August 27, 1861: U.S. Grant to His Father

 AMs 357-4 p1 U.S. Grant to Jesse Root Grant AMs 357-4 p2 U.S. Grant to Jesse Root Grant AMs 357-4 p3 U.S. Grant to Jesse Root Grant AMs 357-4 p4 U.S. Grant to Jesse Root Grant


Jefferson City, Mo.

August 27th, 1861


Dear Father,

Your letter requesting me to appoint Mr. Foley on my staff was only received last Friday night, of course, to late to give Mr. F. the appointment even if I could do so. I remember to have been introduced to Mr. F. Sr. several years ago and if the son is anything like the impression I then formed of the father the appointment would be one that I could well congratulate myself upon. I have filled all the placed in my staff and, flatter myself, with deserving men. Mr. J. A. Rawlins of Galena is to be my Adgt. Gen. Mr. Lagow of the Rgt. I was formerly Colonel of and Mr. Hillyer of St. Louis, Aides. They are all able men from five to ten years younger than myself. Without military experience but very capable of learning. I only have one of them with me yet and having all raw troops and but little assistance it keeps me busy from the time I get up in the morning until from 12 to 2 o’clock at night, or morning.

I subscribed for the Daily Democrat, a staunch Union paper, for you so that you might hear from me often.

There is a good deal of alarm felt by the citizens of an early attack upon this place and if anything of the kind should take place we are illy prepared. All the troops are very raw and about one half of them Missouri Home Guards without discipline. No Artillery and but little Cavalry here.

I do not anticipate an attack here myself, certainly not until we have attacked the enemy first. A defeat might induce the rebels to follow up their success to this point but that we expect to prevent. My means of information are certainly as good as anyone else has and I cannot lean that there is an organized body of men North of the Osage river or any moving. There are numerous encampments through all the counties bordering on the Missouri River, but the object seems to be to gather supplies, horses, transportation etc. for a fall & winter campaign.

The country West of here will be left in a starving condition for next Winter. Families are being driven away in great numbers for their Union sentiments, leaving behind farms, crops, stock and all. A sad state of affairs must exist under the most favorable circumstances that can take place. There will be no money in the country and the entire crop will be carried off together with all stock of any value. I am interrupted so often while writing that my letters must necessarily be very meager and disconnected. I hope you will let Mary go to Galena when Mother returns home. She has never paid us a visit and I would like to have her make a long one. I think it doubtful whether I will go home at all.



Citation:  Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), autograph letter signed to Jesse Root Grant.  Jefferson City, Mo., 27 August1861. AMs 357/4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *