“I am glad to say that the stock is yet as abundant as ever”

I have received a letter from Gen. Quinby requesting a lock of my hair to be sold to raise money for the war effort.  I responded to his wife,

 

Chattanooga Tennessee,
December 13th 1863,
Mrs. I. F. Quinby,
My Dear Madam,
The letter of my old friend and classmate, your husband, requesting a lock of my hair, if the article is not growing scarce, from age, I presume he means, to be put in an ornament, (by the most delicate of hands no doubt) and sold at the Bazaar for the benefit of disabled soldiers and their families, is just received. I am glad to say that the stock is yet as abundant as ever though time, or other cause, is beginning to intersperse here and there a reminder that Winters have passed.
The object for which this little request is made is so praiseworthy that I can not refuse it even though I do, by granting it expose the fact to the ladies of Rochester that I am no longer a boy. Hoping that the citizens of your city may spend a happy week, commencing to-morrow, and that their Fair may remunerate most abundantly,

I remain.
Very truly your friend,

U. S. Grant

Maj. Gen. U. S. A.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 524-5

Buffalo Historical Society, Buffalo NY

Whilst I would like exceedingly to force Hardee beyond the Oostenaula, I would not deem it altogether safe to attempt it now

I received a report from Gen. Sherman discussing a potential attack on Confederate Gen. Hardee in Georgia.  I replied,

CHATTANOOGA, December 12, 1863

Major General W. T. SHERMAN:

Knoxville, Tennessee:

Your letter of the 11th is received. Whilst I would like exceedingly to force Hardee beyond the Oostenaula, I would not deem it altogether safe to attempt it now.

There is no force here now to co-operate with you, nor the means of transportations, nor the rations to carry along. The Fourth and Eleventh Corps of General Thomas’ command are absent and the two divisions of your command are at Bridgeport. I sent your orders to return as soon as possible, but of course do now want you to start until you know Long to be safe. Elliott has been ordered to take up the line of the Hiwassee; but, judging from his efforts, there is no telling when he will reach there.

His orders were sent to him at Alexandria on the 26th to strike for Kingston and go in pursuit of Longstreet. On the 1st he reached Sparta with one brigade. On the 9th he reported from Crossville and said he would reach Kingston on the 11th. I hope he may succeed in coming up to time. If Long should be with you on your return, you might send him toward Dalton as far as you deem it safe for him to go, and let him destroy any railroad bridge he may pass on the Cleveland and Dalton road. After going as far as you choose to send him,he could take the most direct road to Chattanooga. I do not think it advisable to destroy mills or any property in East Tennessee except what may be required for military purposes.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, vol 9, p 519

O.R., I, xxxi, part 3, p 388

“I am also making preparations for a heavy cavalry raid through Mississippi”

I have received the following communication from Gen. Halleck, indicating that the rebels are threatening Gen. Hurlbut in Mississippi and west Tennessee.

December 11, 1863-12.40 p.m.

Major General U. S. GRANT:

General Steele reports that the rebel forces under Price and from Texas are advancing upon Little Rock. It is also reported that they are seriously threatening West Tennessee and the Mississippi River. Admiral Porter reports that Port Hudson is also threatened. Would it not be well under these circumstances to send back some troops to Hurlbut, so that the troops detached from Steele and Schofield to West Tennessee may be returned,and also instruct McPherson to assist, if necessary, General Banks’ forces on the Lower Mississippi? Rebel papers received here indicate that an effort will be made to recluse the Mississippi River during the absence of your army and that of General Banks. The movement of the latter on the Rio Grande was unexpected and contrary to the advice of the Government.

H. W. HALLECK.

General-in-Chief.

I replied,

CHATTANOOGA, December 14[11], 1863-10.30 p.m.

Major-General HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

Two regiments of cavalry and four of infantry-5,500 men-have been sent to General Hurlbut within a week. I am also making preparations for a heavy cavalry raid through Mississippi, to free that State entirely, if possible, from rebels. I will instruct McPherson to use his force to best advantage to keep open the Mississippi, either in or out of the department.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 514-5

O.R., I, xxxi, part 3, p 376, 404

Burnside: “The main body of the enemy’s infantry is undoubtedly going up the main valley road toward Virginia”

I received the following telegram from Gen. Burnside,

KNOXVILLE, December 9, 1863.

The pursuing column has continued to press on the enemy’s rear. Daily skirmishing between our cavalry and their rear guard. Our cavalry advance is now between Rutledge and Bean’s Station. The main body of the enemy’s infantry is undoubtedly going up the main valley road toward Virginia. Indications are that the division of Buckner’s corps that joined Longstreet, and part of Wheeler’s cavalry, are endeavoring to rejoin Bragg by way of North Carolina, through the French Broad Gap. I have been ill for two days, confined to my room, and General Parke is at the front conducting the pursuit; he will take care not to involve himself in any disaster. General Foster was at Tazewell at last accounts, but my advices from him are meager; he will probably reach here within a day or two. Would it not be well for the forces in the east to make a serious and desperate attempt to break the Virginia railroad in Longstreet’s rear?

A. E. BURNSIDE,

Major-General.

 

I replied,

CHATTANOOGA, December 10, 1863.

Major General A. E. BURNSIDE,

Knoxville, Tennessee:

I telegraphed General Halleck twice whilst you were besieged, asking to have General Kelley sent through to cut the railroad east of Abingdon. He replied that he had not force enough, but that Meade had been ordered to cut the road at Lynchburg, but failed. Keep Granger with you until your forces return. If you can get orders to Elliott direct him to take the line of the Hiwassee when he is through with anything you may find for him to do, and to report his arrival there. Will it not be necessary to keep a heavier force near the eastern end of the valley than you have had heretofore? When the river rises and we get the banks more securely, I will try to send you a boat-load of supplies weekly.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 512-3

O.R., I, xxxi, part 2, p 271

O.R., I, xxxi, part 3, p 369

Lincoln: “I wish to tender you and all under your command … my profoundest gratitude”

I received the following letter from President Lincoln and issued General Orders No. 7 to share it with the men.

GENERAL ORDERS,
HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS.,
Numbers 7.
In the Field, Chattanooga, Tennessee,

December 8, 1863.

The general commanding takes great pleasure in publishing to the brave armies under his command the following telegraphic dispatch just received from the President of the United States:

WASHINGTON, December 8, 1863.

Major-General GRANT:

Understanding that your lodgment at Chattanooga and Knoxville is now secure, I wish to tender you and all under your command my more than thanks, my profoundest gratitude for the skill, courage, and perseverance with which you and they, over so great difficulties, have effected that important object. God bless you all.

A. LINCOLN.

By order of Major General U. S. Grant:

T. S. BOWERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 503

O.R., I, xxxi, part 2, p 51

“I propose, with the concurrence of higher authority, to move by way of New Orleans and Pascagoula on Mobile”

With our victory over the armies of Bragg and Longstreet, it is time to ponder our next move.  I brought up the idea of a campaign against Mobile after Vicksburg and I think it is time to revisit the notion.  I wrote Gen. Halleck,

HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Chattanooga, Tennessee December 7, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: It may now safely be assumed that the enemy are driven from the front, or at least that they no longer threaten it in any formidable numbers.

The country south of this is extremely mountainous, affording but little for the support of an army. The roads are bad at all times, and the season is so far advanced that an extensive campaign form here this winter may be looked upon as impossible. Our supplies and means of transportation would not admit of a very early campaign, if the season did.

Not feeling willing, or rather desiring to avoid keeping so large a force idle for months, I take the liberty of suggesting a plan of campaign that I think will go far toward breaking down the rebellion before spring; it will at least keep the enemy harassed and prevent that reorganization which could be effected by spring if left uninterrupted. The rainy season will soon set in. The roads will then be so bad that the enemy cannot move a large army into Tennessee.

A comparatively small force will be able to hold the present line, and thereby relieve the railroads and enable them to accumulate supplies by the time the roads become passable. With the force thus relieved, and what can be gathered from other parts of this military division, I propose, with the concurrence of higher authority, to move by way of New Orleans and Pascagoula on Mobile. I would hope to secure that place, or its investment, by the last of January. Should the enemy make an obstinate resistance at Mobile I would fortify outside and leave a garrison sufficient to hold the garrison of the town, and with the balance of the army make a campaign into the interior of Alabama, and possibly Georgia. The campaign, of course, would be suggested by the movements of the enemy. It seems to me this move would secure the entire States of Alabama and Mississippi and a part of Georgia, or force Lee to abandon Virginia and North Carolina. Without his force the enemy have not got army enough to resist the army I can take. There is no necessity for me enlarging upon this, because I could say nothing in favor of it that will not suggest itself to you. Hoping an early reply by telegraph, this is respectfully, submitted.

I am, general, &c.,

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 500-1

O.R., I, xxxi, part 3, p 349-50

 

“Instruct your cavalry to follow Longstreet to the last minute”

I have received a copy of a telegram sent to Gen. Halleck by Gen. Foster who is riding to Knoxville’s relief.

TAZEWELL, Tennessee, December 6, 1863-noon.

Maj. General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

The cavalry scouts just returned from the vicinity of Blain’s Cross-Roads report a rebel column passing all last night from Knoxville to Blain’s Cross-Roads. They heard the men say that they were going to Virginia; that the Yankees had them surrounded., but that they were going to fight their way out. My scouts on the top of Clinch Mountain say large camp-fires were seen last night on the road from Blain’s Cross-Roads to Rutledge. I have no doubt that Longstreet is retreating. My division of cavalry is moving on his rear through Maynardville and Blain’s Cross-Roads.

J. G. FOSTER,

Major-General.

 

Gen. Foster is in ideal position to harass Longstreet’s retreating army.  I wrote him,

CHATTANOOGA, December 6, 1863-4.15 p.m.

Major General J. G. FOSTER,

Tazewell, Tennessee,:

Instruct your cavalry to follow Longstreet to the last minute. It is not necessary that they should attack the main force, but follow up the rear, hasten the retreat, pick up stragglers, and destroy the road as far east as possible. If your troops can get as far as Saltville and destroy the works there, it will be an immense loss to the enemy.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 496-7

O.R., I, xxxi, part 3, p 344-5

“Reposing full confidence in him and his command, I feel no apprehensions for the result”

I still have no word of events in Knoxville.  I wrote Gen. Halleck,

CHATTANOOGA, December 5, 1863-5 p.m

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

Nothing has been heard from Sherman directly since the 1st. He then expected to reach Knoxville by 3rd or 4th. His force is full 30,000 exclusive of cavalry. Reposing full confidence in him and his command, I feel no apprehensions for the result, except as to General Burnside’s ability to hold out until he reaches him. Dispatch from General Burnside on the 30th stated that the enemy had attacked him and been repulsed with great slaughter. His supplies were then still up.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General, Commanding.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 493-94

O.R., I, xxxi, part 3, p 339

“Hurlbut reports a large force approaching Corinth, with the probable view of seizing the place”

Gen. Hurlbut has been sending me dispatches about a rebel build up of troops near Corinth.  He believes they are threatening an attack.  I wrote Gen. Dodge to arrange for reinforcements.

CHATTANOOGA, December 3, 1863.

Brigadier General G. M. DODGE,

Pulaski, Tennessee:

General Hurlbut reports a large force approaching Corinth, with the probable view of seizing the place. I had previously ordered boats to Eastport to move that garrison to Hurlbut. If you can, wish you would send a messenger through to Eastport, instructing the commanding officer if he is not yet left to stop at Hamburg Landing, and if Corinth is still threatened to march out there until the place is relieved from danger. Should they go to Corinth the commanding officer should report to General Hurlbut for orders, and if not required to move by water, release the steamers.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 491-2

O.R., I, xxxi, part 3, p 332-3

“It will be impossible to make a Winter Campaign from here”

I wrote Gen. McPherson,

To Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson
Private & confidential.
Chattanooga Tennessee, December 1st 1863,

Dear Mc.
I have told Rawlins to write you a long letter giving all the news from here. I shall write but a short one myself, leaving out the past and only speak of what is before us.—It will be impossible to make a Winter Campaign from here and so far as the authorities at Washington are concerned I think they expect nothing of us but to make ourselves comfortable this Winter and to get ready for moving in the Spring. I do not feel satisfied though giving the rebels so much time for reorganizing, nor in keeping so large a force idle. If permitted to do so, and I think there is no doubt but I will be, I want to make the line of the Tennessee secure, then organize a force to go by water to Pascagoula from which to operate against Mobile and the interior of Alabama & Georgia. To do this I can take from here all of Sherman’s force, and possibly a small Corps besides. From the troops in Ohio, Indiana & 111. with a few old regiment that can be spared from Ky. I can garrison Vicksburg & Natchez and take all the White troops of your command. To get ready for this it will take fully to the middle of January before we could leave New Orleans if the authority is promptly granted. I write this merely to know let you know what to expect.
Sherman is now after Peter Longstreet who has been besieging Knoxville for the last ten days. If he gets hold of him it will pretty well wind up the Army Bragg had here with him.
All the staff are well and desire to be remembered. I wish you would call on Mrs. Lumm and present my respects to her and the family.
I am now free from all inconvenience from the hurt I received in New Orleans.
My kindest regards to your staff
Yours Truly
U. S. Grant

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 480-81

Rutgers University