I wrote Julia,
December 28th 1863,
I just arrived here this afternoon traveling steadily ever since I left you. I will leave in the morning for Knoxville and probably reach there on New Years day. If I get there in the morning will remain but a few hours and push on up the valley towards where the two Armies are confronting each other. How long I may be compelled to remain there it is impossible to tell. It may be but a day or it may be a week. I shall stay no longer than is necessary. You need not look for me earlier than the 10th. of January and, I think, not later than the 15th.
Wilson, Dr. Kittoe, Bowers, Duff & Dunn go with me. We will have a hard time of it with the present state of the roads and at this season of the year. But I always feel well when I can get a plenty of out of doors exercise. The fact is hard labor is the easiest duty I have to perform.
I have a greatdeel of writing to do to night and will therefore cut this short by sending a greatdeel of love and many kisses to you and Jess. Remember me to Mrs. Smith, Mr. & Mrs. Cameron and all at the house.
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 576
Library of Congress, USG