Dec. 18th, 1861.
I have been wanting to write you for some time and am not so indifferent as you would make out. I wish you could be here for a day or two to see what I have to go through from breakfast until twelve at night, seven days in the week. I have now just got through with my mail for to-night, and as it is not yet twelve and the mail does not close until that time, I will devote the remainder of the time in penning you a few lines. I have no war news to communicate, however.
Julia and the children have returned from St. Louis. They will not make you the promised visit whilst I remain here.
Captain Foley arrived to-day and I showed him all the attention I could but I regret to say it was not much. He will excuse it however.
I am sorry you did not come with him. I believe I should have allowed the children to go back with you.
I have learned through private sources that an attack has been made upon Fort Jackson, Louisiana, and that the place has been taken. That is to say such is the report in Columbus, but I do not know whether to credit the report. Something has taken place to call off many of their troops. They still have a much larger force than I have.
Whilst I am writing several Galena gentlemen are in talking. They will remain until the office closes so you must excuse a disconnected letter.
I do not now see that the probabilities are so strong that I will likely be removed. A full disposition seems to have been made of all my seniors.
Father seems to be very much inclined to criticize [sic] all our generals. It may have been a little inexcusable in General Buell not to allow troops to stop for a few hours when near their homes. But he should recollect that General Buell was not on the spot to see the circumstances fully, and he does not know what necessity may have existed to have got the troops through by a certain time.
At your request I send a small batch from my cranium. I doubt whether it is big enough for the purpose you want it.
If you will come out here you might spend a few weeks pleasantly and I hope you will not lose such an opportunity as has just occurred.
I will close this. My love to all at home.
SOURCE: Jesse Grant Cramer, Editor, Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to His Father and His Youngest Sister, 1857-78, p. 74-6