“The enemy have attempted to drive our cavalry from the vicinity of Charles City road near New Market”

I received word of a Cavalry skirmish near New Market.  I wrote Gen. Halleck,

CITY POINT, July 28, 1864-3.30 p.m.

Major-General HALLECK, Chief of Staff:

The enemy have attempted to drive our cavalry from the vicinity of Charles City road near New Market. Casualties are not reported, but I suppose have been small. Torbert’s division repulsed the enemy in his front, capturing 150 of their number. At last report the enemy in front of Gregg’s division were still standing. I am just starting for the scene of action.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Later I wrote him,

CITY POINT, VA., July 28, 1864-9 p.m.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff:

I have just returned from Deep Bottom. The enemy evidently and have been moving to meet it ever since they discovered it. The position of out troops to-day was-the left of the Second Corps resting at Deep Bottom, and extending along Bailey’s Creek; Gregg’s and Torbert’s cavalry divisions were down to the right of the Second Corps, and extend to the New Market road, with one brigade at Malvern Hill. In getting their position they were attacked by the enemy in heavy force. The fighting lasted several hours, resulting in a loss which Sheridan thinks will not exceed 200 on our side, the greater part of whom are but slightly wounded, and some are prisoners in the hands of the enemy. We have taken 200 prisoners, besides wounded, many of whom were left in our possession. The number could not be estimated because ambulances were still engaged bringing them in when I left the ground. In front of Torbert’s division 158 of the enemy’s dead had been counted. There was equally as much, if not more, fighting in front of Gregg’s division, and probably as many of the enemy’s dead were left there. We have failed in what I had hoped to accomplish-that is, to surprise the enemy, and get on to their roads with the cavalry near to Richmond and destroy them out to South Anna. I am yet in hopes of turning this diversion to account, so as to yield greater results than if the first object had been accomplished.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 11, p 332-3

O.R., I, xl, part 3, p 551

Meade: “I should judge from Hancock’s dispatches that he does not consider himself in sufficient force to effect much”

I received the following from Gen. Meade.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
July 27, 1864-9 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

I should judge from Hancock’s dispatches that he does not consider himself in sufficient force to effect much. Can you not re-enforce him from some of Major-General Butler’s troops? I make this suggestion because the stronger he is the more powerful the blow he can strike to-morrow.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

I replied,

CITY POINT, VA., July 27, 1864.

Major-General MEADE,

Commanding, &c.:

General Butler’s sending off the Nineteenth Corps leaves him very weak, so that I do not think he can re-enforce Hancock much. I will direct him, however, to send all the troops he can possibly spare. General Foster now has about 2,700 men at Deep Bottom, just in position to strike the enemy in flank if he is driven back.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 11, p 328

O.R., I, xl, part 3, p 504

“You may direct the loading of the mine in front of the Ninth Corps.”

The men of the 48th Pennsylvania are coal miners, and they have dug a mine beneath the enemy’s defenses around Petersburg.  I have little faith that it will accomplish much, but if we can fill it with powder and detonate it, we may be able to break the stalemate.  I wrote Gen. Meade,

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
City Point, Va., July 25, 1864.

Major General GEORGE G. MEADE:

You may direct the loading of the mine in front of the Ninth Corps. I would set no time when it should be exploded, but leave it subject to orders. The expedition ordered may cause such a weakening of the enemy at Petersburg as to make an attack there possible, in which case you would want to spring Burnside’s mine. It cannot be kept a great while after the powder is put in. I would say, therefore, if it is not found necessary to blow it up earlier, I would have it off during the afternoon of Wednesday.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 11, p 312

O.R., I, xl, part 3, p 438

“A Richmond extra of yesterday claims great victory at Atlanta”

I started a letter to Charles Dana asking for news of Washington, and Rawlins finished it.

CITY POINT, VA., July 24, 1864-11 a.m.

Honorable C. A. DANA,

Assistant Secretary of War:

How does the pursuit after the enemy sum up? Have they been compelled to drop any of their plunder, and have we killed, captured, and scattered any of their force to speak of? What news have you from Foster? We hear nothing from him except through the papers. All quiet here. A Richmond extra of yesterday claims great victory at Atlanta; capture of a great many prisoners; 22 pieces; killed large number, among whom was celebrated Yankee General McPherson, also Giles A. Smith and T. J. Wood; that Hardee was in Sherman’s rear, and they expected that victory would be decisive. Sherman’s dispatches of a day later, which, of course, you have seen, place the matter in a very different light, save the death of McPherson. We will make a move here about Tuesday, but which one of two that are in contemplation is not yet fixed upon; when it is I will dispatch you.

JNO  RAWLINS,

Chief of Staff.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 11, p 301

O.R., I, xl, part 3, p 422-3

“Early is undoubtedly returning here to enable the enemy to detach troops to go to Georgia”

I received the following from Gen. Halleck.  I am concerned that Early appears to be headed back south.  If so, he could reunite with Lee’s army and allow him to detach troops to Atlanta.

WASHINGTON, July 23, 1864-1 p.m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

City Point, Va.:

General Wright in person arrived this morning, and most of his forces will encamp at our outer line to-night. He says it will take about two days to refit his men with shoes and clothing and to have them paid. Our cavalry yesterday followed the enemy to Strasburg. He is still moving south. General Hunter telegraphs to the President that, without the assistance of Wright, he cannot prevent Early’s return, if attempted. A man just in from Gordonsville says the railroad is repaired and the bridge across the Rapidan nearly completed. In regard to Early’s force, General Wright was assured by Union men, who saw both armies, that Early’s was much the larger. The rebels generally said to the country people that as soon as they secured their plunder they would return to Maryland and Pennsylvania for more, and that they expected to meet a force from Richmond to receive their plunder. They were probably directed by their officer to say this. The President (who has seen all the dispatches on the subject) directs me to say that you alone can judge, of the importance of sending with Sixth Corps to the Army of the Potomac, or of its operating with Hunter against Gordonsville and Charlottesville, and that you alone must decide the question. The part of the Nineteenth Corps which returns with General Wright will be sent to City Point as soon as they can be refitted.

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

I replied,

CITY POINT, VA., July 23, 1864-6 p.m.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.:

If Wright has returned to Washington send him immediately back here, retaining, however, the portion of the Nineteenth Corps now in Washington for further orders. Early is undoubtedly returning here to enable the enemy to detach troops to go to Georgia. Hunter’s troops must be tired. I would say, therefore, for him to take up such of the advanced positions suggested by him as in his judgment will best protect the line of the Potomac. If Wright and Hunter have started after the enemy with the view of following on the road from Charlottesville to Gordonsville let them go.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 11, p 327-8

O.R., I, xl, part 3, p 408-9

“If Early has halted about Berryville, what is there to prevent Wright and Hunter from attacking him?”

I wrote Gen. Halleck,

CITY POINT, VA., July 21, 1864-11 a. m.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.:

You may retain Wright’s command until the departure of Early is assured, or other forces are collected to make its presence no longer necessary. I have ordered another regiment of heavy artillery back to Washington, but they will not go while the Sixth and part of the Nineteenth Corps are there. I am now sending back all veterans whose term of service expires previous to the 25th of August. If Early has halted about Berryville, what is there to prevent Wright and Hunter from attacking him?

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 11, p 291

O.R., I, xxxvii, part 2, p 408

“The negroes brought within our lines are rightfully recruits for the U. S. service”

It has come to my attention that several states are attempting to fill their quota of soldiers by recruiting from the southern states.  I wrote Sec. Stanton to register my disapproval.

CITY POINT, VA., July 20, 1864.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

I must enter my protest against States sending recruiting agents into the Southern States for the purpose of filling their quotas. The negroes brought within our lines are rightfully recruits for the U. S. service, and should not go to benefit any particular State. It is simply allowing Massachusetts (I mention Massachusetts because I see the order of the Governor of that State for establishing recruiting agencies in the South, and see no such order from any other State authority) to fill her quota by paying an amount of money to recruits the United States have already got. I must also enter my protest against recruiting from prisoners of war. Each one enlisted robs us of a soldier and adds one to the enemy with a bounty paid il loyal money.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

He replied,

WASHINGTON, July 20, 1864 – 2.30 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

Your telegram of this date is received. The proposition for recruiting in rebel States by the Executives of other States was neither recommended nor sanctioned by this Department, although the President states in a telegram to General Sherman that he was favorable to it. He also authorized Butler to recruit form prisoners of war. It is not permitted in any other instance. For these reasons your protest has been referred to the President for such instructions as he may be pleased to give.

E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 11, p 284-5

O.R., I, xl, part 3, p 345

“The idea is, he should be between the enemy and Washington”

I wrote Gen. Halleck with further guidance as to how to handle the situation of Early’s incursion.

CITY POINT, VA., July 18, 1864-12 m.

Major-General HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:

Before the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps can get to Washington the enemy will have developed his intentions by stopping, if he thinks of returning to Maryland. In that case Hunter should stop at Winchester, keeping his cavalry as far out watching the movements of the enemy as he can. If he has not the force to attack with he should not attack, but move forward only as the enemy moves back, and always be prepared to get north of the Potomac without loss when advanced upon by a superior force. If Louisville is in danger, Governor Morton will send 5,000 or 10,000 at once. Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are always ready to send that number of men. Louisville and Nashville must be well guarded. If the enemy have not gone up the Valley of course Hunter should not go that way. The idea is, he should be between the enemy and Washington, going as far out as he can, never allowing himself to be drawn into an unequal fight south of the Potomac and outside of our defenses.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 11, p 273

O.R., I, xxxvii, part 2, p 374

“I shall make a desperate effort to get a position here which will hold the enemy without the necessity of so many men”

If the enemy feels comfortable detaching troops to Maryland, they may also detach troops to reinforce Johnston in Georgia.  I wrote Gen. Sherman,

CITY POINT, July 16, 1864-10 a. m.

Major-General SHERMAN:

The attempted invasion of Maryland having failed to give the enemy a firm foothold North, they are now returning, with possibly 25,000 troops. All the men they have here, beyond a sufficiently to hold their strong fortifications, will be an element of weakness to eat up their supplies. It is not improbable, therefore, that you will find in the next fortnight re-enforcements in your front to the number indicated above. I advise, therefore, that if you get to Atlanta you set about destroying the railroads as far to the east and south of you as possible; collect all the stores of the country for your own use, and select a point that you can hold until help can be had. I shall make a desperate effort to get a position here which will hold the enemy without the necessity of so many men. If successful, I can detach from here for other enterprises, looking as much to your assistance as anything else.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 11, p 262-3

O.R., I, xxxviii, part 5, p 149

“There is every indication now, … that, unless Johnston is re-enforced, Atlanta will not be defended”

I wrote Gen. Halleck,

CITY POINT, VA., July 15, 1864.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.:

In view of the possible recurrence of the late raid into Maryland, I would suggest that the following precaution be taken:

First. There should be an immediate call for all the troops we are likely to require.

Second. Washington City, Baltimore, and Harper’s Ferry should be designated as schools of instructions, and all troops raised east of the State of Ohio should be sent to one of these three places as fast as raised. Nashville, Decatur, and Stevenson should also be named as schools of instructions, and all troops raised in Ohio and west of it should be sent to those. By doing this we always have the benefit of our increased force, and they in turn improve more rapidly by contact with veteran troops. To supply Sherman all the rolling-stock that can possibly be got to him should be sent. An effort ought to be made to transfer a large portion of stores now at Nashville to Chattanooga. This might be facilitated by withdrawing for awhile the rolling-stock from the Nashville and Reynoldsburg Railroad, and a large part of the stock upon the Kentucky roads.

There is every indication now, judging from the tone of the Southern press, that, unless Johnston is re-enforced, Atlanta will not be defended. They seem to calculate largely upon driving Sherman out by keeping his lines of communication cut. If he can supply himself once with ordnance and quartermaster’s stores, and partially with subsistence, he will find no difficulty in staying until a permanent line can be opened with the south coast. The road from Chattanooga to Atlanta will be much more easily defended than that north of the Tennessee. With the supplies above indicated at Chattanooga, with say, sixty days’ provisions there, I think there will be no doubt but that the country will supply the balance. Sherman will, once in Atlanta, devote himself to collecting the resources of the country. He will take everything the people have, and will then issue from the stores so collected to rich and poor alike. As he will take all their stock, they will have no use for grain further than is necessary for bread.

If the enemy do not detach from here against Sherman, they will, in case Atlanta falls, bring most of Johnston’s army here, with the expectation of driving us out, and then unite against Sherman. They will fail if they attempt this programme. My greatest fear is of their sending troops to Johnston first.

Sherman ought to be notified of the possibility of a corps going from here, and should be prepared to take up a good defensive position in case one is sent, one which he could hold against such increase.

If Hunter cannot get to Gordonsville and Charlottesville to cut the railroad, he should make all the Valley south the Baltimore and Ohio road a desert as high up as possible. I do not mean that houses should be burned, but all provisions and stock should be removed, and the people notified to move out.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 11, p 255-6

O.R., I, xl, part 3, p 252-3