“The object of the present Flag of Truce is merely to return to the South three prisoners who have been exchanged.”

Wrote Col. Napoleon B. Buford of the 27th Ill Vols. “The object of the present Flag of Truce is merely to return to the South three prisoners who have been exchanged.  I have at the same time authorized Mr. Schanute, who is a citizen of Alton, but wishes to go South on important business, which he will make known to you, to accompany you.

“You may mention casually that I expected, after the conversation between Gen. Polk and myself, and the understanding with Gen. McGown the day before, that our prisoners would be returned.”

“They sent our wounded unconditionally as I had sent their sick and wounded before, and I returned over one hundred able bodied men, unconditionally it is true, yet a voluntary offer was made to at least return an equal number of ours.

“I have no doubt that it is Gen. Polk’s intention to send them, and should they not come I would attribute the fact to interference on the part of higher authority.”

“My proposition however, is to release any four of your prisoners … on the return of Judge Conrad”

Nov 16 1861 Wrote Confederate Brig. Gen. Jeff Thompson, “I have been requested to intercede in behalf of Judge David R. Conrad, who I understand is now a prisoner in your Camp.

“Judge Conrad as I understand, is in no way connected with the belligerents on either side, but from his age and respectability, if I can lend a helping hand for his release I will be most happy to do so.

“I am not aware of the charges under which the Judge rests, and cannot say therefore what success my appeal in his behalf is likely to meet with.  My proposition however, is to release any four of your prisoners, you may designate of those now in my possession, on the return of Judge Conrad to this place.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3 p 175

O.R., II, i ,521

It is reported … that Soldiers … have bartered away Horses and other property captured at the Battle of Belmont.”

Issued General Orders No. 15, “It is reported to the General Commanding this Military District that Soldiers of his command are known to have bartered away Horses and other property captured at the Battle of Belmont.

“They are again informed that all captured property becomes property of the United States, and as such must be turned over to the Post Quartermaster and accounted for.

“It is the special duty of all Commanders of Regiments, Companies and Detachments to see that this order is complied with.”

“Citizens who purchase such property knowing it to be captured, violate the Law and will be made to loose the property purchased by them in every instance where it can be proven.

“Commissioned officers who permit members of their command to retain property, commit a grave Military offense which it is hoped they will speedily correct.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 169

National Archives, RG 393, USG General Orders

“My whole command numbers less than eighteen thousand of which about two thousand two hundred are sick”

Wrote Brig. Gen. Seth Williams, Asst. Adj. Gen. U.S.A., “In conformity with telegraphic dispatch from Maj. Gen. McClellan received yesterday asking a full number of my command, their condition, wants, position etc. I have directed a full Monthly report made out to be sent to your office.  Owing to the activity with which troops under my command have been kept moving since the first of the Month, full reports are not yet in.”

“My command extends to Cape Girardeau, Mo. garrisoned with three regiments of Infantry, one Comp. Light Artillery, one Engineer company, one Company mounted Home Guards and one Siege Company, both the latter anxious to be mustered into the service of the United States.  The post commanded by Col. J. B. Plummer 11th Mo. Vols.

“Birds Point Mo. garrisoned with six regiments of Infantry, two companies Light Artillery, one Engineer Company, and Eleven companies Cavalry.

“One company of Artillery have just received their pieces but have not yet been supplied with horses or harness.  Four companies of the Cavalry arrived yesterday.

“Fort Holt Ky. garrisoned with two regiments of Infantry, one Comp. each of Cavalry and Light Artillery,  the Artillery with but four pieces (two of them taken at Belmont) and neither horses nor harness.

“I was very much opposed to occupying Fort Holt at the beginning, but now a great deal of labor has been expended in fortifying and strengthening the position, and the troops there have partially built huts for Winter accommodation.

“Mound City Garrisoned with one regiment of Infantry.

“Cairo with six regiments of Infantry, one Company Light Artillery and nine Companies of Cavalry.  One regiment of Infantry and all the Cavalry but one Comp. without arms.

“My whole command numbers less than eighteen thousand of which about two thousand two hundred are sick.  But for the measles, however, the health of the command would be comparatively good.

“We are deficient in land transportation, arms and clothing.  The latter two are deficient both in quantity and quality.

“The post has been carried on so long without funds in the Quartermaster’s Department that nothing can be procured at current cash rates, and not at all except with difficulty.  I would urge the necessity of sending a supply of funds for the use of this post soon.

“I think also that the interest of the service demands that a regular Quartermaster be sent here.

“I have under my command two Genboats one of which remains at Mound City to guard the new boats being built there, the other here.

“I shall hope to have ready by tomorrow a Monthly report showing the exact condition of my whole command and accompanied by reports of the various departments.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 165-6

O.R., I, iii, 570-71

 

“Enclosed please find report in the case of Sgt. W. T. Morgan who has proven himself a worthless and useless soldier.”

Wrote Brig. Gen. Lorenzo Thomas, Adjt. Gen U.S.A., “Enclosed please find report of Capt. Brinck, Act. Chief of Ord. in the case of Sgt. W. T. Morgan who has proven himself a worthless and useless soldier.”

“I would respectfully recommend that Sgt. Morgan be dishonorably discharged from the service.”

“I am well aware that in the regular service he might be brought before a General Courtmartial on the charge of Utter Worthlessness and sentenced to be discharged, but before Volunteer Courts I have not had an instance, to my recollection, where a sentence of the kind has been given for any offense.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 163-4

National Archives, RG 393, Dept. of the Mo. Letters Received

 

“The credit of the Gov’t has been exhausted to such an extent that Economy would demand a speedy transmission of funds”

Maj. Gen. George McClellan had telegraphed to me on the 10th, “Inform me fully of the number & condition of your command.  Tell me your wants and wishes.  Give positions, numbers and condition of the enemy.  Your means of transportation by land and water.  Size and armament of gun boats.  Communicate fully and often.”

I responded, “I will report our strength condition etc. by first mail.  We want arms, clothing and quarter master funds badly.  The credit of the Gov’t has been exhausted to such an extent that Economy would demand a speedy transmission of funds to pay at least a part of our standing accounts.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 161

Wrote Gen. Polk, “It grieves me to have to trouble you again with a flag of truce”

Wrote Confederate General Leonidas Polk, “It grieves me to have to trouble you again with a flag of truce, but Mrs. Colonel Dougherty whose husband is a prisoner with you is very anxious to join him under such restrictions as you may impose, and I understand that some of your officers expressed the opinion that no objections would be interposed.  I will be most happy to reciprocate it in a similar manner at any time you may request it.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant Vol 3, p 139-40

O.R., II, i, 517

Wrote my father, “Taking into account the object of the expedition, the victory was complete”

Nov 9 1861 Wrote my father, “Day before yesterday, I left here with about 3000 men in five steamers, convoyed by two Gun Boats, and proceeded down the river, to within about twelve miles of Columbus.  The next morning the Boats were dropped down just out of range of the enemies Batteries, and the troops debarked.”

“During this operation our Gun-Boats exercised the rebels by throwing shells into their Camps and Batteries.”

“When all ready we proceeded about one mile towards Belmont opposite Columbus: where I formed the troops in to lines, and ordered two Companies from each Regiment to deploy as skirmishers, and push on through the woods an discover the position of the enemy.  They had gone but a little way when they were fired upon and the Ball may be said to have fairly opened.”

“The whole command with the exception of a small reserve, were then deployed in like manner with the first, and ordered forward.  The order was obeyed with great alacrity,  the men all showing great courage.  I can say with gratification that every Colonel without a single exception, set an example to their commands that inspired a confidence that will always insure victory when there is the slightest possibility of gaining one.  I feel truly proud to command such men.  From here we fought our way from tree to tree through the woods to Belmont, about 2 1/2 miles, the enemy contesting every foot of ground.  Here the enemy had strengthened their position by felling the trees for two or three hundred yards, and sharpening the limbs making a sort of Abattis.  Our men charged through making the victory complete, giving us possession of their Camp and Garrison Equipage Artillery and everything else.”

“We got a great many prisoners, the majority however succeeded in getting aboard their Steamers and pushing across the river.  We burned everything possible and started back having accomplished all that we went for, and even more.  Belmont is entirely covered by the Batteries from Columbus and is worth nothing as a military position.  Cannot be held without Columbus.”

“The object of the expedition was to prevent the enemy from sending a force into Missouri to cut off troops I had sent there for a special purpose, and to prevent reinforcing Price.”

“Besides being well fortified at Columbus, their numbers far exceed ours, and it would have been folly to have attacked them.  We found the Confederates well armed and brave.  On our return, stragglers that had been left in our rear, now front, fired into us and more recrossed the river and gave us Battle for full a mile and afterwards at the Boats when we were embarking.  There was no hasty retreating or running away.  Taking into account the object of the expedition, the victory was complete.  It has given me a confidence in the Officers and men of this command, that will enable me to elad them in any future engagement without fear of the result.  Genl. McClernand (who by the way acted with great coolness and courage throughout, and proved that he is a soldier as well as statesman) and myself each had our Horses shot under us.  Most of the Field Officers met with the same loss, besides nearly one third of them being Killed or wounded themselves.  As near as I can ascertain, our loss was about 250 killed, wounded and missing.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant Vol 3, p 136-8

I sent a more detailed report to Capt. McKeever, “The victory was complete.”

I sent a more detailed report to Capt. McKeever, “Our loss yesterday was about two hundred and fifty killed, wounded and missing, about one half killed or mortally wounded.  The victory was complete.  We carried off the field all the rebels’ artillery, but had to leave in the woods several of their guns for want of teams.  One hundred and thirty prisoners were brought to this place.  Gen McClernand and myself had a horse shot under us.  Prisoners taken report that a large force were prepared to start to join Price [Maj. Gen. of the pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard].  This move will no doubt defeat this move.  [Confederate Gen.] Pillow was on the field and is reported killed.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 133

O.R., I, iiii, 507

 

Wrote Confederate Gen. Leonidas Polk, “many unfortunate men were left upon the field of battle”.

Wrote Confederate Gen. Leonidas Polk, “In the skirmish of yesterday, in which both parties behaved with so much gallantry, many unfortunate men were left upon the field of battle who it was impossible to provide for.”

“I now send in the interest of humanity, to have these unfortunates collected and medical attendance secured them.”

“I at the same time return sixty four prisoners taken by our forces who are unconditionally released.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p131