Southern historian Shelby Foote* wrote three volumes of American history that read like epic poetry - The Civil War: A Narrative The volumes are - Fort Sumter to Perryville (1958), Fredericksburg to Meridian (1963), and Red River to Appomattox (1974).
I read the last volume first, in my senior year at Loyola University at the suggestion of Dr. Heibel, my American literature professor. It was wonderful. Foote was no southern apologist, but worshiped the in-born integrity of the people who emerged from his studies of America's crucible with a humane balance of judgment - combatants and leaders were presented as situations met motivations. Foote equally valorized Abraham Lincoln and Nathan Bedford Forrest, unlike group-thought PC dilettante agendanistas.
General Grant was particularly admired and of the tanner's son, West Point third tier graduate, and Mexican War yeoman Foote noted, "He had what you'd call 4am courage. You could wake him at 4am... & he'd be calm & able to tackle any problem"
U.S. Grant is so much more than the face on the $50. Grant was a tough, sentimental, pious, loyal and thoughtful man. At his death, the New York Times featured a lengthy summary in narrative of the man who ended the Civil War, but became a victim of politics.
Click my post title for the whole feature, but here pasted below is a touching detail of Roman Catholic General Phil Sheridan's visit to the dying Methodist President.
A Talk with Sheridan
Shiloh and the Valley Campaign--No Smile at Appomattox
Washington, July 23--From day to day, and almost hourly, during Gen. Grant's illness, there has been one inquirer in this city whose concern has been manifested by the earnestness of his questions about the brave patient in New-York. In his quiet, unobtrusive, undemonstrative way, Lieut.-Gen. Sheridan, Gen. Grant's companion in arms, has shown that he was pained at the thought of the struggle that was going on between the great soldier and a disease with which his sturdy courage could not hope to successfully contend. While the dispatches have been coming in to the office of the General of the Army, and in such moments as he could spare, Gen. Sheridan has talked about his relations with Gen. Grant, their joint efforts to overcome the rebellion, and has told over again the story of some of the most memorable scenes in which both of them participated. Gen. Sheridan does not readily take to story telling, particularly when the telling of a story involves references to his own valorous deeds. His diffidence, great now as it was when he was a boy, is something remarkable in a man who showed an absolute lack of diffidence in the face of an enemy. To get anything out of him in the way of incident one must lead him carefully to the point upon which information is desired. Then, in a low, simple, straightforward way he will tell his story. It will be unimaginative, without attempt at dramatic effect, and without a shade of boastfulness. Like Gen. Grant, Gen. Sheridan has sometimes been called reticent and taciturn. This is only true of him when he speaks with strangers or with curious people whom he suspects of a desire to hear him blow his own trumpet.
Grant's Confidence In Sheridan
The writer dropped in to see him a few days before his departure for the West, and, after chatting about Gen. Grant's condition, expressed some curiosity to know when he had first come in contact with Gen. Grant. "Well," said the General, "you see, we were both attached to the same regiment in the army. He had gone out of it after the Mexican war, and my service had been continuous from the time I left West Point until I drifted down the Tennessee River as an acting Quartermaster for Gen. Halleck. The battle of Shiloh had just been fought. Our army was resting, a sort of suspension following the battle. Hearing that Grant and McPherson were both at the front, I took the first opportunity presented of reporting to them. I found Gen. Grant with Gen. McPherson. He was sitting in his tent smoking a cigar, and was in his shirt sleeves. Our greeting was pleasant, and he expressed his gratification that I had been sent to the front. I had just gone through with the Pea Ridge campaign, and he seemed to have the notion that I could be useful to him in the advance through Kentucky and Tennessee."
"I was pretty near Grant from that time on until I was sent East to take command of all the cavalry in Virginia. When I met the General at Shiloh he was the same man in manner that he has always been to me. I did not find him reticent. On the contrary, he was a very free and frank talker. He did not need much explanation from me of anything I proposed to do, but appeared to have entire confidence that I would do the best I could at all times." The General referred most pleasantly to the influence exerted by Gen. Grant in securing his transfer to the East after the brilliant services he had rendered at Perryville, Stone Ridge, and Chickamauga. "Gen. Grant agreed with me that whenever it was possible we should fight cavalry with cavalry, and infantry with infantry. He agreed with me in my plan of the valley campaign of 1864. The cavalry was taken off of guard duty about the army and put to better use. I saw Gen. Grant occasionally. He was always the same in manner. Never elated by victory, he was also never cast down by defeat. He met all sorts of fortune stolidly. His confidence in himself never failed. Under all circumstances he treated his associates with the same simple courtesy. Plainer in dress than most of his subordinates, he was so because he had no thought for dress, his mind being upon the great task he had set himself. He came to see me in September. Talked over the plans I had made for fighting Early, and having faith in my confidence that I could whip his army. Saw that no other instructions were necessary than the injunction to 'go in.' He never visited me again for the purpose of giving me orders, and in that way testified his full faith in my desire and ability to comprehend and carry out his plans. His regard for me was shown again after the valley campaign, and when I had been made a Brigadier-General in the regular army, by the order for a salute of 100 guns."
Together at Appomattox
With great interest Gen. Sheridan referred to the campaign events following his bold push of March, 1865, to the south of Richmond, preceding the brilliant events in which he was to take so conspicuous a place and win such lasting renown. "At Dinwiddie Court House," said he, "came Grant's order about ending the battle before going back. We were in bivouac. The weather was rainy and the roads muddy. Wagons were everywhere up to their hubs. The general movement forward appeared to be ended. At daybreak on the 30th, I think, when everything was swamped, I rode back to see Gen. Grant. The infantry were huddled together, wet and cold. Gen. Grant's tent was in a sand field, and was as cheerless a place as could be found. He met me cordially, and suggested that if the cavalry could move up a little it would be better than an absolute standstill. I assented to the suggestion--it was all that could be done, said 'good-bye' to Gen. Grant, rode back to my command, and gave the order to move on Five Forks. I did not see Gen. Grant again, except to get a glimpse of him at Jetersville, until ten days later, when I joined him as he went to receive the surrender of Lee at Appomattox.
"The story of the surrender of Lee has been so often told," said Gen. Sheridan, "that nothing could be added to it by me. Gen. Grant, arriving at Appomattox Court House with Col. Newhall on the 9th of April after a long and hard ride, was spattered with mud from his soft hat to his boots, in which he wore his trousers. I had been riding hard, too, and had not had much sleep for several days. Neither of us looked very nice. We greeted each other briefly. The General knew what was about to be done, and little was said about it. Gen. Grant showed no exultation. I took him to the McLean House, where Gen. Lee awaited him. Gen. Grant and one or two of his staff went in; the rest of us staid outside on the piazza until Col. Babcock came out and invited us in. Presently Gen. Lee went out to take his horse and drive away. He was dressed in a new gray uniform. We had had no chance to get at our uniforms. All of us were rather silent and serious. Gen. Grant wore no smile of victory on his face. He knew what the victory meant, but his face did not show it."
Gen. Sheridan said he had met Gen. Grant many times since then, and that their pleasant relations during the war have always been maintained. He went with him on a journey to Cuba and Mexico, and on that trip found him to be the same simple man he had known in the army. In other places he has occupied he has always been unchanged to his admired companion in arms. Soldier-like, Gen. Sheridan is not effusive in his language when expressing his affection for Gen. Grant; but it is not difficult to see that there will be no heartstrings in the country more strained at the death of Grant than those of "Gallant Phil Sheridan."
At West Point Together--Grant's Courtship--The War and After
GAINESVILLE, Ga., July 23--"He was the truest as well as the bravest man that ever lived," was the remark made by Gen. James Longstreet, when he recovered to-day from the emotion caused by the sad news of Gen. Grant's death. Gen. Longstreet lives in a two-story house of modern style about three miles from Gainesville, where, amid his vines and shrubs, he was seen by The Times's correspondent. He was dressed in a long and many colored dressing gown; his white whiskers were trimmed after the pattern of Burnside's, and he looked little like the stalwart figure which was ever in the thickest of the fight during the bloody battles of the late war.
"Ever since 1839," said he, "I have been on terms of the closest intimacy with Grant. I well remember the fragile form which answered to his name in that year. His distinguishing trait as a cadet was a girlish modesty; a hesitancy in presenting his own claims; a taciturnity born of his modesty; but a thoroughness in the accomplishment of whatever task was assigned him. As I was of large and robust physique I was at the head of most larks and games. But in these young Grant never joined because of his delicate frame. In horsemanship, however, he was noted as the most proficient in the Academy. In fact, rider and horse held together like the fabled centaur.
Two Young Lieutenants
"In 1842 I was attached to the Fourth Infantry as Second Lieutenant. A year later Grant joined the same regiment, stationed in that year at Fort Jefferson, 12 miles from St. Louis. The ties thus formed have never been broken; but there was a charm which held us together of which the world has never heard. My kinsman, Mr. Frederick Dent, was a substantial farmer living near Fort Jefferson. He had a liking for army officers, due to the fact that his son Fred was a pupil at West Point. One day I received an invitation to visit his house in order to meet young Fred, who had just returned, and I asked Grant to go with me. This he did, and of course was introduced to the family, the last one to come in being Miss Julia Dent, the charming daughter of our host. It is needless to say that we saw but little of Grant during the rest of the visit. He paid court in fact with such assiduity as to give rise to the hope that he had forever gotten over his diffidence. Five years later, in 1848, after the usual uncertainties of a soldier's courtship, Grant returned and claimed Miss Dent as his bride. I had been married just six months at that time, and my wife and I were among the guests at the wedding. Only a few months ago Mrs. Grant recalled to my memory an incident with Gen. Grant's courtship. Miss Dent had been escorted to the military balls so often by Lieut. Grant that, on one occasion, when she did not happen to go with him, Lieut. Hoskins went up to her and asked, with a pitiful expression on his face: 'Where is that small man with the large epaulets?'
In the Field of Duty
"In 1844 the Fourth Regiment was ordered to Louisiana to form part of the army of observation. Still later we formed part of the army of occupation in Corpus Christi, Texas, Here, removed from all society without books or papers, we had an excellent opportunity of studying each other. I and every one else always found Grant resolute and doing his duty in a simple manner. His honor was never suspected, his friendships were true, his hatred of guile was pronounced, and his detestation of tale bearers was, I may say, absolute. The soul of honor himself, he never even suspected others either then or years afterward. He could not bring himself to look upon the rascally side of human nature.
"While we remained in Corpus Christi an incident illustrating Grant's skill and fearlessness as a horseman occurred. The Mexicans were in the habit of bringing in wild horses, which they would sell for two or three dollars. These horses came near costing more than one officer his life. One day a particularly furious animal was brought in. Every officer in the camp had declined to purchase the animal except Grant, who declared that he would either break the horse's neck or his own. He had the horse blindfolded, bridled, and saddled, and when firmly in the saddle he threw off the blind, sunk his spurs into the horse's flanks, and was soon out of sight. For three hours he rode the animal over all kinds of ground, through field and stream, and when horse and rider returned to camp the horse was thoroughly tamed. For years afterward the story of Grant's ride was related at every camp fire in the country. During the Mexican war we were separated, Grant having been made Quartermaster of the Fourth Regiment, while I was assigned to duty as Adjutant of the Eighth. At the Battle of Molino del Rey, however, I had occasion to notice his superb courage and coolness under fire. So noticeable was his bearing that his gallantry was alluded to in the official reports.
Payment of a Debt of Honor
"In the long days of our stay in Louisiana and Texas," continued Gen. Longstreet, "we frequently engaged in the game of brag and five-cent ante and similar diversions. We instructed Grant in the mysteries of these games, but he made a poor player. The man who lost 75 cents in one day was esteemed in those times a peculiarly unfortunate person. The games often lasted an entire day. Years later, in 1858, I happened to be in St. Louis, and there met Capt. Holloway and other army chums. We went into the Planters' Hotel to talk over old times, and it was soon proposed to have an old-time game of brag, but it was found that we were one short of making up a full hand. 'Wait a few minutes,' said Holloway, 'and I will find some one.' In a few minutes he returned with a man poorly dressed in citizen's clothes and in whom we recognized our old friend Grant. Going into civil life Grant had been unfortunate, and he was really in needy circumstances. The next day I was walking in front of the Planters', when I found myself face to face again with Grant who, placing in the palm of my hand a five-dollar gold piece, insisted that I should take it in payment of a debt of honor over 15 years old. I peremptorily declined to take it, alleging that he was out of the service and more in need of it than I. 'You must take it,' said he, 'I cannot live with anything in my possession which is not mine.' Seeing the determination in the man's face, and in order to save him mortification, I took the money, and shaking hands we parted.
The Meeting at Appomattox
"The next time we met," said Gen. Longstreet, "was at Appomattox, and the first thing that Gen. Grant said to me when we stepped inside, placing his arm in mine, was: 'Pete (a sobriquet of mine), let us have another game of brag, to recall the old days which were so pleasant to us all.' Great God! thought I to myself, how my heart swells out to such a magnanimous touch of humanity! Why do men fight who were born to be brothers?
"During the war my immediate command had engaged the troops of Grant but once--at the battle of the Wilderness. We came into no sort of personal relations, however. In the Spring of 1865, one day, while awaiting a letter from Gen. Grant, Gen. Lee said to me, 'There is nothing ahead of us but to surrender.' It was as one of the Commissioners appointed to arrange the terms of peace that I met Gen. Grant at Appomattox. His whole greeting and conduct toward us was as though nothing had ever happened to mar our pleasant relations.
Friendship After the War
"In 1866 I had occasion to visit Washington on business, and while there made a call of courtesy on Gen. Grant at his office. As I arose to leave he followed me out into the hallway, and asked me to spend an evening with his family. I thanked him, promising compliance, and passed a most enjoyable evening. When leaving Grant again accompanied me into the hallway and said: 'General, would you like to have an amnesty?' Wholly unprepared for this I replied that I would like to have it, but had no hope of getting it. He told me to write out my application and to call at his office at noon the next day, and in the meantime he would see President Johnson and Secretary of War Stanton on my behalf. When I called he had already seen these men, and assured me that there was not an obstacle in the way. He indorsed my application by asking that it be granted as a special personal favor to himself.
"In the January before he was inaugurated President for the first time I paid him a passing friendly visit. He then said to me: 'Longstreet, I want you to come and see me after I am inaugurated, and let me know what you want.' After the inauguration I was walking up the avenue one day to see him when I met a friend who informed me that the President had sent in my name for confirmation as Surveyor of the Port of New-Orleans. For several weeks the nomination hung in the Senate, when I went to Grant and begged him to withdraw the nomination, as I did not want his personal friendship for me to embarrass his Administration. 'Give yourself no uneasiness about that,' he said, 'the Senators have as many favors to ask of me as I have of them, and I will see that you are confirmed.'
"From what I have already told you," said Gen. Longstreet, in conclusion, "it will be seen that Grant was a modest man, a simple man, a man believing in the honesty of his fellows, true to his friends, faithful to traditions, and of great personal honor. When the United States District Court in Richmond was about to indict Gen. Lee and myself for treason, Gen. Grant interposed and said: 'I have pledged my word for their safety.' This stopped the wholesale indictments of ex-Confederate officers which would have followed. He was thoroughly magnanimous, was above all petty things and small ideas, and, after Washington, was the highest type of manhood America has produced."
Gen. Grant and the South
His Desire When President to Befriend Its People
SAVANNAH, Ga., July 23--The Times's correspondent called upon Gen. Lafayette McLaws recently. Gen. McLaws was one of the officers who resigned his commission in the Federal Army for the purpose of following his State into secession. During the four years' war which followed he held the rank of Major-General and participated in some of the hardest fighting. In his early days he had been on terms of the closest intimacy with the young subaltern who was destined afterward to play so important a part in the history of his country. When the war was over McLaws retired to a farm in Effingham County, refusing all participation in politics. It was not until 1876 that he visited Washington, when he called at the White House. He had no sooner sent in his card to Gen. Grant than he heard the President, who was at the time busily engaged, call out to his secretary:
"Don't let McLaws go; I want to see him."
"All at once," said Gen. McLaws, "I saw a changed look on the faces of my companions in waiting when they found there was one among them whom the President was anxious to see. Meeting me on the doorstep Gen. Grant held out his hand and said: 'I am delighted to see my old army comrade. I want you to dine with me, when we can dream over the past.'
"After dinner he led me into his private room and directed the conversation so as to find out my personal condition. He listened to my narrative with interest, and turning to me he said:
"'McLaws, would you take office under an old comrade?'
"Taken aback by the question, I at length replied that I was ready to perform all the duties of American citizenship. 'I am sorry you did not come to see me before,' rejoined the President; 'I would have taken pleasure in conferring office upon you. My second term of the Presidency is now nearly ended, but there has not been an hour of that time in which I was not only willing but anxious to confer the offices upon reputable citizens. In this, however, I was foiled by the politicians. The prejudices of the Northern politicians were at work, but the great hindrance was in the Southern Congressmen. They have always held aloof, treated me as a stranger, and refused to give me an opportunity to befriend them. For a Southern man to take office under me brought him under suspicion at home.' "In fact," continued Gen. McLaws, "Gen. Grant spoke with the air of a man who felt chagrined and disappointed at the manner in which the politicians had used sectional differences to further their own purposes. Finally, Gen. Grant said to me, 'Go home and have nothing to do with the politicians, and leave your case with me, and I will take care of you.' I had not much more than reached home when I was nominated and confirmed for the Savannah Post Office, which position I held until a few months ago.
"This is not the only instance within my knowledge," said Gen. McLaws," of the interest taken by Gen. Grant in the South. A story told me by the Hon. William Dougherty, whose memory all Georgians revere, proves beyond question that there would have been no sectional bitterness if Grant had been listened to. When the policy of reconstruction had been resolved upon by Congress Gen. Pope was appointed to take control of the Third Military District, of which Georgia was a part. On assuming control of the district Gen. Pope issued an order announcing that fact, the tenor of which gave great satisfaction to the people. Judge Dougherty was so well pleased with it that he felt called upon to make a visit to Gen. Pope and to express in person his sense of gratification. This done he arose to leave, when Gen. Pope said:
"'Judge, I have known you by reputation a long time; it was my purpose to have invited you to advise me on matters of state, but now that you are here we might as well get to the point. My appointment to the command of this district was made by Gen. Grant for a special purpose. I am from Illinois, a State well settled with the children of Southern people. This fact, in Gen. Grant's opinion, would make me feel more kinship here than would some officer without these associations. Gen. Grant further instructed me to call into council in Georgia the best citizens, naming Gov. Jenkins, Chief-Justice Warner, and yourself. The Constitutional Convention required under the Reconstruction act, if held under these auspices, will perform its work quickly and intelligently. He understands the difficulty you will encounter in dealing with the negro question, but to palliate it he suggests that you adopt either a property or an educational qualification, such as is to be found in some Northern States. Gen. Grant knows that the requirements of the Reconstruction act are extreme, and does not expect that a convention of men like yourself would or could come up to them; but what he asks of you is this: send your best men to the convention; your refined, reputable citizens; let them adopt a Constitution as far advanced as the prejudices of the people will admit; let them give evidence of an honest purpose to reach an agreement with the North; and Gen. Grant promises, in return, to use the whole weight of his influence to have Georgia readmitted into the Union under that Constitution. What he desires, above all things, is a supreme effort on the part of your people to bring about that harmony which should exist between the States. He feels that Georgia is the pivotal State; that if Georgia has the courage--he knows that she has the statesmanship--to make a settlement of the question, her example will be followed by the entire South. I have offered the Presidency of the convention to Gov. Jenkins, but he has declined it on constitutional grounds. I have offered it to Chief-Justice Warner, but he declines it because the fight is too sharp and the prejudices too deep to be met. Now, Judge Dougherty, will you accept the Presidency?'"
Judge Dougherty declined the honor, stating that it was too great a task to try to overcome the prejudices of a whole people. Contrary counsels from those of Gen. Grant led the Southern people into a train of disaster which it has taken nearly 20 years to overcome.
"An officer who once served on Gen. Grant's staff once told me an incident which illustrated the quick decision of Gen. Grant. It was just after the battle of Shiloh. The officers were grouped around a camp fire, when Gen. John A. McClernand rode up to Gen. Grant, and handing him an autograph letter from President Lincoln directing Grant to turn his command over to Gen. McClernand, Gen. Grant read the letter carefully, and then, tearing it up into small pieces and throwing them into the fire, said:
"'I decline to receive or obey orders which do not come through the proper channel.'
"Pausing a moment, he turned to Gen. McClernand and said:
"'Your division is under orders to leave this department in the morning, and I advise you to go with it.' McClernand went, and that was the last that was ever heard of the order, for the culmination of events showed that Grant was right, and no President dared to remove him, for a change of commanders just after the battle of Shiloh would have led to very different results for the Federals.
"The dogged determination to do or die, which was so characteristic of Grant, was what gave backbone to the Federal army. He would never acknowledge defeat. Gen. Zachary Taylor once told me an anecdote of Grant, which occurred during the Mexican war. Lieut. Grant was in charge of a party of men detailed to clear the way for the advance of boats laden with troops from Aransas Bay to Corpus Christi by removing the oyster beds and other obstructions. Failing either by words or signs to make those under him understand him, Lieut. Grant jumped into the water, which was up to his waist, and worked with his men. Some dandy officers began making fun of him for his zeal, when Gen. Taylor came upon the scene, and rebuked it by saying:
"'I wish I had more officers like Grant, who would stand ready to set a personal example when needed.'"
The Veteran's Recent Talk About the Administration, Grant, and Others
From the Chicago Inter Ocean, July 18
"I'm a soldier, not a politician," said Gen. "Tecumseh" Sherman, as at the Grand Pacific yesterday the old warrior offered his good-natured apology for neither knowing nor caring much about politics. Said the General:
"I am on my way to Lake Minnetonka, where my family now is, and I stopped over to arrange some matters with Gen. Chetlain regarding our reunion of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee that will be held here Sept. 9 and 10. It is all arranged now, and I think we shall have a beautiful meeting. We shall not throw it open so much to the general public as heretofore. It is a reunion of soldiers, you see, to talk over old war times and keep alive our old associations, as well as the organization itself. Yes, I have been its President since its origin in 1868. How many shall we have here? Oh, yes, over 200-250, I think. The first day we shall transact our private business in some rooms Mr. Drake will give us here in the Grand Pacific, and in the evening in some public place, for everybody to hear, there will be a public address by Gen. Sanborn. The next evening we shall have a banquet of the society."
The General got to talking about the civil service institution, and he seemed cordially willing to give the system his approval. He declared he believed it in the interests of good government, and it seemed to him to furnish a great relief to Senators and Congressmen, who had but to refer their petitioners for office to the Civil Service Commission for an answer. Said the reporter: "General, does it strike you that a good many Republican soldiers have been removed from office?"
"No," promptly replied the veteran, "I don't think there have been. They seem to have been very moderate in that, and not to have removed a man except for qualifications."
The subject was introduced of Wade Hampton's recent letter regarding the particular service of his troops at Manassas, whereat Gen. Sherman speedily said: "Gen. Hampton is undoubtedly a truthful man, and I do not question that Imboden is honest, but that battle was ten miles long, from Surrey Church to Manassas, and a man is liable to write from the position he occupied. My men were new and did not have sufficient tenacity; but they were not driven by Jackson; they withdrew, and his men were not as a 'stone wall,' but they stood behind a stone wall in fact."
"Have you seen Gen. Grant lately?"
"No, not since December, but I heard three days ago from Fred, and they feel very apprehensive about the General. Save the cancer in his throat he is sound in his lungs, heart, and stomach, and I think he will live several months yet."
"He has written a valuable book, General?"
"Oh, yes, and he has written it mostly with his own hand, but still it comes too late; that is, I do not mean that it is really too late, but it would have been better if he could have written it 20, 15, or 10 years ago when he was fresh. A man commanding everything is better qualified than a colonel to write such a book, for he knows all things. I feel even now, in view of all the material that I had, that I have little to add to my memoirs."
"Shall you ever publish again?"
"No, I think not, though I may add an appendix to my memoirs, and perhaps insert something here and there."
"Shall you put in anything about Jeff Davis?" asked the reporter somewhat irrelevantly. And the General shot out his reply with a soldier's sledge-hammer emphasis:
"If Jeff Davis is a patriot, I'm a traitor, and I ain't. If Jeff Davis is a patriot, Abraham Lincoln is a traitor, and if God ever made a pure man Abraham Lincoln was he. Oh, no, I have nothing to do with Davis. He saw fit to take up something I said to a Grand Army post. No, I have never met him. I believe Davis is honest, but his ambition led him into treason to his country."
"You think Sheridan will have no trouble with the Indians?"
"Oh, no, I think not. You see the only way for an Indian to be honest is to kill a white man's ox. There is no game left; the buffalo and the elk are gone. No, the Indian question will be settled when he is given for his occupation a section of land and the remainder invested for his benefit."
Gen. Sherman got up to wish his visitor good day. The same plain, grizzly old fighter in fatigue dress he remains. He stands with his feet together like the soldier he was trained, and his tall form appears perfectly at ease in black alpaca coat and low-cut white vest, whereon army buttons declare the trade in which "Tecumseh" Sherman made his everlasting mark. When he talks he talks with the utmost good humor and straightforward simplicity. He was speaking of his home in St. Louis, his house building, and the provision he wished to make for those that remained when he was gone. When he mentioned his six children and seven grandchildren he came to speak of the families of brother officers, men his peers in the service years ago, who passed away only to leave those dependent on them beggars for office at Washington, willing to work 10 hours a day for $40 a month, simply to get bread and meat. Forty such instances he said he could recall, and the thought seemed to have its deep pathos as the General dwelt feelingly upon it.
* In 1940 Foote joined the Mississippi National Guard and was commissioned as captain of artillery. After being transferred from one stateside base to another, his battalion was deployed to Northern Ireland in 1943. The following year, Foote was charged with falsifying a government document relating to the check-in of a motor pool vehicle he had borrowed to visit a girlfriend in Belfast - later his first wife — who lived two miles beyond the official military limits. He was court-martialed and dismissed from the Army. He came back to the United States and took a job with the Associated Press in New York City. In January 1945, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, but was discharged as a private in November 1945, never having seen combat. During his training with the Marines, he recalled a fellow Marine asking him "you used to be a[n] Army captain, didn't you?" When Foote said yes, the fellow replied, "You ought to make a pretty good Marine private."