William T. Sherman to Paymaster General on Behalf of Joseph C. Breckinridge
March 26, 1887

General William T. Sherman, retired lieutenant general, wrote a letter of endorsement for his friend Joseph C. Breckinridge to the army's paymaster general.

Page 1

C O P Y:

            It affords me pleasure to bear willing testimony to the merits of Colonel Joseph C. Breckinridge now serving in Chicago as Inspector General, on the Staff of Major General A. H. Terry-

            In 1861, young Breckinridge of a most conspicuous family of Kentucky, when so many of his ardent enthusiastic fellows were almost forced into the Confederate Service by the prevailing sentiment of that region, stood fast to his allegiance to the flag and cause of the Union-

            He promptly volunteered and was the Acting Asst. Adjt. to General Nelson in August of that year, became Aide-de-Camp to General Thomas and was with him at the Battle of Mill Springs, Ky. and during his advance to Shiloh and Corinth, Miss.

            In April 1862 he was appointed Second Lieutenant 2nd U.S. Artillery stationed at Pensacola, which car[r]ied him some what out of the field of active operations but afforded him the opportunity to study the rudiments of his profession.

            But in due time his Battery was sent to me in Georgia where it rendered good service till the 22nd of July when it was caught in dense woods, and was captured guns, horses and men. There Lieut. Breckinridge fell into the hands of the enemy a prisoner of War, but in September of that year was released and served again in Kentucky till the end of the War. The accidents of service carried him to California in Septe[mb]er 1865, and he was selected by Maj. General Halleck as an Aide-de-Camp in which capacity he served from May 1866 to January 1867.

            He received several Brevets for gallant and meritorious service in the War.

            In January 1881 he was appointed by President Hayes an Inspector General of the Regular Army in which capacity he has served in all parts of the United States under various General Officers, always meeting their high commendation, and performing the duties of his difficult office with firmness and courtesy, protecting the interests of the service and gaining the respects and good will of fellow officers. I surely, who have known him personally so long, wish him all honor in his future career.

( Sd. ) W.T. Sherman

                                                                                                                        General (Retired)

New York City

March 26, 1887                      

A true copy.

                                                            Wm. Smith.

                                                                        Paymaster U.S. Army.


Typescript, The Papers of the Breckinridge Family, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.