Wrote Julia, “From present indications you only left here in time. Lively operations are now threatened”

Aug 19 1862, Wrote Julia,

I suppose you are this evening quietly at your father’s enjoying a social talk!  I wish I could be there or any place else where I could be quiet and free from annoyance for a few weeks.

From present indications you only left here in time.  Lively operations are now threatened and you need not be surprised to hear at any time of fighting in Grant’s Army.  I hope we will be let alone however for a short time.

We all miss you and the children very much.  Without Jess to stalk through the office it seems as if something is missing — Col. Dickey has not yet returned nor Hillyer nor Ihrie arrived.  Riggin being absent and Rawlins confined to his bed makes our family small.  Rowley absent too.  Rawlins was obliged to have a serious surgical operation performed to prevent his biles, or carbuncle, from turning into a Fistula.  He will probably be ten days laid up.

No letters have come to you or none from home since you left.

As I cannot write of Military operations my letters to you, although they will be frequent, will not be long nor very interesting.  Since you left there have been several little skirmishes within my district resulting in the killing and capturing of quite a number of Guerrillas with but a small loss on our side.

How did you find your pa, Aunt Fanny and the rest of the folks at home?  Give my love to all of them.

Try and collect your money from Mr. White.  If that is not paid I will have to close on him which I do not wish to do during the continuance of the War.  Do any of the neighbors call to see you?

Good night dear Julia.  Kiss the children for me and kisses for yourself.  I will write again in a few days so that you will probably receive another letter by the same mail that takes this.  You ought to write to Nelly to come down now as you may have no other opportunity of seeing her unless you and Mrs. HIllyer should keep house together.  I expect Mr. H. will be at home by the time you get this.


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 308-9

“I sent troops by way of Decatur by General Halleck’s order.”

Aug 17 1862  Gen. Buell is again strongly urging me to hurry his reinforcements along.  I received the following telegram yesterday,

Major-General GRANT, Corinth:

I apprehend that I have not strongly enough urged upon you the importance of the immediate presence of the troops that are to come here and in as great force as possible. They will not be too soon if they come by forced marches. They should by all means not cross at Decatur but at Eastport, except those that may already be near Tuscumbia. Please let me know where and when they will cross. I hope you will press this matter.



I replied this morning,

General BUELL:

I sent troops by way of Decatur by General Halleck’s order. As I must endeavor to keep the road open to that point I will ascertain the present position of the advance troops and change their route. If they are not too far advanced, by substituting another division for Paine’s, which is in advance, the route may be changed. The command has no wagon train except the regimental teams of thirteen wagons to a regiment.



The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 298-9

O.R., I, xvi, part 2, 345 and 355


Gen. Buell: “There is no time to lose. Kirby Smith is advancing on Kentucky or Nashville”

Aug 16 1862, Gen. Buell continues to inquire about the troops I am sending him.  I received the following telegram:

HEADQUARTERS, Huntsville, August 16, 1862.

General GRANT, Corinth:

Please answer my inquiry of the 14th in regard to the exact force you place at my disposal and where it will cross.



I replied,

CORINTH, August 16, 1862-5 p.m.

General BUELL:

I answered your dispatch of 14th. Two divisions under Paine and Davis go to Decatur and are subject to your orders when they reach there. Two other divisions are moving to take their places on the road. I have given orders to fortify Iuka and Tuscumbia and will do the same thing at Decatur. Also have ordered block-houses to be built at principal bridges.



He responded,

HUNTSVILLE, ALA., August 16, 1862.

Major General U. S. GRANT, Corinth:

The troops can cross in less than half the time at Eastport, and time is of the utmost importance. Please order them to cross there, unless they have passed that point; and if so then at Tuscumbia. There is no time to lose. Kirby Smith is advancing on Kentucky or Nashville, and other offensive movements of the enemy may from their strength and dispositions fairly be expected.




The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 297

O.R., I, xvi, part 2, p 344

Gen Buell: “Please let me know exactly what force you place at my disposal”

Aug 15 1862 I received a telegram from Gen. Buell yesterday reading,

Please let me know exactly what force you place at my disposal and where it is to cross the river; I don’t understand from your dispatch of to-day. The report of troops marching from Chattanooga or Rome to Tupelo seems to me altogether improbable.



I replied today,

I have ordered the divisions of Paine and Davis to Decatur subject to your order and two more divisions to hold the road to that point. I have directed the engineer officer to locate and plan fortifications and block-houses for the defense of the road. Another will expedite the forwarding of troops all he can. I will inform you of progress made in forwarding these troops day to day.



The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 294-5

O.R., I, xvi, part 2, p 333 and 337

“Sending so many troops away, may it not be turned into an attack?”

Aug 14 1862.  Gen. Buell has appealed directly to Gen. Halleck on the matter of his need for two of my divisions.  I received this telegram from Halleck,

General Buell has made requisitions for your two divisions near Decatur. Replace them by two others.



I replied,

Telegram received. I have ordered two more divisions east; those on the road to move to Decatur. Information received last night shows that Price’s forces have advanced to Guntown. He was expecting yesterday the arrival of 15,000 re-enforcements-from Georgia, probably. The best information I can get indicates that a feint only is intended here for the purpose to hold our troops, but, sending so many troops away, may it not be turned into an attack?


Major-General, Commanding.


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 292-3

O.R., I, xvi, part 2, 333

“To send two divisions of my force beyond my control would be to leave this place an easy prey”

Aug 13 1862, I received a telegram from Gen. Buell again trying to get me to send two divisions to bolster his position.  He writes,

Please inform me of your action upon my dispatch of yesterday. I have no doubt of the necessity of sending the troops at once. Your estimate of the force in East Tennessee is substantially confirmed by information from Cumberland Gap and other sources. The supposition that they are moving to Virginia is hardly consisted with the fact that they are bringing troops from Virginia. It is undoubtedly true that they deem it of vital importance not only to hold East Tennessee but regain what they have lost, and that is said to be their present plan. The road from Decatur is important to us a chain of outposts and a channel of communication.



I responded,

My divisions are composed of ten infantry regiments, three batteries, and about two battalions of cavalry. To send two divisions of my force beyond my control would be to leave this place an easy prey to the forces that are known to be at Saltillo, Tupelo, and points from which they could be concentrated. In addition to troops now ordered to Tuscumbia, intended to co-operate with you, I will see what force I can send to Eastport, as you suggest, and inform you. You have not informed me of the necessity of attempting to hold the railroad east of Tuscumbia. If I do not learn reasons not now in my possession I will abandon all points east of that place.



He replied,

Troops 200 miles away at least and on the other side of a river, which, with the means they have, cannot be crossed in less than two days, are not in a position to support me in any emergency.

Tuscumbia is not a safe point for troops to cross in the presence of even an inferior force.

The railroad is useful as a line of outposts and to protect our telegraphic communication. The latter cannot otherwise be kept open, but of course you can judge whether you have the means. Your small posts are certainly not safe there unless they fortify with stockades. With them they are perfectly so, unless attacked by artillery. It is best that I should know at once exactly what to depend on in the way of re-enforcements.



The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 290-1

O.R., I, xvi, part 2, p 325

“Recent Acts of Congress … authorize the employment of [fugitive slaves] in the service of the Government”

Previously, the army had been bound by orders to exclude fugitive slaves from our camps and return them to their masters if the masters were loyal to the Union.  However, this policy has now changed and we will seek to employ fugitive slaves to help the war effort.  I directed Maj. Rawlins to issue Gen. Orders No. 72:

“Recent Acts of Congress prohibit the Army from returning fugitives from labor to their claimants, and authorize the employment of such persons in the service of the Government. The following orders are therefore, published for the guidance of the Army in this Military District, in this matter.

“All fugitives thus employed must be registered, the names of the fugitives and claimants given, and must be borne upon the Morning Reports of the command in which they are kept, showing how they are employed. Fugitive Slaves may be employed as laborers in the Quartermaster’s Dept. Subsistence and Engineers Depts. And wherever by such employment a Soldier may be saved to the ranks. They may be employed as Teamsters, as Company Cooks, (not exceeding four to a Company) or as Hospital attendants and nurses. Officers may employ them as private servants, in which latter case the fugitive will not be paid or rationed by the Government. Negroes not thus employed will be deemed unauthorized persons, and must be excluded from the camps.
“Officers and Soldiers are positively prohibited from enticing Slaves to leave their masters. When it becomes necessary to employ this kind of labor, Commanding Officers of Posts or troops, must send details, (always under the charge of a suitable Commissioned Officer,) to press into service the slaves of disloyal persons to the number required.
Citizens within reach of any Military Station, known to be disloyal and dangerous, may be ordered away or arrested, and their crops and stock taken, for the benefit of the Government, or the use of the Army. All property taken from rebel owners, must be duly reported and use for the benefit of the Government, and be issued to the troops through the proper Depts, and when practicable the act of taking should be avowed by the written certificate of the Officer taking, to the owner of agent of such property. It is enjoined on all Commanders to see that this order is executed strictly under their own directions. The demoralization of troops consequent upon being left to execute laws in their own way without a proper head, must be avoided.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 273-4

National Archives, RG 393, USG General Orders

“I cannot send all the troops called for in your dispatch”

Aug 12 1862, I received a telegram from Gen. Buell stating that Gen. Halleck had authorized him to call for two of my divisions to help defend against Gen. Bragg’s troops in Chattanooga.  I replied, “The letter referred to in your dispatch is not received; could not be interpreted as telegraphed. I cannot send all the troops called for in your dispatch on account of having been weakened by sending one division to Curtis and the necessity of having to send from here some infantry regiments to Bolivar, which can yet scarcely be regarded as secure. I will place an entire division at Tuscumbia (Paine’s) and another on the road from Iuka to Tuscumbia. What is the necessity of guarding the road from Tuscumbia eastward? Do you not think it possible that the enemy are covering a movement of a large portion of their forces eastward to Richmond? I will have the Tennessee River guarded so that none of our steamers can possibly fall into their hands except by gross neglect of our troops. I will keep you well posted of the movements of the enemy, and spare you all the force that can possibly be dispensed with and you may require.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 288

O.R., I, xvi, part 2, 316

“I favor turning out of our lines all suspicious persons, and the use of their property for public purposes”

Aug 10, 1862.  Gen. Rosecrans forwarded me a letter on the matter of certain citizens of Tennessee complaining that “depredations are committed upon their property, at night, by negroes whom they see, but against whom they are deterred from defending them selves, by threats of some of our soldiers.”

I wrote Gen. Rosecrans, “Yesterday instructions were given to allow Col. Delworth, and two other Citizens to protect their homes, even to the extent of allowing them to keep arms.  This was authorized on representations which I now believe to be false.  I would now say, give them no protection and if they don’t like the assertion advise them to quit.  I favor turning out of our lines all suspicious persons, and the use of their property for public purposes.  This is in accordance with instructions just received from Washington.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 282-3

National Archives, RG 393, Army of the Miss., Telegrams Received

“”All intercepted letters … show that most of the forces that were in front of us have gone to Chattanooga”

Aug 9 2012.  Wrote Gen. Halleck, “I address you direct, no order yet being received announcing your staff, and not feeling certain that you should be addressed through the Adjutant-General of the Army. All is quiet now north of the Memphis and Charleston road, there being no organized force nearer our line than Holly Springs in the center and Saltillo on the left. There is abundant evidence that many citizens who appear to be quiet non-combatants in the presence of our forces, are regularly enrolled and avail themselves of every safe opportunity of depredating upon Union men and annoying our troops in small bodies.

“The guerrillas have been driven entirely south of the Hatchie, and I hope to be able to keep them there. I think of sending the remainder of the Sixth Division of the Army of the Tennessee to Bolivar, which will give a force there sufficient for this purpose.

“I am anxious to keep the whole of the Army of the Mississippi together and under the command of Brigadier-General Rosecrans, ready for any emergency, either to move upon any force that may threaten my front or to re-enforce General Buell. Having so many major-generals to provide commands for this may be difficult. I regret that General Rosecrans has not got rank equal to his merit to make this easy.

“I have communicated to General Buell several times such information as I had of interest to him, but have never received any acknowledgment. I do not know where he is.

“I have sent an additional brigade to hold the line east to Decatur, and ordered another. In accordance with your instructions I will try to hold the communication with General Buell and be in readiness to re-enforce him if it should become necessary.

“All intercepted letters from rebel troops show that most of the forces that were in front of us have gone to Chattanooga. I informed you by telegraph that I believed the enemy had no intention of attacking this line in force, but only desire to hold Buell and myself in check, whilst the mass of their disciplined troops are being sent to Richmond. I have no positive evidence of this, but the conviction is strong with me. I give this, however, for what it is worth.

“All stores have been removed from Pittsburg Landing, and the regiment that was stationed there I have sent to Jackson. The Sixty-third Illinois Regiment has been brought from Cairo to Jackson and relieved by the Eleventh Illinois, a very much reduced regiment. The Seventy-first Illinois, a new regiment, has also joined, and has been assigned to duty at Columbus. This embraces all the changes made in the position of troops since your departure, except those previously reported.

“Recent orders are bringing back great numbers of absentees.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 5, p 279

O.R., I, xvii, part 2, 160