Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant [Volume Two]
Ulysses S. Grant
Part 9 out of 9
remember of. I did not regard the letter as official, and
consequently did not preserve it. General Sherman furnished a
copy himself to General Badeau, who printed it in his history of
my campaigns. I did not regard either the conversation between
us or the letter to my adjutant-general as protests, but simply
friendly advice which the relations between us fully
justified. Sherman gave the same energy to make the campaign a
success that he would or could have done if it had been ordered
by himself. I make this statement here to correct an impression
which was circulated at the close of the war to Sherman's
prejudice, and for which there was no fair foundation.
(*14) Meant Edward's Station.
(*15) CHATTANOOGA, November 18, 1863.
MAJ0R-GENERAL W. T. SHERMAN:
Enclosed herewith I send you copy of instructions to
Major-General Thomas. You having been over the ground in
person, and having heard the whole matter discussed, further
instructions will not be necessary for you. It is particularly
desirable that a force should be got through to the railroad
between Cleveland and Dalton, and Longstreet thus cut off from
communication with the South, but being confronted by a large
force here, strongly located, it is not easy to tell how this is
to be effected until the result of our first effort is known.
I will add, however, what is not shown in my instructions to
Thomas, that a brigade of cavalry has been ordered here which,
if it arrives in time, will be thrown across the Tennessee above
Chickamauga, and may be able to make the trip to Cleveland or
U. S. GRANT
CHATTANOOGA, November 18, 1863.
MAJOR-GENERAL GEO. H. THOMAS,
All preparations should be made for attacking the enemy's
position on Missionary Ridge by Saturday at daylight. Not being
provided with a map giving names of roads, spurs of the
mountains, and other places, such definite instructions cannot
be given as might be desirable. However, the general plan, you
understand, is for Sherman, with the force brought with him
strengthened by a division from your command, to effect a
crossing of the Tennessee River just below the mouth of
Chickamauga; his crossing to be protected by artillery from the
heights on the north bank of the river (to be located by your
chief of artillery), and to secure the heights on the northern
extremity to about the railroad tunnel before the enemy can
concentrate against him. You will co-operate with Sherman. The
troops in Chattanooga Valley should be well concentrated on your
left flank, leaving only the necessary force to defend
fortifications on the right and centre, and a movable column of
one division in readiness to move wherever ordered. This
division should show itself as threateningly as possible on the
most practicable line for making an attack up the valley. Your
effort then will be to form a junction with Sherman, making your
advance well towards the northern end of Missionary Ridge, and
moving as near simultaneously with him as possible. The
junction once formed and the ridge carried, communications will
be at once established between the two armies by roads on the
south bank of the river. Further movements will then depend on
those of the enemy. Lookout Valley, I think, will be easily
held by Geary's division and what troops you may still have
there belonging to the old Army of the Cumberland. Howard's
corps can then be held in readiness to act either with you at
Chattanooga or with Sherman. It should be marched on Friday
night to a position on the north side of the river, not lower
down than the first pontoon-bridge, and there held in readiness
for such orders as may become necessary. All these troops will
be provided with two days' cooked rations in haversacks, and one
hundred rounds of ammunition on the person of each infantry
soldier. Special care should be taken by all officers to see
that ammunition is not wasted or unnecessarily fired away. You
will call on the engineer department for such preparations as
you may deem necessary for carrying your infantry and artillery
over the creek.
U. S. GRANT,
(*16) In this order authority was given for the troops to reform
after taking the first line of rifle-pits preparatory to carrying
(*17) CHATTANOOGA, November 24,1863.
MAJOR-GENERAL. CEO. H. THOMAS,
General Sherman carried Missionary Ridge as far as the tunnel
with only slight skirmishing. His right now rests at the tunnel
and on top of the hill, his left at Chickamauga Creek. I have
instructed General Sherman to advance as soon as it is light in
the morning, and your attack, which will be simultaneous, will
be in cooperation. Your command will either carry the
rifle-pits and ridge directly in front of them, or move to the
left, as the presence of the enemy may require. If Hooker's
position on the mountain [cannot be maintained] with a small
force, and it is found impracticable to carry the top from where
he is, it would be advisable for him to move up the valley with
all the force he can spare, and ascend by the first practicable
U. S. GRANT,
(*18) WASHINGTON, D. C.,
December 8, 1863, 10.2 A.M.
MAJ.-GENERAL U. S. GRANT:
Understanding that your lodgment at Knoxville and at Chattanooga
is now secure, I wish to tender you, and all under your command,
my more than thanks, my profoundest gratitude for the skill,
courage, and perseverance with which you and they, over so great
difficulties, have effected that important object. God bless you
President U. S.
(*19) General John G. Foster.
(*20) During this winter the citizens of Jo Davies County, Ill.,
subscribed for and had a diamond-hilled sword made for General
Grant, which was always known as the Chattanooga sword. The
scabbard was of gold, and was ornamented with a scroll running
nearly its entire length, displaying in engraved letters the
names of the battles in which General Grant had participated.
Congress also gave him a vote of thanks for the victories at
Chattanooga, and voted him a gold medal for Vicksburg and
Chattanooga. All such things are now in the possession of the
government at Washington.
(*21) WASHINGTON, D. C.
December 29, 1863.
MAJ.-GENERAL U. S. GRANT:
General Foster has asked to be relieved from his command on
account of disability from old wounds. Should his request be
granted, who would you like as his successor? It is possible
that Schofield will be sent to your command.
H. W. HALLECK
(*22) See letter to Banks, in General Grant's report, Appendix.
(*23) [PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.]
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON, D. C.,
April 4, 1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi.
GENERAL:--It is my design, if the enemy keep quiet and allow me
to take the initiative in the spring campaign, to work all parts
of the army together, and somewhat towards a common centre. For
your information I now write you my programme, as at present
I have sent orders to Banks, by private messenger, to finish up
his present expedition against Shreveport with all dispatch; to
turn over the defence of Red River to General Steele and the
navy and to return your troops to you and his own to New
Orleans; to abandon all of Texas, except the Rio Grande, and to
hold that with not to exceed four thousand men; to reduce the
number of troops on the Mississippi to the lowest number
necessary to hold it, and to collect from his command not less
than twenty-five thousand men. To this I will add five thousand
men from Missouri. With this force he is to commence operations
against Mobile as soon as he can. It will be impossible for him
to commence too early.
Gillmore joins Butler with ten thousand men, and the two operate
against Richmond from the south side of the James River. This
will give Butler thirty-three thousand men to operate with, W.
F. Smith commanding the right wing of his forces and Gillmore
the left wing. I will stay with the Army of the Potomac,
increased by Burnside's corps of not less than twenty-five
thousand effective men, and operate directly against Lee's army,
wherever it may be found.
Sigel collects all his available force in two columns, one,
under Ord and Averell, to start from Beverly, Virginia, and the
other, under Crook, to start from Charleston on the Kanawha, to
move against the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad.
Crook will have all cavalry, and will endeavor to get in about
Saltville, and move east from there to join Ord. His force will
be all cavalry, while Ord will have from ten to twelve thousand
men of all arms.
You I propose to move against Johnston's army, to break it up
and to get into the interior of the enemy's country as far as
you can, inflicting all the damage you can against their war
I do not propose to lay down for you a plan of campaign, but
simply lay down the work it is desirable to have done and leave
you free to execute it in your own way. Submit to me, however,
as early as you can, your plan of operations.
As stated, Banks is ordered to commence operations as soon as he
can. Gillmore is ordered to report at Fortress Monroe by the
18th inst., or as soon thereafter as practicable. Sigel is
concentrating now. None will move from their places of
rendezvous until I direct, except Banks. I want to be ready to
move by the 25th inst., if possible. But all I can now direct
is that you get ready as soon as possible. I know you will have
difficulties to encounter in getting through the mountains to
where supplies are abundant, but I believe you will accomplish
From the expedition from the Department of West Virginia I do
not calculate on very great results; but it is the only way I
can take troops from there. With the long line of railroad
Sigel has to protect, he can spare no troops except to move
directly to his front. In this way he must get through to
inflict great damage on the enemy, or the enemy must detach from
one of his armies a large force to prevent it. In other words,
if Sigel can't skin himself he can hold a leg while some one
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
(*24) See instructions to Butler, in General Grant's report,
(*25) IN FIELD, CULPEPER C. H., VA.,
April 9, 1864.
MAJ.-GENERAL GEO. G. MEADE
Com'd'g Army of the Potomac.
For information and as instruction to govern your preparations
for the coming campaign, the following is communicated
confidentially for your own perusal alone.
So far as practicable all the armies are to move together, and
towards one common centre. Banks has been instructed to turn
over the guarding of the Red River to General Steele and the
navy, to abandon Texas with the exception of the Rio Grande, and
to concentrate all the force he can, not less than 25,000 men, to
move on Mobile. This he is to do without reference to other
movements. From the scattered condition of his command,
however, he cannot possibly get it together to leave New Orleans
before the 1st of May, if so soon. Sherman will move at the same
time you do, or two or three days in advance, Jo. Johnston's army
being his objective point, and the heart of Georgia his ultimate
aim. If successful he will secure the line from Chattanooga to
Mobile with the aid of Banks.
Sigel cannot spare troops from his army to reinforce either of
the great armies, but he can aid them by moving directly to his
front. This he has been directed to do, and is now making
preparations for it. Two columns of his command will make south
at the same time with the general move; one from Beverly, from
ten to twelve thousand strong, under Major-General Ord; the
other from Charleston, Va., principally cavalry, under
Brig.-General Crook. The former of these will endeavor to reach
the Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, about south of Covington,
and if found practicable will work eastward to Lynchburg and
return to its base by way of the Shenandoah Valley, or join
you. The other will strike at Saltville, Va., and come eastward
to join Ord. The cavalry from Ord's command will try tributaries
would furnish us an easy line over which to bring all supplies to
within easy hauling distance of every position the army could
occupy from the Rapidan to the James River. But Lee could, if
he chose, detach or move his whole army north on a line rather
interior to the one I would have to take in following. A
movement by his left--our right--would obviate this; but all
that was done would have to be done with the supplies and
ammunition we started with. All idea of adopting this latter
plan was abandoned when the limited quantity of supplies
possible to take with us was considered. The country over which
we would have to pass was so exhausted of all food or forage that
we would be obliged to carry everything with us.
While these preparations were going on the enemy was not
entirely idle. In the West Forrest made a raid in West
Tennessee up to the northern border, capturing the garrison of
four or five hundred men at Union City, and followed it up by an
attack on Paducah, Kentucky, on the banks of the Ohio. While he
was able to enter the city he failed to capture the forts or any
part of the garrison. On the first intelligence of Forrest's
raid I telegraphed Sherman to send all his cavalry against him,
and not to let him get out of the trap he had put himself
into. Sherman had anticipated me by sending troops against him
before he got my order.
Forrest, however, fell back rapidly, and attacked the troops at
Fort Pillow, a station for the protection of the navigation of
the Mississippi River. The garrison to force a passage
southward, if they are successful in reaching the Virginia and
Tennessee Railroad, to cut the main lines of the road connecting
Richmond with all the South and South-west.
Gillmore will join Butler with about 10,000 men from South
Carolina. Butler can reduce his garrison so as to take 23,000
men into the field directly to his front. The force will be
commanded by Maj.-General W. F. Smith. With Smith and Gillmore,
Butler will seize City Point, and operate against Richmond from
the south side of the river. His movement will be simultaneous
Lee's army will be your objective point. Wherever Lee goes,
there you will go also. The only point upon which I am now in
doubt is, whether it will be better to cross the Rapidan above
or below him. Each plan presents great advantages over the
other with corresponding objections. By crossing above, Lee is
cut off from all chance of ignoring Richmond and going north on
a raid. But if we take this route, all we do must be done
whilst the rations we start with hold out. We separate from
Butler so that he cannot be directed how to co-operate. By the
other route Brandy Station can be used as a base of supplies
until another is secured on the York or James rivers.
These advantages and objections I will talk over with you more
fully than I can write them.
Burnside with a force of probably 25,000 men will reinforce
you. Immediately upon his arrival, which will be shortly after
the 20th inst., I will give him the defence of the road from
Bull Run as far south as we wish to hold it. This will enable
you to collect all your strength about Brandy Station and to the
There will be naval co-operation on the James River, and
transports and ferries will be provided so that should Lee fall
back into his intrenchments at Richmond, Butler's force and
yours will be a unit, or at least can be made to act as such.
What I would direct then, is that you commence at once reducing
baggage to the very lowest possible standard. Two wagons to a
regiment of five hundred men is the greatest number that should
be allowed, for all baggage, exclusive of subsistence stores and
ordnance stores. One wagon to brigade and one to division
headquarters is sufficient and about two to corps headquarters.
Should by Lee's right flank be our route, you will want to make
arrangements for having supplies of all sorts promptly forwarded
to White House on the Pamunkey. Your estimates for this
contingency should be made at once. If not wanted there, there
is every probability they will be wanted on the James River or
If Lee's left is turned, large provision will have to be made
for ordnance stores. I would say not much short of five hundred
rounds of infantry ammunition would do. By the other, half the
amount would be sufficient.
U. S. GRANT,
(*26) General John A. Logan, upon whom devolved the command of
the Army of the Tennessee during this battle, in his report gave
our total loss in killed, wounded and missing at 3,521; and
estimated that of the enemy to be not less than 10,000: and
General G. M. Dodge, graphically describing to General Sherman
the enemy's attack, the full weight of which fell first upon and
was broken by his depleted command, remarks: "The disparity of
forces can be seen from the fact that in the charge made by my
two brigades under Fuller and Mersy they took 351 prisoners,
representing forty-nine different regiments, eight brigades and
three divisions; and brought back eight battle flags from the
UNION ARMY ON THE RAPIDAN, MAY 5, 1864.
LIEUTENANT-GENERAL U. S. GRANT, Commander-in-Chief.
MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE G. MEADE, Commanding Army of the Potomac.
MAJ.-GEN. W. S. HANCOCK, commanding Second Army Corps.
First Division, Brig.-Gen. Francis C. Barlow.
First Brigade, Col. Nelson A. Miles.
Second Brigade, Col. Thomas A. Smyth.
Third Brigade, Col. Paul Frank.
Fourth Brigade, Col. John R. Brooke.
Second Division, Brig.-Gen. John Gibbon.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Alex. S. Webb.
Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Joshua T. Owen.
Third Brigade, Col. Samuel S. Carroll.
Third Division, Maj.-Gen. David B. Birney.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. J. H. H. Ward.
Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Alexander Hays.
Fourth Divisin, Brig.-Gen. Gershom Mott.
First Brigade, Col. Robert McAllister.
Second Brigade, Col. Wm. R. Brewster.
Artillery Brigade, Col. John C. Tidball.
MAJ.-GEN. G. K. WARREN, commanding Fifth Army Corps.
First Division, Brig.-Gen. Charles Griffin.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Romeyn B. Ayres.
Second Brigade, Col. Jacob B. Sweitzer.
Third Brigade, Brig.-Gen. J. J. Bartlett.
Second Division, Brig.-Gen. John C. Robinson.
First Brigade, Col. Samuel H. Leonard.
Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Henry Baxter.
Third Brigade, Col. Andrew W. Denison.
Third Division, Brig.-Gen. Samuel W. Crawford.
First Brigade, Col. Wm McCandless.
Third Brigade, Col. Joseph W. Fisher.
Fourth Division, Brig.-Gen. James S. Wadsworth.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Lysander Cutler.
Second Brigade Brig.-Gen. James C. Rice.
Third Brigade, Col. Roy Stone
Artillery Brigade, Col. S. S. Wainwright.
MAJ.-GEN. JOHN SEDGWICK, commanding Sixth Army Corps.
First Division, Brig.-Gen. H. G. Wright.
First Brigade, Col. Henry W. Brown.
Second Brigade, Col. Emory Upton.
Third Brigade, Brig.-Gen. D. A. Russell.
Fourth Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Alexander Shaler.
Second Division, Brig.-Gen. George W. Getty.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Frank Wheaton.
Second Brigade, Col. Lewis A. Grant.
Third Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Thos. H. Neill.
Fourth Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Henry L. Eustis.
Third Division, Brig.-Gen. James Ricketts.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Wm. H. Morris.
Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. T. Seymour.
Artillery Brigade, Col. C. H. Tompkins
MAJ.-GEN. P. H. SHERIDAN, commanding Cavalry Corps.
First Division, Brig.-Gen. A. T. A. Torbert.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. G. A. Custer.
Second Brigade, Col. Thos. C. Devin.
Reserve Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Wesley Merritt
Second Division, Brig.-Gen. D. McM. Gregg.
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Henry E. Davies, Jr.
Second Brigade, Col. J. Irvin Gregg.
Third Division, Brig.-Gen. J. H. Wilson.
First Brigade, Col. T. M. Bryan, Jr.
Second Brigade, Col. Geo. H. Chapman.
MAJ.-GEN. A. E. BURNSIDE, commanding Ninth Army Corps.
First Division, Brig.-Gen. T. G. Stevenson.
First Brigade, Col. Sumner Carruth.
Second Brigade, Col. Daniel Leasure.
Second Division, Brig.-Gen. Robert B. Potter.
First Brigade, Col. Zenas R. Bliss.
Second Brigade, Col. Simon G. Griffin.
Third Division, Brig.-Gen. Orlando Willcox.
First Brigade, Col. John F. Hartranft.
Second Brigade, Col. Benj. C. Christ.
Fourth Division, Brig.-Gen. Edward Ferrero.
First Brigade, Col. Joshua K. Sigfried.
Second Brigade, Col. Henry G. Thomas.
Provisional Brigade, Col. Elisha G. Marshall.
BRIG.-GEN. HENRY J. HUNT, commanding Artillery.
Reserve, Col. H. S. Burton.
First Brigade, Col. J. H. Kitching.
Second Brigade, Maj. J. A. Tompkins.
First Brig. Horse Art., Capt. J. M. Robertson.
Second Brigade, Horse Art., Capt. D. R. Ransom.
Third Brigade, Maj. R. H. Fitzhugh.
Provost Guard, Brig.-Gen. M. R. Patrick.
Volunteer Engineers, Brig.-Gen. H. W. Benham.
Organization of the Army of Northern Virginia, Commanded by
GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE, August 31st, 1834.
First Army Corps: LIEUT.-GEN. R. H. ANDERSON, Commanding.
MAJ.-GEN. GEO. E. PICKETT'S Division.
Brig.-Gen. Seth M. Barton's Brigade. (a)
Brig.-Gen. M. D. Corse's "
" Eppa Hunton's "
" Wm. R. Terry's "
MAJ.-GEN. C. W. FIELD'S Division. (b)
Brig.-Gen. G. T. Anderson's Brigade
" E. M. Law's (c) "
" John Bratton's "
MAJ.-GEN. J. B. KERSHAW'S Division. (d)
Brig.-Gen. W. T. Wofford's Brigade
" B. G. Humphreys' "
" Goode Bryan's "
" Kershaw's (Old) "
Second Army Corps: MAJOR-GENERAL JUBAL A. EARLY, Commanding
MAJ.-GEN. JOHN B. GORDON'S Division.
Brig.-Gen. H. T. Hays' Brigade. (e)
" John Pegram 's " (f)
" Gordon's " (g)
Brig.-Gen. R. F. Hoke's "
MAJ.-GEN. EDWARD JOHNSON'S Division.
Stonewall Brig. (Brig.-Gen. J. A. Walker). (h)
Brig.-Gen. J M Jones' Brigade. (h)
" Geo H. Stewart's " (h)
" L. A. Stafford's " (e)
MAJ.-GEN. R. E. RODES' Division.
Brig.-Gen. J. Daniel's Brigade. (i)
" Geo. Dole's " (k)
" S. D. Ramseur's Brigade.
" C. A. Battle's "
" R. D. Johnston's " (f)
Third Army Corps: LIEUT.-GEN. A. P. HILL, Commanding.
MAJ.-GEN. WM. MAHONE'S Division. (l)
Brig.-Gen. J. C. C. Sanders' Brigade.
Brig.-Gen. N. H. Harris's " (m)
" A. R. Wright's "
" Joseph Finegan's "
MAJ.-GEN. C. M. WILCOX'S Division.
Brig.-Gen. E. L. Thomas's Brigade (n)
" James H. Lane's "
" Sam'l McCowan's "
" Alfred M. Scale's "
MAJ.-GEN. H. HETH'S Division. (o)
Brig.-Gen. J. R. Davis's Brigade.
" John R. Cooke's "
" D. McRae's "
" J. J. Archer's "
" H. H. Walker's "
_unattached_: 5th Alabama Battalion.
Cavalry Corps: LIEUTENANT-GENERAL WADE HAMPTON, Commanding.(p)
MAJ.-GEN. FITZHUGH LEE'S Division
Brig.-Gen. W. C. Wickham's Brigade
" L. L. Lomax's "
MAJ.-GEN. M. C. BUTLER'S Division.
Brig.-Gen. John Dunovant's Brigade.
" P. M. B. Young's "
" Thomas L. Rosser's "
MAJ.-GEN. W. H. F. LEE'S Division.
Brig.-Gen. Rufus Barringer's Brigade.
" J. R. Chambliss's "
Artillery Reserve: BRIG.-GEN. W. N. PENDLETON, Commanding.
BRIG.-GEN. E. P. ALEXANDER'S DIVISION.*
1st Co. Richmond Howitzers.
BRIG.-GEN. A. L. LONG'S DIVISION.
1st Md. Artillery.
King William Artillery.
Jeff Davis "
2d Richmond Howitzers.
3d " "
Salem Flying Artillery.
COL R. L.WALKER'S DIVISION.
Norfolk Light "
Mclntosh 's Battalion.
2d Rockbridge Artillery.
(a) COL. W. R. Aylett was in command Aug. 29th, and probably at
(b) Inspection report of this division shows that it also
contained Benning's and Gregg's Brigades. (c) Commanded by
Colonel P. D. Bowles.
(d) Only two brigadier-generals reported for duty; names not
Organization of the Army of the Valley District.
(e) Constituting York's Brigade.
(f) In Ramseur's Division.
(g) Evan's Brigade, Colonel E. N. Atkinson commanding, and
containing 12th Georgia Battalion.
(h) The Virginia regiments constituted Terry's Brigade, Gordon's
(i) Grimes' Brigade.
(k) Cook's "
(l) Returns report but one general officer present for duty;
name not indicated.
(m) Colonel Joseph M. Jayne, commanding.
(n) Colonel Thomas J. Simmons, commanding. (o) Four
brigadier-generals reported present for duty; names not
(p) On face of returns appears to have consisted of Hampton's,
Fitz-Lee's, and W. H. F. Lee's Division, and Dearing's Brigade.
*But one general officer reported present for duty in the
artillery, and Alexander's name not on the original.
(*28) HEADQUARTERS ARMIES U. S.,
May II, 1864.--3 P.M.
Commanding Army of the Potomac.
Move three divisions of the 2d corps by the rear of the 5th and
6th corps, under cover of night, so as to join the 9th corps in
a vigorous assault on the enemy at four o'clock A.M. to-morrow.
will send one or two staff officers over to-night to stay with
Burnside, and impress him with the importance of a prompt and
vigorous attack. Warren and Wright should hold their corps as
close to the enemy as possible, to take advantage of any
diversion caused by this attack, and to push in if any
opportunity presents itself. There is but little doubt in my
mind that the assault last evening would have proved entirely
successful if it had commenced one hour earlier and had been
heartily entered into by Mott's division and the 9th corps.
U. S. GRANT,
(*29) HEADQUARTERS, ARMIES U. S.,
May 11, 1864.-4 P.M.
MAJOR-GENERAL A. E. BURNSIDE,
Commanding 9th Army Corps.
Major-General Hancock has been ordered to move his corps under
cover of night to join you in a vigorous attack against the
enemy at 4 o'clock A.M. to-morrow. You will move against the
enemy with your entire force promptly and with all possible
vigor at precisely 4 o'clock A.M. to-morrow the 12th inst. Let
your preparations for this attack be conducted with the utmost
secrecy and veiled entirely from the enemy.
I send two of my staff officers, Colonels Comstock and Babcock,
in whom I have great confidence and who are acquainted with the
direction the attack is to be made from here, to remain with you
and General Hancock with instructions to render you every
assistance in their power. Generals Warren and Wright will hold
their corps as close to the enemy as possible, to take advantage
of any diversion caused by yours and Hancock's attack, and will
push in their whole force if any opportunity presents itself.
U. S. GRANT,
(*30) HEADQUARTERS ARMIES U. S.,
May 12, 1864, 6.30 P.M.
Washington, D. C.
The eighth day of the battle closes, leaving between three and
four thousand prisoners in our hands for the day's work,
including two general officers, and over thirty pieces of
artillery. The enemy are obstinate, and seem to have found the
last ditch. We have lost no organizations, not even that of a
company, whilst we have destroyed and captured one division
(Johnson's), one brigade (Doles'), and one regiment entire from
U. S. GRANT,
(*31) SPOTTSYLVANIA C. H., May 13, 1864.
HON E. M. STANTON, SECRETARY OF WAR,
Washington, D. C.
I beg leave to recommend the following promotions be made for
gallant and distinguished services in the last eight days'
battles, to wit: Brigadier-General H. G. Wright and
Brigadier-General John Gibbon to be Major-Generals; Colonel S.
S. Carroll, 8th Ohio Volunteers Colonel E. Upton, 121st New York
Volunteers; Colonel William McCandless, 2d Pennsylvania Reserves,
to be Brigadier-Generals. I would also recommend Major-General W.
S. Hancock for Brigadier-General in the regular army. His
services and qualifications are eminently deserving of this
recognition. In making these recommendations I do not wish the
claims of General G. M. Dodge for promotion forgotten, but
recommend his name to be sent in at the same time. I would also
ask to have General Wright assigned to the command of the Sixth
Army Corps. I would further ask the confirmation of General
Humphreys to the rank of Major-General.
General Meade has more than met my most sanguine expectations.
He and Sherman are the fittest officers for large commands I
have come in contact with. If their services can be rewarded by
promotion to the rank of Major-Generals in the regular army the
honor would be worthily bestowed, and I would feel personally
gratified. I would not like to see one of these promotions at
this time without seeing both.
U. S. GRANT,
(*32) QUARLES' MILLS, VA., May 26, 1864.
Washington, D. C.
The relative position of the two armies is now as follows: Lee's
right rests on a swamp east of the Richmond and Fredericksburg
road and south of the North Anna, his centre on the river at Ox
Ford, and his left at Little River with the crossings of Little
River guarded as far up as we have gone. Hancock with his corps
and one division of the 9th corps crossed at Chesterfield Ford
and covers the right wing of Lee's army. One division of the 9th
corps is on the north bank of the Anna at Ox Ford, with bridges
above and below at points nearest to it where both banks are
held by us, so that it could reinforce either wing of our army
with equal facility. The 5th and 6th corps with one division of
the 9th corps run from the south bank of the Anna from a short
distance above Ox Ford to Little River, and parallel with and
near to the enemy.
To make a direct attack from either wing would cause a slaughter
of our men that even success would not justify. To turn the
enemy by his right, between the two Annas is impossible on
account of the swamp upon which his right rests. To turn him by
the left leaves Little River, New Found River and South Anna
River, all of them streams presenting considerable obstacles to
the movement of our army, to be crossed. I have determined
therefore to turn the enemy's right by crossing at or near
Hanover Town. This crosses all three streams at once, and
leaves us still where we can draw supplies.
During the last night the teams and artillery not in position,
belonging to the right wing of our army, and one division of
that wing were quietly withdrawn to the north bank of the river
and moved down to the rear of the left. As soon as it is dark
this division with most of the cavalry will commence a forced
march for Hanover Town to seize and hold the crossings. The
balance of the right wing will withdraw at the same hour, and
follow as rapidly as possible. The left wing will also withdraw
from the south bank of the river to-night and follow in rear of
the right wing. Lee's army is really whipped. The prisoners we
now take show it, and the action of his army shows it
unmistakably. A battle with them outside of intrenchments
cannot be had. Our men feel that they have gained the MORALE
over the enemy, and attack him with confidence. I may be
mistaken, but I feel that our success over Lee's army is already
assured. The promptness and rapidity with which you have
forwarded reinforcements has contributed largely to the feeling
of confidence inspired in our men, and to break down that of the
We are destroying all the rails we can on the Central and
Fredericksburg roads. I want to leave a gap on the roads north
of Richmond so big that to get a single track they will have to
import rail from elsewhere. Even if a crossing is not effected
at Hanover Town it will probably be necessary for us to move on
down the Pamunkey until a crossing is effected. I think it
advisable therefore to change our base of supplies from Port
Royal to the White House. I wish you would direct this change
at once, and also direct Smith to put the railroad bridge there
in condition for crossing troops and artillery and leave men to
U. S. GRANT,
(*33) NEAR COLD HARBOR, June 3, 1864, 7 A.M.
Commanding A. P.
The moment it becomes certain that an assault cannot succeed,
suspend the offensive; but when one does succeed, push it
vigorously and if necessary pile in troops at the successful
point from wherever they can be taken. I shall go to where you
are in the course of an hour.
U. S. GRANT,
(*34) COLD HARBOR, June 5,1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK, Chief of Staff of the Army, Washington,
A full survey of all the ground satisfies me that it would be
impracticable to hold a line north-east of Richmond that would
protect the Fredericksburg Railroad to enable us to use that
road for supplying the army. To do so would give us a long
vulnerable line of road to protect, exhausting much of our
strength to guard it, and would leave open to the enemy all of
his lines of communication on the south side of the James. My
idea from the start has been to beat Lee's army if possible
north of Richmond; then after destroying his lines of
communication on the north side of the James River to transfer
the army to the south side and besiege Lee in Richmond, or
follow him south if he should retreat.
I now find, after over thirty days of trial, the enemy deems it
of the first importance to run no risks with the armies they now
have. They act purely on the defensive behind breastworks, or
feebly on the offensive immediately in front of them, and where
in case of repulse they can instantly retire behind them.
Without a greater sacrifice of human life than I am willing to
make all cannot be accomplished that I had designed outside of
the city. I have therefore resolved upon the following plan:
I will continue to hold substantially the ground now occupied by
the Army of the Potomac, taking advantage of any favorable
circumstance that may present itself until the cavalry can be
sent west to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad from about
Beaver Dam for some twenty-five or thirty miles west. When this
is effected I will move the army to the south side of the James
River, either by crossing the Chickahominy and marching near to
City Point, or by going to the mouth of the Chickahominy on
north side and crossing there. To provide for this last and
most possible contingency, several ferry-boats of the largest
class ought to be immediately provided.
Once on the south side of the James River, I can cut off all
sources of supply to the enemy except what is furnished by the
canal. If Hunter succeeds in reaching Lynchburg, that will be
lost to him also. Should Hunter not succeed, I will still make
the effort to destroy the canal by sending cavalry up the south
side of the river with a pontoon train to cross wherever they
The feeling of the two armies now seems to be that the rebels
can protect themselves only by strong intrenchments, whilst our
army is not only confident of protecting itself without
intrenchments, but that it can beat and drive the enemy wherever
and whenever he can be found without this protection.
U. S. GRANT,
(*35) COLD HARBOR, VA., June 6, 1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL D. HUNTER
Commanding Dept. W. Va.
General Sheridan leaves here to-morrow morning, with
instructions to proceed to Charlottesville, Va., and to commence
there the destruction of the Va. Cen. R. R., destroying this way
as much as possible. The complete destruction of this road and
of the canal on James River is of great importance to us.
According to the instructions I sent to General Halleck for your
guidance, you were to proceed to Lynchburg and commence there. It
would be of great value to us to get possession of Lynchburg for
a single day. But that point is of so much importance to the
enemy, that in attempting to get it such resistance may be met
as to defeat your getting onto the road or canal at all. I see,
in looking over the letter to General Halleck on the subject of
your instructions, that it rather indicates that your route
should be from Staunton via Charlottesville. If you have so
understood it, you will be doing just what I want. The
direction I would now give is, that if this letter reaches you
in the valley between Staunton and Lynchburg, you immediately
turn east by the most practicable road. From thence move
eastward along the line of the road, destroying it completely
and thoroughly, until you join General Sheridan. After the work
laid out for General Sheridan and yourself is thoroughly done,
proceed to join the Army of the Potomac by the route laid out in
General Sheridan's instructions.
If any portion of your force, especially your cavalry, is needed
back in your Department, you are authorized to send it back.
If on receipt of this you should be near to Lynchburg and deem
it practicable to detach a cavalry force to destroy the canal.
Lose no opportunity to destroy the canal.
U. S. GRANT,
(*36) FROM A STATEMENT OF LOSSES COMPILED IN THE
FIELD OF ACTION AND DATE. | KILLED. | WOUNDED. | MISSING. |
Wilderness, May 5th to 7th | 2,261 | 8,785 | 2,902 |13,948 |
Spottsylvania, May 8th to 21st | 2,271 | 9,360 | 1,970 | 13,601|
North Anna, May 23d to 27th | 186 | 792 | 165 | 1,143 |
Totopotomoy, May 27th to 31st | 99 | 358 | 52 | 509 | Cold
Harbor, May 31st to June 12th | 1,769 | 6,752 | 1,537 |10,058 |
Total ................ | 6,586 | 26,047 | 6,626 | 39,259 |
(*37) CITY POINT, VA., June 17, 1864. 11 A.M.
Washington, D. C.
* * * * * * *
The enemy in their endeavor to reinforce Petersburg abandoned
their intrenchments in front of Bermuda Hundred. They no doubt
expected troops from north of the James River to take their
place before we discovered it. General Butler took advantage of
this and moved a force at once upon the railroad and plank road
between Richmond and Petersburg, which I hope to retain
Too much credit cannot be given to the troops and their
commanders for the energy and fortitude displayed during the
last five days. Day and night has been all the same, no delays
being allowed on any account.
U. S. GRANT,
(*38) CITY POINT, VA., July 24, 1864.
The engineer officers who made a survey of the front from
Bermuda Hundred report against the probability of success from
an attack there. The chances they think will be better on
Burnside's front. If this is attempted it will be necessary to
concentrate all the force possible at the point in the enemy's
line we expect to penetrate. All officers should be fully
impressed with the absolute necessity of pushing entirely beyond
the enemy's present line, if they should succeed in penetrating
it, and of getting back to their present line promptly if they
should not succeed in breaking through.
To the right and left of the point of assault all the artillery
possible should be brought to play upon the enemy in front
during the assault. Their lines would be sufficient for the
support of the artillery, and all the reserves could be brought
on the flanks of their commands nearest to the point of assault,
ready to follow in if successful. The field artillery and
infantry held in the lines during the first assault should be in
readiness to move at a moment's notice either to their front or
to follow the main assault, as they should receive orders. One
thing, however, should be impressed on corps commanders. If
they see the enemy giving away on their front or moving from it
to reinforce a heavily assaulted portion of their line, they
should take advantage of such knowledge and act promptly without
waiting for orders from army commanders. General Ord can
co-operate with his corps in this movement, and about five
thousand troops from Bermuda Hundred can be sent to reinforce
you or can be used to threaten an assault between the Appomattox
and James rivers, as may be deemed best.
This should be done by Tuesday morning, if done at all. If not
attempted, we will then start at the date indicated to destroy
the railroad as far as Hicksford at least, and to Weldon if
* * * * * * *
Whether we send an expedition on the road or assault at
Petersburg, Burnside's mine will be blown up....
U. S. GRANT,
(*39) See letter, August 5th, Appendix.
(*40) See Appendix, letters of Oct. 11th.
(*41) CITY POINT, VA., December 2,1864.
If Hood is permitted to remain quietly about Nashville, you will
lose all the road back to Chattanooga and possibly have to
abandon the line of the Tennessee. Should he attack you it is
all well, but if he does not you should attack him before he
fortifies. Arm and put in the trenches your quartermaster
employees, citizens, etc.
U. S. GRANT,
CITY POINT, VA., December 2, 1864.--1.30 P.M.
With your citizen employees armed, you can move out of Nashville
with all your army and force the enemy to retire or fight upon
ground of your own choosing. After the repulse of Hood at
Franklin, it looks to me that instead of falling back to
Nashville we should have taken the offensive against the enemy
where he was. At this distance, however, I may err as to the
best method of dealing with the enemy. You will now suffer
incalculable injury upon your railroads if Hood is not speedily
disposed of. Put forth therefore every possible exertion to
attain this end. Should you get him to retreating give him no
U. S. GRANT,
CITY POINT, VA., December 5, 1864.
Is there not danger of Forrest moving down the Cumberland to
where he can cross it? It seems to me whilst you should be
getting up your cavalry as rapidly as possible to look after
Forrest, Hood should be attacked where he is. Time strengthens
him in all possibility as much as it does you.
U. S. GRANT,
CITY POINT, VA., December 6, 1864--4 P.M.
Attack Hood at once and wait no longer for a remnant of your
cavalry. There is great danger of delay resulting in a campaign
back to the Ohio River.
U. S. GRANT,
CITY POINT, VA., December 8, 1864.--8.30 P.M.
Your dispatch of yesterday received. It looks to me evident the
enemy are trying to cross the Cumberland River, and are
scattered. Why not attack at once? By all means avoid the
contingency of a foot race to see which, you or Hood, can beat
to the Ohio. If you think necessary call on the governors of
States to send a force into Louisville to meet the enemy if he
should cross the river. You clearly never should cross except
in rear of the enemy. Now is one of the finest opportunities
ever presented of destroying one of the three armies of the
enemy. If destroyed he never can replace it. Use the means at
your command, and you can do this and cause a rejoicing that
will resound from one end of the land to the other.
U. S. GRANT,
CITY POINT, VA., December 11, 1864.--4 P.M.
If you delay attack longer the mortifying spectacle will be
witnessed of a rebel army moving for the Ohio River, and you
will be forced to act, accepting such weather as you find. Let
there be no further delay. Hood cannot even stand a drawn
battle so far from his supplies of ordnance stores. If he
retreats and you follow, he must lose his material and much of
his army. I am in hopes of receiving a dispatch from you to-day
announcing that you have moved. Delay no longer for weather or
U. S. GRANT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., December 15, 1864.
I was just on my way to Nashville, but receiving a dispatch from
Van Duzer detailing your splendid success of to-day, I shall go
no further. Push the enemy now and give him no rest until he is
entirely destroyed. Your army will cheerfully suffer many
privations to break up Hood's army and render it useless for
future operations. Do not stop for trains or supplies, but take
them from the country as the enemy have done. Much is now
U. S. GRANT,
(*42) See orders to Major-General Meade, Ord, and Sheridan,
March 24th, Appendix.
(*43) See Appendix.
(*44) NOTE.--The fac-simile of the terms of Lee's surrender
inserted at this place, was copied from the original document
furnished the publishers through the courtesy of General Ely S.
Parker, Military Secretary on General Grant's staff at the time
of the surrender.
Three pages of paper were prepared in General Grant's manifold
order book on which he wrote the terms, and the interlineations
and erasures were added by General Parker at the suggestion of
General Grant. After such alteration it was handed to General
Lee, who put on his glasses, read it, and handed it back to
General Grant. The original was then transcribed by General
Parker upon official headed paper and a copy furnished General
The fac-simile herewith shows the color of the paper of the
original document and all interlineations and erasures.
There is a popular error to the effect that Generals Grant and
Lee each signed the articles of surrender. The document in the
form of a letter was signed only by General Grant, in the parlor
of McLean's house while General Lee was sitting in the room, and
General Lee immediately wrote a letter accepting the terms and
handed it to General Grant.
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