LANCASTER, Dec. 30, 1863.
I have been importuned from many quarters for my likeness, autographs, and biography. I have managed to fend off all parties and hope to do so till the end of the war. I don't want to rise or be notorious, for the reason that a mere slip or accident may let me fall, and I don't care about falling so far as most of the temporary heroes of the war. The real men of the war will be determined by the closing scenes, and then the army will determine the questions. Newspaper puffs and self-written biographies will then be ridiculous caricatures. Already has time marked this progress and indicated this conclusion.
If parties apply to you for materials in my behalf, give the most brief and general items, and leave the results to the close of the war or of my career. As well might a judge or senator seek for fame outside their spheres of action as an officer of the army. We must all be judged by our own peers, stand or fall by their verdict. I know I stand very high with the army, and feel no concern on that score. To-day I can do more with Admiral Porter or the Generals than any general officer out West except Grant, and with him I am as a second self. We are personal and official friends.
W. T. SHERMAN.
SOURCE: Rachel Sherman Thorndike, Editor, The Sherman Letters: Correspondence Between General and Senator Sherman from 1837 to 1891, p. 220