[CIVIL WAR] SHERMAN, William T. Three autograph letters signed ("W.T. Sherman") to General Henry W. and Mrs. Slocum, New York, 9 February, 11 February and 21 May 1889. Together 5½ pages, small 4to, light browning, two with slight fold separation.[With:] HOWARD, Otis Oliver (1830-1909) Major General. Autograph letter signed ("O.O. Howard") to Henry W. Slocum, Brooklyn, NY, 1 March 1889. 1¼ pages, small 4to, Headquarters Division of the Atlantic stationery; [SLOCUM, Henry W.] A large albumen photograph of the seated general in full uniform. New York: Sarony (imprint at lower left), . 11¾ x 7 in.
AN OLD SOLDIER AND HIS MEMORIES
Letters written during the last years of Sherman's life. Writing to Mrs. Slocum shortly after his 69th birthday to thank her for a gift of flowers, Sherman recalls the celebration dinner: "We had I think a most genteel party last night, and I honestly feel a pride in having Howard and Slocum with me on my 69th Birthday...If I can worry through another year, I will have attained the allotted 'three score and ten' and can tell old Time with his scythe to go ahead, that he may make a deep swath, but cannot cheat me of seventy years on this insignificant Globe with a fair measure of Life's pleasures and cares and responsibilities."
In February, Sherman, hoping to have a lasting memento of his friendship with his closest former comrades (a sentiment likely brought on by his birthday party), writes to Slocum on the 21st: "I enclose with this a medium sized photograph of myself by 'Earony' 37 Union Square and in exchange I ask you to give him a sitting and to send me one of yourself of same style and finish...to be framed and hung in my office...along with Howard's to whom I write this day an identical letter. We three will go down to history as the Leaders of 'The March to the Sea'". Just over a week later, Howard discusses the photos with Slocum: "Today I send you my panel-picture, a duplicate of the one I now send to General Sherman...We may both always reckon upon accomplished facts as the things of importance. Such were the Campaigns of 1864 & 65, including the marches to & from the sea. And surely, though the main honor of the work crowns our chief, yet in helpful planning & executing, our part will not be forgotten."
In May, Sherman declines an invitation to the wedding of the Slocums' daughter to an army officer, but reassures Mrs. Slocum that her daughter will be safe: "Railroads have stripped the Great West of its terrors...now Forts Huachuca, Grant, Wingate, Riley and Leavenworth are as pleasant homes as your village of Brooklyn." (5)