Diary of Orrin Brown—Jan 22, 1865

Boehl, St. Lous Levee 1850Diary of Orrin Brown, Savannah, Georgia

Sunday–Jan. 22nd

It has been cloudy and damp all day I was detailed this morning to help dig a well for our company and there was a detail of 19 men made to clean up our camp so I think we will stay here several days. I have written two good long letters today one to E. H. Brown & one to A. S. Hamilton. It has been raining since about 4 PM I read 8 Chapt. in the Testament today.

Capt. William Sherman took a shine to St. Louis when he arrived in 1850, 30 years old and newly married, but it took awhile for his new wife (his foster sister Ellen) and their first child to join him “out west”.  Biographer Robert L. O’Connell describes the highs and lows of his position under West Point classmate Brevet Col Braxton Bragg.  Bragg had seen distinguished service in the Mexican War, whereas Sherman had been relegated to quiet duty in California, at a time when active service was a prime determinant for peace-time advancement.  He also found himself encumbered as local agent for his father-in-law’s real estate holdings in the St. Louis area.  Yet Sherman also took advantage of the new territory, riding widely across Missouri and Kansas before a short posting to New Orleans, adding greatly to his photographic mental map.  After the war, Sherman would return to St. Louis in command of all Federal troops between the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains.  There was no way for him to realize during his first posting there, but the real estate business would prepare him for peace time employment, while his accumulation of geography would serve him even better for later war time employment.



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