Apparently there has been some dispute over who has the rights to publish my biography. I wrote the publisher C.F. Vent & Co. to clarify matters.
St. Louis, Mo
Sept. 18th 1865
C. F. Vent & Co
Your letter of the 16th inst. stating that Gn. Smith, formerly “Chief of Cavy” with me claims exclusive privilege access to the material to write my biography, and that Coppee’s claims are false, is received.
Gen. Smith asked of me the privilege of writing the biography he speaks of and being an old friend was not refused. Prof. Coppee however had asked the privilege of writing the work he advertises long before General Smith said any thing to me about the work he now proposed and I promised him all the information from my office he might require that was not inconsistent to give. Prof. C. so far as I know, has been furnished with all he asked. I do not know what he has said in his book but without intending that exclusive privilege should be given to one author Prof. Coppee is the only one, up to this time, who has had access to any information from my HdQrs. for the purpose of writing a book and Gn. Smith is the only other who has had the promise of any thing of the kind. Their works are different, one being a biography the other a history of Campaigns in this War.
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 323