Wrote my Father, “My inclination is to whip the rebellion into submission”

Nov 28 1861 Wrote my Father, “In regard to your stricture about my not writing I think that you have no cause for complaint.  My time is all taken up with public duties.

“Your statement of prices at which you proposed furnishing harness was forwarded to Maj. Allen as soon as received and I directed Lagow, who received the letter enclosing it, to inform you of the fact.  He did so at once.

“I cannot take an active part in securing contracts.  If I were not in the army I should do so, but situated as I am it is necessary both to my efficiency for the public good and my own reputation that I should keep clear of government contracts.

“I do not write you about plans, or the necessity of what has been done or what is doing because I am opposed to publicity in these matters.  Then too you are very much disposed to criticize unfavorably from information received through the public press, a portion of which I am sorry to see can look at nothing favorably that does not look to a war upon slaver.  My inclination is to whip the rebellion into submission, preserving all constitutional rights.  If it cannot be whipped in any other way than through a war against slavery, let it come to that legitimately.  If it is necessary that slavery should fall that the Republic may continue its existence, let slavery go.  But that portion of the press that advocates the beginning of such a war now, are as great enemies to their country as if they were open and avowed secessionists.

“There is a desire upon the part of people who stay securely at home to read in the morning papers, at their breakfast, startling reports of battles fought.  They cannot understand why troops are kept inactive for weeks or even months.  They do not understand that men have to be disciplined, arms made, transportation and provisions provided.  I am very tired of the course pursued by a portion of the Union press.”

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 3, p 226-7


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