[CIVIL WAR]. GRANT, Ulysses S. Autograph endorsement signed ("U. S. Grant"), to Gen. Meade, 8 May 1865. Endorsed upon: SHERIDAN, Philip. Letter signed ("P. Sheridan"), to John A. Rawlings, Nottoway Court House, Va., Head Quarters, 14 April 1865. The letter also bears: MEADE, George G. Autograph endorsement signed ("Geo. G. Meade"), 15 May 1865. 4 pages, 4to, expertly matted and framed with secretarial copies of letters between Sheridan and Gen. H. G. Wright, 13 April 1865, and a color map of the Battle of Sayler's Creek
GRANT, MEADE AND SHERIDAN TRY TO WORK OUT A POWER STRUGGLE BETWEEN TWO UNION COMMANDERS AFTER THE BATTLE OF SAYLER'S CREEK
A rare combination of three autograph endorsements by the top three Union commanders in Virginia: Grant, Sheridan and Meade, following the crucial battle of Sayler's Creek on 6 April 1865. This engagement effectively destroyed the Army of Northern Virginia as a fighting force. Here, a battle for credit breaks out between Phil Sheridan and Horatio Wright. On 14 April 1865--the day Lincoln was shot--Sheridan writes: "...I ordered the attack which was successful, and during all this time Genl. Wright complied with my orders in the most soldierly manner, and did not betray by his manner or actions that he did not consider himself under my command." Sheridan orders Wright to submit an official report on the battle, but Wright refuses, claiming he was not under Sheridan's command.
On 8 May, Grant's endorsement (addressed to Meade, and with Meade's holograph reply) states that the VI Corps "was not by any order, at any time, detached from your command," but that under the exigencies of the battle, Grant authorized Sheridan "to assume the command of this Corps when it joined him, and it is considered a matter of simple justice that the actions while under his command be reported to him." Grant orders Meade to report "the whole of the operations of that Corps" during the battle, "and Genl. Wright will be required to make to you a report of the whole days operations, including the Battle of Sailors [sic] Creek."