Transcribed from Official Souvenir McPherson County, July 4, 1917 [n.p., 1917] 56p. illus.

Previous Section | Next Section

 

FROM THE GENERAL'S OWN HANDS.

Mr. Enos Frost, of Wymore, Nebraska, a cousin of General McPherson, loaned to the Unveiling Committee four very interesting relies of General McPherson - a quaint silver spoon from the General's mess chest, a small photograph of himself, and two letters written by the general to his grandmother. These letters show so well the noble spirit of the man that the committee decided they should be a part of this souvenir.

(Unpublished letter of Gen. Jas. B. McPherson to his Grandmother.)

                             San Francisco, California,
	                                October 20th, 1858.
Dear Grandma:
     I have just finished reading your most welcome letter
for the sixth time, and shall take a few moments this calm
quiet morning before the steamer leaves to answer it.
     It is right that my best thoughts should be given to
you, who have always been so kind and shown so much interest
in my welfare, and I assure you Grandma, that often, very
often, both morning and evening do my thoughts fly across
the broad space which separates us and I see you and recall
the counsel which you gave me as I was about to say
"Good-bye" and start on my journey to this distant shore.
     More especially Grandma do I feel drawn towards you,
now that you are oppressed with sorrow, and would that I
could be near to assist and comfort you. But though deeply
conscious of the loss you have sustained I know that the
enduring faith and Christian Hope which have so long been
your shield and staff will not desert you in this hour of
trial, and will do far more towards consoling you for this
earthly separation than anything I can do or say. But
Grandma I can give you my heartfelt sympathy, and I can
also with a firm consciousness assure you that you are not
left alone nor will not be as long as Mother or uncles have
a home. Their home is your home whenever you wish to make it
so and I only wish I had one to offer you, - However, my home
is where Mother is and there you are welcome.
     I am getting along very comfortably, have enjoyed
excellent health since I came here and find my duties
pleasant and agreeable to my taste. Sometimes when I think
about it and call up scenes long passed I wonder at finding
myself here. I think the time I was living with you on the
farm, fifteen years ago and Russel came out for me to go home, 
that Mr. Smith wished me to go into his store at Green
Springs, was the turning point of my destiny. Of course I
thought nothing about the military academy then nor for
three years afterwards, but I feel that if I had not gone
there I should not be where I am now.
     So far I have endeavored to do my duty to my country 
at least and have no reason to complain, rather cause for
rejoicing at the good fortune which has accompanied me,
     Mother or Emeline has undoubtedly given you an account
of my present station. It is only a mile and a half from
the city on a little rocky island named "Alcatraces"
(the Spanish for pelicans), which is being fortified in
the strongest manner. Although my time is principally passed
on the island, I have rooms in town with two of the
lieutenants from Fort Point (which is almost 31/2 miles
distant) at which we always meet Saturday evenings. Sunday
I most generally go to the Episcopal Church to hear Bishop
Kip with whom I was acquainted before coming out here. I
often visit at his home and like Mrs. Kip who is a New York
lady, very much. The Bishop has a son who is a lieutenant
in the army and is stationed in Oregon. I must thank you
Grandma for writing to me, and I shall try to profit by
your advice.
     Your affectionate Grandson,
              JAS. B. McPHERSON.

  (Unpublished letter of Gen. Jas. B. McPherson to his Grandmother.)

                                    San Francisco, California,
                                          November 19th, 1860.
My Dear Grandma.
     I cannot express to you the feeling of pleasure which
your letter gave me. To know that you are at home again,
safely and well relieves me of a good deal of anxiety.
When I first heard that you had started for York State on
a visit to our friends and relatives, I was apprehensive
that the journey would be too fatiguing, but I am gratified
to learn that it was not and that you enjoyed your visit so
much. I am still at my first station, "Alcatraces Island"
though I have been absent on other duty a great part of
the time since February last; First I had to make a very
accurate survey of a portion of "Lime Point" which is about
seven miles from the city. This, with the field work and
making the maps kept me occupied until August, after which
I took a trip for pleasure into the interior of the State.
Making out the "Annual Report" of my operations and doing
a little architectural drawing on my own account kept me
occupied until the middle of September when I resumed work
on the island, though I am living in the city, going over
to the island in the morning and returning in the afternoon.
     San Francisco has been very lively during the past
three months, though we have not had the Prince of Wales
visit us. However, we have had a veritable prince, viz:
"Prnice Lot Kamehameha," from the Sandwich Islands, brother
of the present King. His coming, however, did not create
much of a furor, simply the burning of a little gun powder
as a matter of courtesy. He was a fine smooth black looking
fellow, a regular native or "Kanaka" as they are called,
good size and very intelligent, and having been educated
in the United States and in England, spoke the English
language with great fluency. Among other things, independent
of politics which tended to make lively times, was the arrival
of the English ships of war, The "Ganges" and the "Termigant."
The former was the Flag ship of the squadron on this coast,
having on board Admiral Barnes and his staff. 0n account of
the good sense and discretion shown by the admiral in the
"San Juan Island" affair more than a year ago, the citizens
of San Francisco were very favorably disposed towards him,
and desirous to show him every attention. The pleasure of so
doing was greatly enhanced by the affable and courteous manner
of the Admiral and the agreeable manner of his subordinate
officers. Almost every house was thrown open to them, and
there were balls and dinner parties innumerable. I saw a good
deal of them and although as general thing, I am rather
prejudiced against Englishmen, I was forced to acknowledge
that they were a clever set of fellows.
     I was quite surprised to hear that all Aunt Rowena's Boys
but one are married. A quiet country life must be more
conducive to matrimony than a roving soldier's life like mine.
Perhaps my turn will come some of these days, though I must say
I never have given the subject much serious consideration.
At all events, I do not expect to find my better half in
California. When thinking of Home my thoughts always wing their
way to Clyde and stop in the family circle composed of yourself
Mother, Emma, Rus., Rilly and Mattie. Aunt Lydia, how many,
many years have elapsed since I have seen her! How I wish that
I could see her and try to cheer her in her sad affliction.
When you write you must give her my warmest love.
     I have now been out here three years, and according to
the regulations of the service one year more ought to finish up
my tour of duty on this coast, but it may be that I will be
kept out here longer, as the rule is not an invariable one.
     You must give my love to mother and all at home, also to
Uncle Norton's and William's folks, - and I wish my dear
Grandma you would write to me as often as you can.
     Your affectionate Grandson,
                              JAMES

Transcribed from Official Souvenir McPherson County, July 4, 1917 [n.p., 1917] 56p. illus.

Previous Section | Next Section
4 July 1917 McPherson County Kansas

Index
Background and KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by
Tom & Carolyn Ward
for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.
Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page.

©1999 by Tom & Carolyn Ward


Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
including
The KSGenWeb Project