TO ELLEN EWING SHERMAN
Head-Quarters Military Division of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tennessee April 22,1864
I suppose you saw Luke Clark, and have received letters of me very irregularly. I have all of yours which come promptly but I fear mine come less regularly. I don’t feel that I have too much to do, yet the days slip along very fast, and the time is approaching when I must to the Front, and then lookout. It seems that Banks got a whaling up Red River. He was to have left New Orleans March 5, but did not till the 25, and he left my troops go up to Alexandria & above without keeping his appointment, the consequence is that he is behind time.
The accounts from there are not full, but he has double the force necessary to whip Kirby Smith, but he has got his men scattered & Smith has got his united. Well he must fight his way out the best way he can. Hurlbut is ruined by his apathy & fear to go out of Memphis to fight Forrest. He seems to have set down on the Defensive, when he had plenty of men who by marching out fifty miles could have made Forrest quit that Country long before he did.
The mischief done was however to the Negroes & People of West Tennessee, rather than to us. Hurlbut is timid and there is no use in denying it. He is now at Cairo and Washburn goes to Memphis. All this results from Sooy Smith’s failing to meet me at Meridian.
Hugh at my invitation came to See me a few days ago. He is pleasantly Situated at Mumfordsville with his family, but so far as the War goes he might as well be in Ohio. He can come in when War’s havoc makes vacancies. He has a feeling against Logan, and one of the greatest troubles of this war results from the intestine troubles in our own Camps. So rather than Encourage him to resume his Old Division he will stay where he is. Cockerill and Loomis have resigned, and it seems men are more intent on their own personal claims to advancement than the interest of the Country.
The President cannot satisfy all claimants and I do not envy him the task of deciding among the thousands of applicants whose Claims are highly endorsed. I have on three occasions named Colonel Cockerill and twice Colonel Loomis, yet I would not accuse Mr. Lincoln of improper preferences for others. We must submit to him or Jeff Davis, No other choice is left us. I am quite well, and ride out when I can. I will have riding enough to do.
W. T. Sherman