“Whatever is ordered I will do independently and as well as I know how”

Wrote Julia, “I am just starting to Nashville and will drop you a line before starting.  Gen. Buell is there, or at least a portion of his command is, and I want to have an interview with the comdg. officer and learn what I can of the movements of the enemy.  I shall be back here tomorrow evening and remain until some movement takes place.  Since my promotion some change may take place in my command, but I do not know.  I want however to remain in the field and be actively employed.  But I shall never ask a favor or change.  Whatever is ordered I will do independently and as well as I know how.  If a command inferior to my rank is given me, it shall make no difference in my zeal.  In spite of enemies, I have so far progressed satisfactorily to myself and the country and in reviewing the past can see but few changes that could have bettered the result.  Perhaps I have done a little too much of the office duties and thereby lost time that might have been better employed in inspecting and reviewing troops.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 4, p 292

Algernon Sartoris, “Unpublished Letters By Grant after First Victory”, New York Times, Apr 6, 1913

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