Wrote Capt. McLean, “Some half dozen deserters from Corinth came into Pittsburg today”

Mar 30 1862 Wrote Capt. McLean, “Some half dozen deserters from Corinth came into Pittsburg today. One represents the number of troops there at seventy-five regiments, and the others say the whole number is usually represented at 80,000 men. They describe the discontent as being very great among the troops and rations short. Many men will desert if an opportunity occurs. The rebels are burning cotton and gins, without regard to the proclivities of owners on the Union question. I permitted some 40 bales to be shipped to Louisville to-day on account of owners, 17 of which are the property of a secessionist. There is no evidence, however, of his having given aid and comfort to the enemy, and he now pledges himself nod to do so. The majority belongs to a Mr. Cherry, a prominent citizen, and one who has taken a prominent stand for the Union from the start. The secessionists have already burned some 60 bales for him, and will likely burn much more, as the greater part of it is some 8 miles west of the river and below here. Under the instructions I have, I could not give all the protection to this species of property that seems needful.

“The health of this command is materially improving under a genial sun and influence of good water. I would respectfully ask for instructions as to privilege to be allowed citizens in shipping their produce North. If I have done wrong in this matter the necessary correction can be made, as this will or should reach Saint Louis before the cotton arrives at Louisville. The cotton was shipped on the steamer John Raine.”

Wrote Julia, “A big fight may be looked for someplace before a great while”

Mar 29 1862 Wrote Julia, “I am again fully well.  I have had the Diarrhea for several weeks and an inclination to Chills & Fever.  We are all in statu qua.  Don’t know when we will move.  Troops are constantly arriving so that I will soon have a very large army.  A big fight may be looked for someplace before a great while, which it appears to me will be the last in the West.  This is all the time supposing that we will be successful which I never doubt for a single moment.

“I heard of your arrival at Louisville several days ago through some Steamboat Capt. and before you letter was received stating that you would start the next day.

“All my Staff are now well though most of them have suffered same as myself.  Rawlins and myself both being very unwell at the same time made our labors hard upon us.  All that were with me at Cairo are with me here, substituting Dr. Brinton for Dr. Simons, and in addition Capt. Hawkins and Capt. Rowley.  Rowley has also been very unwell.  Capt. Hillyer will probably return home and go to Washington.  His position on my Staff is not recognized and he will have to quit or get it recognized.  Capt. Brinck is in the the same category.

“All the slanders you have seen against me originated away from where I was.  The only foundation was from the fact that I was ordered to remain at Fort Henry and send the expedition under command of Maj. Gen. Smith.  This was ordered because Gen. Halleck received no report from me for near two weeks after the fall of Fort Donelson.  The same occurred with me.  I received nothing from him.  The consequence was I apparently totally disregarded his orders.  The fact was he was ordering me every day to report the condition of my command, I was not receiving the orders but, knowing my duties, was reporting daily, and when anything occurred to make it necessary, two or three times a day.  When I was ordered to remain behind it was the cause of much astonishment among the troops of my command and also disappointment.  When I was again ordered to join them they showed, I believe, heartfelt joy.  Knowing that for some reason I was relieved of the most important part of my command, the papers began to surmise the cause, and the Abolition press, the New York Tribune particularly, was willing to hear to no solution not unfavorable to me.  Such men as Kountz busied themselves very much.  I never allowed a word of contradiction to go out from my Head Quarters, thinking this the best course.  I know, though I do not like to speak of myself, that Gen. Halleck would regard this army badly off if I was relieved.  Not but what there are Generals with it abundantly able to command but because it would leave inexperienced officers senior in rank.  You need not fear but what I will come out triumphantly.  I am pulling no wires, as political Generals do, to advance myself.  I have no future ambition.  My object is to carry on my part of the war successfully and I am perfectly wiling that others may make all the glory they can out of it.

“Give my love to all at home.  Kiss the children for me.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 4, p 443-4

“News received here … shows that the rebels have been … concentrating at Corinth.”

Mar 28 1862 Wrote Gen. Halleck, “Since the receipt of your letter this morning I have caused boats leaving here to be visited and all persons leaving on them to be required to show their passes.

“This course led to the discovery that a number of persons were going North without my authority, on leaves and passes given, in one instance, by a brigadier-general, in one by captain, and all the others by regimental commanders. As this course of procedure is in violation of my orders, I have ordered the arrest of all the parties, and will prefer charges against them.

“I acknowledge the justness of your rebuke in this respect, although I thought all proper measures had been taken to prevent such abuse, and will see that no such violation occurs in future.

“As I shall prefer the charges myself in these cases, it will be necessary to forward the charges to you to order the court. I forward herewith the names of officers proposed to compose the court, should you deem fit to order one. I would respectfully recommend, however, that these officers be released with a reprimand, which will probably do more good than to try them by court-martial.

“News received here from a Union man who has been a prisoner at Corinth shows that the rebels have been evacuating Island Numbers 10 for the last eight days and concentrating at Corinth. I give this for what it is worth. One of the gunboats makes daily trips as far down the river as Perryville, the point on the river where there is the most probability of a battery being established to annoy our transports.

“The conduct of the Twenty-first Missouri on their way up here has been reported to me as infamous. A constant fire was kept up all the way on the trip, and in some instances the citizens on shore were fired at. I caused charges to be preferred against the colonel, and the court is now in session trying him.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 4, p 434-5

O.R., I, x, part 2, 73-4

“I have no news yet of any portion of General Buell’s command being this side of Columbia.”

Mar 27 1862 Wrote Capt. McLean, “The steamer John Raine, sent with two companies of infantry and 40 cavalry to Nichols’ Landing after the balance of Confederate pork left there, has returned, bringing in with them from 100,000 to 120,000 pounds that was found. The pork is in good order, and has been distributed between the different division commissaries, with directions to issue it on the first returns sent in.

“The telegraph wire ordered here has arrived, and has been put up to-day through town and some ways into the country. I have ordered line as it is being laid. I have no news yet of any portion of General Buell’s command being this side of Columbia. I visited the different divisions at Pittsburg to-day. The health of the troops is materially improving under the influence of a genial such which has blessed us for a few days past. News having arrived of the promotion of General McClernand to the rank of major-general, without the date of promotion of either him or General Smith being know, makes it necessary for me to move my headquarters from this place to Pittsburg. I will not go up, however, until something further is heard from Buell’s command and until full directions are given for their transfer from this place.

“I would respectfully request that Captain Waterhouse’s battery be sent from Cairo to this place. I make the request at the suggestion of Colonel Webster, who says the battery requires drilling, which they cannot have at Cairo, where they now are, and here would be a good place for it. The Eighth Independent Battery Ohio Volunteers, Captain Louis Markgraf, has just arrived, and will proceed to Pittsburg in the morning.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 4, p 428-9

O.R., I, x, part 2, 70

“Buell’s three Divisions destined for this place left Columbia, [TN] eight days ago.”

Wrote Maj. Gen. C. F. Smith, “I send the 21st Mo. Regt. to report to you.  All the regiments that arrive, unattached, place in one Brigade and attach to your Division.  I cannot yet make an assignment of Cavalry and Artillery to Divisions because I do not know what is to arrive.  I am officially informed of one more Mo. regt. on the way, and three batteries.  Also understand, unofficially, that a Regt. of Cavalry is on the way.

“Buell’s three Divisions destined for this place left Columbia, [TN] eight days ago.  They are detained however building a bridge which they expected to take five days in the construction.

“Send the cotton you have, with orders to report here, and I will give instructions for is disposal.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 4, p 423

“Enclosed I send you a sketch of the country about Pittsburg”

Mar 25 1862, Wrote Gen. Halleck, “GENERAL: Enclosed I send you a sketch of the country about Pittsburg, which will explain the location of Smith’s, Sherman’s, Hurlbut’s and McClernand’s divisions.  General Wallace is six miles below, with a good road out, enabling them to form a junction with the main column, when a move is made, six or seven miles before reaching Corinth.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 4, p 421

O.R., I, iii, part 1, 230

Maps found at O.R. (Atlas), LXXVIII, 3, 6

Grant's map of the area around Pittsburg, TN (Map reproduced from the Official Records Atlas. Courtesy of Simmons Games http://simmonsgames.com)

“My orders of the time show that I did all in my power to prevent marauding.”

Mar 24 1862 Wrote Gen. Halleck, “Your letter enclosing correspondence between yourself and Adjutant-General Thomas is just received. In regard to the plundering at Fort Donelson, it is very mach overestimated by disappointed persons, who failed in getting off the trophies they had gathered. My orders of the time show that I did all in my power to prevent marauding. To execute these orders I kept a company on duty searching boats about leaving and to bring off all captured property found.

“My great difficulty was with the rush of citizens,. particularly the Sanitary Committee, who infested Donelson after its fall. They thought it an exceedingly hard case that patriotic gentlemen like themselves, who had gone to tender their services to the sick and wounded, could not carry off what they pleased. Most of the wounded had reached hospitals before these gentlemen left Cairo. One of these men (a Dr. Fowler, of Springfield) swore vengeance against me for this very act of preventing trophies being carried off. How many more did the same thing I cant tell.

“My going to Nashville I did not regard particularly as going beyond my District. After the fall of Donelson from information I had I knew that the way was clear to Clarksville and Nashville. Accordingly I wrote to you, directed to your chief of staff, as was all my correspondence from the time of leaving Fort Henry until I learned you were not hearing from me, that by Friday following the fall of Donelson I should occupy Clarksville, and by Saturday week following should be in Nashville, if not prevented by orders from headquarters of the department. During all this time not one word was received from you, and I accordingly occupied Clarksville on the day indicated, and two days after the time I was to occupy Nashville General Nelson reported to me, with a division of Buell’s army, they being already on transports; and knowing that Buell’s column should have arrived opposite Nashville the day before, and having no use for these troops myself, I ordered them immediately to Nashville.

“It is perfectly plain to me that designing enemies are the cause of all the publications that appear and are the means of getting extracts sent to you. It is also a little remarkable that the Adjutant-General should learn of my presence in Nashville before it was known in St. Louis, where I reported that I was going before starting.  “I do not feel that I have neglected a single duty. My reports to you have averaged at least one a day since leaving Cairo, and there has been scarcely a day that I have not either written or telegraphed to headquarters. I most fully appreciate your justness, general, in the part you have taken, and you may rely upon me to the utmost of my capacity for carrying out all your orders.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 4, p 414-5

O.R., i, x, part 2 62-63

“I am clearly of the opinion that the enemy are gathering strength at Corinth quite as rapidly as we are here”

Mar 23 1862 Wrote Gen. Charles Smith, “Carry out your idea of occupying and partially fortifying Pea Ridge.  I do not hear one word from St. Louis.  I am clearly of the opinion that the enemy are gathering strength at Corinth quite as rapidly as we are here, and the sooner we attack, the easier will be the task of taking the place.  If [Confederate Gen.] Ruggles is in command it would assuredly be a good time to attack.  I have made no change yet in the command, so soon as sufficient troops arrive to form another Brigade, I will do so and assign Artillery and Cavalry to Divisions and leave them subject to the control of Division Commanders.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 4, p 411

O.R., I, x, part 2, 62

Wrote Con. Washburne, “There are some things which I wish to say to you in my own vindication”

Mar 22 1862 Wrote Congressman Washburne, “I have received two or three letters from you which I have not answered, because, at the time they were received either your brother or Rowley were about writing.  I am now getting nearly well and ready for any emergency that may arise.  A severe contest may be looked for in this quarter before many weeks, but of the result feel no alarm.

“There are some things which I wish to say to you in my own vindication, not that I care one straw for what is said, individually, but because you have taken so much interest in my welfare that I think you entitled to all facts connected with my acts.

“I see by the papers that I am charged with giving up a certain number of slaves captured at Fort Donelson!

“My published order on the occasion shows that citizens were not permitted to pass through our camps to look for their slaves.  There were some six or seven negroes at Donelson who represented that they had been brought from Ky. to work for officers, and had been kept a number of months without receiving pay.

“I see the credit of attacking the enemy by the way of the Tennessee and Cumberland is variously attributed!  It is little to talk about it being the great wisdom of any Gen. that first brought forth this plan of attack.

“Our gunboats were running up the Ten. and Cumberland rivers all fall and winter watching the progress of the rebels on these works.  Gen. Halleck no doubt thought of this route long ago and I am sure I did.  As to how the battles should be fought, both McClelland and Halleck are too much of soldiers to suppose that they can plan how that should be done at a distance.  This would presuppose that the enemy would make just the moves laid down for them.  It would be a game of Chess; the right hand against the left determining before hand that the right should win.

“The job being an important one, neither of the above Generals would have entrusted it to an officer who they had not confidence in.  So far I was highly complimented by both.

“After getting into Donelson, Gen. Halleck did not hear from me for near two weeks.  It was about the same time before I heard from him.  I was writing every day and sometimes as often as three times a day.  Reported every move and change, the condition of my troops &c.  Not getting these, Gen. Halleck very justly became dissatisfied and was, as I have since learned, sending me daily reprimands.  Not receiving them, they lost their sting.  When one did reach me, not seeing the justice of it I retorted and asked to be relieved.  Three telegrams passed in this way, each time ending by my requesting to be relieved.  All is now understood however and I feel assured that Gen. Halleck is fully satisfied.  In fact he wrote me a letter saying that I could not be relieved and otherwise quite complimentary.  I will not tire you with a longer letter but assure you again that you shall not be disappointed in me if it is in my power to prevent it.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 4, p 408-9

“I have just returned from Pittsburg. The roads back are next to impassible for artillery or baggage wagons.”

Mar 21 1862 Wrote Gen. Halleck, “I have just returned from Pittsburg.  The roads back are next to impassible for artillery or baggage wagons.  I have certain information that the thirteen trains of cars arrived at Corinth on the 19th with twenty cars to each train, all loaded with troops.  This would indicate that Corinth cannot be taken without a general engagement, which from your instructions is to be avoided.  This taken in connection with the impassible state of the roads, has determined me not to move for the present without further orders.

“The temper of the rebel troops is such that there is but little doubt that Corinth will fall much more easily than Donelson did, when we do move.  All accounts agree in saying that the great mass of the Rank and file are heartily tired.  One thing I learn however is against us.  Most of the impressed troops from this state are being sent to the Sea coast and older soldiers brought from there.

“I do not think as yet any steps are being taken to interfere with the navigation of the river.  Bands of Cavalry are prowling all over West Ten, collecting men who have been drafted into the service and such supplies as they can get.  Some nine or ten men made their escape from the Cars at Bethel and came in here yesterday.  From them I learn there are about 400 men at Union City; Two regiments of infantry and probably some Cavalry at various points on the road.  Paris and Bethel are deserted.  They think the force at Union City is anxious to be captured.  I have just learned today that your dispatches to me, after the taking of Fort Donelson, reach Fort Henry, some of them at least, but were never sent to me.  What has become of the operator at Henry, I don’t know.  At present a soldier detailed from the ranks, is filling the station.  I have received no Mail matter from below for several days though boats are arriving constantly.  My returns for the 20th will be ready to mail tomorrow.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 4, p 400-1

O.R., I, x, part 2, 55-56