City Point, July 19, 1864 – 10 a. m.
(Received 8.30 p. m.)
His Excellency A. LINCOLN,
President of the United States:
In my opinion there ought to be an immediate call for, say, 300,000 men to be put in the field in the shortest possible time. The presence of this number of re-enforcements would save the annoyance of raids, and would enable us to drive the enemy from his present front, particularly from Richmond, without attacking fortifications. The enemy now have their last men in the field. Every depletion of their army is an irreparable loss. Desertions from it are now rapid. With the prospect of large additions to our force these desertions would increase. The greater number of men we have the shorter and less sanguinary will be the war. I give this entirely as my views and not in any spirit of dictation, always holding myself in readiness to use the material given me to the best advantage I know how.
U. S. GRANT,
SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume XXXVII, Part II (Serial No. 71), page 384. A slightly different formatted copy of this letter also appears in James Grant Wilson’s General Grant’s Letters to a Friend 1861-1880, p. 36; James H. Wilson, The Life of John A. Rawlins, p. 434-5