MILITARY ORDER OF THE LOYAL LEGION OF THE UNITED STATES
February 15, 1891
I have no personal reminisces of General Sherman during the war, for I served under other commanders. Reminisces of the war and of our great generals are always interesting to the people. I hardly feel willing to make any off-hand remarks relative to the life of Gen. Sherman for they would not be adequate to the subject.
My intimate acquaintance with Gen, Sherman dates only since the war. I have been on friendly terms with him for about 25 years. He was so well known to the whole people, and especially to the union soldiers, that there is hardly any reason for off-hand talk about him. There are probably few men who ever lived in any country who were known and loved as Gen. Sherman was.
He is the idol of the soldiers of the Union army. His presence at soldiers’ meetings and with soldiers’ societies and organizations was always hailed with the utmost delight. When the general was present the enthusiasm created by his inspiring presence was such as to make him the chief attraction at all important gatherings. He was always cordial and very happy in his greetings to his comrades. He was full of the comrade spirit and all, from the humblest soldier to the corps commander, was equally gratified by the way in the way they were met and greeted by Gen. Sherman.
He will be greatly missed and greatly mourned by the whole body of men who served under him, and indeed by all the soldiers of all the armies. He was generally regarded by them as the military genius of the war, He was a voluminous writer, and a ready, prompt, and capital talker. Probably no man who was connected with the war said as many things which will be remembered and quoted hereafter as did Gen. Sherman.
In figure, in face, and in bearing he was the ideal soldier, I think that it can be said of him as he once said to another, that ‘with him gone the world seems less bright and less cheerful than it was before.’ The soldiers in looking around for consolation for his death will find much in the fact that he lived so long - almost twenty-six years after the final victory.
There is also probably some consolation in the fact that he has gone before age and disease had impaired his wonderful powers and attractions.
He was, in short, the most picturesque, magnetic, and original character in the great conflict. He was occasionally in his writings and talk wonderfully pathetic, I recall nothing connected with the war that was finer in that way than a letter which he wrote probably during the second year of the war, when his son, aged 10 years, who was named after the general, died in camp. The boy fancied that he belonged to a regiment in his father’s command, and the members of the regiment were very attentive to him during his sickness, and at the time of his death, Gen. Sherman wrote a letter to the men of the regiment thanking them for what they had done. I cannot now recall the terms of that letter, but I doubt not that if it were now published many an eye would moisten as it was read.
A very noble trait in the character of Gen. Sherman was the fidelity of his friendships. His loyal support of Grant under all the circumstances cannot be surpassed in all the history of the relations between eminent men engaged in a common cause.
Yes, I will attend the funeral of Gen. Sherman, although I have no information as to the arrangements. If it is held in New York, I will go to that city, and if in St. Louis, I will go there.