“I have but little doubt but the Mexican question will be taken up”

I have returned to Washington and discovered a large backlog of correspondence from Gen. Sheridan concerning the situation in Mexico.  I replied to him,

WASHINGTON, October 22, 1865.

Major General P. H. SHERIDAN,

Commanding Military Division of the Gulf:

You are probably aware that I have been absent from Washington for eleven weeks. During that time Your dispatches touching Mexican affairs were received at the office, but some none of them forwarded to me. I only read them two days ago for the first time. This will answer a seeming negligence in my not replying to You. Immediately on my return from my Western four I had a long conversation with the President on Mexican affairs. On that subject he feels just as I do; in fact, as the whole country does, irrespective of parties. Before I left Washington I procured a leave of absence for Schofield for the purpose of allowing him to go to Mexico to take service there. I think Mr. Seward has been the stumbling block in the way of-his starting. Some correspondence, it is said, is going on with the French Government in relation to the withdrawal of French troops from Mexico, which is necessary to get a reply to before action. The President, however, told me that arrangements were made to supply the Liberal Government with arms without regard to their having means to pay for them. There is also, I believe, a project on foot to supply Schofield, or whoever goes there, with emigrants who will enlist after they reach Mexican soil. Of this, however, the Government knows nothing, and I only learned it from the fact that inquiries have been made of me how far emigration will be prevented. I have no hesitation in saying that I would like to see any amount of assistance given to the Liberals, and if I had my way I would use U. S. forces to give to them the Rio Grande country as a base to start from; that is, I would clear out the south bank for them. This, however, is not permitted.

I believe, as is indicated in some of Your dispatches, that the Mexicans have no great leader capable of using the great resources at their disposal. It will take some man from the United States to fill the place. Schofield, if he can get the start, is fully equal to the task.

When Congress meets I have but little doubt but the Mexican question will be taken up and the withdrawal of all foreign troops insisted upon. If so, this will settle the whole question. In the meantime, all You can do is to encourage the Liberals to use their greatest exertions until they do get aid. If they give up themselves and, like MacKauber, wait for something to turn up, they may lose everything.

Some of Your letters received in my absence I have furnished copies of to the President. Your course and views are heartily concurred in by me, and I am satisfied they are also by the President and Secretary of War. Mr. Secretary of State I fear is working against the Liberal cause in Mexico. I hope I do him injustice in this matter.



The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 362-3

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 1242-3

“I will send you four regiments of colored infantry, or more if they can be used to advantage”

I received the following from Gen. Pope, who is having trouble with discipline among our volunteer soldiers now that the war is over.

SAINT LOUIS, Mo., October 10, 1865.
Lieutenant-General GRANT:
I wrote you through General Sherman about ten days since requesting authority to consolidate into one regiment and re-enlist for one year the Second and Third U. S. Volunteers, whose terms of service expire this month. All the volunteer regiments on the plains are dissatisfied and mutinous, and are even now rapidly deserting. Unless other troops
which are reliable can be had to replace them, I very much fear that before winter sets in they will abandon the posts and stores on the plains, It is now too late in the season to send regular regiments to the remote posts, and I wish to reorganize the two regiments (Second and Third U. S. Volunteers) so as to keep them where they are. They

are good soldiers, in good discipline, and unless I can reorganize themat once I fear we shall have great difficulty on the plains. Pleaseanswer.
Major- General.

I replied,

WASHINGTON, October 14, 1865
Major-General POPE, Saint Louis, Mo.:
I will send you four regiments of colored infantry, or more if they can be used to advantage, to take the place of white volunteers on the plains. Send them as far out as you can this fall. In the spring I think these troops can be used to advantage guarding the highways through Indian Territory and in New Mexico. Let me know if you
think more than four of these regiments can be used to advantage.
Lieutenant- General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 14, p 337-8

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 1239-40

Gen. Smith asked of me the privilege of writing the biography he speaks of and being an old friend was not refused

Apparently there has been some dispute over who has the rights to publish my biography.  I wrote the publisher C.F. Vent & Co. to clarify matters.

St. Louis, Mo

Sept. 18th 1865

C. F. Vent & Co

Your letter of the 16th inst. stating that Gn. Smith, formerly “Chief of Cavy” with me claims exclusive privilege access to the material to write my biography, and that Coppee’s claims are false, is received.
Gen. Smith asked of me the privilege of writing the biography he speaks of and being an old friend was not refused. Prof. Coppee however had asked the privilege of writing the work he advertises long before General Smith said any thing to me about the work he now proposed and I promised him all the information from my office he might require that was not inconsistent to give. Prof. C. so far as I know, has been furnished with all he asked. I do not know what he has said in his book but without intending that exclusive privilege should be given to one author Prof. Coppee is the only one, up to this time, who has had access to any information from my HdQrs. for the purpose of writing a book and Gn. Smith is the only other who has had the promise of any thing of the kind. Their works are different, one being a biography the other a history of Campaigns in this War.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 323

“My whole trip has been conducive to health if one judges from corpulence”

I have finally returned to Washington, and I wrote Congressman Washburne about a mutual investment matter.

Washington Oct. 8th 1865

Dear Washburne,
I reached this city yesterday and have been busy since in getting out orders I desire, and which I could get out in less than one tenth of the time if there was nothing between me and getting of them out, which will reduce expenses materially.—On arrival I found your letter relative to our Jay Cook speculation. I saw Cook. He says that he took advantage of our confidence in him and changed our speculation so that we will make about $25.00 to close out now. I said close. Even would be a good thing and I guess the best we can do is to let Cook close up for us at once.
My whole trip has been conducive to health if one judges from corpulence. I have got to be afraid to weigh almost. Mrs Grant and children keep pace with me, in enjoyment of travel, if one judges from the difficulty with which they are got up to time in starting from any point where we have spent a day.
Our kindest regards to Mrs. Washburne and children. Soon we will be fixed at housekeeping and will always have a spare room for you which we expect you to occupy when you are in Washington.—I left Mrs. Grant and children in Phila to do Fall shopping but will go after them this evening.
Yours Truly,

U. S. Grant

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 332

“Men should be appointed who can act from facts and not always be guided by prejudice in favor of color”

After such a long and bitter war, it is unavoidable that there will be bitter feelings between the sides.  We cannot use that as an excuse to mistreat any of the people of the south.  I have been made aware of excesses by one of our officers in charge of the Freedman’s Bureau in Georgia.  I wrote Sec. Stanton,

Galena Ill 11 a m

Aug. 30. 1865.
To Hon. Edwin M. Stanton

Secy of War,

Highlands N. J.
I would respectfully recommend the removal of Genl. Wilde from the Freedman’s Bureau in Georgia, Men should be appointed who can act from facts and not always be guided by prejudice in favor of color.
I would further recommend that Gen. Comstock be ordered on an inspection tour into Georgia, Alabama & Mississippi to report upon the situation and management of the freedmen in those States, He would give facts as they exist and probably enable Gen. Howard to correct abuses if there are any.
U. S. Grant

Lt. Genl.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 310

“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