TO THOMAS TURNER
Head-Quarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field, Goldsboro, N.C., March 25, 1865.
Commodore T. Turner U.S. Navy, Philadelphia Delancy Place 2006.
My Dear Friend,
I received you Kind letter of January 22. on Coming into this Port, after a two months land voyage. I was glad to hear from you, as it gives me the Chance of saying that I felt for Henry Turner a friendship as pure & perfect as I am capable of, and have received so many marks of his Esteem that the loss of his notice & friendship has been to me the Source of much pain. I fear he believes all the absurd stories people tell of me. I Know and believe I have bent less to the Storm of passion which has swept across our poor Country than any General of the Army. Still though I have repeatedly Sent parcels, or letters, or messages to your brother I have not received a word, scrap of paper or Kindly message to cheer me in my dark & Stormy Career. The Envelope to which you refer must have contained one of many papers or notes by which I have tried to Elicit a word or scrap of recognition.
I Know the bitter grief that Consumes his heart & that of Mrs. Turner at the fate of her two boys, but you Know that Jeff Davis and his nayminders are the murderers of the thousands of handsome, brave & manly youths who have swept to death by the war they Evoked for their mad, suicidal and ambitious ends. I wash my hands clean, and proclaim aloud that this day I am a better southern man, a truer friend to the People of the South, and will make more sacrifices than Jeff Davis, Robt. Lee, Joe Johnston or the other So Called Leaders who hunt down with hounds the young men of the South, to volunteer in their armies. This day many of the People of the South want Peace and Union, but their voice is silenced by the Clamors of the devils who have been carefully schooled in the belief that all is base and inferior that does not spring from Certain families south of the Potomac. But the day of vengeance is coming, and you will live to See Jeff Davis, Slidell, Benjamin, Magrath, Memminger & other villains “not of real American stock” who have played on the blind prejudices of the South for their aggrandizement. I say you will hear them Call on us to Shelter them from the storm they themselves have raised.
I feel the Same personal friendships as Ever—am not conscious of having done anything wonderful, further than to persevere in what I deemed the only way to Suppress mutiny & Sedition in our Grand Camp. I would like your brother Henry to Know that I feel uneasy at his long & seeming studied Silence. If I have offended him I would like to Know how & when. The greater the friendship the greater the jealousy.
Yours in haste,
W. T. Sherman, Major General