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I. Commemorating in fitting words the inestimable service rendered by him to his country in the capacity of commander, ranking second only to Grant, the peerless chieftain, with whose name his own will ever remain imperishably linked in history, and whose fame he will continue to share as he shared with him the unceasing cares and torturing responsibilities of the mightiest struggle for liberty and union known in the annals of time.
II. Recounting how we, the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, who saw him day by day, and felt the inspiring magnetism of his example from Corinth to Washington; who submitted to his command so willingly throughout the war and heard his command ever only to obey; and who, the war being over, felt the glow of that kindly heart, that generous soul, that genial companionship which bound us to him with ties far stronger than the firm steel-hooks of military duty, until, as we had first measured him as a commander of brigade, of division, of corps, of army, so we came at last to measure him as a social, genial, companionable comrade, president of our Society, keenly alive to the amenities of our gentler human nature.
III. Recalling with delight the personal reminiscences in which he so freely indulged, -happy, original, historical; recalling his plain, outspoken honesty,--for it was characteristic of him to speak as he thought; recalling the hearty, responsive social spirit with which he ever welcomed us all as comrades, and as equals,for he met our every wish and expression of good-will with a response which brought us so near to him that we felt as if we could not part.
IV. Honoring him for his true spirit of Americanism during and since the war,--a spirit which brought him ever nearer and nearer to the people in civic life, until they came to love the determined soldier for the charms of his personality,-so that the death of no other man then living could have left a deeper and wider void in the hearts of the American people ; honoring him for the uncompromising adherence to the spirit of nationality, the principle which inspired him to deeds of valor in war, and to urgent warnings to his countrymen when, in peace, it was sometimes thought possible that we might again have to “ tighten our belts;" honoring him for having no doubts and expressing none as to what as soldiers we had fought for, accomplished, and demanded as the results of the war, an imperishable legacy to his countrymen, over and beyond that transmitted as a great soldier and commander ; and lastly,
V. Declaring our heart-felt sorrow for his death, our entire and deep sympathy with his children in their touching and undying love and reverence for his name ; declaring our profound appreciation of his matchless service to his country, and our boundless satisfaction in knowing that, while all of him that was mortal is dead to us, the disembodied essence of his life goes on and remains the heritage of the nation. To this end be it
Resolved, That this, our tribute to the memory of General William Tecumseh Sherman, some time commander of each of its separate units, and finally of the entire Army of the Tennessee, from Shiloh to the end of the war ; an original member of this Society from its organization, and its president from the time of the death of General Rawlins to the date of his own, be suitably engrossed, spread upon the minutes of this meeting, and preserved with the records of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee.
Resolved, further, That the Secretary of this Society be, and is hereby, instructed to transmit a duly authenticated copy of this preamble and resolution to the surviving members of the family of General Sherman.
General Chetlain:-I move the adoption of the report of the committee by a rising vote.
General Bane:-Mr. President, it does seem to me that an occasion like this should be well cherished in our hearts, and that we should not only for our own benefit, but for our children and our children's children, record our feelings upon such an occasion. As
Hamlet said to his mother about the dead king, and I thought of it last night when General Hickenlooper made his address upon General Sherman: * Few such men has the world given humanity." The Society of the Army of the Tennessee has a treasure in the
memory of such a man and of the man that preceded him, that no other societies in the wide world have ever had. Look upon this picture, said Hamlet. What a grace is seated upon his brow, and always was. Hyperion curls and the very front of Jove himself, with the
eye of Mars to threaten and command. Look at him on Kenesaw, signaling to that young son of thunder, Corse. Read the grand reply of that wonderful little warrior, “I am short a cheek bone and an ear, but we can whip all hell yet.” A combination and a form indeed was Sherman where the
God Almighty seemed to set his mark to give the world assurance of a
Comrades, Sherman, taken for all in all, we shall not soon look upon his like again.
General Willard Warner:-Before this vote is taken I wish to say that as a friend and follower of General Sherman, and as one who counted on him as a friend for many years, I would not do justice to the feelings of my own heart if I allowed this occasion to pass without a word. Not that I can say anything that will add to your knowledge and admiration of General Sherman, but that I may express my own feelings of devotion, regard and love. Like our worthy President, General Dodge, I may say that General Sherman followed me in my humble capacity in civil life, with the interest of a father, always watching and enquiring, coming to visit me to see how I was doing, and taking all the interest and pride that a father could take in a son. I built a blast furnace and a little town in Alabama, in 1873. Three miles below me some of our Southern brethren were building a furnace, and called it “Stonewall," after Stonewall Jackson. I said to them, “ I will take the other side of that question, and call our furnace and town Tecumseh," and I did so. I went there in March, 1873, and on the 4th day of July following I unfurled the United States flag. Like my friend, General Bane, I had one bottle of champagne that a friend had left me, and I broke that bottle and treated some Union friends who were there. It is rather significant that “Stonewall” has broken three or four companies, but like the General, the flag of " Tecumseh " has never gone down.
General Sherman was the most thorouglıly honest man I have
ever known. It has been my good fortune to know many of our public men in civil and military life during the last forty years. Thirty-one years ago in this city, with my friend General Barnum and others, I helped to nominate Abraham Lincoln for President of the United States. Since then I have known many of our great men, but I have never known a man who was so thoroughly and entirely honest, in the highest and best sense of the word, in every thought, action, emotion, and in every impulse as General Sherman. There was no guile in the man. You heard last night of his life in Louisiana, and of his anticipation of a great war.
I remember that he told me that the night he left Louisiana, he talked until about two o'clock in the morning with General Bragg, afterwards so prominent, and he came back with the conviction that we were upon the eve of a great war. He impressed that upon his brother John, and perhaps upon his brother, our friend Hoyt Sherman, who is here. John Sherman took him to President Lincoln. President Lincoln heard him, and either from motives of policy, or possibly a mistaken view, perhaps with a wise forecast, he seemed to treat the matter lightly. General Sherman came out of the White House with his brother John, and after the door was closed behind them, and in view of the seeming carelessness of the President of the great crisis that to his mind was so clear, he said in his impetuous and fierce way, “ John, you are sleeping on a volcano, and are all going to hell together. I am going back to my street railroad in St. Louis.”
I was with General Sherman on Kenesaw mountain when he signaled to Altoona fourteen miles away. We saw the smoke of French's guns; we could see a puff here, and a puff there and a puff yonder, indicating the position of every battery and every gun. General Sherman had a signal officer with him. He wanted to find out whether Corse was there. He had wired Corse, who was at Rome, to take his division and go to Altoona as quickly as possible. He got no answer, for Hood had cut the wires. He told the signal officer to inquire of Altoona if Corse was there. The air was a little misty and the officer could not read the signals. He read some of them, and said, “General, I have lost some of the signals. I can't make out anything, but here is what I have,” and he had the letters as I remember, C. S. E. H. E. Sherman looked a moment and said, “I understand that, Corse is here, all right.” He then said to me," Warner, go down and tell Cox to move on French's rear with his division, and let French understand that he can't stay there long, with Corse in front and Cox in the rear. Tell him to burn every house and barn that he comes to, so that I can see just where he is all the time.” I think that I may be allowed to add this in justice to General Cox. I gave him the order. When I got back, General Sherman had come down from the top of the mountain, and was in his tent fly. He came out to meet me with that famous dispatch of Corse's which has been repeated here, and I remarked to him that General Cox's head of column was on the road fifteen minutes after I gave him the order. The General snapped out quickly, “Cox is going to make a soldier.”
At the beginning of the Atlanta campaign, and after General Sherman had been placed in command of the Military Division of the Mississippi, with General Thomas in command of the Army of the Cumberland, and of course subordinate to Sherman, I asked General Sherman if there was any truth in the rumor that General Thomas was dissatisfied. He replied, “No, not a bit. It don't make much difference which of us commands the army, I would obey Tom's order to-morrow as readily and cheerfully as he does mine to-day, but I think I can give the army a little more impetus than Tom can.”
General Sherman told me of the interview between him and General Grant after Shiloh, and after Grant had been relieved of the command of the army. He said that Grant had told him with tears, that he was disgraced and ruined, and that he intended to resign from the army. Sherman said to him, “Nonsense, you will do no such thing. Do your duty where you are placed; this will all blow over, and you will come out all right.” General Grant followed Sherman's advice, and never ceased to be grateful for it, and we all know how he did come out “all right.”
General Sherman had a way of saying things in what is considered an extreme way, which is illustrated by a remark he made on the Atlanta campaign. I asked him one night at the camp-fire, what he thought of the Ohio law allowing soldiers to vote in the field. He said, “If I had my way, there shouldn't any body but soldiers vote.”
Here in this city, as many of you know, General Sherman virtually refused the Presidency of the United States. A considerable movement had been organized in his favor. All we needed was