Mrs. Carson writes that her son has been drafted into the Confederate Army and asks if I can watch for him.
Mrs. Caroline Carson, 151. E. 15th St. New York.
I have your valued favor of Jan. 8, and answer you that I remember well your home on Cooper, with your two pretty children, and the well ordered plantation of Col. Carson, still better the family of your venerated father, your mother, Sue and Dan and the sweet Miss Carrie North. To any of these would I gladly extend any favor official or personal in my power. Already is the advance of my army at Pocataligo and other masses are marching into position and I merely delay here to give them time when I too will enter Carolina, not as they say with a heart bent on desolation and destruction, but to vindicate the just power of the Government which received terrible insults at the hands of the People of that State. Gladly will I try to temper the harsh acts of war, with mercy towards those who by falsehood and treachery have been led step by step from the generous practice of hospitality to deeds of crime & violence. If I hear of your mother & Sister, or of your boy I will be sure to put them where they will be at least safe from personal danger, and I would account it a most fortunate event if your boy should fall into my hands. I will see that no harm befalls him, but that he will go where you can reach him. There is not an officer in my army but knows that Mr. Petigru stood almost alone a Rock against which the waves of Treason beat in vain, but swept all that was near and dear to him into mire.
I cannot promise you that I will go to Charleston or Summerville, because I am making Grand War, when lesser objects must be left to follow Greater Results, but I pledge you that my study is to accomplish Peace and honor at as small a cost to life and property as possible. I know this end will be attained, but how & when are still in the future. I grieve to hear you are not well, doubtless more sick at heart than in body, but cheer up, for the day will surely come, when the name of Petigru will be a passport everywhere and when the sweet persimmons and roses of your old home will welcome back their mistress.
I thank you for the expressions of confidence in me, and repeat that you do me but justice in thinking that I am not the scourge and monster that the Southern Press represents me, but that I will take infinitely more delight in curing the wounds made by war, than in inflicting them. Carolina herself tormented us with posturing and cowardice, and forced us to the Contest. Let her admit her error, and we will soon make all sunshine and happiness, where Gloom and misery reign Supreme. I will bear in mind the name & Regiment of your son James, and need no memorandum of Sue or your mother. I think the former will recall me as one of her standard beaux on Sullivan’s Island, & if need be will seek me out, for she cannot be so estranged as to suppose me different from what I was.
With sincere respect, your friend & servant,
W. T. Sherman