Showing posts with label G Mason Graham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label G Mason Graham. Show all posts

Thursday, November 19, 2020

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, February 2, 1860

SEMINARY OF LEARNING, ALEXANDRIA, Feb. 2, 1860.

SIR: I enclose you herewith the original proceedings of a Board assembled by my order to examine and ascertain the truth touching the affair between Cadets H—s and H—h. To hesitate one moment in showing the judgment of the institution on the great criminality of actually brandishing and threatening to use a keen dagger, would in my judgment endanger the actual existence of our authority. Therefore I dismissed Mr. H—h forthwith, and after awaiting a day or so will make up his accounts and return to his parents the balance of cash due him and hold his books and private property subject to his order.

In the case of S. M. H—s there was not the same reason for the assumption of power on my part: but there is no less a necessity that even handed justice be done. By the testimony, Mr. H—s did first address H—h, did first use the word "lie,” which is among all boys deemed a fighting insult, and moreover H—s did strike the first blow. He was in a position of trust and authority. He is full grown, larger that H—h, has been at the Military School at Nashville and was every way supposed to be a leader from age, qualifications, and experience.

I therefore think there are no palliating circumstances and on the rule that he caused the blind anger that made H—h resort to a [weapon], he too should suffer the penalty, the same as H—h. And be dismissed firmly, mildly, but without recall.

With two such prominent examples we shall never again I hope hear the lie, or have the life or safety of a cadet in danger from a pistol or knife.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 139-40

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, February 6, 1860

SEMINARY OF LEARNING, February 6, 1860.

SIR: I have the honor herewith to enclose your two papers, being the resignation of Cadets S. M. H—S, A. P. W—s, and state cadet R. A. W—1.

As these persons have all left the Seminary without leave, or authority and in a spirit of defiance, I shall report them tomorrow as “deserted,” and give their parents a statement of their accounts, with an outline of the facts attending their departure.

Cadet S. M. H—s is the person first installed as acting first sergeant. Whilst in that capacity I reproved him for using his office to expose a young gentleman just arrived as a sentinel with a broom stick on one of the gallaries. Again he was the party who first began the affray with Cadet H—h, for which he was deprived of his office. Since that time he has been careless, absenting himself from roll call, etc. And this morning in connection with Cadet W—s he handed me the enclosed resignation which I told him should be forthwith transmitted to the Board of Supervisors. He told me he should not wait for their action but was going off, as he did not like the way things were managed generally. I informed him he had a perfect right to complain, and if in writing I would forward his complaint—but that he would not do. And without further ado he has gone.

W—s's case is somewhat similar except in this—last week he was reported by Professor Boyd for singing in a loud voice from one of the upper windows in a tone which enabled Professor Boyd on the ground to distinguish the words, “a Blackguard Song." For this, I reproved him. And yesterday, Sunday, he asked leave to go and see his mother. I refused him permission, and told him why.

Many of the cadets have recently made urgent applications to me for spending money. I always must know to what purpose it is applied. And have in most instances refused, because of the quantity of tobacco used, fouling our galleries and rooms to a filthy extent. I will not be privy to the purchase of forbidden articles.

On Saturday a state cadet, W—1, applied for money. I asked him what for—he answered the “Dentist.” I then gave him a written order on a dentist in Alexandria to properly fix his teeth. After some time he returned complaining that that was no way to treat a gentleman, On Sunday, yesterday, he again made application or rather a formal complaint. In the interview I even explained my reasons, but he was evidently pushed forward by others, for he seemed to feel that he was wrong, but this morning he again applied to go to town to the dentist asking for the first time a specific sum of five dollars.

I then told him that I would send in for the dentist and for him to be ready at 11 a.m. —this too puzzled him. He wanted money, for some specific purpose but not for the dentist, for he came again and said I need not send for the dentist. He openly boasted of the wealth of his parents and connections leaving on my mind an inference I need not express, as he is entered as of indigent parents. He too has gone. And I will add that the Seminary is no loser in any who has gone.

We have fifty left, one or two more may renew their vain struggle to do as they please, but I have no apprehensions of more than two. If any cadet absent himself stubbornly, and with avowed purpose from his recitations and roll call, I will dismiss him summarily. If they resign I will refer their resignations. But if they leave without awaiting the answer of the Board, they must stand of record “deserted.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 142-4

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, February 8, 1860

SEMINARY, Feb. 8, 1860.
DEAR GENERAL

It is all moonshine about twenty or thirty leaving. H—s and W—s flattered themselves as being leaders and that their influence would be fatal to us. We have not lost a drill, a recitation, and have all slept more comfortably since. Indeed had I yielded one jot last Sunday and Monday, farewell to government, cadets, not professors would have ruled. I believe all now see their mistake. W—s and H—s thought we could not do without them. The new Orderly Sergeant Cushman is a better soldier than either today.

The affair of H—h was thus: last Saturday at supper, we heard too much noise at the table. Mr. Smith stepped to the door and whilst there H—s, the younger, the one now here made some offensive remark—he was the head of one table; S. M. H—s, the elder, the head of another; Mr. Smith at once removed H—s from his place, and allowed H—h who sat next to him to act as carver temporarily.

He is no longer carver, was changed as soon as this inference was noticed—the boy only acted as marcher from the porch to the table – he had no authority, but even that was temporary. Of course I had nothing to do with this. It fell exceedingly under Mr. Smith, and was accidental. The elder H—s was not spoken to, in no wise concerned, and sat as the carver at the head of his table up to the time of his departure. Therefore no distinction was made between them—both on the same footing. I understand he is over at Mrs. W—s. I enclose a note I got from her yesterday. She understands the point. The whole truth is this: both H—s and W—s presumed on their importance and feeling others creeping up to and past them thought to soften their certain downfall.

I enclose to Bragg to-day your bill (a copy thereof) and wrote him to favor Wickliffe's bill. Let any one who finds fault with the removal of obstreperous apply to Bragg—he understands the case.

Yesterday morning all the blackboards and chairs in Dr. Vallas's section room were bedaubed with hair grease. It took the drummer and two black boys all day to clean it off with hot soap suds; but I got a thread, unravelled it and found the party to blame. He insisted he did not do it and as the proof was not conclusive, I told him he should be charged the expense of cleaning and repainting, which he consented to do. I cannot now overlook anything.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 144-5

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, February 10, 1860

SEMINARY OF LEARNING, February 10, 1860.

DEAR GENERAL: I received your note yesterday, and feel sorry that you are troubled by the condition of affairs now. All things are working here smoothly. All appearance of dissatisfaction has disappeared and recitations and drills have not been interrupted one moment. Parents too have responded so manfully that the cadets see their mistake – their complaints of tyranny and treatment like negroes are ridiculed by their parents.

I had a very long interview with Mr. H—s and Judge C—1 yesterday. Showed them the record, orders, delinquincies, and class reports and Mr. H—s admitted there was not a break in the chain and that I could not have acted otherwise. I had received two letters for Cadet S. M. H—s which I handed his father. He made us read one from him, which was so proper, manly, and father-like, that I warmed to him at once, and felt deep sympathy. Could I have obeyed my mere feelings I would have offered no obstacle to the return of S. M. H—s, but I am convinced that under the most favorable circumstances he can never hold office here or occupy a position of trust or confidence, that consequently he will never be content but prove a restless example, that all I can now advise is that his resignation be accepted by the Board and the record thus made clear. And then he will return home with his father and study some new profession. The other son is more seemingly anxious to remove some of his reports, already exceeding fifty demerits, and to make an effort to proceed in his studies. If he do this I will favor him all possible.

Mr. Cushman whom we installed as acting first sergeant is intelligent, manly, ambitious – very forward in study, and forms the company and calls the roll better than H—s. Indeed there is a palpable manifest improvement in the tone here since the emeute horrible.

Mr. H—s yesterday remarked unguardedly that the military feature of this school would soon be changed. I expressed myself emphatically that personally I was unconcerned but that it would be fatal. One hundred young men in this building under a civil government would tear down the building and make study impossible. With our frequent roll calls, and the other regulations it is all we can do to keep quiet. I think both Mr. H—s and Judge C—1 changed their opinions before they left. Mr. H—s did not clearly indicate his line of conduct but said he would be out again. I cannot again receive H—s under his old appointment, unless by a formal resolution of the Board of Supervisors, which to me would be an order. I have no objection to his informal resignation. I am sorry I allowed P—n and C—d to resign – but I then thought it safest — and least liable to abuse.

I have just received yours of to-day and will make up an abstract of T—r's recitations — he has been reported to me several times for neglect of studies. If anybody has spoken an unkind word to him I know it not. This general mode of complaint is not worthy of notice. Mr. T—r will be most welcome here, and a visit might benefit the son

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 145-7

P. T—R to George Mason Graham, February 9, 1860

CHENEYVILLE, LA., Feb. 9, 1860.

DEAR SIR: I am induced to address you in reference to the officers of the State Seminary from the prominent position you occupy and have occupied as the most persevering and untiring friend of that institution. I believe it to be the last best hope of Louisiana's sons. Therefore its interests are mine and every other citizen's.

Will our sons submit to the arbitrary commands of dictators or shall the officers be governed by the laws of the institution? If the Board of Trustees enact and enforce a code of laws which regulates the conduct of officers and students good may be effected; but I fear the effects of stringent personal command. I am aware that boys are hard to be pleased or governed and especially if they suppose the government to originate in the mere will of the superior.

I hope the Board of Directors will speedily enact a code and publish it to the students. I depend particularly upon General Graham for the future usefulness of that institution and hope he will make immediate inquiries into the condition and government of the institution.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 147-8

George Mason Graham to P. T—R., February 9, 1860

TYRONE PLANTATION, February 10, 1860.
DEAR SIR:

I understand the subject of your letter to be that the cadets at the State Seminary are spoken to by the officers of the institution in too authoritative a manner, and that their commands are sometimes “arbitrary.” If you will spend a day at the Seminary I think you will understand the better. There everything must move by the clock and to the minute. This requires quick motion on the part of every one (to which, as you doubtless know, our boys are but little accustomed - except, indeed, when they are after mischief, and then they are rather too quick); hence the quick, authoritative, decided tone of voice necessarily assumed by military men. This at first, and for some time, grates harshly on the ears and feelings of boys who have been accustomed to home tones and to take as long time as they pleased to do a thing, or to go to a place that they haven't much fancy for, and it is natural enough therefore that he should be, even unduly, sensitive under it.

It is for us at home, parents and citizens, to guard ourselves that we do not suffer the reflection of this sensitiveness to exercise an undue influence on our feelings. I think that some gentlemen have sent chronic cases to this institution as their last hope for a cure, but we do not intend to keep that kind of a hospital. Before we have been able to get rid of them, however, they have sown some bad seed, which will take a little time, care, and patience all round, to eradicate.

As to the regulations, for the government of all connected with the institution, they were prepared with much care and labor about the middle of November by a Board convened for the purpose by an order of the Board of Supervisors at a meeting in August last, and composed of three members of this Board and the members of the Academic Board. That they were not published and placed in the hands of each as was intended to have been done, was no fault of any member of the institution or myself, but arose from the [illegible], though doubtless well-intentioned, assumption of authority on the part of an individual member, in whose hands the manuscript had been placed for preservation, but [who], when called for it by the superintendent at the moment of his departure for New Orleans, to take with him to be printed, refused to give it up for that purpose, on the ground that they had not been submitted to the Board of Supervisors, although that Board had adjourned from August to next May, having ordered the institution to be opened on the first Monday in January, and the regulations to be prepared for its government.

In this dilemma, I directed the superintendent to have such portions as related to the duties, studies, division of time, and deportment of cadets, copied in writing and placed on order boards in the hall where all could see, read, and copy them.

That the professors should not sometimes be irritated at the unaccountable tricks of the boys, would be expecting too much of even professors' nature. As an example a morning or two since, when the professor of mathematics met his class, he found his own chair and all of his blackboard thickly smeared with hair-grease, which it took the only two servants the institution is able to afford, near half a day to cleanse them of, and then they had to be repainted. The only punishment the superintendent imposed on the offender, who was brought to taw, was to make him pay the expense of cleansing and repainting.

The cadets are allowed, and encouraged, to go to church on Sabbath day. A list is taken of those desiring to go, and they are placed under the charge of the most responsible cadet of the squad. In two instances citizens of Alexandria reported to me that some of them were seen in grogshops. In the first instance I apprised the superintendent, in the second I wrote him a letter designed for effect on the young men. To show you the character of the man it has been our real good fortune to obtain the services of for this position, I enclose you his reply - and have no objection, to your showing it to some of your friends, although it is written with the unreserve of private correspondence.1 . . . Whilst he will require them to discharge their duties, one alike to themselves, their family, and their institution, he is loath to believe ill of them, and I stand up in their defense.

It can hardly be expected that everything will work smooth at the [beginning) in such an institution as this. Time, patience, care, and forethought is – to use a surgical term - the “lubricating fluid” (illegible), and then it will be a gallant ship entering on an open sea of success after having surmounted the shoals and quicksands of navigation.

A great help to this will be in home-folk impressioning the conviction that “there is no other name known unto men, whereby he can” get creditably through this institution, but order and industry.

_______________

1 See pages 128-129. — ED.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 148-50

Friday, October 30, 2020

George Mason Graham to Dr. S. A. Smith, January 21, 1860

ALEXANDRIA, Jan. 21, 1860.

DEAR DOCTOR: . . . I endorse you, herewith, a draft of an act for making the Seminary a Military Academy by law, and I hope the reflections of your mind will bring you to the conclusion to support it. Look at the immense sum, $1,500,000, expended by the state in educational efforts; and where are the results? Not a vestige of them remains for any useful purpose. Look at the youth of the state, and the low grade of education pervading it. Look at the lethargy of the parents in regard to the education of their sons, and the reluctance of the sons to submit to control or guidance either at home or at school. The superintendent told me that already a very insubordinate . . . disappointment is manifested by several of the boys. The Academic Board has no power to punish in case of any difficulty; a meeting of the Board of Supervisors can hardly be obtained before next spring. The state must lend the whole aid of its power and influence to enable the institution to exercise a beneficial control. This can only be done by a military government — this makes the young men themselves a part of the power for governing themselves that soon becomes attractive and works better than any other system of college government. But the boys themselves will be very quick to perceive the difference between a system established by a gentleman and one established by a legislature authorizing with the little pomp and circumstance of military parade in music, colors, etc. The people of the state will be brought to take an interest in it that they never will take in any other kind of school or college. This I witnessed at Lexington, Va., in July, 1857, when six hundred people, come to witness the “commencement” of the Virginia Military Institute, dined at one of the hotels of the place.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 133-4

Saturday, February 1, 2020

George Mason Graham to S. A. Smith, January 21, 1860

ALEXANDRIA, Jan. 21, 1860.

DEAR DOCTOR: . . . I endorse you, herewith, a draft of an act for making the Seminary a Military Academy by law, and I hope the reflections of your mind will bring you to the conclusion to support it. Look at the immense sum, $1,500,000, expended by the state in educational efforts; and where are the results? Not a vestige of them remains for any useful purpose.

Look at the youth of the state, and the low grade of education pervading it. Look at the lethargy of the parents in regard to the education of their sons, and the reluctance of the sons to submit to control or guidance either at home or at school. The superintendent told me that already a very insubordinate . . . disappointment is manifested by several of the boys. The Academic Board has no power to punish in case of any difficulty; a meeting of the Board of Supervisors can hardly be obtained before next spring. The state must lend the whole aid of its power and influence to enable the institution to exercise a beneficial control. This can only be done by a military government – this makes the young men themselves a part of the power for governing themselves that soon becomes attractive and works better than any other system of college government. But the boys themselves will be very quick to perceive the difference between a system established by a gentleman and one established by a legislature authorizing with the little pomp and circumstance of military parade in music, colors, etc. The people of the state will be brought to take an interest in it that they never will take in any other kind of school or college. This I witnessed at Lexington, Va., in July, 1857, when six hundred people, come to witness the “commencement” of the Virginia Military Institute, dined at one of the hotels of the place.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 133-4

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, January 20, 1860

SEMINARY, Friday p.m., Jan. 20, 1860.

DEAR SIR: . . . I enclose herewith officially a letter received last night. You know how difficult it is to receive a cadet so far into the session. Indeed one class is kept confused by those arriving now. We have now forty-five. One great point to be arranged in the future is to devise some means whereby our classes will all start fair. I know fully that such a thing is impossible this term, and will receive all pay cadets come as they may – but the state cadets should be held to a stricter compliance or they are not so welcome. There are now eight state cadets now present. This warm weather gives me good time to clean up and I regret that you cannot come out to see us. I want to have the road opened, trees trimmed, and grading done as far as possible by the time the trees begin to leaf. I use only the servants during the time they are not engaged in sweeping and carrying wood. I shall at the end of January pay Jarreau and all the professors, taking vouchers. I think I ought to charge for my services in November and December at $1,000 a year as superintendent — little more than Jarreau received – $83.33 per month, waiving all claims to pay as professor for that time. Will you approve it?

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 132

Saturday, October 5, 2019

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, January 29, 1860

SEMINARY, Sunday Evening, January 29, 1860.

DEAR GENERAL: I received this p.m. your official letter on the rumor in town that some cadet had gone into a common grog shop and drank liquor. I forthwith embodied it into an order and published it at retreat. I will bear my testimony to the general good behavior of the young men here, and I will not allow my mind to be prejudiced against them by any mere general assertion of any person in Alexandria. I do not believe the report. It may be true, and even if so, I hope we are able to plant the roots of this institution so deep in the soil of truth, honor, knowledge, and science, that it cannot be shaken by the mere clamor of any town. If the men of Alexandria have the interests of us at heart let them deal by us as fair men.

If young men go into saloons, let them convey to me or to you openly, or even confidentially a statement, naming persons, and dates, and not [make] general, blind assertions, intangible, calculated to do mischief, and utterly incapable of good. I know there are some who may elude us, their teachers. We did it when boys, and boys will outwit their masters long after you and I are gone, but I know that generally the conduct of the young gentlemen here, at Alexandria, going and returning, has been as proper and fair as that of any other equal number at West Point or Lexington. I have indirectly satisfied myself of these truths, and shall permit a portion of them each Sunday to go as now under marchers and to return as now for dinner here. I do not expect them to do any thing else than young gentlemen but should any well established case of drinking or rowdyism occur, it shall be punished summarily. But I beg of you to demand of any informer specific facts.

I hear that complaints are made by merchants, apothecaries, booksellers, and hotel-men - even Dutchmen who cannot speak English - damning us because they can't make any money out of us.

I repeat, the young men here, now fifty-one, are generally well behaved, appear well-satisfied, are with a few exceptions progressing in their studies, and I never saw such manifest interest in the drill, we can hardly keep them back. They attend roll calls with great punctuality and we have no complaints of them other than would be naturally expected. They write many letters, the best kind of advertisement, and they can better spread the necessary information of the characteristics of the school than we could do by advertisements, circulars, or letters.

I did intend to send Bragg a copy of your bill,1 but I send the copy herewith to you. Mr. St. Ange will make you another copy, and if necessary you can send this to Bragg. I wrote him fully. I also wrote yesterday to Dr. Smith. I still have many letters of inquiry; all of which I answer fully or by sending an appointment. As you say we must jog along in studies at this irregular term till the legislature determine the exact character of this school and until a new working, practical Board of Control is organized. I hope that will be soon.

I have been out fighting a fire which threatened a fence, and now have a tooth-ache, not calculated to make me cheerful. Sunday to me instead of a day of rest is one of dread, for fear of these very disagreeable rumors which I cannot help. . .

[P.S.] By the way a Mrs. C— brought a son here a few days since, of proper age and appearance and I received him. She said she was in the family of Mr. Chambers, that she did not know the rules, etc., but that as soon as Mr. C— got up from New Orleans, she would send me the money. It is time I should hear from her. Do you know of her? Can you find out, as I had to act on her bare words, she being an utter stranger. The boy is a fine, bright, handsome boy, though not smart. I have notified Mrs. D— that she must send money for her son, and that without it I could [not] procure for him the uniform, about which they are very anxious.

Can you imagine where we could get fifty-five bayonets and scabbards? There are none in the State Arsenal at New Orleans. The U.S. Arsenal at Baton Rouge is under a citizen, else I would make a desperate effort there, promising to pay, unless I could get an order from the Secretary of War. I would not dare approach Mr. Floyd, as Sherman is not a fair sounding name there just now. My aim is to have fifty-five muskets [privates] and five sergeants and corporals, all uniformed early in March.
_______________

1 A bill providing for a more efficient organization of the Seminary. — Ed.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 128-31

Thursday, September 5, 2019

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, January 24, 1860

Seminary Of Learning, Alexandria, Jan. 24, 1860.

Dear SIR: . . . There are two cadets that may call for action on my part, unless you think different: D— and one of the L—'s are so ignorant and evince so little effort to learn, that labor on them seems lost. I might construe the first month as a preliminary examination, and being disqualified let them return home. This only after all possible means to excite ambition or industry are exhausted.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 128

Friday, June 28, 2019

George Mason Graham to William T. Sherman, Sunday, January 15, 1860 — 1:50 p.m.

Tyrone Plantation, Sunday, 1:15 p.m., January 15, 1860.

Dear Sir: Captain Jarreau has just left here, after bringing me yours of Friday night. I can well comprehend the pressure on your time, which keeps you constantly busy, and therefore makes you write hurriedly. I have more letters on hand now myself than I shall ever have time to answer. You were in this sort of hurry when you wrote me on the eleventh. . .

I entirely approve and authorize your suggestions in regard to approaches and enclosures. You will see where I formerly had the gate put, in the neighborhood of where [you] propose to put it now, with the express view to avoid injury to the front ground. Its removal to its present site was the work of more thoughtful heads that succeeded me.

In regard to the fencing, pine posts, whether sawed or split, will rot off very quick, the more lasting is the chinkapin, of which a good deal is generally to be found in the ravines and branch bottoms. If you cannot get it convenient to yourself the Pinewood's wagoners can get it for you, if they will. The gates I would move immediately. . .

Rest assured that I neither have made nor will make any use of Colonel Bragg's or your brother's letters to you that you could yourself object to, although you could not show them to those that I can. The only persons I have shown them to are Dr. Smith, Mr. Manning, Captain Elgee, and Mr. Halsey and Goodwin in my room at Mr. Fellows' on Thursday night, and I should now return them to you but that there is one other person I am desirous to show them to. I showed them to Mr. Halsey not as an editor, yet because he is an editor too, in order that he might in that capacity say nothing ignorantly, but principally from the estimation in which I hold him as a gentlemanly and right minded man, as far as the occupation, that of a hired partizan editor, he is engaged in, will permit. . .

I think the declaration of your brother in the House in one of the early days of the present session of Congress, and in the debate on the President's message in 1856, republished in the National Intelligencer of the twentieth ult. ought to be sufficient for any thinking, reflecting southern man, who has reason enough in him to admit of a difference of opinion between himself and other people.

Demagogical politicians and partizan editors make all the mischief. Since 1830-1833, I have always believed and never hesitate to express myself so on all occasions, that southern people of the above classes, many of them northern and eastern born, have had quite as much to do with producing the troubles of the country as any body else.

For yourself, my dear Sir, if I had never seen you at all, a knowledge of the facts that you had passed through the Military Academy, had served and resided in the south, and enjoyed the confidence and friendship of Colonel Bragg, was enough for me. The use that I desired to make of your letters was to forestall any apprehensions on the minds of others, not to remove any that I knew of. Am truly glad to learn from you that your own mind is quiet on this point.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 122-4

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, Friday Night, Jan. 13, 1860

Seminary, Friday Night, Jan. 13, 1860.

Dear General: . . . We are getting along well enough. On Monday next a week, I will order breakfast at seven, Mathematics, five classes a week from eight to eleven, French from eleven to one, Latin two to four, drill one hour daily — and that order will carry us to June. The tailor was to have been out to-day to measure for uniforms, but as usual he did not come. As soon as I have measures I will order fifty uniforms coats, vests, and pants, hat and forage caps, also a suit of fatigue flannel — fifteen dollars per coat, vest, pants.

I think there is no objection to the use of the extract of Bragg's letter. I also do not object to a reasonable use of John's letters to me. I think he would not like to appear to seek to counteract any prejudice against him in any quarter, save privately among gentlemen. Not for the public and press. Congressmen think their public record hard enough to reconcile to the changing opinions and prejudices of a wide-spread people.

I saw him last summer, had much talk with him on this subject, and used all my influence to prevail on him to assume a high national tone, and understood him as asserting that no bill could be offered for any purpose in Congress without southern politicians bringing in some phase of the negro question. But on the subject of slave property in the states where it exists, or any molestation of the clear distinct rights relating thereto, guaranteed by the compact of government, he expressed in a speech in my hearing as emphatic a declaration as any one could. But as to nationalizing slavery or getting Congress to pass a distinct law about it in the territories that he will not do. I sent you his letter to show you my reason for asserting that he is no abolitionist. I could not understand his signing the Helper's card and wondered why he did not explain it in his place, but he could not do so after Clark's resolution.

I did apprehend for a time that any feeling against him might be turned against me — not injuring me materially as I have still open to me the London offer, but that my being here might prejudice the Seminary, a mere apprehension of which would cause me to act promptly — but I do not apprehend such a result now.

Our grounds are being materially damaged by the hauling of heavy loads of wood by the front gate, over the only smooth ground we have for a parade; the ground being soft and the wagons turning upon the Bermuda grass, which is firmer than the road I feel much tempted to alter our fences — thus to run a fence from the rear of building straight to the road, and compel all loaded wagons for Jarreau or ourselves to enter to the side and rear. I think I could do all fencing by the men employed to saw and distribute wood, especially as the weather grows warm giving more time. I could get the board for the fence of Waters, on account of his son who is with us. I estimate the entire cost of all the fencing necessary at two hundred dollars and I could do all that is necessary at one hundred fifty dollars, and it would add greatly to the appearance of the place.

I made the measurements to-day and will make a diagram showing my meaning but of course I will do nothing without your sanction. We will have some of the construction fund left — as our furniture will all be taken by cadets at a small profit over cost. With present fences and gate constantly open our enclosure is full of hogs. We dare not kill them, and they root about and keep our premises nasty. I am full aware of the absolute necessity for economy and allude to the subject only, as I might now work in labor of men we must keep employed at the wood-pile; by using split posts I could further reduce cost; little by little anyway I will smooth the ground for drill. . .

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 120-2

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, Saturday Evening, January 14, 1860

Saturday Eve. I have been busy all day in taking measures for clothing, in drill, examining applications for leave to visit home for Sunday, etc., and now as the hour approaches to send off my mail, I have no time even to look over what I wrote last night. Smith and Boyd go to-day to visit some Doctor from Virginia — to be absent till Monday — thirty-nine Cadets present.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 122

Thursday, April 4, 2019

William T. Sherman to Ellen Ewing Sherman, January 12, 1860

Seminary, Jan. 12.

. . . I have allowed more time than usual to pass without writing. Indeed I have had a good many calls upon my time not properly belonging to me. The steward was sick of sore throat that made it imprudent of him to come so I had to supervise his mess affairs. I had a parcel of lazy negroes scrubbing and cleaning, and lastly new cadets arriving and receiving their outfits. I have to do everything but teach. We have now forty cadets all at work reciting in mathematics, French, and Latin, also drilling once a day. I drill one squad, but as soon as I get a few of the best far enough advanced to help I will simply overlook. Hereafter I will have none of this to do.

Everything moves along satisfactorily, all seem pleased, and gentlemen have been here from New Orleans and other distant points who are much pleased. I have knowledge of more cadets coming, and this being the first term and being preceded by so much doubt I don't know that we have reason to be disappointed with only forty. The legislature meets next Monday, and then will begin the free discussion which will settle the fact of professors' houses and other little detailed improvements which will go far to make my position here comfortable or otherwise.

Nobody has said boo about John. Indeed I have two letters from John which I showed to General Graham who gave them to the senator from this Parish, who took them to Baton Rouge. In them John tells me he signed the Helper card without seeing it, not knowing it, but after Clark1 introduced his resolution he would make no disclaimer. He was right, and all men acquainted with the facts will say so. Even southern men. The supervisors can't spare me. I manage their affairs to their perfect satisfaction, and all here in the parish would never think of complicating me. But the legislature may – we shall soon see. . .
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1 John B. Clark, a member of Congress from Missouri, introduced a resolution to the effect that no person who endorsed Helper's book was fit to be speaker of the House of Representatives. —  Ed.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 117-8

Friday, March 1, 2019

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, January 11, 1860


Seminary, Wednesday, January 11, 1860.

Dear General: . . . I will receive all who apply whether appointed or not, and would suggest that you send me a few blank appointments. This idea is suggested by the fact that a young man named Stokes rode one hundred twenty-five miles from Monroe on horseback simply to find out whether it “am a fact” that such an institution was in existence. He brought the enclosed letter. I tried to prevail on him to stay but he was ordered to return. I wrote Mr. Noble to send him back forthwith with two hundred dollars. He thought he could go and return in seven days but I allow ten. . .

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 107

Friday, February 15, 2019

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, January 9, 1860

Seminary, Monday, Jan. 9, i860.

According to your request, I prepared yesterday and will mail today for Governor Wickcliffe: 1. A copy of our morning report of yesterday giving numbers of officers, cadets, and servants. 2. Distribution of rooms, showing easy accommodations for one hundred forty-three cadets, and in case of necessity fifty more. 3. Copy of our register of cadets, giving names, etc., of thirty-one cadets (now thirty-two). . . 4. Copy of the proceedings of the Academic Board, showing the basis of instruction, text books, etc. Still subject to change, before being finally referred to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

And lastly I wrote him a letter, giving him such details and suggestions as occurred to me at the time.  Of all these I retain copies, and would send them to you only they are voluminous, and are always here of record, and will be examined by you on your next visit. Our mess arrangements, drill and recitations work as smoothly as I would expect. . .

Dr. Smith1 sent me word to send him about the close of this month at Baton Rouge full details for his use. I think I had better do so, carefully and minutely.
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1 State senator and member of the Board of Supervisors. — Ed.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 106-7

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, January 7, 1860

Alexandria, Tuesday morning [Jan. 7, 1860]

. . . . I have just paid every bill due by the Seminary and hereafter the cash system shall prevail. We now have thirty-six cadets (five state). . . John Sherman is tetchy about seeming to yield to clamor, but if Dr. Smith explains the manner in which the letter came to him, nobody can object. We are working smoothly. I have found my books – in Henarie's loft where they had been three weeks! – too bad. They were marked plain. . .

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 104

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, January 6, 1860

Seminary, Friday, Jan. 6, 1860.

Dear General: Things move along so so — only twenty four cadets. Captain Walters brought his boy of fourteen years and eight months and I will receive him. Vallas is so zealous that he keeps his class nearly four hours in the section room. I may have to interfere, but for the present will leave him full scope to develop his “Method.” To-morrow, Saturday I will have a drill and afterward daily.

We had some conversation about John Sherman. You have seen enough of the world to understand politicians and the motives which influence and govern them; last night I received a letter from him, which explains his signing that Helper book.1 He is punished well and deservedly for a thoughtless and careless act and will hereafter look at papers before he signs them. I also send you a letter he wrote me before he left home to go to Washington. Whatever rank he may hold among politicians I [know] he would do no aggressive act in life. I do think southern politicians are almost as much to blame as mere theoretical abolitionists. The constant threat of disunion, and their enlarging the term abolitionist has done them more real harm than the mere prayers, preachings, and foolish speeches of distant preachers. It is useless for men to try and make a party on any basis. The professional politician will slip in and take advantage of it if successful and drop it if unsuccessful.

The true position for every gentleman north and south is to frown down even a mention of disunion. Resist any and all assaults calmly, quietly like brave men, and not by threats. The laws of the states and Congress must be obeyed; if wrong or oppressive they will be repealed. Better to bear, etc. I don't pretend to endorse republicanism, John Sherman or anybody else but I send these letters to show that he is no abolitionist. As he is my brother, is honest, of excellent habits, and has done his duty as a son, brother, neighbor, etc., and as I believe, he will fill any post creditably I wish him success.
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1 The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It, published in 1857.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 102-4

Sunday, January 6, 2019

William T. Sherman to Ellen Ewing Sherman, January 4, 1860

Seminary, Jan. 4, 1860.

. . . Since my last I have been pretty busy. Last week was very cold and stormy. The snow fell one night to depth of five inches and lay all next day. On New Years however it cleared off and was bright. Monday was our opening day - was bright cold and clear. All the professors were on hand and nineteen cadets made their appearance. Since then four more. Today we begin reciting in mathematics and French. Tomorrow mathematics and Latin. These studies and drilling will occupy this year till June. There are sixteen state appointments and forty-three by the Board — fifty-nine in all, so that there are about thirty-six to come yet. Not punctual, according to southern fashsion, but partly occasioned by the severe weather of last week which has interrupted travel.

If I were to tell you of the thousand and one little things that stand in the way of doing things here you would be amused. As a sample, in New Orleans I could not find the French grammars wanted by the professor. I telegraphed to New York and got answer that they would come in time; they reached New Orleans and were sent up this river by boat, but the boat did not land them, and they have gone up to Shreveport and when they will get here we cannot guess.

The Latin professor did not get here until the Saturday before the Seminary opened, and now he has to begin instruction without text books. But I am determined they shall teach, and I cause the young men to be marched to their recitation rooms, where the professors must teach by lecture till we get our books. Even New Orleans is badly supplied with books and we must order everything from New York. Some of the hot-bloods talk of non-intercourse with New York, but that is absurd, everything but cotton and sugar must come from the North.

Professor Boyd is a young man of about twenty-five years, and a very clever gentleman. Indeed on the whole the professors are above mediocrity. The young cadets too are a very clever set of young men. Our messing arrangements are also quite complete, and things work well.

You say that ——— still thinks of coming south. I still am incredulous and shall do or say nothing to commit me till I am sure. Seven thousand five hundred dollars a year secured for two years would be better than the post I now hold, as I do not believe this Seminary without legislative aid can pay us the salaries they have agreed to do. Thus the state has compelled us to receive sixteen cadets without pay. Their board, clothing, books, etc., have to be paid for by the Seminary out of the endowment of $8,100. The actual cost of board, etc., of these sixteen will be near $4,000, leaving about the same amount out of which to pay professors salaries amounting to $12,500, or in other words we shall receive only one-third the pay stipulated for. The pay cadets pay barely enough to support themselves. Everything will depend on the legislature for this year, and the whole matter will be fully submitted to them.

Now that I have fairly got the Seminary started, a great point about which there was much doubt, I shall apply myself to this, to procure legislation that will put the college on safe financial ground. The governor and many members are highly favorable and none thus far has breathed a word against me on John's account. I was in hopes that General Graham would go down to Baton Rouge, but he says he cannot, that he has an antipathy to such business - politics and politicians being obnoxious to him as they are to me. . .

SOURCES: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 100-2