War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0546 SW. VA., KY., TENN., MISS., ALA., W. FLA., & N. GA. Chapter LXIV.

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CULPEPER, April 15, 1864.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington:

Have you seen Sherman's dispatches of to-day to me?* If not I will forward them to you.





Knoxville, Tenn., April 15, 1864.

Honorable J. B. HENDERSON,

U. S. Senate, Washington, D. C.:

DEAR SENATOR: I have just received your letter of the 7th, informing me that the military committee has reported against my nomination, and urging me to "Whip somebody anyhow." I am fully aware of the importance to me personally of gaining a victory. NO doubt I might easily get up a ittle cla-trap on which to manufacture newspaper notoriety and convince the Senate of the United States that I had won a great vicotry, and secure my confirmation by acclamation. Such things have been done, alas! too frequnelty during this war; but such is not my theory of a soldier's duties. I have an idea that my military superiors are the proper judges of my character and conduct, and that their evidence ought to be considered satisfactory as to my military qualities. I have the approval and support of the Presidnet, the Secretary of War, General Halleck, General Grant, and General Sherman. I am willing to abide the decision of any one or all of them, and I would to give a copper for the wieht of anybody's or everybody's opinion in addition to or in opposition to them. If the Senate is not satisfied with such testimony, I can't help it. I never have and never will resort to buncombe for the purpose of securing my own advancement. If I cannot gain promption by legitimate means, I do not want it at all. No officer of my age, and very few of any age, has hadas large and responsible commands as I have. Nor has any officer done more fighting or been more unofrmly successful. It is ture I have not been actually present in as many battles as manyothers, for my command has genearlly been so large as to render it impossible. But I have been in enough, certainly, to leave no room to doubt my courage and coolness on the field, and have almost continually directed the operations of numerous bodies of detached troops, a far more difficult matter than the immediate command of troops in the field. In all this time I have yet to hear the first word of disapproval from my superior officer of any one of my military operations (unless I except Curtis, who disapproved of my pursuing Hindman so far into Arkansas), and in general have received high commendation from my superiors, both for my military operations and administration. I would rather have this record without a major-general's commission, than to gain the commission by adding to my reputation one grain of falsehood. I appreciate fully the embarrassment which my friends in the Senate are laboring under relative to my nomination, and I well know that they can only be relieved from it by my gaining a victory in the immediate command of troops. I gladly accepted this command because it was


*For reply, see Stanton to Grant, VOL. XXXII, Part III, p. 366.