Mildred (Mrs. William B.) Hazen's Impression of General Sherman

David Moore

Sergeant Major
Mar 26, 2014
Washington, DC
This is from a memoir started but not finished by Mrs. Hazen. It is cited in Edward Cooper's biography of William Hazen.
She had an interesting life and later married Admiral George Dewey after Hazen's death.

‘‘Sherman was most interesting as a house companion but presumed terribly upon his rank with army people. A mixture of brusquerie and cunning, he always made believe he was absent-minded. And if a woman was young he made a habit of kissing her in an off-hand way every time he met her. I stood it when he arrived pretty fairly though reluctantly. But when the next morning he prepared to go through the same performance, I pulled back. He said,‘‘God bless my soul, Hazen is one of my boys and I’m old enough to be your grandfather.’’ I said we could argue that later point and until it was settled, we would defer courtesies. He looked queer, but was amused. Perhaps he did inspect the post and troops but I rather think it must have been from the window of our parlor, for he stayed there the live-long day and smoked and talked and paced up and down the floor like a tiger in his cage. I retreated and retreated until I was clear in the corner and still he kept up till I called a halt. And then this time he really was unconscious how he had encroached. I had been taught to listen and the old fellow loved to talk. And on me he poured the boiled-up vials of his recollections. I had always been sorry I was so vapid in my youth and that I did not recollect the many things of historical and strategic importance which the old man told me. And how he smoked and puffed and snipped his words. He had a wonderful flow of language and a keen sense of fun. He was as sharp as a briar and intolerant of comment. Would not brook suggestion and was overbearing. And he made love to every woman who would listen to him. I did not like him. In all his talk he never gave anybody else credit. He had planned and fought and conquered single-handed and alone. There were no other generals and no soldiers. A few puppets he had created and pulled the wires of.

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