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UNITED STATES SENATE CHAMBER,
Gentlemen: The publication in your paper yesterday of General Sherman's note to the President, and its simultaneous transmission by telegraph unaccompanied by subsequent letters withheld by the President because they were "private," is so unfair as to justify severe censure upon the person who furnished you this letter, whoever he may be. Upon its face it is an informal private note dictated by the purest motives, a desire to preserve harmony, and not intended for publication. How any gentleman receiving such a note could first allow vague but false suggestions of its contents to be given out, and then print it, and withhold other letters because they were "private," with a view to create the impression that General Sherman in referring to ulterior measures suggested the violent expulsion of a high officer from his office, passes my comprehension. Still I know that General Sherman is so sensitive upon questions of official propriety in publishing papers, that he would rather suffer from this false inference than to correct it by publishing another private note; and as I knew that this letter was not the only one written by General Sherman to the President about Mr. Stanton, I applied to the President for his consent to publish subsequent letters. This consent was freely given by the President, and I therefore send copies to you and ask their publication.
These copies are furnished me from official sources; for while I know General Sherman's opinions, yet he did not show me either of the letters to the President, during his stay here, nervously anxious to promote harmony, to avoid strife, and certainly never suggested or countenanced resistance to law or violence in any form. He no doubt left Washington with his old repugnance to politics, politicians, and newspapers very much increased by his visit here.
- John Sherman