conduct toward General Sherman
, was inexcusably thoughtless respecting the damage he might do to the reputation of a brother soldier.
The least a true man can do is to make suitable public reparation if he has for any reason done publicly a personal injustice.
I knew personally at the time the exact truth respecting the action of General Halleck
toward General Grant
before the battle of Shiloh
, especially in ordering Grant
to remain in the rear while General C. F. Smith
was sent with the advance of the army to Pittsburg Landing
, as described by General Grant
in his ‘Memoirs.’
might fight a battle and win a victory in Grant
's absence, which would naturally be followed by an order putting Smith
in command in place of Grant
had not anticipated Grant
's soldierly action in applying to be relieved, and was not prepared to face that emergency.
As soon as Grant
's application reached St. Louis
abandoned that line of action, but he did not abandon his purpose to supersede Grant
in some way until some time later.
Whatever excuse there may have been at that time for Halleck
's opinion of Grant
, nothing can be said in favor of the method he adopted to accomplish his purpose to supersede him.
The action of Grant
in this case well foreshadowed that which occurred when he was tendered the commission of lieutenant-general and the command of all the armies.
would not hold any commission or command without full authority to perform the duties belonging to it. In his ‘Memoirs’ he modestly refrains from relating the most important part of that action, as he told it to me on the war-steamer Rhode Island
the next January.
Before accepting the commission from President Lincoln
, as Grant
describes, he said in substance that if it meant that he was to exercise actual command of all the armies, without any interference from the War Department, he was willing to accept it,