Sherman and His Campaigns a Military Biography

By S. M. Bowman; R. B. Irwin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXVII.
CONCLUSION.

WHEN Count Segur, in giving his graphic account of Napoleon's great Russian campaign, declared it was impossible to comprehend the great events of history without a perfect knowledge of the character and manners of the principal actors, he disclosed a profound knowledge of his art. Such knowledge of Sherman, however, can only be had by being associated with him both at home and in the field. If we form our estimate of General Sherman's character and manners from his brilliant but hasty letters and military reports alone, or from the record of his military career, or from such descriptions of him as have been given by army correspondents, or from all these sources of information together, we will be likely to have a very imperfect idea of the man. The country, however, and the world will probably agree in according him military genius of a high order. Indeed, this judgment can hardly be withheld without obliterating the most brilliant achievements of the war, still fresh in the memory of all.

It has been the fortune of but few eminent men like General Sherman, to receive both the applause and abuse usually accorded to greatness, in the short space of four years. It is too early to write his history. Fifty or a hundred years hence he will be better understood than now, and more appreciated.

In personal appearance and manners, General Sherman is not essentially different from other men of American education and culture. At this writing, he is past forty-five years of age, of tall and commanding form; and a stranger, introduced to him for the first time, without any previous knowledge of his

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