July 16, 1861
I still regard this as but the beginning of a long war, but I hope my judgment therein is wrong, and that the people of the South may yet see the folly of their unjust rebellion against the most mild and paternal government ever designed for men. John will in Washington be better able to judge of my whereabouts and you had better send letters to him. As I read them I will tear them up, for every ounce on a march tells.
Tell Willy1 I have another war sword which he can add to his present armory. When I come home again I will gratify his ambition on that score, though truly I do not choose for him or Tommy2 the military profession. It is too full of blind chances to be worthy of a first rank among callings.
1 Sherman’s oldest son.
2 A younger son.
SOURCE: M. A. DeWolfe Howe, Editor, Home Letters of General Sherman, p. 200-1. 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.