“I do not think it possible that any brigades, or even regiments, have gone from here to re-enforce Early”

I received the following from Sec. Stanton,

WASHINGTON, October 22, 1864 12.30 p. m.
Lieutenant-General GRANT:
There is a strong belief prevailing among the rebel sympathizers here that a large force has been detached against Sheridan, and that while the attack upon him Wednesday was repelled, it was because it had been prematurely made before the re-enforcements reached Early. I have an intercepted cipher dispatch which favors this view. It is so important to the safety of individuals that I am unwilling to run the risk of its getting to the knowledge of any one else but yourself and your cipher operator, and therefore request you to be present when it is translated, and immediately destroy it. We have nothing from Sheridan since 11 a.m. Thursday.
E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

I do not believe that any substantial amount of troops have been sent from this place. I replied,

CITY POINT, VA., October 22, 1864.
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
Your confidential dispatch of 12.30 p. m. this date is received. I do not think it possible that any brigades, or even regiments, have gone from here to re-enforce Early. The number of deserters coming in daily fixes all the commands of Lee. From deserters of to-day I learn that
Early had been re-enforced from men who have been returned to the service from hospitals and by relieving detailed men, but in no other way. Some troops may also have joined him from Lynchburg and Southwest Virginia, but after Sheridan’s splendid victory, it will only
count that much more, if this proves to be so.
U. S. GRANT,
Lt. Gn.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 336

O.R., I, xliii, part 2, p 444

“I had a salute of 100 guns from each of the armies here fired in honor of Sheridan’s last victory”

I have just received a telegram, sent yesterday, from Gen. Sheridan.  His army was attacked and partially routed, but he was able to rally them, counter-attack and score a decisive blow against the enemy.  He writes,

CEDAR CREEK, October 19, 1864 – 10 p. m.

I have the honor to report that my army at Cedar Creek was attacked this morning before daylight and my left was turned and driven in confusion; in fact, most of the line was driven in confusion, with the loss of twenty pieces or artillery. I hastened from Winchester, where I was on my return from Washington, and joined the army between Middletown and Newtown, having been driven back about four miles. I here took the affair in hand and quickly united the corps, formed a compact line of battle just in time to repulse an attack of the enemy’s, which was handsomely done at about 1 p. m. At 3 p. m., after some changes of the cavalry from the left to the right flank, I attacked with great vigor, driving and routing the enemy, capturing, according to last reports, forty-three pieces of artillery and very many prisoners. I do not yet know the number of my casualties or the losses of the enemy. Wagon trains, ambulances, and caissons in large numbers, are in our possession. They also burned some of their trains. General Ramseur is a prisoner in our hands, severely, and perhaps mortally, wounded. I have to regret the loss of General Bidwell, killed, and Generals Wright, Grover, and Ricketts wounded – Wright slightly wounded. Affairs at times looked badly, but by the gallantry of our brave officers and men disaster has been converted into a splendid victory. Darkness again intervened to shut off greater results. I now occupy Strasburg. As soon as obtained I will send you further particulars.

P. H. SHERIDAN,

Major-General.

 

I wrote Sec. Stanton,

CITY POINT, VA., October 20, 1864-7 p. m.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

I had a salute of 100 guns from each of the armies here fired in honor of Sheridan’s last victory. Turning what bid fair to be a disaster into glorious victory stamps Sheridan, what I have always thought him, one of the ablest of generals.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 328-9

O.R., I, xliii, part 1, p 32-3

O.R., I, xliii, part 2, p 423

“I am glad you are all pleased with your schools and hope you will learn fast”

I wrote my son Frederick,

City Point Va. Oct. 19th 1864.

Dear Freddy,
I have now received two letters from you since you commenced going to school in Burlington, You must continue to write often as much for your improvement as that I may hear from you. I would have written two days ago to your Ma but I supposed she had gone to St. Louis. I do not know now whether she has gone at all. I received a telegraph from her at Philadelphia saying she had got that far on the way but did not know whether to go further. I telegraphed her that your Uncle Fred would start at once for St. Louis and I did not think it was best for her to go but to do as she pleased. I am glad you are all pleased with your schools and hope you will learn fast. Does Jess continue to like school and his books? Jess is a good boy, only sometimes when he forgets, and a smart one too. He will learn to read by Christmas. Has Nelly returned from New York? I hope she had a pleasant visit. She & Buck must both write to me and Jess must tell you all something to write until he learns so that he can write for himself. Love and kisses for all of you. I will not write to your Ma until I know where she is.
Your Pa.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 322

“Destroy in such case all of military value in Atlanta”

I replied to Gen. Sherman’s telegram from yesterday.

CITY POINT, VA., October 16, 1864 – 3. 30 p. m.

Major-General SHERMAN, Tilton, Ga.:

The moment I know you have started south stores will be shipped to Hilton Head, where there are transports ready to take them to meet you at Savannah. In case you go south I would not propose holding anything south of Chattanooga, certainly not south of Dalton. Destroy in such case all of military value in Atlanta.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 318

O.R., I, xxxix, part 3, p 324

Sherman: “I also want to know if you are willing that I should destroy Atlanta and the railroad”

I received the following telegram from Gen. Sherman,

SHIP’S GAP, GA., October 16, 1864 – 4. 30 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

I got the dispatch in cipher about providing me a place to come out on salt water, but the cipher is imperfect and I cannot make out whether Savannah or Mobile be the point preferred, but I also want to know if you are willing that I should destroy Atlanta and the railroad. Hood broke eight miles of road at Big Shanty and about fifteen from Resaca to the tunnel. The break at Big Shanty is repaired, but the other will take some time. I have now taken position where I don’t care which way he moves. I think the rebels will now go back south.

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 318

O.R., I, xxxix, part 3, p 304-5

“Time is passing and Richmond is still not ours”

I wrote Julia,

October 14th 1864.
Dear Julia,
Time is passing and Richmond is still not ours. No efforts have been made in that direction however for some days. I think it cannot be long now before the tug will come which, if it does not secure the prize will put us where the end will be in sight. I keep in good health but I am getting very anxious for a little recreation and home. I have no news for you only that I have just heard that the Commissioner for the exchange of prisoners has again agreed that John Dent shall be delivered at Savannah Georgia with the first lot of prisoners sent from there. We send vessels in a few days for some 4.000 agreed to be delivered at that point. I think his wife may look for him this time but she had better not be too sanguine.
Col. Hillyer writes me that Missy is at his house? I would not let her remain long. She ought to be going to school every day. Tell Jess to send me word what he is learning at school. As soon as he can write he must send me a letter. Love and kisses for you and the children. I sent yesterday pay accounts to Capt. Leet with directions to send you a check for $800 00. I presume you will have received the money by the time you get this. I have been afraid you be without. But it wont hurt if you are without a few days. Be careful as you can, without stinting your self, for I have $2625 00 to pay for some stock I have bought. I told you that I had $1500 00 more Horse rail-road stock? But this is paid for. Do you hear any thing further about the house in Phila?
Ulys.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 314

“On mature reflection, I believe Sherman’s proposition is the best that can be adopted”

I received the following from Sec. Stanton,

WASHINGTON, October 12, 1864-8 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

The President feels much solicitude in respect to General Sherman’s proposed movement and hopes that it will be maturely considered. The objections stated in your telegram of last night impressed him with much force, and a misstep by General Sherman might be fatal to his army. This much the President directed me to say to you, when I saw him this evening, and although I find on reaching the office that you now think better of the plan, you should know he feels on a point so vital.

E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

I replied,

CITY POINT, VA., October 13, 1864-3. 30 p. m.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

On mature reflection, I believe Sherman’s proposition is the best that can be adopted. With the long line of railroad in rear of Atlanta Sherman cannot maintain his position. If he cuts loose, destroying the road from Chattanooga forward, he leaves a wide and destitute country to pass over before reaching territory now held by us. Thomas could retain force enough to meet Hood by giving up the road from Nashville to Decatur and thence to Stevenson and leave Sherman still force enough to meet Hood’s army if it took the other and most likely course. Such an army as Sherman has (and with such a commander) is hard to corner or capture.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 302-3

O.R., I, xxxix, part 3, p 222, 239

“Of course I am satisfied with the disposition you have made of the children”

I wrote Julia,

City Point, Va. Oct. 12th 1864.
Dear Julia,
I have just rec’d your letter written the 5th inst. at the same time your letter of the 9th. Of course I am satisfied with the disposition you have made of the children. I want them to go to school all the time. Fred, must study French and Buck & Nelly German. I am glad to hear Jess is such a good boy. I know he will learn very fast. I received a letter from Mr. Ford saying that he had sent out and got Little Rebel and now has him at his stables in town. If you say so I will send and have him expressed to you. The other horse I heard nothing about. I send by the same Mail with this Pay Accounts for Capt. Leet to get cashed with instructions to send you a draft for $800 00. I received a letter from Mr. Jones saying the citizens of Chicago were about purchasing a fine residence for us there. We cant live at both places so that I do not know that it will be desirable to have a house there.
Clothing has been sent to John Dent so that I do not think he can be suffering on that account. I am perfectly willing however to send more to him. The Commissioner for the exchange of prisoners has promised several times that John should be released. His word has not been kept however. The pretext upon which he has been retained is that he is a lessee of a plantation from Govt. This has been frequently denied but I believe some one in the South has given such evidence against him as to determine them to retain him. I have been terribly embarrassed for several days with the movements and demonstrations of the enemy in the West. Here I feel easy. Love and kisses for you and the children.
Ulys.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 299

“On reflection, I think better of your proposition”

After having some time to think about Gen. Sherman’s proposed movement south of Atlanta, I have decided to trust his judgement of the situation.  I wrote him,

CITY POINT, VA., October 12, 1864-1 p. m.

Major-General SHERMAN,

Kingston, Ga.:

On reflection, I think better of your proposition. It would be much better to go south than to be forced to come north. You will, no doubt, clean the country where you go of railroad tracks and supplies. I would also move every wagon, horse, mules, and hoof of stock, as well as the negroes. As far as arms can be supplied, either from surplus or by capture, I would put them in the hands of negro men. Give them such organization as you can. They will be of some use.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 298

O.R., I, xxxix, part 3, p 222

“If there is any way of getting at Hood’s army, I would prefer that, but I must trust to your own judgment”

I responded to Gen. Sherman’s proposal to cut loose from his base and march across Georgia.  I worry that if Hood’s army is left alone, he will attempt to invade Tennessee.

CITY POINT, VA., October 11, 1864-11 a. m.

Major-General SHERMAN, Atlanta, Ga.:

Your dispatch received. Does it not look as if Hood was going to attempt the invasion of Middle Tennessee, using the Mobile and Ohio and Memphis and Charleston roads to supply his base on the Tennessee River, about Florence or Decatur? If he does this he ought to be met and prevented from getting north of the Tennessee River. If you were to cut lose, I do not believe you would meet Hood’s army, but would be bushwhacked by all the old men, little boys, and such railroad guards as are still left at home. Hood would probably strike for Nashville, thinking by going north he could inflict greater damage upon us than we could upon the rebels by going south. If there is any way of getting at Hood’s army, I would prefer that, but I must trust to your own judgment. I find I shall not be able to send a force from here to act with you on Savannah. Your movements, therefore, will be independent of mine, at least until the fall of Richmond takes place. I am afraid Thomas, with such lines of road as he has to protect, could not prevent Hood going north. With Wilson turned loose with all your cavalry, you will find the rebels put much more on the defensive than heretofore.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 289-90

O.R., I, xxxix, part 3, p 202