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    William T. Sherman: Group of Four Letters. Each letter measures 5.5" x 9" from New York and addressed to General Stewart Van Vliet of Washington. The letters are dated July 23, 1889; December 30, 1889; March 30, 1890; and December 29, 1890; all are signed "W. T. Sherman."

    Six years after retiring as Commanding General of the U.S. Army, Sherman continued his correspondence with veteran Stewart Van Vliet. The two had a long history together, dating back at least to their time together in the U.S. Military Academy (both were in the class of 1840). These letters reveal much about Sherman's thoughts on the demands on his time and his loyalty to his fellow West Pointers.

    In a letter dated July 23, 1889 he writes: " I was abet at Denver 3 weeks, and find many demands on my time for which I ought to be excused... I was at the Union League last night... and learned that Kendrick is failing... it is manifest you, Getty, and I are destined to be the survivors of our class. Instead of my moving around the whole continent I have the right to call on my class mates and friends to call on me..."

    Sherma also writes about his retirement, including his busy social life, which included New Year's Eve plans, and receptions at the Lenox Lyceum. Sherman also writes of invitations to dinner ("my house is large enough for a big dinner party") and western expansion ("I have seen California completely transformed").

    The June 27, 1890 letter is filled with excellent content and fills four pages. In part: "it occurred to me that my three subordinate Generals at the close of the war are still living I invited them [John] Schofield, [O. O.] Howard, & [Henry] Slocum to dine with me here Feb 8th [on] my 70th birthday... I had hardly committed myself before some personal friends of the Union League Club offered me a GRand Reception which compelled me to explain - the correspondents rushed here to get items and I answered it was purely a private matter with which they had nothing to do... The simple truth is my dinner on Feb 8 is for the army comrades who were with me ath the close of the war... I am often embarrassed by these well meant tenders of hospitality. Only a few days ago Andrew Carnegie called with his wife and in the course of the visit said he had noticed my attendance at the New England, Hibernian, St. Nicholas, and other organizations and asked if I would not attend his, the Caledonians. I answered that at St. Louis I always was the guest of the Caledonians on St. Andrew's day - and would with pleasure attend his on due notice. In time I received the card with a printed programme, in which I was set down for the Regular Speech on Robt Burns. At once I wrote Carnegie that I had out of personal regard for him been led into a great mistake. I could not attempt such an address... The affair came off last Saturday, and though adjointed I was not present. - I am tired of such public occassions..."

    All letters are toned with very minor stains. The group includes two of the transmittal envelopes addressed to Vliet and postmarked 1889.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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