Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Senator John Sherman to Major General William T. Sherman, January 29, 1864


My Dear Brother:

I received your letter from Lancaster, and also one from Cairo. If I had known when I left Washington that you were to be at Lancaster, I would have met you there. But on leaving Washington I engaged to meet certain gentlemen at New York, on New Year's Day, and this left me no time. I have met several from Cincinnati who saw you there, and all concur in saying you bear the storms of life well, and appear in better health and spirits than before the war. Your official report is very interesting, and I wish to see it published. I inquired of Cullen if it has yet come by military channels to the adjutant-general, and he says not. When it does come, he will have it published. As to your proposition to increase the cadets at West Point, I find some difference of opinion among regular officers. Cullen says that to graduate the number would require new buildings, professors, etc.; that the utmost capacity of the school is four hundred and fifty. Both he and Hardie seem backward about drawing the bill without the assent of Stanton, but promised to send me a bill doubling the cadets if Stanton would consent. This delicacy seems to me absurd, for I will assume it, introduce it, and may be able to pass it. . . . We are all looking to the operation on the Mississippi and at Knoxville. The latter seems to me the point of danger. If Longstreet should be reinforced, why could he not pounce upon Foster, or his successor, and make another march necessary for his relief. The movement of recruiting is going on well enough. The draft will then be thoroughly enforced. So Stanton says, and I believe him. The general prosperity of the country is so marked that I am afraid of a reaction or a collapse. The currency is awfully inflated, and our ability to borrow and to pay interest has a limit. If the war continues two years longer, we shall be terribly embarrassed. Still we have the sure foundation of public credit, a great country, and a large and active population. Let me hear from you as often as possible.

Affectionately yours,

SOURCE: Rachel Sherman Thorndike, Editor, The Sherman Letters: Correspondence Between General and Senator Sherman from 1837 to 1891, p. 222-3

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