by friend or foe. Grant
, so undemonstrative himself, seemed more attracted in others by the traits or temper that contrasted with his own; but he entertained a profound respect and admiration for Thomas
's ability and character, and once said to him: ‘I have as much confidence in your conducting a battle rightly as I have in any other officer.’
Had he searched the army through, there was not a soldier whom he would have preferred for a great defensive emergency.
was so unlike Sherman
that there could hardly exist between them an absolute personal sympathy, but there was never military discord; and Sherman
had a genuine regard for his elder subordinate.
With reason, too, for Thomas
had outranked Sherman
, until the latter was given command of the Mississippi Valley
; but he was as cheerful in his obedience then, and as prompt in his acceptance of the new superior, as if it had been the old general-in-chief
, General Scott
himself, who had been set above him. At the outset of the war he had sacrificed to his country the friendships of a lifetime, as well as what was called State pride, and there seemed no selfish interests or aspirations for him to conquer or abandon afterwards.
His patriotism was not a duty only; it was a devotion, if not a passion.
In this at least he was an enthusiast.
He was the idol of his men, and the personal friend of his immediate officers.
Unassuming in manner, apparently unambitious, he never offended an equal, he never had a rival, he never criticized a superior.
Yet he could be harsh, when needful, with an offending subordinate, and was merciless