“Get Your troops on the Rio Grande in readiness for active service should the emergency arise”

The President has given me instructions on how to handle the European forces in Mexico.  I passed them along to Gen. Sheridan.

WASHINGTON, July 1, 1865.

Major-General SHERIDAN,

New Orleans:

Get Your troops on the Rio Grande in readiness for active service should the emergency arise. Caution them, however, against provoking hostilities. Demand the return of all public property carried to the south side of the Rio Grande since Kirby Smith’s surrender, and report the reply received.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 235-6

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 1035

“You go to Saint Louis to command the Military Division of the Mississippi”

Gen. Rawlins received the following from Sherman.

General JOHN A. RAWLINS,

Chief of Staff to General Grant, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I arrived here yesterday after a tempestuous visit about Chicago and North Ohio, and now feel desirous to know what is to be my next destination. I have nothing official, and so far as my record goes, I could go into Kentucky and Tennessee and resume command, but from what General Grant told me at Chicago I suppose I am by him destined for Saint Louis, but, as the War Department may interpose, it is prudent on my part to ascertain authoritatively what official orders are in existence or ceontemplation touching me. I want, for economy’s sake, to get my office and headquarters paraphernalia to their destination, and have written to General Townsend for any orders already made or determined on that will enable me to act. I will go next Saturday, July 2, to Louisville to attend the barbecue and celebration of the Fourth of July and will probably run down to Nashville to see Thomas. I would like, before starting, to know all that is proper and ask you to telegraph me by or before next Friday, sooner the better, if the new division has been determined, and where my headquarters are fixed. I can then establish my headquarters, make a single order assiging command, and give some general directions for receiving reports, when I can quietly come back to this village and spend some quiet weeks. It has been suggested to me that I will be quietly left out in the cold. Even if that be resolved on I ought to know it, that I may shape my private affairs accordingly.

I am, with respect, yours, truly,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

I replied,

WASHINGTON, D. C., June 29, 1865 – 8 p. m.

Major-General SHERMAN,

Lancaster, Ohio:

You go to Saint Louis to command the Military Division of the Mississippi. The order is out.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 231-2

O.R., I, xlvii, part 3, p 662

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 1027

“I am very desirous of getting a couple of months rest this Summer”

I received an invitation from the Governor of New York to attend their 4th of July festivities.  Unfortunately, I am too busy here to attend. I wrote him,

Washington D. C. June 27th 1865

His Excellency, R. E. Fenton,

Governor of New York,

Sir:
As much pleasure as it would afford me to be with the good people of Albany on the 4th of July I fear it will not be possible. The experience of the last few weeks shows me that whilst we are disbanding our Armies and there is so much to do at my “Head Quarters” I should not separate myself from it until the work is done.
I am very desirous of getting a couple of months rest this Summer, as soon as the work is done so that I can absent myself so long, and must stick close at present to accomplish this. In addition to this my Chief of Staff is now absent and will remain so until the latter end of July. When he is here I can be absent for a few days without material detriment to the service.
Hoping that your celebration will prove all that is desired, I remain,
Very Truly
your obt. svt
U. S. Grant
Lt. Gn.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 226

“The gambling institutions will be completely broken up, and their money and stock confiscated”

There have been a tremendous number of gambling houses that have sprung up.  I ordered our commanders to close them down.

[CONFIDENTIAL CIRCULAR.] WASHINGTON, June 22, 1865

All department commanders commanding in States where martial law prevails will immediately put detectives upon the watch for gambling houses, especially faro banks, and at the appropriate time make a descent upon them all simultaneously, arresting all disbursing officers of the Government who may be found gambling in them or visitants therein at the time, and who, it can be proven, had previously gambled at such places. The gambling institutions will be completely broken up, and their money and stock confiscated, and the owners or proprietors of such gambling institutions be made to disgorge and refund all money the have won from United States disbursing officers. The officer so taken will be imprisoned and tried immediately.

The same proceeding will be taken by department commanders in the North, within their respective commands in the cities where disbursing officers may be located, except that instead of confiscating the money and stock of the gambling establishments or compelling, by military action, the owners and proprietors of the same to disgorge or refund any moneys they may have won from disbursing officers of the Government, they will be immediately reported to the civil authorities for their action.

This will be kept strictly confidential except so far as it may be necessary to communicate it to those who are to carry it into execution.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 217

O.R., I, xlvi, part 3, p 1289-90

“In my opinion the officers and men paroled at Appomattox Court-House … cannot be tried for treason”

I received the following letter from Robert E. Lee,

RICHMOND, June 13, 1865.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Armies of the United States:

GENERAL: Upon reading the President’s proclamation of the 29th ultimo, I came to Richmond to ascertain what was proper or required of me to do, when I learned that with others I was to be indicted for treason by the grand jury at Norfolk. I had supposed that the officers and men of the Army of Northern Virginia were, by the terms of their surrender, protected by the United States Government from molestation so long as they conformed to its conditions. I am ready to meet any charges that may be preferred against me. I do not wish to avoid trial, but if I am correct as to the protection granted by my parole, and am not to be prosecuted, I desire to comply with the provisions of the President’s proclamation and therefore inclose the required application, which I request in that event may be acted on.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE

Trying Lee for treason is against both the letter and the spirit of the surrender agreement I signed in Appomattox.  I endorsed this letter, sent it to Sec. Stanton and included the following note.

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,

June 16, 1865.

In my opinion the officers and men paroled at Appomattox Court-House, and since, upon the same terms given to Lee, cannot be tried for treason so long as they observe the terms of their parole. This is my understanding. Good faith, as well as true policy, dictates that we should observe the conditions of that convention. Bad faith on the part of the Government or a construction of that convention subjecting officers to trial for treason, would produce a feeling of insecurity in the minds of all the paroled officers and men. If so disposed they might even regard such an infraction of terms by the Government as an entire release from all obligations on their part. I will state further that the terms granted by me met with the hearty approval of the President at the time, and of the country generally. The action of Judge Underwood, in Norfolk, has already had an injurious effect, and I would ask that he be ordered to quash all indictments found against paroled prisoners of war, and to desist from further prosecution of them.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 149-50

O.R., I, xlvi, part 3, p 1275-6

“Demand … the return of all arms and other munitions of war taken to Matamoras by the rebels”

Now that the war within our borders is over, we must turn our attention to the European intervention into the affairs of Mexico.  Gen. Sheridan reported that Kirby Smith had sold his arms to pro-French forces.  I wrote Sheridan,

WASHINGTON, June 15, 1865 – 1. 30 p. m.

Major-General SHERIDAN,

New Orleans, La.:

Demand of the commander of French forces at Matamoras the delivery to an officer of the Government of the United States the return of all arms and other munitions of war taken to Matamoras by the rebels or obtained from them since the date of the surrender of Kirby Smith. You need not proceed to hostilities to obtain them, but report the reply received for further instructions.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 146

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 889

Sheridan: “Brownsville is again in possession of the Federals”

I am in Chicago, visiting a fair to raise money for disabled soldiers. I have just received word from Gen. Sheridan that we are making progress in Texas.  It appears that the rebels are selling their arms to the forces supporting French imperialism in Mexico.  He writes,

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Washington:

The following telegram has just been received from South Pass. It is not official, but I deem it correct:

[Special, True Delta.]

JUNE 8, 1865- 8 A. M.

Brownsville is again in possession of the Federals. Brigadier-General Brown entered the town at the head of his forces at daylight on the morning of the 31st of May. The Confederate forces did not await their arrival, but unceremoniously left the day before, first selling their artillery to the Imperialists in Matamoras. Slaughter’s forces are scattered. he is at the head of a marauding party, levying taxes upon cotton from the interior. The forces of Cortina were hovering near Matamoras on the 22nd. Mejia marched out their to drive him out. It was rumored in Brownsville on the 30th that the Imperialists were driven instead. Health at Brownsville and Brazos excellent. Business at Matamoras at a standstill. Steam transport Patron left Brazos at noon 3rd instant. H. G. Agnew commands. P. S. Rushwood in Brownsville heard report that Galveston had surrendered.

P. H. SHERIDAN,

Major-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 128

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 813-4

“It is probable a large force of cavalry will be required in Texas”

Now that Kirby Smith has surrendered, we will need to keep the peace in Texas.  I wrote Gen. Sheridan,

WASHINGTON, June 3, 1865-11 a. m.

General P. H. SHERIDAN:

It is probable a large force of cavalry will be required in Texas. If enough cannot be obtained in the West, let me know and I will send all that is required from here. I want Custer and Merritt left in Texas for the present. The whole State should be scoured to pick up Kirby Smith’s men and the arms carried home by them.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 128

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 743

“Victory has crowned your valor and secured the purpose of your patriot hearts”

I issued General Orders No. 108 congratulating the soldiers of the Army on their great victory.

WAR DEPT., ADJT., GENERAL’S OFFICE, Numbers 108.

Washington, D. C., June 2, 1865.

SOLDIERS OF THE ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES:

By your patriotic devotion to your country in the hour of danger and alarms-your magnificent fighting, bravery, and endurance-you have maintained the supremacy of the Union and the Constitution, overthrown all armed opposition to the enforcement of the laws, and of the proclamation forever abolishing slavery-the cause and pretext of the rebellion-and opened the way to the rightful authorities to restore order and inaugurate peace on a permanent and enduring basis on every foot of American soil.

Your marches, sieges, and battles, in distance, duration, resolution, and brilliancy of result dim the luster of the world’s past military achievements, and will be the patriot’s precedent in defense of liberty and right in all time to come.

In obedience to your country’s call you left your homes and families and volunteered in its defense. Victory has crowned your valor and secured the purpose of your patriot hearts, and with the gratitude of your countrymen, and the highest honors a great and free nation can accord, you will soon be permitted to return to your homes and families conscious of having discharged the highest duty of American citizens. To achieve these glorious triumphs, and secure to yourselves, your fellow-countrymen, and posterity the blessings of free institutions tens of thousands of your gallant comrades have fallen and sealed the priceless legacy with their lives. The graves of these a grateful nation bedews with tears, honors their memories, and will ever cherish and support their stricken families.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 120-1

O.R., I, xlvi, part 3, p 1248

Reynolds: “This department is daily filling up with predatory bands and stragglers”

Gen. Pope forwarded to me the following dispatch from Gen. Reynolds in Arkansas.  He is having trouble keeping the area free from lawlessness and fears that when his troops’ enlistment periods expire that he will have further problems.  He writes,

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS,

Little Rock, Ark., May 31, 1865.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL OF THE ARMY:

There are now on the rolls of this department about 20,000 effective men, including 4,500 colored troops. We require for the present to garrison the depots about 14,000, which number can be gradually diminished. White River country requires about 2,500 men. Arkansas, including railroad and Fort Gibson, about 9,000. Camden and other points in the south part of this State, say Washington or Fulton, about 2,500. The terms of service of the white troops in the department expire before September 30, and their muster-out is suspended until they can be replaced by other troops. This replacement is recommended, and should take place at once, as the fact of the existence of orders entitling them to muster-out cannot be kept from the troops, and impartial treatment is essential to harmony. This department is daily filling up with predatory bands and stragglers, rendering immediate and prompt action necessary. Will send complete lists by mail. No account is herein taken of Alexandria and Shreveport, which must soon be garrisoned.

J. J. REYNOLDS,

Major-General.

I replied,

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,

Washington, June 1, 1865-10 a. m.

Major General J. J. REYNOLDS,

Little Rock, Ark.:

Troops will be sent to you from Sherman’s army as soon as they can be paid, to enable you to carry out the order for mustering out troops. Have rolls prepared, as far as practicable, so there shall be no delay.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 119-20

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 699, 720