“The distance was too great to Richmond or it would have been taken”

Although I told Julia I would not have the opportunity to write, I was able to write her a short letter.

 

City Point, Va. Sept. 29th 1864.

Dear Julia,
I have been out all day on the battle field and well up towards Richmond. Our troops surprised and captured a very long line of strong fortifications and took some fifteen or twenty cannon. The distance was too great to Richmond or it would have been taken. Before morning I presume the enemy will have his fortifications around Richmond well maned and we will have to stay out for the present. Our advance troops were within three miles the last I heard from them,—I have just received your letter written on the blank part of Jennie’s, You [are] right to tell the principal of the school you propose to send the children too that you understand the citizens of Phila are about presenting you with a house and if they [do] you will go there and take the children with you. If I was going to be at home all the time the boys might go to boarding school. But for me and them both to be away will leave you to lonesome. I feel that the time is now near when I shall be able to spend a good part of each week at home. I hope I shall not be disappointed. Good night dear Julia, I shall be very busy to-night and to-morrow to. There will be heavy fighting commencing at daylight in the morning if the enemy do not commence it to-night. I shall attack then south of Petersburg and East of Richmond at that time.
Ulys.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 241

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