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Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete

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To Major-General W: T. SHERMAN, Morehead City:

When General Grant was here, as you doubtless recollect, he said
the lines (for trade and intercourse) had been extended to embrace
this and other States south. The order, it seems, has been
modified so as to include only Virginia and Tennessee. I think it
would be an act of wisdom to open this State to trade at once.

I hope the Government will make known its policy as to the organs
of State government without delay. Affairs must necessarily be in
a very unsettled state until that is done. The people are now in a
mood to accept almost anything which promises a definite
settlement. "What is to be done with the freedmen?" is the
question of all, and it is the all important question. It requires
prompt and wise notion to prevent the negroes from becoming a huge
elephant on our hands. If I am to govern this State, it is
important for me to know it at once. If another is to be sent
here, it cannot be done too soon, for he probably will undo the
most that I shall have done. I shall be glad to hear from you
fully, when you have time to write. I will send your message to
General Wilson at once.

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Major-General.

I was utterly without instructions from any source on the points of
General Schofield's inquiry, and under the existing state of facts
could not even advise him, for by this time I was in possession of
the second bulletin of Mr. Stanton, published in all the Northern
papers, with comments that assumed that I was a common traitor and
a public enemy; and high officials had even instructed my own
subordinates to disobey my lawful orders. General Halleck, who had
so long been in Washington as the chief of staff, had been sent on
the 21st of April to Richmond, to command the armies of the Potomac
and James, in place of General Grant, who had transferred his
headquarters to the national capital, and he (General Halleck) was
therefore in supreme command in Virginia, while my command over
North Carolina had never been revoked or modified.

[Second Bulletin.]


To Major-General DIX:

The department has received the following dispatch from Major-
General Halleck, commanding the Military Division of the James.
Generals Canby and Thomas were instructed some days ago that
Sherman's arrangements with Johnston were disapproved by the
President, and they were ordered to disregard it and push the enemy
in every direction.

E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, April 26-9.30 p.m.

HON. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Generals Meade, Sheridan, and Wright, are acting under orders to
pay no regard to any truce or orders of General Sherman respecting
hostilities, on the ground that Sherman's agreement could bind his
command only, and no other.

They are directed to push forward, regardless of orders from any
one except from General Grant, and cut off Johnston's retreat.

Beauregard has telegraphed to Danville that a new arrangement has
been made with Sherman, and that the advance of the Sixth Corps was
to be suspended until further orders.

I have telegraphed back to obey no orders of Sherman, but to push
forward as rapidly as possible.

The bankers here have information to-day that Jeff. Davis's specie
is moving south from Goldsboro', in wagons, as fast as possible.

I suggest that orders be telegraphed, through General Thomas, that
Wilson obey no orders from Sherman, and notifying him and Canby,
and all commanders on the Mississippi, to take measures to
intercept the rebel chiefs and their plunder.

The specie taken with them is estimated here at from six to
thirteen million dollars.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General commanding.

Subsequently, before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, in
Washington, on the 22d of May, I testified fully on this whole
matter, and will abide the judgment of the country on the
patriotism and wisdom of my public conduct in this connection.
General Halleck's measures to capture General Johnston's army,
actually surrendered to me at the time, at Greensboro', on the 26th
of April, simply excited my contempt for a judgment such as he was
supposed to possess. The assertion that Jeff. Davis's specie-
train, of six to thirteen million dollars, was reported to be
moving south from Goldsboro' in wagons as fast as possible, found
plenty of willing ears, though my army of eighty thousand men had
been at Goldsboro' from March 22d to the date of his dispatch,
April 26th; and such a train would have been composed of from
fifteen to thirty-two six-mule teams to have hauled this specie,
even if it all were in gold. I suppose the exact amount of
treasure which Davis had with him is now known to a cent; some of
it was paid to his escort, when it disbanded at and near
Washington, Georgia, and at the time of his capture he had a small
parcel of gold and silver coin, not to exceed ten thousand dollars,
which is now retained in the United States Treasury-vault at
Washington, and shown to the curious.

The thirteen millions of treasure, with which Jeff. Davis was to
corrupt our armies and buy his escape, dwindled down to the
contents of a hand-valise!

To say that I was merely angry at the tone and substance of these
published bulletins of the War Department, would hardly express the
state of my feelings. I was outraged beyond measure, and was
resolved to resent the insult, cost what it might. I went to the
Wayanda and showed them to Mr. Chase, with whom I had a long and
frank conversation, during which he explained to me the confusion
caused in Washington by the assassination of Mr. Lincoln, the
sudden accession to power of Mr. Johnson, who was then supposed to
be bitter and vindictive in his feelings toward the South, and the
wild pressure of every class of politicians to enforce on the new
President their pet schemes. He showed me a letter of his own,
which was in print, dated Baltimore, April 11th, and another of
April 12th, addressed to the President, urging him to recognize the
freedmen as equal in all respects to the whites. He was the first
man, of any authority or station, who ever informed me that the
Government of the United States would insist on extending to the
former slaves of the South the elective franchise, and he gave as a
reason the fact that the slaves, grateful for their freedom, for
which they were indebted to the armies and Government of the North,
would, by their votes, offset the disaffected and rebel element of
the white population of the South. At that time quite a storm was
prevailing at sea, outside, and our two vessels lay snug at the
wharf at Morehead City. I saw a good deal of Mr. Chase, and
several notes passed between us, of which I have the originals yet.
Always claiming that the South had herself freed all her slaves by
rebellion, and that Mr. Lincoln's proclamation of freedom (of
September 22, 1862) was binding on all officers of the General
Government, I doubted the wisdom of at once clothing them with the
elective franchise, without some previous preparation and
qualification; and then realized the national loss in the death at
that critical moment of Mr. Lincoln, who had long pondered over the
difficult questions involved, who, at all events, would have been
honest and frank, and would not have withheld from his army
commanders at least a hint that would have been to them a guide.
It was plain to me, therefore, that the manner of his assassination
had stampeded the civil authorities in Washington, had unnerved
them, and that they were then undecided as to the measures
indispensably necessary to prevent anarchy at the South.

On the 7th of May the storm subsided, and we put to sea, Mr. Chase
to the south, on his proposed tour as far as New Orleans, and I for
James River. I reached Fortress Monroe on the 8th, and thence
telegraphed my arrival to General Grant, asking for orders. I
found at Fortress Monroe a dispatch from General Halleck,
professing great friendship, and inviting me to accept his
hospitality at Richmond. I answered by a cipher-dispatch that I
had seen his dispatch to Mr. Stanton, of April 26th, embraced in
the second bulletin, which I regarded as insulting, declined his
hospitality, and added that I preferred we should not meet as I
passed through Richmond. I thence proceeded to City Point in the
Russia, and on to Manchester, opposite Richmond, via Petersburg, by
rail. I found that both wings of the army had arrived from
Raleigh, and were in camp in and around Manchester, whence I again
telegraphed General Grant, an the 9th of May, for orders, and also
reported my arrival to General Halleck by letter. I found that
General Halleck had ordered General Davis's corps (the Fourteenth)
for review by himself. This I forbade. All the army knew of the
insult that had been made me by the Secretary of War and General
Halleck, and watched me closely to see if I would tamely submit.
During the 9th I made a full and complete report of all these
events, from the last report made at Goldsboro' up to date, and the
next day received orders to continue the march to Alexandria, near

On the morning of the 11th we crossed the pontoon-bridge at
Richmond, marched through that city, and out on the Han over
Court House road, General Slocum's left wing leading. The right wing
(General Logan) followed the next day, viz., the 12th. Meantime,
General O. O. Howard had been summoned to Washington to take charge
of the new Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, and,
from that time till the army was finally disbanded, General John A.
Logan was in command of the right wing, and of the Army of the
Tennessee. The left wing marched through Hanover Court House, and
thence took roads well to the left by Chilesburg; the Fourteenth
Corps by New Market and Culpepper, Manassas, etc.; the Twentieth
Corps by Spotsylvania Court-House and Chancellorsville. The right
wing followed the more direct road by Fredericksburg. On my way
north I endeavored to see as much of the battle-fields of the Army
of the Potomac as I could, and therefore shifted from one column to
the other, visiting en route Hanover Court-House, Spotsylvania,
Fredericksburg, Dumfries, etc., reaching Alexandria during the
afternoon of May 19th, and pitched my camp by the road side, about
half-way between Alexandria and the Long Bridge. During the same
and next day the whole army reached Alexandria, and camped round
about it; General Meade's Army of the Potomac had possession of the
camps above, opposite Washington and Georgetown. The next day (by
invitation) I went over to Washington and met many friends--among
them General Grant and President Johnson. The latter occupied
rooms in the house on the corner of Fifteenth and H Streets,
belonging to Mr. Hooper. He was extremely cordial to me, and
knowing that I was chafing under the censures of the War
Department, especially of the two war bulletins of Mr. Stanton, he
volunteered to say that he knew of neither of them till seen in the
newspapers, and that Mr. Stanton had shown neither to him nor to
any of his associates in the cabinet till they were published.
Nearly all the members of the cabinet made similar assurances to me
afterward, and, as Mr. Stanton made no friendly advances, and
offered no word of explanation or apology, I declined General
Grant's friendly offices for a reconciliation, but, on the
contrary, resolved to resent what I considered an insult, as
publicly as it was made. My brother, Senator Sherman, who was Mr.
Stanton's neighbor, always insisted that Mr. Stanton had been
frightened by the intended assassination of himself, and had become
embittered thereby. At all events, I found strong military guards
around his house, as well as all the houses occupied by the cabinet
and by the principal officers of Government; and a sense of
insecurity pervaded Washington, for which no reason existed.

On the 19th I received a copy of War Department Special Order No.
239, Adjutant-General's office, of May 18th, ordering a grand
review, by the President and cabinet, of all the armies then near
Washington; General Meade's to occur on Tuesday, May 23d, mine on
Wednesday, the 24th; and on the 20th I made the necessary orders
for my part. Meantime I had also arranged (with General Grant's
approval) to remove after the review, my armies from the south side
of the Potomac to the north; both for convenience and because our
men had found that the grounds assigned them had been used so long
for camps that they were foul and unfit.

By invitation I was on the reviewing-stand, and witnessed the
review of the Army of the Potomac (on the 23d), commanded by
General Meade in person. The day was beautiful, and the pageant
was superb. Washington was full of strangers, who filled the
streets in holiday-dress, and every house was decorated with flags.
The army marched by divisions in close column around the Capitol,
down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the President and cabinet, who
occupied a large stand prepared for the occasion, directly in front
of the White House.

I had telegraphed to Lancaster for Mrs. Sherman, who arrived that
day, accompanied by her father, the Hon. Thomas Ewing, and my son
Tom, then eight years old.

During the afternoon and night of the 23d, the Fifteenth, Seventeenth,
and Twentieth Corps, crossed Long Bridge, bivouacked in the
streets about the Capitol, and the Fourteenth Corps closed up to
the bridge. The morning of the 24th was extremely beautiful, and
the ground was in splendid order for our review. The streets were
filled with people to see the pageant, armed with bouquets of
flowers for their favorite regiments or heroes, and every thing was
propitious. Punctually at 9 A.M. the signal-gun was fired, when in
person, attended by General Howard and all my staff, I rode slowly
down Pennsylvania Avenue, the crowds of men, women, and children,
densely lining the sidewalks, and almost obstructing the way. We
were followed close by General Logan and the head of the Fifteenth
Corps. When I reached the Treasury-building, and looked back, the
sight was simply magnificent. The column was compact, and the
glittering muskets looked like a solid mass of steel, moving with
the regularity of a pendulum. We passed the Treasury building, in
front of which and of the White House was an immense throng of
people, for whom extensive stands had been prepared on both sides
of the avenue. As I neared the brick-house opposite the lower
corner of Lafayette Square, some one asked me to notice Mr. Seward,
who, still feeble and bandaged for his wounds, had been removed
there that he might behold the troops. I moved in that direction
and took off my hat to Mr. Seward, who sat at an upper window. He
recognized the salute, returned it, and then we rode on steadily
past the President, saluting with our swords. All on his stand
arose and acknowledged the salute. Then, turning into the gate of
the presidential grounds, we left our horses with orderlies, and
went upon the stand, where I found Mrs. Sherman, with her father
and son. Passing them, I shook hands with the President, General
Grant, and each member of the cabinet. As I approached Mr.
Stanton, he offered me his hand, but I declined it publicly, and
the fact was universally noticed. I then took my post on the left
of the President, and for six hours and a half stood, while the
army passed in the order of the Fifteenth, Seventeenth, Twentieth,
and Fourteenth Corps. It was, in my judgment, the most magnificent
army in existence--sixty-five thousand men, in splendid physique,
who had just completed a march of nearly two thousand miles in a
hostile country, in good drill, and who realized that they were
being closely scrutinized by thousands of their fellow-countrymen
and by foreigners. Division after division passed, each commander
of an army corps or division coming on the stand during the passage
of his command, to be presented to the President, cabinet, and
spectators. The steadiness and firmness of the tread, the careful
dress on the guides, the uniform intervals between the companies,
all eyes directly to the front, and the tattered and bullet-riden
flags, festooned with flowers, all attracted universal notice.
Many good people, up to that time, had looked upon our Western army
as a sort of mob; but the world then saw, and recognized the fact,
that it was an army in the proper sense, well organized, well
commanded and disciplined; and there was no wonder that it had
swept through the South like a tornado. For six hours and a half
that strong tread of the Army of the West resounded along
Pennsylvania Avenue; not a soul of that vast crowd of spectators
left his place; and, when the rear of the column had passed by,
thousands of the spectators still lingered to express their sense
of confidence in the strength of a Government which could claim
such an army.

Some little scenes enlivened the day, and called for the laughter
and cheers of the crowd. Each division was followed by six
ambulances, as a representative of its baggage-train. Some of the
division commanders had added, by way of variety, goats, milch-
cows, and pack-mules, whose loads consisted of game-cocks, poultry,
hams, etc., and some of them had the families of freed slaves
along, with the women leading their children. Each division was
preceded by its corps of black pioneers, armed with picks and
spades. These marched abreast in double ranks, keeping perfect
dress and step, and added much to the interest of the occasion. On
the whole, the grand review was a splendid success, and was a
fitting conclusion to the campaign and the war.

I will now conclude by a copy of my general orders taking leave of
the army, which ended my connection with the war, though I
afterward visited and took a more formal leave of the officers and
men on July 4, 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky:



The general commanding announces to the Armies of the Tennessee and
Georgia that the time has come for us to part. Our work is done,
and armed enemies no longer defy us. Some of you will go to your
homes, and others will be retained in military service till further

And now that we are all about to separate, to mingle with the civil
world, it becomes a pleasing duty to recall to mind the situation
of national affairs when, but little more than a year ago, we were
gathered about the cliffs of Lookout Mountain, and all the future
was wrapped in doubt and uncertainty.

Three armies had come together from distant fields, with separate
histories, yet bound by one common cause--the union of our country,
and the perpetuation of the Government of our inheritance. There
is no need to recall to your memories Tunnel Hill, with Rocky-Face
Mountain and Buzzard-Roost Gap, and the ugly forts of Dalton

We were in earnest, and paused not for danger and diffculty, but
dashed through Snake-Creek Gap and fell on Resaca; then on to the
Etowah, to Dallas, Kenesaw; and the heats of summer found us on the
banks of the Chattahoochee, far from home, and dependent on a
single road for supplies. Again we were not to be held back by any
obstacle, and crossed over and fought four hard battles for the
possession of the citadel of Atlanta. That was the crisis of our
history. A doubt still clouded our future, but we solved the
problem, destroyed Atlanta, struck boldly across the State of
Georgia, severed all the main arteries of life to our enemy, and
Christmas found us at Savannah.

Waiting there only long enough to fill our wagons, we again began a
march which, for peril, labor, and results, will compare with any
ever made by an organized army. The floods of the Savannah, the
swamps of the Combahee and Edisto, the "high hills" and rocks of
the Santee, the flat quagmires of the Pedee and Cape Fear Rivers,
were all passed in midwinter, with its floods and rains, in the
face of an accumulating enemy; and, after the battles of
Averysboro' and Bentonsville, we once more came out of the
wilderness, to meet our friends at Goldsboro'. Even then we paused
only long enough to get new clothing, to reload our wagons, again
pushed on to Raleigh and beyond, until we met our enemy suing for
peace, instead of war, and offering to submit to the injured laws
of his and our country. As long as that enemy was defiant, nor
mountains nor rivers, nor swamps, nor hunger, nor cold, had checked
us; but when he, who had fought us hard and persistently, offered
submission, your general thought it wrong to pursue him farther,
and negotiations followed, which resulted, as you all know, in his

How far the operations of this army contributed to the final
overthrow of the Confederacy and the peace which now dawns upon us,
must be judged by others, not by us; but that you have done all
that men could do has been admitted by those in authority, and we
have a right to join in the universal joy that fills our land
because the war is over, and our Government stands vindicated
before the world by the joint action of the volunteer armies and
navy of the United States.

To such as remain in the service, your general need only remind you
that success in the past was due to hard work and discipline, and
that the same work and discipline are equally important in the
future. To such as go home, he will only say that our favored
country is so grand, so extensive, so diversified in climate, soil,
and productions, that every man may find a home and occupation
suited to his taste; none should yield to the natural impatience
sure to result from our past life of excitement and adventure. You
will be invited to seek new adventures abroad; do not yield to the
temptation, for it will lead only to death and disappointment.

Your general now bids you farewell, with the full belief that, as
in war you have been good soldiers, so in peace you will make good
citizens; and if, unfortunately, new war should arise in our
country, "Sherman's army" will be the first to buckle on its old
armor, and come forth to defend and maintain the Government of our

By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman,

L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

List of the Average Number of Miles marched by the Different Army
Corps of the United States Forces under Command of Major-General W.
T. SHERMAN, United States Army, during his Campaigns: 1863-'64-'65.

4th 14th 15th 16th 17th 20th
Corps. Corps. Corps. Corps Corps. Corps.

Miles: 110 1,586 2,289 508 2,076 1,525



Having thus recorded a summary of events, mostly under my own
personal supervision, during the years from 1846 to 1865, it seems
proper that I should add an opinion of some of the useful military
lessons to be derived therefrom.

That civil war, by reason of the existence of slavery, was
apprehended by most of the leading statesmen of the half-century
preceding its outbreak, is a matter of notoriety. General Scott
told me on my arrival at New York, as early as 1850, that the
country was on the eve of civil war; and the Southern politicians
openly asserted that it was their purpose to accept as a casus
belli the election of General Fremont in 1856; but, fortunately or
unfortunately, he was beaten by Mr. Buchanan, which simply
postponed its occurrence for four years. Mr. Seward had also
publicly declared that no government could possibly exist half
slave and half free; yet the Government made no military
preparation, and the Northern people generally paid no attention,
took no warning of its coming, and would not realize its existence
till Fort Sumter was fired on by batteries of artillery, handled by
declared enemies, from the surrounding islands and from the city of

General Bragg, who certainly was a man of intelligence, and who, in
early life, ridiculed a thousand times, in my hearing, the threats
of the people of South Carolina to secede from the Federal Union,
said to me in New Orleans, in February, 1861, that he was convinced
that the feeling between the slave and free States had become so
embittered that it was better to part in peace; better to part
anyhow; and, as a separation was inevitable, that the South should
begin at once, because the possibility of a successful effort was
yearly lessened by the rapid and increasing inequality between the
two sections, from the fact that all the European immigrants were
coming to the Northern States and Territories, and none to the

The slave population m 1860 was near four millions, and the money
value thereof not far from twenty-five hundred million dollars.
Now, ignoring the moral side of the question, a cause that
endangered so vast a moneyed interest was an adequate cause of
anxiety and preparation, and the Northern leaders surely ought to
have foreseen the danger and prepared for it. After the election
of Mr. Lincoln in 1860, there was no concealment of the declaration
and preparation for war in the South. In Louisiana, as I have
related, men were openly enlisted, officers were appointed, and war
was actually begun, in January, 1861. The forts at the mouth of
the Mississippi were seized, and occupied by garrisons that hauled
down the United States flag and hoisted that of the State. The
United States Arsenal at Baton Rouge was captured by New Orleans
militia, its garrison ignominiously sent off, and the contents of
the arsenal distributed. These were as much acts of war as was the
subsequent firing on Fort Sumter, yet no public notice was taken
thereof; and when, months afterward, I came North, I found not one
single sign of preparation. It was for this reason, somewhat, that
the people of the South became convinced that those of the North
were pusillanimous and cowardly, and the Southern leaders were
thereby enabled to commit their people to the war, nominally in
defense of their slave property. Up to the hour of the firing on
Fort Sumter, in April, 1861, it does seem to me that our public
men, our politicians, were blamable for not sounding the note of

Then, when war was actually begun, it was by a call for seventy-
five thousand "ninety-day" men, I suppose to fulfill Mr. Seward's
prophecy that the war would last but ninety days.

The earlier steps by our political Government were extremely
wavering and weak, for which an excuse can be found in the fact
that many of the Southern representatives remained in Congress,
sharing in the public councils, and influencing legislation. But
as soon as Mr. Lincoln was installed, there was no longer any
reason why Congress and the cabinet should have hesitated. They
should have measured the cause, provided the means, and left the
Executive to apply the remedy.

At the time of Mr. Lincoln's inauguration, viz., March 4, 1861, the
Regular Army, by law, consisted of two regiments of dragoons, two
regiments of cavalry, one regiment of mounted rifles, four
regiments of artillery, and ten regiments of infantry, admitting of
an aggregate strength of thirteen thousand and twenty-four officers
and men. On the subsequent 4th of May the President, by his own
orders (afterward sanctioned by Congress), added a regiment of
cavalry, a regiment of artillery, and eight regiments of infantry,
which, with the former army, admitted of a strength of thirty-nine
thousand nine hundred and seventy-three; but at no time during the
war did the Regular Army attain a strength of twenty-five thousand

To the new regiments of infantry was given an organization
differing from any that had heretofore prevailed in this country--
of three battalions of eight companies each; but at no time did
more than one of these regiments attain its full standard; nor in
the vast army of volunteers that was raised during the war were any
of the regiments of infantry formed on the three-battalion system,
but these were universally single battalions of ten companies; so
that, on the reorganization of the Regular Army at the close of the
war, Congress adopted the form of twelve companies for the
regiments of cavalry and artillery, and that of ten companies for
the infantry, which is the present standard.

Inasmuch as the Regular Army will naturally form the standard of
organization for any increase or for new regiments of volunteers,
it becomes important to study this subject in the light of past
experience, and to select that form which is best for peace as well
as war.

A cavalry regiment is now composed of twelve companies, usually
divided into six squadrons, of two companies each, or better
subdivided into three battalions of four companies each. This is
an excellent form, easily admitting of subdivision as well as union
into larger masses.

A single battalion of four companies, with a field-officer, will
compose a good body for a garrison, for a separate expedition, or
for a detachment; and, in war, three regiments would compose a good
brigade, three brigades a division, and three divisions a strong
cavalry corps, such as was formed and fought by Generals Sheridan
and Wilson during the war.

In the artillery arm, the officers differ widely in their opinion
of the true organization. A single company forms a battery, and
habitually each battery acts separately, though sometimes several
are united or "massed;" but these always act in concert with
cavalry or infantry.

Nevertheless, the regimental organization for artillery has always
been maintained in this country for classification and promotion.
Twelve companies compose a regiment, and, though probably no
colonel ever commanded his full regiment in the form of twelve
batteries, yet in peace they occupy our heavy sea-coast forts or
act as infantry; then the regimental organization is both necessary
and convenient.

But the infantry composes the great mass of all armies, and the
true form of the regiment or unit has been the subject of infinite
discussion; and, as I have stated, during the civil war the
regiment was a single battalion of ten companies. In olden times
the regiment was composed of eight battalion companies and two
flank companies. The first and tenth companies were armed with
rifles, and were styled and used as "skirmishers;" but during 'the
war they were never used exclusively for that special purpose, and
in fact no distinction existed between them and the other eight

The ten-company organization is awkward in practice, and I am
satisfied that the infantry regiment should have the same identical
organization as exists for the cavalry and artillery, viz., twelve
companies, so as to be susceptible of division into three
battalions of four companies each.

These companies should habitually be about a hundred one men
strong, giving twelve hundred to a regiment, which in practice
would settle down to about one thousand men.

Three such regiments would compose a brigade, three brigades a
division, and three divisions a corps. Then, by allowing to an
infantry corps a brigade of cavalry and six batteries of
field-artillery, we would have an efficient corps d'armee of
thirty thousand men, whose organization would be simple and most
efficient, and whose strength should never be allowed to fall below
twenty-five thousand men.

The corps is the true unit for grand campaigns and battle, should
have a full and perfect staff, and every thing requisite for
separate action, ready at all times to be detached and sent off for
any nature of service. The general in command should have the rank
of lieutenant-general, and should be, by experience and education,
equal to any thing in war. Habitually with us he was a major-
general, specially selected and assigned to the command by an order
of the President, constituting, in fact, a separate grade.

The division is the unit of administration, and is the legitimate
command of a major general.

The brigade is the next subdivision, and is commanded by a

The regiment is the family. The colonel, as the father, should
have a personal acquaintance with every officer and man, and should
instill a feeling of pride and affection for himself, so that his
officers and men would naturally look to him for personal advice
and instruction. In war the regiment should never be subdivided,
but should always be maintained entire. In peace this is

The company is the true unit of discipline, and the captain is the
company. A good captain makes a good company, and he should have
the power to reward as well as punish. The fact that soldiers
would naturally like to have a good fellow for their captain is the
best reason why he should be appointed by the colonel, or by some
superior authority, instead of being elected by the men.

In the United States the people are the "sovereign," all power
originally proceeds from them, and therefore the election of
officers by the men is the common rule. This is wrong, because an
army is not a popular organization, but an animated machine, an
instrument in the hands of the Executive for enforcing the law, and
maintaining the honor and dignity of the nation; and the President,
as the constitutional commander-in-chief of the army and navy,
should exercise the power of appointment (subject to the
confirmation of the Senate) of the officers of "volunteers," as
well as of "regulars."

No army can be efficient unless it be a unit for action; and the
power must come from above, not from below: the President usually
delegates his power to the commander-in-chief, and he to the next,
and so on down to the lowest actual commander of troops, however
small the detachment. No matter how troops come together, when
once united, the highest officer in rank is held responsible, and
should be consequently armed with the fullest power of the
Executive, subject only to law and existing orders. The more
simple the principle, the greater the likelihood of determined
action; and the less a commanding officer is circumscribed by
bounds or by precedent, the greater is the probability that he will
make the best use of his command and achieve the best results.

The Regular Army and the Military Academy at West Point have in the
past provided, and doubtless will in the future provide an ample
supply of good officers for future wars; but, should their numbers
be insufficient, we can always safely rely on the great number of
young men of education and force of character throughout the
country, to supplement them. At the close of our civil war,
lasting four years, some of our best corps and division generals,
as well as staff-officers, were from civil life; but I cannot
recall any of the most successful who did not express a regret that
he had not received in early life instruction in the elementary
principles of the art of war, instead of being forced to acquire
this knowledge in the dangerous and expensive school of actual war.

But the vital difficulty was, and will be again, to obtain an
adequate number of good soldiers. We tried almost every system
known to modern nations, all with more or less success--voluntary
enlistments, the draft, and bought substitutes--and I think that all
officers of experience will confirm my assertion that the men who
voluntarily enlisted at the outbreak of the war were the best,
better than the conscript, and far better than the bought
substitute. When a regiment is once organized in a State, and
mustered into the service of the United States, the officers and
men become subject to the same laws of discipline and government as
the regular troops. They are in no sense "militia," but compose
a part of the Army of the United States, only retain their State
title for convenience, and yet may be principally recruited from
the neighborhood of their original organization: Once organized,
the regiment should be kept full by recruits, and when it becomes
difficult to obtain more recruits the pay should be raised by
Congress, instead of tempting new men by exaggerated bounties. I
believe it would have been more economical to have raised the pay
of the soldier to thirty or even fifty dollars a month than to have
held out the promise of three hundred and even six hundred dollars
in the form of bounty. Toward the close of the war, I have often
heard the soldiers complain that the "stay at-home" men got better
pay, bounties, and food, than they who were exposed to all the
dangers and vicissitudes of the battles and marches at the front.
The feeling of the soldier should be that, in every event, the
sympathy and preference of his government is for him who fights,
rather than for him who is on provost or guard duty to the rear,
and, like most men, he measures this by the amount of pay. Of
course, the soldier must be trained to obedience, and should be
"content with his wages;" but whoever has commanded an army in the
field knows the difference between a willing, contented mass of
men, and one that feels a cause of grievance. There is a soul to
an army as well as to the individual man, and no general can
accomplish the full work of his army unless he commands the soul of
his men, as well as their bodies and legs.

The greatest mistake made in our civil war was in the mode of
recruitment and promotion. When a regiment became reduced by the
necessary wear and tear of service, instead of being filled up at
the bottom, and the vacancies among the officers filled from the
best noncommissioned officers and men, the habit was to raise new
regiments, with new colonels, captains, and men, leaving the old
and experienced battalions to dwindle away into mere skeleton
organizations. I believe with the volunteers this matter was left
to the States exclusively, and I remember that Wisconsin kept her
regiments filled with recruits, whereas other States generally
filled their quotas by new regiments, and the result was that we
estimated a Wisconsin regiment equal to an ordinary brigade. I
believe that five hundred new men added to an old and experienced
regiment were more valuable than a thousand men in the form of a
new regiment, for the former by association with good, experienced
captains, lieutenants, and non-commissioned officers, soon became
veterans, whereas the latter were generally unavailable for a year.
The German method of recruitment is simply perfect, and there is no
good reason why we should not follow it substantially.

On a road, marching by the flank, it would be considered "good
order" to have five thousand men to a mile, so that a full corps of
thirty thousand men would extend six miles, but with the average
trains and batteries of artillery the probabilities are that it
would draw out to ten miles. On a long and regular march the
divisions and brigades should alternate in the lead, the leading
division should be on the road by the earliest dawn, and march at
the rate of about two miles, or, at most, two and a half miles an
hour, so as to reach camp by noon. Even then the rear divisions
and trains will hardly reach camp much before night. Theoretically,
a marching column should preserve such order that by simply halting
and facing to the right or left, it would be in line of battle; but
this is rarely the case, and generally deployments are made
"forward," by conducting each brigade by the flank obliquely to the
right or left to its approximate position in line of battle, and
there deployed. In such a line of battle, a brigade of three
thousand infantry would oconpy a mile of "front;" but for a strong
line of battle five-thousand men with two batteries should be
allowed to each mile, or a division would habitually constitute a
double line with skirmishers and a reserve on a mile of "front."

The "feeding" of an army is a matter of the most vital importance,
and demands the earliest attention of the general intrusted with a
campaign. To be strong, healthy, and capable of the largest
measure of physical effort, the soldier needs about three pounds
gross of food per day, and the horse or mule about twenty pounds.
When a general first estimates the quantity of food and forage
needed for an army of fifty or one hundred thousand men, he is apt
to be dismayed, and here a good staff is indispensable, though the
general cannot throw off on them the responsibility. He must give
the subject his personal attention, for the army reposes in him
alone, and should never doubt the fact that their existence
overrides in importance all other considerations. Once satisfied
of this, and that all has been done that can be, the soldiers are
always willing to bear the largest measure of privation. Probably
no army ever had a more varied experience in this regard than the
one I commanded in 1864'65.

Our base of supply was at Nashville, supplied by railways and the
Cumberland River, thence by rail to Chattanooga, a "secondary
base," and thence forward a single-track railroad. The stores came
forward daily, but I endeavored to have on hand a full supply for
twenty days in advance. These stores were habitually in the
wagon-trains, distributed to corps, divisions, and regiments, in
charge of experienced quartermasters and commissaries, and became
subject to the orders of the generals commanding these bodies.
They were generally issued on provision returns, but these had to
be closely scrutinized, for too often the colonels would make
requisitions for provisions for more men than they reported for
battle. Of course, there are always a good many non-combatants
with an army, but, after careful study, I limited their amount to
twenty-five per cent. of the "effective strength," and that was
found to be liberal. An ordinary army-wagon drawn by six mules may
be counted on to carry three thousand pounds net, equal to the food
of a full regiment for one day, but, by driving along beef-cattle,
a commissary may safely count the contents of one wagon as
sufficient for two days' food for a regiment of a thousand men; and
as a corps should have food on hand for twenty days ready for
detachment, it should have three hundred such wagons, as a
provision-train; and for forage, ammunition, clothing, and other
necessary stores, it was found necessary to have three hundred more
wagons, or six hundred wagons in all, for a corps d'armee.

These should be absolutely under the immediate control of the corps
commander, who will, however, find it economical to distribute them
in due proportion to his divisions, brigades, and even regiments.
Each regiment ought usually to have at least one wagon for
convenience to distribute stores, and each company two pack-mules,
so that the regiment may always be certain of a meal on reaching
camp without waiting for the larger trains.

On long marches the artillery and wagon-trains should always have
the right of way, and the troops should improvise roads to one
side, unless forced to use a bridge in common, and all trains
should have escorts to protect them, and to assist them in bad
places. To this end there is nothing like actual experience, only,
unless the officers in command give the subject their personal
attention, they will find their wagon-trains loaded down with
tents, personal baggage, and even the arms and knapsacks of the
escort. Each soldier should, if not actually "sick or wounded,"
carry his musket and equipments containing from forty to sixty
rounds of ammunition, his shelter-tent, a blanket or overcoat, and
an extra pair of pants, socks, and drawers, in the form of a scarf,
worn from the left shoulder to the right side in lieu of knapsack,
and in his haversack he should carry some bread, cooked meat, salt,
and coffee. I do not believe a soldier should be loaded down too
much, but, including his clothing, arms, and equipment, he can
carry about fifty pounds without impairing his health or activity.
A simple calculation will show that by such a distribution a corps
will-thus carry the equivalent of five hundred wagon-loads--an
immense relief to the trains.

Where an army is near one of our many large navigable rivers, or
has the safe use of a railway, it can usually be supplied with the
full army ration, which is by far the best furnished to any army in
America or Europe; but when it is compelled to operate away from
such a base, and is dependent on its own train of wagons, the
commanding officer must exercise a wise discretion in the selection
of his stores. In my opinion, there is no better food for man than
beef-cattle driven on the hoof, issued liberally, with salt, bacon,
and bread. Coffee has also become almost indispensable, though
many substitutes were found for it, such as Indian-corn, roasted,
ground, and boiled as coffee; the sweet-potato, and the seed of the
okra plant prepared in the same way. All these were used by the
people of the South, who for years could procure no coffee, but I
noticed that the women always begged of us some real coffee, which
seems to satisfy a natural yearning or craving more powerful than
can be accounted for on the theory of habit. Therefore I would
always advise that the coffee and sugar ration be carried along,
even at the expense of bread, for which there are many substitutes.
Of these, Indian-corn is the best and most abundant. Parched in a
frying-pan, it is excellent food, or if ground, or pounded and
boiled with meat of any sort, it makes a most nutritious meal. The
potato, both Irish and sweet, forms an excellent substitute for
bread, and at Savannah we found that rice (was) also suitable, both for
men and animals. For the former it should be cleaned of its husk
in a hominy block, easily prepared out of a log, and sifted with a
coarse corn bag; but for horses it should be fed in the straw.
During the Atlanta campaign we were supplied by our regular
commissaries with all sorts of patent compounds, such as desiccated
vegetables, and concentrated milk, meat-biscuit, and sausages, but
somehow the men preferred the simpler and more familiar forms of
food, and usually styled these "desecrated vegetables and
consecrated milk." We were also supplied liberally with
lime-juice, sauerkraut, and pickles, as an antidote to scurvy, and
I now recall the extreme anxiety of my medical director, Dr. Kittoe,
about the scurvy, which he reported at one time as spreading and
imperiling the army. This occurred at a crisis about Kenesaw, when
the railroad was taxed to its utmost capacity to provide the
necessary ammunition, food, and forage, and could not possibly
bring us an adequate supply of potatoes and cabbage, the usual
anti-scorbutics, when providentially the black berries ripened and
proved an admirable antidote, and I have known the skirmish-line,
without orders, to fight a respectable battle for the possession of
some old fields that were full of blackberries. Soon, thereafter,
the green corn or roasting-ear came into season, and I heard no
more of the scurvy. Our country abounds with plants which can be
utilized for a prevention to the scurvy; besides the above are the
persimmon, the sassafras root and bud, the wild-mustard, the
"agave," turnip tops, the dandelion cooked as greens, and a
decoction of the ordinary pine-leaf.

For the more delicate and costly articles of food for the sick we
relied mostly on the agents of the Sanitary Commission. I do not
wish to doubt the value of these organizations, which gained so
much applause during our civil war, for no one can question the
motives of these charitable and generous people; but to be honest I
must record an opinion that the Sanitary Commission should limit
its operations to the hospitals at the rear, and should never
appear at the front. They were generally local in feeling, aimed
to furnish their personal friends and neighbors with a better class
of food than the Government supplied, and the consequence was, that
one regiment of a brigade would receive potatoes and fruit which
would be denied another regiment close by: Jealousy would be the
inevitable result, and in an army all parts should be equal; there
should be no "partiality, favor, or affection." The Government
should supply all essential wants, and in the hospitals to the rear
will be found abundant opportunities for the exercise of all
possible charity and generosity. During the war I several times
gained the ill-will of the agents of the Sanitary Commission
because I forbade their coming to the front unless they would
consent to distribute their stores equally among all, regardless of
the parties who had contributed them.

The sick, wounded, and dead of an army are the subjects of the
greatest possible anxiety, and add an immense amount of labor to
the well men. Each regiment in an active campaign should have a
surgeon and two assistants always close at hand, and each brigade
and division should have an experienced surgeon as a medical
director. The great majority of wounds and of sickness should be
treated by the regimental surgeon, on the ground, under the eye of
the colonel. As few should be sent to the brigade or division
hospital as possible, for the men always receive better care with
their own regiment than with strangers, and as a rule the cure is
more certain; but when men receive disabling wounds, or have
sickness likely to become permanent, the sooner they go far to the
rear the better for all. The tent or the shelter of a tree is a
better hospital than a house, whose walls absorb fetid and
poisonous emanations, and then give them back to the atmosphere.
To men accustomed to the open air, who live on the plainest food,
wounds seem to give less pain, and are attended with less danger to
life than to ordinary soldiers in barracks.

Wounds which, in 1861, would have sent a man to the hospital for
months, in 1865 were regarded as mere scratches, rather the subject
of a joke than of sorrow. To new soldiers the sight of blood and
death always has a sickening effect, but soon men become accustomed
to it, and I have heard them exclaim on seeing a dead comrade borne
to the rear, "Well, Bill has turned up his toes to the daisies."
Of course, during a skirmish or battle, armed men should never
leave their ranks to attend a dead or wounded comrade--this should
be seen to in advance by the colonel, who should designate his
musicians or company cooks as hospital attendants, with a white rag
on their arm to indicate their office. A wounded man should go
himself (if able) to the surgeon near at hand, or, if he need help,
he should receive it from one of the attendants and not a comrade.
It is wonderful how soon the men accustom themselves to these
simple rules. In great battles these matters call for a more
enlarged attention, and then it becomes the duty of the division
general to see that proper stretchers and field hospitals are ready
for the wounded, and trenches are dug for the dead. There should
be no real neglect of the dead, because it has a bad effect on the
living; for each soldier values himself and comrade as highly as
though he were living in a good house at home.

The regimental chaplain, if any, usually attends the burials from
the hospital, should make notes and communicate details to the
captain of the company, and to the family at home. Of course it is
usually impossible to mark the grave with names, dates, etc., and
consequently the names of the "unknown" in our national cemeteries
equal about one-half of all the dead.

Very few of the battles in which I have participated were fought as
described in European text-books, viz., in great masses, in perfect
order, manoeuvring by corps, divisions, and brigades. We were
generally in a wooded country, and, though our lines were deployed
according to tactics, the men generally fought in strong
skirmish-lines, taking advantage of the shape of ground, and of
every cover. We were generally the assailants, and in wooded and
broken countries the "defensive" had a positive advantage over us,
for they were always ready, had cover, and always knew the ground
to their immediate front; whereas we, their assailants, had to
grope our way over unknown ground, and generally found a cleared
field or prepared entanglements that held us for a time under a
close and withering fire. Rarely did the opposing lines in compact
order come into actual contact, but when, as at Peach-Tree Creek
and Atlanta, the lines did become commingled, the men fought
individually in every possible style, more frequently with the
musket clubbed than with the bayonet, and in some instances the men
clinched like wrestlers, and went to the ground together.
Europeans frequently criticised our war, because we did not always
take full advantage of a victory; the true reason was, that
habitually the woods served as a screen, and we often did not
realize the fact that our enemy had retreated till he was already
miles away and was again intrenched, having left a mere
shirmish-line to cover the movement, in turn to fall back to the
new position.

Our war was fought with the muzzle-loading rifle. Toward the close
I had one brigade(Walcutt's)armed with breech-loading "Spencer's;"
the cavalry generally had breach-loading carbines, "Spencer's" and
"Sharp's," both of which were good arms.

The only change that breech-loading arms will probably make in the
art and practice of war will be to increase the amount of
ammunition to be expended, and necessarily to be carried along; to
still further "thin out" the lines of attack, and to reduce battles
to short, quick, decisive conflicts. It does not in the least
affect the grand strategy, or the necessity for perfect
organization, drill, and discipline. The, companies and battalions
will be more dispersed, and the men will be less under the
immediate eye of their officers, and therefore a higher order of
intelligence and courage on the part of the individual soldier will
be an element of strength.

When a regiment is deployed as skirmishers, and crosses an open
field or woods, under heavy fire, if each man runs forward from
tree to tree, or stump to stump, and yet preserves a good general
alignment, it gives great confidence to the men themselves, for
they always keep their eyes well to the right and left, and watch
their comrades; but when some few hold back, stick too close or too
long to a comfortable log, it often stops the line and defeats the
whole object. Therefore, the more we improve the fire-arm the more
will be the necessity for good organization, good discipline and
intelligence on the part of the individual soldier and officer.
There is, of course, such a thing as individual courage, which has
a value in war, but familiarity with danger, experience in war and
its common attendants, and personal habit, are equally valuable
traits, and these are the qualities with which we usually have to
deal in war. All men naturally shrink from pain and danger, and
only incur their risk from some higher motive, or from habit; so
that I would define true courage to be a perfect sensibility of the
measure of danger, and a mental willingness to incur it, rather
than that insensibility to danger of which I have heard far more
than I have seen. The most courageous men are generally
unconscious of possessing the quality; therefore, when one
professes it too openly, by words or bearing, there is reason to
mistrust it. I would further illustrate my meaning by describing a
man of true courage to be one who possesses all his faculties and
senses perfectly when serious danger is actually present.

Modern wars have not materially changed the relative values or
proportions of the several arms of service: infantry, artillery,
cavalry, and engineers. If any thing, the infantry has been
increased in value. The danger of cavalry attempting to charge
infantry armed with breech-loading rifles was fully illustrated at
Sedan, and with us very frequently. So improbable has such a thing
become that we have omitted the infantry-square from our recent
tactics. Still, cavalry against cavalry, and as auxiliary to
infantry, will always be valuable, while all great wars will, as
heretofore, depend chiefly on the infantry. Artillery is more
valuable with new and inexperienced troops than with veterans. In
the early stages of the war the field-guns often bore the
proportion of six to a thousand men; but toward the close of the
war one gun; or at most two, to a thousand men, was deemed enough.
Sieges; such as characterized the wars of the last century, are too
slow for this period of the world, and the Prussians recently
almost ignored them altogether, penetrated France between the
forts, and left a superior force "in observation," to watch the
garrison and accept its surrender when the greater events of the
war ahead made further resistance useless; but earth-forts, and
especially field-works, will hereafter play an important part in
war, because they enable a minor force to hold a superior one in
check for a time, and time is a most valuable element in all wars.
It was one of Prof. Mahan's maxims that the spade was as useful in
war as the musket, and to this I will add the axe. The habit of
intrenching certainly does have the effect of making new troops
timid. When a line of battle is once covered by a good parapet,
made by the engineers or by the labor of the men themselves, it
does require an effort to make them leave it in the face of danger;
but when the enemy is intrenched, it becomes absolutely necessary
to permit each brigade and division of the troops immediately
opposed to throw up a corresponding trench for their own protection
in case of a sudden sally. We invariably did this in all our
recent campaigns, and it had no ill effect, though sometimes our
troops were a little too slow in leaving their well-covered lines
to assail the enemy in position or on retreat. Even our
skirmishers were in the habit of rolling logs together, or of
making a lunette of rails, with dirt in front, to cover their
bodies; and, though it revealed their position, I cannot say that
it worked a bad effect; so that, as a rule, it may safely be left
to the men themselves: On the "defensive," there is no doubt of the
propriety of fortifying; but in the assailing army the general must
watch closely to see that his men do not neglect an opportunity to
drop his precautionary defenses, and act promptly on the
"offensive" at every chance.

I have many a time crept forward to the skirmish-line to avail
myself of the cover of the pickets "little fort," to observe more
closely some expected result; and always talked familiarly with the
men, and was astonished to see how well they comprehended the
general object, and how accurately they were informed of the sate
of facts existing miles away from their particular corps. Soldiers
are very quick to catch the general drift and purpose of a
campaign, and are always sensible when they are well commanded or
well cared for. Once impressed with this fact, and that they are
making progress, they bear cheerfully any amount of labor and

In camp, and especially in the presence of an active enemy, it is
much easier to maintain discipline than in barracks in time of
peace. Crime and breaches of discipline are much less frequent,
and the necessity for courts-martial far less. The captain can
usually inflict all the punishment necessary, and the colonel
should always. The field-officers' court is the best form for war,
viz., one of the field-officers-the lieutenant-colonel or major
--can examine the case and report his verdict, and the colonel
should execute it. Of course, there are statutory offenses which
demand a general court-martial, and these must be ordered by the
division or corps commander; but, the presence of one of our
regular civilian judge-advocates in an army in the field would be a
first-class nuisance, for technical courts always work mischief.
Too many courts-martial in any command are evidence of poor
diacipline and inefficient officers.

For the rapid transmission of orders in an army covering a large
space of ground, the magnetic telegraph is by far the best, though
habitually the paper and pencil, with good mounted orderlies,
answer every purpose. I have little faith in the signal-service by
flags and torches, though we always used them; because, almost
invariably when they were most needed, the view was cut off by
intervening trees, or by mists and fogs. There was one notable
instance in my experience, when the signal-flags carried a message.
of vital importance over the heads of Hood's army, which had
interposed between me and Allatoona, and had broken the
telegraph-wires--as recorded in Chapter XIX.; but the value of the
magnetic telegraph in war cannot be exaggerated, as was illustrated
by the perfect concert of action between the armies in Virginia and
Georgia during 1864. Hardly a day intervened when General Grant
did not know the exact state of facts with me, more than fifteen
hundred miles away as the wires ran. So on the field a thin
insulated wire may be run on improvised stakes or from tree to tree
for six or more miles in a couple of hours, and I have seen
operators so skillful, that by cutting the wire they would receive
a message with their tongues from a distant station. As a matter
of course, the ordinary commercial wires along the railways form
the usual telegraph-lines for an army, and these are easily
repaired and extended as the army advances, but each army and wing
should have a small party of skilled men to put up the field-wire,
and take it down when done. This is far better than the
signal-flags and torches. Our commercial telegraph-lines will
always supply for war enough skillful operators.

The value of railways is also fully recognized in war quite as much
as, if not more so than, in peace. The Atlanta campaign would
simply have been impossible without the use of the railroads from
Louisville to Nashville--one hundred and eighty-five miles--from
Nashville to Chattanooga--one hundred and fifty-one miles--and from
Chattanooga to Atlanta--one hundred and thirty-seven miles. Every
mile of this "single track" was so delicate, that one man could in
a minute have broken or moved a rail, but our trains usually
carried along the tools and means to repair such a break. We had,
however, to maintain strong guards and garrisons at each important
bridge or trestle--the destruction of which would have necessitated
time for rebuilding. For the protection of a bridge, one or two
log block houses, two stories high, with a piece of ordnance and a
small infantry guard, usually sufficed. The block-house had a
small parapet and ditch about it, and the roof was made shot proof
by earth piled on. These points could usually be reached only by a
dash of the enemy's cavalry, and many of these block houses
successfully resisted serious attacks by both cavalry and
artillery. The only block-house that was actually captured on the
main was the one described near Allatoona. Our trains from
Nashville forward were operated under military rules, and ran about
ten miles an hour in gangs of four trains of ten cars each. Four
such groups of trains daily made one hundred and sixty cars, of ten
tons each, carrying sixteen hundred tons, which exceeded the
absolute necessity of the army, and allowed for the accidents that
were common and inevitable. But, as I have recorded, that single
stem of railroad, four hundred and seventy-three miles long,
supplied an army of one hundred thousand men and thirty-five
thousand animals for the period of one hundred and ninety-six days,
viz., from May 1 to November 12, 1864. To have delivered regularly
that amount of food and forage by ordinary wagons would have
required thirty-six thousand eight hundred wagons of six mules
each, allowing each wagon to have hauled two tons twenty miles each
day, a simple impossibility in roads such as then existed in that
region of country. Therefore, I reiterate that the Atlanta
campaign was an impossibility without these railroads; and only
then, because we had the men and means to maintain and defend them,
in addition to what were necessary to overcome the enemy.
Habitually, a passenger-car will carry fifty men with their
necessary baggage. Box-cars, and even platform-cars, answer the
purpose well enough, but they, should always have rough
board-seats. For sick and wounded men, box-cars filled with straw
or bushes were usually employed. Personally, I saw but little of
the practical working of the railroads, for I only turned back once
as far as Resaca; but I had daily reports from the engineer in
charge, and officers who came from the rear often explained to me
the whole thing, with a description of the wrecked trains all the
way from Nashville to Atlanta. I am convinced that the risk to
life to the engineers and men on that railroad fully equaled that
on the skirmish-line, called for as high an order of courage, and
fully equaled it in importance. Still, I doubt if there be any
necessity in time of peace to organize a corps specially to work
the military railroads in time of war, because in peace these same
men gain all the necessary experience, possess all the daring and
courage of soldiers, and only need the occasional protection and
assistance of the necessary train-guard, which may be composed of
the furloughed men coming and going, or of details made from the
local garrisons to the rear.

For the transfer of large armies by rail, from one theatre of
action to another by the rear--the cases of the transfer of the
Eleventh and Twelfth Corps--General Hooker, twenty-three thousand
men--from the East to Chattanooga, eleven hundred and ninety-two
miles in seven days, in the fall of 1863; and that of the Army of
the Ohio--General Schofield, fifteen thousand men--from the valley
of the Tennessee to Washington, fourteen hundred miles in eleven
days, en route to North Carolina in January, 1865, are the best
examples of which I have any knowledge, and reference to these is
made in the report of the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, dated
November 22, 1865.

Engineer troops attached to an army are habitually employed in
supervising the construction of forts or field works of a nature
more permanent than the lines need by the troops in motion, and in
repairing roads and making bridges. I had several regiments of
this kind that were most useful, but as a rule we used the
infantry, or employed parties of freedmen, who worked on the
trenches at night while the soldiers slept, and these in turn
rested by day. Habitually the repair of the railroad and its
bridges was committed to hired laborers, like the English navies,
under the supervision of Colonel W. W. Wright, a railroad-engineer,
who was in the military service at the time, and his successful
labors were frequently referred to in the official reports of the

For the passage of rivers, each army corps had a pontoon-train with
a detachment of engineers, and, on reaching a river, the leading
infantry division was charged with the labor of putting it down.
Generally the single pontoon-train could provide for nine hundred
feet of bridge, which sufficed; but when the rivers were very wide
two such trains would be brought together, or the single train was
supplemented by a trestle-bridge, or bridges made on crib-work, out
of timber found near the place. The pontoons in general use were
skeleton frames, made with a hinge, so as to fold back and
constitute a wagon-body. In this same wagon were carried the
cotton canvas cover, the anchor and chains, and a due proportion of
the balks, cheeses, and lashings. All the troops became very
familiar with their mechanism and use, and we were rarely delayed
by reason of a river, however broad. I saw, recently, in
Aldershot, England, a very complete pontoon-train; the boats were
sheathed with wood and felt, made very light; but I think these
were more liable to chafing and damage in rough handling than were
our less expensive and rougher boats. On the whole, I would prefer
the skeleton frame and canvas cover to any style of pontoon that I
have ever seen.

In relation to guards, pickets, and vedettes, I doubt if any
discoveries or improvements were made during our war, or in any of
the modern wars in Europe. These precautions vary with the nature
of the country and the situation of each army. When advancing or
retreating in line of battle, the usual skirmish-line constitutes
the picket-line, and may have "reserves," but usually the main line
of battle constitutes the reserve; and in this connection I will
state that the recent innovation introduced into the new infantry
tactics by General Upton is admirable, for by it each regiment,
brigade, and division deployed, sends forward as "skirmishers" the
one man of each set of fours, to cover its own front, and these can
be recalled or reenforced at pleasure by the bugle-signal.

For flank-guards and rear-guards, one or more companies should be
detached under their own officers, instead of making up the guard
by detailing men from the several companies.

For regimental or camp guards, the details should be made according
to existing army regulations; and all the guards should be posted
early in the evening, so as to afford each sentinel or vedette a
chance to study his ground before it becomes too dark.

In like manner as to the staff. The more intimately it comes into
contact with the troops, the more useful and valuable it becomes.
The almost entire separation of the staff from the line, as now
practised by us, and hitherto by the French, has proved
mischievous, and the great retinues of staff-officers with which
some of our earlier generals began the war were simply ridiculous.
I don't believe in a chief of staff at all, and any general
commanding an army, corps, or division, that has a staff-officer
who professes to know more than his chief, is to be pitied. Each
regiment should have a competent adjutant, quartermaster, and
commissary, with two or three medical officers. Each brigade
commander should have the same staff, with the addition of a couple
of young aides-de-camp, habitually selected from the subalterns of
the brigade, who should be good riders, and intelligent enough to
give and explain the orders of their general.

The same staff will answer for a division. The general in command
of a separate army, and of a corps d'armee, should have the same
professional assistance, with two or more good engineers, and his
adjutant-general should exercise all the functions usually ascribed
to a chief of staff, viz., he should possess the ability to
comprehend the scope of operations, and to make verbally and in
writing all the orders and details necessary to carry into effect
the views of his general, as well as to keep the returns and
records of events for the information of the next higher authority,
and for history. A bulky staff implies a division of
responsibility, slowness of action, and indecision, whereas a small
staff implies activity and concentration of purpose. The smallness
of General Grant's staff throughout the civil war forms the best
model for future imitation. So of tents, officers furniture, etc.,
etc. In real war these should all be diacarded, and an army is
efficient for action and motion exactly in the inverse ratio of its
impedimenta. Tents should be omitted altogether, save one to a
regiment for an office, and a few for the division hospital.
Officers should be content with a tent fly, improvising poles and
shelter out of bushes. The tents d'abri, or shelter-tent, carried
by the soldier himself, is all-sufficient. Officers should never
seek for houses, but share the condition of their men.

A recent message (July 18, 1874) made to the French Assembly by
Marshal MacMahon, President of the French Republic, submits a
projet de loi, with a report prepared by a board of French generals
on "army administration," which is full of information, and is as
applicable to us as to the French. I quote from its very
beginning: "The misfortunes of the campaign of 1870 have
demonstrated the inferiority of our system.... Two separate
organizations existed with parallel functions--the 'general' more
occupied in giving direction to his troops than in providing for
their material wants, which he regarded as the special province of
the staff, and the 'intendant' (staff) often working at random,
taking on his shoulders a crushing burden of functions and duties,
exhausting himself with useless efforts, and aiming to accomplish
an insufficient service, to the disappointment of everybody. This
separation of the administration and command, this coexistence of
two wills, each independent of the other, which paralyzed both and
annulled the dualism, was condemned. It was decided by the board
that this error should be "proscribed" in the new military system.
The report then goes on at great length discussing the provisions.
of the "new law," which is described to be a radical change from
the old one on the same subject. While conceding to the Minister
of War in Paris the general control and supervision of the entire
military establishment primarily, especially of the annual
estimates or budget, and the great depots of supply, it distributes
to the commanders of the corps d'armee in time of peace, and to all
army commanders generally in time of war, the absolute command of
the money, provisions, and stores, with the necessary staff-
officers to receive, issue, and account for them. I quote further:
"The object of this law is to confer on the commander of troops
whatever liberty of action the case demands. He has the power even
to go beyond the regulations, in circumstances of urgency and
pressing necessity. The extraordinary measures he may take on
these occasions may require their execution without delay. The
staff-officer has but one duty before obeying, and that is to
submit his observations to the general, and to ask his orders in

With this formality his responsibility ceases, and the
responsibility for the extraordinary act falls solely on the
general who gives the order. The officers and agents charged with
supplies are placed under the orders of the general in command of
the troops, that is, they are obliged both in war and peace to
obey, with the single qualification above named, of first making
their observations and securing the written order of the general.

With us, to-day, the law and regulations are that, no matter what
may be the emergency, the commanding general in Texas, New Mexico,
and the remote frontiers, cannot draw from the arsenals a pistol-
cartridge, or any sort of ordnance-stores, without first procuring
an order of the Secretary of War in Washington. The commanding
general--though intrusted with the lives of his soldiers and with
the safety of a frontier in a condition of chronic war--cannot
touch or be trusted with ordnance-stores or property, and that is
declared to be the law! Every officer of the old army remembers
how, in 1861, we were hampered with the old blue army regulations,
which tied our hands, and that to do any thing positive and
necessary we had to tear it all to pieces--cut the red-tape, as it
was called, a dangerous thing for an army to do, for it was
calculated to bring the law and authority into contempt; but war
was upon us, and overwhelming necessity overrides all law.

This French report is well worth the study of our army-officers, of
all grades and classes, and I will only refer again, casually, to
another part, wherein it discusses the subject of military
correspondence: whether the staff-officer should correspond
directly with his chief in Paris, submitting to his general copies,
or whether he should be required to carry on his correspondence
through his general, so that the latter could promptly forward the
communication, indorsed with his own remarks and opinions. The
latter is declared by the board to be the only safe role, because
"the general should never be ignorant of any thing that is
transpiring that concerns his command."

In this country, as in France, Congress controls the great
questions of war and peace, makes all laws for the creation and
government of armies, and votes the necessary supplies, leaving to
the President to execute and apply these laws, especially the
harder task of limiting the expenditure of public money to the
amount of the annual appropriations. The executive power is
further subdivided into the seven great departments, and to the
Secretary of War is confided the general care of the military
establishment, and his powers are further subdivided into ten
distinct and separate bureaus.

The chiefs of these bureaus are under the immediate orders of the
Secretary of War, who, through them, in fact commands the army from
"his office," but cannot do so "in the field"--an absurdity in
military if not civil law.

The subordinates of these staff-corps and departments are selected
and chosen from the army itself, or fresh from West Point, and too
commonly construe themselves into the elite, as made of better clay
than the common soldier. Thus they separate themselves more and
more from their comrades of the line, and in process of time
realize the condition of that old officer of artillery who thought
the army would be a delightful place for a gentleman if it were not
for the d-d soldier; or, better still, the conclusion of the young
lord in "Henry IV.," who told Harry Percy (Hotspur) that "but for
these vile guns he would himself have been a soldier." This is all
wrong; utterly at variance with our democratic form of government
and of universal experience; and now that the French, from whom we
had copied the system, have utterly "proscribed" it, I hope that
our Congress will follow suit. I admit, in its fullest force, the
strength of the maxim that the civil law should be superior to the
military in time of peace; that the army should be at all times
subject to the direct control of Congress; and I assert that, from
the formation of our Government to the present day, the Regular
Army has set the highest example of obedience to law and authority;
but, for the very reason that our army is comparatively so very
small, I hold that it should be the best possible, organized and
governed on true military principles, and that in time of peace we
should preserve the "habits and usages of war," so that, when war
does come, we may not again be compelled to suffer the disgrace,
confusion, and disorder of 1861.

The commanding officers of divisions, departments, and posts,
should have the amplest powers, not only to command their troops,
but all the stores designed for their use, and the officers of the
staff necessary to administer them, within the area of their
command; and then with fairness they could be held to the most
perfect responsibility. The President and Secretary of War can
command the army quite as well through these generals as through
the subordinate staff-officers. Of course, the Secretary would, as
now, distribute the funds according to the appropriation bills, and
reserve to himself the absolute control and supervision of the
larger arsenals and depots of supply. The error lies in the law,
or in the judicial interpretation thereof, and no code of army
regulations can be made that meets the case, until Congress, like
the French Corps Legislatif, utterly annihilates and "proscribes"
the old law and the system which has grown up under it.

It is related of Napoleon that his last words were, "Tete d'armee!"
Doubtless, as the shadow of death obscured his memory, the last
thought that remained for speech was of some event when he was
directing an important "head of column." I believe that every
general who has handled armies in battle most recall from his own
experience the intensity of thought on some similar occasion, when
by a single command he had given the finishing stroke to some
complicated action; but to me recurs another thought that is worthy
of record, and may encourage others who are to follow us in our
profession. I never saw the rear of an army engaged in battle but
I feared that some calamity had happened at the front the apparent
confusion, broken wagons, crippled horses, men lying about dead and
maimed, parties hastening to and fro in seeming disorder, and a
general apprehension of something dreadful about to ensue; all
these signs, however, lessened as I neared the front, and there the
contrast was complete--perfect order, men and horses--full of
confidence, and it was not unusual for general hilarity, laughing,
and cheering. Although cannon might be firing, the musketry
clattering, and the enemy's shot hitting close, there reigned a
general feeling of strength and security that bore a marked
contrast to the bloody signs that had drifted rapidly to the rear;
therefore, for comfort and safety, I surely would rather be at the
front than the rear line of battle. So also on the march, the head
of a column moves on steadily, while the rear is alternately
halting and then rushing forward to close up the gap; and all sorts
of rumors, especially the worst, float back to the rear. Old
troops invariably deem it a special privilege to be in the front
--to be at the "head of column"--because experience has taught them
that it is the easiest and most comfortable place, and danger only
adds zest and stimulus to this fact.

The hardest task in war is to lie in support of some position or
battery, under fire without the privilege of returning it; or to
guard some train left in the rear, within hearing but out of
danger; or to provide for the wounded and dead of some corps which
is too busy ahead to care for its own.

To be at the head of a strong column of troops, in the execution of
some task that requires brain, is the highest pleasure of war--a
grim one and terrible, but which leaves on the mind and memory the
strongest mark; to detect the weak point of an enemy's line; to
break through with vehemence and thus lead to victory; or to
discover some key-point and hold it with tenacity; or to do some
other distinct act which is afterward recognized as the real cause
of success. These all become matters that are never forgotten.
Other great difficulties, experienced by every general, are to
measure truly the thousand-and-one reports that come to him in the
midst of conflict; to preserve a clear and well-defined purpose at
every instant of time, and to cause all efforts to converge to that

To do these things he must know perfectly the strength and quality
of each part of his own army, as well as that of his opponent, and
must be where he can personally see and observe with his own eyes,
and judge with his own mind. No man can properly command an army
from the rear, he must be "at its front;" and when a detachment is
made, the commander thereof should be informed of the object to be
accomplished, and left as free as possible to execute it in his own
way; and when an army is divided up into several parts, the
superior should always attend that one which he regards as most
important. Some men think that modern armies may be so regulated
that a general can sit in an office and play on his several columns
as on the keys of a piano; this is a fearful mistake. The
directing mind must be at the very head of the army--must be seen
there, and the effect of his mind and personal energy must be felt
by every officer and man present with it, to secure the best
results. Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in
humiliation and disaster.

Lastly, mail facilities should be kept up with an army if possible,
that officers and men may receive and send letters to their
friends, thus maintaining the home influence of infinite assistance
to discipline. Newspaper correspondents with an army, as a rule,
are mischievous. They are the world's gossips, pick up and retail
the camp scandal, and gradually drift to the headquarters of some
general, who finds it easier to make reputation at home than with
his own corps or division. They are also tempted to prophesy
events and state facts which, to an enemy, reveal a purpose in time
to guard against it. Moreover, they are always bound to see facts
colored by the partisan or political character of their own
patrons, and thus bring army officers into the political
controversies of the day, which are always mischievous and wrong.
Yet, so greedy are the people at large for war news, that it is
doubtful whether any army commander can exclude all reporters,
without bringing down on himself a clamor that may imperil his own
safety. Time and moderation must bring a just solution to this
modern difficulty.



In the foregoing pages I have endeavored to describe the public
events in which I was an actor or spectator before and during the
civil war of 1861-'65, and it now only remains for me to treat of
similar matters of general interest subsequent to the civil war.
Within a few days of the grand review of May 24, 1865, I took leave
of the army at Washington, and with my family went to Chicago to
attend a fair held in the interest of the families of soldiers
impoverished by the war. I remained there about two weeks; on the
22d of June was at South Bend, Indiana, where two of my children
were at school, and reached my native place, Lancaster, Ohio, on
the 24th. On the 4th of July I visited at Louisville, Kentucky,
the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Army Corps,
which had come from Washington, under the command of General John
A. Logan, for "muster out," or "further orders." I then made a
short visit to General George H. Thomas at Nashville, and returned
to Lancaster, where I remained with the family till the receipt of
General Orders No. 118 of June 27, 1865, which divided the whole
territory of the United States into nineteen departments and five
military divisions, the second of which was the military division
of the "Mississippi," afterward changed to "Missouri," Major-
General W. T. Sherman to command, with, headquarters at St. Louis,
to embrace the Departments of the Ohio, Missouri, and Arkansas.

This territorial command included the States north of the Ohio
River, and the States and Territories north of Texas, as far west
as the Rocky Mountains, including Montana, Utah, and New Mexico,
but the part east of the Mississippi was soon transferred to
another division. The department commanders were General E. O. C.
Ord, at Detroit; General John Pope, at Fort Leavenworth; and
General J. J. Reynolds, at Little Rock, but these also were soon
changed. I at once assumed command, and ordered my staff and
headquarters from Washington to St. Louis, Missouri, going there in
person on the 16th of July.

My thoughts and feelings at once reverted to the construction of
the great Pacific Railway, which had been chartered by Congress in
the midst of war, and was then in progress. I put myself in
communication with the parties engaged in the work, visiting them
in person, and assured them that I would afford them all possible
assistance and encouragement. Dr. Durant, the leading man of the
Union Pacific, seemed to me a person of ardent nature, of great
ability and energy, enthusiastic in his undertaking, and determined
to build the road from Omaha to San Francisco. He had an able
corps of assistants, collecting materials, letting out contracts
for ties, grading, etc., and I attended the celebration of the
first completed division of sixteen and a half miles, from Omaha to
Papillon. When the orators spoke so confidently of the
determination to build two thousand miles of railway across the
plains, mountains, and desert, devoid of timber, with no
population, but on the contrary raided by the bold and bloody Sioux
and Cheyennes, who had almost successfully defied our power for
half a century, I was disposed to treat it jocularly, because I
could not help recall our California experience of 1855-'56, when
we celebrated the completion of twenty-two and a half miles of the
same road eastward of Sacramento; on which occasion Edward Baker
had electrified us by his unequalled oratory, painting the glorious
things which would result from uniting the Western coast with the
East by bands of iron. Baker then, with a poet's imagination, saw
the vision of the mighty future, but not the gulf which meantime
was destined to swallow up half a million of the brightest and best
youth of our land, and that he himself would be one of the first
victims far away on the banks of the Potomac (he was killed in
battle at Balls Bluff, October 21, 1861).

The Kansas Pacific was designed to unite with the main branch about
the 100 deg. meridian, near Fort Kearney. Mr. Shoemaker was its
general superintendent and building contractor, and this branch in
1865 was finished about forty miles to a point near Lawrence,
Kansas. I may not be able to refer to these roads again except
incidentally, and will, therefore, record here that the location of
this branch afterward was changed from the Republican to the Smoky
Hill Fork of the Kansas River, and is now the main line to Denver.
The Union and Central Railroads from the beginning were pushed with
a skill, vigor, and courage which always commanded my admiration,
the two meeting at Promontory Point, Utah, July 15, 1869, and in my
judgment constitute one of the greatest and most beneficent
achievements of man on earth.

The construction of the Union Pacific Railroad was deemed so
important that the President, at my suggestion, constituted on the
5th of March, 1866, the new Department of the Platte, General P.
St. George Cooke commanding, succeeded by General C. C. Augur,
headquarters at Omaha, with orders to give ample protection to the
working-parties, and to afford every possible assistance in the
construction of the road; and subsequently in like manner the
Department of Dakota was constituted, General A. H. Terry
commanding, with headquarters at St. Paul, to give similar
protection and encouragement to the Northern Pacific Railroad.
These departments, with changed commanders, have continued up to
the present day, and have fulfilled perfectly the uses for which
they were designed.

During the years 1865 and 1866 the great plains remained almost in
a state of nature, being the pasture-fields of about ten million
buffalo, deer, elk, and antelope, and were in full possession of
the Sioux, Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and Kiowas, a race of bold
Indians, who saw plainly that the construction of two parallel
railroads right through their country would prove destructive to
the game on which they subsisted, and consequently fatal to

The troops were posted to the best advantage to protect the parties
engaged in building these roads, and in person I reconnoitred well
to the front, traversing the buffalo regions from south to north,
and from east to west, often with a very small escort, mingling
with the Indians whenever safe, and thereby gained personal
knowledge of matters which enabled me to use the troops to the best
advantage. I am sure that without the courage and activity of the
department commanders with the small bodies of regular troops on
the plains during the years 1866-'69, the Pacific Railroads could
not have been built; but once built and in full operation the fate
of the buffalo and Indian was settled for all time to come.

At the close of the civil war there were one million five hundred
and sixteen names on the muster-rolls, of which seven hundred and
ninety-seven thousand eight hundred and seven were present, and two
hundred and two thousand seven hundred and nine absent, of which
twenty-two thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine were regulars, the
others were volunteers, colored troops, and veteran reserves. The
regulars consisted of six regiments of cavalry, five of artillery,
and nineteen of infantry. By the act of July 28, 1866, the peace
establishment was fixed at one general (Grant), one lieutenant-
general (Sherman), five major-generals (Halleck, Meade, Sheridan,
Thomas, and Hancock), ten brigadiers (McDowell, Cooke, Pope,
Hooker, Schofield, Howard, Terry, Ord, Canby, and Rousseau), ten
regiments of cavalry, five of artillery, and forty-five of
infantry, admitting of an aggregate force of fifty-four thousand
six hundred and forty-one men.

All others were mustered out, and thus were remanded to their homes
nearly a million of strong, vigorous men who had imbibed the
somewhat erratic habits of the soldier; these were of every
profession and trade in life, who, on regaining their homes, found
their places occupied by others, that their friends and neighbors
were different, and that they themselves had changed. They
naturally looked for new homes to the great West, to the new
Territories and States as far as the Pacific coast, and we realize
to-day that the vigorous men who control Kansas, Nebraska, Dakota,
Montana, Colorado, etc., etc., were soldiers of the civil war.
These men flocked to the plains, and were rather stimulated than
retarded by the danger of an Indian war. This was another potent
agency in producing the result we enjoy to-day, in having in so
short a time replaced the wild buffaloes by more numerous herds of
tame cattle, and by substituting for the useless Indians the
intelligent owners of productive farms and cattle-ranches.

While these great changes were being wrought at the West, in the
East politics had resumed full sway, and all the methods of
anti-war times had been renewed. President Johnson had differed
with his party as to the best method of reconstructing the State
governments of the South, which had been destroyed and impoverished
by the war, and the press began to agitate the question of the next
President. Of course, all Union men naturally turned to General
Grant, and the result was jealousy of him by the personal friends
of President Johnson and some of his cabinet. Mr. Johnson always
seemed very patriotic and friendly, and I believed him honest and
sincere in his declared purpose to follow strictly the Constitution
of the United States in restoring the Southern States to their
normal place in the Union; but the same cordial friendship
subsisted between General Grant and myself, which was the outgrowth
of personal relations dating back to 1839. So I resolved to keep
out of this conflict. In September, 1866, I was in the mountains
of New Mexico, when a message reached me that I was wanted at
Washington. I had with me a couple of officers and half a dozen
soldiers as escort, and traveled down the Arkansas, through the
Kiowas, Comanches, Cheyennes, and Arapahoes, all more or less
disaffected, but reached St. Louis in safety, and proceeded to
Washington, where I reported to General Grant.

He explained to me that President Johnson wanted to see me. He did
not know the why or wherefore, but supposed it had some connection
with an order he (General Grant) had received to escort the newly
appointed Minister, Hon. Lew Campbell, of Ohio, to the court of
Juarez, the President-elect of Mexico, which country was still in
possession of the Emperor Maximilian, supported by a corps of
French troops commanded by General Bazaine. General Grant denied
the right of the President to order him on a diplomatic mission
unattended by troops; said that he had thought the matter over,
would disobey the order, and stand the consequences. He manifested
much feeling; and said it was a plot to get rid of him. I then
went to President Johnson, who treated me with great cordiality,
and said that he was very glad I had come; that General Grant was
about to go to Mexico on business of importance, and he wanted me
at Washington to command the army in General Grant's absence. I
then informed him that General Grant would not go, and he seemed
amazed; said that it was generally understood that General Grant
construed the occupation of the territories of our neighbor,
Mexico, by French troops, and the establishment of an empire
therein, with an Austrian prince at its head, as hostile to
republican America, and that the Administration had arranged with
the French Government for the withdrawal of Bazaine's troops, which
would leave the country free for the President-elect Juarez to
reoccupy the city of Mexico, etc., etc.; that Mr. Campbell had been
accredited to Juarez, and the fact that he was accompanied by so
distinguished a soldier as General Grant would emphasize the act of
the United States. I simply reiterated that General Grant would
not go, and that he, Mr. Johnson, could not afford to quarrel with
him at that time. I further argued that General Grant was at the
moment engaged on the most delicate and difficult task of
reorganizing the army under the act of July 28, 1866; that if the
real object was to put Mr. Campbell in official communication with
President Juarez, supposed to be at El Paso or Monterey, either
General Hancock, whose command embraced New Mexico, or General
Sheridan, whose command included Texas, could fulfill the object
perfectly; or, in the event of neither of these alternates proving
satisfactory to the Secretary of State, that I could be easier
spared than General Grant. "Certainly," answered the President,
"if you will go, that will answer perfectly."

The instructions of the Secretary of State, W. H. Seward, to Hon.
Lewis D. Campbell, Minister to Mexico, dated October 25, 1866; a
letter from President Johnson to Secretary of War Stanton, dated
October 26, 1866; and the letter of Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of
War, to General Grant, dated October 27th, had been already
prepared and printed, and the originals or copies were furnished
me; but on the 30th of October, 1866, the following letter passed


WASHINGTON, D. C., October 30,1866.

SIR: General Ulysses S. Grant having found it inconvenient to
assume the duties specified in my letter to you of the 26th inst.,
you will please relieve him, and assign them in all respects to
William T. Sherman, Lieutenant-General of the Army of the United
States. By way of guiding General Sherman in the performance of
his duties, you will furnish him with a copy of your special orders
to General Grant made in compliance with my letter of the 26th
inst., together with a copy of the instructions of the Secretary of
State to Lewis D. Campbell, Esq., therein mentioned.

The lieutenant-general will proceed to the execution of his duties
without delay.

Very respectfully yours,

To the Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

At the Navy Department I learned that the United States ship
Susquehanna, Captain Alden, was fitting out in New York for the use
of this mission, and that there would be time for me to return to
St. Louis to make arrangements for a prolonged absence, as also to
communicate with Mr. Campbell, who was still at his home in
Hamilton, Ohio. By correspondence we agreed to meet in New York,
November 8th, he accompanied by Mr. Plumb, secretary of legation,
and I by my aide, Colonel Audenried.

We embarked November 10th, and went to sea next day, making for
Havana and Vera Cruz, and, as soon as we were outside of Sandy
Hook, I explained to Captain Alden that my mission was ended,
because I believed by substituting myself for General Grant I had
prevented a serious quarrel between him and the Administration,
which was unnecessary. We reached Havana on the 18th, with nothing
to vary the monotony of an ordinary sea-voyage, except off Hatteras
we picked up one woman and twenty men from open boats, who had just
abandoned a propeller bound from Baltimore to Charleston which
foundered. The sea was very rough, but by the personal skill and
supervision of Captain Alden every soul reached our deck safely,
and was carried to our consul at Havana. At Havana we were very
handsomely entertained, especially by Senor Aldama, who took us by
rail to his sugar-estates at Santa Ross, and back by Matanzas.

We took our departure thence on the 25th, and anchored under Isla
Verde, off Vera Cruz, on the 29th.

Everything about Vera Cruz indicated the purpose of the French to
withdraw, and also that the Emperor Maximilian would precede them,
for the Austrian frigate Dandolo was in port, and an Austrian bark,
on which were received, according to the report of our consul, Mr.
Lane, as many as eleven hundred packages of private furniture to be
transferred to Miramar, Maximilian's home; and Lieutenant Clarin,
of the French navy, who visited the Susquehanna from the French
commodore, Clouet, told me, without reserve, that, if we had
delayed eight days more, we would have found Maximilian gone.
General Bazaine was reported to be in the city of Mexico with about
twenty-eight thousand French troops; but instead of leaving Mexico
in three detachments, viz., November, 1866, March, 1867, and
November, 1867, as described in Mr. Seward'a letter to Mr.
Campbell, of October 25, 1866, it looked to me that, as a soldier,
he would evacuate at some time before November, 1867, all at once,
and not by detachments. Lieutenant Clarin telegraphed Bazaine at
the city of Mexico the fact of our arrival, and he sent me a most
courteous and pressing invitation to come up to the city; but, as
we were accredited to the government of Juarez, it was considered
undiplomatic to establish friendly relations with the existing
authorities. Meantime we could not hear a word of Juarez, and
concluded to search for him along the coast northward. When I was
in Versailles, France, July, 1872, learning that General Bazaine
was in arrest for the surrender of his army and post at Metz, in
1870, I wanted to call on him to thank him for his courteous
invitation to me at Vera Cruz in 1866. I inquired of President
Thiera if I could with propriety call on the marshal. He answered
that it would be very acceptable, no doubt, but suggested for
form's sake that I should consult the Minister of War, General de
Cissey, which I did, and he promptly assented. Accordingly, I
called with my aide, Colonel Audenried, on Marshal Bazaine, who
occupied a small, two-story stone house at Versailles, in an
inclosure with a high garden wall, at the front gate or door of
which was a lodge, in which was a military guard. We were shown to
a good room on the second floor, where was seated the marshal in
military half-dress, with large head, full face, short neck, and
evidently a man of strong physique. He did not speak English, but
spoke Spanish perfectly. We managed to carry on a conversation in
which I endeavored to convey my sense of his politeness in inviting
me so cordially up to the city of Mexico, and my regret that the
peculiar duty on which I was engaged did not admit of a compliance,
or even of an intelligent explanation, at the time. He spoke of
the whole Mexican business as a "sad affair," that the empire
necessarily fell with the result of our civil war, and that poor
Maximilian was sacrificed to his own high sense of honor.

While on board the Susquehanna, on the 1st day of December, 1866,
we received the proclamation made by the Emperor Maximilian at
Orizaba, in which, notwithstanding the near withdrawal of the
French troops, he declared his purpose to remain and "shed the last
drop of his blood in defense of his dear country." Undoubtedly
many of the most substantial people of Mexico, having lost all
faith in the stability of the native government, had committed
themselves to what they considered the more stable government of
Maximilian, and Maximilian, a man of honor, concluded at the last
moment he could not abandon them; the consequence was his death.

Failing to hear of Juarez, we steamed up the coast to the Island of
Lobos, and on to Tampico, off which we found the United States
steamer Paul Jones, which, drawing less water than the Susquehanna,
carried us over the bar to the city, then in possession of the
Liberal party, which recognized Juarez as their constitutional
President, but of Juarez and his whereabout we could hear not a
word; so we continued up the coast and anchored off Brazos
Santiago, December 7th. Going ashore in small boats, we found a
railroad, under the management of General J. R. West, now one of
the commissioners of the city of Washington, who sent us up to
Brownsville, Texas. We met on the way General Sheridan, returning
from a tour of inspection of the Rio Grande frontier. On Sunday,
December 9th, we were all at Matamoras, Mexico, where we met
General Escobedo, one of Juarez's trusty lieutenants, who developed
to us the general plan agreed on for the overthrow of the empire,
and the reestablishment of the republican government of Mexico. He
asked of us no assistance, except the loan of some arms,
ammunition, clothing, and camp-equipage. It was agreed that Mr.
Campbell should, as soon as he could get his baggage off the
Susquehanna, return to Matamoras, and thence proceed to Monterey,
to be received by Juarez in person as, the accredited Minister of
the United States to the Republic of Mexico. Meantime the weather
off the coast was stormy, and the Susquehanna parted a cable, so
that we were delayed some days at Brazos; but in due time Mr.
Campbell got his baggage, and we regained the deck of the
Susquehanna, which got up steam and started for New Orleans. We
reached New Orleans December 20th, whence I reported fully
everything to General Grant, and on the 21st received the following

WASHINGTON, December 21,1866.
Lieutenant-General SHERMAN, New Orleans.

Your telegram of yesterday has been submitted to the President.
You are authorized to proceed to St. Louis at your convenience.
Your proceedings in the special and delicate duties assigned you
are cordially approved by the President and Cabinet and this

And on the same day I received this dispatch

GALVESTON, December 21, 1866.
To General SHERMAN, or General SHERIDAN.

Will be in New Orleans to-morrow. Wish to see you both on arrival,
on matters of importance.
LEWIS D. CAMPBELL, Minister to Mexico.

Mr. Campbell aarived on the 22d, but had nothing to tell of the
least importance, save that he was generally disgusted with the
whole thing, and had not found Juarez at all. I am sure this whole
movement was got up for the purpose of getting General Grant away
from Washington, on the pretext of his known antagonism to the
French occupation of Mexico, because he was looming up as a
candidate for President, and nobody understood the animus and
purpose better than did Mr. Stanton. He himself was not then on
good terms with President Johnson, and with several of his
associates in the Cabinet. By Christmas I was back in St. Louis.

By this time the conflict between President Johnson and Congress
had become open and unconcealed. Congress passed the bill known as
the "Tenure of Civil Office" on the 2d of March, 1867 (over the
President's veto), the first clause of which, now section 1767 of
the Revised Statutes, reads thus: "Every person who holds any civil
office to which he has been or hereafter may be appointed, by and
with the advice and consent of the Senate, and who shall have
become duly qualified to act therein, shall be entitled to hold
such office during the term for which he was appointed, unless
sooner removed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, or
by the appointment with the like advice and consent of a successor
in his place, except as herein otherwise provided."

General E. D. Townsend, in his "Anecdotes of the Civil War," states
tersely and correctly the preliminary circumstances of which I must
treat. He says: "On Monday morning, August 5, 1867, President
Johnson invited Mr. Stanton to resign as Secretary of War. Under
the tenure-of-civil-office law, Mr. Stanton declined. The President
a week after suspended him, and appointed General Grant, General-
in-Chief of the Army, to exercise the functions. This continued
until January 13, 1868, when according to the law the Senate passed
a resolution not sustaining the President's action. The next
morning General Grant came to my office and handed me the key of
the Secretary's room, saying: "I am to be found over at my office
at army headquarters. I was served with a copy of the Senate
resolution last evening." I then went up-stairs and delivered the
key of his room to Mr. Stanton.

The mode and manner of Mr. Stanton's regaining his office, and of
General Grant's surrendering it, were at the time subjects of
bitter controversy. Unhappily I was involved, and must bear
testimony. In all January, 1868, I was a member of a board ordered
to compile a code of articles of war and army regulations, of which
Major-General Sheridan and Brigadier-General C. C. Augur were
associate members. Our place of meeting was in the room of the old
War Department, second floor, next to the corner room occupied by
the Secretary of War, with a door of communication. While we were
at work it was common for General Grant and, afterward, for Mr.
Stanton to drop in and chat with us on the social gossip of the

On Saturday, January 11th, General Grant said that he had more
carefully read the law (tenure of civil office), and it was
different from what he had supposed; that in case the Senate did
not consent to the removal of Secretary of War Stanton, and he
(Grant) should hold on, he should incur a liability of ten thousand
dollars and five years' imprisonment. We all expected the
resolution of Senator Howard, of Michigan, virtually restoring Mr.
Stanton to his office, would pass the Senate, and knowing that the
President expected General Grant to hold on, I inquired if he had
given notice of his change of purpose; he answered that there was
no hurry, because he supposed Mr. Stanton would pursue toward him
(Grant) the same course which he (Stanton) had required of him the
preceding August, viz., would address him a letter claiming the
office, and allow him a couple of days for the change. Still, he
said he would go to the White House the same day and notify the
President of his intended action.

That afternoon I went over to the White House to present General
Pope, who was on a visit to Washington, and we found the President
and General Grant together. We made our visit and withdrew,
leaving them still together, and I always supposed the subject of
this conference was the expected decision of the Senate, which
would in effect restore Mr. Stanton to his civil office of
Secretary of War. That evening I dined with the Hon. Reverdy
Johnson, Senator from Maryland, and suggested to him that the best
way to escape a conflict was for the President to nominate some
good man as Secretary of War whose confirmation by the Senate would
fall within the provisions of the law, and named General J. D. Cox,
then Governor of Ohio, whose term of office was drawing to a close,
who would, I knew, be acceptable to General Grant and the army
generally. Mr. Johnson was most favorably impressed with this
suggestion, and promised to call on the President the next day
(Sunday), which he did, but President Johnson had made up his mind
to meet the conflict boldly. I saw General Grant that afternoon at
his house on I Street, and told him what I had done, and so anxious
was he about it that he came to our room at the War Department the
next morning (Monday), the 13th, and asked me to go in person to
the White House to urge the President to send in the name of
General Cox. I did so, saw the President, and inquired if he had
seen Mr. Reverdy Johnson the day before about General Cox. He
answered that he had, and thought well of General Cox, but would
say no further.

Tuesday, January 14, 1868, came, and with it Mr. Stanton. He
resumed possession of his former office; came into that where
General Sheridan, General Augur, and I were at work, and greeted us
very cordially. He said he wanted to see me when at leisure, and
at half-past 10 A.M. I went into his office and found him and
General Grant together. Supposing they had some special matters of
business, I withdrew, with the remark that I was close at hand, and
could come in at any moment. In the afternoon I went again into
Mr. Stanton's office, and we had a long and most friendly
conversation; but not one word was spoken about the
"tenure-of-office" matter. I then crossed over Seventeenth Street
to the headquarters of the army, where I found General Grant, who
expressed himself as by no means pleased with the manner in which
Mr. Stanton had regained his office, saying that he had sent a
messenger for him that morning as of old, with word that "he wanted
to see him." We then arranged to meet at his office the next
morning at half-past nine, and go together to see the President.

That morning the National Intelligencer published an article
accusing General Grant of acting in bad faith to the President, and
of having prevaricated in making his personal explanation to the
Cabinet, so that General Grant at first felt unwilling to go, but
we went. The President received us promptly and kindly. Being
seated, General Grant said, "Mr. President, whoever gave the facts
for the article of the Intelligencer of this morning has made some
serious mistakes." The President: "General Grant, let me interrupt
you just there. I have not seen the Intelligencer of this morning,
and have no knowledge of the contents of any article therein"
General Grant then went on: "Well, the idea is given there that I
have not kept faith with you. Now, Mr. President, I remember, when
you spoke to me on this subject last summer, I did say that, like
the case of the Baltimore police commissioners, I did suppose Mr.
Stanton could not regain his office except by a process through the
courts." To this the President assented, saying he "remembered the
reference to the case of the Baltimore commissioners," when General

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