Monday, February 11, 2013

The Confederates at Grant's Funeral

My  good buddy emailed from Decatur, Alabama:  "Have you written about Grant's funeral and the Confederates that participated"? Her question stirred my interest. I hope it does yours.

I read that Ulysses S.Grant's pallbearers were William Tecumseh  Sherman and Phillip Sheridan, who had fought for the Union, and Simon Bolivar Buckner and Joseph Johnston, who had fought for the Confederacy. The account of  the funeral march says all four Officers in the procession rode together in the same carriage. I bet that was an "oops" moment, don't you?

I wanted to know more about Buckner and Johnston. Buckner in 1862 was the first Confederate General to surrender an army in the war. He accepted Grant's demand for an unconditional surrender at the Battle of Ft. Donelson. Maybe thats why Grant picked him to be a pallbearer.

Johnston had often been criticized by Jefferson Davis for lack of aggressiveness, however he was the Senior Confederate General at First Manassas. He also fought against Sherman, but he was relieved of his command after withdrawing from NW Georgia to the outskirts of Atlanta.

The article went on to say that Johnston died of pneumonia after serving as a pallbearer at the funeral of William T. Sherman. I guess those guys must have let "bygones be bygones", as they say, but it does seem a little hard to believe. I don't think I could "forgive and forget" like that, could you?


  1. Many of them were freinds from being west point class mates and fought in other wars together.some battles were even teachers against there west point students.

  2. Many of the officers from opposing sides during The Civil War were lifelong friends. How little you seem to understand that mindset. By admitting your inability to "forgive and forget," you showcase your own weakness, and reveal not what's best about the American character, but what's worst. It's good you were born years after the war, as your obviously poisoned spirit would have contributed nothing worthwhile to the rebuilding of the nation after that horrific turning point in history. You mention an "oops" moment of seating former foes together for Grant's funeral. The real "oops" moment is that people like you still exist. Not until the last of you die off, and all those you contaminate with your twisted ideology die off with you, will this country know any real healing from the war your ansectors launched, and people like you continue to fight, in not so subtle ways!

    1. Good reply, I would just add that these men mentioned had a real respect for each other as military men. Joe Johnson was loved by his men because he would never waste their lives. Sherman was delighted when Johnson was replaced by the absurdly aggressive John Bell Hood, who wrecked his army at Atlanta, Franklin, and Nashville.