War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0200 Chapter LXIV. SW. VA., KY., TENN., MISS., ALA., w. FLA.,& N. GA.

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CINCINNATI, December 13, 1861.

Major-General HALLECK,

Saint Louis, Mo.:

SIR: Without the honor of your personal acquaintance I take the liberty to address you, inclosing an article from the Cincinnati Commercial of this morning, in response to an editorial of an earlier date in which the roughest was employed to convey the idea of aberation of mind on the part of General Sherman. I left General S. yesterday morning much improved in health and equanimity by his visit to his family and expecting in a few days to report himself for duty.*

With highest respect, your obedient servant,




EDITORS COMMERCIAL: Your editorial paragraph. Wednesday's issue, headed with the name of General W. T. Sherman, excites the surprise and indignation of the friends of that gentleman, who is now here on a brief visit to his family. Every material statement in the paragraph is false. General Sherman never telegraphed to the Department three times in one day on any subject, and never telegraphed, wrote, or suggested the idea of evacuating Kentucky. He was never in command of a brigade at Sedalia, and no subordinate there or elsewhere refused to obey any of his commands for any reason. The only remaining specification in your paragraph is that he frightened the people of Louisville by statements of the force of Buckner and the indefensible state of the city. I cannot assume to say how much the people of Louisville were frightened, and cannot quite see how their fright affects the status of General S. I may, however, be justified in saying that General Sherman was left in command of the Department of the Cumberland with a force, in his opinion, totally inadequate to the emergancy, and expressed himself to that effect very freely to the Department and to all who had a right to know his opinions on the subject. He close not to be drifted into the position of responsibility for results while he was left without the means to accomplish what was expected of him, and accordingly ascked to be relieved from the proper time, without any interval of rest, he reported for duty to Major-General Halleck, and was immediately ordered to the line on the West Pacific Railroad for special service, with authority to assume full command in that quarter. This option he did not exercise, but having effected the special object of his instructions, returned to headquarters at Saint Louis. Having been in constant command of a brigade, or of a division, since June last, he left the necessity of a short respite from labor, and having obtained the requisite leave is spending a few days with his family in this place. I do not think the newspapers quite the proper arena for discussion of military questions while the campaign is in progress, but, while it throws some light on the subject in hand, it will give no aid and comfort to the enemy to know that General Sherman's request to be relieved from the command of the Department of the Cumberland was followed by orders from the War Department, concentrating under his successor a very heavy force additional to the troops there when his request was preferred. I trust


* For Halleck's reply, see VOL. VIII, p. 441.