“I am gratified at these promotions”

I have received a letter from Col. Kelton in Washington announcing the promotion to Brigadier General of several Colonels under my command.  I wrote him,

Vicksburg, Miss., August 10, 1863.

Colonel J. C. KELTON,

Washington, D. C.:

Yours of the 4th instant, inclosing the appointement of Cols. C. R. Woods, Seventy-sixth Ohio; Giles A. Smith, Eighth Missouri; J. A. Maltby, Forty-fifth Illinois, and J. B. Sanborn, Fourth Minnesota, as brigadier-generals of volunteers, made on the statement of Lieutenant Colonel John A. Rawlins, assistant adjutant-general, is received.

I am gratified at these promotions. The names of all these officers, I had repeatedly stated to Colonel Rawlins, would be among those whom I should recommend; hence his giving in their names was entirely proper, and meets my approval.

When I came to write my letter of recommendations the name of Colonel J. A. Maltby was left out, not that he was less deserving-for no man has won greater distinction throughout the entire campaign than he-but I felt a delicacy in recommending him for the reason of his being from Galena, my own place of residence. With no appointment, however, am I more pleased.

The promotion of Woods and Smith I particularly desired. Sanborn’s I also desired, but the next day after I recommended him he tendered his resignation, knowing at the time of his recommendation. I have therefore returned his appointment to the Adjutant-General of the Army and asked that it be recalled.

I send herewith a copy of my letter of recommendation to the Adjutant-General;  also a copy of the one returning the appointment of Colonel Sanborn.

I trust, however, the original of my letter of recommendation has reached the General-in-Chief before this, as I am anxious prompt attention should be given it, as I know will be the case when it comes before him.




The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 192-3

O.R., I, lii, part 1, p 435-6


Sherman: “I had the satisfaction to receive … the appointment as brigadier-general in the Regular Army”

Aug 15 1863.  I received the following letter from Gen. Sherman concerning his recent promotion.

Camp on Big Black, august 15, 1863.

Major-General GRANT,

Commanding Department of the Tennessee, Vicksburg:

DEAR GENERAL: I had the satisfaction to receive, last night, the appointment as brigadier-general in the Regular Army, with a letter from General Halleck, very friendly and complimentary in its terms. I know that I owe to your favor, and beg to acknowledge it, and to add that I value the commission far less than the fact that this will associate my name with yours and McPherson’s in opening the Mississippi, and achievement the importance of which cannot be overestimated. I beg to assure you of my deep personal attachment, and to express the hope that the chances of war will leave me to serve near and under you till the dawn of that peace for which we are contending, with the only purpose that it be honorable and lasting.

With great respect,


Major-General of Volunteers.


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 99

O.R., I, xxx, part 3, p 31

“This is but one of numerous complaints made of the conduct of the Marine Brigade under General Ellet”

I have been forwarded this message from a private citizen in Natchez, complaining of misconduct on the part of the Marine Brigade under Gen. Ellet.

NATCHEZ, August 4.1863.

Brigadier-General RANSOM:

As requested, I give the information obtained here in reference to Mr. John Routh and his grandsons, Mr. Anerew S. Routh.

Dr. J. Y. Hollingsworth,from Hard Times Landing, La.,3 miles above Grand Gulf,brought the following information here on Sunday week last:That on or about the 21st of Jully a company of marine cavalry (styling themselves of the authority of the United States,and whose play was their booty) landed at Judge Perkins’, or Ashwood Landing, La.,dashed around Lake St. Joseph,inquiring for Mr. John Routh. On reaching his plantation demanded from him,first,his arms,which were given them. They then burst open a barrel of whisky,made all of the negroes drunk,and in that way learned where his valuables were,consisting of silver-ware,liquors,meats,clothes,table and house linen,and even scuffled with him for his purse. They took the amount of $25,000 worth of property-$15,000 of silver-ware,and perhaps the largest and most valuable private collection of table and house linen in the southern country.

Mr. Routh is an old man of nearly seventy years;had his house,gin,barn stables,and everything burned last spring at the [time the] others on the lake had lost their property. These marines also threatened to take him prisoner;did take his grandson, Mr. Andrew S. Routh, prisoner,who is now,it is said,in jail at Vicksburg. Andrew had not been in jail at Vicksburg. Andrew had not been in the army since last April;has been with his grandfather assisting him in taking care of his property. He had been ordered back to Colonel Harrison’s regiment,but determined to put in a substitute,in order that he might remain with his grandfather,and this was his position at the time he was taken off by Ellet’s marines. Mr. Routh is all alone,and wishes Andrew to live with him.

Very respectfully,yours,



This is not the first accusation of misconduct on the part of Gen. Ellet’s troops.  I wrote Gen. Lorenzo Thomas,

Vicksburg, Miss., August 14, 1863.

Brig. General L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General of the Army:

GENERAL: Inclosed I send you a letter directed to General Ransom from A. T. Bowie. This is but one of numerous complaints made of the conduct of the Marine Brigade under General Ellet.

I think it highly probable the charges brought against the Marine Brigade are exaggerated. But that this conduct is bad,and their services but very slight in comparison to the great expense they are to Government and the injury they do, I do not doubt. Seven of the finest boats on the Mississippi River are kept for the use of this brigade-the brigade, I understand,not numbering over 800 effective men. They live on board their boats,keeping cavalry horses and all with them, I should think very much to the prejudice of their effectiveness and the good of the service.

These boats,in charge of the department commander,might be made very useful in transporting troops from one place to another within the department,and in carrying troops to operate against guerrillas. But then the troops should be selected with reference to their commanding officer,and the numbers necessary with reference to the service to be performed.

If there is nothing in the terms of enlistment of the Marine Brigade to prevent it, I would earnestly reconvene that they be transferred to the land service and their boats to the quartermaster’s department,to be used as suggested above. If they cannot be so transferred, I would as earnestly recommend that the whole brigade be mustered out of service and the boats be taken for general use. I am fully satisfied the boats are worth much more to the service than the boats and men.

I am,general,very respectfully,your obedient servant,




The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 180-1

O.R., I, xxx, part 3, p 24-5

“I took great pleasure in notifying Sherman and McPherson of their appointments.”

Yesterday I wrote Gen. Halleck,

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE TENN., Vicksburg, MISS., August 11, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: Your two dispatches announcing the appointment of Sherman and McPherson as brigadiers in the Regular Army, and the non-receipt of my acceptance of promotion, and approval of my recommendations as to organization of colored troops, &c., are received. As soon as notified of my appointment, I filled out the required oath of office, and forwarded it to the Adjutant-General of the Army. If this has not been received, I will be glad to fill out a duplicate and forward as soon as notified of the non-receipt.

I took great pleasure in notifying Sherman and McPherson of their appointments. These appointments could not have been more worthily bestowed, and however much others may desire the same honors, I am sure they will acknowledge the merits of these two.

I feel under many obligations to you, general, for the interest you have ever taken in my welfare and that of the army I have the honor to command. I will do the best I know how to satisfy you that your confidence has not been misplaced.

Although this letter is intended as private, I will mention some matters which might be regarded as semi-official at least. I have no doubt movements here seem slow since the fall of Vicksburg; but this could not possibly be helped. As soon as Port Hudson fell, General Banks made requisition on me for twenty-two steamers, coal, forage, &c. I supplied him all the boats then possible, and all the other articles. Sick and wounded had to be sent north, wounded rebels sent south, troops sent to Helena and to Banks. An expedition to Yazoo City seemed to be highly necessary, and was sent, and Natchez had to be occupied. Under all these circumstances, I am only now getting off the last of the NINTH Army Corps, and moving at the same time the Thirteenth Corps to New Orleans.

There are said to be about 80 locomotives and 600 or 800 cars on the two roads north of Grenada. These I am trying to save, by having them all worked through to Memphis, but hardly hope to succeed. A cavalry force is now on its way north to where they are, and another coming south to meet them, for the purpose of taking these cars through. But I understand the rebels have a small force guarding them, and in all probability will burn them rather than let them fall into our hands.

This will be better than to risk them falling into the hands of the enemy.

As soon as transports can be had, I shall drive what forces Kirby Smith has near me back to the Red River. Forces will move from Natchez to Trinity and Harrisonburg, and from here by Lake Providence, or Goodrich’s Landing, to Floyd and Monroe. This will, I think, force the few troops left by Smith to annoy the plantations across the desert country between the Ouachita and Red River to Shreveport, where they will remain.

This State and Louisiana would be more easily governed now than Kentucky or Missouri if armed rebels from other States could be kept out. In fact the people are ready to accept anything. The troops from these States, too, will desert and return as soon as they find that they cannot be hunted down. I am informed that movements are being made through many parts of Mississippi to unite the people in an effort to bring the State into the Union. I receive letters and delegations on this subject myself, and believe the people are sincere.

Ord’s command will probably all be off in one week. The health of this army is much better than there was any reason to hope for. The troops are physically ready for another campaign.

The artillery is very much of it entirely worn out, many of the pieces having been fired over three thousand times. Some I have been able to replace here from captured guns, and others requisitions have gone in to replace. The total at this place proves to have been one hundred and seventy-four, and since leaving Milliken’s Bend, I believe, two hundred and sixty-eight.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 172-4

O.R., I, xxiv, part 3, p 587-8

Lincoln: “I see by a dispatch of yours that you incline quite strongly toward an expedition against Mobile”

Aug 9 1863.  I have received the following letter from President Lincoln.  He explains why an attack on Mobile is inadvisable at the moment.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, D. C., August 9, 1863.

Major General U. S. GRANT:

I see by a dispatch of yours that you incline quite strongly toward an expedition against Mobile. This would appear tempting to me also, were it not that, in view of recent events in Mexico, I am greatly impressed with the importance of re-establishing the national authority in Western Texas as soon as possible. I am not making an order, however; that I leave, for the present at least, to the General-in-Chief.

A word upon another subject. General Thomas has gone again to the Mississippi Valley, with the view of raising colored troops. I have no reason to doubt that you are doing what you reasonably can upon the same subject. I believe it is a resource which, if vigorously applied now, will soon close this contest. It works doubly-weakening the enemy and strengthening us. We were not fully ripe for it until the river was opened. Now I think at least 100,000 can and ought to be organized along its shores, relieving all the white troops to serve elsewhere.

Mr. Dana understands you as believing that the emancipation proclamation has helped some in your military operations. I am very glad if this is so.

Did you receive a short letter from me dated the 13th of July?



O.R., I, xxiv, part 3, p 584

“I have just received a dispatch from the General-in-Chief, directing me to send you an army corps of from 10,000 to 12,000 men”

I have been ordered to send troops to Gen. Banks in New Orleans.  I wrote him,

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE TENN., Vicksburg, MISS., August 7, 1863.

Major General N. P. BANKS, Comdg. Department of the Gulf:

GENERAL: I have just received a dispatch from the General-in-Chief, directing me to send you an army corps of from 10,000 to 12,000 men. I have made the order designating the Thirteenth Army Corps, Major General E. O. C. Ord commanding. I take from it one DIVISION, recently attached to it from the garrison at Natchez, to hold the river from Rodney to the Louisiana State line, and attach the DIVISION of General Herron, previously sent to your department. This gives, I think, a force of fully 13,000 well, effective men present for duty, exclusive of furloughed men, who will return soon. General Ord will be directed to report by telegraph from Port Hudson.

Moving so many men north, I am almost entirely without transportation to move these troops with. If you can send any boats from below, it will expedite the movement materially.

General Halleck’s dispatch does not seem to be in response to any dispatch received from you or myself. I cannot tell, therefore, whether this looks to any immediate movement.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 580

O.R., I, xxiv, part 3, p 580

“It should be our policy now to make as favorable an impression upon the people of the State as possible”

Aug 6 1863.  General Hurlbut’s troops have been ordered to repair the roads leading down from Memphis.  I have ordered Gen. Sherman to provide protection.

Vicksburg, MISS., August 6, 1863.


I have directed General Hurlbut to send a force from Memphis to meet one from here, to collect rolling-stock on the Central and Memphis roads, and repair roads, and take it to Memphis, if possible.  Start your cavalry on Monday next. Let them collect the stock on the Central road and get it on to the Memphis road; then push north until they meet the party from Memphis. If the whole force is necessary for security, the cavalry from here can remain with that from Memphis until they get through, then return by the river. Impress upon the men the importance of going through the State in an orderly manner, abstaining from taking anything not absolutely necessary for their subsistence whilst traveling. They should try to create as favorable an impression as possible upon the people, and advise them, if it will do any good, to make efforts to have law and order established within the Union.

It should be our policy now to make as favorable an impression upon the people of the State as possible.



The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 155

O.R., I, xxiv, part 3, p 578

“I am very anxious to take Mobile while I think it can be done with comparative ease”

I wrote to Asst. Secretary of War, Charles Dana

Vicksburg Mississippi,
August 5th 1863.
Maj. C. a. Dana,
Dear Sir:
Your letter of the 22d of July is just received and it needs no assurance from me to inform you how glad I am to hear from you and to learn so much from the vicinity of Hd Qrs, Gen, Halleck and yourself were both very right in supposing that it would cause me more sadness than satisfaction to be ordered to the command of the Army of the Potomac. Here I know the officers and men and what each Gen. is capable of as a separate commander. There I would have all to learn. Here I know the geography of the country, and its resources. There it would be a new study. Besides more or less dissatisfaction would necessarily be produced by importing a General to command an Army already well supplied with those who have grown up, and been promoted, with it.
I am very anxious to take Mobile while I think it can be done with comparative ease. But this would have to be done from Pascagoula, or even a point further along on the coast, and through Banks’ Dept. He has not the troops to do it. I am sending one Army Corps, Ord’s, to Natchez so that if authorized they can be sent under Banks’ direction on this enterprise. In the mean time there are two little bodies of rebel Cavalry in the Mississippi valley, one on the East bank under Logan, and one on the West Bank under Harrison which can be cleaned out from Natchez and leave the river free.
Ord placed in the command of the 13th Army Corps has proven a very great relief to me. The change is better than 10 000 reinforcements.
I have been surprised at the health of this command after so long a campaign, and so much time in the trenches. When we first came into the city the sick report increased at so alarming a rate that I feared the whole command had to go through a spell of sickness after their relaxation. But the Army is now in very good trim for another campaign. Our Artillery however is in bad trim. Some of the pieces have been fired from over 3000 times and the brass rifled guns are entirely used up for present purposes.
With the present Army Corps Commanders nothing but entire harmony can ever exist throughout all parts of the Army of the Ten. The 13th Army Corps has been so long governed by Ambition, ignorance and insubordination however that Ord may make some enemies among his Generals, particularly among his Brigade Commanders, by drawing them up suddenly to a proper standard. I can relieve him some by changes.
I feel very grateful to you for your timely intercession in saving me from going to the Army of the Potomac. Whilst I would disobey no order I should beg very hard to be excused before accepting that command.
I should like very much to see Gen. Thomas out here. Since Hawkins absence there is no one with the negro troops to organize them effectively. Shepard is not fit and Col. Wood, I believe next in command, is absent without leave and I understand took off with him a lot of cotton picked up on the Miss, shore and several thousand dollars worth of prop furniture taken from the houses of two of the Gov’t, lesees. Wood is a preacher.
Two of the Commissioners appointed by Gen. Thomas, Field & Livermore are, in my opinion, great rascals. They are undoubtedly very unfit for their present places.
It is about time for the mail to close and I must do the same thing. I intended writing much more when I commenced but have been interrupted every thirty seconds and forget what I intended saying.
yours very truly
U. S. Grant
Maj. Gen.


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 145-7

“In this part of Mississippi the people acknowledge themselves subjugated”

My campaign to rebuild the state of Mississippi is getting started.  I have high hopes that this will convince the people of the state to peacefully rejoin the Union.  I wrote Gen. Hurlbut,

Vicksburg, MISS., August 4, 1863.


GENERAL: The destruction of the railroad at Jackson, MISS., has cut off a large amount of rolling-stock from the enemy. This stock numbering from 40 to 70 locomotives and several hundred cars, is now north of Grenada. If the labor of reconstructing the bridges on the Mississippi and Memphis Railroad will not be too great, it might pay to rebuild them for the purpose of getting the stock into Memphis. An expedition sent out for the purpose of collecting it, if rightly conducted, might have a beneficial effect. In this part of Mississippi the people acknowledge themselves subjugated, the Southern cause lost, and are holding meetings to devise plans for coming back into the Union. If we can send troops through the State who will respect the property of the people and advise them what is being done about Jackson and Natchez, and that saving this stock and repairing the road might lead to the opening of trade with them, the effect might be good. I will send cavalry from here to collect all rolling-stock and take it as far north as the road is in running order. You can send troops from Memphis to meet them, and repair the road northward sufficiently to pass the cars.

You will want to get these troops off as early as possible. The troops from here will be all cavalry 1,000 in number, and can remain with the party until they get through to Memphis, if necessary, and return by water. I will start the cavalry from here on the 8th.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 139-40

O.R., I, xxiv, part 3, p 575

“I am now compelled to ship off the 9th & 13th Army Corps”

Aug 3 1863. The 9th Army Corps is returning to the Army of the Cumberland.  The 13th Army Corps is being ordered to Natchez for garrison duty.  Not only am I losing troops, but those movements are using all of my available river transportation.  I wrote Capt. Walker of the US Navy,

Head Quarters, Dept, of the Ten,
Vicksburg Miss, Aug, 3d 1863,
Capt J, G. Walker USN Comd.g Steamer Rattler,
It is impossible to furnish a steamer on which to ship troops to Yazoo City, I am now compelled to ship off the 9th & 13th Army Corps and as fast as steamers are unloaded they go to one or other of those Corps, Can the Navy not furnish the steamer Champion or some other vessel suitable for the transportation of a regiment?
Very respectfully
U. S. Grant
Maj, Gen. Com


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 138