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[117] to manufacture one out of the public reports of what had been done, or not done, in East Tennessee, and the Military Committee of the Senate reported against the confirmation of my appointment as major-general. Of this I was informed by my friend Senator J. B. Henderson, in a letter urging me to ‘whip somebody anyhow.’ This information and advice elicited a long reply, from which the following are extracts, which expressed pretty fully my views and feelings on that subject, and which, with events that soon followed, ended all trouble I ever had with that august body, the United States Senate.

I recollect in this connection a very pertinent remark made by General Grant soon after he became President. My nomination as major-general in the regular army, with those of Sherman and Sheridan as general and lieutenant-general, had been sent to the Senate and returned approved so promptly as to occasion comment. I remarked that it had on one occasion taken me a year and a half to get through the Senate. President Grant, as he handed me my commission, replied: ‘Yes; and if your conduct then had been such as to avoid that difficulty with the Senate, you would probably never have received this commission at all.’ I have no doubt he was right. To have pleased the radical politicians of that day would have been enough to ruin any soldier.

headquarters, army of the Ohio, Knoxville, Tenn., April 15, 1864.
dear Senator: I have just received your letter of the 7th informing me that the Military Committee has reported against my nomination, and urging me to ‘whip somebody anyhow.’ I am fully aware of the importance to me personally of gaining a victory. No doubt I might easily get up a little ‘claptrap’ on which to manufacture newspaper notoriety, and convince the Senate of the United States that I had won a great victory, and secure my confirmation by acclamation. Such things have been done, alas! too frequently during this war. But such is not my


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