Extract of a letter of Alexander Laurie, artist, to J.G. Rosengarten, Aug. 8, 1877

 

I think a simple statement of the Genl’s record would be the most appropriate & impressive matter to dwell upon and some one qualified for the work ought to present it vividly: his great powers of endurance, watchfulness, foresight, promptness, & all other sterling qualities that go to make an able General.  The enthusiastic love of his men towards him, his noble military bearing, and his wonderfully handsome person, and his kind & gentle manner to his inferiors but the one who does it must feel all this & that keenly.  A professional speech maker would be likely to make a mess of it.  Perhaps if it was written out & [presented?] afterwards ‘twould be the best.  This is a subject tho’ that I do not know much about.  I have tried to do my part well with my whole heart & soul.  I never worked with more desire to succeed in the fullest sense of the word, with earnest love for the man mixed with a pretty strong feeling (either real or imagined) that he has been so far overlooked or even neglected.

So far as I can learn from remarks made by Col. C. Biddle & Dr. [Bache?] it is their intention to present the portrait to the [U.S.?] Military Academy at W.P. sometime during the latter part of next October.  No doubt it will be done in a proper & befitting manner.  There was brains in the 1st Corps as well as good Generalship & fighting material.  I think there is more danger of lack of appreciation on the part of the listeners or audience at the ceremony of the presentation than on the part of those who have the presentation in charge.  However it is a matter that ought to be well talked over and thought over beforehand & no doubt that will be the case.  West Pointers as I know them, are not given to speech making to any great extent.