Sherman, William Tecumseh (1820-1891) [Annual Report to Sec. of War Robert Lincoln from Commanding General William T. Sherman]
High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03005 Author/Creator: Sherman, William Tecumseh (1820-1891) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph document signed Date: 3 November 1881 Pagination: 22 p. 32 x 21 cm
Sherman's working copy of his annual report for 1881. Sherman enumerates and sums up the reports of various generals. He updates Lincoln on Indian affairs, " ... no serious Indian or other war has occurred but great progress has been Made in collecting and locating Indians hitherto hostile on their proper Reservations. Sitting Bull and his adherents who had fled into British Territory, are now held at Fort Randall Dakota as prisoners of War ... " He also emphasizes the need for military education; because it has been the practice of the U.S. to maintain a small army, the volunteer militia must be kept up to date enough to be called up on short notice. " ... and as the Science of War is progressive we must keep pace with it, so as to import to the Volunteer Militia on the Shortest Notice all that is Known of the Art & Practice of War up to the Moment of Execution..." This is apparently Sherman's working copy, signed "W.T.S." Pages 3, 22 and 23 are missing from the 25 page report.
Head Quarters of the Army,
Washington DC. Nov 3 1881.
[struck: I now have the]
How R. T. Lincoln,
Secretary of War -
I now have the honor to Submit to you the following Annual Reports.
1. Report of Adjutant General Dunn. Including [struck: giving] Tables which Exhibit in great detail the Organization of the Army [inserted: accord'g to] [struck: under] Existing Laws; - of [inserted: the] Actual Strength, [struck: of all points of it] [inserted: of organizations and Distribution of Troops; and statements of Enlistments, Casualties [inserted: Recruitment] Number of Trials &c &c with comments and recommendations of which I will treat in due order
2. Report of Inspection General Sacket giving [struck: the] Results of [inserted: the] Actual Inspections of the various posts, of many account, property [inserted: returns] and Everything which contributes to the  Efficiency of the Military Establishment, with certain recommendations, which I shall likewise consider in the proper place -
The above are the only two Heads of the Staff [illegible] who report to me direct, All other [struck: illegible] [inserted: are] considered as Branches of the War Department. [struck: rather illegible than illegible the Army proper] [inserted: and report direct to the Secretary of War -]
I also [struck: include] [inserted: transmit herewith] the very full and expansive Reports of all the Commanding Generals of Divisions and Departments, which record [struck: all] [inserted: the] Changes made since [struck: my] [inserted: their] last Annual Reports [struck: to your illegible]. With a narration of Events which are more useful to the parties in interest [struck: as all as] [inserted: and to] the future Historians [struck: in the Order of Divisions] [inserted: These are as follows].
3. Division of the Mississippi, Lt Gnl Sheridan
3. A. Dept of Dakota. Brig Gnl Terry
3 B Dept of the Platte Birg Gnl Crooke
3 C Dept of the Missouri Brig Gnl Pope
3 D Dept of Texas. Brig Gnl Anson â€¦
 [struck: the State of] Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and the Indian Territory [struck: was Constituted by President Hayes] with Major General Schofield in Command, but [inserted: this Division was found to] as [struck: it] fulfill no [inserted: useful] Military End it was Discontinued [inserted: by President Garfield] leaving Boundaries as they Existed before. These [inserted: Boundaries] Generally conform to Political Lines. and are the result of long Experience. Clearly [inserted: limiting and illegible] the Authority and consequent responsibility of [struck: Every] [inserted: Each] Commanding General -
Whilst the troops have been Kept [inserted: very] busy [struck: all the time] [inserted: during the past year] no serious Indian or other war has occurred [struck: during the past year although] [inserted: but great] progress has been made in [struck: the] collecting and locating Indians hitherto hostile on their proper Reservations. [struck: the illegible] Sitting Bull and his adherents who had fled into British Territory [struck: but] [inserted: are] now held at Fort Randall Dakota as prisoners of War [inserted: and illegible have been removed to a New Reservation in Utah] as fully described in the Reports of Generals Terry and Sheridan; [struck: and] The sudden outbreak of a part of the Apaches in Arizona [struck: which] is explained  in the Reports of Generals Wilcox and McDowell. In this latter case it was found necessary to reinforce the usual Garrisons in Arizona, by a strong Detachment from New Mexico under Col McKenzie of the 4th Cavalry. The Guilty Apaches are now held as prisoners for trial, some have Escaped into Mexico, whilst the greater part [inserted: of the Tribe] remains in the Reservation at San Carlos under their proper Civil [illegible]. I will append to Genl McDowells Report, copies of all papers necessary to illustrate this Event.
All these [inserted: Annual] Reports with justice dwell in the fact that Our Companies are too small for Efficient discipline, and for Economical Services - These [struck: Small] [inserted: are in the Army 430] Companies [inserted: which] are necessarily widely scattered over our vast Domain, to guard property, and to prevent as for as forsight can [struck: expected] complications and troubles [inserted: of every variety & kind*] [inserted: along the left edge: *At one time protecting the settlers against Indians, and again Indians against settlers] When these occur it is  always sudden, and reinforcements have to be hurried forward from great distances, and always at heavy cost for transportation of men [inserted: horses, wagons] & supplies. This cost in the aggregate will in my judgment be more than sufficient to supply [struck: five thousand men] [inserted: an increase of at least twenty percent of present soldiers]. All [inserted: that] I would ask for at this time: because I believe [struck: it would] [inserted: this increase will] add little if any to the Annual Cost [inserted: of the Army] and yet give great relief to our overtaxed Soldiers. In the last ten years our frontiers have so Extended, under the protection of our small Army, [struck: so] as to add [struck: more than] [inserted: at least] a thousand millions of dollars to the Taxable wealth of the nation...
The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.