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Guide to the Joseph C. Audenried Journal

MSN/MN 8004


Collection Summary

Title: Joseph C. Audenried journal
Dates: 1871-1872
Collection No.: MSN/MN 8004
Creator: Audenried, Joseph C. (Joseph Crain), 1839-1880
Extent: 1 volume
Language: Collection material in English
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: A manuscript journal of some 60,000 words kept by Col. Joseph C. Audenried of the U. S. Army during Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's 10-month tour of Europe and the Middle East in 1871-72.

Selected Search Terms

Sherman, William T. (William Tecumseh), 1820-1891
United States. Army -- 1870-1880
Americans -- Europe -- History -- 19th century
Europe -- Description and travel
Egypt -- Description and travel
Turkey -- Description and travel
Russia -- Description and travel

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Preferred Citation: Joseph C. Audenried Journal, Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The Audenried journal was purchased by the Hesburgh Libraries in 2012, from William Reese Company of New Haven, Connecticut. Arranged and described 2012, by George Rugg. Finding aid 2012, by George Rugg.

Biographical Note

Joseph Crain Audenried was born on 6 November 1839 at Pottsville, Pennsylvania, into a family of means. He was admitted to West Point in 1857 and graduated in June 1861, ranked 17th in his class. Initially commissioned into the U. S. Cavalry, he spent most of the Civil War in the Staff Corps, as aide-de-camp to a succession of prominent general officers, including Edwin V. Sumner (commanding II Corps, Army of the Potomac, 1862-63), Ulysses S. Grant (1863), and William Tecumseh Sherman. Audenried joined Sherman at Memphis on 1 October 1863, and served on his staff throughout the Atlanta campaign, the March to the Sea, and the Carolinas campaign, rising to brevet lieutenant colonel. After the war Audenried remained with Sherman, serving as the general's aide in his new capacities as commander of the Military Division of the Missouri (1866-69) and General of the Army (1869-1883). In March 1869 Audenried was made full colonel in the Staff Corps. In 1871-72 he attended Sherman on a 10-month tour of Europe and the Levant, a trip that is the subject of the present journal. In 1876 Audenried's health began to fail; he died at Washington on 3 June 1880, age 41.

In 1863 Audenried married Mary Jane Colket; the couple had one daughter, Florence, born in 1867.

Scope and Content Note

The present manuscript is the original journal maintained by Col. Audenried throughout Sherman's European tour of 1871-72. It is datelined Washington D.C., 31 October 1871, and bears entries ranging from that day to 17 September 1872. Entries were made as circumstances allowed: some describe the events of a single day, and some a period of a week or more. In either case, they are effectively contemporaneous with the events they describe, and combine to provide a sustained and often detailed narrative of the trip. Sherman's tour was motivated by his deep disillusionment with circumstances in Washington and by a very real desire to travel in Europe, which he had never done. In a letter of 8 July 1871 to his brother John, he lamented his loss of authority, as General of the Army, to the Secretary of War: "My office has been by law stript of all the influence and prestige it possessed under Grant, and even in matters of discipline and army control I am neglected, overlooked, or snubbed." Thus Sherman readily accepted Rear Admiral James Alden's offer of passage to Europe aboard USS Wabash, flagship of the Navy's European Squadron. The President was agreeable to the plan, granting Sherman leave of absence, and the general sailed from New York on 17 November 1871. He would be gone for ten months, visiting Spain, France, Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Russia, Prussia, Austria, Switzerland, France again, and Great Britain. Sherman travelled as a private citizen —an "observing traveller", as he put it—and not as a representative of the government. But with prompting from the U. S. diplomatic corps, most of the capitals he visited were fully cognizant of his arrival: among the heads of state with whom he had audiences were Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, Pope Pius IX, the Ottoman Sultan Abdlaziz I, Tsar Alexander II of Russia, and Franz Joseph I of Austria. The tour was also an informal military fact-finding mission. Sherman visited the battlefields of the Crimean, Austro-Prussian, and Franco-Prussian wars, met with senior military personnel, toured forts, armories, and academies, and inspected troops. And, of course, he visited the monuments and natural wonders that were essential to any grand tour, with greater curiosity and enthusiasm than most. He was accompanied by Audenried almost the entire time; the only other aide-de-camp on the trip was the President's son, Lt. Fred Grant. The journal's text reveals very occasional, and minor, additions and corrections, presumably in Audenried's hand.

Related Material

An extensive collection of Audenried's papers and personal effects was sold in multiple lots on 23 June 2011, by Cowan's Auctions of Cincinnati (lots 58 to 70). Among the items sold were the present journal and a second manuscript account of the trip, written out by Audenried in 1878 and entitled "General Sherman in Europe and the East". This text, quite distinct from the narrative of 1871-72 though of roughly equal length, is perhaps an edited version of the latter prepared with an eye to publication. Indeed, a series of three excerpts from "General Sherman in Europe and the East" was published by Audenried under that title in Harper's New Monthly Magazine for July, September, and October 1873. These articles treat Sherman's experiences in Egypt, Turkey, and Russia, respectively.

Container List

  • Journal. Joseph C. Audenried, 1871-1872. (MSN/MN 8004-01-B).