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“LONG BRANCH, N. J., transportation only as far as Vera, and
July 25, 1870. here we received information that the “ Lieutenant-General P. H. Sheridan, Prussian Minister of War had teleof the United States Army, is authorized graphed to the Military Inspector of to visit Europe, to return at his own pleas- Railroads to take charge of us on our ure, unless otherwise ordered. He is arrival at Cologne, and send us down to commended to the good offices of all the headquarters of the Prussian Army, representatives of this Government but the Inspector, for some unexplained whom he may meet abroad.
reason, instead of doing this, sent us “ To citizens and representatives of on to Berlin. Here our Minister, Mr. other Governments I introduce Gen- George Bancroft, met us with a telegram eral Sheridan as one of the most skil- from the German Chancellor, Count Bisful, brave, and deserving soldiers de- marck, saying we were expected to come veloped by the great struggle through direct to the King's headquarters; and which the United States Government we learned also that a despatch had has just passed. Attention paid him been sent to the Prussian Minister at will be duly appreciated by the country Brussels directing him to forward us he has served so faithfully and effi- from Cologne to the army instead of ciently.
U. S. GRANT.” allowing us to go on to Berlin, but that
we had reached and quit Brussels withWord of my intended trip was cabled out the Minister's knowledge. to Europe in the ordinary press despatches, and our Minister to France, Mr. Elihu B. Washburne, being an intimate Shortly after we arrived in Berlin the friend of mine, and thinking that I Queen sent a messenger offering us an might wish to attach myself to the opportunity to pay our respects, and French army, did me the favor to take fixed an hour for the visit, which was to preliminary steps for securing the neces- take place the next day ; but as the tenor sary authority. He went so far as to of the despatch Mr. Bancroft had rebroach the subject to the French Min- ceived from Count Bismarck indicated ister of War, but, in view of the infor- that some important event which it was mality of the request, and an unmis- desired I should witness was about to takable unwillingness to grant it being happen at the theatre of war, our Minismanifested, Mr. Washburne pursued ter got us excused from our visit of the matter no further. I did not learn ceremony, and we started for the headof this kindly interest in my behalf till quarters of the German army that evenafter the capitulation of Paris, when Mr. ing—our stay in the Prussian capital Washburne told me what he had done having been somewhat less than a day. of his own motion. Of course I thanked Our train was a very long one, of over him gratefully, but even had he suc- eighty cars, and though drawn by three ceeded in getting the permission he locomotives its progress to Cologne was sought, I should not have accompanied very slow and the journey most tedious. the French army.
From Cologne we continued on by rail I sailed from New York July 27th, up the valley of the Rhine to Bingenone of
my aides-de-camp, General James brück near Bingen, and thence across W. Forsyth, going with
We through Saarbrücken to Remilly, where reached Liverpool August 6th, and the we left the railway and rode in a haynext day visited the American Legation wagon to Pont-à-Mousson, arriving there in London, where we saw all the officials August 17th, late in the afternoon. This except our Minister, Mr. Motley, who little city had been ceded to France at being absent was represented by Mr. the Peace of Westphalia, and although Moran, the Secretary of the Legation. originally German, the people had beWe left London August 9th for Brussels, come, in the lapse of so many years, inwhere we were kindly cared for by the tensely French in sentiment. The town American Minister, Mr. Russell Jones, was so full of officers and men belongwho the same evening saw us off to Ger- ing to the German army that it was difmany. Because of the war we secured ficult to get lodgings, but after some
delay we found quite comfortable quar- and aide-de-camp to the Chancellor-and ters at one of the small hotels, and pres- Doctor Busch were seated facing us. ently, after we had succeeded in getting The conveyance was strong, serviceable, a slender meal, I sent my card to Count and comfortable, but not specially prevon Bismarck, the Chancellor of the possessing, and hitched to it were four North German Confederation, who soon stout horses, logy, ungainly animals, responded by appointing an hour about whose clumsy harness indicated that the nine o'clock the same evening-for an whole equipment was meant for heavy interview.
work. Two postilions in uniform, in When the Count received me he was high military saddles on the nigh horse clothed in the undress uniform of the of each span, completed the establishcuirassier regiment of which he was the ment. colonel. During the interview which All being ready we took one of the ensued, he exhibited at times deep anx- roads from Pont-à-Mousson to Rézoniety regarding the conflict now immi- yille, which is on the direct road from nent, for it was the night before the Metz to Châlons, and near the central battle of Gravelotte, but his conversa- point of the field where, on the 16th of tion was mostly devoted to the state of August, the battle of Mars-la-Tour had public sentiment in America, about been fought. It was by this road that which he seemed much concerned, in- the Pomeranians, numbering about quiring repeatedly as to which side- 30,000 men, had been ordered to march France or Prussia-was charged with to Gravelotte, and after proceeding a bringing on the war. Expressing a de- short distance we overtook the column. sire to witness the battle which was ex- As this contingent came from Count pected to occur the next day, and re- Bismarck's own section of Germany, marking that I had not had sufficient there greeted us as we passed along, time to provide the necessary transpor- first in the dim light of the morning tation, he told me to be ready at four and later in the glow of the rising sun, o'clock in the morning and he would continuous and most enthusiastic cheertake me out in his own carriage and ing for the German Chancellor. present me to the King, adding that he On the way Count Bismarck again would ask one of his own staff officers, recurred to the state of public opinion who he knew had one or two extra in America with reference to the war. horses, to lend me one. As I did not He also talked much about our form of know just what my status would be, and government, and said that in early life having explained to the President be- his tendencies were all toward republifore leaving America that I wished to canism, but that family influence had accompany the German army unofficial- overcome his preferences, and intimated ly, I hardly knew whether to appear in that after adopting a political career he uniform or not, so I spoke of this mat- found that Germany was not sufficiently ter, too, and the Count, after some re- advanced for republicanism. He said flection, thought it best for me to wear further that he had been reluctant to my undress uniform, minus the sword, enter upon this public career, that he however, because I was a non-comba- had always longed to be a soldier, but tant.
that here again family opposition had At four o'clock the next morning, the turned him from the field of his choice 18th, I repaired to the Chancellor's quar- into the sphere of diplomacy. ters. The carriage was at the door, also Not far from Mars-la-Tour we alighted, the saddle-horse, but as no spare mount and in a little while an aide-de-camp was could be procured for General Forsyth introduced, who informed me that he he had to seek other means to reach the was there to conduct and present me to battlefield. The carriage was an open his Majesty, the King of Prussia. As one with two double seats, and in front we were walking along together, I ina single one for a messenger; it had quired whether at the meeting I should also a hand-brake attached. Count Bis- remove my cap, and he said no, that in marck and I occupied the rear seat, and an out-of-door presentation it was not Count Bismarck-Bohlen—the nephew etiquette to uncover, if in uniform. We