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Joseph C. Audenried Journal

Identifier: MSN/MN_8004-01-B

Scope and Contents

A manuscript journal kept by Col. Joseph Crain Audenried of the U. S. Army over the course of Gen. William T. Sherman's 10-month tour of Europe and the Middle East in 1871-72. The volume 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.


  • Creation: 1871-1872


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Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

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.


1 volume

Language of Materials



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 1871-1872.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Audenried journal was purchased by the Hesburgh Libraries in 2012, from William Reese Company of New Haven, Connecticut.

Joseph C. Audenried Journal
George Rugg
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556