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[118] theory of a soldier's duties. I have an idea that my military superiors are the proper judges of my character and conduct, and that their testimony ought to be considered satisfactory as to my military qualities.

I have the approval and support of the President, the Secretary of War, General Halleck, General Grant, and General Sherman. I am willing to abide the decision of any one or all of them, and I would not give a copper for the weight of anybody's or everybody's opinion in addition to, or in opposition to, theirs.

If the Senate is not satisfied with such testimony, I can't help it. I never have and never will resort to ‘buncombe’ for the purpose of securing my own advancement. If I cannot gain promotion by legitimate means, I do not want it at all. . . . In all this time I have yet to hear the first word of disapproval, from my superior officer, of any one of my military operations (unless I except Curtis, who disapproved of my pursuing Hindman so far into Arkansas), and in general have received high commendation from my superiors, both for my military operations and administration. I would rather have this record without a major-general's commission, than to gain the commission by adding to my reputation one grain of falsehood. . . .

Grant was here in the winter, and Sherman only a few days ago. They are fully acquainted with the condition of affairs. I have been acting all the time under their instructions, and I believe with their entire approval. They are generally understood to be men whose opinions on military matters are entitled to respect. I cannot do more or better than refer the Senate to them.

One thing is certain: I shall not be influenced one grain in the discharge of my duty by any question as to what action the Senate may take on my nomination. . . . If the Senate is not satisfied as to my past services, why not wait until they can know more? I am tired enough of this suspense, but still am perfectly willing to wait. In fact, I have become, in spite of myself, very indifferent on the subject. I am pretty thoroughly convinced that a major-general's commission is not worth half the trouble I and my friends have had about mine, and I feel very little inclination to trouble them, or even myself, any more about it.

The Senate has its duty to perform in this matter, as well as myself and my superior officers. If senators are not willing to

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Arkansas (Arkansas, United States) (1)

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William T. Sherman (2)
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Samuel R. Curtis (1)
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