Sunday, August 25, 2013

President Abraham Lincoln to Major General Ulysses S. Grant, July 13, 1863

Executive Mansion,
Washington, July 13, 1863.

Major General Grant

My Dear General

I do not remember that you and I ever met personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowledgement for the almost inestimable service you have done the country. I wish to say a word further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I thought you should do what you finally did – march the troops across the neck, run the batteries with the transports and thus go below; and I never had any faith, except a general hope that you knew better than I, that the Yazoo-Pass expedition, and the like could succeed. When you got below, and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf and vicinity, I thought you should go down the river and join Gen. Banks; and when you turned Northward, East of the Big Black, I feared it was a mistake. I now wish to make the personal acknowledgement that you were right and I was wrong.

Yours very truly
A. Lincoln

SOURCES: Roy P. Basler, editor, Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 6, p. 326.  A draft of this letter can be found among The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress

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