“Of course I am satisfied with the disposition you have made of the children”

I wrote Julia,

City Point, Va. Oct. 12th 1864.
Dear Julia,
I have just rec’d your letter written the 5th inst. at the same time your letter of the 9th. Of course I am satisfied with the disposition you have made of the children. I want them to go to school all the time. Fred, must study French and Buck & Nelly German. I am glad to hear Jess is such a good boy. I know he will learn very fast. I received a letter from Mr. Ford saying that he had sent out and got Little Rebel and now has him at his stables in town. If you say so I will send and have him expressed to you. The other horse I heard nothing about. I send by the same Mail with this Pay Accounts for Capt. Leet to get cashed with instructions to send you a draft for $800 00. I received a letter from Mr. Jones saying the citizens of Chicago were about purchasing a fine residence for us there. We cant live at both places so that I do not know that it will be desirable to have a house there.
Clothing has been sent to John Dent so that I do not think he can be suffering on that account. I am perfectly willing however to send more to him. The Commissioner for the exchange of prisoners has promised several times that John should be released. His word has not been kept however. The pretext upon which he has been retained is that he is a lessee of a plantation from Govt. This has been frequently denied but I believe some one in the South has given such evidence against him as to determine them to retain him. I have been terribly embarrassed for several days with the movements and demonstrations of the enemy in the West. Here I feel easy. Love and kisses for you and the children.
Ulys.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 299

“On reflection, I think better of your proposition”

After having some time to think about Gen. Sherman’s proposed movement south of Atlanta, I have decided to trust his judgement of the situation.  I wrote him,

CITY POINT, VA., October 12, 1864-1 p. m.

Major-General SHERMAN,

Kingston, Ga.:

On reflection, I think better of your proposition. It would be much better to go south than to be forced to come north. You will, no doubt, clean the country where you go of railroad tracks and supplies. I would also move every wagon, horse, mules, and hoof of stock, as well as the negroes. As far as arms can be supplied, either from surplus or by capture, I would put them in the hands of negro men. Give them such organization as you can. They will be of some use.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 298

O.R., I, xxxix, part 3, p 222

“If there is any way of getting at Hood’s army, I would prefer that, but I must trust to your own judgment”

I responded to Gen. Sherman’s proposal to cut loose from his base and march across Georgia.  I worry that if Hood’s army is left alone, he will attempt to invade Tennessee.

CITY POINT, VA., October 11, 1864-11 a. m.

Major-General SHERMAN, Atlanta, Ga.:

Your dispatch received. Does it not look as if Hood was going to attempt the invasion of Middle Tennessee, using the Mobile and Ohio and Memphis and Charleston roads to supply his base on the Tennessee River, about Florence or Decatur? If he does this he ought to be met and prevented from getting north of the Tennessee River. If you were to cut lose, I do not believe you would meet Hood’s army, but would be bushwhacked by all the old men, little boys, and such railroad guards as are still left at home. Hood would probably strike for Nashville, thinking by going north he could inflict greater damage upon us than we could upon the rebels by going south. If there is any way of getting at Hood’s army, I would prefer that, but I must trust to your own judgment. I find I shall not be able to send a force from here to act with you on Savannah. Your movements, therefore, will be independent of mine, at least until the fall of Richmond takes place. I am afraid Thomas, with such lines of road as he has to protect, could not prevent Hood going north. With Wilson turned loose with all your cavalry, you will find the rebels put much more on the defensive than heretofore.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 289-90

O.R., I, xxxix, part 3, p 202

“On reflection I do not know but safety demands the removal of Rosecrans”

I wrote Sec. Stanton,

CITY POINT, VA., October 11, 1864-12.30 p. m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington;

On reflection I do not know but safety demands the removal of Rosecrans and the appointment of a subordinate general in his place. In conversation I said that I doubted the propriety of making any change during present complications, but present movements of Hood’s army, especially if he should go on to the Mississippi River, may make it necessary to have a commander in Missouri who will co-operate. The best general now in Missouri to take that command would be General J. J. Reynolds, if he is there; if not, then Mower would come next. Probably more activity could be insured by sending Sheridan to Missouri, place Meade where Sheridan is, and put Hancock in command of the Army of the Potomac. I send this more to get your views before anything positive is done than to ask the change at once. It ought to be made, however, as soon as what is though best can be agreed upon.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 285

O.R., I, xlii, part 3, p 773

“Since Friday there has been no fighting whatever.”

I gave a fuller report of the action on Gen. Butler’s front on the 7th.

 

CITY POINT, VA., October 10, 1864.

Hon. Edwin M. Stanton,
Secretary of War,
Our entire loss in the enemy’s attack on our lines on Friday, the 7th instant, does not exceed 300 in killed, wounded, and missing. The enemy’s loss is estimated by General Butler at 1,000. The Richmond Whig of the 8th, speaking of the attack, has the following:

The gallant General Gregg, commanding a Texan brigade, fell in the advance. Among other casualties we have to report General Bratton, of South Carolina, badly wounded; Colonel Haskell, Seventh South Carolina Infantry [Cavalry], severely wounded in face, and Major Haskell, of the South Carolina artillery, also wounded.

Rumor stated that General Gary had been killed.

Since Friday there has been no fighting whatever.

U.S. GRANT,
Lieutenant- General

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 280

O.R., I, xlii, part 1, p 22

Sherman: “I can make the march, and make Georgia howl”

Gen. Sherman has been moving North to threaten Hood’s army.  It now looks like that strategy will only lead to stalemate.  He writes,

HDQRS. MiLITARY DIVISION OF THE Mississippi,
In the Field, Allatoona, Ga., October 9, 1864 7.30 p. m.
Lieutenant-General GRANT,
City Point, Va.:
It will be a physical impossibility to protect the roads, now that Hood, Forrest, and Wheeler, and the whole batch of devils, are turned loose without home or habitation. I think Hoods movements indicate a diversion to the end of the Selma and Talladega Railroad at Blue Mountain, about sixty miles southwest of Rome, from which he will threaten Kingston, Bridgeport, and Decatur, Ala. I propose we break up the railroad from Chattanooga, and strike out with wagons for Milledgeville, Millen, and Savannah. Until we can repopulate Georgia, it is useless to occupy it, but the utter destruction of its roads, houses, and people will cripple their military resources. By attempting to hold the roads we will lose 1,000 men monthly, and will gain no result. I can make the march, and make Georgia howl. We have over 8,000 cattle and 3,000,000 of bread, but no corn; but we can forage in the interior of the State.
W. T. SHERMAN,
Major- General, Commanding.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 291
O.R., I, xxxix, part 3, p 162

Butler: “Our success yesterday was a decided one, although the rebel papers claim a victory”

I received an update from Gen. Butler,

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE JAMES,
October 8, 1864 – 1.35 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

Washington, D. C.:

Our success yesterday was a decided one, although the rebel papers claim a victory. They admit General Gregg killed and General Bratton wounded. General Gregg was in command of Field’s division. The Richmond Examiner of this morning contains an official dispatch from Gordonsville last night, which states that a Yankee cavalry force yesterday burnt the railroad bridge over the Rapidan and made their escape. No movement on the Petersburg side. No more troops have been sent over from Lee. The movement of yesterday was made under his eye. All quiet to-day.

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 283

O.R., I, xlii, part 3, p 142

Butler: “At 6.45 this morning the enemy have attacked and driven Kautz back”

I am currently in Washington, and have just received a dispatch from Gen. Butler. The enemy have attacked our troops north of the James. Butler writes,

Head Qrs., Oct. 7th, 9 A.M.

Li. Gen. GRANT, War Dept., WASHINGTON

AT 6.45 this morning the enemy have attacked and driven
Kautz back, and are now advancing on our right toward the rear in strong force. They have just opened fire upon Fort Harrison.

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g.

The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, Vol 12, p 280

“The question is whether … Augusta and Savannah would not be a better line, than Selma, Montgomery, and Mobile”

I have decided to postpone my trip to Washington.  I wrote to Gen. Halleck on the subject of the next step in Sherman’s campaign.

City Point, Va., October 4, 1864.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff of the Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 2nd instant, in relation to the movements of the Western armies, and the preparation ordered by the staff officers of General Canby, is received. When this campaign was commenced, nothing else was in contemplation but that Sherman, after capturing Atlanta, should connect with Canby at Mobile. Drawing the Nineteenth Corps, however, from Canby, and the movements of Kirby Smith demanding the presence of all of Canby’s surplus forces in another direction, have made it impossible to carry out the plan as early as was contemplated. Any considerable force to co-operate with Sherman on the sea-coast must now be sent from here. The question is whether, under such circumstances, Augusta and Savannah would not be a better line, than Selma, Montgomery, and Mobile. I think Savannah might be taken by surprise with one corps from here and such troops as Foster could spare from the Department of the South. This is my view, but before giving positive orders I want to make a visit to Washington and consult a little on the subject. All Canby can do with his present force is to make demonstration on Mobile and up the Appalachicola toward Columbus. He cannot possibly have the force to require the transportation your letters would indicate he has called for, or to consume the supplies.

Either line indicated would cut off the supplies from the rich district of Georgia, Alabama, and MISSISSIPPI equally well. Whichever way Sherman moves he will undoubtedly encounter Hood’s army, and in crossing to the sea-coast will sever the connection between Lee’s army and this district of country.

I wrote to Sherman on this subject, sending my letter by a staff officer. He is ready to attempt (and feels confident of his ability to succeed) to make his way to either the Savannah River or any of the navigable steams emptying into the Atlantic or Gulf, if he is only certain of finding a base open for him when he arrives. The supplies Canby was ordering I presume were intended for the use of Sherman’s army. I do not deem it necessary to accumulate them in any great quantity until the base to which he is to make his way is secured.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 272-3

O.R., I, xxxix, part 3, 63-4

“I shall go to Washington to-morrow”

I am going to Washington to see if it is possible to expedite reinforcements for our armies.  I wrote Gen. Meade,

CITY POINT, VA., October 3, 1864-12 m.

Major-General MEADE:

I shall go to Washington to-morrow and see if I cannot devise means of getting promptly into the field the large number of recruits that I understand are now in depots all over the North. Will be gone three or four days. In my absence would like to have present lines held, if possible, but if necessity requires it, all or as much as is necessary west of the Weldon road may be abandoned. One corps, or as many troops as possible, from the Army of the James, will be held foot loose, to operate on the defensive at any place threatened. General Butler, the senior officer present, will command during my absence.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 267

O.R., I, xlii, part 3, p 51