Page images
PDF
EPUB

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE Platte,

OMAHA, NEB., July 23, 1885. HON. R. S. TUTHILL,

Chairman Banquet Committee, Society Army Tennessee: MY DEAR SIR:-It would gratify me much to be present at the reunion of the Society, but official engagements will preclude the possibility during this year. The old days when we served together are not forgotten. May God brighten the faces of all who shall gather with you next September to commemorate the achievements of the Army of the Tennessee.

I have just heard the news of General Grant's death. It was eleven years, yesterday, since General McPherson's death on the field. Three of our Army commanders are left. Each goes in his turn. Our leader has set us a noble example. Fortitude, success, courage, sight, succumbs to unwavering faith, and life eternal to the earthly conflict! Is it not a good thought? A country saved to humanity full of its rich promise. A short war, then a long peace, an earthly conflict followed by heavenly and unending joy. Such the honor to Grant, in which honor the soldiers in war, and after war, claim a part.

Sincerely yours,

0. O. HOWARD, Brigadier-General, U. S. A.

at

CLEVELAND, O., September 3, 1885. GENERAL A. HICHENLOOPER,

Cincinnati, Ohio: DEAR GENERAL:—I find, to my great disgust, that it will be impossible for me to attend the reunion of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, Chicago next week,

I am attorney for the defendants in three important cases pending in the United States Circuit Court at Williamsport, Pa., which have been set for hearing at a special term on Tuesday and Wednesday next, and I have found it impossible to get the time changed, or arranged, in any way to release me.

I regret this exceedingly, for being out of the country, I was absent from the meeting last year.

My heart will beat with you, and all the brother officers, at your meeting, and you will have my most hearty wishes for a splendidly good time.

As the years roll around, I find that my desire to attend these meetings, grows stronger and stronger.

Very truly yours,

M. D. LEGGETT.

WILMINGTON, Del., Angusi 30, 1885. My Dear GENERAL:—I am in receipt of the usual notice of the annual meeting of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, to be held at Chicago on the gth and 10th of September, and regret to inform you, that preparations which I am now engaged in making for a trip to Japan and China, will render it impossible for me to be with you. I hope you may have a good time,

and that each of our comrades may continue to grow in happiness and prosperity

If, on receipt of this, you will cause me to be notified of any dues to be paid by me for the current year, I shall have pleasure in remitting before I sail, which will be September 19. Yours, cordially and fraternally,

J. H. WILSON. GENERAL A. HickeNLOOPER,

Corresponding Secretary, etc., Cincinnati, Ohio.

BUFFALO, N. Y., August 13, 1885. GENERAL A. HICKENLOOPER,

Corresponding Secretary Society Army of the Tennessee, Cincinnati, O.: GENERAL:-I acknowledge receipt of the official notification of the time and place of the next reunion of the Society, and I regret exceedingly to say that circumstances may arise which will prevent my attendance at the meeting. The death of the first Commander of the Army of the Tennessee, whose name is destined to adorn the pages of history, as long as time and memory of man endures, overshadows all other thoughts at ihe present writing. As one of the humble and component parts of that glorious old Army, whose achievements are indissolubly linked with the name of General U. S. Grant, I desire to add my tribute of respect and admiration to the memory of that illustrious chieftain, whose skillful and undaunted leadership shed so much lustre and renown upon its historic fame and martial glory.

I extend to the members of the Society the fervent hope that they may all enjoy the inestimable privilege for many years to come, of attending these pleasant reunions.

Very respectfully,

JAMES N. MCARTHUR.

PLEASANT Ridge, HAMILTON Co., O., September 8, 1885. GENERAL ANDREW HICKENLOOPER:

Dear GENERAL:—When Mrs. Markland and myself left Washington City, it was with the intention of being present at the annual meeting of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, to be held on the oth and 10th instant, at Chicago, if my health would permit. The weather is too unpropitious for me to leave this place to-day, and, therefore, I cannot be with you. I have been too much of an invalid to attend any of the meetings of the Society for the past seven years. I am now just getting well over my physical disabilities, and dare not take any chances of a relapse.

You know, as do all the other members of the Society, that the meetings are no place for a rejuvenated invalid, any more than they would be for a reformed

Well, I always had good times when I attended the meetings, and I hope they have never proved less refreshing to those who have attended during my abseuce.

There are very many truths and interesting stories concerning the officers and men of the Army of the Tennessee, that have not been written or publicly told, and which should not be lost. Every meeting of the Society brings to light some of these almost forgotten stories and incidents of the campaigns of that Army. And, now and then, some participant in the marches and battles of that Army, tells in print, what he saw and heard as it moved from Fort Henry by the way of Shiloh, Memphis, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Savannah, etc., to Washington City, where it commenced to fade away, that its officers and men might again walk in the paths of peace. The crowning glory of the Army of the Tennessee was, that when its work of war was over, its commanders and men, with one accord, said: “Let us have peace.”

A thoroughly satisfactory history of a war is written after all the actors in it are dead. One reader then knows as much as another, and unfriendly criticism does not create heart-burnings. But the stories of the march, bivouac and camp-fire, which enliven and make happy, should be told while the brotherhood of soldiers are alive and can be refreshed by them,

I wish I could tell you the funny things which took place at Cairo in 1861, when war was new to most of the men who then formed the nucleus of the Army of the Tennessee. What a band of good fellows were there assembled! Soidiers, correspondents, and one post-office official, all intent on war, but determined to enjoy the humor of preparation. You never knew General Charles F. Smith. He was dead before you became one of us. He was the only soldier I ever saw who filled my eye and mind of a soldier as we read of soldiers, and see them in pictures, statues, etc. He looked the soldier, walked the soldier, and talked the soldier. The Senate hesitated to confirm him as a Brigadier-General, because he had been charged with intemperance, a most unjust charge. When I came out from Washington City to Cairo, in 1861, and met General Grant, he was deeply interested in the confirmation of General Smith, and was much mortified by the delayed action of the Senate. I knew enough about the cause of the delay in the confirmation, to tell General Grant that General Smith would ultimately be confirmed. He thought that information would be gratifying to General Smith, and asked me to go to Paducah, where General Smith was then in command, to tell him what I knew of the delay. General Grant gave me a letter to General Smith, in which he stated who I was, and asked for me a patient hearing, etc. When I arrived in Paducah, and went to the hotel, I heard the soldiers who were in the office complaining of the style General Smith put on with the volunteers—that he was proud, haughty, aristocratic, etc. I was almost tempted not to deliver the letter which had been given me by General Grant. However, about dark in the evening, I walked up to General Smith's quarters and sent in the letter. He came to the door of his room and received me politely, remarking at the same time to the orderly, that he would be engaged for a time, and that other callers must be referred to the Adjutant-General. When we entered his room, he turned the key in the lock, and asked me to be seated. He then entered upon one of the most interesting and impressive conversations to which I have ever listened. He had studied all the questions connected with secession, rebellion, and the prosecution of the war. In the

course of the conversation, he rasped severely the political Senators who presumed to judge of the patriotism and merits of those who had made war a life study, and predicted the very blunders which afterward hampered army movements by reason of political interference. The conversation was prolonged until 11 o'clock, when the door was opened for me to take my leave. A cold, raw, northwest wind, which had sprung up since I had called, came rushing in. General Smith immediately closed the door, and said: "I notice that you have no wrappings or overcoa', and the weather has become quite cold. This climate is treacherous to health at this season of the year.” I had spent seven years within a stone's throw of where we were then talking. I answered that it would make no difference about an overcoat; that I would walk briskly to the hotel, which was not a great way off. The General again turned the key in the lock, and said: “Inasmuch as you have no outside wrappings, I think you had better take something warm inside.” Thereupon he got down on his knees and crawled under the bed, and brought out an old-fashioned stone jug. I thought then, and many times since, that that was a “stoop from the sublime to the ridiculous," from the impressive to the uninteresting. We took two rounds from the jug, spiced with stories of men who had taken rounds from other jugs. I took my leave with a feeling that I had passed an evening with a great soldier, an accomplished gentleman, and a genial companion. My feelings toward General Smith were modified, for a time, next inorning. It was my hope that I had impressed General Smith as favorably as he had me, and that an intimacy might spring up between us, which would put at rest the idea that he was imperious or intemperate. As I walked up the street, I noticed, some distance ahead of me, General Smith coming down. A more soldierly-looking man I never had seen. I supposed, from my limited knowledge of military etiquette, that he would be glad to see me, stop and shake hands, and possibly inquire how the rounds from the jug had agreed with me. As he approached me I was prepared for that kind of a greeting. I found my mistake, when he looked neither to the right, nor the left, gave me a lordly salute, which meant to my civilian mind, avaunt, I know you not, and passed on. I thought unkindly, then, of the man who entertained me so handsomely in the evening and forgot me in the morning, and as I walked on up the street, I talked to myself about him, using hard words. I knew him better after that, and I say to you, that my first impressions of General Charles F. Smith, were altogether correct. In his death, the country met with a loss it could ill afford, and the Army lost one of its very best representatives. I tell you this little story of General Smith because he was one of those who formed the nucleus of the Army of the Ten

nessee.

The first ladies who came to the headquarters of General Grant, and they came as angels of mercy, were the wives of Colonels John A. Logan and M. M. Bane. Immediately after the battle of Fort Donelson, these two officers were brought on board of General Grant's headquarters' steamboat New Uncle Sam, wounded, as were other officers. A few days thereafter, Mrs. Logan and Mrs. Bane came to nurse their husbands. What a joy there was when they came. · We were all glad of their presence. I do not forget the

consecrated home influence which Mrs. Logan threw around about the headquarters, which, at an earlier period of the war, had battled with fun ana frolic, and was now disturbed by the agonizing groans of wounded men. These ladies were the pioneers of the female nurses of the Army of the Tennessee. They not only nursed their own husbands, but their loving kindness and care were directed to the other wounded officers as well.

My first official interview with General Sherman was at Memphis, though we knew each other indifferently before that. This Memphis interview had a touch of humor in it for me, and for a while it had something of the appearance of grim humor. General Grant told me, that when General Sherman was ready to start down the Mississippi river to Vicksburg, to report to him and accompany the expedition. I was around with the Quartermaster until the boats were nearly ready to start. I then reported to General Sherman at the Gayoso House, to know at what hour the start would be made. He said to me, “What do you want to know that for?” I answered that "I wanted to go along.” “No, you won't," said he; “I am not going to have any newspaper correspondents or camp-followers of any kind.” He gave me a copy* of the orders he had issued to govern the expedition to read. I read

*HEADQUARTEks Right WING, THIRTEENTH Army Corps, MEMPHIS, TENN., December 18, 1862.

} GENERAL ORDER NO. 8:

1. The expedition now fitting out is purely of a military character, and the interests involved are of too important a character to be mixed up with personal and private business. No citizen, male or female, will be allowed to accompany it, unless employed as part of a crew, or as a servant to the transports. Female chambermaids to boats, and nurses to sick, alone, will be allowed, unless the wives of captains, or pilots, actually belonging to boats. No laundress, officer's, or soldier's wives inust pass below Helena.

2. No person whatever, citizen, officer, or sutler, will, on any consideration, buy or deal in cotton, or other produce of the country. Should any cotton be brought on board of a transport, going or returning, the brigade quartermaster, of which the boat forms a part, will take possession of it, and invoice it to Captain A. R. Eddy, chief quartermaster, at Memphis.

3. Should any cotton, or other produce, be brought back to Memphis, by any chartered boat, the quartermaster, Captain Eddy, will take possession of the same and sell it for the benefit of the United States, If accompanied by its actual producer, the planter or factor, the quartermaster will furnish him a receipt for the same, to be settled for, on proof of his loyalty, at the end of the war.

4. Boats ascending the river may take cotton from the shore, for bulkheads, to protect their engines or their crew, but on arrival at Memphis it will be turned over to the quarter. master, with a statement of the time, place and name of its owner, The trade in cotton mus', a wait a more peaceful state of affairs.

5. Should any citizen accompany the expedition below Helena, in violation of these orders, any Colonel of a regiment, or Captain of a battery, will conscript him into the service of the United States for the unexpired term of his command. If he show a refractory spirit. unfitting him for a soldier, the commanding officer present will turn him over to the Captain of the boat, as a deck hand, and compel him to work in that capacity, without wages, till the boat returns to Memphis.

6. Any person whatever, whether in the service of the United States or transports, found making reports for publication, which might reach the enemy, giving them information, aid and comfort, will be arrested and treated as spies. By order of Major General Sherman,

J.H. HAYMOND, Major and A. A. General.

« EelmineJätka »