4 pages, 4to. Fine condition. " />
New York, East
12 May 1999
GRANT, ULYSSES S., General. Autograph letter signed ("U.S. Grant") TO GENERAL STEPHEN A. HURLBUT, "Near Vicksburg," 31 May 1863. 4 pages, 4to. Fine condition.
GRANT ANTICIPATES VICTORY AT VICKSBURG: "THE ENTIRE REBEL FORCE...ARE COMPLETELY AT MY MERCY"
For eight months Grant had mounted ambitious plans to capture the heavily defended Confederate river stronghold at Vicksburg. All these attempts had failed. Finally in April '63 Grant decided to approach Vicksburg overland, fighting north from landings well downriver to invest and encircle Vicksburg from the East. A Confederate relief army under Joe Johnston, though, threatened Grant's rear. Here, Grant requests reinforcements from Hurlbut (commanding XVI Corps), and demands the "very promptest action." He then spells out his strategy: "Vicksburg is so strong by nature and so well fortified that sufficient force cannot be brought to bear against it to carry it by storm against the present garrison. It must be taken by a regular siege or by starving out the garrison. I have all the force necessary for this if my rear was not threatened. It is now certain that Jo Johnston has already collected a force from twenty to twenty-five thousand strong at Jackson & Canton and is using every effort to increase it to forty thousand. With this he will undoubtedly attack Hains Bluff and compel me to abandon the investment of the City if not reinforced before he can get here. I want your District stripped to the very lowest possible standard. You can be in no possible danger for the time it will be necessary to keep these troops away. All points in West Tennessee North of the Memphis & Charleston road, if necessary, can be abandoned entirely. West Kentucky may be reduced to a small garrison at Paducah and Columbus...If you have not received the Cavalry last ordered from Helena divert them to this place...No boat will be permitted to leave Memphis going North until transportation is fully provided for all the troops coming this way...The entire rebel force heretofore against me are completely at my mercy. I do not want to see them escape by being reinforced from elsewhere."
After costly frontal assaults on the Vicksburg defenses (19 And 22 May), Grant reverted to a traditional siege and bombardment; on 4 July, running out of ammunition and food, the battered Confederate garrison under Pemberton surrendered.
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