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Chapter 65: in Europe, Egypt, and Constantinople

Early in the season of 1884, I made up my mind, if possible, to go to Europe. General Sherman, after his European tour, had told me that I ought not to undertake it until I had at least seven thousand dollars ahead. I was aware that I had not means enough to take my family; I was sure, however, that if I waited until I laid up that sum, I should never go. One day Mr. Lemon, the editor of the National Tribune of Washington, D. C., was on a visit to Omaha. He said he would pay me for monographs on the Civil War if I could furnish one a week. I thereupon entered into a contract with him which aided me to take the trip. My son Jamie was studying in Germany and would meet me at Antwerp, and we two together could make a reasonably extensive observation.

General Sheridan, then commanding the army, gave me a leave of absence, and further extended the time by detailing me to attend the French maneuvers of the Seventeenth Corps d'armee in southern France. Furthermore he instructed me to proceed to view the English war operations near the upper Nile in Africa and report upon them. The campaign for the relief of Khartoom and General Gordon had just then been inaugurated.

I sailed from New York March 15, 1884, on the

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