TO PHILEMON B. EWING
Head-Quarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tennessee April 21, 1864
I have your letter and am gratified to Know that you at least feel the embarrassment natural at finding Hugh dissatisfied. He applied for some of his Division Staff to be sent him to Mumfordsville and it affording me the opportunity, I invited him to come down. He did so the day before yesterday & remained with me all day yesterday. He told me all about his trouble with Logan, which was as usual a difficulty with one of Logans staff who had meddled with his business. It is difficult to define clearly in what cases a General may delegate powers to another, but I do not doubt Hugh was right in the abstract though the case hardly warrants the feeling he expresses. We must deal with men as we find them and it is not Logan’s fault that he was a Citizen only three years ago, and looks at all questions from another view than a professional soldier.
I am so anxious to have at least harmony prevail, that I was not sorry to have him say that on the whole he would content himself with his present Command, though it is an inferior one. He simply commands the Road Guards from here to Louisville, which is not at all threatened & may not be as our stores are here and forward of this. He passed the time very pleasantly, and left me last night about midnight, and by this hour is at Mumfordsville on Green River. We called to see Mrs. Flanner who lives here with her son General Granger, who however now is absent on recruiting business in Ohio.
Charley is still with Logan. He too wants to come away, but you must remember the Law, which gives him the Specific Rank of Lt. Colonel when acting as Inspector General. I need less staff now than before, & the Law provides none but aids and such of the General Army Staff as I draw near me. I have far less of detailed work now than before.
All furloughs, discharges, transfers and returns which so load down a Division or Corps Commander, do not come to me. I merely distribute the armies & give General Instructions. My whole thoughts now are on concentrating in the Tennessee, and in getting forward the supplies that will enable me at the right time to move against Joe Johnston, entrenched in the Mountain Gaps of Georgia.
So many men went on furlough, and it is like drawing teeth to get them back, by next month for better or worse. I am sorry to see the People settling down to the belief that this year will end the war. That is impossible. Full 300,000 of the bravest men of this world must be killed or banished in the South, before they will think of Peace, and in killing them we must lose an equal or greater number, for we must be the attacking party. Still we as a nation have no alternative or choice. It must be done whether we want or not. We must rule them or they will us. Forrest’s move indicates the animus, and yet our People will persevere in carrying on farms, plantations & commerce, in the very thick of war, though we all know that it but serves to provide our enemy. I am very anxious that Ellen should keep her finances smooth & simple, and think well of her conversion of any money she receives into County Bonds.
I will soon go to Chattanooga and not come back again. Things are working as smooth as I could expect, and I will have by May 1 my armies well in hand and a pretty fair supply of edibles to the Front. I have only accomplished this by the strictest measures of prohibition of all business else.
W. T. Sherman