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?