Friday, July 1, 2011

Sherman Brothers in Columbia Heights

Fellow local blog, New Columbia Heights has this find about Senator John Sherman's subdivided property, where his older brother William Tecumseh Sherman also lived.

After capturing Atlanta, Cump (as General Sherman liked to be called, he hated the name "William") made a national name for himself and thanks to that and Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind he is the best known Sherman today. But younger brother John would have been far more famous to their contemporaries as an influential Senator (author of the Sherman Antitrust Act), Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of State.

Not at all unlike elected officials today, in May 1861 Senator-elect John Sherman (replacing Salmon P. Chase representing Ohio) took what we would now call a CODEL (Congressional Delegation) to visit Robert Patterson's army in Hagerstown, MD, and became so upset at the poor conditions of the units that he (undoubtedly with Patterson's help) composed a sharp letter to Secretary of War Simon Cameron asking for more and better supplies. It can be read here and Cameron's reply here.

(And finally, in one of those amusing moments that come from reading too much of the Official Records, check out Winfield Scott's reply to an earlier message from Patterson at the end of Sherman's letter. "Do not omit so many words. Sentences too incomplete to be understood.")

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