“Sherman has now demonstrated his great Capacity as a Soldier by his unequaled campaign through Georgia”

I wrote to my Father,

 

Headquarters Armies of the U. S.
City Point Va. Dec 20. 1864,
Dear Father—
Sherman has now demonstrated his great Capacity as a Soldier by his unequaled campaign through Georgia. I know him well as one of the greatest purest and best of men. He is poor and always will be, but he is great and magnanimous—an Ohian, and I think entitled to their greatest esteem and even benevolence. Now what I Started to write about is this, I am not acquainted sufficiently in Cincinnati to select the right person to write to, to inaugurate a Subscription to present Mrs Sherman a comfortable furnished house—Cincinnati will always be proud of Sherman as a citizen of that city and Ohio may well be proud of him. If you can get this thing up, put down for me $500, and for Genl R. Ingalls $250 more. I have been the recipient of many favors from the public & will be but too happy if I can call their attention to one of our nobles, greatest best men. I hope you will see some of the leading Union men of Cincinnati all of whom you are acquainted with, and have this thing put on foot without noise or parade. Sherman would not approve of what I am doing in this matter, but still he would feel Complimented & would appreciate such recognition of his Services.
affectionately
U. S. Grant Lt Gn

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 13, p 148-9

“Senator Chandler and other gentlemen of the Committee on the Conduct of the War are here”

Some of the members of Congress who are on the Committee on the Conduct of the War have arrived to investigate the failed assault on Petersburg in July.  They wish to speak to me and several other officers.  I notified Gen. Meade.

 

City Point Va. Dec. 19th/64
Maj. Gn. Meade,
Senator Chandler and other gentlemen of the Committee on
the Conduct of the War are here and will be out to see you in the 10 O’clock train. They will want to question yourself, Gns. Potter & Wilcox, Col. Loraine, Inspt. 9th Corps, Maj. Van Buren and Lt.Col. Pleasants 9th 48 Pa. Please notify these Officers to be present when the Committee arrives.
U. S. Grant
Lt. Gen.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 13, p 135-6

“The armies operating against Richmond have fired 200 guns in honor of your great victory”

I wrote Gen. Thomas,

WASHINGTON CITY, December 18, 1864-12.20 p. m.

Major-General THOMAS,

Nashville, Tenn.:

The armies operating against Richmond have fired 200 guns in honor of your great victory. Sherman has fully established his base on Ossabaw Sound, with Savannah fully invested. I hope to be able to fire a salute to-morrow in honor of the fall of Savannah. In all your operations we hear nothing of Forrest. Great precautions should be taken to prevent him crossing the Cumberland or Tennessee below Eastport. After Hood is driven as far as it is possible to follow him, you want to reoccupy Decatur and all other abandoned points.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 13, p 134

O.R., I, xlv, part 2, p 248

“I congratulate you and the brave officers and men under your command on the successful termination of your most brilliant campaign”

I have been sent a letter from Gen. Sherman indicating that he has seized Ft. McAllister and is besieging the city of Savannah, GA.  I wrote him,

Washington, D. C., December 18, 1864.

Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN,

Commanding Military division of the Mississippi:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have just received and received and read, I need not tell you with how much gratification, your letter to General Halleck. I congratulate you and the brave officers and men under you command on the successful termination of your most brilliant campaign. I never had a doubt of the result. When apprehensions for your safety were expressed by the President, I assured him with the army you had, and you in command of it, there was no danger but you would strike bottom on salt water some place; that I would not feel the same security-in fact, would not have entrusted the expedition to any other living commander. It has been very hard work to get Thomas to attack Hood. I gave him the most peremptory order, and had started to go there myself before he got off. He has done magnificently, however, since he started. Up to last night 5,000 prisoners and 49 pieces of captured artillery, besides many wagons and innumerable small arms, had been received in Nashville. this is exclusive of the enemy’s loss at Franklin, which amounted to 13 general officers killed, wounded, and captured. The enemy probably lost 5,000 men at Franklin, and 10,000 in the last three days’ operations. Breckinridge is said to he making for Murfreesborough; if so, he is in a most excellent place. Stoneman has nearly wiped out John Morgan’s old command and five days ago entered Bristol. I did think the best thing to do was to bring the greater part of your army here and wipe out Lee. The turn affairs now seem to be taking has shaken me in that opinion. I doubt whether you may not accomplish more toward that result where you are than if brought here, especially as I am informed since by arrival in the city that it would take about two months to get you here, with all the other calls there are for ocean transportation.

I want to get your views about what ought to be done and what can be done. If you capture the garrison of Savannah it certainly will compel Lee to detach from Richmond, or give us nearly the whole South. My own opinion is that Lee is averse to going out of Virginia, and if the cause of the South is lost he wants Richmond to be the last place surrendered. If he has such views it may be well to indulge him until everything else is in our hands.

Congratulating you and the army again upon the splendid result of your campaign, the like of which is not read of in past history, I subscribe myself, more than ever, if possible,

Your friend,

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 13, p 129-30

O.R., I, xliv, p 740-41

Thomas: “We have pressed the enemy to-day beyond Franklin”

I received an update from Gen. Thomas.  He has achieved a complete victory over Hood.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Near Franklin, Tenn., December 17, 1864-8 p. m.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT:

We have pressed the enemy to-day beyond Franklin, capturing his hospitals, containing over 1,500 wounded, and about 150 of our wounded. In addition to the above, General Knipe, commanding a division of cavalry, drove the enemy’s rear guard through Franklin to-day, capturing about 250 prisoners and 5 battle-flags, with very little loss on our side. Citizens of Franklin represent Hood’s army as completely demoralized.

In addition to the captures of yesterday, reported in my dispatch of last night, I have the honor to report the capture of General Rucker and about 250 prisoners of the enemy’s cavalry, in a fight that occurred about 8 o’clock last night between General Rucker and General Hatch, of our cavalry. The enemy has been pressed to-day both in front and on both flanks. Brigadier-General Johnson succeeded in striking him on the flank just beyond Franklin, capturing quite a number of prisoners, number not yet reported. My cavalry is pressing him closely to-night, and I am very much in hopes of getting many more prisoners to-morrow.

Luckily, but little damage has been done the railroad, and I expect to have trains close up to the army to-morrow night. I have just heard from General Stoneman, at Kingsport, under date of the 13th instant. He left Knoxville on the 10th, overtook Duke’s (formerly Morgan’s) command on the 12th, and during the night drove him across the North Fork of Holston River. Next morning crossed the river and attacked, captured and killed nearly the whole command, taking the entire wagon train. Colonel R. C. Morgan, a brother of John Morgan, is, with many other officers, a prisoner. Duke’s command is considered completely destroyed. The fighting was done by Gillem’s command and the Thirtieth Kentucky, of General Burbridge’s command. Stoneman in motion for Bristol, where he hopes to intercept Vaughn.A part of the captured train was that lost by Gillem on retreat from Bull’s Gap.

I now consider the Cumberland perfectly safe from Nashville down, and have directed the chief quartermaster to commence shipping stores up it immediately. As there is also a fair prospect for another rise in the Tennessee River, I have requested Admiral Lee to send some iron-clads and gun-boats up that river, to destroy Hood’s pontoon bridge, if possible, and cut off his retreat.

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General, Commanding.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 13, p 126-7

O.R., I, xlv, part 2, p 228-9

“Push the enemy now, and give him no rest until he is entirely destroyed”

I have just received a dispatch indicating that Gen. Thomas is in the process of winning a crushing victory against Hood.  I wrote him immediately.

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 15, 1864-11.30 p. m.

Major-General THOMAS,

Nashville, Tenn.:

I was just on my way to Nashville, but receiving a dispatch from Van Duzer, detailing your splendid success of to-day, I shall go no farther. Push the enemy now, and give him no rest until he is entirely destroyed. Your army will cheerfully suffer many privations to break up Hood’s army and render it useless for future operations. Do not stop for trains or supplies, but take them from the country, as the enemy have done. Much is now expected.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 13, p 124

O.R., I, xlv, part 2, p 195

“Richmond Dispatch says—’Sherman is near Savannah probably not five miles distant'”

Gen. Ord has forwarded to me information from Richmond’s papers concerning Sherman. I passed it along to Sec. Stanton.

From City Point Va Deer 13th 1864.
Hon E M. Stanton
Sec’y of War—Richmond papers of today contain the following
U. S. Grant
Lt Genl
“Richmond Dispatch says—’Sherman is near Savannah probably not five miles distant, has not yet made an attack. It is still doubtful whether he will do so or make for the coast south east of the city. It is very certain he has not yet opened communication with the coast though he may do so very soon. Later—A. telegraphic dispatch received from below Charleston states that Sherman was in line [o]f battle (we will not say where) confronted by [a] strong confederate force. Another paper states there has been no direct communication with Savannah for several days, but we apprehend the wires have been cut between that place and Charleston”

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 13, p 112

“Delay no longer for weather or re-enforcements.”

I wrote Gen. Thomas,

CITY POINT, VA., December 11, 1864-4 p.m.

Major-General THOMAS,

Nashville, Tenn.:

If you delay attack longer the mortifying spectacle will be witnessed of a rebel army moving for the Ohio River, and you will be forced to act, accepting such weather as you find. Let there be no further delay. Hood cannot stand even a drawn battle so far from his supplies of ordnance stores. If he retreats and you follow, he must lose his material and much of his army. I am in hopes of receiving a dispatch from you to-day announcing that you have moved. Delay no longer for weather or re-enforcements.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

He replied,

NASHVILLE, December 11, 1864-10.30 p.m.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

City Point:

Your dispatch of 4 p.m. this day is just received. I will obey the order as promptly as possible, however much I may regret it, as the attack will have to be made under every disadvantage. The whole country is covered with a perfect sheet of ice and sleet, and it is with difficulty the troops are able to move about on level ground. It was my intention to attack Hood as soon as the ice melted, and would have done so yesterday had it not been for the storm.

GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 13, p 107

O.R, I, xlv, part 2, p 143

“I don’t think there should be any delay in starting out re-enforcements to Warren”

We have not heard of any news from Gen. Warren concerning his advance down the Weldon Railroad.  However, Meade sends word of artillery firing and a column of enemy infantry that was spotted marching in that direction.  I wrote Gen. Meade,

CITY POINT, VA., December 10, 1864-1.20 p.m.

Major-General MEADE:

I think it advisable to move with all the force you can to Warren’s relief. Benham will be ordered up as you suggest. I don’t think there should be any delay in starting out re-enforcements to Warren.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 13, p 96-7

O.R., I, xlii, part 3, p 921

“I … will, therefore, suspend the order relieving [Thomas] until it is seen whether he will do anything”

Upon further consideration, I have decided to suspend my order relieving Gen. Thomas.  I wrote Gen. Halleck,

CITY POINT, VA., December 9, 1864-5.30 p.m.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington:

General Thomas has been urged in every way possible to attack the enemy, even to the giving the positive order. He did say he thought he would be able to attack on the 7th, but didn’t do so, nor has he given a reason for not doing it. I am every unwilling to do injustice to an officer who has done as much good service as General Thomas has, however, and will, therefore, suspend the order relieving him until it is seen whether he will do anything.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 13, p 90-1

O.R., I, xlv, part 2, p 116