I received a letter from my brother. I sent this reply.
TO JOHN SHERMAN
Lancaster, Dec. 30,1863
Susan arrived this evening and brought me your letter of the 28. I should like to have seen you, but I have written you a long letter telling you all you want to Know from me.
Ellen wants me to write to you about a picture of Father which she has received from Brady of New York. It bears no one feature of father and is not recognized by Mr. Ewing, Reese or anybody. I have a faint memory of his face and know the picture is not at all a likeness, but I do see that it is an Enlargement of a small miniature that Mother had. I wish you would write to Ellen whether you want her to pay for this & how much. If you ordered the miniature copied & enlarged it must be paid for, but if Brady made the picture at a venture he has lost, for it is no likeness. We will of course bear our proportion of the cost. You had better pay the Bill and let Ellen know her share. Ellen says she has forgotten what you told her at Cincinnati about it, but thinks you said the cost would be 48 Dollars.
I have been importuned from many quarters for my likeness, Autographs, & Biography. I have managed to fend off all parties & hope to do So till the End of the War. I don’t want to rise or be notorious for the reason that a mere slip or accident may let me fall, and I don’t care about falling so far as most of the temporary heros of the War. The Real men of the War will be determined by the closing scenes, and then the army will determine the questions. Newspaper puffs and Self written Biographies will then be ridiculous caricatures. Already has time marked this progress & indicated this conclusion.
If parties apply to you for materials in my behalf, give the most brief & general items and leave the result to the close of the war, or of my Career. As well might a Judge or Senator seek for fame outside their sphere of action as an officer of the Army. We must all be judged by One Press, stand or fall by their verdict. I know I Stand very high with the Army & feel no concern on the Score. Today I can do more with Admiral Porter or the Generals out west than any General Officers out west except Grant, and with him I am as a second self. We are personal and official friends. On this score you can see Dana, who was with me at Knoxville. I would on no account come East and will so far as I can control it hold fast to the Mississipi.
My HeadQuarters are at Huntsville Alabama, but for the next month you can address me at Memphis. I will be there or below it may be as far as Red River.
Tell Mr. Lincoln he ought to clear the Docket of Generals, to make room for the rising Generation of young Colonels whom he must advance. From thence must come the Successful Generals of the War. The old ones must slide out. By manufacturing commands for Old Generals as in Curtis case, he ties up the army which should be in moving masses to the Front.
W. T. Sherman