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

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