Thursday, November 10, 1864

Kingston, Georgia
I am writing my family before I leave on the march:

To Philemon Ewing
Head-Quarters Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field Kingston Georgia

Dear Phil,
I got yours enclosing Mrs. Goddard;s letter. I answered the letter through one of my staff in the most polite terms possible, complimenting all parties but declining the Services of the Italian Major on the Score that it is impracticable for him to reach me. The real truth is however I have positive objections to a large staff, especially to Foreign officers who require too much nursing. We got yesterday the Commercial of the 4th containing your fathers speech. Apart from the natural partiality for everything emanating from him, I regard this Speech as the only one that reduces to plain terms many vague thoughts I have long entertained & expressed though rudely of Course. It confirms me in the belief that we are not fighting Davis alone, but all the elements of Anarchy, which have organized resistance to an attempted civilized and compact Government. I do honestly believe I crave Peace as much as any man living, and that in feeling and prejudice I have if anything leaned to the South. Still in adherence to Principle, I have steered my Course as straight as the currents of events would permit. If spite of my efforts at mediocrity, and subordination, if my name must go to History, I prefer it should not as the enemy to the South, or any mere system of labor (which however objectionable, has cleared the forest & canebrake and developed a wealth otherwise latent) but against mobs, vigilance Committees and all the other forces of sedition and anarchy which have threatened and still endanger the Country which our Children must inherit.

I always knew you would share with me any honors naturally falling to my share. I believe they exalt me as little as possible, but when I have manifested ability I simply ask it to be appreciated by military men. I observe with satisfaction that my course attracts much attention in Europe, where unhindered by local prejudices they realize actual facts better than our own People do. I run more risks than any of our Generals and must take the consequences. To command as I have done a large army smoothly & successfully forces me to accept the name of General with all its attendant responsibilities. I only hope I may come out as well at the end as now. I feel more troubled by the unmeasured faith Grant has in me. He never speaks of himself but always says that Sherman is the man. I fear this, and would much rather occupy a lower seat. Ellen’s arrangements for the winter seem the best possible. I have sent her a check for 1100 Dollars, which must Suffice her till I am disposed of, or out of the woods. Even with the Past to my credit, the world owes her & my children an honorable maintainance.

Be assured of my continued affection & remembrance of all the family. Yours,
W. T. Sherman

Head-Quarters Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field Kingston Georgia

Dear Tommy,
I have not had a letter from you for a long time, but Mama writes me often and tells me how good a boy you are, and how you like to go to the farm in the time of gathering grapes and apples. That is right, get your share of fruit now, and be careful not to eat too many at any one time. Do you remember the time you and Willy & I gathered the Chestnuts on that tree by the Rock, and afterwards the walnuts in the tiller wagon? In a short time you will be able to drive Old Sara in a wagon & gather your own walnuts & hickory nuts. I well remember our taking Willy out by Mount Pleasant where we gathered a bag of hickory nuts and poor little fellow, not as big as you now are, he was so happy and so proud to carry his own bag of hickory nuts.

People write to me that I am now a Great General, and if I were to come home they would gather round me in crowds & play music and all such things. That is what the People call fame & Glory. But I tell you that I would rather come home quietly and have you & Willy meet me at the cars than to hear the Shouts of the People. Willy will never meet us again in this world and you and I must take care of the family as long as I live and then will be your turn. So you see you have a good deal to do. You have much to learn, but while your body is growing up strong as a man you will have time to learn all I know & more too. Mama tells me that the baby is very sick but I hope he is now well and that he too will grow up and help you But let what happen, always remember that on you now rests the care of our family. Minnie & Lizzie will soon be young ladies, will marry and change their names, but you will always be a Sherman and must represent the family.

Mama will soon go to St. Marys. I don’t know much about that School, but I don’t care much about the School. You can learn in any school if you want to, and if you don’t want to learn, the School wont do much good, as it depends more on you than the Schoolmaster. I know in time you will be ambitious to learn as fast as other boys of your age. I want you also to learn to ride, so if I come home you can go along, when I want to ride on horseback. The girls can
ride in carriages but boys & men are better on a saddle. I am told you are all very fond of the baby, and am glad of it. I have not seen him yet, and expect he will be a big fellow before I do.
Your loving father,
W. T. Sherman

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