Sunday, September 22, 2013

Colonel William T. Sherman to Ellen Ewing Sherman, July 3, 1861

FORT CORCORAN, Opposite Georgetown,
July 3, 1861, Monday.

. . . On Friday I received orders to report to General McDowell at Arlington. I did so and received orders to relieve Colonel Hunter in the command of this Brigade composed of three militia regiments and two companies of regulars, one of cavalry and one of artillery. I occupy along with many others a beautiful cottage in full view of Georgetown and Washington City just over the aqueduct. The engineers have erected a fort named after a New York colonel, Irish, Corcoran, who is most enthusiastic in the cause, and several other little redoubts, all designed to protect Georgetown and consequently Washington from an approach this way. . . .

As yet I am simply studying the condition of affairs in anticipation of a forward movement. Of course, this depends on affairs with McClellan, Patterson and Butler. When we do move it will be in some force, but we know that Beauregard has long been expecting such an advance, and is as well prepared as he can be. It may be after all that he may retire, but I think he will fight, and it may be it will be in the nature of a duel. Better keep even this to yourself. I would not have anything traced back to me.

The manner and fact that nothing is now secret or sacred from the craving for public news is disgraceful to us as a people. The South manage to keep their councils better than we.

Beauregard has ceased even to think of attacking. All his dispositions look to defense. . . .

SOURCE: M. A. DeWolfe Howe, Editor, Home Letters of General Sherman,  p. 199-200.  A full copy of this letter can be found in the William T Sherman Family papers (SHR), University of Notre Dame Archives (UNDA), Notre Dame, IN 46556, Folder CSHR 1/138.

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