“I shall go to Burlington, N. J., to make arrangements for sending my children to school”

I notified Gen. Halleck that I am going to Baltimore.

HARPER”S FERRY, September 17, 1864.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff:

I leave for Baltimore in a few minutes. Hold all new regiments coming into service in Washington until further orders. It is possible, through not probable, that Sheridan may want to throw a force suddenly into Hagerstown.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

I then wrote him that I will be stopping in on my family to get my children situated at their school.

BALTIMORE, MD., September 17, 1864 – 5 p. m.

Major-General HALLECK, Washington:

I will not leave Baltimore for City Point until to-morrow evening. In the meantime I shall go to Burlington, N. J., to make arrangements for sending my children to school.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 171

O.R., I, xliii, part 2, p 96

Meade: “it is feared this herd and its guard has fallen into the enemy’s hands”

I have received a disturbing report that a Rebel cavalry raid has made off with a herd of our cattle.  Gen. Meade writes,

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, September 16, 1864-10 a.m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,
Harper’s Ferry, or Washington, or Baltimore:

Warren’s reconnaissance was withdrawn yesterday about 12 m. Signal officers reported the movement of the enemy’s troops toward our left at various times yesterday from 9 a.m. till sunset. These were believed to be counter movements to meet an expected advance on our part. This view was confirmed by Warren’s pickets on the Vaughan road reporting the return of the enemy to Petersburg, and by a deserter this morning, who states his command left the trenches and moved to their right yesterday afternoon and returned during the night. This morning daylight our cavalry pickets and reserves were strongly attacked between the Blackwater and the James. At the same time a dash was made on the cattle herd at Coggins’ Point, and it is feared this herd and its guard has fallen into the enemy’s hands. A prisoner taken reports the movement as being executed by Hampton with three brigades of cavalry, who left Stony Creek Depot last night, and after crossing the Blackwater took the shortest and most direct road to Coggins’ Point. Immediately on receiving intelligence of this movement General Davies, commanding cavalry, was directed to pursue with all his available force, and a brigade of infantry, with a battery of artillery, was at the same time sent down the Prince George Court-House road to re-enforce Kautz. Warren reports demonstrations on his front this morning, his pickets being driven in, but at last report he had re-established his line. It is believed this movement was a diversion in favor of the cavalry raid. This raid was one which I have feared for some time, as with the limited force of cavalry under my command and the great extent of country to be watched, I have always considered Coggins’ Point an unsuitable position for the cattle herd, it being liable to capture at any time by a coup-de-main of the enemy in force. Every effort will be made to recover the herd or a portion of it.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

 

I replied,

HARPER’S FERRY, September 16, 1864.

Major-General MEADE:

If the enemy makes so rich a haul as to get our cattle herd he will be likely to strike far to the south, or even to the southeast to get around with it. Our cavalry should either recover what is lost, or else, in the absence of so much of the enemy’s cavalry, strike the Weldon road far to the south of where it has been destroyed.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 167-8

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 852-3

“I shall leave here to-morrow morning for General Sheridan’s headquarters”

A few days ago, I received the following communication from President Lincoln.

“Sheridan and Early are facing each other at a dead lock. Could we not pick up a regiment here and there, to the number say of say ten thousand men, and quietly, but suddenly concentrate them at Sheridan’s camp and enable him to make a strike? This is but a suggestion—”

Yesterday, I sent him a telegram,

“It has been my intention for a week back to start to-morrow, or the day following, and to see Sheridan and arrange what was necessary to enable him to start Early out of the Valley. It seems to me it can be successfully done.”

I wrote Gen. Meade,

CITY POINT, September 14, 1864-3 p.m.

Major-General MEADE:

I shall leave here to-morrow morning for General Sheridan’s headquarters. Will be gone five days. General Butler also leaves to-day to be absent a few days. You will, therefore, assume command of all the forces operating in this field if you find it necessary.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 163-5

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 816

“I hope to be up to see you all before many weeks and before many months to be with you most of the time”

I received a letter from my sons Frederick and Ulysses Jr.  I wrote them back,

 

City Point Va. Sept. 13th 1864.

Dear Fred. & Buck,
I was very glad to get your letters the other day and still better pleased to see so few mistakes. There was some mistakes though. Write often to me and when you do write always keep a dictionary by you. When you feel any doubt about how a word should be spelled look at your dictionary and be sure to get it right. Missy did not write? Why did she not? She writes very pretty letters and by writing often now she will write a better letter at twelve years of age than most grown up young ladies.
I have sent to get Jess’ pony brought into town from your grand pa’s. If he is left there long I am afraid he will be stolen.
I hope to be up to see you all before many weeks and before many months to be with you most of the time. Is Jess sorry he run off and left his pa the way he did? I thought he was going to be a brave boy and stay with me and ride Jeff Davis. Ask Jess if Jeff ain’t a bully horse.
Kiss your Ma, little Nelly & Jess for your

Pa

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 162

“The enforcement of the draft … will save the shedding of blood to an immense degree.”

I wrote Sec. Stanton again on the necessity of a draft to ensure we will have enough men for the final push.

CITY POINT, VA., September 13, 1864-10.30 a.m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington:

My dispatch to you on the subject of enforcing the draft was suggested by reading Secretary Seward’s Auburn speech, where he intimates that volunteers were coming in so rapidly that there would be no necessity for a draft, and your dispatch stating that volunteers were coming in at the rate of 5,000 per day. We ought to have the whole number of men called for by the President int he shortest possible time. A draft is soon over, and ceases to hurt after it is made. The agony of suspense is worse upon the public than the measure itself. Prompt action in filling our armies will have more effect upon the enemy than a victory over them. They profess to believe, and make their men believe, there is such a party North in favor of recognizing Southern independence that the draft cannot of enforced. Let them be undeceived. Deserters come into our lines daily, who tell us that the men are nearly universally tired of war, and that desertions would be much more frequent but they believe peace will be negotiated after the fall elections. The enforcement of the draft and prompt filling up of our armies will save the shedding of blood to an immense degree.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 158-9

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 804

“The difficulties of supplying your army, except when you are constantly moving beyond where you are, I plainly see”

With Atlanta taken, we can start to plan the next stage of the campaign.  I wrote Gen. Sherman,

CITY POINT, VA., September 12, 1864.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN,

Commanding Military DIVISION of the Mississippi:

I send Lieutenant-Colonel Porter, of my staff, with this. Colonel Porter will explain to you the exact condition of affairs here better than I can do in the limits of a letter.

Although I feel myself strong enough for offensive operations, I am holding on quietly to get advantage of recruits and convalescents, who are coming forward very rapidly. My lines are necessarily very long, extending from Deep Bottom, north of the James, across the peninsula formed by the Appomattox and the James, and south of the Appomattox to the Weldon road. This line is very strongly fortified and can be held with comparatively few men, but from its great length takes many in the aggregate.

I propose when I do move to extend my left so as to control what is known as the South Side or Lynchburg and Petersburg road; then, if possible, to keep the Danville road cut. At the same time this move is made I want to send a force from 6,000 to 10,000 men against Wilmington. The way I propose to do this is to land the men north of Fort Fisher and hold that point. At the same time a large naval fleet will be assembled there and the iron-clads will run the batteries as they did at Mobile. This will give us the same control of the harbor of Wilmington that we now have of the harbor of Mobile.

What you are to do with the forces at your command I do not see. The difficulties of supplying your army, except when you are constantly moving beyond where you are, I plainly see. If it had not been for Price’s movements Canby could have sent 12,000 more men to Mobile. From your command on the MISSISSIPPI an equal number could have been taken. With these forces my idea would have been to divide them, sending one-half to Mobile and the other half to Savannah. You could then move, as proposed in your telegram, so as to threaten Macon and Augusta equally. Whichever was abandoned by the enemy you could take and open up a new base of supplies. My object now in sending a staff officer is not so much to suggest operations for you as to get your views and have plans matured by the time everything can be got ready. It will probably be the 5th of October before any of the plans herein indicated will be executed.

If you have any promotions to recommend send the named forward and I will approve them. In conclusion, it is hardly necessary for me to say that I feel you have accomplished the most gigantic undertaking given to any general in this war, and with a skill and ability that will be acknowledged in history as unsurpassed, if not unequaled. It gives me as much pleasure to record this in your favor as it would in favor of any living man, myself included.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 154-5

O.R., I, xxxix, part 2, 364-5

“Everything is now perfectly quiet except the usual picket-firing”

I wrote Gen. Halleck,

CITY POINT, VA., September 12, 1864-3.30 p. m.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington:

The branch of railroad running out to the Weldon road is now finished, and all supplies for the army are now moved in that way. Everything is now perfectly quiet except the usual picket-firing. The enemy seems to be mining in front of the Tenth Corps, but it causes no uneasiness. On Friday morning General Hancock moved a portion of his picket-line forward, and in doing so captured 85 of the enemy’s pickets.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 152

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 795

“If we give him no peace while the war lasts, the end cannot be distant”

Gen. Sherman has won a great victory in Atlanta, but we must continue the pressure on the enemy until the rebellion collapses.  I wrote him,

CITY POINT, VA., September 10, 1864-10 a. m.

Major-General SHERMAN:

As soon as your men are sufficiently rested and preparations can be made, it is desirable that another campaign should be commenced. We want to keep the enemy constantly pressed to the end of the war. If we give him no peace while the war lasts, the end cannot be distant. Now that we have all of Mobile Bay that is valuable, I do not know but it will be the best move to transfer Canby’s troops to act upon Savannah whilst you move on Augusta. I should like to hear from you, however, on this matter.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 144

O.R., I, xxxix, part 2, p 355

“I will send an expedition of sufficient force quietly down the coast”

I have been made aware of a proposed movement on Wilmington NC by the Navy.  I support the expedition.  I wrote Asst. Sec. Fox of the Navy,

CITY POINT, VA., September 10, 1864.

Honorable G. V. FOX,

Assistant Secretary of the Navy:

Your letter of the 9th instant, inclosing copy of instructions to Admiral Farragut, was received by last night’s mail. I have no suggestions to make different from what those instructions contain. As soon as the land forces can be spared and the navy is ready to co-operate, I will send an expedition of sufficient force quietly down the coast, not even allowing the command, with the exception of the commanding officer, to know where they are going. The details for landing a force can be best arranged by Admiral Farragut and the commander of the land forces. So soon as all is arranged I will acquaint you with what is done on my part.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 141

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 769

” We are strengthening our position here so that a small force can hold the present line”

I wrote Gen. Sheridan,

CITY POINT, VA., September 9, 1864 – 11.30 a. m.

(Received 10 p. m.)

Major General P. H. SHERIDAN,

Charlestown, Va.:

It is now satisfactorily ascertained that no force has returned here from the Valley except a brigade of Field’s and one of Pickett’s. It is doubtful whether the brigade from Pickett’s division ever reached the Valley, as it was absent from here but a few days. I would not have you make an attack with the advantage against you, but would prefer just the course you seem to be pursuing – that is, pressing closely upon the enemy, and when he moves, follow him up, being ready at all times to pounce upon him if he detaches any considerable force. We are strengthening our position here so that a small force can hold the present line, and leave the greater part of the army to act on a given point when I choose. I feel able now for offensive movements, but as re-enforcements may be expected daily, I prefer to wait a short time to make every blow struck more effective. Are you re-enforced to any considerable extent?

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 139

O.R., I, xliii, part 2, p 57