Letter from Gen. W. T. Sherman to Col. Peter J. Sullivan

Contributed by James C. Frasca

August 30th, 1862

Col. Sullivan,

Your note is received. I have hardly read it ­ and hasten to say ­ yours is the name purer for being proved through the fiery furnace. So, for my sake, bear patiently any trial to which you may be subject. If your enemies misrepresent you, you will be the stronger for the test. I have, and ever will bear willing testimony to your courage, gallantry & manliness, not only at Shiloh, but always. Your name came to me officially in a long list, and I could not, without great partiality, separate it. But that you are in any danger, I will not believe. You know how high I rate personal courage, and that I will never suffer a brave man to be injured by any combination; but on the contrary, I think you will be strengthened by any trial to which you may be subject. Lt. Col. Parker will be also examined, and indeed it will give weight to the action of the board, when it is known so high and respectable officers have been examined. I wish some competent tribunal would examine us all.

Yours in haste,

W. T. Sherman

July 27, 2007

I am a longtime collector of and full-time dealer in advanced quality Civil artifacts. I came upon your superb website while researching Col. Sullivan and just wanted to share the attached with you, as I did not run across any reference to it while browsing through your materials. It is Sullivan's original retained copy (done either in his hand or, most likely, that of his adjutant) of a letter of support from General Sherman. The document is done on embossed, lined stationery and is docketed on the reverse.

This, and many other of Sullivan's papers and personal effects were sold only last month at a tag sale held by some descendants located in Alabama. I was not there myself but acquired this piece and some other items (including the triple-bordered shoulder straps that Sullivan wore at Shiloh) from a gentleman who in fact was. Once I photograph the other material, I'll be glad to submit it to you to use on your website, if you wish. Thank you for having provided such a wonderful research resource!

Take care,

Jim Frasca

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