GRANT, Ulysses S. Autograph letter signed (''U. S. Grant'') to Russ (an old friend), Nashville, Tennessee, 16 February 1864. 3½ pages, 4to, crease reinforced with tape, away from text, closed tear along crease of first page.
GRANT, Ulysses S. Autograph letter signed ("U. S. Grant") to Russ (an old friend), Nashville, Tennessee, 16 February 1864. 3½ pages, 4to, crease reinforced with tape, away from text, closed tear along crease of first page.
"TWO IMPORTANT EXPEDITIONS ARE NOW OUT, ONE UNDER SHERMAN AND THE OTHER UNDER THOMAS..."
A relaxed, garrulous letter to an old Army buddy, with news of Sherman's and Thomas's operations, the failures of some brother officers, and the pleasures of his family life. "Your very welcome letter was...read with great interest," Grant begins. "But since that time I have been moving about so much that I have neglected it. I have often wished that I could have you here..." He expresses his hopes for major offensives in the works for 1864: "I am beginning now to make preparations for attack or defence when Spring opens. Two important expeditions are now out, one under Sherman and the other under Thomas, which, if as successful as I expect them to be will have an important bearing on the Spring Campaign."
Grant makes a rare personal boast about his own success, and comments about some of the flops among more "distinguished" officers: "This war has developed some of our old acquaintances much differently from what we would have expected....Some who much would have been expected from have proven rather failures. This class I do not like to mention by name....I have never had any cause of complaint either on account of deficiency in the Staff Deptmts or embarrassments thrown in the way by the Authorities at Washington. The fact is I believe complaints are generally made to shift responsibility of inaction from commanders to Staff Departments or Washington Authorities. Of course I only speak for the West. I am thankful my lot has not been cast where I could judge for any other section." He closes with a jibe at his friend's bachelorhood and a warm expression of his own domestic happiness. "I believe, Russ, you are still leading a bachelor's life. Don't you regret it? Now I have four children, three boys and one girl, in whose society I feel more enjoyment than I possibly can with any other company...It may not be too late for you yet." A rare, wartime example of Grant, his guard down, writing informally to an old friend.