August 3d, 1862.
Your letter of the 25th of July is just received. I do not remember receiving the letters, however, of which you speak. One came from Mary speaking of the secessionist Holt who was said to be employed in the Memphis post office. I at once wrote to General Sherman who is in command there about it and he is no doubt turned out before this.
You must not expect me to write in my own defence nor to permit it from any one about me. I know that the feeling of the troops under my command is favorable to me and so long as I continue to do my duty faithfully it will remain so. Your uneasiness about the influences surrounding the children here is unnecessary. On the contrary it is good. They are not running around camp among all sorts of people, but we are keeping house, on the property of a truly loyal secessionist who has been furnished free lodging and board at Alton, Illinois; here the children see nothing but the greatest propriety.
They will not, however, remain here long. Julia will probably pay her father a short visit and then go to Galena or Covington in time to have the children commence school in September.
I expect General Hitchcock to command the Department of the West. Have no fears of General Pope or any one junior to me being sent.
I do not expect nor want the support of the Cincinnati press on my side. Their course has been so remarkable from the beginning that should I be endorsed by them I should fear that the public would mistrust my patriotism. I am sure that I have but one desire in this war, and that is to put
down the rebellion. I have no hobby of my own with regard to the negro, either to effect his freedom or to continue his bondage. If Congress pass any law and the President approves, I am willing to execute it. Laws are certainly as binding on the minority as the majority. I do not believe even in the discussion of the propriety of laws and official orders by the army. One enemy at a time is enough and when he is subdued it will be time enough to settle personal differences.
I do not want to command a department because I believe I can do better service in the field. I do not expect to be overslaughed by a junior and should feel exceedingly mortified should such a thing occur, but would keep quiet as I have ever done heretofore.
I have just received a letter from Captain Foley about this same Holt said to be in the Memphis post office. You may say that I shall refer it to General Sherman with the direction to expel him if it is not already done.
Julia and the children are well. I do not expect to remain here long but when I will go I can't say now.
U. S. GRANT.
SOURCE: Jesse Grant Cramer, Editor, Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to His Father and His Youngest Sister, 1857-78, p. 84-6