TO SENATOR JOHN SHERMAN
Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field, Savannah, Georgia Jan. 19, 1865
I got your letter about Mr. Rees who arrived today and Mr. Hoyt not yet come. I will send you some of my orders touching trade and other matters in this Department. I cannot of myself take control of this matter as it involves details that would take up too much of my time. My troops are already in motion and I will soon be off again without a real Base or line of Communication, leaving others here and on this coast to execute plans & a policy that I am forced to initiate.
I am afraid that my acts & merits have exalted me too high. Charley Ewing tells me that the talk was to make or create an office for me. You may say to Senators that I would much prefer that if my name is confused with an act of Congress, it does not pass, or rather that no such Bill be offered or discussed. I don’t want Promotion, but on the Contrary I want rest, as soon as I can ask for it decently. The Law cannot confer military fame nor can it make my right to command greater than it now is. I have all the Power that can possibly be exercised. Acts of Special Legislation never do good. When the War is over there will be time enough for honors and Pensions, but now every possible pretext for jealousy and envy should be avoided.
Repeal that mischievous act of sending agents to get recruits, abolish all bounties, enforce the draft honestly and fairly, and make service an honor instead of onerous. Try and arrange that Recruits come in by instalments, and organize no new Regements. Then raise plenty of money and leave Grant alone. We will work as fast as we can and attempt any thing that is possible.
I never saw General Butler but cannot deny that I look on his downfall as the addition of 20,000 men to Grant’s Army. The trouble with such men is they won’t fight themselves, but keep their commands out. Terry’s success simply fulfils Grant’s calculation, and stamps Butlers pretension about shedding blood uselessly as poltroonery & Knavery. I have been delayed here longer than I calculated by the slow arrival of vessels with forage, delayed by foul weather.
Give my love to Cecilia and the Girls. Affectionately,
W. T. Sherman