“They show by their questions and conversation that they feared a rupture between the United States and Great Britain”

While I was in Canada, I was asked about the situation in Mexico.  I said that we had an army on the Rio Grande to observe the conflict.  I wrote Gen. Rawlins,

Galena Ill. August 20th 1865.

Dear Rawlins,
You will see from the papers how Galena spread herself [o]n Friday last in giving me a welcome home. It was very flattering though some what embarrassing. The same might be said of the whole journey through Canada. You have, no doubt, seen reported what I said in Canada relative to affairs in Mexico! All officials in Canada, Civil and Military, called on me. They show by their questions and conversation that they feared a rupture between the United States and Great Britain, and that they would use all honorable means of averting such a calamity. What I am reported to have said is nearly true except I did not say how many troops we had on the Rio Grande, nor did I say what Government would do. I spoke freely, however, of my own feeling in the matter and what I believed to be the feeling of the American people.
Your letter enclosing one for me to sign recommending the assignment of Col. Morgan was received the evening of my arrival here. You will find it signed and enclosed herewith.
I regret that I did not write to you to remain here as long as you found your health benefited by the stay. If you think a winter of quiet, in this latitude, advantageous why not come here and spend the Fall and Winter? The house presented to me’ by the kindness of the Citizens is entirely at your service if you choose to do so. You will find it very comfortable and containing everything necessary for housekeeping.
I shall not return to Washington before the 1st. of October unless called there. I have had a severe cold and cough, with sore throat, almost ever since I left until the last two days. At Detroit, beginning to be alarmed about it, I commenced taking medicine and care and I believe am getting well. I have gained in flesh until I now weigh 152 pounds, two pounds more than my highest ambition.
I enclose you with this a letter from J. H. Stokes which astonishes me.  I have never done him an unkindness that I am aware of. Burnside and Osborn former President of the Ill. C. R. R. made such a statement against him that, taking it for granted true, I recommended his muster out. After receiving his statement in the matter charged I believed great injustice had been done him. I so wrote and so stated in writing and in conversation with the Sec. of War. I recommended the revocation of the order mustering him out and I did all else that he asked me to do to rectify the injury so far as it could be done. The Sec. of War must have turned him off bluntly throwing all blame for what has been done on me. I wish you would see the Sec. and ask him for me to have Stokes placed as near right as possible law will allow. Stokes’ letter is uncalled for and relieves me of all obligation to do anything to assist him. But believing that he has suffered innocently, and not knowing but he may have heard something to lead him to think I may have acted insincerely, I want you to do for him what is just.
Remember me to all the Staff. When any of you write I should like to hear how my horses flourish.
Yours Truly

U. S. Grant.

Lt. Gen.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 300-1

“The Imperial troops in Mexico still require watching”

With the reduction in numbers of our army, we must not lose sight of the possibility that we may have to intervene in the conflict in Mexico. I wrote Gen. Sheridan,

DETROIT, MICH., August 13, 1865-10 p. m.

Major General P. H. SHERIDAN,

New Orleans, La.:

The order for muster-out in Your command was made with the view of avoiding the necessity of sending cavalry horses to You and not with any idea that Your force should be reduced to the smallest wants for keeping Texas in the traces. The Imperial troops in Mexico still require watching, and before all the seed of the rebellion can be regarded as crushed out they must go back to their homes. We must hold ourselves ready to demand this.



The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 298

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 1180

“I have heard nothing from Sherman in answer to my dispatch”

I received the following from Sec. Stanton,


Washington City, August 12, 1865-9. 30 a. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,


The President is much concerned about the Indian expedition. The Secretary of the Treasury declares his inability to meet an expenditure so large and unexpected, and not sanctioned by the Government. Have You any information to relieve the President’s anxiety or to satisfy him as to the object and design of the expedition? Who planned it? Whether Sherman has reduced it any, and its probable results. Please answer speedily, and state when You expect to return to Washington.


Secretary of War.

I replied,

DETROIT, MICH., August 12, 1865-2 p. m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

I have heard nothing from Sherman in answer to my dispatch directing a reduction of forces in the Northwest, and for him to look into the Indian expeditions and curtail them. They have been planned under General Pope’s direction, and I am not posted as to the necessity of them. I will go to Saint Louis in a few days and look into this matter myself. In the meantime I think all extraordinary requisitions should be disapproved. I will not go back to Washington for some weeks.



The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 296

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 1178-9

“Since my arrival here I have seen Mr. Potter, our Consul”

I have been invited to take a tour of Canada by British Maj. Gen. Charles Hastings Doyle.  While there, I took the opportunity to look into legal matters concerning Confederates who had fled to Canada during the war.  I wrote Sec. Stanton,

Montreal Canada Aug. 8th 1865

Hon. E. M. Stanton,

Secretary of War,

Since my arrival here I have seen Mr. Potter, our Consul and find that in his judgment after investigation that the charges made against Dr. Montrose Pollen of trying to extort from a witness in the conspiracy trial a contradiction of his testimony in the case is probably without foundation. As amnesty had been extended to Dr. Pollen, and was revoked in consequence of the charge I would respectfully recommend that he be paroled to go to St. Louis, to await whatever action may be thought necessary in his case. I would also recommend that Mr. Potter our Consul be authorized to parole Gen’l D. M. Frost to go to St. Louis to await action in his case: General Frost voluntarily went before the American Consul at Quebec and took the proper steps and Oath for making his application for Amnesty.
Very respectfully
Your obt. Servt
U. S. Grant
Lieut Gen’l

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 291

“The Quartermaster and Commissary Generals report requisition of such magnitude … as to alarm them”

I received the following from Sec. Stanton,

Washington City, July 28, 1865-11 a. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

West Point:

The Quartermaster-General has made a report this morning of requisitions from the department at Leavenworth indicating at expedition of magnitude and expense beyond the capacity of the appropriations to meet. The transportation estimates alone are $2,000,000 per month, and this exclusive of the cost of materials, &c. The Commissary Department also is in a state of alarm. I beg to direct Your immediate attention to this subject, as I am not advised of the extent or necessity of the proposed operations.


Secretary of War.

Standing down from a war footing is proving to be a difficult task.  I wrote Sherman,

SARATOGA, N. Y., July 28, 1865.

Major-General SHERMAN,

Saint Louis, Mo.:

The Quartermaster and Commissary Generals report requisition of such magnitude as coming from Leavenworth as to alarm them. Look into them and stop all unnecessary expedition and reduce all necessary ones to actual requirements. Returns show a cavalry force in the Department of the Missouri which it would seem might be materially reduced. Look into this matter also.



The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 287-8

O.R., I, xlviii, part 3, p 1127-8

“You have been selected by Major General John Gibbon … as entitled to this honor on behalf of that command”

I wrote to Sgt. Thomas McGraw of the 23rd Illinois Volunteers,



Company B, Twenty-third Illinois Volunteers:

The sum of $460 was sent to me by patriotic citizens to be presented as a reward for gallantry to the soldier who should first raise our flag over Richmond. As Richmond was not taken by assault, I have concluded that the donors’ wishes will be best carried out by dividing the sum between three soldiers most conspicuous for gallantry in the final and successful assault on Petersburg. You have been selected by Major General John Gibbon, commanding the Twenty-fourth Army Corps, as entitled to this honor on behalf of that command, and I herewith present to you $153,33 as one-third of the original sum.

It affords me great satisfaction to receive from your commanding general such unqualified testimony of your gallantry and heroism in battle, and to be the medium of transmitting to you this recognition of the worth of your services in defense of your common country.



The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 282

O.R., I, xlvi, part 1, p 1262-3

“I think it will be well to designate one to relieve General Sully in the Northwest”

I received the following from U.S. Delegate Walter A. Burleigh of the Dakota Territory,

I have the honor to lay before you, herewith, a report which I made to the Com’r. of Indian Affairs on the 18th day of February 1865—with accompanying papers. A copy of this report was laid before Maj. Gen’l. Halleck, who after a careful examination of the same, assured me that the charges therein contained relating to the conduct of Brev. Maj. Gen’l. Sully, should be, thoroughly and impartially investigated, and that if found to be true, he should be removed from his present command.I believe this whole matter was referred to Maj. Gen’l. John Pope, who ordered Col. John N. Du Bois—a member of his Staff—, to inquire into the matter.

These charges against Gen’l. Sully have not been investigated in the manner in which Gen’l. Halleck assured me they should be. The investigation ordered by Genl. Pope was not thorough, but extremely partial and imperfect,—and I have in my possession the means of showing that it was extremely unfair, if not fraudulent. I did not make these charges against Gen’l. Sully from any feelings of personal ill will, but simply because I knew that he had failed to discharge his duty as a commanding officer,— and I now reassert that the charges against this officer, contained in that report are strictly, true, and I can prove them to be so, whenever I can have a fair opportunity.

I ask that this matter may receive at your hands, the attention which it deserves,—and that Gen’l. Sully be removed from his present command, and a suitable officer assigned thereto.

I wrote to Sherman,

WASHINGTON, July 20, 1865-12 m.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN,

Saint Louis, Mo.:

Direct the discharge of all troops that can possibly be dispensed with in Your military division, and especially reduce the cavalry force as much as possible. Now that we have so many officers of known merit, I think it will be well to designate one to relieve General Sully in the Northwest.



The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 276-8

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 1108

“Mexico has men enough if she had Arms to defend herself”

I wrote President Johnson with my views on the Mexican situation.

Washington D. C, July 15th 1865

His Excellency, A. Johnson, President of the United States, Sir:
Looking upon the French occupation of Mexico as part and parcel of the late rebellion in the United States, and a necessary part of it to suppress before entire peace can be assured, I would respectfully recommend that a leave of absence be given to one of our General officers for the purpose of going to Mexico to give direction to such emigration as may go to that country.
I would not advise that emigration be invited or that such officer should go under special instructions. He would probably take service under the Liberal Government of Mexico and by giving head and shape to the foreign and Native element already there would insure the restoration of the Liberal or Republican Government.
Mexico has men enough if she had Arms to defend herself. With the large surplus on hand I do not see why we should not sell her these. I presume there would be no objection raised to sell the English or French Government Arms. I do not see therefore why we should not be aUowed to sell them to the only Government we recognize on Mexican soil.
I write this for instructions because I will not do or authorize anything not receiving the proper sanction. Of the sale of Arms I have nothing to do. I speak therefore in reference to giving leaves of absence for the purpose stated.
I send this direct the Sec. of War being absent from his office to-day.
Very respectfully
your obt. svt.
U. S. Grant

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 264-5

“I would like You to go to the Rio Grande in person for a few days and manage affairs there according to Your judgment”

I wrote Gen. Sheridan, asking him to take personal control of the situation on the Rio Grande.

WASHINGTON, July 13, 1865-11 a. m.

Major-General SHERIDAN:

I would like You to go to the Rio Grande in person for a few days and manage affairs there according to Your judgment. What You have done seems so well that I desire to change nothing. Do You not think it advisable to relieve Granger from command in Texas? If so, relieve him.



The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 259

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 1075

Sheridan on Mexico: “We should give a permanent government to that republic”

The following was sent to Gen. Rawlins from Gen. Sheridan.  I forwarded it to the President, indicating that I agreed with Sheridan’s views.

Personal … I have detained Bvt Brig. Genl Price of the Cavalry Bureau longer perhaps than I should have done but his services were so important to me that I don’t see how I could have done without him. The cavalry here was very much scattered and the regiments were unknown to me but by his admirable system of inspection I was at once enabled to select the best regiments and to collect together two of the handsomest columns of cavalry that have been organized during the present war, one under Genl Merritt which moves from Shreveport. The other under Genl Custer which moves from Alexandria La. I have had many difficulties and delays in getting these cavalry columns together and in their magnificent trim but I am now out of the woods and only hope that I may have the pleasure of crossing the Rio Grande with them with our faces turned towards the city of Mexico. There is no use to beat around the bush in this Mexican matter.  We should give a permanent government to that republic. Our work in crushing the rebellion will not be done until this takes place. The advent of Maximilian was a portion of the rebellion and his fall should belong to its history. Juarez even if he was to be successful tomorrow could not give stability to a government there without our helping hand, most of the Mexican soldiers of Maximilian’s army would throw down their arms the moment we crossed the Rio Grande. The french influence has governed by their impudence.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 259