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β€œ [210] for the Freedmen and Refugees and Abandoned Estates. It is simply impracticable. Yet you can and will do all the good one man may, and that is all you are called on as a man and a Christian to do, and to that extent count on me as a friend and fellow soldier for counsel and assistance.”

Then the good general went on to discuss the subject of reconstruction with some asperity, but with his customary frankness. One sentence shows how kindly he felt toward the South:

I do believe the people of the South realize the fact that their former slaves are free, and if allowed reasonable time, and not harassed by confiscation and political complications, will very soon adapt their condition and interest to their new state of facts. Many of them will sell or lease their farms on easy terms to their former slaves and gradually the same political state of things will result as now exists in Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri ...

We will be at Alexandria on Friday, and I know you will call to see us.

Delicately referring to his own treatment, he said: β€œDon't let the foul airs of Washington poison your thoughts toward your old comrades in arms.”

At first, by what was said to me by the Secretary of War, telling me to use my officers as I liked in the control of the new Bureau, I supposed I was to continue in command of the Army and Department of the Tennessee, certainly till the final muster out.

A few days before the Grand Review at Washington General Sherman called me into the office of General Townsend, the adjutant general of the army. We were there by ourselves. General Sherman then said that he wanted me to surrender the command of the

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