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Grant Writes Home
October 1973 | Volume 24, Issue 6
Olando Ross has just arrived bringing a letter for me from you and also one from father. The latter seems very anxious that I should contradict the statements made by the newspapers! Dont he know the best contradiction in the world is to pay no attention to them? I am in the best health in the world. I think I must be twenty pounds heavyer than when first arrived at Savanna. I was then much reduced however from Diareah. My weight now must be 150 pounds. Orley says that Missy [Grant’s small daughter Nellie, who had a particularly secure place in his heart] is one of the smartest little girls to learn in Covington. I wrote to you that when you heard of my arrival any place on the Mississippi river you might join me. We now have our advance within three miles of Corinth. Every day our column moves up closer to the enemy. It is a big job however to get a large Army over country roads where it has been raining for the last five months. If we could go strung along the road where there was no enemy to meet it would be different. Here however the front must be kept compact and we do well to approach a few miles every day. Yesterday Gen. Pope had quite a skirmish with the rebels in geling possession of the town of Farmington three miles of Corinth. Pope lost two men killed Sc twelve wounded whilst the enemy left thirty dead on the field and lost quite a number taken prisoners. You will hear the result of the attack on Corinth, by telegraph, before this reaches you.—I sent you $250.00 by express the other day. Draw the $100.00 you got from Mr. Safford as a matter of course. I want you to let father have all you can for us to start on at the close of the war but dont stint yourself. I want you and the children to dress well. You can say to father that Nelsons troops made a good march on Saturday and were ordered that evening to march up the river to opposite Pittsburg Landing the next morning, which they did starting at an early hour. After the attack commenced orders were sent hurrying them up. But it is no small matter to march 10,000 men nine miles and cross a river with them when there are no ferry boats and but a small landing overcrouded with steamers.
The papers will get done with this thing after awhile and look upon the first days fight at Pittsburg Landing as one of the best resistances ever made. The enemy outnumbered us three to one that day and we held the field.
Kiss the children for me. Give my love to all at home. Did you get Simp’s watch? I shall not want my citizens clothing until my return to the loyal states. I hope and feel that my return there is not going to be long defered. After one more big battle it certainly cannot be necessary to keep this large army together and I am anxious to go either to Texas or on the coast someplace. Kisses for yourself.
U LYS .
The letter I sent you from Gen. Smith was probably the last he ever wrote. That was written by himself but seeing how badly it was done he had it copied and signed it himself. He was a gallant soldier and one whos esteem was worth having. In Gen. Sherman the country has an able and gallant defender and your husband a true friend.
Camp Near Corinth, Miss. May 11th 1862
D EAR J ULIA ,
I write again and probably the last from this side of Corinth. A few days more will no doubt tell the tale and relieve further suspense.—We here of course do not feel the same feverish excitement that is felt by persons at a distance, but I begin to understand their anxiety to know the result of every move that is made on the checkerboard.—I am thinking seriously of going home, and to Washington, as soon as the present impending fight or footrace is decided. I have been so shockingly abused that I sometimes think it almost time to defend myself. But my record in this war will bear scrutiny without writing anything in reply to the many attacks made. Take only the orders and instructions issued to me and those written by myself for their execution and it will make all right. I have seen with pain two publications, one from Hillyer and the other from myself, to father bearing our respective names. This should never have occurred.
I have but little to write you about this country. People have mostly left and indeed there is not much to remain for. It is heavily wooded and looks much that on the Gravois. People, what there are of them, Big river like.—Tell Jess I will take him his pistol before many weeks. I feel that the time cannot be long before I see you all either by my going home or being where you can join me. If the latter I would like very much to have Mary come with you.
I hope Fred & Buck are good boys and learn their lessons well! Missy I know learns hers and will soon be able to write me long letters. Kiss all of them for me. The same for yourself dear Julia.
U LYS .
Camp Near Corinth, Miss May 13th 1862