General H.J. Hunt St Louis Aug 11/86

Soldiers Home, Washington City DC


My Dear General

I have just rec’d yours of 8t inst(?) and as you say it is not an answer to my last. This is only intended as a preventive(?) of the trouble you were likely to take in the matter of ? up the vindication of Warren. I sent to Van Nostrand for that pamphlet. He sent me a copy and charged $2.50 for it! It happens that I would not be without the copy for the money and so it’s all fair enough in one sense: but the original price of it must have been less than 25 cts: and so it was something in the light of a gouge to make me pay ten times that sum. I have just finished reading the narrative of the battle of Gettysburg by the Comte de Paris. I hope you read this article - these chapters of his history - before putting into the hands of the printer your own account. I say this because I am very strongly impressed by the evident fairness, painstaking accuracy, or effort to be accurate and impartial of this noble author. His book increases my respect for him and my desire to see him crowned. But I do not wish him to be placed on the throne by a bloody revolution. Such a mode of gaining the throne would be inauspicious - would in all likelihood be followed by another scene of bloodshed. and disturbance within a limited period. - The count does not conceal his belief in the feebleness of Meade: and I cannot avoid feeling (by the light of his narrative) the great superiority of the Confederate Infantry to ours. According to what he says, the army of Lee could never have reached the Potomac in an organized state, if the retreat had been pressed. On such an occasion Grant would have been "Swift and deadly" - to borrow Napier’s(?) phrase. the Count also is of opinion that if Jackson had remained alive, our army would have been shattered at Gettysburg. - You will think me very singular in my views, but there seems to have been much similarity between Jackson and Frank Blair. There was also much difference - Jackson was attentive to details to a degree to which Blair had no ??. In fact, the principal resemblance was perhaps a readiness(?) to challenge fortune on all occasions. This was a trait of Gen’l Grant also.

I am disposed to think that the infantry of the Army of Northern Virginia was superior in 1862, 1863 and 1864 to an equal number of the infantry of the Army of the Potomac and that there was a very easy explanation for this superiority - viz, that the Army of Northern Virginia was almost to a man composed of veteran soldiers, while ours was largely composed of new levies. Even in 1862 the Army of Northern Virginia was much more of a disciplined, veteran force than our Army of the Potomac, whose terms of enlistment were various and whose make up was far from uniform. (???? Lee’s army was much more homogenous than ours.) If the Comte de Paris is not mistaken, the respect with which Meade treated Lee’s army after July 3, 1863 is it’s highest panegyric. He seems to have been unable to believe that this terrible army had been defeated!

As for Sherman’s taking sides with Sheridan, was it not part of the general depreciation of the Army of the Potomac by the men of the Western army? The language in which Logan indulged himself when Porter's case was before the Senate is a plain indication of this feeling. Some of Sheridan’s friends are very contemptuous when speaking of Warren. I cannot help hoping that some good will come from this injustice - viz. that the men of the Army of the Potomac may not cordially support Logan for the presidency. I consider him an utterly unprincipled politician - and yet he is not worse than John Sherman of Ohio in favor of whom Edmonds(?) lately declared himself. Not, I believe that he especially loves Sherman, but because he detests Blaine and considers the one to be the(?) alternative of the other.

As always your friend

TT Gantt