TO JAMES B. FRY
Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tennessee
April 10, 1864.
Colonel James B. Fry, Washington, D.C.:
Yours of April 5 received. I have, by letter and telegraph, stated my entire willingness to have General Buell assigned to duty with me, and I indicated two commands for him, either of which would be highly honorable, but I don’t think it would be just for me to advise Schofield to be displaced as commander of the Department of the Ohio. He enjoys the confidence of General Grant and of his command, and were I to give preference to General Buell I would do an act of injustice by adding what little weight I possess to that of a clamor raised because General Schofield did not allow himself to be used by a political faction.
General Buell’s true interest is to be on duty, and then rise to his proper station by the ordinary progress of events. If General Buell’s friends put in circulation the reports that gained publicity that he was to supersede Schofield for the purpose of producing that result, I would be compelled, as an honest man, to counteract it; but I think I know the general too well to believe he would resort to such measures to injure a brother officer, who, though younger than himself, seems to have devoted his best energies and services to the common cause.
The damned newspaper mongrels seem determined to sow dissensions wherever their influence is felt.
With great respect,
W.T. Sherman, Major-General