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[119] act upon the concurrent testimony of all my superior officers as to what services I have rendered, I shall not condescend to humbug them into the belief that I have done something which I really have not.

You ask me what are the prospects of putting down the rebellion. I answer unhesitatingly that when the management of military matters is left to military men, the rebellion will be put down very quickly, and not before. I regard it as having been fully demonstrated that neither the Senate, nor the House of Representatives, nor the newspapers, nor the people of the United States, nor even all of them together, can command an army. I rather think if you let Grant alone, and let him have his own way, he will end the war this year. At all events, the next ninety days will show whether he will or not.

I find this letter is both too long and too ill-natured. I feel too much as if I would like to ‘whip somebody anyhow,’ so I will stop where I am. Let me hear from you again soon.

Yours very truly,


Of course I knew the advice of my friend Senator Henderson was not intended to be taken seriously, but only as expressing his view, much the same as my own, of the then existing situation in the Senate. But it gave me, all the same, the opportunity I wanted to give his brother senators, through him, ‘a piece of my mind.’

General Sherman, on a visit to Knoxville about the end of March, a few days before the date of the foregoing letter, disclosed to me his general plans for the coming campaign, and the part I was expected to take in it.

It would be difficult to give an adequate conception of the feeling of eager expectation and enthusiasm with which, having given my final salutation to my ‘friends’ in the Senate, I entered upon the preparations for this campaign. Of its possible results to the country there was room in my mind only for confidence. But for myself,

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