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f patriotism ever shown in this country have been in the voluntary surrender of power into the hands of the people or of their chosen representatives, not in efforts to increase or prolong that power. Following those highest examples, in the year 1882 all the senior officers of the army, including Sherman, Sheridan, and Hancock, united in advocating the measure then pending in Congress, to fix a limit of age when every officer should relinquish command and return to the ranks of private citizen My case was not so strong as that of Hancock, because I was younger. But Sheridan was only six months older than I, and his expectation of life was far beyond the time when I should become sixty-four years old. Hence I cheerfully relinquished in 1882 any reasonable ambition I may ever have had to command the army. My ultimate succession to that command in 1888 was, like all other important events in my personal career, unsought and unexpected. Hence whatever I did from 1888 to 1895 was only
resident Cleveland the law Fixing retirement for age an anecdote of General Grant. again, in 1888, only two years after Hancock's death, another of our most gallant companions, the matchless Shermilitary affairs, so that there was at least unity in the exercise of military authority. But in 1888 even that had ceased, and it had been boldly announced some time before that each departmental chs practically complete in the War Department. Thus it appeared, when I went into the office in 1888, that of my predecessors in command of the army, Scott and Sherman had given up the contest, Sherable ambition I may ever have had to command the army. My ultimate succession to that command in 1888 was, like all other important events in my personal career, unsought and unexpected. Hence whatever I did from 1888 to 1895 was only a little extra duty, and I have had no reason to find fault on account of the extra-duty pay which I received, though none of it was in money. I am inclined to th
August, 1888 AD (search for this): chapter 26
cts of great importance in my estimation, though doubtless less in his. I had defended as well as I could, and with some persistence, what I then believed and now know was the right, but had been worsted, as a matter of course. It is due to the Honorable Secretary to say that he disclaimed, many months later, ever having knowingly given his sanction to the document announcing one of the military doctrines which I had so persistently but ineffectually combated. But I did not know that in August, 1888, and he did not then know that he had been thus betrayed. Hence I thought it quite improbable that a general holding opinions so radically opposed to those of the Secretary of War would be called to the command of the army. But I quietly waited in Washington for the President's orders, neither seeking nor receiving any opportunity for explanation of the supposed irreconcilable difference with the Secretary of War. What occurred in that secret council-chamber of the commander-in-chief,
f the army. My case was not so strong as that of Hancock, because I was younger. But Sheridan was only six months older than I, and his expectation of life was far beyond the time when I should become sixty-four years old. Hence I cheerfully relinquished in 1882 any reasonable ambition I may ever have had to command the army. My ultimate succession to that command in 1888 was, like all other important events in my personal career, unsought and unexpected. Hence whatever I did from 1888 to 1895 was only a little extra duty, and I have had no reason to find fault on account of the extra-duty pay which I received, though none of it was in money. I am inclined to think it a pretty good rule for a soldier to wait until he is detailed, and not to try to put himself on guard. I do not know any case in American history where the opposite course has not resulted in irretrievable injury to him who adopted it. Temporary success in gaining high position, before education and experience have
Grover Cleveland (search for this): chapter 26
nt at the time a better understanding between the Department and the army commander General Sheridan's Humiliating experience the Granting of medals the Secretary's call bell the relations of Secretary and General views submitted to President Cleveland the law Fixing retirement for age an anecdote of General Grant. again, in 1888, only two years after Hancock's death, another of our most gallant companions, the matchless Sheridan, was suddenly stricken down, and soon passed away, berepeal, through revision, of the old and quite satisfactory regulation on the subject, and no other worthy of the name has ever been adopted in its place. Soon after I was assigned to the command of the Army I submitted, in writing, to President Cleveland my own mature views on the subject. They received some favorable consideration, but no formal action, in view of the near approach of the end of his first term. From that time till near the present the paper was in the personal custody o
William M. Evarts (search for this): chapter 26
predecessors in command of the army, Scott and Sherman had given up the contest, Sheridan had been quickly put hors de combat, while Grant alone had won the fight, and that after a long contest, involving several issues, in which a Secretary of War was finally removed from office with the consent of his own personal and political friends, a President was impeached and escaped removal from office by only one vote, and the country was brought to the verge of another civil war. As I had helped Evarts, Seward, and some others whose names I never knew, to pour oil on the troubled waters in the time of Grant and Stanton, and to get everybody into the humor to respond heartily to that great aspiration, Let us have peace, I thought perhaps I might do something in the same direction in later years. Be that as it might, I had no desire to try again what so many others had failed to accomplish, but thought it better to make an experiment with a less ambitious plan of my own, which I had worked
Frederick Dent Grant (search for this): chapter 26
, in reply to which request I was informed that the accounts had been settled. In another case I requested that my appeal from adverse action be submitted to President Grant, who had had occasion to know something about me. I was requested by telegraph, in cipher, to withdraw that appeal, as it was liable to cause trouble. Being otified me that the account had been allowed. To illustrate the application of the same principle under opposite conditions, I must relate the story told of President Grant. When informed by a Treasury officer that he could not find any law to justify what the President had desired to be done, he replied, Then I will see if I cary officer who can find that law. Of course no change in the incumbent of that office proved to be necessary. I have thought in several cases in later years that Grant's military method might have been tried to advantage. Be ye wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove is the only rule of action I have ever heard of that can st
U. S. Grant (search for this): chapter 26
d to President Cleveland the law Fixing retirement for age an anecdote of General Grant. again, in 1888, only two years after Hancock's death, another of our mon had given up the contest, Sheridan had been quickly put hors de combat, while Grant alone had won the fight, and that after a long contest, involving several issueers whose names I never knew, to pour oil on the troubled waters in the time of Grant and Stanton, and to get everybody into the humor to respond heartily to that gro champion the ideas entertained by all my predecessors. At the request of General Grant and General Sherman, when the one was President and the other general of tegulation did not meet with cordial support, so far as I know, from any but General Grant, General Sherman, and General M. C. Meigs, then quartermaster-general. The other bureau chiefs earnestly opposed it. It was near the end of General Grant's second term, and no effort was made, so far as I know, to adopt any regulation on t
dent Cleveland the law Fixing retirement for age an anecdote of General Grant. again, in 1888, only two years after Hancock's death, another of our most gallant companions, the matchless Sheridan, was suddenly stricken down, and soon passed awaFollowing those highest examples, in the year 1882 all the senior officers of the army, including Sherman, Sheridan, and Hancock, united in advocating the measure then pending in Congress, to fix a limit of age when every officer should relinquish command and return to the ranks of private citizenship. In doing so, nearly all of those seniors, especially Hancock, relinquished forever all hope of rising to the command of the army. My case was not so strong as that of Hancock, because I was yoHancock, because I was younger. But Sheridan was only six months older than I, and his expectation of life was far beyond the time when I should become sixty-four years old. Hence I cheerfully relinquished in 1882 any reasonable ambition I may ever have had to command the
M. C. Meigs (search for this): chapter 26
ity to the general, if he did not, for whatever reason, enjoy the full confidence of the President. It also trusted too much to the ability and disinterested fidelity of the several chiefs of the staff departments. In short, it was based upon a supposed higher degree of administrative virtue than always exists even in this country. However all this may be, the proposed regulation did not meet with cordial support, so far as I know, from any but General Grant, General Sherman, and General M. C. Meigs, then quartermaster-general. The other bureau chiefs earnestly opposed it. It was near the end of General Grant's second term, and no effort was made, so far as I know, to adopt any regulation on the subject in the next or any succeeding administration. The personal controversy between General Scott and the Secretary of War many years before had resulted in the repeal, through revision, of the old and quite satisfactory regulation on the subject, and no other worthy of the name has
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