“The gambling institutions will be completely broken up, and their money and stock confiscated”

There have been a tremendous number of gambling houses that have sprung up.  I ordered our commanders to close them down.

[CONFIDENTIAL CIRCULAR.] WASHINGTON, June 22, 1865

All department commanders commanding in States where martial law prevails will immediately put detectives upon the watch for gambling houses, especially faro banks, and at the appropriate time make a descent upon them all simultaneously, arresting all disbursing officers of the Government who may be found gambling in them or visitants therein at the time, and who, it can be proven, had previously gambled at such places. The gambling institutions will be completely broken up, and their money and stock confiscated, and the owners or proprietors of such gambling institutions be made to disgorge and refund all money the have won from United States disbursing officers. The officer so taken will be imprisoned and tried immediately.

The same proceeding will be taken by department commanders in the North, within their respective commands in the cities where disbursing officers may be located, except that instead of confiscating the money and stock of the gambling establishments or compelling, by military action, the owners and proprietors of the same to disgorge or refund any moneys they may have won from disbursing officers of the Government, they will be immediately reported to the civil authorities for their action.

This will be kept strictly confidential except so far as it may be necessary to communicate it to those who are to carry it into execution.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 217

O.R., I, xlvi, part 3, p 1289-90

“In my opinion the officers and men paroled at Appomattox Court-House … cannot be tried for treason”

I received the following letter from Robert E. Lee,

RICHMOND, June 13, 1865.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Armies of the United States:

GENERAL: Upon reading the President’s proclamation of the 29th ultimo, I came to Richmond to ascertain what was proper or required of me to do, when I learned that with others I was to be indicted for treason by the grand jury at Norfolk. I had supposed that the officers and men of the Army of Northern Virginia were, by the terms of their surrender, protected by the United States Government from molestation so long as they conformed to its conditions. I am ready to meet any charges that may be preferred against me. I do not wish to avoid trial, but if I am correct as to the protection granted by my parole, and am not to be prosecuted, I desire to comply with the provisions of the President’s proclamation and therefore inclose the required application, which I request in that event may be acted on.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE

Trying Lee for treason is against both the letter and the spirit of the surrender agreement I signed in Appomattox.  I endorsed this letter, sent it to Sec. Stanton and included the following note.

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,

June 16, 1865.

In my opinion the officers and men paroled at Appomattox Court-House, and since, upon the same terms given to Lee, cannot be tried for treason so long as they observe the terms of their parole. This is my understanding. Good faith, as well as true policy, dictates that we should observe the conditions of that convention. Bad faith on the part of the Government or a construction of that convention subjecting officers to trial for treason, would produce a feeling of insecurity in the minds of all the paroled officers and men. If so disposed they might even regard such an infraction of terms by the Government as an entire release from all obligations on their part. I will state further that the terms granted by me met with the hearty approval of the President at the time, and of the country generally. The action of Judge Underwood, in Norfolk, has already had an injurious effect, and I would ask that he be ordered to quash all indictments found against paroled prisoners of war, and to desist from further prosecution of them.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 149-50

O.R., I, xlvi, part 3, p 1275-6

“Demand … the return of all arms and other munitions of war taken to Matamoras by the rebels”

Now that the war within our borders is over, we must turn our attention to the European intervention into the affairs of Mexico.  Gen. Sheridan reported that Kirby Smith had sold his arms to pro-French forces.  I wrote Sheridan,

WASHINGTON, June 15, 1865 – 1. 30 p. m.

Major-General SHERIDAN,

New Orleans, La.:

Demand of the commander of French forces at Matamoras the delivery to an officer of the Government of the United States the return of all arms and other munitions of war taken to Matamoras by the rebels or obtained from them since the date of the surrender of Kirby Smith. You need not proceed to hostilities to obtain them, but report the reply received for further instructions.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 146

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 889

Sheridan: “Brownsville is again in possession of the Federals”

I am in Chicago, visiting a fair to raise money for disabled soldiers. I have just received word from Gen. Sheridan that we are making progress in Texas.  It appears that the rebels are selling their arms to the forces supporting French imperialism in Mexico.  He writes,

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Washington:

The following telegram has just been received from South Pass. It is not official, but I deem it correct:

[Special, True Delta.]

JUNE 8, 1865- 8 A. M.

Brownsville is again in possession of the Federals. Brigadier-General Brown entered the town at the head of his forces at daylight on the morning of the 31st of May. The Confederate forces did not await their arrival, but unceremoniously left the day before, first selling their artillery to the Imperialists in Matamoras. Slaughter’s forces are scattered. he is at the head of a marauding party, levying taxes upon cotton from the interior. The forces of Cortina were hovering near Matamoras on the 22nd. Mejia marched out their to drive him out. It was rumored in Brownsville on the 30th that the Imperialists were driven instead. Health at Brownsville and Brazos excellent. Business at Matamoras at a standstill. Steam transport Patron left Brazos at noon 3rd instant. H. G. Agnew commands. P. S. Rushwood in Brownsville heard report that Galveston had surrendered.

P. H. SHERIDAN,

Major-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 128

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 813-4

“It is probable a large force of cavalry will be required in Texas”

Now that Kirby Smith has surrendered, we will need to keep the peace in Texas.  I wrote Gen. Sheridan,

WASHINGTON, June 3, 1865-11 a. m.

General P. H. SHERIDAN:

It is probable a large force of cavalry will be required in Texas. If enough cannot be obtained in the West, let me know and I will send all that is required from here. I want Custer and Merritt left in Texas for the present. The whole State should be scoured to pick up Kirby Smith’s men and the arms carried home by them.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 128

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 743

“Victory has crowned your valor and secured the purpose of your patriot hearts”

I issued General Orders No. 108 congratulating the soldiers of the Army on their great victory.

WAR DEPT., ADJT., GENERAL’S OFFICE, Numbers 108.

Washington, D. C., June 2, 1865.

SOLDIERS OF THE ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES:

By your patriotic devotion to your country in the hour of danger and alarms-your magnificent fighting, bravery, and endurance-you have maintained the supremacy of the Union and the Constitution, overthrown all armed opposition to the enforcement of the laws, and of the proclamation forever abolishing slavery-the cause and pretext of the rebellion-and opened the way to the rightful authorities to restore order and inaugurate peace on a permanent and enduring basis on every foot of American soil.

Your marches, sieges, and battles, in distance, duration, resolution, and brilliancy of result dim the luster of the world’s past military achievements, and will be the patriot’s precedent in defense of liberty and right in all time to come.

In obedience to your country’s call you left your homes and families and volunteered in its defense. Victory has crowned your valor and secured the purpose of your patriot hearts, and with the gratitude of your countrymen, and the highest honors a great and free nation can accord, you will soon be permitted to return to your homes and families conscious of having discharged the highest duty of American citizens. To achieve these glorious triumphs, and secure to yourselves, your fellow-countrymen, and posterity the blessings of free institutions tens of thousands of your gallant comrades have fallen and sealed the priceless legacy with their lives. The graves of these a grateful nation bedews with tears, honors their memories, and will ever cherish and support their stricken families.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 120-1

O.R., I, xlvi, part 3, p 1248

Reynolds: “This department is daily filling up with predatory bands and stragglers”

Gen. Pope forwarded to me the following dispatch from Gen. Reynolds in Arkansas.  He is having trouble keeping the area free from lawlessness and fears that when his troops’ enlistment periods expire that he will have further problems.  He writes,

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS,

Little Rock, Ark., May 31, 1865.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL OF THE ARMY:

There are now on the rolls of this department about 20,000 effective men, including 4,500 colored troops. We require for the present to garrison the depots about 14,000, which number can be gradually diminished. White River country requires about 2,500 men. Arkansas, including railroad and Fort Gibson, about 9,000. Camden and other points in the south part of this State, say Washington or Fulton, about 2,500. The terms of service of the white troops in the department expire before September 30, and their muster-out is suspended until they can be replaced by other troops. This replacement is recommended, and should take place at once, as the fact of the existence of orders entitling them to muster-out cannot be kept from the troops, and impartial treatment is essential to harmony. This department is daily filling up with predatory bands and stragglers, rendering immediate and prompt action necessary. Will send complete lists by mail. No account is herein taken of Alexandria and Shreveport, which must soon be garrisoned.

J. J. REYNOLDS,

Major-General.

I replied,

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,

Washington, June 1, 1865-10 a. m.

Major General J. J. REYNOLDS,

Little Rock, Ark.:

Troops will be sent to you from Sherman’s army as soon as they can be paid, to enable you to carry out the order for mustering out troops. Have rolls prepared, as far as practicable, so there shall be no delay.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 119-20

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 699, 720

“Buckner and Price, for Kirby Smith, have surrendered to General Canby all forces west of the Mississippi”

Gen. Sheridan is on his way west to take command of our forces beyond the Mississippi.  I wrote him to inform him of Kirby Smith’s surrender.

WASHINGTON, May 28, 1865-11. 30 a. m.

Major-General SHERIDAN,

Saint Louis, Mo.:

Buckner and Price, for Kirby Smith, have surrendered to General Canby all forces west of the Mississippi. I have directed Canby to push troops to the Rio Grande without waiting arrival of Twenty-fifth Corps; also to garrison Galveston. You had better push down the river at once and proceed to carry out the convention and garrison Texas and Louisiana as soon as it can be done.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 103-4

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 639

Camby: “The arrangements for the surrender of the Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department have been concluded”

I received the following telegram from Gen. Camby.  Kirby Smith’s rebel force in Texas has surrendered.  This was the last remaining substantial rebel force still active.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

Commanding U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

The arrangements for the surrender of the Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department have been concluded. They include the men and material of both army and navy, and the Confederate military authorities will use their influence and authority to see that public property in the hands of the agents of the late rebel Government are duly surrendered to the U. S. authorities. I have arranged for the surrender of the troops and property within the limits of the Division of Missouri to the commander of that division, and ask General Pope to designate the commissionaires. I think it advisable, in order to prevent any possible complication on the Mexican frontier, that Steele’s command should be sent to the Rio Grande without waiting for the Twenty-fifth Corps, if that should now be sent. If you approved, this will be done and I can at once add 4,000 colored to his command. Cavalry will be needed, but it cannot be sent by sea, but may march from Berwick Bay.

E. R. S. CANBY,

Major-General, Commanding.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 96

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 602-3

Stanton: “Governor Brown, of Georgia, was arrested for attempting to restore the rebellion”

Sec. Stanton sent me the following message.

Governor Brown, of Georgia, was arrested for attempting to restore the rebellion by calling together an unauthorized assemblage, assuming to act as the Legislature of Georgia, without permission of the President—This I understand to have been subsequent to his alleged surrender. I am not advised of the terms of the surrender, or under what authority he can claim any benefit arising from it. If you have any details or report upon that point, I will thank you to send them to me.

I replied,

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

The inclosed makes it appear that Brown, of Georgia, surrendered the militia of that State and himself as commander in-chief thereof to General Wilson and was paroled.  If the call for the meeting of the Georgia Legislature was subsequent to his parole, I suppose there can be no doubt but that he stands liable to arrest for violation of his parole. Otherwise, is it not obligatory upon the Government to observe their part of the contract? I would not advise authorizing him to go back to Georgia now under any circumstances, but I do not think a paroled officer is subject to arrest so long as he observes his parole without giving him notice first that he is absolved from further observance of it.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 69

O.R., I, xlix, part 2, p 836