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[543]

It was General Grant whose voluntary application, in the winter of 1863-4, relieved me from the disagreeable controversy with partizan politicians in Missouri, and gave me command of an army in the field. It was upon his recommendation that my services in that command were recognized by promotion from the grade of captain to that of brigadier-general in the regular army and brevet major-general for services in the battle of Franklin. It was Grant who, upon my suggestion, ordered me, with the Twenty-third Corps, from Tennessee to North Carolina, to take part in the closing operations of the war, instead of leaving me where nothing important remained to be done. It was he who paid me the high compliment of selecting me to conduct the operations which might be necessary to enforce the Monroe doctrine against the French army which had invaded Mexico. It was he who firmly sustained me in saving the people of Virginia from the worst effects of the congressional reconstruction laws. It was he who greeted me most cordially as Secretary of War in 1868, and expressed a desire that I might hold that office under his own administration. And, finally, it was he who promoted me to the rank of major-general in the regular army, the next day after his inauguration as President.

It was a great disappointment to me to find only casual mention of my name in General Grant's ‘Memoirs.’ But I was not only consoled, but moved to deep emotion when told by his worthy son, Colonel Frederick Dent Grant, that his father had not ceased up to the last day of his life to cherish the same kind feeling he had always manifested toward me, and that one of his last fruitless efforts, when he could no longer speak, was to put on paper some legible words mentioning my name.

General Sherman wrote that he could not understand Grant, and doubted if Grant understood himself. A very distinguished statesman, whose name I need not mention,

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