War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0717 Chapter LXIV.

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A P P E N D I X.

WASHINGTON, October 1, 1863.

Major-General SHERMAN,


MY DEAR GENERAL: I have received and read with interest your of September 17.* I fully concur with you that this rebellion must be put down by military force; it cannot be compromise and offers of peace, as proposed by Norhtern copperheads. The conquered territory must also be governed by military authority until the time arrives for reconstruction. I have always opposed the organization of a civicomilitary government, under civilians. It merely embarrasses the military authorities without effecting any good. Nevertheless, if the people of any section will organize locally against the Confederacy and in favor of the union it would give us great assistance. General Banks thinks that this can be done in Louisiana. Perhaps he is too sanguine.

In asking the views of yourself, General Grant, and others who have had full and personal experience with these people, I hoped to be able to give the President correct opinions whenever he should ask them. The advice of politicians generally on this question I regard as utterly worthless-mere Utopina theories.

Your letter in regard to General Buell hits the nail on the head. I have never had other than friendly feelings toward Buell, and saved him severeal times when the Government had determined on his removal. Instead of any gratitude for this, he and his friends have not ceased to abuse me and to claim for him credit he does not deserve. He never once suggested the operations on Forts Henry and Donelson and up the Tennessee River, but strenuously opposed the plan, and I could get no assistance from him till I appealed to the President.

The same with McClellan. I did everything in my power to prevent his removal after I arrived here. This he knew perfectly well. Instead of any gratitude for this, he and his friends then and ever since have done all in their power to injure me. I have made no reply to their misstatements and abuse, nor do I intend to so long as the war lasts or I am in command. If I do not survive the war, sufficient materials for a correct understanding of my acts are on record and will be found by the future historian who seeks the truth. We all have enough to occupy us in the present, without discussing the past or seeking for premature fame. Those who indulge most in personal discussions will find it worse for them in the end.

Duty, Duty, Duty is the only proper motto now for military officers.

I am sorry to say that many of the generals commanding armies exhibit a very bad spirit. They seek rather to embarrass the Government and make reputations for themselves than to put down the rebelion. General Grant and a few others are most honorable exceptions.


* See VOL. XXX, Part III, p. 694.