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Chapter XXVI

  • The death of General Sheridan
  • -- his successor in command of the army -- deplorable condition of the War Department at the time -- a better understanding between the Department and the army commander -- General Sheridan's Humiliating experience -- the Granting of medals -- the Secretary's call -- bell -- the relations of Secretary and General -- views submitted to President Cleveland -- the law Fixing retirement for age -- an anecdote of General Grant.

again, in 1888, only two years after Hancock's death, another of our most gallant companions, the matchless Sheridan, was suddenly stricken down, and soon passed away, before the expiration of half the term allotted for his command of the army. As next in rank, upon the request of the general's family and upon the order of the Secretary of War it became my duty to arrange and conduct the military ceremonies at the funeral.

We buried our companion in beautiful Arlington, the choicest spot in America for the last resting-place of a soldier. It was a bright summer's day, and the funeral ceremonies, both religious and military, were the most impressive I have ever seen. As a special tribute of respect to my brother soldier, a staff officer in uniform was sent to meet and escort the archbishop who came to celebrate the funeral mass.

The death of General Sheridan placed me in a position which I had never anticipated—that of senior officer on

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