Thursday, September 12, 2013

Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant to Mary Frances Grant, October 25, 1861

Cairo, October 25th, 1861.

Dear Sister:

I have gone longer this time without writing to you than I intended and have no good excuse for it. I have received two letters, at least, from you and father since my last, one of which wanted special answer. As I have not that letter before me I may fail to answer some points. As to my not taking Columbus there are several reasons for it which I understand perfectly and could make plain to any one else, but do not feel disposed to commit the reasons to paper. As to the needlessness of the movements of troops I am a better judge than the newspaper reporters who write about it. My whole administration of affairs seems to have given entire satisfaction to those who have the right to judge, and who should have the ability to judge correctly. I find by a little absence for the few last days (under orders) that my whole course has received marked approbation from citizens and soldiers, so much so that many who are comparative strangers to me are already claiming for me promotion. This is highly gratifying but I do not think any promotions should be made for the present. Let service tell who are the deserving ones and give them the promotion. Father also wrote about a Mr. Reed. He is now here and will probably be able to secure a position. I do not want to be importuned for places. I have none to give and want to be placed under no obligation to any one. My influence no doubt would secure places with those under me, but I become directly responsible for the suitableness of the appointee, and then there is no telling what moment I may have to put my hand upon the very person who has conferred the favor, or the one recommended by me. I want always to be in a condition to do my duty without partiality, favor, or affection. — In the matter of making harness I know that a very large amount is wanted. Maj. Robert Allen, Chief Quartermaster for the Western Department, stationed in St. Louis, has the letting of a great deal. Father remembers his father well. He is a son of old Irish Jimmy, as he used to be called about Georgetown to distinguish him from the other two Jimmy Allens. He is a friend of mine also. — This letter has proven so far more one to Father than to yourself, but I direct it to you that you may reply. I write in great haste having been engaged all the evening in writing orders, and still having more to do. — I send you with this the likeness of myself and staff. No. 1 you will have no difficulty in recognizing. No. 2 is Capt. J. A. Rawlins, A. A. Gen. Nos. 3 & 4 Capts. Lagow & Hillyer, Aides-de-Camps, No. 5 Dr. Simons Medical Director.

A good looking set aren't they? I expect Julia here the latter part of next week. I wish you could come at the same time and stay a week or two. I think it would pay you well. Won't you try to come? If it were at all necessary I would pay the expense myself to have you come. Give my love to all at home. I think I will send you several more of my photographs, one for Uncle Samuel, one for Aunt Margaret, one for Aunt Rachel and one for Mrs. Bailey.

Your Brother,

SOURCE: Jesse Grant Cramer, Editor, Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to His Father and His Youngest Sister, 1857-78, p. 61-3

Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant & Staff

Captain Lagow                                                        Capt. J. A. Rawlins
Gen'l Grant
Capt. Hillyer                                                                   Dr. Simmons

Taken October 1861
At Cairo Ill.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

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