consulting him; therefore, independent of the contents of the volume, whether confined to facts, witnessed by the narrator, or explaining results, it will complicate the general, and therefore do him a disservice. If the war were over and the time come for history, I would gladly give you any assistance in my power, but now that we are still daily grappling with a bitter enemy, I must repeat that it does excite us painfully to see publications treating of past events as though they were critical.
It was not and is not my purpose to rebuke you or any one not subject to my authority, or to discourage young officers who seek to improve their time and advance the cause of their profession and military literature, nor to cast disrespect on General Buell. But you asked me to assist in doing what I believe and know would injure General Buell more than you can realize. I know that General Buell is one of the coolest, most methodic, and patient men living. I feel assured in his letter-book and orders is the best history of his campaign; that every step taken was well considered, and record made of it. There is where the historian will look for his facts, and already and official body has elicited, in the form of evidence, every material fact of the events you propose to reduce to a historical treatise. I repeat my warning, if you persist in carrying out your plan you are bound to advise General Buell, and, if he assents, he will repent it forever. If, in warning you against so fatal a mistake, I impair my hitherto reputation for magnanimity, I don't see it. On the contrary, were I to fail in warning you of the danger in which you are about to involve your friend, I would have just reason to reproach myself always. The conception is wrong, and no matter how delicate and truthful the execution, such a publication as you foreshadow will involve General Buell in a controversy injurious to his wellearned reputation.
You know I am no newspaper favorite. I never see my name in print without a feeling of contamination, and I will undertake to forego half of my salary if the newspapers will ignore my name.
I do repeat, now is the time for work, and I know that every soldier and officer should be employed night and day. The present affords ample scope for every hand, and I never think without regret of such men as Buell and McClellan, and other first-rate soldiers, being unemployed when there is so much to be done. I never said Buell was thus unemployed of his own choice, and, I believe, I express the feelings of his heart when I say he would rather have a division this day than be out. As to my expressing disrespect for him, he knows better. He knows I always esteemed him as one of the best, if not the best, practical soldier of our army. I disagree with you in toto in your conclusions, and if you write a history of the Army of the Ohio now, before the war is all over, mark my words for it, you will regret it forever.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
[CORINTH, October 14, 1863.]
General Grant passed Memphis to-day for Cairo; telegraphs me that McPherson would be in Canton to-day and up to next Sunday.