Memphis, Tenn, Aug, 26, 1863,
I have stopped at Memphis on my way back to Vicksburg. Some citizens of the town loyal to the United States are having a public reception for me there. I went there with Gen. Hurlbut and declined to speak. However, I had the following statement read.
Gentlemen: I have received a copy of resolutions passed by the “loyal citizens of Memphis at a meeting held at the rooms of the Chamber of Commerce, August 25, 1863,” tendering me a public reception. In accepting this testimonial, which I do at a great sacrifice of my personal feelings, I simply desire to pay a tribute to the first public exhibition in Memphis to the Government which I represent in the Department of the Tennessee. I should dislike to refuse, for considerations of personal convenience, to acknowledge, anywhere or in any form, the existence of sentiments which I have so long and so ardently desired to see manifested in this Department, The stability of this Government and the unity of this nation depend solely upon the cordial support and the earnest loyalty of the people. While, therefore, I thank you sincerely for the kind expressions you have used toward myself, I am profoundly gratified at this public recognition, in the city of Memphis, of the power and authority of the Government of the United States.
I thank you, too, in the name of the noble army which I have the honor to command. It is composed of men whose loyalty is proved by their deeds of heroism and their willing sacrifices of life and health. They will rejoice with me that the miserable adherents of the rebellion, whom their bayonets have driven from this fair land, are being replaced by men who acknowledge human liberty as the only true foundation of human government. May your efforts to restore your city to the cause of the Union be as successful as have been theirs to reclaim it from the despotic rule of the leaders of the rebellion.
I have the honor to be, gentlemen. Your very obedient servant,
U. S. Grant,
There were two toasts offered to me. After the second, I said briefly,
I thank you, gentlemen, for your kindness. All that will add to your prosperity, that it is in my power to do, I will grant you.
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 202-3
Missouri Democrat, Sept. 2, 1863