A Life of Devotion to Duty (November 15, 1864)

Philip Sheridan (Library of Congress).

Philip Sheridan (Library of Congress).

George Meade’s off-hand mention of Philip Sheridan’s promotion belies the anger he truly felt over the fact that Grant seemed to favor Sheridan over him.  He will return to the topic in future letters. In the meantime, he continues to worry about the health of his oldest son, John Sergeant.

I am very glad Bishop Odenheimer was so kind as to visit you and talk to Sergeant, and am truly happy to hear dear Sergeant proposes to make public what I felt sure was the case, that he is a sincere and good Christian. With such a life of devotion to duty, and freedom from all the faults that youth is liable to, it needed for me no more evidence to feel satisfied that my dear boy was in the right path as far as human infirmity admitted.

General George McClellan (Library of Congress).

General George McClellan (Library of Congress).

I hear from City Point this evening that McClellan’s resignation has been accepted, and that Sheridan has been appointed a major general in the regular army. It is also reported that General Canby, commanding in Louisiana, has been mortally wounded whilst going up Red River.

An officer called to see me to-day, just from Detroit, bringing me many kind messages from friends. This officer says that, whilst at a hotel in Columbus, Ohio, he heard a man publicly proclaim that the Army of the Potomac, under my influence, was going to vote for McClellan. My friend told the individual his statement was false, that he knew me and the army, and he knew I would never influence a man for either side, and he knew the army would vote largely for Mr. Lincoln. But this report of my interference was circulated all through the Western country.

Meade’s correspondence taken from The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), p. 242. Available via Google Books.

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