Aug 20 1861 “I found a good many troops in Jefferson City, but in the greatest confusion”

Aug 20 1861 “I found a good many troops in Jefferson City, but in the greatest confusion, and no one person knew where they all were. Colonel Mulligan, a gallant man, was in command, but he had not been educated as yet to his new profession and did not know how to maintain discipline. I found that volunteers had obtained permission from the department commander, or claimed they had, to raise, some of them, regiments; some battalions; some companies—the officers to be commissioned according to the number of men they brought into the service. There were recruiting stations all over town, with notices, rudely lettered on boards over the doors, announcing the arm of service and length of time for which recruits at that station would be received. The law required all volunteers to serve for three years or the war. But in Jefferson City in August, 1861, they were recruited for different periods and on different conditions; some were enlisted for six months, some for a year, some without any condition as to where they were to serve, others were not to be sent out of the State. The recruits were principally men from regiments stationed there and already in the service, bound for three years if the war lasted that long.”

Memoirs of Ulysses S Grant Chpt XIX p 170

Aug 17 1861 “When the evening train came in, it brought General B. M. Prentiss with orders to take command”

Aug 17 1861 ” Within ten days after reaching Ironton I was prepared to take the offensive against the enemy at Greenville. I sent a column east out of the valley we were in, with orders to swing around to the south and west and come into the Greenville road ten miles south of Ironton. Another column marched on the direct road and went into camp at the point designated for the two columns to meet. I was to ride out the next morning and take personal command of the movement. My experience against Harris, in northern Missouri, had inspired me with confidence. But when the evening train came in, it brought General B. M. Prentiss with orders to take command of the district. His orders did not relieve me, but I knew that by law I was senior, and at that time even the President did not have the authority to assign a junior to command a senior of the same grade. I therefore gave General Prentiss the situation of the troops and the general condition of affairs, and started for St. Louis the same day. The movement against the rebels at Greenville went no further.”

Memoirs of Ulysses S Grant  Chpr XIX p 169-170

Aug 16 1861 “the Rebels returned to the ground retreated from by them the day before.”

Aug 16 1861 Wrote Capt. Kelton, “I have just received a message from one of my spies stating that last night the Rebels returned to the ground retreated from by them the day before.  The party returned to Frederickstown number from 1200 to 1500 and will have a column sent out by me upon them by 12 O’Clock probably today.  It is just time for the cars to leave which precludes the possibility of my reporting more fully.”

ALS, deCoppet Collection, NJP, O.R., I, iii, 444-45

Aug 15 1861 “I have today to note the arrival of two regiments of Infantry”

Aug 15 1861 Wrote Capt Kelton, “I have today to note the arrival of two regiments of Infantry, Col Lawlann 7th Iowa Regt, and Col Thayer, 1st Nebraska Regt.  I have also ordered the 21st Regt Ill. Vols under Col Alexander forward upon the Greenville Road, and Col Fr Hecker (24th Ill Vol) upon the Fredericktown road — taking five days rations — with instructions to form a conjunction at Brunot.”

“Since writing the above a messenger has come in from a spy I have out, who reports the rebel force much greater than has heretofore been represented — from twenty five to thirty thousand.”

“The spy mentioned is an officer in disguise.  From representations made by the messenger the information which has caused them to retreat was obtained from a preacher of this place, who managed to get out of camp and is now back again, without a pass.  I have ordered his arrest and will have him sent to St. Louis, if caught.”

National Archives RG 393, Western Dept. Letters Received, O.R., I, iii, 444

Aug 14 1861 “[I] hold my command ready to make the best resistance possible”

Aug 14 1861 Wrote Capt. Kelton “Every move of the enemy seems to evince a determination to fall upon the railroad at some point North, at the same time an attack is made here.  I am not fully persuaded that an attack will be made here for the present, but hold my command ready to make the best resistance possible with the means at hand.”

“Today I caused the arrest of ten noted secessionists of this place on suspicion that they might communicate with the rebels.  I prefer no special charges against them, but will keep them temporarily.  I also arrested one man as a spy who has been arrested once before in this camp since I assumed command.  Found a pass upon him of yesterdays date to pass the rebels guards.”

National Archives RG 393, Western Dept., Letters Received O.R., I, iii 442-43

Aug 13 1861 “That the Rebels will be so badly whipped by April … I don’t doubt.”

Aug 13 1861 Wrote my sister Mary, “When I came here it was reported that this place was to be attacked by 8,000 secessionists under Gen. Hardee within a day or two.  Now Hardee’s force seems to have reduced and his distance from here to have increased.  Scouting parties however are constantly seen within a few miles of our Pickets.  I have here about 3000 Vols. nearly all Infantry, but our position being strong and our cause a good one, it would trouble a much larger force of the enemy to dislodge us.”

“You ask my views on the war etc.  Well I have changed my mind so much that I don’t know what to think.  That the Rebels will be so badly whipped by April next that they cannot make a stand anywhere I don’t doubt.  But they are so dogged that there is no telling when they may be subdued.  Send Union troops among them and respect all their rights, pay for everything you get and they become desperate and reckless because their state sovereignty is invaded.  Troops of the opposite side march through and take everything they want, leaving no pay but script, and they become desperate secession partisans because they have nothing more to lose.  Every change makes them more desperate.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant Vol 2 p 105

Aug 12 1861 “Marauding bands are still reported on the road from Potosi to Calidonia”

Aug 12 1861 Wrote Capt. Kelton “Since my report of yesterday my scouts have returned from towards Brunot, having penetrated as far south as where the enemies most advanced Pickets had occupied the night before.  All had left and from the best information received two forces are moving, one as if to come in upon the railroad from the West the other from the East.”

“Marauding bands are still reported on the road from Potosi to Calidonia, and further South.  Tomorrow I shall have a party in pursuit of them.”

“Yesterday quite a party of horsemen were within seven miles south of here, on a road West of the one leading to Brunot, but could not be found this morning.”

“Without Cavalry it is impossible to pursue these bands with any prospect of overtaking them, and with the amount of Picket, fatigue, Guard and other duty that must necessarily be performed, it is difficult to spare men for these scouts.”

National Archives, RG 393 Western Dept., Letters Received, O.R., I, iii, 438

Ironton MO and vicinity (Detail from map in Papers of US Grant Vol 2 p63)

Aug 11 1861 “An attack was made on the Home Guards at Potosi last night”

Aug 11 1861 Wrote Capt Kelton “An attack was made on the Home Guards at Potosi last night, resulting in the wounding of five of them and the shooting and taking of six of the other party, shooting three of their horses and getting a number of pistols, shot-guns, rifles etc.  Quite a number of marauders are reported in the Belleville Valley, northwest of Ironton, taking all the horses they can find.  The party now moving towards Caledonia may meet them.”

“The picket guards have brought in four prisoners this evening, well armed.  The party of secessionists who attacked the Home Guards at Potosi are estimated to number about 120 men, commanded by Captain White, of Fredericktown.”

National Archives RG 393 , USG Hd. Qrs. Correspondence; DLC-USG, V, 4, 5, 7, 8, O.R., I, iii, 130-131

Aug 10 1861 “I called to see Harry Boggs … He cursed and went on like a Madman.”

Aug 10 1861 Wrote Julia, “I called to see Harry Boggs [a cousin of Julia] the other day as I passed through St. Louis.  He cursed and went on like a Madman.  Told me that I would never be welcome in his house; that the people of Illinois were a poor miserable set of Black Republicans, Abolition paupers that had to invade their state to get something to eat.  Good joke that on something to eat.  Harry is such a pitiful insignificant fellow that I could not get mad at him and told him so where upon he set the Army of Flanders far in the shade with his profanity.”

Papers of U S Grant Vol 2, p 97