as at every other point in their career.
On the 31st of January, Sherman
said: ‘I am fully aware of your friendly feeling towards me, and you may always depend on me as your steadfast supporter.
Your wish is law and gospel to me, and such is the feeling that pervades my army.
I have an idea you will care to see me before I start.’
He had already written, a few days earlier: ‘I wish you could run down and see us. It would have a good effect, and show to both armies that they are acting on a common plan.’
The brilliant achievements of Sherman
, however, had kindled, as was natural, a lively admiration for his genius at the North
, and came near creating a party in favor of his further advancement.
There were some who loudly proclaimed that it was he who should have been chief, instead of Grant
; and it was even proposed to promote him to a lieutenant-generalcy, when he would become eligible to command the army.
But the knowledge of this fact served only to cement the friendship which it seemed calculated to disturb.
The superior had no selfish jealousy, the loyal subordinate no ambition to supplant his friend.
On the 21st of January, Sherman
wrote to Grant
: ‘I have been told that Congress meditates a bill to make another lieutenant-general for me. I have written to John Sherman
to stop it, if it is designed for me. It would be mischievous, for there are enough rascals who would try to sow differences between us, whereas you and I now are in perfect understanding.
I would rather have you in command than anybody else, for you are fair, honest, and have at heart the same purpose that should animate ’