To William T. Sherman

Cypher                                   United States Military Telegraph,
Major General Sherman.     War Department.
Near Atlanta.                           Washington, July 26. 1864

I have just seen yours, complaining of the appointment of Hovey and Osterhaus. The point you make is unquestionably a good one; and yet please hear a word from us. My recollection is that both Gen. Grant and yourself recommended both H & O. for promotion; and these, with other strong recommendations, drew committals from us which we could neither honorably or safely, disregard. We blamed H. for coming away in the manner in which he did; but we knew he had apparant reason to feel disappointed and mortified, and we felt it was not best to crush one who certainly had been a good soldier. As to O. we did not know of his leaving at the time we made the appointment, and do not now know the terms on which he left. Not to have appointed him, as the case appeared to us at the time, would have been almost if not quite a violation of our word. The word was given on what we thought was high merit, and somewhat on his nationality. I beg you to believe we do not act in a spirit of disregarding merit. We expect to await your programme, for further changes and promotions in your army.

My profoundest thanks to you and your whole Army for the present campaign so far. A. LINCOLN

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