Wrote my Father, “Your letter asking if Mr. Leathers can be passed South, and enclosing two extracts from papers is received.
“It is entirely out of the question to pass persons South. We have many Union Men sacrificing their lives now from exposure, as well as battle, in a cause brought about by Secession and it is necessary for the security of the thousands still exposed that all communication should be cut off between the two sections.
“As to that article in the Hawk Eye, it gives me no uneasiness whatever. The Iowa Regiment did its duty fully and my report gives it full credit. All who were on the battle field know where Gen. McClernand and my self were and it needs no resort to the public press for our vindication. The other extract gives our loss in killed and wounded almost exactly correct. Our missing however is only three or four over one hundred. Recent information received through deserters shows that the rebel loss from killed wounded and missing reaches about 2500. One thing is certain, after the battle about one third of Columbus was used for Hospitals and many were removed to houses in the country. There were also two Steamboat loads sent to Memphis and the largest Hotel in the city taken as a Hospital. The city was put in mourning and all business suspended for a day, and the citizens thrown into the greatest consternation lest they would be attacked.”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 238-9
Nov 28 1861 Wrote my Father, “In regard to your stricture about my not writing I think that you have no cause for complaint. My time is all taken up with public duties.
“Your statement of prices at which you proposed furnishing harness was forwarded to Maj. Allen as soon as received and I directed Lagow, who received the letter enclosing it, to inform you of the fact. He did so at once.
“I cannot take an active part in securing contracts. If I were not in the army I should do so, but situated as I am it is necessary both to my efficiency for the public good and my own reputation that I should keep clear of government contracts.
“I do not write you about plans, or the necessity of what has been done or what is doing because I am opposed to publicity in these matters. Then too you are very much disposed to criticize unfavorably from information received through the public press, a portion of which I am sorry to see can look at nothing favorably that does not look to a war upon slaver. My inclination is to whip the rebellion into submission, preserving all constitutional rights. If it cannot be whipped in any other way than through a war against slavery, let it come to that legitimately. If it is necessary that slavery should fall that the Republic may continue its existence, let slavery go. But that portion of the press that advocates the beginning of such a war now, are as great enemies to their country as if they were open and avowed secessionists.
“There is a desire upon the part of people who stay securely at home to read in the morning papers, at their breakfast, startling reports of battles fought. They cannot understand why troops are kept inactive for weeks or even months. They do not understand that men have to be disciplined, arms made, transportation and provisions provided. I am very tired of the course pursued by a portion of the Union press.”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 226-7
Nov 25 1861 Wrote Capt. McMichael, “Last evening a party of prisoners taken at Camp Jackson arrived here on the Steamer Platte Valley. I had them detained on the Steamer until this morning when they were put aboard one of the ferries and landed at Norfolk, Mo. about five miles below.
“These prisoners are coming in squads from day to day and necessarily keep the enemy well informed of all movements it is possible for the community at large to know, as well as the secret plottings of the enemy in our midst.
“I would again report to the Comdg. officer of this Department the almost certain disloyalty of the entire boating interest plying between St. Louis and this place. I am informed that the owners of the Packets complained of are generally enemies to the Government and their acts prove conclusively that the crews employed are.”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 220
O.R., II, i, 117
Nov 23 1861 Wrote Capt. William McMichael, A.A. Gen. Dept. of the Mo., “I enclose herewith a remarkable document presented at our out guards today by Capt. George of the Rebel Army.
“Capt. George is permitted to go to St. Louis, as a prisoner on Parole, to report to the Gen. Comdg. the Dept. for his decision.
“P.S. Capt George, since my writing the above, states that he is not nor has he been in the Confederate Army. He was a Camp Jackson prisoner since which he has not taken up arms. He now simply claims the right under the Price Frémont exchange to return to his family in St. Louis, and should he desire to do so, to join Gen. Price and the Mo. state troops.”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 218-9
O.R., II, i, 116
[The enclosed statement was written by Gus Henry, asst. adj. gen. for Confederate Gen. Gideon Pillow.]
“Capt. James George and lieut Henry Guibor, late prisoners of war and duly exchanged by agreement between Maj. Gen. Frémont U.S.A. and Maj Gen. Price of the Missouri State troops as appears to me, now therefore I grant said officers this ‘safe Guard’ to pass the picket lines and videts of this army in their Return to Saint Louis and back to this place.”
O.R., II, i, 116-7
Nov 22 1861 Wrote Capt. Kelton, “I have frequently reported to the Western Department that the line of Steamers plying between St. Louis and Cairo, by landing at points on the Missouri shore were enabled to afford aid and comfort to the enemy.
“I have been reliably informed that some of the officers, particularly the clerks, of these Boats were regularly in the employ of the Southern Confederacy, so called.
“The case of the Platte Valley, a few days since, confirms me in this belief.
“I have heretofore recommended that all the carrying trade between here and St. Louis, be performed by the Government charging uniform rates. I would respectfully renew the suggestion, and in consideration of the special disloyalty of South East Missouri I would further recommend that all commerce be cut off from all points south of Cape Girardeau.
“There is not a sufficiency of Union sentiment left in this portion of the state to save Sodom.
“This is shown from the fact that Jeff Thompson, or any of the Rebels, can go into Charleston and spend hours or encamp for the night, on their way north to depridate upon Union men, and not one loyalist is found to report the fact to our Picket, stationed but one and a half miles off.”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3 p 211-2
O.R., I, viii, 373-4
Wrote Congressman Elihu Washburne, “Your two letters, one from Washington the other from Galena, were received, the last several days ago. You have placed me under renewed obligations by your exertions in behalf of my command.”
“The very flattering interest you have taken in my personal welfare and advancement I know of but one way of repaying. That is, to exert my utmost ability to the end that you may not be disappointed in your appreciation. I promise the country my undivided time and exertions and any fault shall be from an error in judgement, not of heart.
“The battle of Belmont, as time passes, proves to have been a greater success than Gen. McClernand or myself at first thought. The enemy’s loss proves to be greater and the effect upon the Southern mind more saddening. Their loss was near three to our one, by accounts which we have received, whilst their force bore about the same ratio. I do not wish to trespass upon your time but shall always be pleased to hear from you.”
“P.S. We have here an Illinois man that I want to call your attention to. I mean Col. W. H. L. Wallace. He is not aware that I feel any personal interest in him but if I could be instrumental in calling the attention of the country to him sufficiently to secure him the appointment of a Brigadier Generalship I should feel that I had done the country a greater service than himself.
“Col. Wallace is every inch a soldier. A gentleman by nature and a man of great modesty and great talent. He served in Mexico and now since the first call for three months troops. But few such soldiers have been called to the higher positions in our Army.”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 204-5
[Editors note: Union soldiers killed, wounded or captured during the Battle of Belmont totaled between 550-600 men. Confederate casualties were around 650 men. Source: The Battle of Belmont, NC Hughes Jr. p 184]
Nov 21 1861 Received reply from Maj. Gen. Henry Halleck, “You will send reports, in writing, of wants and condition of your command. Cannot just now be ordered to St. Louis.”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 202
National Archives, RG 94, Generals’ Papers and Books, Telegrams Sent by Gen. Halleck in Cipher
Nov 20 1861 Telegraphed newly appointed commander of the Western Department, Maj. Gen. Henry W Halleck, “Can I have authority to call upon you in St. Louis with the view of making known in person the wants and condition of this command?”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 202
National Archives, RG 94 Generals’ Papers and Books, Telegrams Received by Gen. Halleck
Nov 19 1861 Wrote Col. William HL Wallace, “Your dispatch is just received. We learn that Thompson left an hour before sundown yesterday. I shall return to Cairo tonight and you can do the same.
“I look upon it as hopeless to run after Jeff when he has none but friends in front. I hope however you may succeed in capturing his artillery of which I understand he has two pieces.”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 191
Nov 18 1861 Wrote Col. Oglesby, “The Steamer Platte Valley was attacked this afternoon, by one or two hundred of Jeff Thompson’s men, commanded by Jeff in person, and two officers of the 2nd Cavalry who were on leave were taken prisoner. They were paroled, and one returned here and gave the information. This took place at Price’s Landing at 4 o’clock PM today. I want all the Cavalry that is well armed, sent out tonight by the river road, and seven or eight hundred Infantry sent at the same time, by rail to Charleston. I will go from here, tomorrow morning, with Infantry and Cavalry and try to catch him. Let these two commands get off as early as possible tonight.”
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 186-7
O.R., I, iii, 367-8