“I had no expectation that you would find difficulty in finding a house”

I wrote Julia,

City Point Va. Sept. 7th 1864.

Dear Julia,
I received a letter from you this evening containing two pieces of news that I regretted to hear: first that you had not succeeded in getting a house, and second, that you had not received a letter from me. I wrote to you the day I returned to City Point and have written regularly every other day since. I had no expectation that you would find difficulty in finding a house. Hope yet that you will succeed. I am sorry that it is not so that I can be absent for a few days to see you comfortably fixed. But you know that of all persons I am the last one who can leave. When this campaign ends I shall have Commanders in the field and will spend most of my time, or at least some of it, at home and visit the different Armies.
Since you left here I have had a fine appetite for the first time since we have been at City Point and feel very strong to what I did. Have you not had a great many calls since you have been in Philadelphia? I should suppose you would have.
Kisses for you and the children.


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 136

“I hope you will be able to suit yourself in Philadelphia”

I wrote Julia,

City Pt. Va. Sept, 5th 1864.

Dear Julia,
Dr. Harned, who wrote me the letter in relation to Mr. Chews house in Germantown has written to Mrs. Harned to call upon you and to aid in securing such a house as you want. I hope you will be able to suit yourself in Philadelphia.—You received my telegraphic dispatch did you not? telling you to get boarding in Phila. until such time as you could secure a house, Go to New York or New Jersey as you like.
I am in good health feeling greatly better than for the week or two before you came here. Kisses for yourself and children.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 130-1

“For some time back bounty and substitute men have been deserting to the enemy immediately on their arrival”

We are suffering from an epidemic of desertions from men who are signing up for the army to collect the bounty, then immediately deserting.  I wrote Gen. Augur,

CITY POINT, VA., September 5, 1864-9 p. m.

Major General C. C. AUGUR:

For some time back bounty and substitute men have been deserting to the enemy immediately on their arrival here to take advantage of Cooper’s General Orders, No 65, premising to send such persons trough the enemy’s lines at the nearest point to their homes. Richmond papers of to-day announce that the now have several hundred such deserters who are to be sent off. I think the route that will be taken by many of them will be to cross the bay into Accomac of else the Potomac above Point Lookout. I wish you would have a close lookout kept for them, and send all you get back here for trial.




The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 128

O.R., I, xliii, part 2, p 29

“In honor of your great victory I have ordered a salute to be fired with shotted guns from every battery “

I was forwarded the following telegram from Gen. Sherman to Gen. Halleck,


Twenty-six miles south of Atlanta, Ga.,

September 3, 1864-6 a.m.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:

As already reported, the army drew from about Atlanta, and on the 30th had made a good break of the West Point road and reached a good position from which to strike the Macon railroad, the right (General Howard’s) near Jonesborough the left (General Schofield’s) near Rough and Ready, and the center (General Thomas) at Couch’s. General Howard found the enemy in force at Jonesborough, and intrenched his troops, the salient within half a mile of the railroad. The enemy attacked him at 3 p.m., and was easily repulsed, leaving his dead and wounded. Finding strong opposition on the right, I advanced the left and center rapidly to the railroad, made a good lodgment, and broke it all the way from Rough and Ready down to Howard’s left, near Jonesborough and by the same movement I interposed my whole army between Atlanta and the part of the enemy intrenched in and around Jonesborough. We made a general attack on the enemy at Jonesborough on September 1, the Fourteenth Corps, General Jeff. C. Davis, carrying the works handsomely, with 10 guns and about 1,000 prisoners. In the night the enemy retreated south, and we have followed him to another of his well-chosen and hastily constructed lines, near Lovejoy’s. Hood, at Atlanta, finding me on his road, the only one that could supply him, and between him and a considerable part of his army, blew up his magazines in Atlanta and left in the night- time, when the Twentieth Corps, General Slocum, took possession of the place. So Atlanta is ours, and fairly won. I shall not push much farther on this raid, but in a day or so will move to Atlanta and give my men some rest. Since May 5 we have been in one constant battle or skirmish, and need rest. Our losses will not exceed 1,200 and we have possession of over 300 rebel dead, 250 wounded, and over 1,500 well prisoners.



I replied,

CITY POINT, VA., September 4, 1864- 9 p. m.

Major- General SHERMAN:

I have just received your dispatch announcing the capture of Atlanta. In honor of your great victory I have ordered a salute to be fired with shotted guns from every battery bearing upon the enemy. The salute will be fired within an hour amidst great rejoicing.


Lieutenant- General.


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 127-8

O.R., I, xxxviii, part 5, p 777

O.R., I, xxxviii, part 1, p 87

“A dispatch just received … announces the occupation of Atlanta by our troops”

I received a copy of the following telegram to Sec. Stanton,

ATLANTA, GA., September 2, 1864.

Honorable E. M. STANTON.

Secretary of War:

General Sherman has taken Atlanta. The Twentieth Corps occupies the city. The main army is on the Macon road, near East Point. A battle was fought near that point, in which General Sherman was successful. Particulars not known.




I immediately sent word to my commanders.

City Point Va. Sept. 2d 1864.

To Commander A. P. & all Corps Commanders,

A dispatch just received from Superintendent of Telegraph in Dept. of Cumberland of this date announces the occupation of Atlanta by our troops. This must be by the 20th Corps which was left by Sherman on the Chattahoocha whilst with the balance of his army he march to the south of the City.
U. S. Grant
Lt. Gn.


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 121

O.R., I, xxxviii, part 5, p 763

“My order was to General Meade, and then General Meade made his order from what I directed him to do”

A court of inquiry was convened to investigate the unsuccessful assault on the enemy’s lines on July 30.  I was ordered to appear before the court and was asked several questions.

TESTIMONY OF Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT, U. S. Army, being sworn and examined by the JUDGE-ADVOCATE, says:

Question. Will you please to state what in your judgment caused the failure of the attack on the enemy’s lines on the 30th of July?

Answer. It seemed to me that it was perfectly practicable for the men, if they had been properly led, to have gone straight through the breach which was caused by the explosion on the mine, and to have gone to the top of Cemetery Hill. It looked to me, from what I would see and hear, that it was perfectly practicable to have taken the men through; but whether it was because the men themselves would not go, or whether it was because they were not led, I was not far enough to the front to be qualified to say.

Question. What orders which you issued were not executed, if any?

Answer. I could send you copies of all the dispatches that I wrote. The orders for the assault were issued by General Meade in obedience to general instructions from me. I saw the detailed order of General Meade before the mine was exploded, and I thought that the execution of that order was practicable. That order I presume you have before you. My order was to General Meade, and then General Meade made his order from what I directed him to do, and sent me a copy of it, and I thought it was all that could be required. I recollect that, failing on the north bank of the river to surprise the enemy as we expected or hoped to do, but instead of that drew a large part of his force to the north side, I telegraphed to General Meade that we would now take advantage of the absence of that force of the enemy to explode the mine and make an assault on Petersburg.

By the COURT:

Question. From your information how many of the enemy were in Petersburg at the time of this assault?

Answer. My information was that three divisions were left in Petersburg, with one brigade absent from those division – Johnston’s. From the best evidence none of the enemy’s troops crossed the James River until 2 o’clock of the 30th of July, on their way back. Then they had fully sixteen miles to travel to get back, with, however, the advantage of a railroad near them to carry many of the men. The distance I guess at when I say sixteen miles.


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 111-2

O.R., I, xl, part 1, p 82

“I think now that Sheridan is superior to Early”

I received the following letter, dated yesterday, from Gen. Halleck.

Washington, August 27, 1864.

Lieutenant-General GRANT, City Point:

GENERAL: In a letter just received from General Sherman he advises that Granger should not attack Mobile, but move directly up the Alabama River to Selma or Montgomery. He says the capture of Mobile will only weaken our active forces by the garrison required to hold it, whereas garrisoned by the enemy and threatened by our gun-boats, Hood’s forces are weakened to the amount of that garrison.

I think Sherman has entirely overestimated Granger’s forces and underestimated the difficulty of passing Mobile and ascending the Alabama some 150 or 200 miles. Possibly something of the kind might have been effected if A. J. Smith’s column had moved on Selma or Montgomery; but I now Learn from Sherman that he was ordered to strike the Tennessee at Eastport or Decatur. It will not do to attempt too many things at once with our rapidly diminishing armies. If Canby weakens the line of the MISSISSIPPI too much to re-enforce Granger, Kirby Smith may cross and re-enforce Hood. I fear that as it is he will send small parties across to meet at some place of rendezvous and then march to Atlanta.

General Canby and Admiral Farragut both understand that the main object of their operations is to assist Sherman, and I think it will be better to let them work out the problem as circumstances may require rather than to embarrass them with orders based on a supposed state of things which may be essentially different when the orders are received.

I have directed General Canby to permit no more exchange of prisoners of war. That part of the cartel which authorizes commanders to exchange on the field troops just captured, man for man, has been considered heretofore as still in effect. I do not see any objection to it, as it can give no advantage to either party and saves our men from barbarous treatment by the rebels. To exchange their healthy men for ours who are on the brink of the grave from their hellish treatment, of course gives them all the advantage; nevertheless it seems very cruel to leave our men to be slowly but deliberately tortured to death, but I suppose there is no remedy at present.

Horses and men for the Second Cavalry DIVISION are being sent down as rapidly as possible. The 100-days’s men in WEST Virginia are nearly all discharged. That country is nearly defenseless. The people of that country are in a panic about rebel raids and beg for troops. I have none to send them, and must leave it to Sheridan to keep the enemy occupied.

General Heintzelman reports of the condition of affairs in his department. He is firmly of opinion that the plots of the Copperheads to release the rebel prisoners were frustrated only by sending additional guards, and that such attempts will be made at the earliest favorable opportunity.

At the request of the Governor of Colorado, I telegraphed to General Rosecrans to send the regiment of Colorado cavalry, now at Kansas City, to operate against the hostile Indians on the plains and to protect the overland mail route, but the replied, as usual, that he could not spare any troops. The authorities of Colorado and the Post-Office and Interior Department are very urgent for more troops in that direction, but it is impossible to give them.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General and Chief of Staff.


I replied,

City Point, Va., August 29, 1864.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff of the Army:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 27th is just received. I think with you it would be hazardous and productive of no special to send Granger past Mobile toward Atlanta. Granger would not be the right man to trust with an army cut loose form its base of supplies. Again, the movement Sherman is now making, result as it may, cannot be influenced by anything that can be done at Mobile in obedience to orders sent from here now.

On the subject of exchanges, I have no special objection to commanders making exchanges, after battles, of the men they have respectively captured, but I do not understand those to be the class of exchanges that have been made either by Canby or Foster. They have given men that will go immediately into the ranks to fight against us whilst we get nothing of the sort in return. Such exchanges are very much against us.

I think now that Sheridan is superior to Early, besides the latter being where it must take a good part of his force to collect supplies for the balance. He can at least feel the enemy and ascertain. If he can only get Early to retreating, the all of Crook’s force can be sent to Western Virginia. With the balance the enemy can be followed as far as may prove prudent; I hope to the Virginia Central Railroad. If this can be done the Sixth Corps might be brought here and the Nineteenth left for other service. My greatest alarm now is that Wheeler may go into Kentucky. He is easily whipped if boldly attacked by half his numbers, but I fear that Burbridge will not be able to raise even such a force. The only chance I know for him is to call upon the Governor of Kentucky for all the aid he can give. There is no doubt but Burbridge will fight with whatever force he had.

I cannot believe that General Heintzelman’s fears are well founded. The class of people who would threaten what he apprehends make a great noise, but it is hardly represented in the Union army have not friends to the soldiers enough left at home to prevent violence.

The only way a soldier can ever be taken from General Rosecrans is by sending a staff officer directly to him to execute the order in person. I do not know that he has any troops to spare, but it would be all the same if he had double the number he has.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,



The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 102-4

O.R., I, xxxix, part 2, p 309-10, 313

“just before night the enemy carried one point of the line and captured eight pieces of artillery”

I wrote Gen. Halleck,

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

CITY POINT, VA., August 26, 1864.

I have no report of casualties yet from operations yesterday near Reams’ Station. Orders were given during the day for General Hancock to return, but being pressed by the enemy, he could not do so until night. Frequent assaults were repulsed, but just before night the enemy carried one point of the line and captured eight pieces of artillery. The staff officer, who gives the only report I have, thinks the enemy were very severely punished, and that our loss in prisoners will be small. During the night General Hancock returned to his place in line without opposition. Yesterday morning the enemy drove in General Butler’s picket-line. The picket guard soon rallied, however, drove the enemy back and re-established their lines. The result was 1 killed, 16 wounded, and 14 missing on our side. Two commissioned officers and 59 men were captured from the enemy. What their casualties were in killed and wounded we do not know.




The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 92

O.R., I, xlii, part 1, p 20

“I have a horror of living in Washington and never intend to do it”

I wrote Julia,

City Point Va, Aug, 25th 1864.

Dear Julia,
If you can locate yourself comfortably and get the children in good schools Philadelphia will be as good a place as any for our permanent home.  I have a horror of living in Washington and never intend to do it. Philadelphia is within five and a half hours of Washington and in time of peace it would not be necessary for me to be there more than one each week and not always that. If you can rent a comfortable place for the present after a while we may be able to buy one of our own.
I hope you will leave word what you want and come on to Ft. Monroe for a few days. I sent a letter this morning directed to Fred in relation to a house in Philadelphia which can be got. I regret that I can not be at home to arrange your commencement for you. But my position is one that must be filled by myself whilst the War lasts. I think then I will be entitled to a good long rest.
Kisses for your self and the children,


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, vol 12, p 90-1

“Up to the last accounts this afternoon from General Hancock … he had been attacked several times to-day”

I have received word that Gen. Hancock’s II Corps, which is currently attempting to destroy the Weldon Railroad, has come under attack.  The railroad is a vital supply link to the rebel soldiers in Petersburg and must be held, or at least rendered useless.  I wrote Gen. Halleck,

CITY POINT, VA., August 25, 1864-8.30 p. m.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.:

Up to the last accounts this afternoon from General Hancock, who is south of Reams’ Station, he had been attacked several times to-day, but had repulsed every assault. Since the last dispatch very heavy and continuous artillery firing has been heard in that direction, continuing until dark. When I hear from there will telegraph you again.




The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol. 12, p 83

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 466