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[429]

But soon after my pickets were put out on the plains, there came the sad news of the sudden death, in San Francisco, of my old commander, General George H. Thomas. His body was brought east to Troy, New York, for interment. All his old companions, including President Grant, assembled to pay the last tribute of respect and honor to that noble old soldier, whose untimely death was deeply mourned by all. It was a most impressive scene. All the high commanders of the vast army which had been disbanded five years before assembled around the grave of one of their number. The hero was buried, as he had lived, honored by all who knew him, and mourned by the nation he had so faithfully served.

Immediately after the funeral of General Thomas there was, if I recollect rightly, a large assembly, in Philadelphia, of the Society of the Army of the Potomac. General Grant and General Sherman were there, and we met at an early dinner at the house of General Meade, who had been designated by General Sherman to succeed General Thomas in command of the Division of the Pacific. After dinner General Meade took me to drive through Fairmount Park, in which he was greatly interested as president of the commission having it in charge. He explained to me the great sacrifice he would make in giving up command of the Division of the Atlantic, and his congenial occupation and pleasant home in Philadelphia, where he was best known and most highly respected, and where, as I could see in driving along, almost everybody recognized and saluted him. I thought he had indeed better reason to feel satisfied with his home than any other man I had ever known. But he, too, great and brave soldier, was given but little longer to enjoy the high honors he had so nobly won in command of the Army of the Potomac. When I had so far recovered from a severe attack of pneumonia as to be permitted to look for

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