularity with the troops may
be said to have dated from this day; and it grew still greater after
the battle of Stone River, where, though commanding the reserves, he
was among the first engaged. The love of the men became so intense
that it broke out on every occasion. On the march, in camp, on parade,
their admiration grew demonstrative, and cheers greeted him wherever he
went. During the winter of 1862-'63, while the troops were in camp at
Murfreesborough, great numbers of rabbits were frequently frightened
from their burrows, when an entire regiment would start in pursuit with
noisy yells. The demonstrations of admiration for Rousseau and these
noisy pursuits of the rabbits became so frequent that it was a common
remark, whenever the cheering of the soldiers was heard, that they were
either after "Rousseau or a rabbit."

I have said that Rousseau was clearly administrative under all
circumstances. He was once, and once only, known to betray any
considerable nervousness under fire. It was during a brief engagement
fought at Chehaw Station, when on his famous Alabama raid. He had sent
forward Colonel Thomas Harrison, of the Eighth Indiana Cavalry (better
known as the Thirty-ninth Mounted Infantry), to destroy a part of the
railroad in his rear--the expedition then being on its return, having
performed its principal purpose. Colonel Harrison unexpectedly became
briskly engaged with the rebel forces under General James H. Clanton.
Rousseau was some distance in the rear of the fight, and the extent of
the engagement was only known to him by the amount of the firing and
the number of wounded men brought to the rear. One of his aids--Captain
Elkin--observed Rousseau's nervousness gradually increasing, as evinced
by his twirling his long black mustache, and repeating aloud, but
evidently communing with himself,

"I shouldn't have got into this affair. I'm very much afraid this isn't

Elkin penetrated through the swamps to Harrison's front, and returned
with the information that the enemy were being driven, and that the
result was not at all doubtful.

"There's no reason," he said, "to be uneasy about Harrison, general."

"Uneasy about Harrison!" exclaimed the general. "Tom Harrison can whip
all the militia in Alabama. But what shall I do with my poor wounded
boys? We are a thousand miles from home, and no way to carry them

He had to leave his wounded, and he took rather odd but effective means
to have them well cared for. Having succeeded in capturing a company
of Montgomery Cadets, the members of which were all young boys of less
than seventeen years of age, he had them drawn up near his quarters,
and released them unconditionally, with this suggestion:

"Boys," he said, "go home and tell your parents that Rousseau does not
war on women and children; and, mark you! do _you_ see that they don't
make war on wounded prisoners."

The Cadets were modest enough to be glad to be considered and laughed
at as boys on condition of their release; and on returning home showed
their gratitude to Rousseau by taking as good care of his wounded as
they were permitted to do.

When Sherman sent Rousseau on this raid to the rear of Hood's army (it
was Joe Johnston's when Rousseau started), he did not anticipate his
early return, nor expect him and his force to escape capture. When
Rousseau reported to him on his return from the raid, Sherman was
as much surprised as delighted, He made Rousseau detail the work of
destruction which he had accomplished. After he had done so, Sherman

"That's well done, Rousseau, well done; but I didn't expect to see you

"Why not?" asked Rousseau, somewhat surprised.

"I expected you to tear up the road, but I thought they would gobble

"You are a pretty fellow," said Rousseau, laughingly, "to send me off
on such a trip."

"You proposed it yourself," returned Sherman; "besides, I knew they
wouldn't hurt you, and I thought you would pay for yourself."

On the occasion of the passage of Rolling Fork of Salt river there
occurred an incident which is illustrative of the view which I have
taken of the character of Rousseau as a natural-born leader. When
giving the command to cross the river, which was then flood-high--it
was a very cold morning besides--Rousseau rose in his saddle, and
crying out to his men, "Follow me, boys! I expect no soldier to
undergo any hardship that I will not share!" he sprang from his horse,
entered the ford, and waded to the other shore. His men followed with
cheers and bravos, and the brigade followed, soon disappearing on the
wood-lined road which leads to the summit of Muldraugh's Hills.

I have not space here to enter as I could wish into the details of
Rousseau's military career. He must always remain a representative of
one of the peculiar phases of the late war, and every event I could
give will in the future be valuable; but at this time it is impossible
to allude farther to his military career. He left the army soon after
the battle of Nashville (during which engagement he held the left
position of Thomas's line at Fortress Rosecrans, near Murfreesborough),
and returned to Louisville at the request of his friends, to contest
with Robert Mallory, Esq., the latter's place in Congress. That
congressional race was nothing more nor less than a crusade against
the remnant of slavery left by the war in Kentucky, probably as a
punishment for her attempted crime of neutrality. It was another
brilliant triumph won by the exercise of the same decisive action which
has always characterized him. The Convention which nominated Rousseau
was, in political parlance, merely a "pocket convention," and its
nominee found, on leaving the military field to examine the political
course, that he had really no party to back him. He had to build up a
party, and without hesitation he decided that it should be an avowedly
abolition party in principle and purpose. He began by announcing that
he favored the adoption by the State of Kentucky of the constitutional
amendment abolishing slavery, and denounced slavery as unjust, unwise,
and impolitic--a curse and blight on the state. When he first made the
speech in which he declared this, the people wildly stared at him, and
when he had done they pronounced him insane. They were so completely
blinded by their prejudices that they could or would not see the truth
of his arguments, and at last he resorted to ridicule with better

"I wish to say again," he said, on one occasion, "that slavery, thank
God, is dead. Its own friends have destroyed it. They placed it at
the foundation of Jeff Davis's government, and invited, nay, forced
us to assail it. They forced the whole liberal world to make war upon
it, and presented to us the alternative to destroy slavery or see
our government perish. Our duty was a plain one, to kill slavery and
rebellion with it, and let the government live. Both of these things
are accomplished facts, and in the whole Christian world there remain
but three slave states--_Cuba, Brazil, and Kentucky_."

This climax, so ridiculous to every Kentuckian with any state pride
in his soul, was hailed wherever heard with shouts of laughter; and
Rousseau once remarked that it was a curious fact that the laughter
generally began with the returned rebel soldiers, who possess less
pro-slavery prejudices than the rebels who stayed at home. Rousseau
generally followed up this effective ridicule with what he called
his "special argument against slavery." "We in Kentucky," he would
say, "are in the habit of arguing the slavery question more from the
economical than the moral stand-point;" and he would then go on to
show how the institution had curtailed the prosperity of Kentucky and
of the South. "But," he would add, "I wish to add a little argument of
my own. I want to tell you why slavery will not pay. It is because we
have a God in heaven, who has arranged the affairs of men in such a way
that wrong and injustice won't pay, and don't pay. Has not the South
lost more in the destruction of houses, and fences, and railroads, and
crops, and other property, and expenditures for munitions of war, etc.,
in the last four years of a rebellion, carried on for the benefit of
slavery, than it wrung out of the sweat of the slave in the forty years
preceding? Add to this the half a million of her brave sons who died
or were crippled in battle and in camp, half the entire arms-bearing
population of the rebel states, and tell me if slavery was a paying
institution to them? And do you think it can be restored now and not
lead to a bloodier and fiercer war? And why is this? Simply because God
in his wisdom has arranged the world so that in the long-run a system
of wrong will not and can not pay."

After four weeks active canvassing of the district Rousseau was
returned to Congress by a heavy majority, although the opposition
pro-slavery party employed a former United States officer to make the
race in order to split the Union or amendment vote. The scheme failed.
Rousseau's personal popularity, and his positive, determined, and
patriotic stand, carried him successfully through, and he was shortly
after nominated for the Senate, which position he will doubtless
attain. In these crusades against neutrality and slavery Rousseau has
established a character for firmness and persistence which have made
him a most popular leader and the first man of his state; and he is
already accepted as the true successor in principles, purposes, and
patriotism of the late great leader in Kentucky, Henry Clay.

The very close intimacy existing between Sherman and Rousseau is
a fine illustration of the rule that opposite natures are often
kindred spirits. Two natures in greater contrast can hardly be
conceived. Rousseau has none of Sherman's nervousness of thought or
action, while Sherman has nothing of the excitability of Rousseau
under fire. Rousseau is personally a most conspicuous--perhaps _the_
most conspicuous officer in the United States army, while Sherman
is among the most commonplace in appearance. Yet their friendship,
which began early in the war, is hardly the less remarkable than that
existing between Grant and Sherman, and is much more demonstrative,
because Rousseau and Sherman are of affectionate and demonstrative
dispositions, while Grant is rather cold and formal. Sherman was very
fond of quoting Rousseau's speech about him, delivered at the banquet
to the latter at Louisville in 1862. Rousseau had then said of Sherman:

"Of all the men I ever saw, he is the most untiring, vigilant, and
patient. No man that ever lived could surprise him. His enemies say
he was surprised at Shiloh. I tell you no. He was not surprised, nor
whipped, for he fights by the week. Devoid of ambition, incapable of
envy, he is brave, gallant, and just. At Shiloh his old legion met him
just as the battle was ended, and at the sight of him, placing their
hats upon their bayonets, gave him three cheers. It was a touching and
fitting compliment to the gallant chieftain. I am thankful for this
occasion to do justice to a brave, honest, and knightly gentleman."

When Sherman first read this speech, immediately after the battle, when
he was still laboring under the insanity charge, he jumped from his
seat, ran around his quarters from tent to tent, reading the speech to
all his staff, and swearing that there was "one sensible man in the
country who understood him."

As may be rightly suspected from this article, Rousseau is rather a
hero of mine. He has many of the most admirable qualities of man; and
in long years of intercourse with him I saw a great deal to admire,
and but little to condemn. I defy any man with an honest love of bold,
albeit rugged honesty, to know the man and not to admire him. He was
loyal, true, and affectionate to the back-bone. He stuck to his friends
to the last, and only the firmer in adversity. The strong pressure
of his mighty hand gave you no fear of what the clenched fist might
do, but inspired confidence. He was, perhaps, too unsuspicious, and
too hopeful and buoyant: these were the faults of his character, if
faults it had, for knaves frequently imposed on him in the guise of
honest poverty, and his hopeful nature sometimes led him to promise
his friends more than he had the power, but not more than he had the
disposition to perform.

Rousseau is fully six feet two, perhaps three inches high, and
otherwise Herculean in build and strength. When mounted--he always
rides great, ponderous, and invariably blooded horses--he displays
to great advantage, and no more graceful and impressive figure can
be conceived than Rousseau mounted. He was born a gentleman, and his
elegant manners are as natural as his bravery and high sense of honor
are intuitive.



I was particularly fortunate during the war in coming in frequent
contact with the four great characters who most deeply impressed
themselves upon the public mind, and won the first positions in
the history of the era. Sherman, Thomas, Grant, and Sheridan were
the ablest, and in the end the most successful of our leaders, and
their fame is now a part of that of the country. Hooker and Rousseau
were also representative soldiers, and will be quoted by posterity
as examples, and regarded, not less than the others, as characters
illustrative of the time and its events. Of the many other generals
whom I met, and of whom I have many interesting and pleasing
reminiscences to relate, there are none so distinctly marked for
lasting and permanent fame as the six whom I have sketched in detail.
Still many of those of whom I now propose to speak will attain a place
in future history and obtain a firm hold in the mind of posterity as
characters worthy of emulation or remembrance, as have the others.
Circumstances conspired to rob a few of those whom I knew of their
just fame; temporary greatness was thrust upon some totally unworthy
of such distinction, while most of the others were _mediocre_, and
could only have come to the surface of society in the general upheaval
of a great revolution like that through which this country lately
had the good fortune to pass to greater security and a grander future.
Those I have sketched in detail were endowed with the unmistakable
trait of greatness; the majority of those whom I remember possessed
peculiarities merely, and their reputations were local.

[Illustration: DON CARLOS BUELL.]

Yet some few of them did not lack in ability, or the industry, energy,
and courage which creates opportunity and wins renown. One of those
whom circumstances robbed of his just renown, and who is now generally
looked upon as one of the greatest failures of the war, was to my
mind one of our ablest soldiers, and, as a tactician, was the equal
of Grant or Thomas, or any of their subordinates. General Don Carlos
Buell was a perfect soldier--perfect in manner, bearing, coolness,
courage, energy--physically and mentally a perfect soldier--but he
failed. If he had a fault, it resulted from education, and from this
fault came this failure. "A little learning is a dangerous thing,"
as Pope, Bulwer Lytton, and every other person who has attempted
to dispense knowledge second-handed has discovered to his sorrow;
but there is also such a thing as drinking too deep of the "Pierian
Spring." To be a valedictorian is quite often to be an unfortunate; and
more signal failures have emanated from the first section (Engineer)
graduates of West Point, and the valedictorians of Yale and Hartford,
than from less brilliant, less studious, but more practically educated
classes of the same institutions. Not one of the valedictorians of West
Point, from the time at which class-rank was first established--1820,
I believe--has ever made a great success in practical life, and few
of them have ever been famous outside of the army. They are learned
and able undoubtedly, but they lack in practicability, and, when
they come to wrestle with the world, find themselves ill adapted to
the struggle. The Engineer Corps of the army into which the higher
graduates of the Academy are placed has given us fewer successful
soldiers than the Infantry, which is considered the lowest arm of the
service. All of the engineers have, as generals, been visibly affected
in their administration, strategy, and tactics by their education, and
have preferred to depend more upon mud walls than living phalanges,
and their strategic marches have been more correct in mathematical
calculations than successful in execution. Benham, Stevens, Franklin,
W. H. C. Whiting, McPherson, McClellan, Lee, and dozens of others I
could name, have in the late war proven this to be true; and Quincy A.
Gilmore has proved about the only exception to the rule, doubtless from
the fact that after his graduation he left the Engineer Corps for the

Buell was not exactly a valedictorian, and was not in the Engineer
Corps, but nevertheless he was one to whom all this I have said
and exampled is applicable. He was not made impracticable, but too
methodical by his pupilage. Not too much learning, but too much routine
ruined him. He was not too much of a book-worm, but too much of a red
tapist. His Alma Mater was not West Point, but that more pitiless
school, the adjutant general's office. Thirteen years' constant service
in that department of the army made him too systematic--smothered the
fire in his heart, the impulsive in his nature, and, like Thomas,
he taught himself "not to feel." It rendered him cool in danger,
while not depriving him of his readiness in emergency, but it also
unfortunately made him so systematic that it injured the originality
of his conceptions. The adjutant general's office made him too much of
a regular, so that when he came to command a great volunteer force he
looked for and strove in vain to attain the perfectness in appointment,
organization, drill, and all that routine duty to which he had been
accustomed in the old army. Buell was a thoroughly educated soldier,
as a strategist and tactician the equal of Grant; but he was too much
of an organizer, and this, with a volunteer army to command, really
detracted from his merit. Good organizers of large armies seldom
succeed in handling them to signal advantage. Buell was too good an
organizer. This mere routine duty absorbed too much of his mind; his
mind became too much accustomed to dwell upon that specialty, and
he gave it too much importance and consideration. So thoroughly had
Buell's mind become imbued with the importance of giving to volunteer
armies the precise organization of the regulars, that in taking leave
of the army which he had formed from "Sherman's mob," he congratulated
the soldiers who had saved us Shiloh, first, as more important in his
eye than their victories, on their conversion "from raw levies into
a powerful army, honored by common consent for its discipline and
efficient organization, and for its _esprit de corps_."

And yet this army thus congratulated was the weakest in organization
of any great army that ever existed. It was not imperfect in its
details; on the contrary, it was very admirable in that respect, but
certainly no army was ever so weak in its corps commanders--McCook,
Crittenden, and Gilbert. Circumstances took the organization out of
Buell's hand. On the arrival of the army at Louisville in pursuit of
Bragg, in September, 1862, General Halleck, then commander-in-chief,
concluded that Buell ought to be removed. Halleck was one of those men
who, instead of arguing himself from an array of facts into a correct
position, would first conclude that affairs were in the condition that
he wished or feared, and would then argue himself into the belief that
they undoubtedly were so. He would wish his enemy to occupy a certain
position, and actually bring himself to the belief that he had done so.
Too good a lawyer ever to be a good soldier, he depended for success
on tricks in war as he had on quibbles in the law. He concluded, in
1862, that Buell's army was demoralized through want of confidence in
its commander, and decided upon his removal. The command was tendered
to General George H. Thomas, who not only declined, but promptly urged
the retention of General Buell. The other corps commanders then joined
in this request, and Buell was retained. He was forced to hastily
organize his army in order to continue the pursuit of Bragg, and,
consolidating Nelson's army, decided upon three corps, with Nelson,
McCook, and Crittenden in command, while General Thomas acted as
second under Buell. This last arrangement was very faulty. Thomas was
the best man in the army, and this arrangement virtually deprived the
army of his services, and made him merely an inspector general. Before
the campaign had opened, Nelson, who was a very superior soldier, was
assassinated, and his place was supplied--it is really ridiculous to
say so, however--by General C. C. Gilbert. Never did a single army
possess three such weak corps commanders as Alexander McDowell McCook,
C. C. Gilbert, and Thomas L. Crittenden. They were doubtless brave
and gallant--every soldier is supposed to be that; they doubtless did
their duty to their full ability--every soldier does that, and expects
no particular commendation for it; but these men were not capacitated
by nature or education for the positions they held. Not one of them
had any iron in his nature--neither were deep reasoners or positive
characters. They were of that class of men who "intended to do well,"
but who, without any fixed and unswerving principle to guide them,
vacillated and procrastinated until the great motive and the propitious
time for action had passed, and left them the doers only of positive
evil or negative good, which is just as bad. McCook was an overgrown
school-boy, without dignity (Sherman, once alluding to him, called him
"a juvenile"); Crittenden was a country lawyer with little legal and no
military ability, and Gilbert a martinet, without an idea of discipline
or system--the worst kind of a martinet. It would have been a miracle
had Buell succeeded. His campaign was a failure when the circumstances
of Nelson's death and Halleck's interference made Thomas the "fifth
wheel to the coach," and McCook, Crittenden, and Gilbert the immediate
directors of the corps forming the Army of the Ohio.

Buell was removed for the failure at Perryville, and actually
court-martialed for that crime of McCook and Gilbert. The fact is that
it was fought against Buell's express orders; and McCook, the corps
commander directing it, boasted during the battle to Captain James S.
Stokes (formerly of the regular army, but at that time in command of
the Chicago Board of Trade Battery) that he had General Buell's orders
not to fight in his pocket, and added that if General Buell supposed
that "Aleck McCook was coming in sight of the enemy without fighting
him, he was much mistaken in his man." The fact is that Perryville
was an unnecessary battle, and was fought only through the jealousy
existing between our commanders. The great blessing of the late civil
war in this country--I am not going to stop now to say how it was a
great blessing, taking, as it eventually did, the form of a crusade
against ignorance and slavery--a crusade for knowledge and liberty, in
which all Christendom of this enlightened age should have joined with
the same fervor that in a darker age it did in the crusade against the
Crescent for the Tomb--this great blessing brought with it certain
evils, and the basest of these was jealousy. This most degrading
passion existed in our armies to a most surprising degree--to such
an extent, indeed, that noble actions, instead of being held up as
examples worthy of emulation, were often--in nine cases out of every
ten--in which the actor survived, made the means of bringing him into
ridicule among his immediate associates. Great men were injured in
their prospects--brave men have been debarred from their just reward
of promotion--ay, and even great campaigns retarded and ruined by the
jealous interference of the envious and malicious. Important junctions
of armies were prevented, needed re-enforcements held back, and many a
brave man sacrificed by the jealousy and envy of commanders who would
be great, but who could not suffer to see others great. Jealousy did
more actual damage to the cause during the war than did incompetency,
and I don't think I can put the fact any more forcibly than by saying

Perryville was a battle growing out of jealousy, and lost through
jealousy. The first movement made by our troops, and the one that
induced the attack of the rebels, who would have been glad to lie still
and avoid a conflict which could only interfere with their retreat,
was the result of General James S. Jackson's jealousy of General
Rousseau, into whose line of battle circumstances had placed one of
the former's brigades. Jackson went to McCook and begged to be placed
in position in another part of the field, where he could fight his
command untrammeled. To gratify this desire, McCook moved him nearly
a mile to the front, and, as it happened, directly upon the enemy,
who attacked and surprised him. Jackson was killed, and the brigade
routed. Despite the reverse, McCook was confident he could win the
fight and the glory unaided, and so jealous was he of Gilbert that
he would not ask for assistance, although Gilbert lay with his whole
corps within a stone's throw, looking with interest on the desperate
fight of Rousseau's division, which was all that was left of McCook's
corps after Jackson had been routed. And Gilbert was such a martinet
that he would not tender aid unasked, and so jealous of McCook that he
looked upon his probable defeat with positive pleasure. And although
Generals Steedman and Sheridan begged permission to go to Rousseau's
aid, Gilbert declined to give them permission, because General McCook
had not, and would not ask for assistance. Alas! for the vanity of
human calculations! While McCook and Gilbert thus indulged in criminal
jealousy of each other, Rousseau, a subordinate of both, but greater
than either, stepped in and carried off the laurels by saving that
portion of the army which their jealousy had endangered. For this
failure of McCook's Buell was removed, and Rosecrans given the command.
The latter improved the faulty organization only by returning Thomas
to the immediate command of his corps. It was a fortunate thing that
he did so, for this corps, under Thomas's immediate direction, at
Stone River and Chickamauga, twice saved Rosecrans's army from total

Had the military genius of Buell been developed in 1863 instead of
1861, that officer would have won a splendid reputation with the
public, and a fine position in the army. In 1861 the people were
clamorous for successes, even if bloody; in 1863 they were rapidly
growing wiser, and demanded positive advantages for every drop of
blood. Buell was one of the early developments sacrificed to the
nation's ignorance of war. His policy would have been admired in 1864,
but it ruined him in 1862. Then his policy was misrepresented, his
character maligned, and even his loyalty impeached, and he was placed
on trial before a court, one member of which, General Scheopff, was
openly convicted of having declared that he "believed General Buell
to be a traitor." There were other members of the same court who held
similar opinions, but in the end the court failed to criminate Buell
fully. He was acquitted, and ordered to duty. General Buell believed
that Andrew Johnson, then Governor of Tennessee, and now President of
the United States, was the principal instigator of this persecution
of him, and always entertained toward that officer a very bitter and
hostile feeling. Governor Johnson believed that Buell's usefulness in
Tennessee had departed, was much opposed to his returning to command
in that department, and when its command was again tendered Buell,
he telegraphed to Washington to protest against the appointment.
Before Buell could accept or decline the command, he received a
notice that the order was changed, and that he would assume command
of the Department of the Gulf, relieving General Banks. General Buell
shortly after declined, also, to accept the latter appointment, no
explanation being given. I was much interested in the study of Buell's
character at the time, and wrote him asking his reasons. His reply to
me touched upon several other points of his administration which I
had inquired about in a previous letter, and there was but a single
paragraph explaining his reasons for resigning. He stated that on
receiving notice that he had been transferred from the Tennessee to the
Gulf Department, he had made unofficial inquiries at Washington, and
had discovered that the change had been ordered by President Lincoln
immediately on receipt of the protest of Governor Johnson. On learning
this, Buell resigned. Shortly after this he published a letter, giving
as his grounds for resigning that the officers to whom he had been
ordered to report (Sherman and Canby) were his juniors. I can not but
have wished that he had put his motive for resigning on the higher
grounds upon which he really acted, however unfounded may have been
his prejudice against Governor Johnson; for, though it is doubtful
if the latter acted from personal prejudices, certainly General Buell
would have been justified in declining to serve a government which
removed, transferred, and court-martialed him on the representation of
a single person.

Numerous were the misrepresentations made of the supposed quarrel
between Buell and Johnson, much to the damage of the former and disgust
of the latter. Among the other stories told were two to the effect
that Governor Johnson had forced General Buell to fortify Nashville,
and secondly to garrison instead of evacuating the city. During the
summer of 1862, Governor Johnson became convinced that it would have
a good effect upon the rebel citizens of Nashville to fortify it,
as evidence of the intention of the army to hold the place. In the
absence of General Buell, the governor called upon Major Sidell, who
was Buell's adjutant general stationed at Nashville, and, opening the
subject, got excited in its elaboration, and delivered a stump speech
of half an hour's duration. When he had retired, Sidell came to the
conclusion that the governor had intended what he had said for General
Buell's ear, and immediately wrote out a synopsis of the speech in a
letter to the general, and forwarded it to him. The answer came back,
"Consult with Governor Johnson, and commence the works." Major Sidell
called upon the governor, and the two rode around the city, and at last
decided upon the erection of a stockade fort on what was known as St.
Cloud Hill. This was the commencement of that series of works which now
so formidably environ Nashville, and which formed such an impregnable
barrier to Hood's advance in 1864. The story of the evacuation, as
popularly received, is a very gross exaggeration of Governor Johnson's
would-be, but mistaken friends. When the army was moving through
Nashville in September, 1862, in pursuit of Bragg, it certainly looked
very much like an evacuation was about to take place, and many of the
Union citizens became nervous over the prospect. Governor Johnson,
accompanied by a single aid, waited upon General Buell, and found him
in his quarters poring over a map. Governor Johnson at once opened his
budget--remarked that the movement of the troops had created the fear
on the part of the people that the intention was to abandon Nashville
to the enemy, and if such was the purpose, the Union citizens should be
informed, in order that they might be enabled to leave with the army.
He therefore requested of General Buell to know his intention in that
respect. General Buell laid aside his maps, and with that dignity and
deliberation which characterized his every word and action, replied,

"Governor, according to all the rules of military art, I ought to
evacuate this city, for its possession depends upon the result of the
battle which is to be fought with Bragg in Kentucky, whither he is now
advancing, and where I am pursuing him. To hold this city deprives me
not only of a large force available in a battle, but also places me at
the disadvantage of having to watch two important points, Louisville
and Nashville, at once. If Bragg is attacked and defeated (and the
force necessary to garrison this city can materially contribute to that
result), I can reoccupy Nashville at any moment. If Bragg attacks
and defeats me, the force left here will be endangered, I shall be
powerless to aid it, and it will eventually be sacrificed with the
city. But the moral effect of holding Nashville will be very great upon
my army and upon the people of the North, though it may prevent my
attacking Bragg; and for that reason I have determined to hold it, and
shall leave General Thomas in command, with his corps for its garrison."

To this speech Governor Johnson replied, expressing his gratification,
and immediately retired. General Thomas was left in command, but on
reaching Gallatin, and finding Bragg was still in advance of him,
moving north upon Louisville, General Buell sent orders to General
Thomas to leave General James S. Negley in command of the garrison, and
to join him with the rest of his corps. It was to this movement that
Governor Johnson objected, and on his representation General Thomas so
far disobeyed Buell's orders as to leave General John M. Palmer and his
division, as well as that of General Negley, to hold Nashville.

The speech of General Buell to Governor Johnson embraced his whole plan
of the campaign, and he followed it out faithfully and successfully.
He followed Bragg closely, but refused to fight him, covered Nashville
and protected Louisville, and eventually forced Bragg to retreat from
the state by way of the mountains of East Tennessee. Had he urged
battle and been defeated, or even disabled, General Negley would have
been forced to retreat, harassed at every step, to the Ohio River, at
Paducah. As it was, Bragg accomplished nothing, and had Buell remained
in command he would never have again advanced north of Chattanooga.
Buell having driven Bragg from Kentucky, proposed to go by forced
marches to Murfreesborough, Tennessee, drive Breckinridge from that
point, and reoccupy the rich country of Middle Tennessee. But he was
very unwisely superseded by Rosecrans, who delayed until Bragg had
moved north to Murfreesborough, and had actually advanced to take
Nashville. This delay necessitated the fighting of the battle of Stone
River, and cost us ten thousand men.

In manners and habits, as well as in modesty and sternness, General
Buell is not unlike Thomas, possessing the same dignity of deportment,
and reservedness and imperturbability so characteristic of the latter
officer. He possessed, too, the same regular habits of business, and
is a model of reticence and secrecy. He is, if any thing, too cold in
demonstration, and won in consequence, while in the army, a reputation
for gruffness which he did not deserve. He smiled as seldom as Thomas.
One morning, during a recess of the court which was examining into
his conduct at Nashville in December, 1862, he grew unusually lively
in a playful controversy with a young daughter of General Rousseau,
and perpetrated several rather comical jokes. Miss Rousseau, utterly
astonished at this unexpected liveliness on the general's part,
expressed her surprise by exclaiming, "Why, General Buell, I never knew
you to laugh aloud before."

"Ah! my child," replied the general, suddenly growing serious, "you
never knew me when I felt free to laugh as now."

Although very small of stature, General Buell possesses almost
Herculean strength, and frequently has been known to lift his wife, a
lady of at least 140 pounds' weight, at arm's length, and stand her on
a mantle-shelf nearly as high as himself. His frame, compactly built,
is all muscle and sinew.

When Buell was relieved by Rosecrans, the army threw up its hat in
delight, and the country re-echoed their bravos of approval. Never
was joy so inappropriate--never was there a change of commanders so
injudicious, and it required only a year of time, but, alas! many
a human life, to prove how criminal it was. Politics nor war ever
thrust upon the nation a more incompetent leader than William Starke
Rosecrans. He had not one of the attributes of generalship. He was
neither a strategist nor a tactician, and all he knew of the art of
war were its tricks--the tricks that every Indian and all uncivilized
nations most excel in. He inspired dread in his enemies only by his
reputation for trickery, and was known throughout the camps of the foe
as "that wily Dutchman, Rosecrans." He was eminently fitted by nature
and education to be the provost-marshal and chief of spies to a great
army like that which he commanded, but nothing more.

Nature unfitted him for the task of directing a great army by making
him extremely nervous. His nervousness, unlike that of Sherman, was a
weakness. His excitability rendered it not only impossible for him to
execute, but it made him incoherent, and he could not direct others. I
have known him, when merely directing an orderly to carry a dispatch
from one point to another, grow so excited, vehement, and incoherent
as to utterly confound the messenger. In great danger as in small
things, this nervousness incapacitated him from the intelligible
direction of his officers or effective execution of his plans. He
possessed no control over himself, and consequently was not capable of
directing others.

[Illustration: WILLIAM S. ROSECRANS.]

Rosecrans was not an impressive man. It was too apparent that all
he did was for "effect," in the theatrical sense. He possessed very
little dignity, and he dwindled terribly as you came to know him most
intimately. He did not "wear well" even with the troops, who are the
last of an army to give up their worship of a general. He was not long
admired by his subordinate officers, and, though a great favorite
with his soldiers, they never lavished upon him that intense devotion
which they felt for Thomas, and which seldom found utterance in noisy
demonstration. Rosecrans had a system by which to gain the affections
of his men totally different from that of Thomas or Grant. It was,
however, the false system of the demagogue. He never passed a regiment
without having a pleasant word for the men. He chatted freely and even
jocularly with them. He blamed the officers for every thing--the men
for nothing. If a knapsack was put on carelessly, he told the guilty
man's captain that he "didn't know how to strap on a knapsack." If a
canteen was missing, he ridiculed the soldier who thought he could
fight without water, and scolded his officer. All this pleased the men,
without exactly offending the officer, and the whole army had a hearty
laugh over every such scene, and felt an increased admiration for the
general. But this admiration died out on the first apparent failure of
the idol, and transferred itself to the successor, who had won their
confidence by saving their former idol and themselves. Shortly after
the retirement from Chickamauga to Chattanooga, and while the whole of
his army was engaged in building the defenses of that place, Rosecrans,
accompanied by Thomas, rode around the line to examine the works. It
happened that this was also General Thomas's first public appearance
after the battle of Chickamauga, and whenever the two made their
appearance, the troops threw down their spades and picks, gathered
in tumultuous and noisy crowds around the person of Thomas, grasped
and kissed his hands and embraced his legs, to the total neglect of
Rosecrans, and much to the latter's disgust and Thomas's confusion. The
distinction was too marked to remain unnoticed, and Rosecrans saw in
that demonstration his approaching downfall.

The immediate cause of Rosecrans's removal was his failure at
Chickamauga. There were other offenses laid to his charge, but this
was enough to condemn him; and he would have been relieved immediately
after that event had it not been necessary, in Mr. Lincoln's opinion,
to retain him in the position until after the Ohio election for
governor. So little were the people understood, and so little was
their deep earnestness appreciated, that there were wise counselors
of the President who believed that the removal of Rosecrans at that
time would strengthen Vallandigham, and perhaps secure his election
over Brough. As soon as the election was over, however, Rosecrans was
removed, and very properly too, for his entire campaign had been one
series of great mistakes, which circumstances have served to hide from
general observation. I am in some measure responsible for the false
impressions prevailing about that campaign, for I was so placed--as
correspondent for a leading paper of the country--that I could have
given them publication, but the sin was one of omission only. A
little circumstance prevented me at the time from telling the whole
truth about the battle of Chickamauga, or even all I had proposed
to tell. As it was, I was condemned, abused, and ridiculed by half
the papers in the country for what little I did say, and for a few
weeks I felt myself the best abused man in the country. It was not
until Rosecrans, and McCook, and Crittenden were relieved that people
began to understand that I was right, and I to feel that I had made a
mistake in not giving the whole story in full. The circumstance which
induced me to do otherwise was this: A week or two before the battle of
Chickamauga, the Assistant Secretary of War, Charles A. Dana, arrived
at Rosecrans's head-quarters, and he was received by the army as if he
was a bird of evil omen. It was whispered at head-quarters that he had
come as the spy of the War Department, and to find justification for
Rosecrans's intended removal; the rumor spread to the camp; officers
looked upon him with scowls, and the men ridiculed him by pretending
to mistake him for a sutler, and by calling after him as he would ride
by in the wake of Rosecrans, "Hey, old sutler! when are you going to
open out?" Mr. Dana's position must have been very unpleasant to him,
for he was evidently an object of suspicion in every body's eyes, and
his mission "to ruin Rosecrans" was the talk of the whole camp. On
the morning after the battle, when about leaving Chattanooga for New
York, in order to write up an account of the battle for the Herald,
I waited on General Rosecrans to obtain his approval to a dispatch
to be forwarded by telegraph. The general, Garfield, Dana, and one
or two aids, were at lunch. While General Garfield read and approved
the dispatch, General Rosecrans asked me, among other questions, what
I proposed to tell about the late battle. I answered, "The plain,
unvarnished truth, I hope." Soon after I left, and Mr. Dana arose and
followed me to the telegraph office. Here he very officiously told
the telegraph operators to see that my dispatch went through without
delay, and otherwise showed almost too plainly a disposition to serve
me. Before I could leave the house and mount my horse to ride to the
nearest railroad station, I heard two operators talking of collusion
between myself and Mr. Dana, while a third told me very plainly "that
it was evident that Mr. Dana and myself were both disposed to blame
Rosecrans for the defeat." To have written what I had intended would
have been to justify this suspicion, and hence much that I would liked
to have said of the battle at that time in the Herald I was compelled
to defer until the present time and the present book.

In the first place, I would have liked to have said then that the
battle of Chickamauga was useless; that there was not the slightest
necessity for fighting it, and, despite all that has been said, and
written, and misrepresented to the contrary, to have shown that the
troops could have been easily concentrated in Chattanooga without
fighting a battle of any dimensions. The campaign was well managed
until the occupation of Chattanooga, and the crossing of Lookout
Mountain excited Rosecrans so that he lost his self-possession, when
he made the gross mistake of sending his three corps in pursuit, by
widely divergent lines, of a foe concentrated immediately in front
of his centre. General Thomas made the discovery of this position of
the enemy, and without consulting Rosecrans, who was some distance
away, ordered McCook, already fifty miles distant on his way to Rome,
to return immediately. For this Rosecrans blamed Thomas at first,
but allowed himself to be argued into confirming the orders, which
order really saved McCook, for another twenty-four hours' delay would
have prevented him from reaching the main army. Nevertheless, having
retreated west of Lookout Mountain, McCook was safe and could have
pursued his way to Chattanooga, whither Thomas, and Crittenden too,
could have fallen back had they not waited for McCook to recross
the mountain and concentrate upon the west bank of the Chickamauga.
Forty-eight valuable hours were lost by this movement, and made the
battle of Chickamauga not only a necessity, but a failure. Had the
proper plan been pursued, the campaign of Rosecrans would have ended
with the successful siege and battles of Chattanooga, without their
terrible precursor, Chickamauga.

The engagement itself was the worst managed battle of the war. The
public blamed Rosecrans, and the President relieved him for leaving the
field and retiring to Chattanooga, but it is not generally known that
Rosecrans never saw the battle-field of Chickamauga; yet such is the
fact; and he has to this day no knowledge of the roads or configuration
of that field from personal examination. He did not actually see a
gun fired on that field except when Longstreet broke McCook's corps
and pushed through Rosecrans's quarters, which were in the rear of
that part of the field. On the first day his quarters were a mile to
the right and rear of the line of battle, and two miles from the main
fight, which Thomas conducted. During this day's battle Rosecrans
paced up and down his quarters, while his engineer sat near by with
a map, a pencil, and a compass, endeavoring to locate on the map the
line of the battle by its sounds! Never was any thing so ridiculous as
this scene. A countrywoman named Glenn, who resided at the house, was
called into requisition as an aide, and, standing by the engineer's
side, would, in reply to his questions, "guess" the locality of the
firing as "about a mile fornenst John Kelly's house," or "nigh out
about Reid's bridge somewhar." The firing could be distinctly heard,
and as on one or two occasions the cannonading and musketry grew more
rapid, I heard Rosecrans, rubbing his hands and fairly quivering with
excitement, exclaim, "Ah! there goes Brannin!" or "That's Negley going
in!" and really understanding no more about the actual situation than
the poor woman who aided Garfield and St. Clair Morton to locate the
line on the map. Meantime, on the field, each corps commander fought
"on his own hook," and thus Crittenden, who never, on the battle-field,
had an opinion of his own, or ever assumed any responsibility that he
could possibly avoid, failed to advance his corps when that of Thomas
charged and drove the enemy. Had he done so, all the force which Bragg,
on that first day of the engagement, had on our side of the Chickamauga
River must have inevitably been driven into that stream. As it was,
the right flank of Thomas's advancing corps became exposed and turned,
and he was forced to retire from the field he had won, the fruits of
his victory frittered away by Crittenden's negativeness. All this was
undoubtedly owing to Rosecrans's absence from the field. The whole
story of this terrible mistake was told that night by General John M.
Palmer in an incident which illustrated it very handsomely. I had met
him during the day when his troops were somewhat scattered. During the
night ensuing, I was sitting at the table of the telegraph operators at
Rosecrans's quarters, writing a dispatch, when General Palmer came in.

"Since I saw you this morning," he said, addressing me, "I have got my
troops together again. They are in good spirits, and ready for another
fight. I have no hesitation in saying to you"--at this moment he saw
Assistant Secretary of War Dana at the other end of the table, and
would have liked to stop, but had gone too far, and so he added, "and I
have no hesitation in saying to _you_, Mr. Dana, that this battle has
been lost because we had no supreme head to the army on the field to
direct it."

Nothing was ever truer than this. All that was at one time needed
to have secured us a great victory was to have had some one to tell
Crittenden that it was his manifest duty to charge with Thomas. The
next day was too late; Longstreet was then across the river; McCook
was routed; he, Crittenden, and Rosecrans were in Chattanooga (the
latter had already telegraphed to Washington that his army was totally
defeated and routed); and all that Thomas could hope to do with his
remnant of the army was to cover the retreat. This he was enabled to
do by the timely appearance of the reserve corps and its two very able
leaders, Granger and Steedman.

Granger was the character, Steedman the remarkable man of these two,
and both such men as Thomas needed in his emergency. They brought with
them the reserve corps of twenty-five thousand men--fifteen thousand
of them enlisted men, the other ten thousand were Steedman and Granger
themselves. They were each men in whom their troops had implicit
confidence, and this doubled their strength, or rather was their
strength, for no army can be said to have any strength if it has not
confidence in its leaders.

[Illustration: GORDON GRANGER.]

Gordon Granger is a rude, rough, and tough soldier, and the confidence
of his men was inspired not so much by their knowledge of his ability
as of admiration of his bravery. His ability as a director is not
great, but he is a good leader of men. Granger is a man without any
sense of fear--is more thoroughly indifferent to the dangers of battle
than any man I ever remember to have met. He was not the coolest man
I have seen on a battle-field; on the contrary, he was what might be
called fidgety, in order to avoid saying that he was excitable, which
would not be true; but so totally and absolutely fearless that it
was not merely apparent, but remarkable, and called forth frequent
allusion from his fellow-officers, and the constant admiration of
his men. This quality of his nature constituted him a leader, as
inspiring the confidence of his men, and this confidence formed the
discipline and the morale of his command. Granger ought to have been
an artillerist rather than an infantry-man, for he was devoted to
the artillery, and the greatest fault of his character as a leader
was this predilection for artillery. Not unfrequently Granger would
abandon the direction of a corps to command a battery. At Chickamauga
he left Steedman to lead his corps while he mounted a battery on
General Woods's front, and opened on the enemy a fire which had the
effect of calling forth a reply which made Thomas's quarters too hot to
be comfortable even for that old salamander. During the first day of
the battles of Chattanooga, in November, 1863, Granger devoted himself
in the same way to the big guns in Fort Wood, Grant's head-quarters,
and so disturbed Grant by his repeated firing of the monsters that the
latter had to order him to the front, where his troops had carried a
position. The ruling passion was too strong in Granger to be exorcised
by a hint, and he had hardly been on the front line five minutes when
he had a battery mounted, and was firing away at the rebels at a
shorter range.

Granger was a man equally courageous morally as physically, and pursued
an object, or criticised a subject or person without the slightest
regard to others' opinions. He never shirked a responsibility--in
fact, would rather act without authority than not, as giving zest to
the undertaking. He was free in his criticisms as Hooker, but ruder.
He had as little policy in such things as "Fighting Joe," but nothing
of the sarcastic bitterness of that officer. Granger was almost gruff,
not only in his criticisms, but in his language, and never disliked a
man without showing it. When the army occupied East Tennessee, after
the expulsion of Longstreet from the vicinity of Knoxville, Sherman
left Granger in command at Loudon with but little food for his troops,
and almost no provender for his animals. Granger complained of his
wants to Grant, who referred the matter to Sherman. The latter declared
that there was plenty of all kinds of supplies in East Tennessee, and
in indorsing the papers, advised Granger to live off the country.
"Living off the country" was a favorite idea with Sherman, but Granger
saw greater difficulty in it, and nearly starved in trying to do so.
Shortly after this Grant went to the Potomac, and Sherman succeeded him
in command of the Military Division of the Mississippi. While making
an inspection of his command in the ensuing spring, Sherman one day
arrived at Loudon, Granger's head-quarters. On jumping off the cars at
that place, Sherman saw Granger in front of his quarters, and, going up
to him, began, in that quick, nervous manner in which Sherman always

"I say, Granger, I wish you would give me and my staff something to
eat--only a mouthful--only a mouthful, and a cup of coffee. Haven't had
any thing to eat since daylight."

"See you starved first," muttered Granger _sotto voce_, but still loud
enough to be heard. "Why don't you 'live off the country?'"

He did, however, give Sherman his rations--of the plainest materials he
could gather--"Lincoln platform" (hard bread) and rye coffee, but could
not avoid the temptation to repeatedly apologize for the plain fare by
the remark,

"You see, general, we have to 'live off the country.'"

Although a great admirer of Rosecrans, Granger was not more particular
in his language to him than to Sherman. After Thomas had fallen back
to Rossville, after the battle of Chickamauga, he sent General Granger
to Chattanooga to represent the situation to Rosecrans, and obtain his
order to retire upon Chattanooga. Granger found Rosecrans, and had very
little difficulty in arguing him into adopting Thomas's ideas. He sat
down at a table, and, with Granger looking over his shoulder, began to
write the order to Thomas to fall back. Instead of making it a brief
command, Rosecrans went on to detail how the retreat must be conducted,
how the troops should be marshaled, this division here and another
there, who should be in the van and who in the rear, and was adding
that great fires must be built all along the line before the retreat
began, in order to deceive the enemy into the belief that they were
going to stay there (a favorite _trick_ of the wily Rosecrans), when
Granger interrupted him--

"Oh, that's all nonsense, general! Send Thomas an order to retire. He
knows what he's about as well as you do."

Rosecrans silently obeyed, tore up the order, and wrote another, which
proved a model of brevity, and fully as satisfactory to Thomas.

This independence in speech rather interfered with Granger's character
for gallantry--sadly so on one occasion, in the estimation of a
charming Miss Saunders, of Nashville, step-daughter of Governor
Aaron V. Brown, and a niece of the rebel General Gideon Pillow. Miss
Saunders was particularly proud of her uncle Gideon, and never lost an
opportunity of sounding his praise. On one occasion she was indulging
in this praise of Pillow to Granger, and among other things remarked
that her uncle "would have held a very high rank in the Confederate
army had it not been for the personal enmity existing between him and
Jeff Davis. Very unexpectedly, the ungallant and over-candid Granger

"General Pillow never amounted to much."

The brow of the charming young lady contracted, and her eyes flashed
fire as she exclaimed,

"General Granger, how dare you speak so of my uncle?"

"Oh," answered Granger, "you can't fool me with 'painted mules.'"
(Granger had been a quarter-master, and in his early days had
frequently been imposed upon by traders in repaired condemned animals.)
"I knew Gid Pillow in Mexico, and he always was an old fool."

The disgust of the niece can be better imagined than described, and
the ungallant and rough Granger was forever after banished from her

Like most similarly candid men, Granger was a firm, warm, and constant
friend. I had quite a quarrel with him during the battle of Mission
Ridge for having alluded to a story told me by Senator Nesmith,
of Oregon, of his comical adventures in escaping from capture at
Chickamauga, and his retreat to civilization. I could not for some time
understand Granger's wrath, until he told me that Senator Nesmith was a
particular and intimate friend of his, and he should not be abused in
his presence. It was not until I had explained that Nesmith had himself
told me the story, and that it was highly creditable to his nerve and
courage, though comical in the extreme, that Granger at last became

General Granger was fond of the young, men associated with him at
head-quarters as members of his staff, and particularly so of Captain
Russell, his adjutant general. During the battle of Chickamauga, he
sent Captain Russell to some part of the line to carry an order to
General Steedman. While riding along a ridge over which he had to pass,
Russell became exposed to the rebel fire, and fell pierced by several
balls. His horse was wounded in the hip, and, riderless, came back to
where Granger was then engaged in fighting, firing and almost loading
a battery which he had placed in position, and upon which the enemy
were at the time charging. The horse singled Granger out in the crowd
and excitement, ran up to him, fondled about him with his head, and did
every thing that a dumb brute could do to attract attention. At first,
Granger, busy at the guns, did not notice the horse, until the animal
grew troublesome. His own horse and that of Captain Russell were very
much alike, and, mistaking the animal for his own, Granger called to
his orderly to take him away. The orderly explained that it was not his
horse, and Granger then saw that it was Russell's, and noticed that it
had been wounded. The truth flashed across his mind at once, and he
sent several of his body-guard in search of the body of his adjutant,
the faithful horse guiding them to where his master had fallen. Granger
forgot "his ruling passion," the artillery--forgot to send another aid
with the order which Russell had, of course, failed to deliver, and
when the orderlies returned with the dead body of the captain, Granger
gave himself up to his grief. At last his great sorrow vented itself in
an exclamation addressed to General Thomas--

"By G--d, general, he was the best soldier I ever knew!"

After this, the fountain of his tears seemed to dry up. He ordered the
body to be cared for, returned to his artillery, and became again the
rough soldier of the moment before.

[Illustration: JAMES B. STEEDMAN.]

"Old Steady," as the soldiers affectionately called General James B.
Steedman, possessed, perhaps, not greater, but certainly more available
talents than Gordon Granger. He was more practical, of equally
effective presence, equal daring morally, and greater daring mentally.
Gordon Granger delights in responsibilities. Steedman dares to assume
responsibilities which are at times appalling, and does so with so much
cool impudence as silences you in astonishment, and such sublime nerve
and boldness as hushes you in admiration. He defies argument by the
preposterousness of his plans, and silences opposition by the daring
with which he executes them. He hesitates at nothing. The magnitude of
an undertaking has a charm for him, and he accomplishes great things in
the most unexpected of ways. He is never so great as when struggling
against great obstacles, or fighting against great odds. He is a
positive and decided man; not merely opinionated and obstinate, but
firm, unflinching, and resolute. Clear-headed and cool-headed--a man of
uncommonly strong common sense--he always knows his own mind and always
follows it. No man was ever less in want of advice, or ever treated it
with such contempt. "Never, under any circumstances, take any body's
advice, nor refuse any body's information," is an accepted motto with
Steedman. He did not adopt it from actual experience, but received
it intuitively, and is constituted, not educated, to depend upon and
decide for himself. Experience, education, and natural shrewdness have
taught him to instinctively divine the true in principle and character,
and he seldom fails to correctly analyze men and motives. The same long
experience, thorough education, and natural shrewdness have made him
a splendid administrative officer, full of resources and ingenuity,
which, added to the boldness, or perhaps it is best described by
calling it the impudence, with which he acts, gives assured success to
all his plans.

These traits of extravagance in the formation and boldness in
the execution of his plans find many illustrations in Steedman's
public career. Before the war one of the great men among Ohio local
politicians and a leading spirit of the Democrats, he was the ruler
of all the Democratic Conventions of his state from 1850 to 1860, and
was noted for the ingenuity with which he pulled the political wires
of his party. And not the least remarkable fact in connection with
this matter is, that he attained this controlling position through
his election as Superintendent of Public Works, an office which had
previously been of minor importance and little patronage, but which
Steedman made, by his positiveness and boldness, of such influence and
power as to make its occupant a--in fact, _the_ power in the party.
And by his audacity and strong will, exercised with wonderful success
over men, he retained, and still retains, this power to this day. His
bolder confederates used to declare that he was destroying the party by
the irregularity and impossibility of his schemes, and thus endeavor
to impair his influence; but as, after each election, the party under
his leadership came out ahead, faith in his boldness of manœuvre was
restored, and his ambitious comrades, who wished to be also his rivals,
would, like the more obedient of the party, rally again to his support
and fight under his leadership. His boldness was really nothing more
than the clear defining of the principle fought for, and in this lay
the secret of success. It is related of Steedman that on one occasion
he concocted a curious scheme for reconciling the discordant elements
which threatened the unity of a State Convention of the party called to
meet at Columbus. He went to the proprietor of the hotel at which the
delegation usually boarded, and told him that when certain men whom he
named, and who were the leaders of the two factions, arrived in town
and called for rooms, they were to be told that the house was full, but
that "probably Mr. Steedman might accommodate them in his room," which
Steedman had taken care should be the largest in the house. The trick
succeeded, and the leaders of the rival factions found themselves, much
to their surprise, domiciled together in Steedman's room, and so intent
on watching each other that neither faction could hold its proposed
caucus. The evening before the Convention, having succeeded in getting
the leaders of the two factions closeted in his room, Steedman exposed
to each the private schemes of the other, and thus disarmed both. By
the plentiful use of argument and the judicious use of ridicule, he
reconciled the oil and water (not by _lie_ however), and at last got
them to agree on his platform and his candidate. I am not certain that
he was not himself the candidate selected. The joke was too good to
keep, and the hotel proprietor exposed it to the leaders, who went
home declaring that they had one satisfaction, and that was, that "Jim
Steedman had to sleep on the floor during the whole of the Convention,
while they slept in his beds."

Sleeping on a carpeted floor was not a particularly severe hardship for
the sinewey Steedman, for when under great mental or nervous excitement
he can not sleep at all. At the Cincinnati Convention of 1856, in which
he was the leading Ohio wire-puller, he went for four days and nights
without closing his eyes, and three fourths of the time he was on his
feet on the cold stone floor of the Burnett House, "manipulating" the
politicians. He can neither eat nor drink under great excitement. At
the battle of Chickamauga he ate nothing for two days, and though he
carried a canteen of whisky through the entire battle, he forgot all
about it until after the retreat to Rossville, when a wounded soldier
in the hospital asked for a drink, and Steedman gave him his canteen.

Steedman was a Douglas Democrat of very strong proclivities, and
very much astonished his friends, when the war was about beginning,
by arguing in his paper, the Toledo Herald and Times, the propriety
of permitting the Southern states "to go out," _i.e._, to peaceably
secede. Such a doctrine from a Douglas Democrat was astonishing, and
the article created much comment. Without saying that the states
ought to be allowed to depart, he argued that secession was its own
punishment; that the seceded states could not hold together if allowed
to secede; and that a few years only would elapse before they would be
begging their way back into the Union; and that, while it would cost a
river of blood to keep them in, a war would not more effectually settle
the question of secession than if allowed to fall of its own weight.
Steedman's friends declared him crazy, but he only laughed at them, and
in the next issue of his paper finished his argument, or rather gave
the other side of the question. Claiming that the first conclusion was
correct, and that the course suggested would be equally effective with
war, he then went on to show that it was not the one which a great
people could pursue; that peaceable secession was a doctrine we ought
not to admit merely for the sake of the humanitarian argument of "no
bloodshed," and that nothing was left for the loyal people but the
other bitter alternative of war. That alternative the people of the
North, he declared, would unanimously accept in the spirit of right and
justice, and that it became the people to prepare for the blood-letting
which was to ensue. The first of these articles eventually found its
way into Congress at a time when Steedman's confirmation as brigadier
general was pending, and being construed into "Copperheadism," retarded
that confirmation for nearly two years, Mr. Ashley, who had defeated
Steedman for Congress, holding it over his head as a balance of power
to keep the general from running against him for that position. At the
next election, instead of agreeing to abandon the field to Ashley, and
thus secure his confirmation, Steedman took the very opposite grounds,
and announced his intention, since he was not likely to be confirmed a
brigadier general, of running against Mr. Ashley. This had the desired
effect, and Ashley hastened, by his recommendation and influence, to
secure Steedman's confirmation in the Senate, and shortly after, also,
that of major general, to which Steedman was nominated after the battle
of Chickamauga.

Steedman's admiration of Douglas amounted almost to idolatry, and to
such excess that Douglas's _political_ enemies were held by Steedman
to be his _personal_ foes, and more than one of them was treated so
by him. When Steedman was public printer at Washington, Isaac Cook,
postmaster of Chicago, and a former Douglas Democrat, but who had, in
order to retain his position, sided with Buchanan in his famous quarrel
with Douglas, came into his office complaining that Douglas had abused
him for his defection. In relating what had taken place, and in what
manner Douglas had denounced him, Cook remarked to Steedman that he
had just met Douglas in the Capitol, and was prepared, in case the
"Little Giant" spoke to him, to "give him a good caning." The picture
of Stephen A. Douglas being caned by "Ike" Cook was too much for
Steedman. Clearing a table which stood between him and Cook at a bound,
he seized the astonished postmaster by the collar, and with a furious
oath exclaimed,

"You cane Douglas! You strike Stephen A. Douglas, who made you all you
are! Get out of this office, or I'll kick you out!"

Cook began to expostulate, when the infuriated Steedman carried out his
threat, and Cook made a hasty and inelegant retreat.

Next day President Buchanan sent for Steedman, and lectured him
regarding his treatment of Cook. Steedman had by this time began to
look at the comic side of the affair, and listened patiently and
good-humoredly to the President's lecture, until Mr. Buchanan alluded
to Douglas contemptuously as "the little traitor." Steedman's blood
boiled with fury, but by a great effort he controlled his passion, and,
rising, said, with a voice of measured calmness,

"Mr. President, I have been a warm friend of Stephen A. Douglas for
many years. I supported him in the convention which nominated you for
the Presidency because I believed him to be incomparably the ablest and
the best man for the position. _I think so still._ Good-morning, sir."

A few hours after, Steedman received a note from the Postmaster General:

"SIR,--I am directed by the President to inform you that in future Mr.
Cornelius Wendell will do the printing of this department."

This was followed by a general withdrawal of government patronage where
it was possible, and thus Steedman lost a great deal of his business in
consequence of his candor.

I have intimated in the sketch of General Thomas that the famous charge
of the reserve corps at Chickamauga was made at Steedman's suggestion.
The idea of advancing at that time was a most preposterous one--it
looked simply suicidal--and I would have been less surprised if the
army had made arrangements to surrender than I was to see Steedman's
corps charging and carrying the ridge against Longstreet's corps,
which had a few hours before scattered a larger force than that of
Steedman's at a single blow. The charge was not less of a surprise to
the enemy, and the fact that it was unexpected and unaccountable under
the circumstances had much to do with its success, since it puzzled
and confused both Longstreet and Bragg so much as to convince them
that Thomas had a large reserve force, and to cause a long and highly
important delay and cessation of hostilities.

During this famous charge of Steedman's occurred an incident which
at once illustrates the boldness and extravagance of the man. The
fighting was very heavy, the ridge which Longstreet held very high
and difficult, and at one time Steedman saw a portion of his line
wavering. Before he could ride forward to their position, this wavering
brigade broke and began to retire, following a flag in the hands of
a color-bearer, who had taken the lead in retreating. Meeting the
retiring brigade, Steedman grasped the flag from the bearer and waved
it above his head. All the line saw the action, but only a part of it
heard his stentorian voice as he cried,

"Run away, boys--run away like cowards; but the flag can't go with you."

Not the words, but the advancing flag had the desired effect, and
these men returned to the charge, and, led by the broad-shouldered,
broad-breasted old soldier, they carried the hill before them.

Before going into this battle, Steedman became strangely impressed with
the idea that he was to lose his right leg, and, though no believer in
presentiments, so forcibly and frequently did the thought occur to his
mind, that he confided his feelings to some of his staff and friends.
Among others to whom he mentioned it was Gordon Granger, who laughed at
the idea, and jocosely asked Steedman what he could do for him in case
he was wounded or killed.

"Yes," said Steedman to his inquiry, "you can do me a great favor, and
I beg that you will attend to it."

"What is it?" asked Granger. "I swear to do it."

"See that my name is spelled right in the newspapers. The printers
always spell it Ste_a_d."

And with this request Steedman rode into the battle. An hour or two
after it had begun, his horse was shot under him, and another was
brought for him. He mounted him, but the right stirrup-leather becoming
twisted, he raised the stirrup with his foot, lifting his leg at the
same time, in order to reach down and catch hold of the leather and
take the twist out of it, when a musket-ball struck the strap, and,
cutting it in two, passed between his leg and the saddle.

"By George!" exclaimed Steedman, "I'm all right!" and the troublesome
presentiment passed away from his mind, for he was now firmly convinced
that the bullet which had cut the leather was the one which he had had
intimations to fear.

It is not generally known, I believe, that Granger and Steedman got
to the battle-field of Chickamauga against orders. Rosecrans had
assigned to the reserve corps the duty of guarding Rossville Gap, a
very important position; but when the straggling troops of McCook began
to pour into Chattanooga by this gap, Granger began looking about for
Rosecrans, in the hope of getting orders to advance to Thomas's aid.
While Granger was looking for orders, Steedman marched forward, and it
was thus that he happened to reach Thomas's position before Granger
did. Steedman has acted without orders in this way on more than one
important occasion. He fought the battle of Carnifex Ferry, Western
Virginia, without either orders or assistance, and defeated Floyd's
brigade with a single regiment. He was ordered to hold Chattanooga
when Hood marched against Nashville; but, finding no very formidable
force near him, and being cut off from communication with Thomas at
Nashville, Steedman left a small force of negro troops in Chattanooga,
and started with a large force of white and negro volunteers for
Nashville. Hood's cavalry advance cut the railroad and precipitated his
trains into Mill Creek, a small stream a few miles from Nashville, but
he fought his way through on foot to the city, and appeared with his
ten thousand men before General Thomas's head-quarters. To Thomas's
look of inquiry, and perhaps of censure, Steedman replied,

"General, I was cut off from communication, and have come here in hopes
I may get leave to re-enforce Nashville, and take a hand in the battle."

He got the order and the opportunity. In his report of his
participation in the battle, he states that he made the movement by
General Thomas's order, but does not explain how he obtained it.

Steedman had great faith in negro troops. One of his most daring
efforts was that of leading a thousand negroes in a charge at Dalton,
Georgia, upon Wheeler's cavalry, twenty-five hundred strong, defeating
them, and capturing the place. His main force at the battle of
Nashville was two brigades of negro troops, and their conduct was
highly commended by him. He made much character and great personal
popularity, while in command of the Department of Georgia, by his
efforts in alleviating the condition of the freedmen. An incident
illustrative of his policy with the freedmen, and his ideas of justice
as applied to them, is told of him while stationed at Augusta, Georgia.

A railroad contractor came to him one day and asked for a military
force to compel the negroes to work in repairing the line from Savannah
to Augusta.

"They won't work, general," said the contractor.

"How much do you pay them?" asked the general.

"Ten dollars per month," was the answer.

"The devil!" exclaimed Steedman. "Give 'em thirty, and see whether
they'll work then. I never gave a man less than eighty-seven and a half
cents a day in my life. I think I could get a brigade at that price
here. You try it; and, I say," he added, "if I hear of your offering
less, I'll _try_ you."

The contractor tried the plan, and found he had no use for a military
guard, and no work for half the applicants who swarmed about his office.

Steedman in appearance is like a hale, hearty farmer, with stout, burly
form, largely made, and of great physical power and endurance. He
weighs over two hundred pounds, and is one of the strongest men in the
country. He is as frank as he is bold, and as honest as impudent.

When General Rosecrans retired to Chattanooga during the battle of
Chickamauga, thus abandoning his army, he committed the grand mistake
of his military career. He soon found this to be so, and soon felt and
knew that his unfortunate retreat had left him utterly defenseless.
He feared at first to condemn any one, and endeavored to make friends
with all. He could not condemn McCook and Crittenden, for in running
away from the battle-field they had only followed his example, and to
condemn them for this was to condemn himself. Some victim was necessary
as an explanation of his defeat and retreat, and Generals Thomas J.
Wood and James S. Negley were selected, the latter before and Wood
after the removal of Rosecrans. Negley was a volunteer officer, who
had incurred the enmity of Brannin, Davis, Baldy Smith, and one or two
regular officers of inferior rank, and he was sacrificed by Rosecrans
in order to obtain the support of what was known as the "regular
clique" of the army, and which embraced these and other regular
officers. Wood was not relieved by Rosecrans as Negley was, nor did
Rosecrans venture to publicly censure him until after his own removal,
when, very much to every body's surprise, Rosecrans condemned Wood
in his official report for having caused the disaster to the army.
The fact is that Rosecrans was not entitled to make a report of the
battle of Chickamauga, for he did not see it, was not present, and, as
written, his report, after its description of the general topography of
North Alabama and Georgia, is merely a lame apology for his own strange

The two men thus made the scapegoats of Rosecrans were men of more
than ordinary abilities, and it is a great pity that the reputation
of such men should ever be placed in the hands of such generals as
Rosecrans. General Negley, though not educated for the army, was one of
the best-read officers in military matters that we had in the volunteer
service, and possessed a natural adaptation for, and many qualities
as a leader. He was a man of quick perception and decided judgment,
intuitive talents which "stood him in hand" on more than one occasion,
as, for instance, at Stone River, where he replied to Breckenridge's
assault of his troops by a counter-charge which, made with great force
and rapidity, turned the fortunes of the day, and won an advantage
which decided Bragg to abandon the field of which he was still master.
Bragg relieved Breckenridge from his command for his defeat by Negley.

Among the most important services rendered by General Negley, or by
any other general officer of the army, were the operations embracing
the reconnoissance and battle at Dug Gap, Georgia, on September 11,
1863. He commanded the advance of the centre column of Rosecrans's
army in crossing Lookout Mountain. The three columns had been widely
separated--fifty miles intervening between the right wing and centre,
and about thirty between the centre and left wing. Knowing this,
Bragg had concentrated his forces in front of the centre, abandoning
Chattanooga in such a way as to indicate he was in full retreat.
Rosecrans ordered him to be pursued, and General Negley, debouching
from Stevens's Gap of Lookout Mountain, was ordered to take Lafayette,
Georgia. General Negley was advised and had reported that Bragg was
concentrating his forces at that very point, but the report was
discredited by General Rosecrans, and Negley was ordered forward. He
advanced cautiously on the morning of September 11, in command of his
own and Baird's divisions, and, as he anticipated, soon encountered
the enemy. He drove them for some time, but soon found that he had
Bragg's whole army in his front and on his flanks. It was subsequently
discovered that Bragg had issued positive and peremptory orders to
Generals Hindman, Hill, Buckner, and Polk, to attack and destroy
Negley, promising himself the easy capture of the other columns in
detail. But Negley was too shrewd to be caught thus; although his
trains and those of Baird encumbered the road in his rear, which the
enemy soon threatened by moving on his flanks, he succeeded in saving
every wagon and in slowly retiring on Stevens's Gap, where he could
afford to battle with thrice his numbers. This engagement, which lasted
all the day, was the first convincing proof which Rosecrans had of the
presence of Bragg, and the first premonition of danger. It induced him
to gather his scattered columns together. General Negley's discretion
and valor on this occasion were not only alike commended by Generals
Rosecrans and Thomas, but by General Bragg, who, in his anger at their
failure to destroy him, arrested Hindman and Polk, and preferred
charges against them. These charges, which attributed Negley's escape
from this danger to delay on the part of the rebel officers arrested,
were never sustained, and they were returned to duty. The fact was that
Negley had outwitted them, and had forewarned Rosecrans in time to save
the army.

When the battle of Chickamauga began, General Negley's division was
on the move, marching to the sound of the artillery, and it reached
the field just in time to push forward on the right and fill up a gap
created by the dispersion of General Van Cleve's division. In the
desperate fight which ensued, the rebel General Preston Smith was
killed, and the enemy driven in confusion. On the second day of the
battle General Negley's division was not so fortunate. One brigade
was sent to the extreme left, another was placed in the centre, and
the third held in reserve. Later in the day the general himself was
taken from the command of the division and ordered to the command of a
number of batteries which were concentrated on a hill on a new line to
which it was proposed to retire, and which were intended to cover the
retrograde movement. Before this manœuvre could be executed, however,
the right wing and centre of the army were broken, and the troops fell
back in confusion. The enemy charged upon the guns of General Negley
in great force, and, moving upon the flanks, greatly threatened their
capture. By great exertions the general succeeded in carrying them from
the field without the aid of any infantry supports, and thus saved
about fifty guns from capture.

On retiring to Rossville, he found himself, in the absence of
Rosecrans, McCook, and Crittenden at Chattanooga, the senior
officer in that part of the field, and he immediately began the
work of reorganizing the troops of the several divisions gathered
indiscriminately there. He succeeded in reorganizing a large number of
men, and, selecting a strong position at Rossville Gap, endeavored to
open communication with General Thomas. This was found impracticable,
however. During the night General Thomas retired to this position,
and, forming a junction with General Negley, ordered him to post the
forces along the line selected by him, and prepared to give the enemy
a warm reception on the next morning. Bragg was too wise to attack,
and contented himself with merely reconnoitering the position. On the
succeeding day the troops were retired to Chattanooga, and preparations
were made for the siege which followed. During this siege General
Negley was relieved from duty by General Rosecrans in such a manner
and so unjustly that he was induced to demand an examination into his
official conduct. This was granted; a court of inquiry was convened and
an investigation made, resulting in General Negley's acquittal. The
official record of the court states in conclusion "that General Negley
exhibited throughout the day (the second day of the battle) and the
following night great activity and zeal in the discharge of his duties,
and the court do not find in the evidence before them any ground for
censure." General Negley, on the conclusion of the trial, was ordered
to report to the Adjutant General at Washington, and did so, but soon
after resigned. He is now engaged in the cultivation of his farm near
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

Negley is one of the most accomplished horticulturists in the country,
and when in the field of war his leisure hours were devoted to the
study of various fruits, flowers, and shrubs in which the Southern
fields and woods abounded. Many a march, long, tedious, exhausting, has
been rendered delightful to his staff by his interesting descriptive
illustrations of the hidden beauties and virtues of fragrant flowers
and repulsive weeds. I have known him to spend hours in explaining the
properties of shrubs and wild-flowers which grew about his bivouac or
head-quarters, and he would, when on the march, frequently spring from
his saddle to pluck a sensitive plant, that he might "point a moral"
in showing how soon it, like life or fame, withered at the touch of
death or disgrace. He was a remarkably well-made man--something of the
robust, sinewy frame of Steedman and Buell. His grasp was like a vice.
He was as tough as he was strong, and as elastic as enduring. He was
an exceedingly prompt and active man, and his division of the Army of
the Cumberland was by far its best in drill, appointments, and in its
commissariat. Negley's troops used to boast that while he commanded
they had never, under any circumstances, wanted for food or clothing,
and they used frequently to call him "Commissary General Negley."

General Thomas J. Wood might in some slight respects be compared to
Negley, but they appear to better effect when drawn in contrast.
Negley was considered a martinet among volunteers, Wood a martinet
among regulars. I do not mean martinet in the sense which a few
brainless officers have given the title by their illustrations of
it, but in its proper sense, as indicating a thorough and efficient
disciplinarian. Both Negley and Wood made their men soldiers through
discipline, and there were no better soldiers in the army. Their fate,
too, was similar. The advancement of each was slow and labored, and
their friends began to fear that their promotion was to be of that
ungenerous, posthumous order which was too frequent, and which always
looked to me like giving a handsome tomb-stone to a man unjustly
treated all his life.

General Wood was a captious officer, but a decided, brave, and
energetic one. History, which is rapidly beginning to be just,
and which will grow harsher every day, and more just with all her
harshness, will say that it was highly proper that the appointment of
General Wood as major general should read as it did--"vice Crittenden,
resigned." The place which that clever gentleman, but very poor
soldier, Thomas L. Crittenden, filled, was properly Tom Wood's years
before he got it, for he really filled it. Always under the command of
Crittenden, he was ever at his right hand and as his right hand, and
furnished him with all the military brains, and formed for him all the
military character he ever had. It may be impolite to say this now, but
it is anticipating history but a short time. This is a decree which
must be submitted to eventually, and why not now?

When the army of Rosecrans was drawing itself up in front of
Murfreesborough, Tennessee, the very day before the battle of
December 31, 1862, Crittenden's wing was on the left, and Tom Wood's
division held its advance. On approaching the rebel position, Wood,
of course, came to a halt, and, reconnoitering the position, reported
to Crittenden that the enemy were intrenched in his immediate front.
Crittenden went forward to Wood's position and satisfied himself of
the presence of the enemy in force, and approved the halt. A short
time after he received a communication from General Rosecrans stating
that General David S. Stanley, who, with his cavalry corps, had gone
to Murfreesborough, reported that the enemy had evacuated, and he
therefore ordered Crittenden to cross Stone River and occupy the
town. Crittenden showed the order to Wood, and told him that he must
advance and occupy the town. Wood argued that Rosecrans's information,
to his own and to Crittenden's knowledge, was incorrect, and that,
of course, it would not do to implicitly obey the order. Crittenden
thought that its terms were positive, and no course was left him but to
obey it. Wood urged Crittenden to report the circumstances, announce
to Rosecrans that the movement was delayed an hour in order to report
those facts, and stand ready to obey it if then repeated. It was some
time before Wood could make Crittenden understand that this was the
proper proceeding under the circumstances. He rode back to Rosecrans
and reported the facts, when that officer, examining for himself,
approved of the course pursued, and taught Crittenden that positive
orders were not always to be implicitly obeyed.

In three years of active warfare Tom Wood won honor from every
action, from Shiloh to Nashville. The disasters of his corps
were not disasters for him. He came out of the crucibles refined
and sparkling with renewed glory. Whether proving, as he did at
Shiloh, that he had made by his discipline veterans out of men who
had never seen a battle--whether stemming the adverse current of
battle at Chickamauga--whether scaling with irresistible power the
heights of Mission Ridge, and carrying at the point of the bayonet
the strongly-manned position, which looked strong enough to hold
itself--whether repulsing the charge at Franklin, or making it
at Nashville, he stands forth prominent as one of the coolest,
self-possessed, and gallant spirits of the day. I was glad to
see him at the close of the war joining hands with his noble friend
Rousseau for the redemption of Kentucky from slavery, and uniting
with that band of progressive spirits to whom she will in a few years
acknowledge that she owes her prosperity and welfare.

[Illustration: OLIVER O. HOWARD.]

Among the many original characters whom I met, and who had been
developed by the war, and by no means the least remarkable of them,
was Major General Oliver Otis Howard. In many respects he was not
unlike General George H. Thomas, possessing the same quiet, dignified,
and reserved demeanor, the same methodical turn of mind, and the same
earnest, industrious habits; but Howard was Thomas with the addition
of several peculiarities, not to say eccentricities. He had none of
General Thomas's cold-bloodedness, and though, like him, a statue in
dignity of demeanor, Howard, unlike Thomas, had blood in him that often
flowed warm with sympathy, and pulses that sometimes beat quicker with
excitement. General Thomas guided himself in his course through life
by his immediate surroundings, adapting himself, without sycophancy,
however, to present circumstances without regard to past consistency,
and was in power and favor at all times, because content to obey as
long as he remained a subordinate. Howard began life with certain aims
in view, and sailed a straight course, remaining always constant to his
principles, and consequently finding himself, like all men with either
firm principles or advanced ideas, at times unpopular. He had little
of General Thomas's practicability, and General Thomas had little of
Howard's faith in the strength and final triumph of great principles.
One trusted in the physical strength, the other in the innate power
of the principles of a great cause. Thomas believed the late war the
triumph of good soldiers over their inferiors--the triumph of numbers,
skill, and strength; Howard will tell you, with a flush of feeling
and a slight touch of the extravagance of an enthusiast, that it was
the triumph of right over wrong. Thomas thinks, with Napoleon, that
God sides with the force that has the most cannon; Howard believes,
with Bryant, that "the eternal years of God" are truths; and with the
Psalmist, that

    "Great is truth, and mighty above all things."

The faith of Howard in the principles which he advocated was sublime.
I knew of but one other who began the war with loftier purposes of
universal good, purer motives of right, justice, and liberty, or truer
ideas of the nature of the struggle as a crusade against slavery and
ignorance, and he was not a general--only a major of infantry, though a
brilliant "first section" graduate at West Point, but worthy ten times
over of greater rank than the army could grant. Nothing could have been
more beautiful than the firm faith which William H. Sidell felt from
the first in the final triumph of the right, not merely in restoring
the country to its former glory, unity, and strength, but in restoring
and rejuvenating it, purified of that which was at once its weakness
and its shame. It is somewhat of a digression to run off from Howard
in this manner to speak of Major Sidell, but every reader who knew the
man will think it pardonable. Sidell was a man of firm convictions,
and hence a man of great influence. It used to seem to me that he was
intended for the single purpose of making up other people's minds,
and deciding for his acquaintances what was right and what wrong. He
possessed a singularly effective, epigrammatical style of conversation,
and his generally very original ideas were always expressed with great
force and vigor. When he got hold of a great idea, he would talk it at
you without cessation, repeating it as frequently as he found a hearer,
and persist with something of the manner of those religious preachers
who pride themselves on "preaching in season and out of season" until
conviction followed. His ideas possessed not only value, but his
language had a stamp as coinage has, and both ideas and language passed
current. His ideas, oft repeated, thoroughly inculcated, found wide
circulation in the army with which he served, and it was often amusing
to hear his language repeated in places where they were least expected,
and by persons who were never suspected of possessing minds capable
of retaining grand ideas, or hearts true enough to comprehend great
principles. His ideas were traceable in the language of the soldiers,
relieved and often illustrated by the happy use of their familiar,
commonplace "slang." They got strangely mixed up in the orders of
commanding generals with whom he served, and I have even detected
Sidell's undeniable stamp in one of the Executive documents.

The great charm of the man was the effective style in which he
advocated the firm convictions of his mind, and expressed the deep
sympathies of his nature; and no man could rise from a conversation on
the topics to which his mind naturally reverted, whenever he found a
willing listener, without feeling the better for it, and with a better
opinion of humanity in general. If he had a fault, it was that he
conceived too much. His was

    "A vigorous, various, versatile mind,"

which grasped a subject as if to struggle with it, and pursued an
idea "to the death." It was, however, only his convictions in regard
to great principles that he inculcated and forced upon others. He
originated so much that he executed too little, and never gave
practical effect to two or three of his mechanical inventions which
have made fortunes for more practical and more shallow men. Sidell was
in some respects the only counterpart I ever met to Sherman, and the
parallel between them only held good with regard to their head work.
They conceived equally, but Sherman executed most.

General Howard possessed these same attributes of firm, honest
conviction, and the same fixedness of principles which distinguished
Sidell. His moral honesty won him more admiration than his speeches
or his abilities as a soldier; for, though energetic and persevering
in his administration as a commander, and generally successful in his
military efforts, his reputation in the army was more that of the
Christian gentleman than of the great soldier. It was through the
constant observation of his Christian duties that he won the title of
the "Havelock of the war" and the reputation of an exemplar. He was
strictly temperate, never imbibing intoxicating drinks, never profane,
and always religious. There was not a great excess of religion in the
army, particularly among the general officers, and Howard therefore
became a prominent example, the more particularly as religion was
looked upon by a great majority of the men only to be ridiculed. There
was very little of religious feeling among the men of the army, save
among those in the hospital. The hospital was the church of the camp,
and there was little religious fervor among our veterans which did not
date from the hospital. The soldier in the hospital was another being
from the soldier in camp. He abandoned his bad habits when he lost his
health or received his wound, and grew serious as he grew sick. The
lion of the camp was invariably the lamb of the hospital. The almost
universal habit of swearing in camp was abandoned in the hospital;
profanity gave place to prayer, and the sick veteran became meek,
talked in soft tones, and never failed to thank you for the smallest
kindnesses where before he had laughed at them. I have often seen
the convalescents gather in the sunshine to sing familiar hymns, and
generally the wildest in camp were the most earnest in these religious

When Howard took command of the Army of the Tennessee, an old officer
remarked that there was at last one chaplain in it. That particular
army had not paid much attention to religion, believing, like Sherman,
that crackers and meat were more necessary; and at first the men
displayed but little respect for the "intruder from the Potomac," as
much, indeed, from the fact that he came from the Potomac army as
that he was what the men called "nothing but a parson." A very short
time after taking command of this army, Howard gave orders that the
batteries of his command, then in position besieging Atlanta, should
not fire on the enemy on the Sabbath, unless it became absolutely
necessary. The enemy soon heard of this order, and generally busied
themselves on the Sabbath in casemating their guns and otherwise
strengthening their works in Howard's front, exposing themselves with
impunity, satisfied that Howard's men would keep the Sabbath holy,
though doing so under compulsion. The soldiers did not like this forced
silence, declaring that "it wasn't Grant's nor Sherman's way, nor Black
Jack's (Logan) neither;" and one of the general officers went so far
as to say that "a man who neglected his duty because it happened to
be Sunday was doubtless a Christian, but not much of a soldier." The
troops soon learned, however, that Howard was also a soldier; and when,
a year afterward, he was relieved of the command by General Logan, he
had won the love and admiration of his men.

General Howard would have liked to have been thought the representative
man of the Army of the Tennessee, but there were no points of
resemblance between him and the real representative man of that
army. The Western soldiers were of a peculiar race, and under Grant
the Army of the Tennessee, the representative army of the West, was
drilled, marched, and fought into a peculiar type of an army. Sherman
took command of it subsequently, and gave it many peculiarities, not
all of which were creditable; but neither Grant nor Sherman were its
representatives. Howard endeavored to reform the army morally and
in its discipline, which even under Grant had been bad, and under
Sherman very lax indeed, but failed to impart to it as a body any of
the qualities which shone so prominently in his character. The real
representative man of that remarkable army was General John A. Logan,
of Illinois.

[Illustration: JOHN A. LOGAN.]

"Black Jack Logan," as he was facetiously called by his soldiers, in
consequence of his dark complexion, is the very opposite in appearance
and manner of Howard. Logan is a man of Sheridan's short and stumpy
style of figure. Sheridan used to be called by the card-playing
soldiers the "Jack of Clubs," and Logan was known as the "Jack of
Spades." Logan is, too, the same daring, enthusiastic, and vigorous
fighter that Sheridan is. He will always be prominent among the Marshal
Neys of the war for the Union, and belongs to that representative class
of fighting generals of which Sheridan, Hancock, Rousseau, and Hooker
are the most distinguished graduates. A man of great daring, and full
of dash and vim, Logan was, like the others, great only as a leader,
and made no pretensions to generalship. He had the habit of decision
to perfection, and went at every thing apparently without previous
thought. He is a man who, possessing all that vigor and boldness of
heart which great physical strength and health gives, united with a
naturally warm, enthusiastic, and daring temperament, engaged heart and
soul in every task that allured or interested him, and never abandoned
it as a failure. A man of action, he was untiring, and, did he more
definitely lay out his plans in life, would win a front place among the
great men of the age. Not that he is vacillating, nor yet indecisive,
but simply because he is not thoughtful, far-seeing, and politic, but
impulsive. He is, indeed, too passionate to ever be politic.

With little prudence in planning, Logan had the daring to act, and his
decision was shown in frequent emergencies. During the battle of Hope
Church, Georgia, the rebels made a sudden charge upon a battery posted
in Logan's line, and, before being repulsed, had secured two of the
guns, which they attempted to carry off with them. Logan was busy in
another part of the field, but, seeing the rebels retiring unpursued
with the trophies of their charge, he dashed up to one of the regiments
which had repulsed them, and exclaiming to his men, "Bring back those
guns, you d--d rascals," led them in a charge for their recovery. The
men followed him without regard to formation, and overtook and defeated
the rebels before they could reach their lines, and secured the
captured artillery.

On another occasion, when new to the service, a portion of Logan's
regiment mutinied, and, stacking arms, refused to do duty. The
adjutant informed Colonel Logan of the difficulty, and he, on hearing
it, exclaimed, "Stacked arms! the devil they have!" Then, pausing a
second as he considered the emergency, he continued, "Well, adjutant,
I'll give them enough of stacking arms!" Accordingly, he formed the
remaining four companies in line with loaded muskets, and stood them
over the malcontents, whom he compelled to stack and unstack arms for
twelve hours.

Logan's readiness to act was not always acceptable to his immediate
commanders, because perhaps in some instances his activity was a
reproach to less decisive men. Indecision and too great precaution in
others was revolting to him; and I think I never saw a more thoroughly
disgusted man than Logan was on the occasion of the failure before
Resaca, Georgia, on May 9, 1864, consequent on the refusal of McPherson
to assault the town. Not only was Logan's offer to accomplish the
desired object declined as impracticable, but the campaign was robbed
of its promised fruits by that refusal, and not only Logan, but the
whole country had reason to be disgusted. Logan took no pains to
conceal his chagrin and disgust. The facts of the unfortunate affair
were about these:

The Army of the Tennessee, at the time forming the right wing of
Sherman's Grand Army, had, on the morning of May 9, debouched through
the narrow defile of Snake Creek Gap, and appeared before Resaca,
McPherson having positive orders to occupy the place. The movement
through the Gap had turned Joe Johnston's position at Dalton, placed
the Army of the Tennessee in his rear, and, if Resaca had been taken,
would have closed the direct route to Atlanta, and forced the rebels
to retreat by circuitous and almost impracticable roads, and at the
probable cost of all his trains and heavy guns. There was no good
reason, had Resaca been carried, why Johnston should not have been
seriously damaged, and perhaps his army dispersed; and there is no good
reason why Resaca was not taken on this occasion. The force defending
it was the small garrison of a ten-gun fort and sixteen hundred
dismounted cavalry under the rebel General Canty, who were engaged in
patroling and observing the Oostanaula River. Johnston could not, on
May 9, have concentrated two thousand men at Resaca for its defense.
General McPherson had not less than thirty thousand men in front of
the position, and not a mile distant from the fort. Unfortunately,
General Granville M. Dodge, commanding the Sixteenth Corps, and a man
of even less decision than McPherson, happened on that morning to be
in advance, and Logan was in reserve. On approaching Resaca, and after
occupying a low ridge of hills commanding the town and the river in its
front, General Dodge halted his command and began to reconnoitre. The
delay in the advance brought McPherson and Logan to the front, and from
a prominent knob of the range of hills which had been carried by Dodge,
they examined the town and calculated in their own minds the chances of
carrying the position. Dodge finally reported the passage of the river
and the capture of the fort as impracticable, and declared it as his
belief that a large force was then in the town. Logan rather warmly and
hastily disputed this, and declared that he could carry the fort and
town with his corps. General McPherson revolved the matter over in his
mind, and as the woman who hesitates is lost, so with the commander
who in an emergency stops to calculate, he lost the opportunity. While
he was hesitating and doubting between the arguments of Dodge and the
assertions and declarations of Logan--for Logan is not the man to offer
arguments when the opportunity for demonstration is at hand--time was
consumed, and finally, much to the disgust of every body who had come
out to fight, McPherson ordered the whole army back to Snake Creek Gap,
and employed a large part of it all the ensuing night in throwing up
works to defend a defile which was apparently strong enough to defend

The next day Sherman began moving the rest of the army through Snake
Creek Gap, and at the same time Johnston evacuated Dalton, and began
marching on Resaca. At night on that or the next day, May 11th,
while General Logan and staff and myself were at supper, General John
M. Palmer and others on the march stopped at Logan's tent, and were
asked to take a cup of coffee. While we were eating, the conversation
turned on the situation, and I remarked that evidently "Joe Johnston
had been caught sleeping." Logan and Palmer both in a breath answered
that it wasn't at all certain that Johnston was napping, but that, on
the contrary, it was very improbable that we could do more than strike
his rear guard at Resaca. This turned out, in the end, to be the case.
The whole of Sherman's army was not ready to advance until the 12th of
May, when it moved forward, Logan this time in advance, and occupied,
after considerable hard fighting with Johnston's rear division, the
very same position which McPherson had previously held on the 9th, and
from which, even with Resaca uncaptured, Johnston would have had great
difficulty in dislodging him. But now, three days behind time, Sherman,
and Thomas, and Logan, and a number of others who had gathered on the
bald knob to which I have before alluded as overlooking Resaca, had the
melancholy pleasure of witnessing Joe Johnston's army filing through
the town and taking up positions defending it, and covering the bridges
and fords of the Oostanaula.

When he had first secured this position, Logan ordered one of his
batteries, commanded by Captain De Gress, to take position on the knob
I have mentioned, and open upon the bridge and fort. The order was
obeyed with alacrity. Courage is a sort of magnet which attracts its
like; it surrounded Logan with men of his own stamp, among whom were
Major Charles J. Stolbrand and Captain Francis De Gress, and it was
not long before these two had the battery posted and ready to open
at Logan's command. I was at the time on this knob, and anticipated
seeing some handsome artillery practice and a great scattering among
the rebels, very plainly visible below, crossing the river and moving
about in the fort, not much over a mile distant. But it was destined
that the scattering should be among our own forces supporting De
Gress's battery and lying along the ridge, and particularly was there
to be "much scattering" on my part. I had noticed, as had others,
the peculiar appearance of the hill on which the battery was posted
and on which I stood, but had not suspected why the change had been
wrought. The trees, with the exception of a single tall, straight oak
left standing in the centre and on the very summit of the knob, had
been carefully felled, and the tops thrown down the sides and slope
of the hill, forming a sort of abatis, and making the approach to
the summit rather difficult. Several persons had made inquiries and
suggestions as to the purpose of the rebels in clearing the hill and
forming the abatis around it, but it was not until De Gress had opened
fire on Resaca that the mystery was solved. Then it suddenly flashed
on the minds of all simultaneously with the flash of the first rebel
gun in the fort in Resaca. The first round of De Gress came very near
being his last, for the ten guns in the rebel fort beyond the river
opened simultaneously on him, and every shot fell among the guns and
troops supporting them. It was then discovered that the hill on which
De Gress had posted his guns had been cleared by the rebels and one
tree left standing as a target for artillery practice. For at least a
year the gunners in the fort in Resaca had been practicing by firing
at this tree, and they had the range of the hill to such accuracy that
every shot fell in our midst. The first broadside sent me to cover,
and I hastily dropped behind a huge oak stump left standing, and which
afforded ample protection. Here I could see the rebels at their guns,
watch De Gress and Stolbrand at theirs, and, by turning half around,
see the troops which lay near me supporting the battery. The first
shells thrown by the rebels had wounded several of these, and their
cries of pain, as they were carried to the rear, could be plainly
heard, and did not in any great measure add to my comfort, or increase
my confidence in the invulnerability of my position, and I began
to conclude it was not bomb proof. Meantime the rebels were firing
vigorously, and after two or three shots De Gress was silenced--not
that his guns were disabled, but that the men could not work them. The
place was literally too hot to allow of a man exposing himself, and all
but Logan, Stolbrand, and De Gress sought cover, and clung as closely
as possible to the ground. These three, however, stood their ground,
very foolishly I thought at the time, and how they escaped being struck
I can not conceive. The fire of the rebels was singularly accurate,
and from the cries of our wounded it was apparent that it was also
very effective. I had been lying behind the stump whose protection I
had sought for twenty minutes, looking with interest at the firing of
the rebels, when a shell from one of their guns struck directly in
front of the stump, entered and plowed up the ground for a distance
of ten feet, sending the soil high in the air like spray, and then,
striking the stump, bounded high above it, and fell about five feet
behind me with a heavy _thug_! The soil which had been thrown up by it
descended about me, and, as I crouched low, making myself as small as
possible, and wishing myself even smaller, literally buried me alive.
I thought every piece of the soil which struck me was going through
me. At last, when the shell descended near me, my demoralization was
complete. Fearing that it would explode, I sprang up from my recumbent
position and ran with all my speed to the left of the line. As I did
so I came to the abatis of timber, heaped at least four feet high. I
never stopped to consider, but, without hesitation, made a tremendous
leap, and cleared the obstructions at a bound, amid the loud laughter
of a whole brigade, which, looking on, actually rose up to laugh at and
applaud my hasty retreat. When I reached a place of safety out of range
of the rebels, and beyond reach of the particular shell which I had so
much dreaded, I found that the confounded thing had not exploded. I
was too much demoralized, however, to contemplate going back while the
rebels held the range of that hill, and so sat down, carefully getting
behind another stump, to receive the congratulations of the colonel and
adjutant of one of the supporting regiments on the gymnastic abilities
which I had just displayed.

It was not until sundown and after the cessation of the firing that
I ventured to return to the hill. Here Logan and Stolbrand still
remained, and Sherman, Thomas, and others had also come up. While
the others consulted together Logan sat aside, leaning against _my_
stump, and looking exceedingly glum and disgusted. When I approached
him he looked up and laughed, evidently at the recollection of my
demoralization and flight. I sat down beside him and said,

"Well, general, you see I was right last night. Some body was asleep."

"Yes," said he, in answer, "but you was mistaken in the person. It was
not Joe Johnston who was napping."

There was good reason to be morose over this affair. The failure of
McPherson on the 9th of May made the campaign of Atlanta a necessity.
Had Logan, instead of Dodge, been in advance of McPherson's army on the
9th of May, there would have been no Hope Church affair, no Kenesaw
Mountain sacrifice, no battles on the Chattahoochee, or before Atlanta,
or at Jonesborough, for the campaign would have been ended, and Atlanta
captured at Resaca in the dispersion of Joe Johnston's army.

[Illustration: JOHN W. GEARY.]

Something of this same ability in execution which was developed in
Logan and the others to whom I have alluded characterized General John
W. Geary, of Pennsylvania, and few officers labored more zealously or
more effectively than he did. His adventurous disposition, developed
early in life, and leading him to a remarkably varied career, could
not be other than the result of a bold and daring nature, which led
him early to seek activity when he might have chosen a more passive
but less glorious life. His enthusiastic ardor for military life
rendered him in his youth an adept in all military matters, and led him
naturally into the military service of the country. He was built, too,
for a soldier, possessing a rare _physique_, his tall, burly figure
reminding one of Rousseau or Steedman. His adventurous career began
in Mexico, where, as colonel of the Second Pennsylvania, he served
with distinction under Scott, from Vera Cruz to the capital, suffering
wounds at Chepultepec and at the assault of the city of Mexico. After
the war, sighing, like Hooker, for the excitements of California, he
went to San Francisco, and was soon after appointed postmaster, and
subsequently elected mayor. President Pierce appointed him Governor of
Kansas, but Buchanan decapitated him on account of his adherence to
the person and principles of Douglas. He early entered the war for the
Union as Colonel of the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry, and fought
through each grade to the position of major general, winning a bright
reputation as a bold and unflinching fighter.

The most remarkable of Geary's exploits was the famous "midnight
battle of Wauhatchie," a sort of companion picture to Joe Hooker's
"battle above the clouds." It took place, too, at the foot of the
mountain on which Hooker fought, and was, in a measure, preliminary
to that struggle. It was fought for position, but a position of vital
importance to both the rebels and Union forces, and consequently it
was fought for with great desperation. The movement which brought it
about was the first of those looking to the relief of the starving army
at Chattanooga, and the purpose was to occupy a position which would
cover a road by which provisions could be brought from the railroad
terminus at Bridgeport. The occupation of this position was absolutely
necessary, and Geary was fully impressed with the importance of quickly
seizing and desperately holding on to it. By the success of the
movement the route to Bridgeport would be shortened by many miles; on
its being thus shortened depended the provisioning of Chattanooga; on
this contingency depended the holding of that position, and on the
retention of that position the safety of the army and its immense and
valuable material.

Geary seized the position with great alacrity, and much to the
astonishment of the rebel Longstreet, who watched him from the summit
of Lookout Mountain. From his position on "Signal Rock"--an overarching
rock on the western side of the mountain--Longstreet had before his
eyes the whole country as on a map, and when, in the dusk of evening,
the camp-fires of Geary and Howard's troops located the positions which
Hooker had seized and was fortifying, the importance of the success
attained flashed upon Longstreet's mind in an instant, and he saw, in
the seizure of Wauhatchie by Geary, the virtual relief of the besieged
garrison of Chattanooga. He at once communicated with Bragg, and on
explaining the altered situation to that officer, the latter at once
directed Longstreet to attack Geary and Howard, and drive them back
at all hazards. Longstreet returned to his position on "Signal Rock,"
and soon had his troops in readiness to descend from their position on
the mountain, and assault Geary at Wauhatchie. From his position on
"Signal Rock" Longstreet directed the assault by signals, and to this
circumstance, singularly enough, he owed his defeat. Geary's force was
totally inadequate to contend with the superior forces of the enemy.
General Schurz, who was sent by Hooker to re-enforce him, never reached
the position, and but from the fact that Geary's signal-officers
could read the rebel signals, he must have been overwhelmed and
driven from the position. For some months previous to this battle our
signal-officers had been in possession of the rebel signal code, and
hence the flaming torches of Longstreet's signal-officers on "Signal
Rock" revealed to Geary every order given to the rebel troops advancing
against him. He was thus made aware of Longstreet's plan of attack,
was enabled to anticipate and meet every movement of the rebels, and,
thus forewarned, so to employ his small force by concentration in the
critical part of the field at the critical moment of attack as to
repulse every assault which was made, either by counter-charges or
rapid flank movements. After repeatedly throwing themselves against
Geary's force in vain, the rebels at length drew off discomfited.
During the whole battle the flaming torch of Longstreet flashed orders
that showed, after each repulse, his increased desperation, and
finally, much to Geary's gratification, he saw it signal the recall.
All the while the figure of Longstreet on "Signal Rock," standing out
boldly against the dark sky, was plainly visible, and, as Geary once
remarked, forcibly reminded him of a picture which he had once seen
of Satan on the mountain pointing out the riches of the world to the
Tempted, save that only the figure of the Tempter was visible.



Every leader of our armies has had his story written--has carved it out
with his sword, and impressed himself on the time.

But who shall write the history of our soldiers?

Who shall dare attempt to tell the story or portray the characteristics
of our veterans?

The nation, in its hour of distress, found leaders worthy to lead in
any cause. No better marshals followed the great Napoleon. We shall
leave to posterity the task of comparing our greatest general, Grant,
with Napoleon; but the present generation may be bold enough to defy
any ardent admirer of the "Little Corporal" to find among his marshals
the equal of Grant, who rather resembles in his characteristics,
and, it is said, in his features too, the conqueror of Napoleon. We
developed, indeed, counterparts for all the great generals of modern
warfare. The tenacious Thomas has the colossal proportions of mind
and body of Kleber, the clearness in danger of Massena, and, though
ponderous and unwieldy in his movements, is not more so than was
Macdonald. Halleck, like Marmont, "understands the theory of war
perfectly," and we might say of him, as Soult once said of Marmont,
and in the same sarcastic sense, that "History will tell what he did
with his knowledge." His biographer's description of Mack, wherein he
says, "Although able in the war office, he was wholly deficient in
the qualities of a commander in the field," is a perfect description
of Halleck, and adding the paragraph about Mack's popularity with the
soldiers it applies equally well to McClellan. The "first strategist of
Europe," Soult, was not one whit the superior in conception of Sherman,
and not his equal in mobility and energy. Sherman has all the vigor
and acuteness which characterized Frederick the Great, and is at heart
his equal as a military despot. Hooker has all the ardor, and Howard
all the enthusiasm of Gustavus, and were capable of as great things.
Steedman has all the roughness, nonchalance, and impudence of Suwaroff.
McPherson was a Moreau, alike young, indecisive, and unfortunate.
True, we have developed many Grouchys, who can not command above a few
thousand men, and several Berthiers, who can not even calculate a day's
march correctly; but we have also given opportunity to one or two Neys
in Sheridan and Rousseau, and several Murats in Hancock, Logan, and
Gordon Granger.

But not less worthy of the cause have been the men who fought in the
ranks of our armies, and still more worthy to be compared to the best
armies of Europe than are our generals to be paralleled with the great
leaders of Europe. The superiors of our veterans never witnessed
battle. They form, as combined in armies, a study not less enticing and
interesting than that of the characters of their leaders.

One of the many fallacies which have been dissipated by our late
warlike experience is the idea which once prevailed that an uneducated
man made as good, if not a better soldier than the educated man.
When the late war began, it was an assertion made as positively as
frequently. It was believed, particularly by the regular officers, that
the persons of the former class more readily and completely adapted
themselves to the discipline of the camps--more readily became the
pliant and obedient tools that regular soldiers are too often made. It
is to the veteran volunteers of the late war for the Union that we are
indebted for the explosion of this fallacy. The proofs of its falsity
are not less interesting than conclusive.

Every reader familiar with the history of modern warfare in Europe
must have noticed, in watching the events of the late rebellion in
this country, the very great difference between the practice of war as
carried on in Europe and by ourselves. The rules have been the same;
the theory of war is too firmly and philosophically established to be
changed. It can not be said that we originated a single new rule, but
our application of those long established has been unlike any other
practice known to history. The extent of the field of operations, the
peculiar configuration of the country, and the extended line of coast
and inland frontier which each party to the contest had to guard,
conspired to this end, and caused to be originated such peculiarities
of warfare as long and arduous raids by entire armies, flank marches
of an extent and boldness never before conceived, the construction
of many leagues of fortified lines, and the execution of strategic
marches of great originality and brilliancy, while there have been
effected at the same time, owing to changes and improvements in the
arms, several innovations in minor tactics not less curious than
important. The contending parties fought dozens of battles, each of
which would have been decisive of a war between any two of the great
powers of Europe. There the limits of the field of operations are
restricted by the presence of armed neutral powers on each frontier.
Here the line of frontier extended across a whole continent. No
necessities exist there, as here, for large numbers of large armies.
The most important and extensive modern European wars witnessed the
prosecution of only one important operation at a time, while in this
country we have carried on several campaigns simultaneously, and fought
pitched battles whose tactical as well as strategic success depended
on the result of operations five hundred miles distant. Bragg won the
victory of Chickamauga only by the aid of re-enforcements sent him
from Richmond; the besieged army of Rosecrans at Chattanooga was saved
from dispersion only by the timely re-enforcements sent him, under
Hooker, from Washington; while Schofield, with twenty thousand men,
after fighting at Nashville, Tennessee, in the middle of winter, was
operating in North Carolina, opening communications with Sherman, a
fortnight subsequently. In Europe, concentration is forced on each
party by the configuration and confined area of the seat of war. In
this country the opposite effect has naturally been the result of the
opposite circumstances, and the finest display of generalship which
we have had was shown by Grant in the consummate skill with which, in
the latter year of the war, he concentrated our two greatest armies,
and employed his cavalry against the vital point of the rebellion,
while with the fractional organizations he kept the enemy employed in
the far West. Generally speaking, any two European powers at war are
represented each by a single army, which are brought together upon a
field of battle to decide at a blow the question in dispute, and thus
the European generals are afforded better chances for the display of
tactical abilities. In Europe, cavalry plays an important part on
every battle-field, while in this country its assistance has seldom
been asked in actual battle, though a no less effective application
has been made of it in destroying communications. Except in the battle
of General Sheridan, and in some instances where accident has brought
cavalry into battle, our troopers were never legitimately employed.
The art of marching as practiced in Europe was also varied here, and
the European system of supplying an army is very different from our
own. Their lines of march are decided by the necessities for providing
cantonments in the numerous villages of the country, while on this
continent marches are retarded, if not controlled, by the necessity of
carrying tents for camps. The parallel which is here merely outlined
might be pursued by one better fitted for the task to a highly
suggestive and interesting conclusion.

In the same sense, and in still better defined contrast, the armies of
America and of Europe have differed in their _personnel_. The armies of
the principal powers of Europe are composed of men forced to arms by
necessity in time of peace, and conscriptions in time of war; not, like
the people of our own country, volunteering when the crisis demanded,
with a clear sense of the danger before them, and for the stern
purpose of vindicating the flag, and forcing obedience to the laws of
the country. The European soldiers are conscripted for life, become
confirmed in the habits of the camp, and are subjected to a system
of discipline which tends to the ultimate purpose of rendering them
mere pliant tools in the hands of a leader; while those of the United
States, separated from the outer world only by the lax discipline
necessary to the government of a camp, are open to every influence that
books, that letters, and, to a certain extent, that society can lend.
The highest aim of the European system is to sink individuality, and
to teach the recruit that he is but the fraction of a great machine,
to the proper working of which his perfectness in drill and discipline
is absolutely necessary. In the United States volunteer army this same
system was only partially enforced, and individuality was lost only on
the battle-field, and then only so far as was necessary to _morale_
did the man sink into the soldier. The private who in camp disagreed
and disputed with his captain on questions of politics or science was
not necessarily disobedient and demoralized on the battle-field. No
late opportunity for a comparison between the prowess of our own and
any European army has been presented, though the reader will have very
little difficulty in convincing himself that the discipline of our
troops in the South was better than that of the English in the Crimea
or the French in Italy; while the "outrages of the Northern soldiers,"
at which England murmured in her partiality for the rebels, were not
certainly as horrible as those committed by her own troops in India.

This same difference was visible in the _personnel_ of our own and
the rebel armies, and it resulted from the same cause, and that cause
was education. The Union army was superior in prowess to that of the
South because superior in discipline, and it was superior in discipline
because superior in education. The Union army was recruited from a
people confirmed in habits of industry, and inured to hard and severe
manual and mental labor. That of the rebels was recruited from among
men reared in the comparative idleness of agricultural life, and not
habituated to severe toil, or conscripted from that hardier class of
"poor whites" whose spirits had been broken by long existence in a
state of ignorance and of slavery not less abject because indirectly
enforced and unsuspectedly endured. Neither fraction of the rebel army,
as a class, was the equal either in refinement, education, or habits of
the men of the North, nor were both combined in an army organization
equal in discipline, or the courage and effectiveness which results
from it, to that which sprang to the nation's aid in 1861. Although the
camp morality of both armies might have been better, there can be no
doubt in any unprejudiced mind that the moral sentiment of the soldiers
of the North was much more refined and correct than that of the
organized forces of the South. Not only was their discipline better,
not only were they under superior control in battle and in camp, but
when, at times, relieved of the restrictions which are thrown around
camps, their thoughts naturally turned less to dissipation and excesses
than those of the Southern soldiers. The military despotism at the
South was much more severely enforced by the rebel armies than it was
by our own, though looked upon as that of an enemy. The excesses which
at times existed in both armies were of Southern parentage. Sherman's
"bummers" were legitimate descendants of Morgan's raiders and Stuart's
cavalry, and at no time during the period in which they were "let
loose" in Georgia and South Carolina could they excel Wheeler's cavalry
in the art of plundering and destroying. The destruction of Atlanta and
Columbia by our army under Sherman occurred nearly two years after the
burning of Chambersburg by the rebels under Ewell.

The superiority of our veterans over those of the rebel armies was
evinced not only in the grand result of the war, but in all its
details. Their superior endurance was acknowledged by their enemies
on dozens of fields, and their superior discipline was generally
confessed. Northern men are by nature no braver than Southern men, and
the superiority of the Northern army was not the result of natural
gifts, but of cultivation. The Northern people are the superiors of the
Southern classes, first, in education, and, secondly, in habits and
physique. Their endurance was the result of the latter advantage; their
superiority in discipline and _morale_ was naturally the consequence
of the former. Though something of the spirit, endurance, patience,
and thorough discipline of our armies was to be attributed to the
consciousness of the justice of the cause for which they fought, the
general superiority of our veterans over the rebel soldiers was,
without dispute, the result of the superior general education received
by the Northern masses.

And, _par parenthesis_, while on this subject of education, let me
stop to say, even though I break the continuity of the argument, that
I think, if there is a single duty which the North, as the conqueror,
owes to the South as the conquered, it is the granting to her
people--ay, even enforcing upon them, the great educational advantages
with which the North is so bountifully blessed. The first plank in the
reconstruction platform of the _people_--not the mere politicians,
for so much virtue can not be expected of them--should provide for
the education of the Southern masses, white as well as black. All the
reconstruction schemes which have been advanced are calculated for
speedy operation, and political power, not the social improvement and
prosperity of the people, is aimed at. Universal suffrage, as a remedy,
is chimerical, and one which can not enter into the practical solution
of the question. Negro suffrage is an experiment as dangerous to the
country as it can possibly be advantageous to the negro. I would gladly
see the present generation of adult negroes allowed by the states to
vote in all local elections, for his vote is really all the protection
he has against the injustice of an elective judiciary, each member of
which naturally enough decides in all suits against the negro without
a vote, to curry favor and popularity with the white man with a vote.
But in the event of a general election for presidency, the giving of
the right of suffrage to the negroes would be practically equivalent to
throwing the power of the government again into the hands of the three
hundred thousand slaveholders who formerly ruled the country, and who,
still remaining the capitalists of the South, through the influence
of their capital would rule the vote of the negroes and laborers. A
generation for reconstruction is short enough, and the only true means
for the permanent reconstruction of the people is through education.

The great strength of the rebellion lay in the ignorance of the
Southern masses. The "poor whites" of the South are among the
most ignorant people on the face of God's earth. The slaveholders
purposely kept them in ignorance--kept them from books, and schools,
and newspapers more carefully, more persistently than they did their
slaves. They surrounded their section and their people with a Chinese
wall of prejudice, against which all arrays of fact, argument, appeal,
threw themselves in vain. Through this ignorance, the "poor whites"
of the South were ruled even more despotically than the slaves; and
through this ignorance the slaveholders of the South were enabled
to commit the greatest of wrongs against humanity. They engendered
prejudices between the "poor whites" and the negroes, never losing an
opportunity of fostering the hatred and enmity which they were soon
enabled to create. A perfect system prevailed all over the South, and
the "poor whites" were placed in every position, socially, politically,
and otherwise, in which they could be made offensive to the slaves.
The harsh overseer was always a "poor white," and, if possible, he was
selected from among the "Yankee" emigrants; the sheriff who tied the
slave to the whipping-post, and the constable who laid on the lash,
were always elected from the "poor whites;" and the men who, with
bloodhounds, hunted the runaway negro through marsh and wood, were
hired from among the "poor white" neighbors. In their ignorance, these
two factions of the same laboring class of the South were made to
believe that their interests were antagonistic instead of identical,
and that the slaveholders were the mutual enemies of each. Andrew
Johnson, in laboring for years in Tennessee to create a feeling of
antagonism between the "poor whites" and the rich slaveholders, was
touching at one root of the evil, but not the root. The war has thrown
open the field to the laborers of the North, and if the people of the
country seek to restore harmony, to obliterate all sectional feelings,
to make the union of the States really one and indivisible, they must
aid in the work of educating the Southern people, black and white, into
understanding their former condition and false positions toward each
other. A few good men, like General Wager Swayne (who understands this
great question thoroughly, who is a charming enthusiast on the subject,
and who ought to be at the head of an Educational Bureau instead of a
subordinate in the Freedmen's Bureau), and General Davis Tillson, and
one or two others, are doing much good by encouraging education among
the negroes. But the sympathy of the country should not be entirely
absorbed by the blacks. There are four millions of "poor whites" in
the South who need education fully as much as do the negroes, and,
deceived, betrayed, and ruined by their leaders, they deserve sympathy
and aid fully as much. One inalienable right which should not be denied
even to traitors--and if there had been education at the South there
would have been no treason--is the right to educate himself; and since
the Constitution provides that there shall be no attainder of blood for
treason, the North owes it to the rising generation of these deceived
people to educate them into a proper appreciation of the liberty
which our veterans have won for them in defeating and conquering
their fathers. Oh, how grand and sublime would appear the record in
history that the Great Republic, after putting down the most monstrous
rebellion the world ever saw, imposed upon the conquered only the tax
for their own education, and erected no prisons save those of the
school-house and the church!

In returning to the subject of the effect of education on armies, I
have even a better illustration of the idea I have advanced than those
already given. When the war first broke out, it will be remembered
that the organization of the troops, brigades, and even divisions
were formed of regiments coming from a single state, and we were thus
rapidly falling into an error which, had it not been wisely corrected,
would have left us, at the close of the war, with an army distracted
by the same contemptible jealousies, resulting from state or sectional
pride, which were among the minor causes of the rebellion. But,
though that error was corrected by the commingling of regiments from
different states in the same brigade organization, we did commit the
error of forming two grand armies, each composed of troops exclusively
from the Eastern and Western States. The Army of the Potomac was the
representative army of the Northeastern States, being composed almost
exclusively of Eastern men. The Army of the Tennessee was composed of
men from the West, and, as it existed under General Grant, was properly
the representative army of the West. The same army was _dovetailed_
with that of the Cumberland, and placed under General Sherman, and at
the time of its dissolution was not so clearly a representative army,
Sherman having impressed his own manner on his men, and made them
a peculiar and not exactly proper type of the Western soldier. The
contrast between the men of these two armies of the East and West, in
_physique_, habits, discipline, and _morale_, was so apparent that
it is difficult to conceive that they did not belong to different
nationalities. Any comparison which would assert the superiority of
either army in endurance, courage, or fighting qualities would be
invidious and untrue, for the men of both sections fought with equal
effect and won equal honor; but it is undeniable that the Potomac
Army was by far the best disciplined army we ever had in the field.
The Potomac Army rivaled the regulars in evolutions, while Sherman's
Western boys, with their careless, free, easy gait, would outmarch a
battalion of the hardiest of the old regulars. The Potomac men did
not march as well as Sherman's troops; they had less of the elastic
spring of Western men, were perhaps too exact, and disposed to be too
stiff and prim, but they marched with a precision equal to the regulars
of any army. McClellan taught the Potomac Army the pure discipline
of the old regulars, and it would have required but little more of
such teaching to make them all that is expected of such troops; but
Sherman, forcible a tutor as he is, could never hope to transform
them into "bummers." General McClellan would have failed, as General
Buell did, in making regulars of the Western volunteers; and I very
much doubt if any of the old army officers who remained constantly
in the service, and who had become confirmed in the ideas of the
Academy, could have succeeded in making effectives of the Western men
in the short time that Grant and Sherman did. The success of Grant
appears to have been much influenced by his absorption, during his
long residence in the West, of the elements of the Western character,
and the toning down of the West Point precision in his education. The
same may be said of Sherman. No army of the country was under better
control, or committed fewer excesses, than the Army of the East, as the
Potomac force should have properly been called. No army committed so
many useless excesses as did that of General Sherman, and in none was
the discipline so lax, yet no army could be more implicitly trusted
in the emergencies of battle than Sherman's Army of the West. The
Potomac Army wore kid gloves off duty, and had the air of an exquisite
on parade, but this exquisite was a proficient in the warlike arts,
was always ready to fight, and did not hesitate to accept battle
with courage and confidence equal to that of its rougher ally of the
West. The Army of the West cared nothing for appearances, wore a
slouched hat and a loose blouse, and had the air of careless ease and
indifference which we often see in the pioneer. The Western veteran
had more care for his rifle than his uniform, paid more attention to
his cartridge-box than his carriage, and heartily despised drill and
parade. The Western troops lacked culture, they had less respect for
"the proprieties" than the Eastern troops, and the relations of officer
and man were maintained by them with less of the strictness that is
due to proper discipline than among Eastern troops. The Eastern men
were very particular regarding their dress, and displayed their badges
and medals with commendable pride. They devoted many hours to the
adornment of their camps, and nothing could have been more beautiful
and picturesque than many of their old camps in the Southern pine
country. The decorations were generally made with the evergreens which
abound in the South, but often mechanical contrivances operated by
the wind produced picturesque and curious effects. They indulged in
gymnastic and ball exercises to a great extent, and were very fond of
horse-racing and the higher order of games at cards. The amusements
of the Western troops were of a ruder character. Cock-fighting and
card-playing were the chief recreations. Every man was armed with
a pack of cards, and each company boasted a fighting-cock, while
every brigade had its fast horse. The Western soldier had a clearer
appreciation of the practical than the picturesque, and their camps
were seldom or never decorated as were those of the Eastern men.
Practice with the pistol was a frequent amusement in the Western Army.
Cats and dogs seemed to be necessaries of camp life. "Company" and
"head-quarter" cows were a common article of pets, and the evidences of
care, kindness, and affection shown for them by their self-constituted
proprietors were often very amusing. In the Western Army fighting-cocks
were favorite pets, and they were almost as numerous as the men
themselves. During the campaign in the Carolinas General Sherman gave
one of his attendants permission to occupy a wagon with his spoils,
chiefly consisting of fighting chickens. He was very much astonished
to find, in a few days, that the one wagon had increased to a dozen,
other followers having also employed a wagon or two to carry their
spoils. The general immediately ordered them to be burned, and executed
the order with a remorseless hand until he came to the wagon he had
originally permitted. He was about to burn this too, as it had been
the bad example which was plead in excuse for the others, when he
was appealed to to spare that, as "it contained all the head-quarter
fighting-cocks." Sherman occasionally enjoyed the sport himself, and
the appeal saved the wagon and chickens. Card-playing was common among
the veterans from both the East and West, but the style of games played
varied according to the education of the men. Among the Eastern troops,
"Whist" and "Euchre" were the favorite games; among the Western men,
"Poker" and "Seven up," invariably for money, were popular. Gambling
was the great vice of the veterans, as jealousy was the great crime of
their generals. Immediately after the appearance of the pay-master, the
troops of both armies invariably indulged in cards as persistently and
as regularly as the generals did in bickering after a battle.

Here the contrast ends and the comparison begins. The Eastern and
Western men had many peculiarities in common, and the cause of the
existing differences, education, produced the similarities. The
fighting qualities of each were the same. Both armies went into battle
with the same resolute air of men of business, and, under the same
leaders, each displayed equal endurance. Grant was instrumental in
showing the equality existing in this respect, and at the same time
he smothered a painful feeling which at one time existed in the West,
based on the ill success of the Potomac Army under former leaders, and
finding expression in the idea that the Eastern troops did not fight as
well as the Western men. This feeling at one time threatened to become
a serious sectional difficulty, when General Grant took immediate
control over the Potomac Army, and infused his spirit of persistence
into it. The discipline of the Potomac Army men amid the continually
recurring disasters of the first three years of the war, their firmness
under defeat or questionable success, was always admirable, and it only
required the tutorship of Grant to prove their endurance, and make them
the admiration of the whole country. That army always confronted the
best of the rebel armies at the key-point of the field. It fought more
battles than any other two armies in the field. Grant added the only
lesson it needed to make its education perfect, and taught it, as he
had taught the Army of the Tennessee, how to display its endurance by
showing it how to fight its battles through.

The same cause, education, which produces this marked distinction,
may also be observed as tracing a difference between either of
these classes in our army and a third class--a mere fraction,
however--representing the Southern element. In the Union army there
have been from the first a number of Southern Unionists, generally
mountaineers and refugees from the East Tennessee regions, who,
according to all statistics and observation, were uneducated and
ignorant, and whose lax discipline has more than once caused slurs to
be cast upon the army. In camp they were unclean, on the march they
were great stragglers, and in battle untrustworthy and ineffective.
Only the very strict discipline of one or two regular officers assigned
to their command redeemed the character of a few of these regiments
from this general reputation. The men of this class were not superior
to the rebel soldiers in any respect.

It is not to be inferred, from any argument used to show that an
educated man makes a better soldier than an uneducated one, that
discipline was neither demanded nor enforced in our army of educated
soldiers. The thorough discipline of the Union army made it invincible.
Its superiority to that of the rebels was the result only of the higher
discipline which they were capable, through education, of receiving,
and which was thoroughly enforced. From the very moment that the Bull
Run defeat violently dissipated the fallacies which we entertained of
a brief and bloodless struggle, and taught the country that a long and
terrible war was before it, the army, with a dogged perseverance of
which our mercurial people did not believe themselves capable, went
directly to work to discipline itself. The ineffectives were rooted
out by the surgeons, and sent home or to the hospital. Regiments were
reduced in numbers, but increased in efficiency. What was lost in
numerical strength was more than gained in the effectiveness which
resulted from the stricter discipline which was instituted. Incompetent
officers of the line were forced to give place to their betters.
This soon extended to higher ranks, and bad generals were supplanted
by better. There was little system in our first choice of generals.
We blundered on until the right man was found at last, and through
him the proper subordinates were chosen. At first the blunders were
serious, and men with false ideas of the crisis were thrust forward by
circumstances, to be discovered at fearful cost and after long delay.
With portions of the army discipline was allowed to degenerate into
mere drill, and devotion to the cause became divided with devotion to a
popular leader; while in other parts of the country the forces, though
thoroughly drilled, felt no admiration or love for their leader, or
were never taught that confidence in their commanders which is at the
root of all discipline. It was the fault of the Western armies that too
little attention was paid to the moral sentiments of the men, and that
in the Eastern Army the thoroughly-taught sentiment of devotion to the
cause was permitted to partially degenerate into love of the leader.
Circumstances, however, soon corrected these great evils, and through
much tribulation, numerous disheartenings, and many defeats, the men
slowly became veterans.

A thorough system of discipline was necessary not only to the
organization and _morale_, but to the courage of our army, as it is of
any large body of men. Men in battle are not individually courageous.
Courage amid the horrors and under the conflicting emotions of the
battle-field is as much derived from discipline as from nature. The
fact that this war affords more numerous instances of personal heroism
displayed in battle than any other which can be recalled, does not
disprove the rule. On the contrary, it corroborates the assertion;
for if we closely inquire into the characters of those who have
distinguished themselves by heroic deeds and individual prowess, we
shall find that they have invariably been men confirmed in steady
habits, and veterans of thorough discipline. Courage is derived from
the electric touch of shoulder to shoulder of men in the line. As long
as the current is perfect, extending through the line and concentrating
in the person of the commander, whose mind directs all, and in whom
all have perfect confidence, the line can not be defeated. It may be
driven, may be broken, but the men are invincible. Break the current,
and at once the _morale_, the discipline, and the courage break with
it, and men that were a moment before invincible fly to the rear,
not overcome by fright and terror, but with the dogged, stubborn,
and gruff manner of disheartened men. A broken column in disordered
flight is one of the most wonderful studies which can be conceived.
The actuality is the very reverse of what the imagination would
conceive. "Panic-stricken men," who will "fly" fifteen and twenty miles
from a battle-field, proceed to execute that manœuvre in a manner as
systematic as if they had been taught it. They "fly"--they run from
the field--only until beyond the immediate reach of stray bullets.
The flight is disordered. The men scatter for safety apparently with
the same instinct that actuates quails to separate in rising from a
field before the hunter. When beyond the reach of the enemy's guns,
they are so scattered that it is almost impossible to rally them as
they were formerly organized, and it is next to impossible to induce
a demoralized man to fight with any other than his own regiment. When
they are beyond the reach of the enemy's guns they generally halt, look
back, and examine into matters. They will look about them, inquire
for their regiments, talk of the danger from which they have escaped,
and in a perfectly intelligible manner, until a stray bullet falling
about them gives assurance that the enemy is advancing, when, without
a word, they resume their retreat for a few hundred yards farther,
deaf alike to the threats and entreaties of any officer who does not
happen to be their immediate commander. Yet these men who are thus
broken in one battle will fight with desperate courage in the next,
and, retaining their organization, go through the engagement with
great credit. Often circumstances, such as the former location of a
camp near the battle-field, previous positions in the reserve line,
the existence of rifle-pits, and various other localities which serve
as a rallying-point, enable broken troops to re-form and again go into
action. Men often rally on the part of an intrenched line which they
formerly held; and one of the best uses to which rifle-pits have ever
been put by offensive armies is that of forming a rallying-line when
attacking troops fail or are broken. It is a use known only to the
practice, and is not recognized by the theory of war.

Men under thorough discipline lose in a great measure their
individuality. A regiment becomes as a single man, moved by a single
impulse. The men individually are but fractions, each being able to
perform their part of the task only by the aid of the others. These
fractions are curious beings under fire. They perform deeds which
it would be morally impossible for an individual without similar
surroundings to accomplish. Thousands of our veterans will tell you
that in going into battle they have never imagined nor felt that they
were going to be shot; they have never felt as if in danger themselves,
but that their fears are for the comrades with whom they march shoulder
to shoulder. They become painfully indifferent in regard to themselves,
and appear to have none of those apprehensions with which they were
so terrified when they were raw recruits. They swear as usual, with
perhaps a little more emphasis, laugh at the comic features which
prevail under all circumstances of battle, talk freely and sensibly,
and do not betray any more, nor as much excitement as every one has
witnessed in crowds at political and other gatherings. I have seen
men in the "second line"--the reserves--playing cards while the first
were receiving a charge, and the spent shots were dropping in their
midst. While the hardest fighting was going on at Chattanooga, November
25th, 1863, I saw three soldiers sitting near the guns of Callender's
battery engaged, while under fire, in making entries in their diaries.
This is a sight seen only in the ranks of the United States armies.
During the battle of Murfreesborough, Tennessee, the rebels, in making
a charge upon General Negley's division, frightened from the fields
and woods a large number of rabbits, quails, and wild turkeys, driving
them toward the Union lines. The birds appeared too frightened to fly,
and, following the example of the rabbits, hopped and jumped over the
field, escaping from the advancing rebels. They fled, of course, toward
the rear, passing through and over our front line, and approached
the reserve troops, who, without any reference to the fact that the
rebel balls were now falling like great drops of rain among them, laid
down their guns and went to capturing wild fowls. While still engaged
in this employment, laughable even under the serious circumstances,
the first line of our troops was broken, and the rebel soldiers
charged upon the second. The veteran soldiers abandoned the chase of
the wild-fowl, and, falling hastily into line, thrice repulsed the
advancing enemy. One of the men who had captured a wild turkey carried
it to Lieutenant Kennedy, of General Negley's staff, and sold it to
him. Kennedy tied the bird to his saddle, intending to have it for
supper that night, but was surprised to find that a stray bullet had
cut the strings by which the turkey had been suspended, and robbed him
of a meal.

No greater contrast can be conceived than the difference in the effect
produced on soldiers when delivering and receiving an assault. In
receiving an attack they are never quiet, although cool, composed, and
self-possessed. Put them behind breast-works to receive an assault,
and the preparations of the enemy for the attack creates among those
awaiting it an anxiety which develops into mental excitement, which
finds vent in words, noisy disputes, etc. Going to the assault, the
same men are different beings. The silence which prevails becomes
painful. A command given at one end of the line can be distinctly
heard at the other. The men become serious, and are disposed to be
gruff. They converse but little, and then in under-tones. They begin
to understand what is to be done, that they are to do it, and, without
for a moment fearing to test the questions of defeat or victory, they
carefully weigh in their own minds the chances, not of life, but of

The most remarkable illustration of this peculiarity of veteran troops
which I can recall occurred during Sherman's battle at Chattanooga.
Leaving a fortified line, the Union troops of Colonel Loomis and
Generals Mathias, Corse, and Raum were required to cross a small valley
and assault a rebel fort located on a steep hill, three hundred feet
high, and of very rugged ascent. When the troops selected moved out
in the line of reserves and marched down into the valley, the rebels,
having full view of the column, grew excited and noisy. The orders
of their officers were shouted, and were plainly heard in our lines,
and, though it was impossible for the assaulting column to prepare for
its work under an hour's time, the rebels evinced every indication
of excitement, rushing hither and thither, and growing noisier every
moment. The Union troops, on the contrary, prepared for the work slowly
and quietly, with an unusually serious and composed air. They glanced
up ever and anon at the steep hill before them, and many doubtless
compared the mountain to the Walnut Hills of Vicksburg, where they
met their first repulse. The assault was made in as serious a manner
as the preparations. There was no breath wasted in loud cries. The
men twice assaulted with desperate courage, were badly repulsed by a
flanking force, and driven in confusion across the valley to their line
of reserves, but, as they came back, passing through General Sherman's
field-quarters, they looked as defiantly as ever, admitting no more
than "that they had failed this time." There was no panic, no despair.
They saw they had failed from sheer inability, not a want of effort or
disposition to accomplish their task. They retreated, but not rushing
wildly far to the rear. The powerful aided the weak, the strong bore
off the wounded, and each came back as he had advanced, cool, composed,
and serious.

The veteran when in camp had no curiosity. His indifference to matters
going on around him was positively appalling to a stranger or a raw
recruit. They would often be in camp for a month without knowing or
caring what regiment was encamped next to them. A raw recruit of two
months' standing was better authority on all _on dits_ of camp, the
location of other regiments, the names of their officers, and similar
general information, than a veteran of three years' standing. The
veteran laughed at the knowledge of the raw recruit, wondered where
the utility of that information was, boasted of superior practical
knowledge, and good-naturedly taught the raw recruit the more useful
lessons of how to march easily, sleep well, provide himself with
little luxuries, and how to take care of himself generally. The
veteran had curious modes of making himself comfortable, which the
raw recruit learned only from practice. Camp the veteran in a forest
over night, and he would sleep under his shelter-tent raised high and
made commodious, and on a soft bed of dry leaves. Encamp him for a
month in the same forest, and he would live in a log house, sleep on
good clean straw, dine off a wooden table, drink from glassware made
from the empty ale or porter bottles from the sutler's tent, comb his
whiskers before a framed looking-glass on a pine-board mantle-shelf,
and look with the air of a millionaire through a foot and a half
square window-frame on the camped world around him. The rebels used
to call our men, when working on forts, rifle-pits, etc., "beavers in
blue." The veteran was a regular beaver when building his house. He
would buy, beg, or steal from the quarter-master (a species of theft
recognized by the camp code of morals as entirely justifiable) the only
tool he needed, an axe. With this he would cut, hew, dig, drive--any
thing you like, in fact. With his axe he would cut the logs for his
cabin--miniature logs, two inches in diameter--trim them to the proper
length, and drive the necessary piles. With his axe he would cut the
brushwood or the evergreen, and thatch his roof. With his axe he would
dig a mud-hole in which to make his plaster for filling the crevices
of the logs, and thus shut out the cold. Doors, chimneys, benches,
chairs, tables, all the furniture of his commodious house, he would
make with the same instrument. When all was finished, he would sit
comfortably down on his cot and laugh at the superficial knowledge of
the raw recruit who had been shivering in his shelter-tent, looking on
in amazement at the magical labors of the "beavers in blue."

If Napoleon could revisit the "glimpses of the moon," he would
doubtless laugh--perhaps his nephew really does laugh at the idea of
our calling the victors of this short-lived rebellion "veterans"--or
with that sternness with which he once reproved his marine secretary,
Truget, for propagating "the dangerous opinion that a soldier could
be trained to all his duties in six months," the first Napoleon would
ask us, with a look of imperial scorn, to show him in our boasted army
a _corps_ like the eighteen thousand troops of the French Monarchy
that under his discipline became the Old Guard, which "died, but never
surrendered." Julius Cæsar would doubtless smile at our presumption,
and point to the old veteran legions of his armies with which he
overran Europe, and into which no recruit was admitted until after
eight years' service and discipline in other ranks, and ask us for
veterans like his. Our soldiers were not, perhaps, the veterans for
Napoleon or Cæsar, nor for such purpose as those of Napoleon or Cæsar,
but they were such veterans as perished with Leonidas at Thermopylæ,
and won victory in following Arnold Yon Wilkenried in the mountain
passes of Switzerland. Nothing can be sublimer than the patient
heroism displayed by the veterans of the "War for the Union;" and
when Time shall have hallowed, as it will, the yet familiar scenes of
that struggle, tinting the story with a hue of romance, rounding the
irregularities in the characters of the leaders, and toning down the
rude points in the characters of the men, forgetting their excesses and
remembering only their devotion and daring, the heroes and veterans who
fought for the unity of the land will loom up as sacred in our eyes as
are those who, in ages past, fought for its independence and liberty.


  Anderson, Gen. Patton, page 232.

  Anderson, Gen. Robert, 31, 54.

  Ashley, James D., 282, 283.

  Avery, Capt. Wm. L., 154.

  Baird, Gen. Absalom, 83, 291.

  Ballard, A. J., 216, 217.

  Ballard, Bland, 216, 217.

  Banks, Gen. N. P., 253.

  Beauregard, Gen. P. G. T., 144.

  Benham, Gen. Henry W., 246.

  Bennett, James Gordon, 117.

  Blair, Gen. Frank, 27, 198.

  Blunt, Gen. James G., 141, 142.

  Boggs, Gen. W. R., 138.

  Bowen, Gen. John S., 138.

  Boyle, Gen. J. T., 217.

  Bragg, Gen. Braxton, 64, 65, 69, 110, 111, 112, 145, 148, 151, 154,
    248, 255, 256, 257, 266, 285, 290, 291, 293, 319, 324.

  Bramlette, Gov. Thos. E., 217.

  Brannin, Gen. John M., 266, 289.

  Breckenridge, Gen. John C., 257, 290.

  Brough, Gov. John, 262.

  Brown, Capt. Jacob, 63.

  Brownlow, Col. James, 73.

  Brownlow, Gov. William G., 73.

  Bruce, Col. Saunders D., 212, 213.

  Bryant, William C., 300.

  Buchanan, James, 283, 284, 318.

  Buckner, Gen. Simon B., 51, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 219, 225, 226,
    232, 291.

  Buell, Gen. Don Carlos, 33, 34, 43, 62, 65, 102, 147, 229, 230, 234,
    245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 258,
    294, 333.

  Bull, Mayor, 28.

  Burnett, Alfred, 73, 74.

  Burnham, Lieut. Howard, 82.

  Burnham, Cyrus H., 227.

  Burnside, Gen. A. E., 96, 110, 111, 113, 155, 184, 185.

  Butler, Gen. Benj. F., 49.

  Cadwallader, Gen. George, 182.

  Callender, Lieut. F. D., 179.

  Cameron, Simon, 32, 214, 215, 216.

  Canby, Gen. E. R. S., 255.

  Canty, Gen., 309.

  Chalmers, Gen. James H., 144, 145.

  Chamberlain, Gen. B. F., 138.

  Chambliss, Gen. John R., 138.

  Chase, Salmon P., 213, 214, 215, 216.

  Cheatham, Gen. Benj. F., 232.

  Clanton, Gen. James H., 235.

  Clay, Capt. Henry, Jr., 219.

  Clay, Capt. Thomas, 219.

  Clifford, John H., 201.

  Cluseret, Gen., 178.

  Cook, Isaac, 283, 284.

  Corse, Gen., 343.

  Corwin, Col. Richard, 223.

  Crittenden, Gen. George B., 82.

  Crittenden, Gen. Thomas L., 64, 67, 68, 79, 148, 248, 249, 263, 265,
    266, 267, 289, 292, 295, 296.

  Crufts, Gen. Charles, 173.

  Curtis, Gen. Samuel B., 140.

  Dana, Charles A., 178, 263, 264, 267.

  Davis, Jefferson, 97, 138, 201, 219, 221, 222, 274, 289.

  Davis, Gen. Jeff. C., 63, 149, 150, 153.

  De Gress, Capt. Francis, 311, 312, 313.

  Dittoe, Henry, 135.

  Dodge, Gen. G. M., 198, 310, 317.

  Donnalson, Gen. James L., 21.

  Duff, Lt. Col. W. L., 117.

  Elkin, Capt. Thomas A., 235.

  Elliott, Gen. W. L., 201.

  Ewell, Gen. Richard S., 328.

  Ewing, Col. Charles, 27.

  Ewing, Gen. Hugh, 27, 39.

  Ewing, Gen. Thomas, 39.

  Forrest, Gen. N. B., 145.

  Franklin, Gen. Wm. B., 246.

  Fremont, Gen. John C., 140, 177.

  Furay, William S., 150.

  Garfield, Gen. James A., 72, 264, 266.

  Geary, Gen. John W., 173, 183, 184, 317, 318, 319, 320.

  Gilbert, Gen. C. C., 248, 249, 251, 252.

  Gilmore, Gen. Quincy A., 246.

  Granger, Gen. Gordon, 64, 68, 101, 111, 143, 155, 268, 271, 272, 273,
  274, 275, 276, 286, 287, 322.

  Grant, Gen. Ulysses S., 18, 34, 36, 44, 45, 53, 80, 81, 128, 131,
    132, 133, 137, 142, 143, 152, 153, 154, 155, 160, 161, 162, 172,
    177, 184, 188, 191, 195, 198, 231, 232, 240, 242, 245, 246, 261,
    271, 272, 304, 321, 324, 332, 333, 334, 336, 337.

  Grant as a general, 98-127.

  Gurowski, Count Adam, 178.

  Guthrie, James, 216, 217.

  Halleck, Gen. Henry W., 34, 40, 41, 42, 61, 62, 63, 80, 112, 122,
    123, 140, 142, 143, 248, 249, 321, 322.

  Hancock, Gen. W. S., 195, 197, 307, 322.

  Hanson, Gen. Roger, 209.

  Harker, Gen. Charles G., 83.

  Harlan, Judge, 223.

  Harney, Gen. Wm. S., 216, 217.

  Harris, Col. Lew. A., 232.

  Harrison, Col. Thomas, 234, 235.

  Hazen, Gen. Wm. B., 27.

  Hill, Gen. Ambrose P., 103, 291.

  Hindman, Gen. T. C., 291.

  Holt, Gen. Joseph, 225.

  Hood, Gen. John B., 28, 85, 86, 87, 138, 236, 287.

  Hooker, Gen. Joseph, 96, 110, 113, 154, 195, 196, 197, 242, 271, 307,
    318, 319, 322, 324.

  Hooker, Fighting Joe, 165-193.

  Howard, Gen. Oliver O., 103, 128, 185, 186, 188, 299, 300, 302, 303,
    304, 307, 319, 322.

  Hunt, Col. Thomas H., 209.

  Ingraham, Commodore, 38.

  Ireland, Col. David, 173.

  Jackson, Gen. James S., 251.

  Jackson, Gen. Stonewall, 128.

  Johnston, Gen. Albert S., 31.

  Johnson, President Andrew, 46, 133, 253, 254, 255, 256, 331.

  Johnson, Col. G. M. L., 69, 83.

  Johnston, Gen. Joseph E., 39, 40, 47, 48, 83, 86, 105, 114, 123, 128,
    185, 236, 309, 310, 311, 317.

  Johnson, John M., 213, 214.

  Johnson, Gen. Richard W., 83, 149, 219.

  Jones, W., 82.

  Key, Col. Francis, 213, 214.

  Kennedy, Lieut., 343.

  Lee, Gen. Robert E., 95, 96, 97, 105, 106, 108, 109, 113, 114, 138,
    151, 152, 242.

  Lincoln, President, 36, 40, 135, 178, 182, 183, 185, 186, 190, 213,
    214, 215, 216, 224, 253, 262.

  Logan, Gen. John A., 23, 51, 125, 126, 196, 197, 198, 304, 307, 308,
    309, 310, 311, 314, 317, 322.

  Longstreet, Gen. James, 110, 111, 113, 138, 266, 267, 271, 284, 285,
    319, 320.

  Loomis, Gen. C. O., 233.

  Loomis, Col., 343.

  Lovejoy, Owen, 38.

  Lusk, Samuel, 217.

  Lyon, Gen. Nathaniel, 140.

  Lytle, Gen. William H., 82, 233.

  Lytton, Sir Bulwer, 245.

  Mallory, Robert, 237.

  Manson, Gen. Malhon D., 66.

  McClellan, Gen. G. B., 51, 81, 96, 175, 177, 178, 179, 180, 195, 196,
    213, 246, 322, 333.

  McClernand, Gen. John A., 104, 231.

  McCook, Gen. Alex. McD., 64, 67, 68, 79, 137, 138, 148, 149, 153, 232,
    233, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 263, 265, 266, 267, 286, 289,

  McCook, Col. Anson G., 232.

  McCook, Gen. Daniel, 39.

  McDowell, Gen. Irwin, 226.

  McKibbon, Col. Joseph, 62.

  McPherson, Gen. James B., 26, 46, 61, 136, 137, 146, 185, 198, 246,
    309, 310, 311, 317, 322.

  Mathias, Gen., 343.

  Meade, Gen. George B., 101, 105, 125, 197.

  Meigs, Gen. M. C., 107, 112, 119, 174, 175, 178.

  Mitchell, Gen. O. McK., 32.

  Morgan, Gen. John H., 144, 328.

  Morton, Gen. St. Clair, 266.

  Negley, Gen. James S., 69, 149, 153, 256, 266, 289, 290, 291, 292,
    293, 294, 342, 343.

  Nelson, Gen. William, 63, 147, 248, 249.

  Nesmith, James W., 274.

  Oglesby, Gen. Richard J., 101, 198.

  Osterhaus, Gen. Peter J., 173, 198.

  Palmer, Gen. John M., 149, 256, 267, 311.

  Patterson, Samuel, 218.

  Pierce, Franklin, 318.

  Pillow, Gen. Gideon, 167, 179, 180, 181, 187, 191, 273, 274.

  Pirtle, Henry, 216, 217.

  Polk, Gen. Leonidas, 291.

  Pope, Gen. John, 96.

  Porter, Capt. Horace, 74, 75.

  Prentice, George D., 216, 217, 227.

  Price, Gen. Stirling, 140.

  Raine, Major, 139.

  Rains, Gen. Gabriel J., 167.

  Raum, Gen., 343.

  Ripley, Gen. R. S., 167.

  Ritchey, Thomas, 135.

  Roberts, Col. Geo. W., 150.

  Rosecrans, Gen. William S., 67, 71, 72, 73, 74, 78, 82, 83, 120, 135,
    147, 148, 149, 151, 173, 198, 231, 252, 257, 258, 261, 262, 263,
    264, 265, 266, 267, 273, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 295,
    296, 324.

  Ross, Capt. James R., 119.

  Rousseau, Gen. Lovell H., 52, 55, 71, 137, 149, 176, 242, 251, 252,
    257, 299, 307, 318, 322.

  Rousseau, recollections of, 195-241.

  Rousseau, Miss Mary, 257.

  Russell, Capt. William C., 275.

  Saunders, Miss N., 273.

  Schaeffer, Col., 150.

  Schoepff, Gen. Alvin, 252.

  Schofield, Gen. John M., 138, 324.

  Schurtz, Gen. Carl, 183, 319.

  Scott, Gen. Winfield, 181, 182, 183, 236, 318.

  Scribner, Col. Benj. F., 70, 71.

  Seward, William H., 221.

  Sheridan, Gen. Philip H., 40, 51, 77, 125, 126, 165, 166, 170, 176,
    195, 196, 197, 233, 242, 251, 307, 322, 325.

  Sheridan as a cavalryman, 128-193.

  Sherman, Gen. Thomas W., 36.

  Sherman, Gen. William T., 58, 61, 62, 63, 75, 76, 81, 84, 85, 86,
    87, 91, 92, 97, 99, 100, 107, 108, 109, 110, 113, 115, 116, 117,
    118, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125, 126, 127, 128, 131, 132, 133, 137,
    138, 139, 147, 154, 155, 162, 177, 181, 185, 186, 188, 229, 230,
    231, 236, 240, 242, 247, 249, 253, 258, 272, 273, 302, 303, 304,
    309, 310, 311, 314, 322, 324, 328, 332, 333, 334, 335, 336, 344.

  Sherman as a strategist, 17-57.

  Sickles, Gen. Daniel, 197.

  Sidell, Major William H., 254, 300, 301, 302.

  Sill, Gen. Joshua W., 136, 137, 150.

  Smith, Gen. Gustavus W., 179.

  Smith, Gen. Preston, 292.

  Smith, Gen. W. F., 98, 107, 110, 289.

  Smith, Gen. W. S., 138.

  Speed, James S., 201, 216, 217, 223.

  Speed, Joshua, 216, 217.

  Stanley, Gen. David S., 151, 295.

  Stanton, Edwin M., 41, 42.

  Steedman, Gen. James B., 36, 64, 69, 83, 86, 251, 268, 271, 275, 276,
    279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 288, 294, 318, 322.

  Stephens, Alexander H., 97.

  Stevens, Isaac J., 246.

  Stokes, Capt. James J., 250.

  Stolbrand, Major C. J., 312, 313, 314.

  Stuart, Gen. J. E. B., 144, 328.

  Swayne, Gen. Wager, 331.

  Talbot, John, 134, 135.

  Terrill, Gen. William, 136, 137, 146.

  Tilghman, Gen. Lloyd, 209.

  Tillson, Gen. Davis, 331.

  Thomas, Gen. George H., 18, 44, 48, 51, 91, 92, 97, 100, 101, 103,
    106, 107, 109, 110, 117, 118, 122, 125, 126, 127, 128, 131, 132,
    133, 149, 153, 160, 161, 176, 188, 195, 230, 232, 237, 242, 245,
    246, 248, 249, 252, 256, 257, 261, 262, 265, 266, 267, 268, 271,
    274, 276, 284, 285, 287, 291, 292, 293, 299, 300, 311, 314, 321.

  Thomas as a tactician, 57, 97.

  Thomas, Gen. Lorenzo, 32.

  Trabue, James, 222.

  Turchin, Gen. John B., 119.

  Tyler, Gen. R. O., 138.

  Vallandigham, C. L., 262.

  Vance, Morgan, 217.

  Van Cleve, Gen. Horatio P., 292.

  Van Pelt, Capt., 82.

  Walker, Gen. H. H., 138.

  Ward, Gen. John H., 217.

  Webster, Gen. Joseph D., 22.

  Wendell, Cornelius, 284.

  Wheeler, Gen. Joseph, 231, 287, 328.

  Whitaker, Gen. Walter, 173, 184.

  Whiting, Gen. W. H. C., 246.

  Williamson, Lieut. R. S., 139.

  Wilson, Gen. James H., 125.

  Wolfe, Nathaniel, 223.

  Wood, Gen. Thomas J., 68, 69, 83, 148, 149, 154, 174, 271, 289, 294,
    295, 296.

  Worth, Gen. William J., 181.

  Wright, Col., 24.

  Zollicoffer, Gen. Felix K., 66, 82.


  +----------------------------------------------------------------- +
  | Transcriber's Note:                                              |
  |                                                                  |
  | Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.     |
  |                                                                  |
  | Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.            |
  |                                                                  |
  | Mid-paragraph illustrations have been moved between paragraphs   |
  | and some illustrations have been moved closer to the text that   |
  | references them. The paginations in the list of Illustrations    |
  | were corrected accordingly.                                      |
  |                                                                  |
  | Italicized words are surrounded by underline characters,         |
  | _like this_.                                                     |

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