Two Letters: 150 Years Ago

Long-time readers of this blog will recall this post, which appeared one year ago today. For others, it’s a useful read.

6 thoughts on “Two Letters: 150 Years Ago

  1. Nancy Winkler April 30, 2014 / 1:32 pm

    Grant may not be a hottie, but his letter illustrates perfectly why he is so attractive.

  2. Noma April 30, 2014 / 9:32 pm

    Definitely not a line that Lincoln was accustomed to hearing from his generals:

    “Should my success be less than I desire, and expect, the least I can say is, the fault is not with you.”

    I would have loved to see his face when he read it!

  3. Noma April 30, 2014 / 9:48 pm

    (On board the River Queen, March 1865)

    Lincoln to Sherman, “Sherman, do you know why I took a shine to Grant and you?”
    “I don’t know, Mr. Lincoln, you have been extremely kind to me, far more than my deserts.”

    “Well,” said Lincoln, “you never found fault with me.”

    Lloyd Lewis – Sherman: Fighting Prophet

    • Brooks D. Simpson May 1, 2014 / 12:21 am

      If only Lincoln had known what Sherman had said in his private correspondence.

      • Noma May 1, 2014 / 8:01 pm

        Hmm… I forgot about all that. And this:

        The differences between the two men were illustrated when Senator Sherman took his brother to the White House in the spring of 1861. As William T. Sherman recalled in his memoirs, the meeting was a disaster:

        One day, John Sherman took me with him to see Mr. Lincoln. He walked into the room where the secretary to the President now sits, we found the room full of people, and Mr. Lincoln sat at the end of the table, talking with three or four gentlemen, who soon left. John walked up, shook hands, and took a chair near him, holding in his hand some papers referring to, minor appointments in the State of Ohio, which formed the subject of conversation.

        Mr. Lincoln took the papers, said he would refer them to the proper heads of departments, and would be glad to make the appointments asked for, if not already promised.

        John then turned to me, and said, “Mr. President, this is my brother, Colonel Sherman, who is just up from Louisiana, he may give you some information you want.”

        “Ah!” said Mr. Lincoln, “how are they getting along down there?”

        I said, “They think they are getting along swimmingly-they are preparing for war.”

        “Oh, well!” said he, “I guess we’ll manage to keep house.”

        I was silenced, said no more to him, and we soon left. I was sadly disappointed, and remember that I broke out on John, d-ning the politicians generally, saying, “You have got things in a hell of a fig, and you may get them out as you best can,” adding that the country was sleeping on a volcano that might burst forth at any minute, but that I was going to St. Louis to take care of my family, and would have no more to do with it.

        John begged me to be more patient, but I said I would not; that I had no time to wait, that I was off for St. Louis; and off I went.

  4. John Foskett May 1, 2014 / 10:20 am

    Like the clerk, you’ve left out “You have done your best to sacrifice this Army.” …..Ooops, my bad. I knew the letter I’m referring to was from the opponent Marse Robert most feared but had them confused.

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