I have returned to Vicksburg, but I am still recovering. I took the time to finally reply to a request from Gen. Halleck. He wrote,
WASHINGTON, July 30, 1863-11. 30 a. m.
Major-General GRANT, Vicksburg, MISS.:
I am very desirous of receiving your views in regard to the policy of attempting to organize a civil government in Mississippi, to be in subordination, however, for the present, to the military authorities.
H. W. HALLECK.
Gen. Sherman received the same dispatch and sent me a copy of his reply. He advocated that very harsh terms for Southerners be continued. I disagree. I wrote Gen. Halleck,
General H. W. HALLECK,
Commander-in-Chief U. S. Forces, Washington, D. C.:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I have returned from New Orleans, arriving here on the 16th instant, and am still confined to my bed, lying flat on my back. My injuries are sever, but still not dangerous; my recovery is simply a matter of time. Although fatiguing, I will still endeavor to perform my duties, and hope soon to recover that I may be able to take the field at any time I may be called on to do so.
I have just read General Sherman’s private letter to you, but do not fully coincide with the general as to the policy that should be adopted toward these people. While I believe with him that every effort should be made to fill up our thinned ranks, and be prepared to meet and destroy their armies wherever found, I think we should do it with terms held out that by accepting they could receive the protection of our laws. There is certainly a very fine feeling existing in the State of Louisiana and in most parts of this State toward the Union. I inclose you copies of resolutions sent me by citizens of both Louisiana and Mississippi, showing something of this feeling.
If able to write myself I should write much more at length on this subject, but being compelled to dictate for another to write I will be brief, and should I recover in a short time sufficiently to write, I will address you again.
U. S. GRANT,
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 221-4
O.R., I, xxx, part 3, p 732
O.R., I, xxiv, part 3, p 562