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Message to Congress Announcing the Death of General William Tecumseh Sherman

February 14, 1891

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The death of William Tecumseh Sherman, which took place to-day at his residence in the city of New York, at 1 o'clock and 50 minutes p.m., is an event that will bring sorrow to the heart of every patriotic citizen. No living American was so loved and venerated as he. To look upon his face, to hear his name, was to have one's love of country intensified. He served his country, not for fame, not out of a sense of professional duty, but for love of the flag and of the beneficent civil institutions of which it was the emblem. He was an ideal soldier, and shared to the fullest the esprit de corps of the Army; but he cherished the civil institutions organized under the Constitution, and was a soldier only that these might be perpetuated in undiminished usefulness and honor. He was in nothing an imitator.

A profound student of military science and precedent, he drew from them principles and suggestions, and so adapted them to novel conditions that his campaigns will continue to be the profitable study of the military profession throughout the world. His genial nature made him comrade to every soldier of the great Union Army. No presence was so welcome and inspiring at the camp fire or commandery as his. His career was complete; his honors were full. He had received from the Government the highest rank known to our military establishment and from the people unstinted gratitude and love. No word of mine can add to his fame. His death has followed in startling quickness that of the Admiral of the Navy; and it is a sad and notable incident that when the Department under which he served shall have put on the usual emblems of mourning four of the eight Executive Departments will be simultaneously draped in black, and one other has but to-day removed the crape from its walls.


Benjamin Harrison, Message to Congress Announcing the Death of General William Tecumseh Sherman Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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