Sunday, September 8, 2013

Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant to Jesse Root Grant, August 27, 1861

Jefferson City. Mo.,
August 27th, 1861.

Dear Father:

Your letter requesting me to appoint Mr. Foley on my staff was only received last Friday night, of course too late to give Mr. Foley the appointment even if I could do so. I remember to have been introduced to Mr. Foley Sr. several years ago, and if the son is anything like the impression I then formed of the father, the appointment would be one that I could well congratulate myself upon. I have filled all the places on my staff and, I flatter myself, with deserving men: Mr. J. A. Rawlins of Galena is to be my Adjutant General, Mr. Lagow of the regiment I was formerly colonel of, and Mr. Hillyer of St. Louis, aides. They are all able men, from five to ten years younger than myself, without military experience but very capable of learning. I only have one of them with me yet, and having nothing but raw troops, and but little assistance, it keeps me busy from the time I get up in the morning until from 12 to 2 o'clock at night, or morning.

I subscribed for the Daily Democrat, a staunch Union paper, for you so that you might hear from me often.

There is a good deal of alarm felt by the citizens of an early attack upon this place, and if anything of the kind should take place we are ill prepared. All the troops are very raw, and about one half of them Missouri Home Guards without discipline. No artillery and but little cavalry here.

I do not anticipate an attack here myself, certainly not until we have attacked the enemy first. A defeat might induce the rebels to follow up their success to this point, but that we expect to prevent. My means of information are certainly as good as those of any one else, and I cannot learn that there is an organized body of men North of the Osage River, or any such body moving. There are numerous encampments throughout all the counties bordering on the Missouri River, but the object seems to be to gather supplies, forces, transportation and so forth, for a fall and winter campaign.

The country west of here will be left in a starving condition for next winter. Families are being driven away in great numbers for their Union sentiments, leaving behind farms, crops, stock and all. A sad state of affairs must exist under the most favorable circumstances that can take place. There will be no money in the country, and the entire crop will be carried off together with all stock of any value.

I am interrupted so often while writing that my letters must necessarily be very meagre and disconnected.

I hope you will let Mary go to Galena when Mother returns home. She has never paid us a visit and I would like to have her make a long one. I think it doubtful whether I will go home at all.


SOURCE: Jesse Grant Cramer, Editor, Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to His Father and His Youngest Sister, 1857-78, p. 50-2

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