GRANT, Ulysses S. (1822-1885). Autograph letter signed (''U. S. Grant'') and autograph postscript initialed (''U. S. G.''), to Elihu Washburne, Cairo, Illinois, 20 November 1861. 4 pages, 4to, closed tears at crease and folds.
GRANT, Ulysses S. (1822-1885). Autograph letter signed ("U. S. Grant") and autograph postscript initialed ("U. S. G."), to Elihu Washburne, Cairo, Illinois, 20 November 1861. 4 pages, 4to, closed tears at crease and folds.
"I PROMISE THE COUNTRY MY UNDIVIDED TIME AND EXERTIONS AND ANY FAULT SHALL BE FROM AN ERROR IN JUDGMENT, NOT OF HEART"
A lengthy, rich Grant letter, discussing the importance of the battle of Belmont, mentioning his doubts about McClellan's reorganization of Union forces, and his own devotion to the Union cause. "The battle of Belmont, as time passes, proves to have been a greater success than Gen. McClernand or myself at first thought," Grant tells his Washington sponsor. "The enemies loss proved to be greater and the effect upon the Southern mind more saddening. Their loss was near three to our one, by accounts which we have since received, whilst their force have about the same ratio."
He then expresses his doubts about McClellan's new plan for reorganizing Union forces. "I saw through the press of the country the new assignment of Military Departments and knew that it would defeat the plan proposed by General McClernand and myself. I asked for nothing for myself. I believed that Cairo should be the Head Quarters of the Department called upon to act South. 1st because supplies can reach here from all the cheap markets of the West more cheaply than any other point near where they are to be consumed. 2d Because Illinois from the great number of troops she supplied is more entitled to the few benefits that arrive from this war than States that really have absorbed our Army by their disloyalty and discontent."
Grant expresses his profound appreciation for all of Washburne's efforts on his behalf: "The very flattering interest you have taken in my personal welfare and advancement I know of but one way of repaying. That is to exert my utmost ability to the end that you may not be disappointed in your appreciation. I promise the country my undivided time and exertions and any fault shall be from an error in judgment, not of heart." And he closes by recommending Col. W. H. L. Wallace for promotion to Brigadier General, calling him "a man of great modesty and great talent. He served in Mexico and now since the first call for three months troops. But few such soldiers have been called to the higher positions in our Army."