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The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman, Complete by William T. Sherman

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with whom I had made acquaintance years before, at St. Louis, and,
as we neared Alexandria, he proposed that we should stop at
Governor Moore's and spend the night. Moore's house and plantation
were on Bayou Robert, about eight miles from Alexandria. We found
him at home, with his wife and a married daughter, and spent the
night there. He sent us forward to Alexandria the next morning, in
his own carriage. On arriving at Alexandria, I put up at an inn,
or boarding-house, and almost immediately thereafter went about ten
miles farther up Bayou Rapides, to the plantation and house of
General G. Mason Graham, to whom I looked as the principal man with
whom I had to deal. He was a high-toned gentleman, and his whole
heart was in the enterprise. He at once put me at ease. We acted
together most cordially from that time forth, and it was at his
house that all the details of the seminary were arranged. We first
visited the college-building together. It was located on an old
country place of four hundred acres of pineland, with numerous
springs, and the building was very large and handsome. A
carpenter, named James, resided there, and had the general charge
of the property; but, as there was not a table, chair, black-board,
or any thing on hand, necessary for a beginning, I concluded to
quarter myself in one of the rooms of the seminary, and board with
an old black woman who cooked for James, so that I might personally
push forward the necessary preparations. There was an old
rail-fence about the place, and a large pile of boards in front. I
immediately engaged four carpenters, and set them at work to make
out of these boards mess-tables, benches, black-boards, etc. I
also opened a correspondence with the professors-elect, and with
all parties of influence in the State, who were interested in our
work: At the meeting of the Board of Supervisors, held at
Alexandria, August 2, 1859, five professors had been elected:
1. W. T. Sherman, Superintendent, and Professor of Engineering, etc.;
2. Anthony Vallas, Professor of Mathematics, Philosophy, etc.;
3. Francis W. Smith, Professor of Chemistry, etc.;
4. David F. Boyd, Professor of Languages, English and Ancient;
5. E. Berti St. Ange, Professor of French and Modern Languages.

These constituted the Academic Board, while the general supervision
remained in the Board of Supervisors, composed of the Governor of
the State, the Superintendent of Public Education, and twelve
members, nominated by the Governor, and confirmed by the Senate.
The institution was bound to educate sixteen beneficiary students,
free of any charge for tuition. These had only to pay for their
clothing and books, while all others had to pay their entire
expenses, including tuition.

Early in November, Profs. Smith, Yallas, St. Ange, and I, met a
committee of the Board of Supervisors, composed of T. C. Manning,
G. Mason Graham, and W. W. Whittington, at General Graham's house,
and resolved to open the institution to pupils on the 1st day of
January, 1860. We adopted a series of bylaws for the government of
the institution, which was styled the "Louisiana Seminary of
Learning and Military Academy." This title grew out of the
original grant, by the Congress of the United States, of a certain
township of public land, to be sold by the State, and dedicated to
the use of a "seminary of learning." I do not suppose that
Congress designed thereby to fix the name or title; but the subject
had so long been debated in Louisiana that the name, though
awkward, had become familiar. We appended to it "Military
Academy," as explanatory of its general design.

On the 17th of November, 1859, the Governor of the State,
Wickliffe, issued officially a general circular, prepared by us,
giving public notice that the "Seminary of Learning" would open on
the 1st day of January, 1860; containing a description of the
locality, and the general regulations for the proposed institution;
and authorizing parties to apply for further information to the
"Superintendent," at Alexandria, Louisiana.

The Legislature had appropriated for the sixteen beneficiaries at
the rate of two hundred and eighty-three dollars per annum, to
which we added sixty dollars as tuition for pay cadets; and, though
the price was low, we undertook to manage for the first year on
that basis.

Promptly to the day, we opened, with about sixty cadets present.
Major Smith was the commandant of cadets, and I the superintendent.
I had been to New Orleans, where I had bought a supply of
mattresses, books, and every thing requisite, and we started very
much on the basis of West Point and of the Virginia Military
Institute, but without uniforms or muskets; yet with roll-calls,
sections, and recitations, we kept as near the standard of West
Point as possible. I kept all the money accounts, and gave general
directions to the steward, professors, and cadets. The other
professors had their regular classes and recitations. We all lived
in rooms in the college building, except Vallas, who had a family,
and rented a house near by. A Creole gentleman, B. Jarrean, Esq.,
had been elected steward, and he also had his family in a house not
far off. The other professors had a mess in a room adjoining the
mess-hall. A few more cadets joined in the course of the winter,
so that we had in all, during the first term, seventy-three cadets,
of whom fifty-nine passed the examination on the 30th of July,
1860. During our first term many defects in the original act of
the Legislature were demonstrated, and, by the advice of the Board
of Supervisors, I went down to Baton Rouge during the session of
the Legislature, to advocate and urge the passage of a new bill,
putting the institution on a better footing. Thomas O. Moors was
then Governor, Bragg was a member of the Board of Public Works, and
Richard Taylor was a Senator. I got well acquainted with all of
these, and with some of the leading men of the State, and was
always treated with the greatest courtesy and kindness. In
conjunction with the proper committee of the Legislature, we
prepared a new bill, which was passed and approved on the 7th of
March, 1860, by which we were to have a beneficiary cadet for each
parish, in all fifty-six, and fifteen thousand dollars annually for
their maintenance; also twenty thousand dollars for the general use
of the college. During that session we got an appropriation of
fifteen thousand dollars for building two professors' houses, for
the purchase of philosophical and chemical apparatus, and for the
beginning of a college library. The seminary was made a State
Arsenal, under the title of State Central Arsenal, and I was
allowed five hundred dollars a year as its superintendent. These
matters took me several times to Baton Rouge that winter, and I
recall an event of some interest, which most have happened in
February. At that time my brother, John Sherman, was a candidate,
in the national House of Representatives, for Speaker, against
Bocock, of Virginia. In the South he was regarded as an
"abolitionist," the most horrible of all monsters; and many people
of Louisiana looked at me with suspicion, as the brother of the
abolitionist, John Sherman, and doubted the propriety of having me
at the head of an important State institution. By this time I was
pretty well acquainted with many of their prominent men, was
generally esteemed by all in authority, and by the people of
Rapides Parish especially, who saw that I was devoted to my
particular business, and that I gave no heed to the political
excitement of the day. But the members of the State Senate and
House did not know me so well, and it was natural that they should
be suspicions of a Northern man, and the brother of him who was the
"abolition" candidate for Speaker of the House.

One evening, at a large dinner-party at Governor Moore's, at which
were present several members of the Louisiana Legislature, Taylor,
Bragg, and the Attorney-General Hyams, after the ladies had left
the table, I noticed at Governor Moore's end quite a lively
discussion going on, in which my name was frequently used; at
length the Governor called to me, saying: "Colonel Sherman, you can
readily understand that, with your brother the abolitionist
candidate for Speaker, some of our people wonder that you should be
here at the head of an important State institution. Now, you are
at my table, and I assure you of my confidence. Won't you speak
your mind freely on this question of slavery, that so agitates the
land? You are under my roof, and, whatever you say, you have my

I answered: "Governor Moors, you mistake in calling my brother,
John Sherman, an abolitionist. We have been separated since
childhood--I in the army, and he pursuing his profession of law in
Northern Ohio; and it is possible we may differ in general
sentiment, but I deny that he is considered at home an
abolitionist; and, although he prefers the free institutions under
which he lives to those of slavery which prevail here, he would not
of himself take from you by law or force any property whatever,
even slaves."

Then said Moore: "Give us your own views of slavery as you see it
here and throughout the South."

I answered in effect that "the people of Louisiana were hardly
responsible for slavery, as they had inherited it; that I found two
distinct conditions of slavery, domestic and field hands. The
domestic slaves, employed by the families, were probably better
treated than any slaves on earth; but the condition of the
field-hands was different, depending more on the temper and
disposition of their masters and overseers than were those employed
about the house;" and I went on to say that, "were I a citizen of
Louisiana, and a member of the Legislature, I would deem it wise to
bring the legal condition of the slaves more near the status of
human beings under all Christian and civilized governments. In the
first place, I argued that, in sales of slaves made by the State, I
would forbid the separation of families, letting the father,
mother, and children, be sold together to one person, instead of
each to the highest bidder. And, again, I would advise the repeal
of the statute which enacted a severe penalty for even the owner to
teach his slave to read and write, because that actually qualified
property and took away a part of its value; illustrating the
assertion by the case of Henry Sampson, who had been the slave of
Colonel Chambers, of Rapides Parish, who had gone to California as
the servant of an officer of the army, and who was afterward
employed by me in the bank at San Francisco. At first he could not
write or read, and I could only afford to pay him one hundred
dollars a month; but he was taught to read and write by Reilley,
our bank-teller, when his services became worth two hundred and
fifty dollars a month, which enabled him to buy his own freedom and
that of his brother and his family."

What I said was listened to by all with the most profound
attention; and, when I was through, some one (I think it was Mr.
Hyams) struck the table with his fist, making the glasses jingle,
and said, "By God, he is right!" and at once he took up the debate,
which went on, for an hour or more, on both sides with ability and
fairness. Of course, I was glad to be thus relieved, because at
the time all men in Louisiana were dreadfully excited on questions
affecting their slaves, who constituted the bulk of their wealth,
and without whom they honestly believed that sugar, cotton, and
rice, could not possibly be cultivated.

On the 30th and 31st of July, 1860, we had an examination at the
seminary, winding up with a ball, and as much publicity as possible
to attract general notice; and immediately thereafter we all
scattered--the cadets to their homes, and the professors wherever
they pleased--all to meet again on the 1st day of the next
November. Major Smith and I agreed to meet in New York on a
certain day in August, to purchase books, models, etc. I went
directly to my family in Lancaster, and after a few days proceeded
to Washington, to endeavor to procure from the General Government
the necessary muskets and equipments for our cadets by the
beginning of the next term. I was in Washington on the 17th day of
August, and hunted up my friend Major Buell, of the Adjutant-
General's Department, who was on duty with the Secretary of War,
Floyd. I had with me a letter of Governor Moore's, authorizing me
to act in his name. Major Buell took me into Floyd's room at the
War Department, to whom I explained my business, and I was
agreeably surprised to meet with such easy success. Although the
State of Louisiana had already drawn her full quota of arms, Floyd
promptly promised to order my requisition to be filled, and I
procured the necessary blanks at the Ordnance-Office, filled them
with two hundred cadet muskets, and all equipments complete, and
was assured that all these articles would be shipped to Louisiana
in season for our use that fall. These assurances were faithfully
carried out.

I then went on to New York, there met Major Smith according to
appointment, and together we selected and purchased a good supply
of uniforms, clothing, and text books, as well as a fair number of
books of history and fiction, to commence a library.

When this business was completed, I returned to Lancaster, and
remained with my family till the time approached for me to return
to Louisiana. I again left my family at Lancaster, until assured
of the completion of the two buildings designed for the married
professors for which I had contracted that spring with Mr. Mills,
of Alexandria, and which were well under progress when I left in
August. One of these was designed for me and the other for Vallas.
Mr. Ewing presented me with a horse, which I took down the river
with me, and en route I ordered from Grimsley & Co. a full
equipment of saddle, bridle, etc., the same that I used in the war,
and which I lost with my horse, shot under me at Shiloh.

Reaching Alexandria early in October, I pushed forward the
construction of the two buildings, some fences, gates, and all
other work, with the object of a more perfect start at the opening
of the regular term November 1, 1860.

About this time Dr. Powhatan Clark was elected Assistant Professor
of Chemistry, etc., and acted as secretary of the Board of
Supervisors, but no other changes were made in our small circle of

November came, and with it nearly if not quite all our first set of
cadets, and others, to the number of about one hundred and thirty.
We divided them into two companies, issued arms and clothing, and
began a regular system of drills and instruction, as well as the
regular recitations. I had moved into my new house, but prudently
had not sent for my family, nominally on the ground of waiting
until the season was further advanced, but really because of the
storm that was lowering heavy on the political horizon. The
presidential election was to occur in November, and the nominations
had already been made in stormy debates by the usual conventions.
Lincoln and Hamlin (to the South utterly unknown) were the nominees
of the Republican party, and for the first time both these
candidates were from Northern States. The Democratic party
divided--one set nominating a ticket at Charleston, and the other
at Baltimore. Breckenridge and Lane were the nominees of the
Southern or Democratic party; and Bell and Everett, a kind of
compromise, mostly in favor in Louisiana. Political excitement was
at its very height, and it was constantly asserted that Mr.
Lincoln's election would imperil the Union. I purposely kept aloof
from politics, would take no part, and remember that on the day of
the election in November I was notified that it would be advisable
for me to vote for Bell and Everett, but I openly said I would not,
and I did not. The election of Mr. Lincoln fell upon us all like a
clap of thunder. People saw and felt that the South had threatened
so long that, if she quietly submitted, the question of slavery in
the Territories was at an end forever. I mingled freely with the
members of the Board of Supervisors, and with the people of Rapides
Parish generally, keeping aloof from all cliques and parties, and I
certainly hoped that the threatened storm would blow over, as had
so often occurred before, after similar threats. At our seminary
the order of exercises went along with the regularity of the
seasons. Once a week, I had the older cadets to practise reading,
reciting, and elocution, and noticed that their selections were
from Calhoun, Yancey, and other Southern speakers, all treating of
the defense of their slaves and their home institutions as the very
highest duty of the patriot. Among boys this was to be expected;
and among the members of our board, though most of them declaimed
against politicians generally, and especially abolitionists, as
pests, yet there was a growing feeling that danger was in the wind.
I recall the visit of a young gentleman who had been sent from
Jackson, by the Governor of Mississippi, to confer with Governor
Moore, then on his plantation at Bayou Robert, and who had come
over to see our college. He spoke to me openly of secession as a
fixed fact, and that its details were only left open for
discussion. I also recall the visit of some man who was said to be
a high officer in the order of "Knights of the Golden Circle," of
the existence of which order I was even ignorant, until explained
to me by Major Smith and Dr. Clark. But in November, 1860, no man
ever approached me offensively, to ascertain my views, or my
proposed course of action in case of secession, and no man in or
out of authority ever tried to induce me to take part in steps
designed to lead toward disunion. I think my general opinions were
well known and understood, viz., that "secession was treason, was
war;" and that in no event would the North and West permit the
Mississippi River to pass out of their control. But some men at
the South actually supposed at the time that the Northwestern
States, in case of a disruption of the General Government, would be
drawn in self-interest to an alliance with the South. What I now
write I do not offer as any thing like a history of the important
events of that time, but rather as my memory of them, the effect
they had on me personally, and to what extent they influenced my
personal conduct.

South Carolina seceded December 20, 1860, and Mississippi soon
after. Emissaries came to Louisiana to influence the Governor,
Legislature, and people, and it was the common assertion that, if
all the Cotton States would follow the lead of South Carolina, it
would diminish the chances of civil war, because a bold and
determined front would deter the General Government from any
measures of coercion. About this time also, viz., early in
December, we received Mr. Buchanan's annual message to Congress, in
which he publicly announced that the General Government had no
constitutional power to "coerce a State." I confess this staggered
me, and I feared that the prophecies and assertions of Alison and
other European commentators on our form of government were right,
and that our Constitution was a mere rope of sand, that would break
with the first pressure.

The Legislature of Louisiana met on the 10th of December, and
passed an act calling a convention of delegates from the people, to
meet at Baton Rouge, on the 8th of January, to take into
consideration the state of the Union; and, although it was
universally admitted that a large majority of the voters of the
State were opposed to secession, disunion, and all the steps of the
South Carolinians, yet we saw that they were powerless, and that
the politicians would sweep them along rapidly to the end,
prearranged by their leaders in Washington. Before the ordinance
of secession was passed, or the convention had assembled, on the
faith of a telegraphic dispatch sent by the two Senators, Benjamin
and Slidell, from their seats in the United States Senate at
Washington, Governor Moore ordered the seizure of all the United
States forts at the mouth of the Mississippi and Lake
Pontchartrain, and of the United States arsenal at Baton Rouge.
The forts had no garrisons, but the arsenal was held by a small
company of artillery, commanded by Major Haskins, a most worthy and
excellent officer, who had lost an arm in Mexico. I remember well
that I was strongly and bitterly impressed by the seizure of the
arsenal, which occurred on January 10, 1861.

When I went first to Baton Rouge, in 1859, en route to Alexandria,
I found Captain Rickett's company of artillery stationed in the
arsenal, but soon after there was somewhat of a clamor on the Texas
frontier about Brownsville, which induced the War Department to
order Rickett's company to that frontier. I remember that Governor
Moore remonstrated with the Secretary of War because so much
dangerous property, composed of muskets, powder, etc., had been
left by the United States unguarded, in a parish where the slave
population was as five or six to one of whites; and it was on his
official demand that the United States Government ordered Haskinss
company to replace Rickett's. This company did not number forty
men. In the night of January 9th, about five hundred New Orleans
militia, under command of a Colonel Wheat, went up from New Orleans
by boat, landed, surrounded the arsenal, and demanded its
surrender. Haskins was of course unprepared for such a step, yet
he at first resolved to defend the post as he best could with his
small force. But Bragg, who was an old army acquaintance of his,
had a parley with him, exhibited to him the vastly superior force
of his assailants, embracing two field-batteries, and offered to
procure for him honorable terms, to march out with drums and
colors, and to take unmolested passage in a boat up to St. Louis;
alleging, further, that the old Union was at an end, and that a
just settlement would be made between the two new fragments for all
the property stored in the arsenal. Of course it was Haskins's
duty to have defended his post to the death; but up to that time
the national authorities in Washington had shown such
pusillanimity, that the officers of the army knew not what to do.
The result, anyhow, was that Haskins surrendered his post, and at
once embarked for St. Louis. The arms and munitions stored in the
arsenal were scattered--some to Mississippi, some to New Orleans,
some to Shreveport; and to me, at the Central Arsenal, were
consigned two thousand muskets, three hundred Jager rifles, and a
large amount of cartridges and ammunition. The invoices were
signed by the former ordnance-sergeant, Olodowski, as a captain of
ordnance, and I think he continued such on General Bragg's staff
through the whole of the subsequent civil war. These arms, etc.,
came up to me at Alexandria, with orders from Governor Moore to
receipt for and account for them. Thus I was made the receiver of
stolen goods, and these goods the property of the United States.
This grated hard on my feelings as an ex-army-officer, and on
counting the arms I noticed that they were packed in the old
familiar boxes, with the "U. S." simply scratched off. General G.
Mason Graham had resigned as the chairman of the Executive
Committee, and Dr. S. A. Smith, of Alexandria, then a member of the
State Senate, had succeeded him as chairman, and acted as head of
the Board of Supervisors. At the time I was in most intimate
correspondence with all of these parties, and our letters must have
been full of politics, but I have only retained copies of a few of
the letters, which I will embody in this connection, as they will
show, better than by any thing I can now recall, the feelings of
parties at that critical period. The seizure of the arsenal at
Baton Rouge occurred January 10, 1861, and the secession ordinance
was not passed until about the 25th or 26th of the same month. At
all events, after the seizure of the arsenal, and before the
passage of the ordinance of secession, viz., on the 18th of
January, I wrote as follows:

Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy
January 18, 1861

Governor THOMAS O. MOORE, Baton, Rouge, Louisiana.

Sir: As I occupy a quasi-military position under the laws of the
State, I deem it proper to acquaint you that I accepted such
position when Louisiana was a State in the Union, and when the
motto of this seminary was inserted in marble over the main door:
"By the liberality of the General Government of the United States.
The Union--esto perpetua."

Recent events foreshadow a great change, and it becomes all men to
choose. If Louisiana withdraw from the Federal Union, I prefer to
maintain my allegiance to the Constitution as long as a fragment of
it survives; and my longer stay here would be wrong in every sense
of the word.

In that event, I beg you will send or appoint some authorized agent
to take charge of the arms and munitions of war belonging to the
State, or advise me what disposition to make of them.

And furthermore, as president of the Board of Supervisors, I beg
you to take immediate steps to relieve me as superintendent, the
moment the State determines to secede, for on no earthly account
will I do any act or think any thought hostile to or in defiance of
the old Government of the United States.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Superintendent.


January 18, 1861.

To Governor Moore:

My Dear Sir: I take it for granted that you have been expecting for
some days the accompanying paper from me (the above official
letter). I have repeatedly and again made known to General Graham
and Dr. Smith that, in the event of a severance of the relations
hitherto existing between the Confederated States of this Union, I
would be forced to choose the old Union. It is barely possible all
the States may secede, South and North, that new combinations may
result, but this process will be one of time and uncertainty, and I
cannot with my opinions await the subsequent development.

I have never been a politician, and therefore undervalue the
excited feelings and opinions of present rulers, but I do think, if
this people cannot execute a form of government like the present,
that a worse one will result.

I will keep the cadets as quiet as possible. They are nervous, but
I think the interest of the State requires them here, guarding this
property, and acquiring a knowledge which will be useful to your
State in after-times.

When I leave, which I now regard as certain, the present professors
can manage well enough, to afford you leisure time to find a
suitable successor to me. You might order Major Smith to receipt
for the arms, and to exercise military command, while the academic
exercises could go on under the board. In time, some gentleman
will turn up, better qualified than I am, to carry on the seminary
to its ultimate point of success. I entertain the kindest feelings
toward all, and would leave the State with much regret; only in
great events we must choose, one way or the other.

Truly, your friend,


January 19, 1881--Saturday.

Dr. S. A. Smith, President Board of Supervisors, Baton Rouge,

Dear Sir: I have just finished my quarterly reports to the parents
of all the cadets here, or who have been here. All my books of
account are written up to date. All bills for the houses, fences,
etc., are settled, and nothing now remains but the daily tontine of
recitations and drills. I have written officially and unofficially
to Governor Moore, that with my opinions of the claimed right of
accession, of the seizure of public forts, arsenals, etc., and the
ignominious capture of a United States garrison, stationed in your
midst, as a guard to the arsenal and for the protection of your own
people, it would be highly improper for me longer to remain. No
great inconvenience can result to the seminary. I will be the
chief loser. I came down two months before my pay commenced. I
made sacrifices in Kansas to enable me thus to obey the call of
Governor Wickliffe, and you know that last winter I declined a most
advantageous offer of employment abroad; and thus far I have
received nothing as superintendent of the arsenal, though I went to
Washington and New York (at my own expense) on the faith of the
five hundred dollars salary promised.

These are all small matters in comparison with those involved in
the present state of the country, which will cause sacrifices by
millions, instead of by hundreds. The more I think of it, the more
I think I should be away, the sooner the better; and therefore I
hope you will join with Governor Moors in authorizing me to turn
over to Major Smith the military command here, and to the academic
board the control of the daily exercises and recitations.

There will be no necessity of your coming up. You can let Major
Smith receive the few hundreds of cash I have on hand, and I can
meet you on a day certain in New Orleans, when we can settle the
bank account. Before I leave, I can pay the steward Jarrean his
account for the month, and there would be no necessity for other
payments till about the close of March, by which time the board can
meet, and elect a treasurer and superintendent also.

At present I have no class, and there will be none ready till about
the month of May, when there will be a class in "surveying." Even
if you do not elect a superintendent in the mean time, Major Smith
could easily teach this class, as he is very familiar with the
subject-matter: Indeed, I think you will do well to leave the
subject of a new superintendent until one perfectly satisfactory
turns up.

There is only one favor I would ask. The seminary has plenty of
money in bank. The Legislature will surely appropriate for my
salary as superintendent of this arsenal. Would you not let me
make my drafts on the State Treasury, send them to you, let the
Treasurer note them for payment when the appropriation is made, and
then pay them out of the seminary fund? The drafts will be paid in
March, and the seminary will lose nothing. This would be just to
me; for I actually spent two hundred dollars and more in going to
Washington and New York, thereby securing from the United States,
in advance, three thousand dollars' worth of the very best arms;
and clothing and books, at a clear profit to the seminary of over
eight hundred dollars. I may be some time in finding new
employment, and will stand in need of this money (five hundred
dollars); otherwise I would abandon it.

I will not ask you to put the Board of Supervisors to the trouble
of meeting, unless you can get a quorum at Baton Rouge.

With great respect, your friend,


By course of mail, I received the following answer from Governor
Moore, the original of which I still possess. It is all in General
Braggs handwriting, with which I am familiar

Executive Office,

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, January 23, 1861

MY DEAR SIR: It is with the deepest regret I acknowledge receipt of
your communication of the 18th inst. In the pressure of official
business, I can now only request you to transfer to Prof. Smith the
arms, munitions, and funds in your hands, whenever you conclude to
withdraw from the position you have filled with so much
distinction. You cannot regret more than I do the necessity which
deprives us of your services, and you will bear with you the
respect, confidence, and admiration, of all who have been
associated with you. Very truly, your friend,

Thomas O. Moore.

Colonel W. T. SHERMAN, Superintendent Military Academy, Alexandria.

I must have received several letters from Bragg, about this time,
which have not been preserved; for I find that, on the 1st of
February, 1861, I wrote him thus:

Seminary of Learning
Alexandria, LOUISIANA, February 1, 1881.

Colonel Braxton BRAGG, Baton, Rouge, Louisiana.

Dear Sir: Yours of January 23d and 27th are received. I thank you
most kindly, and Governor Moors through you, for the kind manner in
which you have met my wishes.

Now that I cannot be compromised by political events, I will so
shape my course as best to serve the institution, which has a
strong hold on my affections and respect.

The Board of Supervisors will be called for the 9th instant, and I
will cooperate with them in their measures to place matters here on
a safe and secure basis. I expect to be here two weeks, and will
make you full returns of money and property belonging to the State
Central Arsenal. All the arms and ammunition are safely stored
here. Then I will write you more at length. With sincere respect,
your friend,


Major Smith's receipt to me, for the arms and property belonging
both to the seminary and to the arsenal, is dated February 19,
1861. I subjoin also, in this connection, copies of one or two
papers that may prove of interest

BATON ROUGE, January 28, 1881.
To Major SHERMAN, Superintendent, Alexandria.

My DEAR SIR: Your letter was duly receive, and would have been
answered ere this time could I have arranged sooner the matter of
the five hundred dollars. I shall go from here to New Orleans
to-day or tomorrow, and will remain there till Saturday after next,
perhaps. I shall expect to meet you there, as indicated in your
note to me.

I need not tell you that it is with no ordinary regret that I view
your determination to leave us, for really I believe that the
success of our institution, now almost assured, is jeopardized
thereby. I am sore that we will never have a superintendent with
whom I shall have more pleasant relations than those which have
existed between yourself and me.

I fully appreciate the motives which have induced you to give up a
position presenting so many advantages to yourself, and sincerely
hope that you may, in any future enterprise, enjoy the success
which your character and ability merit and deserve.

Should you come down on the Rapides (steamer), please look after my
wife, who will, I hope, accompany you on said boat, or some other
good one.

Colonel Bragg informs me that the necessary orders have been given
for the transfer and receipt by Major Smith of the public property.

I herewith transmit a request to the secretary to convene the Board
of Supervisors, that they may act as seems best to them in the

In the mean time, Major Smith will command by seniority the cadets,
and the Academic Board will be able to conduct the scientific
exercises of the institution until the Board of Supervisors can
have time to act. Hoping to meet you soon at the St. Charles, I

Most truly, your friend and servant, S. A. Smith

P. S. Governor Moors desires me to express his profound regret that
the State is about to lose one who we all fondly hoped had cast his
destinies for weal or for woe among us; and that he is sensible
that we lose thereby an officer whom it will be difficult, if not
impossible, to replace.

S. A. S.

BATON ROUGE, February 11, 1881.
To Major Sherman, Alexandria.

Dear Sir: I have been in New Orleans for ten days, and on returning
here find two letters from you, also your prompt answer to the
resolution of the House of Representatives, for which I am much

The resolution passed the last day before adjournment. I was
purposing to respond, when your welcome reports came to hand. I
have arranged to pay you your five hundred dollars.

I will say nothing of general politics, except to give my opinion
that there is not to be any war.

In that event, would it not be possible for you to become a citizen
of our State? Everyone deplores your determination to leave us. At
the same time, your friends feel that you are abandoning a position
that might become an object of desire to any one.

I will try to meet you in New Orleans at any time you may indicate;
but it would be best for you to stop here, when, if possible, I
will accompany you. Should you do so, you will find me just above
the State-House, and facing it.

Bring with you a few copies of the "Rules of the Seminary."

Yours truly,

S. A. Smith

Colonel W. T. SHERMAN.

Sir: I am instructed by the Board of Supervisors of this
institution to present a copy of the resolutions adopted by them at
their last meeting

"Resolved, That the thanks of the Board of Supervisors are due, and
are hereby tendered, to Colonel William T. Sherman for the able and
efficient manner in which he has conducted the affairs of the
seminary during the time the institution has been under his
control--a period attended with unusual difficulties, requiring on
the part of the superintendent to successfully overcome them a high
order of administrative talent. And the board further bear willing
testimony to the valuable services that Colonel Sherman has
rendered them in their efforts to establish an institution of
learning in accordance with the beneficent design of the State and
Federal Governments; evincing at all times a readiness to adapt
himself to the ever-varying requirements of an institution of
learning in its infancy, struggling to attain a position of honor
and usefulness.

"Resolved, further, That, in accepting the resignation of Colonel
Sherman as Superintendent of the State Seminary of Learning and
Military Academy, we tender to him assurances of our high personal
regard, and our sincere regret at the occurrence of causes that
render it necessary to part with so esteemed and valued a friend,
as well as co-laborer in the cause of education."

Powhatan Clarke, Secretary of the Board.

A copy of the resolution of the Academic Board, passed at their
session of April 1,1861:

"Resolved, That in the resignation of the late superintendent,
Colonel W. T. Sherman, the Academic Board deem it not improper to
express their deep conviction of the loss the institution has
sustained in being thus deprived of an able head. They cannot fail
to appreciate the manliness of character which has always marked
the actions of Colonel Sherman. While he is personally endeared to
many of them as a friend, they consider it their high pleasure to
tender to him in this resolution their regret on his separation,
and their sincere wish for his future welfare."

I have given the above at some length, because, during the civil
war, it was in Southern circles asserted that I was guilty of a
breach of hospitality in taking up arms against the South. They
were manifestly the aggressors, and we could only defend our own by
assailing them. Yet, without any knowledge of what the future had
in store for me, I took unusual precautions that the institution
should not be damaged by my withdrawal. About the 20th of
February, having turned over all property, records, and money, on
hand, to Major Smith, and taking with me the necessary documents to
make the final settlement with Dr. S. A. Smith, at the bank in New
Orleans, where the funds of the institution were deposited to my
credit, I took passage from Alexandria for that city, and arrived
there, I think, on the 23d. Dr. Smith met me, and we went to the
bank, where I turned over to him the balance, got him to audit all
my accounts, certify that they were correct and just, and that
there remained not one cent of balance in my hands. I charged in
my account current for my salary up to the end of February, at the
rate of four thousand dollars a year, and for the five hundred
dollars due me as superintendent of the Central Arsenal, all of
which was due and had been fairly earned, and then I stood free and
discharged of any and every obligation, honorary or business, that
was due by me to the State of Louisiana, or to any corporation or
individual in that State.

This business occupied two or three days, during which I staid at
the St. Louis Hotel. I usually sat at table with Colonel and Mrs.
Bragg, and an officer who wore the uniform of the State of
Louisiana, and was addressed as captain. Bragg wore a colonel's
uniform, and explained to me that he was a colonel in the State
service, a colonel of artillery, and that some companies of his
regiment garrisoned Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and the arsenal
at Baton Rouge.

Beauregard at the time had two sons at the Seminary of Learning. I
had given them some of my personal care at the father's request,
and, wanting to tell him of their condition and progress, I went to
his usual office in the Custom-House Building, and found him in the
act of starting for Montgomery, Alabama. Bragg said afterward that
Beauregard had been sent for by Jefferson Davis, and that it was
rumored that he had been made a brigadier-general, of which fact he
seemed jealous, because in the old army Bragg was the senior.

Davis and Stephens had been inaugurated President and
Vice-President of the Confederate States of America, February 18,
1860, at Montgomery, and those States only embraced the seven
cotton States. I recall a conversation at the tea-table, one
evening, at the St. Louis. Hotel. When Bragg was speaking of
Beauregard's promotion, Mrs. Bragg, turning to me, said, "You know
that my husband is not a favorite with the new President." My mind
was resting on Mr. Lincoln as the new President, and I said I did
not know that Bragg had ever met Mr. Lincoln, when Mrs. Bragg said,
quite pointedly, "I didn't mean your President, but our President."
I knew that Bragg hated Davis bitterly, and that he had resigned
from the army in 1855, or 1856, because Davis, as Secretary of War,
had ordered him, with his battery, from Jefferson Barracks,
Missouri, to Fort Smith or Fort Washita, in the Indian country, as
Bragg expressed it, "to chase Indians with six-pounders."

I visited the quartermaster, Colonel A. C. Myers, who had resigned
from the army, January 28, 1861, and had accepted service under the
new regime. His office was in the same old room in the Lafayette
Square building, which he had in 1853, when I was there a
commissary, with the same pictures on the wall, and the letters "U.
S." on every thing, including his desk, papers, etc. I asked him
if he did not feel funny. "No, not at all. The thing was
inevitable, secession was a complete success; there would be no
war, but the two Governments would settle all matters of business
in a friendly spirit, and each would go on in its allotted sphere,
without further confusion." About this date, February 16th,
General Twiggs, Myers's father-in-law, had surrendered his entire
command, in the Department of Texas, to some State troops, with all
the Government property, thus consummating the first serious step
in the drama of the conspiracy, which was to form a confederacy of
the cotton States, before working upon the other slave or border
States, and before the 4th of March, the day for the inauguration
of President Lincoln.

I walked the streets of New Orleans, and found business going along
as usual. Ships were strung for miles along the lower levee, and
steamboats above, all discharging or receiving cargo. The Pelican
flag of Louisiana was flying over the Custom House, Mint, City
Hall, and everywhere. At the levee ships carried every flag on
earth except that of the United States, and I was told that during
a procession on the 22d of February, celebrating their emancipation
from the despotism of the United States Government, only one
national flag was shown from a house, and that the houses of
Cuthbert Bullitt, on Lafayette Square. He was commanded to take it
down, but he refused, and defended it with his pistol.

The only officer of the army that I can recall, as being there at
the time, who was faithful, was Colonel C. L. Kilburn, of the
Commissary Department, and he was preparing to escape North.

Everybody regarded the change of Government as final; that
Louisiana, by a mere declaration, was a free and independent State,
and could enter into any new alliance or combination she chose.

Men were being enlisted and armed, to defend the State, and there
was not the least evidence that the national Administration
designed to make any effort, by force, to vindicate the national
authority. I therefore bade adieu to all my friends, and about the
25th of February took my departure by railroad, for Lancaster, via
Cairo and Cincinnati.

Before leaving this subject, I will simply record the fate of some
of my associates. The seminary was dispersed by the war, and all
the professors and cadets took service in the Confederacy, except
Yallas, St. Ange, and Cadet Taliaferro. The latter joined a Union
regiment, as a lieutenant, after New Orleans was retaken by the
United States fleet under Farragut. I think that both Yallas and
St. Ange have died in poverty since the war. Major Smith joined
the rebel army in Virginia, and was killed in April, 1865, as he
was withdrawing his garrison, by night, from the batteries at
Drury's Bluff, at the time General Lee began his final retreat from
Richmond. Boyd became a captain of engineers on the staff of
General Richard Taylor, was captured, and was in jail at Natchez,
Mississippi, when I was on my Meridian expedition. He succeeded in
getting a letter to me on my arrival at Vicksburg, and, on my way
down to New Orleans, I stopped at Natchez, took him along, and
enabled him to effect an exchange through General Banks. As soon
as the war was over, he returned to Alexandria, and reorganized the
old institution, where I visited him in 1867; but, the next winter,
the building took fire end burned to the ground. The students,
library, apparatus, etc., were transferred to Baton Rouge, where
the same institution now is, under the title of the Louisiana
University. I have been able to do them many acts of kindness, and
am still in correspondence, with Colonel Boyd, its president.

General G. Mason Graham is still living on his plantation, on Bayou
Rapides, old and much respected.

Dr. S. A. Smith became a surgeon in the rebel army, and at the
close of the war was medical director of the trans-Mississippi
Department, with General Kirby Smith. I have seen him since the
war, at New Orleans, where he died about a year ago.

Dr. Clark was in Washington recently, applying for a place as
United States consul abroad. I assisted him, but with no success,
and he is now at Baltimore, Maryland.

After the battle of Shiloh, I found among the prisoners Cadet
Barrow, fitted him out with some clean clothing, of which he was in
need, and from him learned that Cadet Workman was killed in that

Governor Moore's plantation was devastated by General Banks's
troops. After the war he appealed to me, and through the
Attorney-General, Henry Stanbery, I aided in having his
land restored to him, and I think he is now living there.

Bragg, Beauregard, and Taylor, enacted high parts in the succeeding
war, and now reside in Louisiana or Texas




During the time of these events in Louisiana, I was in constant
correspondence with my brother, John Sherman, at Washington; Mr.
Ewing, at Lancaster, Ohio; and Major H. S. Turner, at St. Louis. I
had managed to maintain my family comfortably at Lancaster, but was
extremely anxious about the future. It looked like the end of my
career, for I did not suppose that "civil war" could give me an
employment that would provide for the family. I thought, and may
have said, that the national crisis had been brought about by the
politicians, and, as it was upon us, they "might fight it out"
Therefore, when I turned North from New Orleans, I felt more
disposed to look to St. Louis for a home, and to Major Turner to
find me employment, than to the public service.

I left New Orleans about the 1st of March, 1861, by rail to Jackson
and Clinton, Mississippi, Jackson, Tennessee, and Columbus,
Kentucky, where we took a boat to Cairo, and thence, by rail, to
Cincinnati and Lancaster. All the way, I heard, in the cars and
boats, warm discussions about polities; to the effect that, if Mr.
Lincoln should attempt coercion of the seceded States, the other
slave or border States would make common cause, when, it was
believed, it would be madness to attempt to reduce them to
subjection. In the South, the people were earnest, fierce and
angry, and were evidently organizing for action; whereas, in
Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, I saw not the least sign of
preparation. It certainly looked to me as though the people of the
North would tamely submit to a disruption of the Union, and the
orators of the South used, openly and constantly, the expressions
that there would be no war, and that a lady's thimble would hold
all the blood to be shed. On reaching Lancaster, I found letters
from my brother John, inviting me to come to Washington, as he
wanted to see me; and from Major Tamer, at St. Louis, that he was
trying to secure for me the office of president of the Fifth Street
Railroad, with a salary of twenty-five hundred dollars; that Mr.
Lucas and D. A. January held a controlling interest of stock, would
vote for me, and the election would occur in March. This suited me
exactly, and I answered Turner that I would accept, with thanks.
But I also thought it right and proper that I should first go to
Washington, to talk with my brother, Senator Sherman.

Mr. Lincoln had just been installed, and the newspapers were filled
with rumors of every kind indicative of war; the chief act of
interest was that Major Robert Anderson had taken by night into
Fort Sumter all the troops garrisoning Charleston Harbor, and that
he was determined to defend it against the demands of the State of
South Carolina and of the Confederate States. I must have reached
Washington about the 10th of March. I found my brother there, just
appointed Senator, in place of Mr. Chase, who was in the cabinet,
and I have no doubt my opinions, thoughts, and feelings, wrought up
by the events in Louisiana; seemed to him gloomy and extravagant.
About Washington I saw but few signs of preparation, though the
Southern Senators and Representatives were daily sounding their
threats on the floors of Congress, and were publicly withdrawing to
join the Confederate Congress at Montgomery. Even in the War
Department and about the public offices there was open, unconcealed
talk, amounting to high-treason.

One day, John Sherman took me with him to see Mr. Lincoln. He
walked into the room where the secretary to the President now sits,
we found the room full of people, and Mr. Lincoln sat at the end of
the table, talking with three or four gentlemen, who soon left.
John walked up, shook hands, and took a chair near him, holding in
his hand some papers referring to, minor appointments in the State
of Ohio, which formed the subject of conversation. Mr. Lincoln
took the papers, said he would refer them to the proper heads of
departments, and would be glad to make the appointments asked for,
if not already promised. John then turned to me, and said, "Mr.
President, this is my brother, Colonel Sherman, who is just up from
Louisiana, he may give you some information you want." "Ah!" said
Mr. Lincoln, "how are they getting along down there?" I said, "They
think they are getting along swimmingly--they are preparing for
war." "Oh, well!" said he, "I guess we'll manage to keep house."
I was silenced, said no more to him, and we soon left. I was sadly
disappointed, and remember that I broke out on John, d--ning the
politicians generally, saying, "You have got things in a hell of a
fig, and you may get them out as you best can," adding that the
country was sleeping on a volcano that might burst forth at any
minute, but that I was going to St. Louis to take care of my
family, and would have no more to do with it. John begged me to be
more patient, but I said I would not; that I had no time to wait,
that I was off for St. Louis; and off I went. At Lancaster I found
letters from Major Turner, inviting me to St. Louis, as the place
in the Fifth Street Railroad was a sure thing, and that Mr. Lucas
would rent me a good house on Locust Street, suitable for my
family, for six hundred dollars a year.

Mrs. Sherman and I gathered our family and effects together,
started for St. Louis March 27th, where we rented of Mr. Lucas the
house on Locust Street, between Tenth and Eleventh, and occupied it
on the 1st of April. Charles Ewing and John Hunter had formed a
law-partnership in St. Louis, and agreed to board with us, taking
rooms on the third floor In the latter part of March, I was duly
elected president of the Fifth Street Railroad, and entered on the
discharge of my duties April 1, 1861. We had a central office on
the corner of Fifth and Locust, and also another up at the stables
in Bremen. The road was well stocked and in full operation, and
all I had to do was to watch the economical administration of
existing affairs, which I endeavored to do with fidelity and zeal.
But the whole air was full of wars and rumors of wars. The
struggle was going on politically for the border States. Even in
Missouri, which was a slave State, it was manifest that the
Governor of the State, Claiborne Jackson, and all the leading
politicians, were for the South in case of a war. The house on the
northwest corner of Fifth and Pine was the rebel headquarters,
where the rebel flag was hung publicly, and the crowds about the
Planters' House were all more or less rebel. There was also a camp
in Lindell's Grove, at the end of Olive, Street, under command of
General D. M. Frost, a Northern man, a graduate of West Point, in
open sympathy with the Southern leaders. This camp was nominally a
State camp of instruction, but, beyond doubt, was in the interest
of the Southern cause, designed to be used against the national
authority in the event of the General Government's attempting to
coerce the Southern Confederacy. General William S. Harvey was in
command of the Department of Missouri, and resided in his own
house, on Fourth Street, below Market; and there were five or six
companies of United States troops in the arsenal, commanded by
Captain N. Lyon; throughout the city, there had been organized,
almost exclusively out of the German part of the population, four
or five regiments of "Home Guards," with which movement Frank
Blair, B. Gratz Brown, John M. Schofield, Clinton B. Fisk, and
others, were most active on the part of the national authorities.
Frank Blair's brother Montgomery was in the cabinet of Mr. Lincoln
at Washington, and to him seemed committed the general management
of affairs in Missouri.

The newspapers fanned the public excitement to the highest pitch,
and threats of attacking the arsenal on the one hand, and the mob
of d--d rebels in Camp Jackson on the other, were bandied about. I
tried my best to keep out of the current, and only talked freely
with a few men; among them Colonel John O'Fallon, a wealthy
gentleman who resided above St. Louis. He daily came down to my
office in Bremen, and we walked up and down the pavement by the
hour, deploring the sad condition of our country, and the seeming
drift toward dissolution and anarchy. I used also to go down to
the arsenal occasionally to see Lyon, Totten, and other of my army
acquaintance, and was glad to see them making preparations to
defend their post, if not to assume the offensive.

The bombardment of Fort Sumter, which was announced by telegraph,
began April 12th, and ended on the 14th. We then knew that the war
was actually begun, and though the South was openly, manifestly the
aggressor, yet her friends and apologists insisted that she was
simply acting on a justifiable defensive, and that in the forcible
seizure of, the public forts within her limits the people were
acting with reasonable prudence and foresight. Yet neither party
seemed willing to invade, or cross the border. Davis, who ordered
the bombardment of Sumter, knew the temper of his people well, and
foresaw that it would precipitate the action of the border States;
for almost immediately Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, and
Tennessee, followed the lead of the cotton States, and conventions
were deliberating in Kentucky and Missouri.

On the night of Saturday, April 6th, I received the following,

Washington, April 6,1861.

Major W. T. Sherman:

Will you accept the chief clerkship of the War Department? We will
make you assistant Secretary of War when Congress meets.

M. Blair, Postmaster-General.

To which I replied by telegraph, Monday morning; "I cannot accept;"
and by mail as follows:

Monday, Apil 8, 1861.
Office of the St. Louis Railroad Company

Hon. M. Blair, Washington, D. C.

I received, about nine o'clock Saturday night, your telegraph
dispatch, which I have this moment answered, "I cannot accept."

I have quite a large family, and when I resigned my place in
Louisiana, on account of secession, I had no time to lose; and,
therefore, after my hasty visit to Washington, where I saw no
chance of employment, I came to St. Louis, have accepted a place in
this company, have rented a house, and incurred other obligations,
so that I am not at liberty to change.

I thank you for the compliment contained in your offer, and assure
you that I wish the Administration all success in its almost
impossible task of governing this distracted and anarchical people.

Yours truly,


I was afterward told that this letter gave offense, and that some
of Mr. Lincoln's cabinet concluded that I too would prove false to
the country.

Later in that month, after the capture of Fort Sumter by the
Confederate authorities, a Dr. Cornyn came to our house on Locust
Street, one night after I had gone to bed, and told me he had been
sent by Frank Blair, who was not well, and wanted to see me that
night at his house. I dressed and walked over to his house on
Washington Avenue, near Fourteenth, and found there, in the
front-room, several gentlemen, among whom I recall Henry T. Blow.
Blair was in the back-room, closeted with some gentleman, who soon
left, and I was called in. He there told me that the Government
was mistrustful of General Harvey, that a change in the command of
the department was to be made; that he held it in his power to
appoint a brigadier-general, and put him in command of the
department, and he offered me the place. I told him I had once
offered my services, and they were declined; that I had made
business engagements in St. Louis, which I could not throw off at
pleasure; that I had long deliberated on my course of action, and
must decline his offer, however tempting and complimentary. He
reasoned with me, but I persisted. He told me, in that event, he
should appoint Lyon, and he did so.

Finding that even my best friends were uneasy as to my political
status, on the 8th of May I addressed the following official letter
to the Secretary of War:

Office of the St. Louis Railroad Company,
May 8,1881.

Hon. S. Cameron, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.

Dear Sir: I hold myself now, as always, prepared to serve my
country in the capacity for which I was trained. I did not and
will not volunteer for three months, because I cannot throw my
family on the cold charity of the world. But for the three-years
call, made by the President, an officer can prepare his command and
do good service.

I will not volunteer as a soldier, because rightfully or wrongfully
I feel unwilling to take a mere private's place, and, having for
many years lived in California and Louisiana, the men are not well
enough acquainted with me to elect me to my appropriate place.

Should my services be needed, the records of the War Department
will enable you to designate the station in which I can render most

Yours truly, W. T. SHERMAN.

To this I do not think I received a direct answer; but, on the 10th
of the same month, I was appointed colonel of the Thirteenth
Regular Infantry.

I remember going to the arsenal on the 9th of May, taking my
children with me in the street-cars. Within the arsenal wall were
drawn up in parallel lines four regiments of the "Home Guards," and
I saw men distributing cartridges to the boxes. I also saw General
Lyon running about with his hair in the wind, his pockets full of
papers, wild and irregular, but I knew him to be a man of vehement
purpose and of determined action. I saw of course that it meant
business, but whether for defense or offense I did not know. The
next morning I went up to the railroad-office in Bremen, as usual,
and heard at every corner of the streets that the "Dutch" were
moving on Camp Jackson. People were barricading their houses, and
men were running in that direction. I hurried through my business
as quickly as I could, and got back to my house on Locust Street by
twelve o'clock. Charles Ewing and Hunter were there, and insisted
on going out to the camp to see "the fun." I tried to dissuade
them, saying that in case of conflict the bystanders were more
likely to be killed than the men engaged, but they would go. I
felt as much interest as anybody else, but staid at home, took my
little son Willie, who was about seven years old, and walked up and
down the pavement in front of our house, listening for the sound of
musketry or cannon in the direction of Camp Jackson. While so
engaged Miss Eliza Dean, who lived opposite us, called me across
the street, told me that her brother-in-law, Dr. Scott, was a
surgeon in Frost's camp, and she was dreadfully afraid he would be
killed. I reasoned with her that General Lyon was a regular
officer; that if he had gone out, as reported, to Camp Jackson, he
would take with him such a force as would make resistance
impossible; but she would not be comforted, saying that the camp
was made up of the young men from the first and best families of
St. Louis, and that they were proud, and would fight. I explained
that young men of the best families did not like to be killed
better than ordinary people. Edging gradually up the street, I was
in Olive Street just about Twelfth, when I saw a man running from
the direction of Camp Jackson at full speed, calling, as he went,
"They've surrendered, they've surrendered!" So I turned back and
rang the bell at Mrs. Dean's. Eliza came to the door, and I
explained what I had heard; but she angrily slammed the door in my
face! Evidently she was disappointed to find she was mistaken in
her estimate of the rash courage of the best families.

I again turned in the direction of Camp Jackson, my boy Willie with
me still. At the head of Olive Street, abreast of Lindell's Grove,
I found Frank Blair's regiment in the street, with ranks opened,
and the Camp Jackson prisoners inside. A crowd of people was
gathered around, calling to the prisoners by name, some hurrahing
for Jeff Davis, and others encouraging the troops. Men, women, and
children, were in the crowd. I passed along till I found myself
inside the grove, where I met Charles Ewing and John Hunter, and we
stood looking at the troops on the road, heading toward the city.
A band of music was playing at the head, and the column made one or
two ineffectual starts, but for some reason was halted. The
battalion of regulars was abreast of me, of which Major Rufus
Saxton was in command, and I gave him an evening paper, which I had
bought of the newsboy on my way out. He was reading from it some
piece of news, sitting on his horse, when the column again began to
move forward, and he resumed his place at the head of his command.
At that part of the road, or street, was an embankment about eight
feet high, and a drunken fellow tried to pass over it to the people

One of the regular sergeant file-closers ordered him back, but he
attempted to pass through the ranks, when the sergeant barred his
progress with his musket "a-port." The drunken man seized his
musket, when the sergeant threw him off with violence, and he
rolled over and over down the bank. By the time this man had
picked himself up and got his hat, which had fallen off, and had
again mounted the embankment, the regulars had passed, and the head
of Osterhaus's regiment of Home Guards had come up. The man had in
his hand a small pistol, which he fired off, and I heard that the
ball had struck the leg of one of Osterhaus's staff; the regiment
stopped; there was a moment of confusion, when the soldiers of that
regiment began to fire over our heads in the grove. I heard the
balls cutting the leaves above our heads, and saw several men and
women running in all directions, some of whom were wounded. Of
course there was a general stampede. Charles Ewing threw Willie on
the ground and covered him with his body. Hunter ran behind the
hill, and I also threw myself on the ground. The fire ran back
from the head of the regiment toward its rear, and as I saw the men
reloading their pieces, I jerked Willie up, ran back with him into
a gully which covered us, lay there until I saw that the fire had
ceased, and that the column was again moving on, when I took up
Willie and started back for home round by way of Market Street. A
woman and child were killed outright; two or three men were also
killed, and several others were wounded. The great mass of the
people on that occasion were simply curious spectators, though men
were sprinkled through the crowd calling out, "Hurrah for Jeff
Davis!" and others were particularly abusive of the "damned Dutch"
Lyon posted a guard in charge of the vacant camp, and marched his
prisoners down to the arsenal; some were paroled, and others held,
till afterward they were regularly exchanged.

A very few days after this event, May 14th, I received a dispatch
from my brother Charles in Washington, telling me to come on at
once; that I had been appointed a colonel of the Thirteenth Regular
Infantry, and that I was wanted at Washington immediately.

Of course I could no longer defer action. I saw Mr. Lucas, Major
Turner, and other friends and parties connected with the road, who
agreed that I should go on. I left my family, because I was under
the impression that I would be allowed to enlist my own regiment,
which would take some time, and I expected to raise the regiment
and organize it at Jefferson Barracks. I repaired to Washington,
and there found that the Government was trying to rise to a level
with the occasion. Mr. Lincoln had, without the sanction of law,
authorized the raising of ten new regiments of regulars, each
infantry regiment to be composed of three battalions of eight
companies each; and had called for seventy-five thousand State
volunteers. Even this call seemed to me utterly inadequate; still
it was none of my business. I took the oath of office, and was
furnished with a list of officers, appointed to my regiment, which
was still, incomplete. I reported in person to General Scott, at
his office on Seventeenth Street, opposite the War Department, and
applied for authority to return West, and raise my regiment at
Jefferson Barracks, but the general said my lieutenant-colonel,
Burbank, was fully qualified to superintend the enlistment, and
that he wanted me there; and he at once dictated an order for me to
report to him in person for inspection duty.

Satisfied that I would not be permitted to return to St. Louis, I
instructed Mrs. Sherman to pack up, return to Lancaster, and trust
to the fate of war.

I also resigned my place as president of the Fifth Street Railroad,
to take effect at the end of May, so that in fact I received pay
from that road for only two months' service, and then began my new
army career.




And now that, in these notes, I have fairly reached the period of
the civil war, which ravaged our country from 1861 to 1865--an
event involving a conflict of passion, of prejudice, and of arms,
that has developed results which, for better or worse, have left
their mark on the world's history--I feel that I tread on delicate

I have again and again been invited to write a history of the war,
or to record for publication my personal recollections of it, with
large offers of money therefor; all of which I have heretofore
declined, because the truth is not always palatable, and should not
always be told. Many of the actors in the grand drama still live,
and they and their friends are quick to controversy, which should
be avoided. The great end of peace has been attained, with little
or no change in our form of government, and the duty of all good
men is to allow the passions of that period to subside, that we may
direct our physical and mental labor to repair the waste of war,
and to engage in the greater task of continuing our hitherto
wonderful national development.

What I now propose to do is merely to group some of my personal
recollections about the historic persons and events of the day,
prepared not with any view to their publication, but rather for
preservation till I am gone; and then to be allowed to follow into
oblivion the cords of similar papers, or to be used by some
historian who may need them by way of illustration.

I have heretofore recorded how I again came into the military
service of the United States as a colonel of the Thirteenth Regular
Infantry, a regiment that had no existence at the time, and that,
instead of being allowed to enlist the men and instruct them, as
expected, I was assigned in Washington City, by an order of
Lieutenant-General Winfield Scott, to inspection duty near him on
the 20th of June, 1861.

At that time Lieutenant-General Scott commanded the army in chief,
with Colonel E. D. Townsend as his adjutant-general,

Major G. W. Cullum, United States Engineers, and Major Schuyler
Hamilton, as aides.-de-camp. The general had an office up stairs
on Seventeenth Street, opposite the War Department, and resided in
a house close by, on Pennsylvania Avenue. All fears for the
immediate safety of the capital had ceased, and quite a large force
of regulars and volunteers had been collected in and about
Washington. Brigadier-General J. K. Mansfield commanded in the
city, and Brigadier-General Irvin McDowell on the other side of the
Potomac, with his headquarters at Arlington House. His troops
extended in a semicircle from Alexandria to above Georgetown.
Several forts and redoubts were either built or in progress, and
the people were already clamorous for a general forward movement.
Another considerable army had also been collected in Pennsylvania
under General Patterson, and, at the time I speak of, had moved
forward to Hagerstown and Williamsport, on the Potomac River. My
brother, John Sherman, was a volunteer aide-de-camp to General
Patterson, and, toward the end of June, I went up to Hagerstown to
see him. I found that army in the very act of moving, and we rode
down to Williamsport in a buggy, and were present when the leading
division crossed the Potomac River by fording it waist-deep. My
friend and classmate, George H. Thomas, was there, in command of a
brigade in the leading division. I talked with him a good deal,
also with General Cadwalader, and with the staff-officers of
General Patterson, viz., Fitz-John Porter, Belger, Beckwith, and
others, all of whom seemed encouraged to think that the war was to
be short and decisive, and that, as soon as it was demonstrated
that the General Government meant in earnest to defend its rights
and property, some general compromise would result.

Patterson's army crossed the Potomac River on the 1st or 2d of
July, and, as John Sherman was to take his seat as a Senator in the
called session of Congress, to meet July 4th, he resigned his place
as aide-de-camp, presented me his two horses and equipment, and we
returned to Washington together.

The Congress assembled punctually on the 4th of July, and the
message of Mr. Lincoln was strong and good: it recognized the fact
that civil war was upon us, that compromise of any kind was at an
end; and he asked for four hundred thousand men, and four hundred
million dollars, wherewith to vindicate the national authority, and
to regain possession of the captured forts and other property of
the United States.

It was also immediately demonstrated that the tone and temper of
Congress had changed since the Southern Senators and members had
withdrawn, and that we, the military, could now go to work with
some definite plans and ideas.

The appearance of the troops about Washington was good, but it was
manifest they were far from being soldiers. Their uniforms were as
various as the States and cities from which they came; their arms
were also of every pattern and calibre; and they were so loaded
down with overcoats, haversacks, knapsacks, tents, and baggage,
that it took from twenty-five to fifty wagons to move the camp of a
regiment from one place to another, and some of the camps had
bakeries and cooking establishments that would have done credit to

While I was on duty with General Scott, viz., from June 20th to
about June 30th, the general frequently communicated to those about
him his opinions and proposed plans. He seemed vexed with the
clamors of the press for immediate action, and the continued
interference in details by the President, Secretary of War, and
Congress. He spoke of organizing a grand army of invasion, of
which the regulars were to constitute the "iron column," and seemed
to intimate that he himself would take the field in person, though
he was at the time very old, very heavy, and very unwieldy. His
age must have been about seventy-five years.

At that date, July 4, 1861, the rebels had two armies in front of
Washington; the one at Manassas Junction, commanded by General
Beauregard, with his advance guard at Fairfax Court House, and
indeed almost in sight of Washington. The other, commanded by
General Joe Johnston, was at Winchester, with its advance at
Martinsburg and Harper's Ferry; but the advance had fallen back
before Patterson, who then occupied Martinsburg and the line of the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

The temper of Congress and the people would not permit the slow and
methodical preparation desired by General Scott; and the cry of "On
to Richmond!" which was shared by the volunteers, most of whom had
only engaged for ninety days, forced General Scott to hasten his
preparations, and to order a general advance about the middle of
July. McDowell was to move from the defenses of Washington, and
Patterson from Martinsburg. In the organization of McDowell's army
into divisions and brigades, Colonel David Hunter was assigned to
command the Second Division, and I was ordered to take command of
his former brigade, which was composed of five regiments in
position in and about Fort Corcoran, and on the ground opposite
Georgetown. I assumed command on the 30th of June, and proceeded
at once to prepare it for the general advance. My command
constituted the Third Brigade of the First Division, which division
was commanded by Brigadier-General Daniel Tyler, a graduate of West
Point, but who had seen little or no actual service. I applied to
General McDowell for home staff-officers, and he gave me, as
adjutant-general, Lieutenant Piper, of the Third Artillery, and, as
aide-de-camp, Lieutenant McQuesten, a fine young cavalry-officer,
fresh from West Point.

I selected for the field the Thirteenth New York, Colonel Quinby;
the Sixty-ninth New York, Colonel Corcoran; the Seventy-ninth New
York, Colonel Cameron; and the Second Wisconsin, Lieutenant--
Colonel Peck. These were all good, strong, volunteer regiments,
pretty well commanded; and I had reason to believe that I had one
of the best brigades in the whole army. Captain Ayres's battery of
the Third Regular Artillery was also attached to my brigade. The
other regiment, the Twenty-ninth New York, Colonel Bennett, was
destined to be left behind in charge of the forts and camps during
our absence, which was expected to be short. Soon after I had
assumed the command, a difficulty arose in the Sixty-ninth, an
Irish regiment. This regiment had volunteered in New York, early
in April, for ninety days; but, by reason of the difficulty of
passing through Baltimore, they had come via Annapolis, had been
held for duty on the railroad as a guard for nearly a month before
they actually reached Washington, and were then mustered in about a
month after enrollment. Some of the men claimed that they were
entitled to their discharge in ninety days from the time of
enrollment, whereas the muster-roll read ninety days from the date
of muster-in. One day, Colonel Corcoran explained this matter to
me. I advised him to reduce the facts to writing, and that I would
submit it to the War Department for an authoritative decision. He
did so, and the War Department decided that the muster-roll was the
only contract of service, that it would be construed literally; and
that the regiment would be held till the expiration of three months
from the date of muster-in, viz., to about August 1, 1861. General
Scott at the same time wrote one of his characteristic letters to
Corcoran, telling him that we were about to engage in battle, and
he knew his Irish friends would not leave him in such a crisis.
Corcoran and the officers generally wanted to go to the expected
battle, but a good many of the men were not so anxious. In the
Second Wisconsin, also, was developed a personal difficulty. The
actual colonel was S. P. Coon, a good-hearted gentleman, who knew
no more of the military art than a child; whereas his lieutenant-
colonel, Peck, had been to West Point, and knew the drill.
Preferring that the latter should remain in command of the
regiment, I put Colonel Coon on my personal staff, which reconciled
the difficulty.

In due season, about July 15th, our division moved forward
leaving our camps standing; Keyes's brigade in the lead, then
Schenck's, then mine, and Richardson's last. We marched via
Vienna, Germantown, and Centreville, where all the army, composed
of five divisions, seemed to converge. The march demonstrated
little save the general laxity of discipline; for with all my
personal efforts I could not prevent the men from straggling for
water, blackberries, or any thing on the way they fancied.

At Centreville, on the 18th, Richardson's brigade was sent by
General Tyler to reconnoitre Blackburn's Ford across Bull Run, and
he found it strongly guarded. From our camp, at Centreville, we
heard the cannonading, and then a sharp musketry-fire. I received
orders from General Tyler to send forward Ayres's battery, and very
soon after another order came for me to advance with my whole
brigade. We marched the three miles at the double-quick, arrived
in time to relieve Richardson's brigade, which was just drawing
back from the ford, worsted, and stood for half an hour or so under
a fire of artillery, which killed four or five of my men. General
Tyler was there in person, giving directions, and soon after he
ordered us all back to our camp in Centreville. This
reconnoissance had developed a strong force, and had been made
without the orders of General McDowell; however, it satisfied us
that the enemy was in force on the other side of Bull Run, and had
no intention to leave without a serious battle. We lay in camp at
Centreville all of the 19th and 20th, and during that night began
the movement which resulted in the battle of Bull Run, on July
21st. Of this so much has been written that more would be
superfluous; and the reports of the opposing commanders, McDowell
and Johnston, are fair and correct. It is now generally admitted
that it was one of the best-planned battles of the war, but one of
the worst-fought. Our men had been told so often at home that all
they had to do was to make a bold appearance, and the rebels would
run; and nearly all of us for the first time then heard the sound
of cannon and muskets in anger, and saw the bloody scenes common to
all battles, with which we were soon to be familiar. We had good
organization, good men, but no cohesion, no real discipline, no
respect for authority, no real knowledge of war. Both armies were
fairly defeated, and, whichever had stood fast, the other would
have run. Though the North was overwhelmed with mortification and
shame, the South really had not much to boast of, for in the three
or four hours of fighting their organization was so broken up that
they did not and could not follow our army, when it was known to be
in a state of disgraceful and causeless flight. It is easy to
criticise a battle after it is over, but all now admit that none
others, equally raw in war, could have done better than we did at
Bull Run; and the lesson of that battle should not be lost on a
people like ours.

I insert my official report, as a condensed statement of my share
in the battle:

FORT CORCORAN, July 25, 1861

To Captain A. BAIRD, Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division
(General Tyler's).

Sir: I have the honor to submit this my report of the operations of
my brigade during the action of the 21st instant. The brigade is
composed of the Thirteenth New York Volunteers, Colonel Quinby's
Sixty-ninth New York, Colonel Corcoran; Seventy-ninth New York,
Colonel Cameron; Second Wisconsin, Lieutenant-Colonel Peck; and
Company E, Third Artillery, under command of Captain R. B. Ayres,
Fifth Artillery.

We left our camp near Centreville, pursuant to orders, at half-past
2 A. M., taking place in your column, next to the brigade of
General Schenck, and proceeded as far as the halt, before the
enemy's position, near the stone bridge across Bull Run. Here the
brigade was deployed in line along the skirt of timber to the right
of the Warrenton road, and remained quietly in position till after
10 a.m. The enemy remained very quiet, but about that time we saw
a rebel regiment leave its cover in our front, and proceed in
double-quick time on the road toward Sudley Springs, by which we
knew the columns of Colonels Hunter and Heintzelman were
approaching. About the same time we observed in motion a large
mass of the enemy, below and on the other side of the stone bridge.
I directed Captain Ayres to take position with his battery near our
right, and to open fire on this mass; but you had previously
detached the two rifle-guns belonging to this battery, and, finding
that the smooth-bore guns did not reach the enemy's position, we
ceased firing, and I sent a request that you would send to me the
thirty-pounder rifle-gun attached to Captain Carlisle's battery.
At the same time I shifted the New York Sixty-ninth to the extreme
right of the brigade. Thus we remained till we heard the musketry-
fire across Ball Run, showing that the head of Colonel Hunter's
column was engaged. This firing was brisk, and showed that Hunter
was driving before him the enemy, till about noon, when it became
certain the enemy had come to a stand, and that our forces on the
other side of Ball Run were all engaged, artillery and infantry.

Here you sent me the order to cross over with the whole brigade, to
the assistance of Colonel Hunter. Early in the day, when
reconnoitring the ground, I had seen a horseman descend from a
bluff in our front, cross the stream, and show himself in the open
field on this aide; and, inferring that we could cross over at the
same point, I sent forward a company as skirmishers, and followed
with the whole brigade, the New York Sixty-ninth leading.

We found no difficulty in crossing over, and met with no opposition
in ascending the steep bluff opposite with our infantry, but it was
impassable to the artillery, and I sent word back to Captain Ayres
to follow if possible, otherwise to use his discretion. Captain
Ayres did not cross Bull Run, but remained on that side, with the
rest of your division. His report herewith describes his
operations during the remainder of the day. Advancing slowly and
cautiously with the head of the column, to give time for the
regiments in succession to close up their ranks, we first
encountered a party of the enemy retreating along a cluster of
pines; Lieutenant-Colonel Haggerty, of the Sixty-ninth, without
orders, rode out alone, and endeavored to intercept their retreat.
One of the enemy, in full view, at short range, shot Haggerty, and
he fell dead from his horse. The Sixty-ninth opened fire on this
party, which was returned; but, determined to effect our junction
with Hunter's division, I ordered this fire to cease, and we
proceeded with caution toward the field where we then plainly saw
our forces engaged. Displaying our colors conspicuously at the
head of our column, we succeeded in attracting the attention of our
friends, and soon formed the brigade in rear of Colonel Porter's.
Here I learned that Colonel Hunter was disabled by a severe wound,
and that General McDowell was on the field. I sought him out, and
received his orders to join in pursuit of the enemy, who was
falling back to the left of the road by which the army had
approached from Sndley Springs. Placing Colonel Quinby's regiment
of rifles in front, in column, by division, I directed the other
regiments to follow in line of battle, in the order of the
Wisconsin Second, New York Seventy-ninth, and New York Sixty-ninth.
Quinby's regiment advanced steadily down the hill and up the ridge,
from which he opened fire upon the enemy, who had made another
stand on ground very favorable to him, and the regiment continued
advancing as the enemy gave way, till the head of the column
reached the point near which Rickett's battery was so severely cut
up. The other regiments descended the hill in line of battle,
under a severe cannonade; and, the ground affording comparative
shelter from the enemy's artillery, they changed direction, by the
right flank, and followed the road before mentioned. At the point
where this road crosses the ridge to our left front, the ground was
swept by a most severe fire of artillery, rifles, and musketry, and
we saw, in succession, several regiments driven from it; among them
the Zouaves and battalion of marines. Before reaching the crest of
this hill, the roadway was worn deep enough to afford shelter, and
I kept the several regiments in it as long as possible; but when
the Wisconsin Second was abreast of the enemy, by order of Major
Wadsworth, of General McDowell's staff, I ordered it to leave the
roadway, by the left flank, and to attack the enemy.

This regiment ascended to the brow of the hill steadily, received
the severe fire of the enemy, returned it with spirit, and
advanced, delivering its fire. This regiment is uniformed in gray
cloth, almost identical with that of the great bulk of the
secession army; and, when the regiment fell into confusion and
retreated toward the road, there was a universal cry that they were
being fired on by our own men. The regiment rallied again, passed
the brow of the hill a second time, but was again repulsed in
disorder. By this time the New York Seventy-ninth had closed up,
and in like manner it was ordered to cross the brow of, the hill,
and drive the enemy from cover. It was impossible to get a good
view of this ground. In it there was one battery of artillery,
which poured an incessant fire upon our advancing column, and the
ground was very irregular with small clusters of pines, affording
shelter, of which the enemy took good advantage. The fire of
rifles and musketry was very severe. The Seventy-ninth, headed by
its colonel, Cameron, charged across the hill, and for a short time
the contest was severe; they rallied several times under fire, but
finally broke, and gained the cover of the hill.

This left the field open to the New York Sixty-ninth, Colonel
Corcoran, who, in his turn, led his regiment over the crest; and
had in full, open view the ground so severely contested; the fire
was very severe, and the roar of cannon, musketry, and rifles,
incessant; it was manifest the enemy was here in great force, far
superior to us at that point. The Sixty-ninth held the ground for
some time, but finally fell back in disorder.

All this time Quinby's regiment occupied another ridge, to our
left, overlooking the same field of action, and similarly engaged.
Here, about half-past 3 p.m., began the scene of confusion and
disorder that characterized the remainder of the day. Up to that
time, all had kept their places, and seemed perfectly cool, and
used to the shell and shot that fell, comparatively harmless, all
around us; but the short exposure to an intense fire of small-arms,
at close range, had killed many, wounded more, and had produced
disorder in all of the battalions that had attempted to encounter
it. Men fell away from their ranks, talking, and in great
confusion. Colonel Cameron had been mortally wounded, was carried
to an ambulance, and reported dying. Many other officers were
reported dead or missing, and many of the wounded were making their
way, with more or less assistance, to the buildings used as
hospitals, on the ridge to the west. We succeeded in partially
reforming the regiments, but it was manifest that they would not
stand, and I directed Colonel Corcoran to move along the ridge to
the rear, near the position where we had first formed the brigade.
General McDowell was there in person, and need all possible efforts
to reassure the men. By the active exertions of Colonel Corcoran,
we formed an irregular square against the cavalry which were then
seen to issue from the position from which we had been driven, and
we began our retreat toward the same ford of Bull Run by which we
had approached the field of battle. There was no positive order to
retreat, although for an hour it had been going on by the operation
of the men themselves. The ranks were thin and irregular, and we
found a stream of people strung from the hospital across Bull Run,
and far toward Centreville. After putting in motion the irregular
square in person, I pushed forward to find Captain Ayres's battery
at the crossing of Bull Run. I sought it at its last position,
before the brigade had crossed over, but it was not there; then
passing through the woods, where, in the morning, we had first
formed line, we approached the blacksmith's shop, but there found a
detachment of the secession cavalry and thence made a circuit,
avoiding Cub Run Bridge, into Centreville, where I found General
McDowell, and from him understood that it was his purpose to rally
the forces, and make a stand at Centreville.

But, about nine o'clock at night, I received from General Tyler, in
person, the order to continue the retreat to the Potomac. This
retreat was by night, and disorderly in the extreme. The men of
different regiments mingled together, and some reached the river at
Arlington, some at Long Bridge, and the greater part returned to
their former camp, at or near Fort Corcoran. I reached this point
at noon the next day, and found a miscellaneous crowd crossing over
the aqueduct and ferries.. Conceiving this to be demoralizing, I
at once commanded the guard to be increased, and all persons
attempting to pass over to be stopped. This soon produced its
effect; men sought their proper companies and regiments.
Comparative order was restored, and all were posted to the best

I herewith inclose the official report of Captain Belly, commanding
officer of the New York Sixty-ninth; also, fall lists of the
killed, wounded, and missing.

Our loss was heavy, and occurred chiefly at the point near where
Rickett's battery was destroyed. Lieutenant-Colonel Haggerty was
killed about noon, before we had effected a junction with Colonel
Hunter's division. Colonel Cameron was mortally wounded leading
his regiment in the charge, and Colonel Corcoran has been missing
since the cavalry-charge near the building used as a hospital.

For names, rank, etc., of the above, I refer to the lists herewith.

Lieutenants Piper and McQuesten, of my personal staff, were under
fire all day, and carried orders to and fro with as much coolness
as on parade. Lieutenant Bagley, of the New York Sixty-ninth, a
volunteer aide, asked leave to serve with his company, during the
action, and is among those reported missing. I have intelligence
that he is a prisoner, and slightly wounded.

Colonel Coon, of Wisconsin, a volunteer aide, also rendered good
service during the day.

W. T. SHERMAN, Colonel commanding Brigade.

This report, which I had not read probably since its date till now,
recalls to me vividly the whole scene of the affair at Blackburn's
Ford, when for the first time in my life I saw cannonballs strike
men and crash through the trees and saplings above and around us,
and realized the always sickening confusion as one approaches a
fight from the rear; then the night-march from Centreville, on the
Warrenton road, standing for hours wondering what was meant; the
deployment along the edge of the field that sloped down to
Bull-Run, and waiting for Hunter's approach on the other aide from
the direction of Sudley Springs, away off to our right; the
terrible scare of a poor negro who was caught between our lines;
the crossing of Bull Run, and the fear lest we should be fired on
by our own men; the killing of Lieutenant-Colonel Haggerty, which
occurred in plain sight; and the first scenes of a field strewed
with dead men and horses. Yet, at that period of the battle, we
were the victors and felt jubilant. At that moment, also, my
brigade passed Hunter's division; but Heintzelman'a was still ahead
of us, and we followed its lead along the road toward Manassas
Junction, crossing a small stream and ascending a long hill, at the
summit of which the battle was going on. Here my regiments came
into action well, but successively, and were driven back, each in
its turn. For two hours we continued to dash at the woods on our
left front, which were full of rebels; but I was convinced their
organization was broken, and that they had simply halted there and
taken advantage of these woods as a cover, to reach which we had to
pass over the intervening fields about the Henry House, which were
clear, open, and gave them a decided advantage. After I had put in
each of my regiments, and had them driven back to the cover of the
road, I had no idea that we were beaten, but reformed the regiments
in line in their proper order, and only wanted a little rest, when
I found that my brigade was almost alone, except Syke's regulars,
who had formed square against cavalry and were coming back. I then
realized that the whole army was "in retreat," and that my own men
were individually making back for the stone bridge. Corcoran and I
formed the brigade into an irregular square, but it fell to pieces;
and, along with a crowd, disorganized but not much scared, the
brigade got back to Centreville to our former camps. Corcoran was
captured, and held a prisoner for some time; but I got safe to
Centreville. I saw General McDowell in Centreville, and understood
that several of his divisions had not been engaged at all, that he
would reorganize them at Centreville, and there await the enemy. I
got my four regiments in parallel lines in a field, the same in
which we had camped before the battle, and had lain down to sleep
under a tree, when I heard some one asking for me. I called out
where I was, when General Tyler in person gave me orders to march
back to our camps at Fort Corcoran. I aroused my aides, gave them
orders to call up the sleeping men, have each regiment to leave the
field by a flank and to take the same road back by which we had
come. It was near midnight, and the road was full of troops,
wagons, and batteries. We tried to keep our regiments separate,
but all became inextricably mixed. Toward morning we reached
Vienna, where I slept some hours, and the next day, about noon, we
reached Fort Corcoran.

A slow, mizzling rain had set in, and probably a more gloomy day
never presented itself. All organization seemed to be at an end;
but I and my staff labored hard to collect our men into their
proper companies and into their former camps, and, on the 23d of
July, I moved the Second Wisconsin and Seventy-ninth New York
closer in to Fort Corcoran, and got things in better order than I
had expected. Of course, we took it for granted that the rebels
would be on our heels, and we accordingly prepared to defend our
posts. By the 25th I had collected all the materials, made my
report, and had my brigade about as well governed as any in that
army; although most of the ninety-day men, especially the
Sixty-ninth, had become extremely tired of the war, and wanted to
go home. Some of them were so mutinous, at one time, that I had
the battery to unlimber, threatening, if they dared to leave camp
without orders, I would open fire on them. Drills and the daily
exercises were resumed, and I ordered that at the three principal
roll-calls the men should form ranks with belts and muskets, and
that they should keep their ranks until I in person had received
the reports and had dismissed them. The Sixty-ninth still occupied
Fort Corcoran, and one morning, after reveille, when I had just
received the report, had dismissed the regiment, and was leaving, I
found myself in a crowd of men crossing the drawbridge on their way
to a barn close by, where they had their sinks; among them was an
officer, who said: "Colonel, I am going to New York today. What
can I do for you?" I answered: "How can you go to New York? I do
not remember to have signed a leave for you." He said, "No; he did
not want a leave. He had engaged to serve three months, and had
already served more than that time. If the Government did not
intend to pay him, he could afford to lose the money; that he was a
lawyer, and had neglected his business long enough, and was then
going home." I noticed that a good many of the soldiers had paused
about us to listen, and knew that, if this officer could defy me,
they also would. So I turned on him sharp, and said: "Captain,
this question of your term of service has been submitted to the
rightful authority, and the decision has been published in orders.
You are a soldier, and must submit to orders till you are properly
discharged. If you attempt to leave without orders, it will be
mutiny, and I will shoot you like a dog! Go back into the fort
now, instantly, and don't dare to leave without my consent." I had
on an overcoat, and may have had my hand about the breast, for he
looked at me hard, paused a moment, and then turned back into the
fort. The men scattered, and I returned to the house where I was
quartered, close by.

That same day, which must have been about July 26th, I was near the
river-bank, looking at a block-house which had been built for the
defense of the aqueduct, when I saw a carriage coming by the road
that crossed the Potomac River at Georgetown by a ferry. I thought
I recognized in the carriage the person of President Lincoln. I
hurried across a bend, so as to stand by the road-side as the
carriage passed. I was in uniform, with a sword on, and was
recognized by Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward, who rode side by side in
an open hack. I inquired if they were going to my camps, and Mr.
Lincoln said: "Yes; we heard that you had got over the big scare,
and we thought we would come over and see the 'boys.'" The roads
had been much changed and were rough. I asked if I might give
directions to his coachman, he promptly invited me to jump in and
to tell the coachman which way to drive. Intending to begin on the
right and follow round to the left, I turned the driver into a
side-road which led up a very steep hill, and, seeing a soldier,
called to him and sent him up hurriedly to announce to the colonel
(Bennett, I think) that the President was coming: As we slowly
ascended the hill, I discovered that Mr. Lincoln was full of
feeling, and wanted to encourage our men. I asked if he intended
to speak to them, and he said he would like to. I asked him then
to please discourage all cheering, noise, or any sort of confusion;
that we had had enough of it before Bull Run to ruin any set of
men, and that what we needed were cool, thoughtful, hard-fighting
soldiers--no more hurrahing, no more humbug. He took my remarks in
the most perfect good-nature. Before we had reached the first
camp, I heard the drum beating the "assembly," saw the men running
for their tents, and in a few minutes the regiment was in line,
arms presented, and then brought to an order and "parade rest!"

Mr. Lincoln stood up in the carriage, and made one of the neatest,
best, and most feeling addresses I ever listened to, referring to
our late disaster at Bull Run, the high duties that still devolved
on us, and the brighter days yet to come. At one or two points the
soldiers began to cheer, but he promptly checked them, saying:
"Don't cheer, boys. I confess I rather like it myself, but Colonel
Sherman here says it is not military; and I guess we had better
defer to his opinion." In winding up, he explained that, as
President, he was commander-in-chief; that he was resolved that the
soldiers should have every thing that the law allowed; and he
called on one and all to appeal to him personally in case they were
wronged. The effect of this speech was excellent.

We passed along in the same manner to all the camps of my brigade;
and Mr. Lincoln complimented me highly for the order, cleanliness,
and discipline, that he observed. Indeed, he and Mr. Seward both
assured me that it was the first bright moment they had experienced
since the battle.

At last we reached Fort Corcoran. The carriage could not enter, so
I ordered the regiment, without arms, to come outside, and gather
about Mr. Lincoln, who would speak to them. He made to them the
same feeling address, with more personal allusions, because of
their special gallantry in the battle under Corcoran, who was still
a prisoner in the hands of the enemy; and he concluded with the
same general offer of redress in case of grievances. In the crowd I
saw the officer with whom I had had the passage at reveille that
morning. His face was pale, and lips compressed. I foresaw a
scene, but sat on the front seat of the carriage as quiet as a
lamb. This officer forced his way through the crowd to the
carriage, and said: "Mr. President, I have a cause of grievance.
This morning I went to speak to Colonel Sherman, and he threatened
to shoot me." Mr. Lincoln, who was still standing, said,
"Threatened to shoot you?" "Yes, sir, he threatened to shoot me."
Mr. Lincoln looked at him, then at me, and stooping his tall, spare
form toward the officer, said to him in a loud stage-whisper,
easily heard for some yards around: "Well, if I were you, and he
threatened to shoot, I would not trust him, for I believe he would
do it." The officer turned about and disappeared, and the men
laughed at him. Soon the carriage drove on, and, as we descended
the hill, I explained the facts to the President, who answered, "Of
course I didn't know any thing about it, but I thought you knew
your own business best." I thanked him for his confidence, and
assured him that what he had done would go far to enable me to
maintain good discipline, and it did.

By this time the day was well spent. I asked to take my leave, and
the President and Mr. Seward drove back to Washington. This spirit
of mutiny was common to the whole army, and was not subdued till
several regiments or parts of regiments had been ordered to Fort
Jefferson, Florida, as punishment.

General McDowell had resumed his headquarters at the Arlington
House, and was busily engaged in restoring order to his army,
sending off the ninety-days men, and replacing them by regiments
which had come under the three-years call. We were all trembling
lest we should be held personally accountable for the disastrous
result of the battle. General McClellan had been summoned from the
West to Washington, and changes in the subordinate commands were
announced almost daily. I remember, as a group of officers were
talking in the large room of the Arlington House, used as the
adjutant-general's office, one evening, some young officer came in
with a list of the new brigadiers just announced at the War
Department, which-embraced the names of Heintzehvan, Keyes,
Franklin, Andrew Porter, W. T. Sherman, and others, who had been
colonels in the battle, and all of whom had shared the common
stampede. Of course, we discredited the truth of the list; and
Heintzehvan broke out in his nasal voice, "Boys, it's all a lie!
every mother's son of you will be cashiered." We all felt he was
right, but, nevertheless, it was true; and we were all announced in
general orders as brigadier-generals of volunteers.

General McClellan arrived, and, on assuming command, confirmed
McDowell's organization. Instead of coming over the river, as we
expected, he took a house in Washington, and only came over from
time to time to have a review or inspection.

I had received several new regiments, and had begun two new forts
on the hill or plateau, above and farther out than Fort Corcoran;
and I organized a system of drills, embracing the evolutions of the
line, all of which was new to me, and I had to learn the tactics
from books; but I was convinced that we had a long, hard war before
us, and made up my mind to begin at the very beginning to prepare
for it.

August was passing, and troops were pouring in from all quarters;
General McClellan told me he intended to organize an army of a
hundred thousand men, with one hundred field-batteries, and I still
hoped he would come on our side of the Potomac, pitch his tent, and
prepare for real hard work, but his headquarters still remained in
a house in Washington City. I then thought, and still think, that
was a fatal mistake. His choice as general-in-chief at the time
was fully justified by his high reputation in the army and country,
and, if he then had any political views or ambition, I surely did
not suspect it.

About the middle of August I got a note from Brigadier-General
Robert Anderson, asking me to come and see him at his room at
Willard's Hotel. I rode over and found him in conversation with
several gentlemen, and he explained to me that events in Kentucky
were approaching a crisis; that the Legislature was in session, and
ready, as soon as properly backed by the General Government, to
take open sides for the Union cause; that he was offered the
command of the Department of the Cumberland, to embrace Kentucky,
Tennessee, etc., and that he wanted help, and that the President
had offered to allow him to select out of the new brigadiers four
of his own choice. I had been a lieutenant in Captain Anderson's
company, at Fort Moultrie, from 1843 to 1846, and he explained that
he wanted me as his right hand. He also indicated George H.
Thomas, D. C. Buell, and Burnside, as the other three. Of course,
I always wanted to go West, and was perfectly willing to go with
Anderson, especially in a subordinate capacity: We agreed to call
on the President on a subsequent day, to talk with him about it,
and we did. It hardly seems probable that Mr. Lincoln should have
come to Willard's Hotel to meet us, but my impression is that he
did, and that General Anderson had some difficulty in prevailing on
him to appoint George H. Thomas, a native of Virginia, to be
brigadier-general, because so many Southern officers, had already
played false; but I was still more emphatic in my indorsement of
him by reason of my talk with him at the time he crossed the
Potomac with Patterson's army, when Mr. Lincoln promised to appoint
him and to assign him to duty with General Anderson. In this
interview with Mr. Lincoln, I also explained to him my extreme
desire to serve in a subordinate capacity, and in no event to be
left in a superior command. He promised me this with promptness,
making the jocular remark that his chief trouble was to find places
for the too many generals who wanted to be at the head of affairs,
to command armies, etc.

The official order is dated:

[Special Order No. 114.]
Washington, August 24, 1881.

The following assignment is made of the general officers of the
volunteer service, whose appointment was announced in General
Orders No. 82, from the War Department

To the Department of the Cumberland, Brigadier-General Robert
Anderson commanding:

Brigadier-General W. T. Sherman,
Brigadier-General George H. Thomas.

By command of Lieutenant-General Scott:
E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant adjutant-General.

After some days, I was relieved in command of my brigade and post
by Brigadier General Fitz-John Porter, and at once took my
departure for Cincinnati, Ohio, via Cresson, Pennsylvania, where
General Anderson was with his family; and he, Thomas, and I, met by
appointment at the house of his brother, Larz Anderson, Esq., in
Cincinnati. We were there on the 1st and 2d of September, when
several prominent gentlemen of Kentucky met us, to discuss the

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