All was accomplished and practical instruction was begun on the 1st of January, The letters herewith will give a far better understanding of the private thoughts and feelings of the men who afterwards bore conspicuous parts in the Civil War than any naked narrative, and I merely intend this as a preface to them. The collection here printed was gathered from various sources. It contains the letters collected by Sherman himself; other letters written by him or to him, and furnished to the editor by his son, P. Mason Graham, Major P. Beauregard, Captain George B.
The Louisiana State Seminary since called the Louisiana State University , which opened its doors on January 2, , was the first institution of college grade in Louisiana to enjoy the undivided support of the state, and of the numerous colleges and universities, supported by the state, it alone has survived. It corresponds to the state universities of other states which were established on the foundation of Federal land-grants, but it was organized much later than the universities of states no older than Louisiana.
This delay in establishing a state seminary or university was due to conditions within Louisiana: From to the legislature wrangled over the question of the location of the school. In the latter year it was decided to locate it near Alexandria in the Parish of Rapides; and in a site was selected three miles from Alexandria on the north side of the Red River.
In the buildings were completed and a faculty selected. It was largely through his influence that William Tecumseh Sherman was elected superintendent of the State Seminary. Mason, a half brother of General G. He resigned from the army in and was for several years a banker in California and New York. At the time of his election he was practising law in Leavenworth, Kansas. Meeting of the supervisors in May, The Seminary to be a literary and scientific institution under a military system of government.
Description of the building and grounds.
Buell writes to Sherman about the Seminary. The election of a faculty for the Seminary. Advice of Captain George B. McClellan relative to the organization of the Seminary. Sherman arrives in Baton Rouge. In order to secure the most competent professors Governor Wickliffe was asked to advertise for applications.
Executive Office, Baton Rouge, La. At a meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the State Seminary of Learning, held at Alexandria, in the Parish of Rapides, the following resolution was adopted:. Resolved , that the President of the Board, in his official capacity, advertise for applications from persons competent to fill:. In accordance with the foregoing resolution, notice is hereby given to all such persons as may desire to present themselves as competent to fill the chairs above enumerated, to make application, accompanied with recommendations, etc.
The appointments thus made will take effect on the first Monday of January next , at which time the institution will be opened. The same issue of the National Intelligencer contained the following editorial written by General G. Mason Graham, vice-president of the Board of Supervisors.
In another column will be found the advertisement of Governor R. Wickliffe, president, ex-officio, of the Board of Supervisors of the Seminary of Learning of the State of Louisiana, inviting applications from persons competent to do so and desirous of filling the five chairs and the office of superintendent in that institution.
This institution, which is about to be organized as a scientific and literary institution, under a military system of government, on a programme and plan similar to that of the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington, in Virginia, is founded on a fund arising from the sales of land given by the general government many years ago to the Territory of Orleans for the establishment of a Seminary of Learning.
The principal of this fund is, by the constitution of Louisiana, perpetually invested, at interest, in the hands of the state; the interest alone to be used in the establishment and maintenance of the school. The really beautiful building for this institution, the main bodies of which are of three lofty stories, capped by a heavy cornice-wall finished in crennel work, and the five towers are of four stories, terminating in circular turrets, built on three sides of a quadrangle, one hundred and seventy feet front by one hundred and seventeen feet deep, with back buildings in reverse, so as to leave the fourth side of the area entirely open, is located in the open pine hills, where the trees have a growth of seventy-five feet and upwards to the branches, unobstructed by undergrowth, on a tract of four hundred acres owned by the institution; about three miles from the village of Pineville, on the north side of Red River opposite to the town of Alexandria, with which it is connected by a steam-ferry.
Alexandria — distant about thirty to thirty-five hours by steamboat from New Orleans — is a distributing post office, with a daily mail from New Orleans, and lines of four-horse post coaches running north, south, east, and west from it — contains a Catholic, an Episcopal, and a Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church having a chapel in Pineville.
Having decided to look for a more lucrative position, he wrote to the War Department asking about possible vacancies in the Pay Department. In reply Major D. Buell sent to him the advertisements given above, and the following letter. I received your letter this morning. It is unnecessary to make declarations when you already know so well that it would give me sincere pleasure to serve you.
At present I see nothing of the kind you mention to suggest to you, but I will look about with hope that I may. There is no certainty of a vacancy in the Pay Department, though one of its members is now in serious difficulty about his account. If a vacancy should occur I know no reason why you should not endeavor to secure it, and succeed, too, if it were dependent on the merits which your case could be made to present.
You must remember, however, that in these times everything turns on political or other influence. If you can bring that kind of influence to bear on the President let it be done at once to secure a promise of the first vacancy; for it would be filled before I could even get the news to you by telegraph after it had occurred, so ready and pressing are the aspirants. In the meantime, however, I enclose you a paper which presents an opening that I have been disposed to think well of.
The only trouble is that the Academy has not yet been secured by state laws, though I think it al together probable that it will be. If you think well of it I have no doubt I can write him such a letter as will secure you a valuable advocate at first, and a useful supporter afterwards. You will observe there is not much time to spare. Buell I owe my election as superintendent of the Louisiana Seminary of Learning. He was seconded by Gen. Mason Graham, half-brother to my old chief in California, Col.
Generals Bragg and Beauregard did not even know I was an applicant. The advertisements attracted much attention and nearly a hundred applications for professorships were received. General Graham, vice-president of the Board of Supervisors, who was determined that a military man should head the school, had carried on a wide correspondence with a view to the selection of a suitable person. Having decided upon Sherman as best qualified for the superintendency he proceeded to use the press in his behalf. The following, from the Louisiana Democrat [Alexandria, La.
It is stated that Captain W. Sherman is one of the applicants for a professorship in our new State Seminary, and also for the position of the superintendency. He graduated at West Point in the class of and stood No. He was commissioned in the artillery and did his first service in California as adjutant-general for General R. He was brevetted for gallant and meritorious services and was subsequently appointed a captain in the general staff of the army.
During his residence there he was made general of militia. From what we can hear there seems to be no room to fear an insufficient number of applicants for professor ships in the Seminary. The greater the list the better enabled will the Board of Supervisors be to make a good selection. It is to be hoped that the reputation, learning and ability of the corps of professors will be such as to render our new Seminary one of the fore most institutions of the South.
The supervisors, on August 2, , proceeded to the election of the first faculty of the Seminary. The Louisiana Democrat of August 3 gives this account of the proceedings. His Excellency, Governor Wickliffe, president ex officio of the Board, presided. The members in attendance were T. The principal business before the Board was the selection of a superintendent and a corps of professors for the Seminary.
Some idea of the difficulty of their task may be formed from the fact that there were forty applicants for the chair of ancient languages, twenty for that of mathematics, nine for that of modern languages, nine for that of chemistry and mineralogy, and three for that of engineering. These applicants were from all sections, Maine, New Hampshire, the northwest, Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia; and even graduates of European universities were among the candidates. One enterprising person, a Mr. The Board would have admired his candor if they had not been astonished at his impudence.
We shall refer to Mr. Sherman, superintendent, and professor of engineering, architecture, and drawing; Anthony Vallas, PH. Berte St Ange, professor of modern languages; D. He is the author of several scientific and mathematical works held in high estimation. Smith is a graduate of the Virginia University, and also of the Military Institute of that state. Ange , is a native of France, and has served with distinction as an officer in the French navy. He has taught in the University of Louisiana, and for some time also in this Parish. Being known to most members of this Board as a thorough instructor his election was unanimous.
Boyd is a graduate of the University of Virginia, and like the rest highly recommended for proficiency and talent. Boyd from whose manuscript the paragraphs given below are taken. When Governor Wickliffe and the Board of Supervisors met on the hot, sultry summer day in , to make the faculty appointments, there were many applications; and after they had waded through a mass of testimonials — flattering words of loving, partial friends, genealogies, etc.
Governor Wickliffe , president, Board of Supervisors. Having been informed that you wish a superintendent and professor of engineering in the Military Academy of Louisiana, soon to be opened, I beg leave to offer myself for the position. I send no testimonials. I will only say that I am a graduate of West Point and ex-army officer; and if you care to know further about me, I refer you to the officers of the army from General Scott down, and in your own state to Col.
Braxton Bragg, Major G. Beauregard, and Richard Taylor, Esq. No sooner was this letter read, than Sam. Henarie, a plain business man and member of the Board, exclaimed: We must read them all. To the successful applicants for positions the governor sent formal notices of appointment while General Graham entered into a lengthy correspondence with the newly elected superintendent in regard to the work that was still to be done before opening.
Typical letters are here selected. I have the pleasure to inform you that at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Seminary of Learning, held at Alexandria on the 1st of August, you were elected to fill the chair of professor of engineering, architecture, drawing, etc. You will please inform me at what time, between this and the first of December, it will be convenient for you to meet a committee of the Board of Supervisors, to make necessary arrangements for the organization of the institution.
Steamboat Minnesota , descending Red River, La. I have the gratification to inform you, in advance probably of your official notification by Gov. Wickliffe, that the Board of Supervisors of the Seminary of Learning, State of Louisiana, yesterday elected you to the chair of engineering, architecture, and drawing in that institution, and to the post of superintendent thereof. I am now en route to join my family at Beer-Sheba Springs, Tennessee, where I shall remain until the last days of August and thence to Washington City all the month of September.
If entirely convenient and comfortable to your family, however, to remain behind, it would be wisest for you to come down alone at first, as there are no residences yet provided, and you will all have to quarter at first in the building. Vallas are the only two married men on the Academic Board, and the Board of Supervisors has taken the initiatory for the creation of two dwellings, but it requires the authorization of the legislature, which assembles on the 3rd Monday in January.
It will be necessary for you to be here as soon as possible after my own return, as the preparation for, and the starting of, the whole machinery has been devolved mostly on you and myself, including the furnishments of the building, as you will see from the published accounts of our proceedings which will be forwarded to you apropos: A little ground plan which I have endeavored to make amidst the tremulous motion of the boat, and enclose here, will enable you to form some idea of the capacity of the Building. Doctor Vallas is an Episcopal clergyman which quality he sinks entirely, that is, in the exercise of it, so far as the institution is concerned , an Hungarian, an accomplished gentleman, an erudite scholar, a profound and practised mathematician and doctor of philosophy.
Has occupied various chairs in the colleges of Vienna and at the time of the establishment of the Revolutionary Government in Hungary, was professor of mathematics in the University at Pesth, in which capacity he was ordered by that Government to organize a military department to the University in which he superintended the instruction of about five hundred young men for two years, when the Austrians recovering possession of Pesth he was dismissed from the Military school and was himself court-martialed.
He resides in New Orleans, readily at hand. Ange seems to be a gentleman and well educated scholar — has served in the Marine Corps of France. Boyd, an eleve of the University of Virginia and native of that state, is now teacher in a school in the northerly part of Louisiana.
He, too, is therefore readily at hand. Smith, native of Virginia and eleve of its military institute, is a very young man, a nephew of both Col. Smith, the superintendent, and of Major Williamson, one of the professors in the V. He comes strenuously recommended as eminently qualified to fill any chair in our school, except that of modern languages, being only a French scholar.
Is now at Lexington, Virginia or Norfolk, where his family reside. In concluding this long, and to me wearying paper, I beg to say to you that much is expected of you — that a great deal will devolve upon you, and to add that at our Board dinner yesterday, Governor Wickliffe with great cordiality and kind feeling proposed your health and success, and that it was responded to by the other members in brimming glasses. If you know Mr. Isaacs, now I think residing in Leavenworth, they can tell you all about our country here.
I wrote you a few days ago, in part answer to your very kind note addressed me at Lancaster. I am now in possession of your more full letter sent by way of Leavenworth, and shall receive to-day the printed reports to which you referred. These will in great measure answer the manifold questions propounded by me. When in full possession of these I will again write you, and when I know you are at Washington, I may come there to meet you, and to make those preliminary arrangements as to furnishing the building, selecting text books, etc.
I can easily secure from West Point the most complete information on all the details of the management and economy of that institution. Then, being in possession of similar data from the Virginia Institution, we can easily lay a simple foundation, on which to erect, as time progresses, a practical system of physical and mental education, adapted to the circumstances of Louisiana.
I shall not take my family south this winter, and shall hold myself prepared to meet you at Alexandria, or elsewhere, at the earliest date you think best. I feel deeply moved by your friendly interest in me, and both socially and in the new field hereby opened to me I will endeavor to reciprocate your personal interest and justify your choice of a superintendent. I have seen a good deal of the practical world, and have acquired considerable knowledge, but it may be desultory, and may require some time to reduce it to system, and therefore I feel inclined to see the Board of Education select a good series of practical books as textbooks.
If this has already been done, I will be the better pleased; if this devolve on the professors it will require some judgment to adjust them, lest each professor should attempt too much, and give preference to text books not intimately connected with the other classes. The adjustment of the course of studies, the selection of the kind and distribution of physical, muscular education, and how far instruction in infantry, sword and even artillery practice shall be introduced are all important points, but fortunately we have a wide field of choice, and the benefit of the experience of others.
As soon as I learn you are in Washington, and as soon as I know all that has been done, I will give my thoughts and action to provide in advance the knowledge out of which the Board of Education may choose the remainder. On arriving here night before last I had the pleasure to receive from Mr. Richard Smith your two favors of the 15th and 20th of August, and Major Buell, with whom I have not been able to meet until this morning at breakfast, has shown me yours to him of the 4th inst.
The information contained in your letter to Buell has been of considerable relief to me, for whilst it would be very gratifying to me to meet with you I did not see any good commensurate with the expense, time, risk, and trouble to yourself, to result from your coming all the way here merely to confer with me when it was not in my power to specify any particular day when I would be in the city, as the business which brings me here lies down in Virginia, whither I go tomorrow morning, if the violent cold under which I am now suffering shall permit, and the consummation of it is contingent on the action of a half dozen others than myself.
- Martyrium: El ocaso de Roma (EPUBS) (Spanish Edition).
- A Sexy Time of It (Mills & Boon Blaze).
I had desired very much, if it suited your convenience, that you could visit and see into the interior life of the school at Lexington, Virginia, where everything would be shown to you with the most cordial frankness by Col. Smith, who has taken the warmest and most earnest interest in our effort, and who writes to me of you, sir, in very high terms of congratulatory appreciation, and where one of your classmates, Major Gilham, is a member of the Academic Board.
In the event that this will not be practicable to you, as I infer from the programme laid down in your note to Major Buell it will not be, I shall write to Col. Manning, Graham, and Whittington. I do not see therefore that we can do otherwise than adopt, at first, the code of that school. I have no apprehension but that whatever you, Mr. Manning and myself may agree upon, will be acceptable to all the rest. My idea will be for each cadet to furnish his own requisites in the way of room furniture, as at West Point.
The intention of the Board was simply to apprize all interested that there were no separate dwellings for the professors. I met with Mr. Smith in Richmond and travelled with him to this place. He is about sailing for Europe to be back the 1st of December.
All my anticipations of him fully realized. I am now in full possession of all documents sent to my address at Leavenworth including the papers containing the printed proceedings of the Board of Supervisors of August 2. I have written to you twice at Washington, but suppose you are not well arrived, and as I find it best somewhat to qualify my offer to come East, and visit with you the Virginia Institute, I write you again.
But it may be more convenient for that committee to meet at once in Alexandria or at the institute [Seminary] itself, so that I can be there at any date after Nov. To-morrow I will go to Frankfort, Kentucky, to be present at the opening of the session of the Kentucky Military Institute and I will remain long enough to see for myself as much of the practical workings of that institute as possible.
Colonel Morgan in charge will, I know, take pleasure in making me acquainted with all details that I may desire to learn. From Kentucky I shall return to this place, and about the 25th inst. I will go to Chicago, where I expect to meet Captain McClellan of the Illinois Central Railroad, who a few years since visited many of the European establishments, and who can therefore give me much information.
I will then go to Leavenport and afterward St. Louis delaying at each point a short while, but you may rest perfectly certain that I will be on hand, when the committee meets and that I will acquire as much practical knowledge of organization as possible in the meantime. I hope you will find it both pleasant and convenient to visit the Virginia Military Institute and that you will make inquiries that will be of service — thus ascertain the exact price of each article of dress, and furniture furnished the cadets, price of each text-book — how supplied, cost of black-board, drawing-board, mathematical instruments, drawing-paper, paints, pencils, etc.
The name of the merchant who supplied them. Have they a single store, like an army suttler who keeps supplies on hand, and whose prices are fixed by the Academic Board, or does their quartermaster provide by wholesale and distribute to cadets charging them? Are all cadets marched to mess hall? Do they have regular reveille, tattoo and taps?
Can we not select a dress more becoming, quite as economical, and better adapted to climate than the grey cloth of West Point and Virginia? It occurs to me that climate will make it almost necessary to make modifications of dress, period of study, drill, and even dates of examinations. This may all be done without in the least impairing that systematic discipline which I suppose it is the purpose to engraft on the usual course of scientific education.
Ascertain if possible, the average annual expense of each cadet — clothing, mess hall, books, paper, etc. I will try and ascertain similar elements in Kentucky and elsewhere, so that we may begin with full knowledge of the experience of all others. Should you write me here the letters will be so forwarded as to meet me with as little delay as possible.
Had he taken an active part in public affairs he would probably have been an Old Line Whig. His brother John was already noted as an anti-slavery Republican.
Just before leaving for Louisiana Major Sherman wrote to his brother urging him to take a moderate position on sectional questions. I will come up about the 2Oth or 25th, and if you have an appointment to speak about that time, I should like to hear you, and will so arrange. As you are becoming a man of note and are a Republican, and as I go south among gentlemen who have always owned slaves, and probably always will and must, and whose feelings may pervert every public expression of yours, putting me in a false position to them as my patrons, friends, and associates, and you as my brother, I would like to see you take the highest ground consistent with your party creed.
Each State has a perfect right to have its own local policy, and a majority in Congress has an absolute right to govern the whole country; but the North, being so strong in every sense of the term, can well afford to be generous, even to making reasonable concessions to the weakness and prejudices of the South. If southern representatives will thrust slavery into every local question, they must expect the consequences and be out voted; but the union of states and general union of sentiment throughout all our nation are so important to the honor and glory of the confederacy that I would like to see your position yet more moderate.
During the summer while at Lancaster, Sherman wrote to several officers of the army with whom he had been associated, asking for their views on certain problems of military school organization. The following letter from Captain George B. McClellan is the only one that has been preserved. It was taken from the Seminary in by an officer of Gen. It bears the following endorsement by Sherman: He spent more than a year in Austrian, Russian, and English camps and is a gentleman of singular intelligence.
I regret exceedingly that I have so long delayed replying to yours of the 30th, ult. I hope this will reach you at Baton Rouge in time to serve your purposes, and must beg you to consider my rather multifarious duties as my excuse for the delay; in truth I was desirous of taking some little pains with my reply, and it has been difficult for me to find the time. I think with you that the blue frock coat, and felt hat with a feather, with perhaps the Austrian undress cap, will be the most appropriate uniform, the grey coatee is rather behind the age.
If the academy is in the Pine Barrens, it would seem that the period from September 1 to June 20, with the two examinations you speak of, would answer every purpose. It would be almost impossible to have an encampment, I should suppose, yet you might in a very few days teach them how to pitch tents, and the more important parts of camp duty, such as guard duty, construction of field kitchens and ovens, huts for pioneers, etc.
I think you would find it worth while, if not to make it a text book, to require or advise to students to procure copies.
- Being Genuine: Stop Being Nice, Start Being Real.
- Dead Cheap.
It is a book they will read with great interest and profit — it fills a vacuum of no little importance. If my copy is lost I would advise you to import it. In addition to the regular instruction in the infantry and artillery manuals, I would by all means have daily practice in the gymnasium, or fencing with the foil and bayonet, and the same exercise at least half an hour a day ought to be devoted to this.
With regard to the course of instruction necessary to lay the foundation for a thorough knowledge of engineering, I do not think that the general course at West Point can be materially improved upon. We have all felt the want of practical instruction on certain points when we left West Point — e. I know of no complete work on the construction of railways, it is thus far essentially a practical business. I regret that I am rather pushed for time tonight, as I would have liked to write more fully, but I start for St. Paul in the morning and must do the best I can in a limited time.
If I can give you any further information it will afford me great pleasure to do so at any time. In October, , Sherman started for Louisiana but stopped at St. Louis to attend to business affairs and to visit friends. It is absolutely impossible for me to leave here before Thursday of this week, the 27th, as I have some old matters of business here which I have put oft until now. I was delayed two or three days by the low water of the Missouri.
I will, if there be any faith in steamboats, be at Baton Rouge, Nov. Knowing, as you do, the rates of travel, you can better form a judgment when I can reach your Alexandria; and if your committee will have progressed in their work they may go on, with a certainty that I will zealously enter on any task they may assign me. It seems to me no time is to be lost in preparing regulations and circulars for very wide circulation among the planters whose sons are to be cadets. But we will soon meet and go to work, and I begin to feel now that we have a noble task and are bound to succeed.
Kennett [at Cairo], Saturday, Oct. Should my health utterly fail me or abolition drive me and all moderate men from the South, then we can retreat down the Hocking and exist until time puts us away under ground. This is not poetically expressed but is the basis of my present plans. I find southern men, even as well informed as — as big fools as the abolitionists. Yet the extreme southrons pretend to think that the northern people have nothing to do but to steal niggers and to preach sedition. I have heard men of good sense say that the union of the states any longer was impossible, and that the South was preparing for a change.
If such a change be contemplated and overt acts be attempted of course I will not go with the South, because with slavery and the whole civilized world opposed to it, they in case of leaving the union will have worse wars and tumults than now distinguish Mexico. If I have to fight here after I prefer an open country and white enemies. I merely allude to these things now because I have heard a good deal lately about such things, and generally that the Southern States by military colleges and organizations were looking to a dissolution of the Union. If they design to protect themselves against negroes and abolitionists I will help; if they propose to leave the Union on account of a supposed fact that the northern people are all abolitionists like Giddings and Brown then I will stand by Ohio and the northwest.
I am on a common kind of boat. A hard set aboard; but at Cairo I suppose we take aboard the railroad passengers, a better class. I have all my traps safe aboard, will land my bed and boxes at Red River, will go on to Baton Rouge, and then be governed by circumstances. The weather is clear and cold and I have a bad cough, asthma of course, but hope to be better tomorrow.
I have a stateroom to myself, but at Cairo suppose we will have a crowd; if possible I will keep a room to myself in case I want to burn the paper of which I will have some left, but in case of a second person being put in I can sleep by day and sit up at night, all pretty much the same in the long run. Baton Rouge , Sunday, November 6, I wrote you from the Kennett at Cairo — but not from Memphis. I have not yet seen him, and as tomorrow is the great election day of this state I hear that he is going down to New Orleans to-day.
So I got up early, and as soon as I finish this letter, I will go again. I have been to the post-office and learn that several letters have come for me, all of which were sent to the governor. Captain Ricketts of the army, commanding officer at the barracks , found me last night, and has told me all the news, says that they were much pleased at my accepting the place, and that all place great reliance on me, that the place at Alexandria selected for the school is famous for salubrity, never has been visited by yellow fever and therefore is better adapted for the purpose than this place.
He thinks that I will have one of the best places in the country, and that I will be treated with great consideration by the legislature and authorities of the state. I will have plenty to do be tween this and the time for opening of school. I have yet seen nobody connected with the school and suppose all are waiting for me at Alexandria, where I will go tomorrow. First impressions of the Red River Valley. Preparations to be made. Finances of the school Servants and laborers.
Welcome from Braxton Bragg. He goes to the Seminary to live. Making rules for the Seminary. The work at the Seminary. Sherman at work on the regulations. The difficulty of procuring text-books. Governor Moore on educational conditions in Louisiana. Meeting of the supervisors. Opposition to the military system. Professors notified to come to the Seminary. Two factions in the Board of Supervisors. Purchase of supplies in New Orleans.
Braxton Bragg on Seminary affairs. Ready for the opening of the Seminary. Lack of dwelling houses near the Seminary. Final preparations for opening. Sherman and the negro servants. The newspapers that mentioned his coming were crowded with news of the John Brown raid and the trial of Brown and his fol lowers. If Sherman had a sense of humor he probably sent copies of the Louisiana Democrat to his brother John.
Sherman he wrote on November 12 giving his first impressions of Louisiana. I wrote you a hasty letter yesterday whilst the stage was waiting. Troy coach, road dead level and very dusty, lying along the banks of bayous which cut up the country like a net work. Along these bayous lie the plantations rich in sugar and cotton such as you remember along the Mississippi at Baton Rouge. We rode all night, a fine moonlight, and before breakfast at a plantation we were hailed by Judge Boyce who rode with us the rest of the journey.
His plantation is twenty-five miles further up, but he has lived here since and knows everybody. He insisted on my stopping with him at the plantation of Mr. Moore, who is just elected governor of Louisiana for the coming four years, and who in that capacity will be President of the Board of Supervisors, who control the Seminary of Learning, and whose friendship and confidence it is important I should secure. He sent us into town in his own carriage. Still I have a good room opening into the parlor.
General Graham came in from his plantation nine miles west of this, and has been with me ever since. At this moment he is at church, the Episcopal. He will go out home tonight and to-morrow I go likewise, when we are to have a formal meeting to arrange some rules and regulations, also agree on the system of study.
He is the person who has from the start carried on the business. He was at West Point, but did not graduate, but he has an unlimited admiration of the system of discipline and study. He is about fifty-five years, rather small, exceedingly particular and methodical, and altogether different from his brother, the general. The building is a gorgeous palace, altogether too good for its purpose, stands on a high hill three miles north of this. It has four hundred acres of poor soil, but fine pine and oak trees, a single large building.
Like most bodies they have spent all their money on the naked building, trusting to the legislature for further means to provide furniture, etc. All this is to be done, and they agree to put me in charge at once, and enable me to provide before January 1 the tables, desks, chairs, blackboards, etc. There is no family near enough for me to board, so I will get the cook who provides for the carpenters to give me my meals.
McClernand in his successful assault on Arkansas Post , generally regarded as a politically motivated distraction from the effort to capture Vicksburg. The historian John D. He had yet [before Vicksburg] to display any marked talents for leadership. Sherman, beset by hallucinations and unreasonable fears and finally contemplating suicide, had been relieved from command in Kentucky. He later began a new climb to success at Shiloh and Corinth under Grant. Still, if he muffed his Vicksburg assignment, which had begun unfavorably, he would rise no higher.
As a man, Sherman was an eccentric mixture of strength and weakness. Although he was impatient, often irritable and depressed, petulant, headstrong, and unreasonably gruff, he had solid soldierly qualities. His men swore by him, and most of his fellow officers admired him. After the surrender of Vicksburg to the Union forces under Grant on July 4, , Sherman was given the rank of brigadier general in the regular army , in addition to his rank as a major general of volunteers.
Sherman's family came from Ohio to visit his camp near Vicksburg; his nine-year-old son, Willie, the Little Sergeant, died from typhoid fever contracted during the trip. Sherman's troops were sent to relieve them. While traveling to Chattanooga, Sherman departed Memphis on a train that arrived at the Battle of Collierville , Tennessee, while the Union garrison there was under attack on October 11, General Sherman took command of the men and successfully defended against an attack of 3, Confederate cavalry.
During the Chattanooga Campaign in November, under Grant's overall command, Sherman quickly took his assigned target of Billy Goat Hill at the north end of Missionary Ridge, only to discover that it was not part of the ridge at all, but rather a detached spur separated from the main spine by a rock-strewn ravine. When he attempted to attack the main spine at Tunnel Hill, his troops were repeatedly repulsed by Patrick Cleburne 's heavy division, the best unit in Bragg's army.
Sherman's efforts were assisted by George Henry Thomas 's army's successful assault on the center of the Confederate line, a movement originally intended as a diversion.
William Tecumseh Sherman
In February , he led an expedition to Meridian, Mississippi , to disrupt Confederate infrastructure. Despite this mixed record, Sherman enjoyed Grant's confidence and friendship. When Lincoln called Grant east in the spring of to take command of all the Union armies, Grant appointed Sherman by then known to his soldiers as "Uncle Billy" to succeed him as head of the Military Division of the Mississippi , which entailed command of Union troops in the Western Theater of the war.
As Grant took overall command of the armies of the United States, Sherman wrote to him outlining his strategy to bring the war to an end concluding that "if you can whip Lee and I can march to the Atlantic I think ol' Uncle Abe will give us twenty days leave to see the young folks. Sherman proceeded to invade the state of Georgia with three armies: Johnston 's Army of Tennessee , attempting a direct assault only at the disastrous Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. In July, the cautious Johnston was replaced by the more aggressive John Bell Hood , who played to Sherman's strength by challenging him to direct battles on open ground.
Meanwhile, in August, Sherman "learned that I had been commissioned a major-general in the regular army, which was unexpected, and not desired until successful in the capture of Atlanta. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign concluded successfully on September 2, , with the capture of the city, which Hood had been forced to abandon.
This success made Sherman a household name and helped ensure Lincoln's presidential re-election in November. McClellan , the popular former Union army commander, and it had seemed likely that Lincoln would lose to McClellan. Lincoln's defeat could well have meant the victory of the Confederacy, as the Democratic Party platform called for peace negotiations based on the acknowledgment of the Confederacy's independence.
Thus the capture of Atlanta, coming when it did, may have been Sherman's greatest contribution to the Union cause. After ordering almost all civilians to leave the city in September, Sherman gave instructions that all military and government buildings in Atlanta be burned, although many private homes and shops were burned as well. During September and October, Sherman and Hood played cat-and-mouse in north Georgia and Alabama as Hood threatened Sherman's communications to the north.
Eventually, Sherman won approval from his superiors for a plan to cut loose from his communications and march south, having advised Grant that he could "make Georgia howl". Trivializing that threat, Sherman reportedly said that he would "give [Hood] his rations" to go in that direction as "my business is down south". Thomas and John M. Schofield to deal with Hood; their forces eventually smashed Hood's army in the battles of Franklin November 30 and Nashville December 15— Sherman's success in Georgia received ample coverage in the Northern press at a time when Grant seemed to be making little progress in his fight against Confederate General Robert E.
Lee 's Army of Northern Virginia. A bill was introduced in Congress to promote Sherman to Grant's rank of lieutenant general , probably with a view towards having him replace Grant as commander of the Union Army. Sherman wrote both to his brother, Senator John Sherman, and to General Grant vehemently repudiating any such promotion. General Grant is a great general. I know him well. He stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk; and now, sir, we stand by each other always.
While in Savannah, Sherman learned from a newspaper that his infant son Charles Celestine had died during the Savannah Campaign ; the general had never seen the child. Grant then ordered Sherman to embark his army on steamers and join the Union forces confronting Lee in Virginia, but Sherman instead persuaded Grant to allow him to march north through the Carolinas , destroying everything of military value along the way, as he had done in Georgia.
He was particularly interested in targeting South Carolina , the first state to secede from the Union, because of the effect that it would have on Southern morale. Upon hearing that Sherman's men were advancing on corduroy roads through the Salkehatchie swamps at a rate of a dozen miles per day, Johnston "made up his mind that there had been no such army in existence since the days of Julius Caesar. Sherman captured the state capital of Columbia , South Carolina, on February 17, Fires began that night and by next morning most of the central city was destroyed.
The burning of Columbia has engendered controversy ever since, with some claiming the fires were accidental, others a deliberate act of vengeance, and still others that the retreating Confederates burned bales of cotton on their way out of town. According to Sherman, the trek across the Lumber River, and through the swamps, pocosins , and creeks of Robeson County was "the damnedest marching I ever saw. Sherman's final significant military engagement was a victory over Johnston's troops at the Battle of Bentonville , March 19— He soon rendezvoused at Goldsborough, North Carolina , with Union troops awaiting him there after the capture of Fort Fisher and Wilmington.
Lincoln happened to be at City Point at the same time, allowing the only three-way meetings of Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman during the war. At the insistence of Johnston and of Confederate President Jefferson Davis , Sherman conditionally agreed to generous terms that dealt with both political and military issues. Sherman thought that those terms were consistent with the views Lincoln had expressed at City Point, but the general had not been given the authority, by General Grant, the newly installed President Andrew Johnson , or the Cabinet , to offer those terms.
The government in Washington, D. Stanton , denounced Sherman publicly, precipitating a long-lasting feud between the two men. Confusion over this issue lasted until April 26, , when Johnston, ignoring instructions from President Davis, agreed to purely military terms and formally surrendered his army and all the Confederate forces in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, in what was the largest single capitulation of the war.
Having become the second most important general in the Union army, he thus had come full circle to the city where he started his war-time service as colonel of a non-existent infantry regiment. Sherman was not an abolitionist before the war and, like others of his time and background, he did not believe in "Negro equality". Sherman's military campaigns of and freed many slaves, who greeted him "as a second Moses or Aaron "  and joined his marches through Georgia and the Carolinas by the tens of thousands.
The fate of these refugees became a pressing military and political issue. Some abolitionists accused Sherman of doing little to alleviate the precarious living conditions of the freed slaves. After Sherman's departure, Garrison Frazier, a Baptist minister, declared in response to an inquiry about the feelings of the black community:. We looked upon General Sherman, prior to his arrival, as a man, in the providence of God, specially set apart to accomplish this work, and we unanimously felt inexpressible gratitude to him, looking upon him as a man that should be honored for the faithful performance of his duty.
Some of us called upon him immediately upon his arrival, and it is probable he did not meet [Secretary Stanton] with more courtesy than he met us. His conduct and deportment toward us characterized him as a friend and a gentleman. The orders provided for the settlement of 40, freed slaves and black refugees on land expropriated from white landowners in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Rufus Saxton , an abolitionist from Massachusetts who had previously directed the recruitment of black soldiers, to implement that plan. Although the context is often overlooked, and the quotation usually chopped off, one of Sherman's most famous statements about his hard-war views arose in part from the racial attitudes summarized above.
In his Memoirs , Sherman noted political pressures in — to encourage the escape of slaves, in part to avoid the possibility that "'able-bodied slaves will be called into the military service of the rebels. My aim then was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us.
But, as regards kindness to the race Sherman's record as a tactician was mixed, and his military legacy rests primarily on his command of logistics and on his brilliance as a strategist. The influential 20th-century British military historian and theorist B. Liddell Hart ranked Sherman as one of the most important strategists in the annals of war, along with Scipio Africanus , Belisarius , Napoleon Bonaparte , T. Lawrence , and Erwin Rommel. Liddell Hart credited Sherman with mastery of maneuver warfare also known as the "indirect approach" , as demonstrated by his series of turning movements against Johnston during the Atlanta Campaign.
Liddell Hart also stated that study of Sherman's campaigns had contributed significantly to his own "theory of strategy and tactics in mechanized warfare ", which had in turn influenced Heinz Guderian 's doctrine of Blitzkrieg and Rommel's use of tanks during the Second World War. Patton , who "'spent a long vacation studying Sherman's campaigns on the ground in Georgia and the Carolinas, with the aid of [Liddell Hart's] book'" and later "'carried out his [bold] plans, in super-Sherman style'". Sherman's greatest contribution to the war, the strategy of total warfare —endorsed by General Grant and President Lincoln—has been the subject of controversy.
Sherman himself downplayed his role in conducting total war, often saying that he was simply carrying out orders as best he could in order to fulfill his part of Grant's master plan for ending the war. Like Grant, Sherman was convinced that the Confederacy 's strategic, economic, and psychological ability to wage further war needed to be definitively crushed if the fighting were to end. Therefore, he believed that the North had to conduct its campaign as a war of conquest and employ scorched earth tactics to break the backbone of the rebellion. He called this strategy "hard war".
Sherman's advance through Georgia and South Carolina was characterized by widespread destruction of civilian supplies and infrastructure. Although looting was officially forbidden, historians disagree on how well this regulation was enforced. The speed and efficiency of the destruction by Sherman's army was remarkable. The practice of heating rails and bending them around trees, leaving behind what came to be known as " Sherman's neckties ," made repairs difficult. Accusations that civilians were targeted and war crimes were committed on the march have made Sherman a controversial figure to this day, particularly in the American South.
The damage done by Sherman was almost entirely limited to the destruction of property. Though exact figures are not available, the loss of civilian life appears to have been very small. For instance, Alabama -born Major Henry Hitchcock, who served in Sherman's staff, declared that "it is a terrible thing to consume and destroy the sustenance of thousands of people," but if the scorched earth strategy served "to paralyze their husbands and fathers who are fighting The severity of the destructive acts by Union troops was significantly greater in South Carolina than in Georgia or North Carolina.
This appears to have been a consequence of the animosity among both Union soldiers and officers to the state that they regarded as the "cockpit of secession". Howard , commander of Sherman's 15th Corps, reportedly said, "It is useless to deny that our troops burnt Columbia, for I saw them in the act. In his memoirs, Sherman said, "In my official report of this conflagration I distinctly charged it to General Wade Hampton, and confess I did so pointedly to shake the faith of his people in him, for he was in my opinion a braggart and professed to be the special champion of South Carolina.
McPherson has concluded that:. The fullest and most dispassionate study of this controversy blames all parties in varying proportions—including the Confederate authorities for the disorder that characterized the evacuation of Columbia, leaving thousands of cotton bales on the streets some of them burning and huge quantities of liquor undestroyed Sherman did not deliberately burn Columbia; a majority of Union soldiers, including the general himself, worked through the night to put out the fires.
In this general connection, it is also noteworthy that Sherman and his subordinates particularly John A. Logan took steps to protect Raleigh, North Carolina, from acts of revenge after the assassination of President Lincoln. After the fall of Atlanta in , Sherman ordered the city's evacuation. When the city council appealed to him to rescind that order, on the grounds that it would cause great hardship to women, children, the elderly, and others who bore no responsibility for the conduct of the war, Sherman sent a written response in which he sought to articulate his conviction that a lasting peace would be possible only if the Union were restored, and that he was therefore prepared to do all he could do to quash the rebellion:.
You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace. But you cannot have peace and a division of our country. If the United States submits to a division now, it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico , which is eternal war [ But, my dear sirs, when peace does come, you may call on me for anything.
Then will I share with you the last cracker, and watch with you to shield your homes and families against danger from every quarter. Literary critic Edmund Wilson found in Sherman's Memoirs a fascinating and disturbing account of an "appetite for warfare" that "grows as it feeds on the South". Defense Secretary Robert McNamara refers equivocally to the statement that "war is cruelty and you cannot refine it" in both the book Wilson's Ghost  and in his interview for the film The Fog of War.
But when comparing Sherman's scorched-earth campaigns to the actions of the British Army during the Second Boer War — —another war in which civilians were targeted because of their central role in sustaining an armed resistance—South African historian Hermann Giliomee declares that it "looks as if Sherman struck a better balance than the British commanders between severity and restraint in taking actions proportional to legitimate needs".
Marszalek for General Sherman owes much to what they see as an approach to the exigencies of modern armed conflict that was both effective and principled. In May , after the major Confederate armies had surrendered, Sherman wrote in a personal letter:. I confess, without shame, I am sick and tired of fighting—its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands and fathers In June , two months after Robert E.
Lee's surrender at Appomattox, General Sherman received his first postwar command, originally called the Military Division of the Mississippi, later the Military Division of the Missouri , which came to comprise the territory between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. Sherman's efforts in that position were focused on protecting the main wagon roads, such as the Oregon , Bozeman and Santa Fe Trails. One of Sherman's main concerns in postwar commands was to protect the construction and operation of the railroads from attack by hostile Indians.
Sherman's views on Indian matters were often strongly expressed. He regarded the railroads "as the most important element now in progress to facilitate the military interests of our Frontier". Hence, in , he wrote to Grant that "we are not going to let a few thieving, ragged Indians check and stop the progress of [the railroads]. Despite this language, there was little large-scale military action taken against the Indians during the first three years of Sherman's tenure, as Sherman was willing to let the process of negotiations play out in order to buy time to procure more troops and allow the completion of the Union Pacific and Kansas Pacific Railroads.
During his time as departmental commander, Sherman was a member of the Indian Peace Commission. Though the commission was responsible for the negotiation of the Medicine Lodge Treaty and the Sioux Treaty of , Sherman was not particularly privy in either due to being called away to Washington during the negotiations of both. However, Sherman was successful in negotiating other treaties, such as the removal of Navajos from the Bosque Redondo to traditional lands in Western New Mexico.
Sherman was also involved with the trial of Satanta and Big Tree: On July 25, , Congress created the rank of General of the Army for Grant and then promoted Sherman to lieutenant general. After the death of John A. Rawlins , Sherman also served for one month as interim Secretary of War. His tenure as commanding general was marred by political difficulties, many of which stemmed from disagreements with Secretaries of War Rawlins and William W. Belknap , whom Sherman felt had usurped too much of the Commanding General's powers, reducing him to a sinecure office.
Louis , Missouri, returning to Washington only upon the appointment of Alphonso Taft as Secretary of War and the promise of more authority. Much of Sherman's time as Commanding General was devoted to making the Western and Plains states safe for settlement through the continuation of the Indian Wars, which included three significant campaigns: The displacement of Indians was facilitated by the growth of the railroad and the eradication of the buffalo.
Sherman believed that the intentional eradication of the buffalo should be encouraged as a means of weakening Indian resistance to assimilation. He voiced this view in remarks to a joint session of the Texas legislature in However he never engaged in any program to actually eradicate the buffalo.
In Sherman published his memoirs in two volumes. According to critic Edmund Wilson , Sherman:. We live through his campaigns [ He tells us what he thought and what he felt, and he never strikes any attitudes or pretends to feel anything he does not feel. During the election of , Southern Democrats who supported Wade Hampton for governor used mob violence to attack and intimidate African American voters in Charleston, South Carolina. Grant for military assistance. In October , Grant, after issuing a proclamation, instructed Sherman to gather all available Atlantic region troops and dispatch them to South Carolina to stop the mob violence.
On June 19, , Sherman delivered an address to the graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy , in which he may have uttered the famous phrase "War Is Hell". I'm telling you I find peace is hell. Sherman stepped down as commanding general on November 1, , and retired from the army on February 8, He lived most of the rest of his life in New York City. He was devoted to the theater and to amateur painting and was much in demand as a colorful speaker at dinners and banquets, in which he indulged a fondness for quoting Shakespeare.
Sherman was proposed as a Republican candidate for the presidential election of , but declined as emphatically as possible, saying, "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected. In he joined the newly formed Boone and Crockett Club , a wildlife conservation organization founded by Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell. Sherman died of pneumonia in New York City at 1: President Benjamin Harrison sent a telegram to General Sherman's family and ordered all national flags to be flown at half mast.
Harrison, in a message to the Senate and the House of Representatives, wrote that:. He was an ideal soldier, and shared to the fullest the esprit du corps of the army, but he cherished the civil institutions organized under the Constitution, and was only a soldier that these might be perpetuated in undiminished usefulness and honor. Sherman's birth family was Presbyterian and he was originally baptized as such. His foster family, including his future wife Ellen, were devout Catholics, and Sherman was re-baptized and later married in the Catholic rite.
During his administration six western states were admitted to the Union. In addition, Harrison substantially strengthened and modernized the U. Navy and conducted an active foreign policy, but his proposals to secure federal education funding as well as voting rights enforcement for African Americans were unsuccessful. Due in large part to surplus revenues from the tariffs, federal spending reached one billion dollars for the first time during his term. The spending issue in part led to the defeat of the Republicans in the mid-term elections.
Cleveland defeated Harrison for re-election in , due to the growing unpopularity of the high tariff and high federal spending. Harrison returned to private life and his law practice in Indianapolis. Harrison traveled to the court of Paris as part of the case and after a brief stay returned to Indianapolis. He died at his home in Indianapolis in of complications from influenza. Although many have praised Harrison's commitment to African Americans' voting rights, scholars and historians generally regard his administration as below-average, and rank him in the bottom half among U.
Historians, however, have not questioned Harrison's commitment to personal and official integrity. His paternal ancestors were the Harrison family of Virginia , whose immigrant ancestor, Benjamin Harrison I, arrived in Jamestown, Virginia , circa The future President Benjamin Harrison was a grandson of U.
Harrison was seven years old when his grandfather was elected U. John Scott Harrison, a two-term U. Benjamin Harrison's early schooling took place in a log cabin near his home,  but his parents later arranged for a tutor to help him with college preparatory studies. He was also a member of Delta Chi , a law fraternity which permitted dual membership. At Miami, Harrison was strongly influenced by history and political economy professor Robert Hamilton Bishop. After his college graduation in , Harrison studied law with Judge Bellamy Storer of Cincinnati , but before he completed his studies, he returned to Oxford, Ohio, to marry Caroline Scott  on October 20, Caroline's father, a Presbyterian minister, performed the ceremony.
Harrison and his wife, Caroline, returned to live at The Point, his father's farm in southwestern Ohio, while he finished his law studies. Having grown up in a Whig household, Harrison initially favored that party's politics, but joined the Republican Party shortly after its formation in and campaigned on behalf of the Republican presidential candidate, John C. In , Harrison entered into a law partnership with William Wallace to form the law office of Wallace and Harrison. After Wallace, his law partner, was elected as county clerk in , Harrison established a new firm with William Fishback that was named Fishback and Harrison.
In , President Abraham Lincoln issued a call for more recruits for the Union Army; Harrison wanted to enlist, but worried about how to support his young family. Harrison told the governor, "If I can be of any service, I will go". Morton asked Harrison if he could help recruit a regiment, although he would not ask him to serve. Harrison recruited throughout northern Indiana to raise a regiment. Morton offered him the command, but Harrison declined, as he had no military experience.
He was initially commissioned as a captain and company commander on July 22, Governor Morton commissioned Harrison as a colonel on August 7, , and the newly formed 70th Indiana was mustered into Federal service on August 12, For much of its first two years, the 70th Indiana performed reconnaissance duty and guarded railroads in Kentucky and Tennessee.
In , Harrison and his regiment joined William T. Sherman 's Atlanta Campaign and moved to the front lines. When Sherman's main force began its March to the Sea , Harrison's brigade was transferred to the District of Etowah and participated in the Battle of Nashville. On January 23, , President Lincoln nominated Harrison to the grade of brevet brigadier general of volunteers, to rank from that date, and the Senate confirmed the nomination on February 14, While serving in the Union Army in October , Harrison was once again elected reporter of the Supreme Court of Indiana , although he did not seek the position, and served as the Court's reporter for four more years.
The position was unsalaried and not a politically powerful one, but it did provide Harrison with a steady income for his work preparing and publishing court opinions, which he sold to the legal profession. He became a skilled orator and known as "'one of the state's leading lawyers.
In President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Harrison to represent the federal government in a civil suit filed by Lambdin P. Milligan , whose controversial wartime conviction for treason in led to the landmark U. Supreme Court case known as Ex parte Milligan. Circuit Court for Indiana at Indianapolis, where it evolved into Milligan v. With his increasing reputation, local Republicans urged Harrison to run for Congress.
He initially confined his political activities to speaking on behalf of other Republican candidates, a task for which he received high praises from his colleagues. Former governor Oliver Morton favored his opponent, Thomas M. Browne , and Harrison lost his bid for statewide office. In , when a scandal forced the original Republican nominee, Godlove Stein Orth , to drop out of the gubernatorial race, Harrison accepted the Republican Party's invitation to take his place on the ticket. He was ultimately defeated in a plurality by James D.
Williams , losing by 5, votes out of a total , cast,  but Harrison was able to build on his new prominence in state politics. When the Great Railroad Strike of reached Indianapolis, he gathered a citizen militia to make a show of support for owners and management,   and helped to mediate an agreement between the workers and management and to prevent the strike from widening.
When United States Senator Morton died in , the Republicans nominated Harrison to run for the seat, but the party failed to gain a majority in the state legislature, which at that time elected senators; the Democratic majority elected Daniel W. Garfield won the nomination. After Harrison led Indiana's Republican delegation at the Republican National Convention, he was considered the state's presumptive candidate for the U. He gave speeches in favor of Garfield in Indiana and New York, further raising his profile in the party. However, when the Republicans retook the majority in the state legislature , Harrison's election to a six-year term in the U.
Senate was threatened by Judge Walter Q. Gresham , his intra-party rival, but Harrison was ultimately chosen. Harrison served in the Senate from March 4, to March 3, and chaired the U. Senate Committee on Territories 48th and 49th Congresses. In , the major issue confronting Senator Harrison was the budget surplus. Democrats wished to reduce the tariff and limit the amount of money the government took in; Republicans instead wished to spend the money on internal improvements and pensions for Civil War veterans.
Harrison took his party's side and advocated for generous pensions for veterans and their widows. In , Harrison and Gresham competed for influence at the Republican National Convention ; the delegation ended up supporting James G. Blaine , the eventual nominee. His efforts to further the admission of new western states were stymied by Democrats, who feared that the new states would elect Republicans to Congress. In the Democrats redistricted the Indiana state legislature, which resulted in an increased Democratic majority in , despite an overall Republican majority statewide.
The initial favorite for the Republican nomination was the previous nominee, James G. After Blaine wrote several letters denying any interest in the nomination, his supporters divided among other candidates, with John Sherman of Ohio as the leader among them. Gresham, now a federal appellate court judge in Chicago , also sought the delegates' support at the Republican National Convention. Harrison placed fifth on the first ballot, with Sherman in the lead, and the next few ballots showed little change.
Morton of New York was chosen as his running mate. Harrison's opponent in the general election was incumbent President Grover Cleveland. Harrison reprised a more traditional front-porch campaign , abandoned by his immediate predecessors; he received visiting delegations to Indianapolis and made over ninety pronouncements from his hometown. Harrison neither defended nor repudiated Dudley, but allowed him to remain on the campaign for the remaining few days. After the election, Harrison never spoke to Dudley again. Although Harrison had made no political bargains, his supporters had given many pledges upon his behalf.
When Boss Matthew Quay of Pennsylvania, who was rebuffed for a Cabinet position for his political support during the convention, heard that Harrison ascribed his narrow victory to Providence , Quay exclaimed that Harrison would never know "how close a number of men were compelled to approach His speech was brief — half as long as that of his grandfather, William Henry Harrison, whose speech holds the record for the longest inaugural address of a U.
Concerning commerce, he said, "If our great corporations would more scrupulously observe their legal obligations and duties, they would have less call to complain of the limitations of their rights or of interference with their operations. In foreign affairs, Harrison reaffirmed the Monroe Doctrine as a mainstay of foreign policy, while urging modernization of the Navy and a merchant marine force.
He gave his commitment to international peace through noninterference in the affairs of foreign governments. There should be an executive office building, not too far away, but wholly distinct from the dwelling house. For everyone else in the public service, there is an unroofed space between the bedroom and the desk.
Harrison acted quite independently in selecting his cabinet, much to the dismay of the Republican bosses. He began by delaying the presumed nomination of James G. Blaine as Secretary of State so as to preclude Blaine's involvement in the formation of the administration, as had occurred in President Garfield's term. Senator Shelby Cullom's comment symbolizes Harrison's steadfast aversion to use federal positions for patronage: Many believed the cottage gift appeared to be improper and amounted to a bribe for a cabinet position.
Harrison made no comment on the matter until after two weeks when he said he had always intended to purchase the cottage once Caroline gave approval. Civil service reform was a prominent issue following Harrison's election. Harrison had campaigned as a supporter of the merit system , as opposed to the spoils system. The issue became a political football of the time and was immortalized in a cartoon captioned "What can I do when both parties insist on kicking? Harrison quickly saw the enactment of the Dependent and Disability Pension Act in , a cause he had championed while in Congress.
In addition to providing pensions to disabled Civil War veterans regardless of the cause of their disability , the Act depleted some of the troublesome federal budget surplus. Tanner 's expansive interpretation of the pension laws. Harrison, having accepted a dissenting Congressional Republican investigation report that exonerated Raum, kept him in office for the rest of his administration. One of the first appointments Harrison was forced to reverse was that of James S.
Clarkson as an assistant postmaster. Clarkson, who had expected a full cabinet position, began sabotaging the appointment from the outset, gaining the reputation for "decapitating a fourth class postmaster every three minutes".
Sherman. "Sherman as College President."
Clarkson himself stated, "I am simply on detail from the Republican Committee I am most anxious to get through this task and leave. The tariff levels had been a major political issue since before the Civil War, and they became the most dominant matter of the election. Most Republicans preferred to maintain the rates, spend the surplus on internal improvements and eliminate some internal taxes.
Aldrich framed the McKinley Tariff that would raise the tariff even higher, including making some rates intentionally prohibitive. Members of both parties were concerned with the growth of the power of trusts and monopolies , and one of the first acts of the 51st Congress was to pass the Sherman Antitrust Act , sponsored by Senator John Sherman of Ohio. The Act passed by wide margins in both houses, and Harrison signed it into law. One of the most volatile questions of the s was whether the currency should be backed by gold and silver , or by gold alone.
Because silver was worth less than its legal equivalent in gold, taxpayers paid their government bills in silver, while international creditors demanded payment in gold, resulting in a depletion of the nation's gold supply. Owing to worldwide deflation in the late 19th century, however, a strict gold standard had resulted in reduction of incomes without the equivalent reduction in debts, pushing debtors and the poor to call for silver coinage as an inflationary measure.
The silver coinage issue had not been much discussed in the campaign and Harrison is said to have favored a bimetallist position. After regaining the majority in both Houses of Congress, some Republicans, led by Harrison, attempted to pass legislation to protect black Americans' civil rights. Harrison's Attorney General, William H. Miller , through the Justice Department, ordered the prosecutions for violation of voting rights in the South; however, white juries often failed to convict or indict violators.