[MANSFIELD, OHIO, August 29, 1865.]
I am very desirous to accept your invitation. The trip would be an instructive and pleasant one, and if I was not restrained by the interests of others I would surely go at once. But we are now involved in an exciting and important political contest. The canvass in Ohio is substantially between the Government and the Rebellion, and is assuming all the bitterness of such a strife. If I should leave now, it would be like a general leaving before the day of battle. I have been speaking very often, and must keep it up. I propose, however, to arrange all my business so that I may leave soon after the election, say about the 20th of October, and will then go down the river and spend all the time until the meeting of Congress. I hope to be able to go via Vicksburg, New Orleans, Charleston, to Washington. If a favorable opportunity offers at Vicksburg or New Orleans, I wish to develop my ideas as to a reconstruction of the Union. I know these will suit you a good deal better than they will the Administration, but I feel quite independent of the latter, and am disposed to follow my own course. . . .
SOURCE: Rachel Sherman Thorndike, Editor, The Sherman Letters: Correspondence Between General and Senator Sherman from 1837 to 1891, p. 254-5