|Sedalia, Missouri, 1869|
CONFIDENTIAL.] SAINT LOUIS, MO., [December 2,] 1861.
Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,
Commander-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: As stated in a former communication, Brigadier General W. T. Sherman, on reporting here for duty, was ordered to inspect troops (three divisions) at Sedalia and vicinity, and if, in the absence of General Pope, he deemed there was danger of an immediate attack, he was authorized to assume the command. He did so, and commenced the movements of the troops in a manner which I did not approve, and countermanded. I also received information from officers there that General S[herman] was completely 'stampeded," and was 'stampeding" the army. I therefore immediately ordered him to this place, and yesterday gave him a leave of absence for twenty days to visit his family in Ohio. I am satisfied that General S[herman's] physical and mental system is so completely broken by labor and care as to render him for the present entirely unfit for duty. Perhaps a few weeks' rest may restore him. I am satisfied that in his present condition it would be dangerous to give him a command here. Can't you send me a brigadier-general of high rank capable of commanding a corps d'armee of three or four divisions? Say Heintzelman, F. J. Porter, Franklin, or McCall. Those of lower grades would be ranked by others here. Grant cannot be taken from Cairo, nor Curtis from this place at present. Sigel is sick, and Prentiss operating against insurgents in Northern Missouri. I dare not intrust the "mustangs" with high commands in the face of the enemy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
Series I., Vol. 52, Part 1, Page 198
After putting Sherman on duty inspecting troops after he exhibited signs of nervous exhaustion, Halleck then had to send him back to his family in Ohio after he took charge of three divisions at Sedalia when there was no threat at hand. That Sherman would ultimately come back from his condition to be a central figure in the war is one of the more impressive individual stories of the Civil War.