Sheridan on Mexico: “We should give a permanent government to that republic”

The following was sent to Gen. Rawlins from Gen. Sheridan.  I forwarded it to the President, indicating that I agreed with Sheridan’s views.

Personal … I have detained Bvt Brig. Genl Price of the Cavalry Bureau longer perhaps than I should have done but his services were so important to me that I don’t see how I could have done without him. The cavalry here was very much scattered and the regiments were unknown to me but by his admirable system of inspection I was at once enabled to select the best regiments and to collect together two of the handsomest columns of cavalry that have been organized during the present war, one under Genl Merritt which moves from Shreveport. The other under Genl Custer which moves from Alexandria La. I have had many difficulties and delays in getting these cavalry columns together and in their magnificent trim but I am now out of the woods and only hope that I may have the pleasure of crossing the Rio Grande with them with our faces turned towards the city of Mexico. There is no use to beat around the bush in this Mexican matter.  We should give a permanent government to that republic. Our work in crushing the rebellion will not be done until this takes place. The advent of Maximilian was a portion of the rebellion and his fall should belong to its history. Juarez even if he was to be successful tomorrow could not give stability to a government there without our helping hand, most of the Mexican soldiers of Maximilian’s army would throw down their arms the moment we crossed the Rio Grande. The french influence has governed by their impudence.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 259

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