TO ELLEN EWING SHERMAN
Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Held, Summerville Georgia
Oct 19, 1864
I owe you several letters but our mails have been so much interrupted that I could not write save in cypher, for a private letter of mine written with however much caution would contain much our enemy should not know. I have yours of the 11 th. The monument should not be changed from the original design of the Donors. You might order a hood or shelter of White Pine of the design of the Artist but if superadded of marble it would so change the original that the contributors would construe it into a reflection upon their design, in other words they would infer “theirs” imperfect to the Extent of the addition.
Hood is afraid to fight me in open ground & therefore he tries to break up the Railroad which supplies my Army. First Forrest got across the Tennessee but never reached the Chattanooga Road. Next Hood with 3 Corps about 40,000 men, swung round by Dallas & broke the road at Big Shanty to Kenesaw. He stole a march on me of one day, and his men disencumbered of baggage move faster than we can. I have labored hard to cut down wagons, but spite of all I can do officers do not second me. All the Campaign I slept without a tent, and yet Doctors & teamsters & Clerks & Staff officers on one pretext or another got tents & baggage, and now we can hardly move. I will stop this or dispense with Doctors, clerks & Staff officers as “useless in War” Hood got up as far as the Tunnel before I could head him off, but at Resaca I broke through the Gap and he at once commenced to move south, and is now beyond my reach. He may now try to enter Tennessee by way of Decatur.
I shall make proper dispositions and if seconded can keep him south, but I cannot get anybody to move as quick as they Should, save some of my old favorites. Corse saved Allatoona, by obeying promptly a message sent him by signals over the head of Hoods army. Mower is also coming to me, and when I move south I shall have some smart columns. I am not going to Stand on the defensive and you will soon hear of me on a bigger Road than that to Meridian, unless things take a turn not anticipated. You will have to get used to being without letters from me for some weeks, as it will be impossible to keep up mails much further.
As to Charley being a Brigadier General it is simple folly to think of it till he Commands a Regiment and a Brigade in Battle. I will give a Recommendation to no one unless he has fulfilled the above conditions. You know that I did not want him to have a staff position but recommended he should Seek the command of a Regiment & work his way up, but he would come on my staff spite of my advice and now I cannot do a wrong act because he is my brother. You Know that. There has been too much of this during the war, and the consequence is half of the Brigadiers are at home. But he need not be uneasy. The war will last all his life and he will have ample chances to become Lt. General if he has the industry. Charley is careless you Know. He often tells me he has just written you, or is just going to, and yet you say he never writes. I do not say this is characteristic, but You Know enough of soldiering that one must be sleepless & tireless and most exact.