TO ELLEN EWING SHERMAN
Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field, Gaylesville Ala.
I enclose a Bill of Brooks Brothers showing me in debt $12. This I honestly believe is the only debt I have in the world so pay it off . I have some money in my pocket, and have two months pay nearly due, so I can promise you $1000, before I take my final departure for the Pine Woods. Since I have become famous for taking Atlanta and writing imprudent letters I get the most wonderful medley that you can conceive of from all parts of the world. Some are amusing but all breath the utmost respect, and cannot be disregarded. Some I toss in the camp fire and some I answer but usually in a very hasty imperfect manner, but it seems that my letters now even are sought after like hot cakes. As long as I am not a candidate I hope none will be published as sample of literary composition.
You can read my letters & guess at the meaning, but judging from my copy clerks, some readers would make an awful jumble of my letters, written usually in the small hours of the night, by a single candle on a box. Actually one man wrote that it was seriously contemplated once to put me up for President. That was cruel & unkind. You remember when the Solemn Committee waited on me at San Francisco to tender the Regular Democratic Nomination for Treasurer my answer was that I was ineligible because I had not graduated at the “Penitentiary.” If a similar committee should be rash enough to venture the other nomination I fear I should proceed to personal violence, for I would receive a sentence to be hung and damned with infinitely more composure than to be the Executive of this Nation. I send you a few letters that may interest you as samples.
Hood escaped south down the Valley of the Chattooga to Gadsden and is en route for Blue Mountain 10 miles south of Jacksonville the End of the Selma Road, where he hopes to threaten my Road & Tennessee to keep me out of Georgia. Maybe he will & maybe he won’t. If a reasonable member of the drafted now reach me I think he won’t.
This Army is now ready to march to Mobile, Savannah or Charleston, and I am practising them in the art of foraging and they take to it like Ducks to water. They like pigs sheep, chickens, calves and Sweet potatoes better than rations. We wont starve in Georgia. Our mules are doing better on the corn fields than on the bagged corn brought by the Railroads.
Love to all. In haste as usual. Charley reiterates he writes all the time.
W. T. Sherman