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The Memoirs of General Ulysses S. Grant, Part 3. by Ulysses S. Grant

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thousand men. The time was worth more than the reinforcements; I
therefore determined to push into the interior of the enemy's country.

With a large river behind us, held above and below by the enemy, rapid
movements were essential to success. Jackson was captured the day after
a new commander had arrived, and only a few days before large
reinforcements were expected. A rapid movement west was made; the
garrison of Vicksburg was met in two engagements and badly defeated, and
driven back into its stronghold and there successfully besieged. It
looks now as though Providence had directed the course of the campaign
while the Army of the Tennessee executed the decree.

Upon the surrender of the garrison of Vicksburg there were three things
that required immediate attention. The first was to send a force to
drive the enemy from our rear, and out of the State. The second was to
send reinforcements to Banks near Port Hudson, if necessary, to complete
the triumph of opening the Mississippi from its source to its mouth to
the free navigation of vessels bearing the Stars and Stripes. The third
was to inform the authorities at Washington and the North of the good
news, to relieve their long suspense and strengthen their confidence in
the ultimate success of the cause they had so much at heart.

Soon after negotiations were opened with General Pemberton for the
surrender of the city, I notified Sherman, whose troops extended from
Haines' Bluff on the left to the crossing of the Vicksburg and Jackson
road over the Big Black on the right, and directed him to hold his
command in readiness to advance and drive the enemy from the State as
soon as Vicksburg surrendered. Steele and Ord were directed to be in
readiness to join Sherman in his move against General Johnston, and
Sherman was advised of this also. Sherman moved promptly, crossing the
Big Black at three different points with as many columns, all
concentrating at Bolton, twenty miles west of Jackson.

Johnston heard of the surrender of Vicksburg almost as soon as it
occurred, and immediately fell back on Jackson. On the 8th of July
Sherman was within ten miles of Jackson and on the 11th was close up to
the defences of the city and shelling the town. The siege was kept up
until the morning of the 17th, when it was found that the enemy had
evacuated during the night. The weather was very hot, the roads dusty
and the water bad. Johnston destroyed the roads as he passed and had so
much the start that pursuit was useless; but Sherman sent one division,
Steele's, to Brandon, fourteen miles east of Jackson.

The National loss in the second capture of Jackson was less than one
thousand men, killed, wounded and missing. The Confederate loss was
probably less, except in captured. More than this number fell into our
hands as prisoners.

Medicines and food were left for the Confederate wounded and sick who
had to be left behind. A large amount of rations was issued to the
families that remained in Jackson. Medicine and food were also sent to
Raymond for the destitute families as well as the sick and wounded, as I
thought it only fair that we should return to these people some of the
articles we had taken while marching through the country. I wrote to
Sherman: "Impress upon the men the importance of going through the State
in an orderly manner, abstaining from taking anything not absolutely
necessary for their subsistence while travelling. They should try to
create as favorable an impression as possible upon the people."
Provisions and forage, when called for by them, were issued to all the
people, from Bruinsburg to Jackson and back to Vicksburg, whose
resources had been taken for the supply of our army. Very large
quantities of groceries and provisions were so issued.

Sherman was ordered back to Vicksburg, and his troops took much the same
position they had occupied before--from the Big Black to Haines' Bluff.
Having cleaned up about Vicksburg and captured or routed all regular
Confederate forces for more than a hundred miles in all directions, I
felt that the troops that had done so much should be allowed to do more
before the enemy could recover from the blow he had received, and while
important points might be captured without bloodshed. I suggested to
the General-in-chief the idea of a campaign against Mobile, starting
from Lake Pontchartrain. Halleck preferred another course. The
possession of the trans-Mississippi by the Union forces seemed to
possess more importance in his mind than almost any campaign east of the
Mississippi. I am well aware that the President was very anxious to
have a foothold in Texas, to stop the clamor of some of the foreign
governments which seemed to be seeking a pretext to interfere in the
war, at least so far as to recognize belligerent rights to the
Confederate States. This, however, could have been easily done without
wasting troops in western Louisiana and eastern Texas, by sending a
garrison at once to Brownsville on the Rio Grande.

Halleck disapproved of my proposition to go against Mobile, so that I
was obliged to settle down and see myself put again on the defensive as
I had been a year before in west Tennessee. It would have been an easy
thing to capture Mobile at the time I proposed to go there. Having that
as a base of operations, troops could have been thrown into the interior
to operate against General Bragg's army. This would necessarily have
compelled Bragg to detach in order to meet this fire in his rear. If he
had not done this the troops from Mobile could have inflicted
inestimable damage upon much of the country from which his army and
Lee's were yet receiving their supplies. I was so much impressed with
this idea that I renewed my request later in July and again about the
1st of August, and proposed sending all the troops necessary, asking
only the assistance of the navy to protect the debarkation of troops at
or near Mobile. I also asked for a leave of absence to visit New
Orleans, particularly if my suggestion to move against Mobile should be
approved. Both requests were refused. So far as my experience with
General Halleck went it was very much easier for him to refuse a favor
than to grant one. But I did not regard this as a favor. It was simply
in line of duty, though out of my department.

The General-in-chief having decided against me, the depletion of an
army, which had won a succession of great victories, commenced, as had
been the case the year before after the fall of Corinth when the army
was sent where it would do the least good. By orders, I sent to Banks a
force of 4,000 men; returned the 9th corps to Kentucky and, when
transportation had been collected, started a division of 5,000 men to
Schofield in Missouri where Price was raiding the State. I also
detached a brigade under Ransom to Natchez, to garrison that place
permanently. This latter move was quite fortunate as to the time when
Ransom arrived there. The enemy happened to have a large number, about
5,000 head, of beef cattle there on the way from Texas to feed the
Eastern armies, and also a large amount of munitions of war which had
probably come through Texas from the Rio Grande and which were on the
way to Lee's and other armies in the East.

The troops that were left with me around Vicksburg were very busily and
unpleasantly employed in making expeditions against guerilla bands and
small detachments of cavalry which infested the interior, and in
destroying mills, bridges and rolling stock on the railroads. The
guerillas and cavalry were not there to fight but to annoy, and
therefore disappeared on the first approach of our troops.

The country back of Vicksburg was filled with deserters from Pemberton's
army and, it was reported, many from Johnston's also. The men
determined not to fight again while the war lasted. Those who lived
beyond the reach of the Confederate army wanted to get to their homes.
Those who did not, wanted to get North where they could work for their
support till the war was over. Besides all this there was quite a peace
feeling, for the time being, among the citizens of that part of
Mississippi, but this feeling soon subsided. It is not probable that
Pemberton got off with over 4,000 of his army to the camp where he
proposed taking them, and these were in a demoralized condition.

On the 7th of August I further depleted my army by sending the 13th
corps, General Ord commanding, to Banks. Besides this I received orders
to co-operate with the latter general in movements west of the
Mississippi. Having received this order I went to New Orleans to confer
with Banks about the proposed movement. All these movements came to

During this visit I reviewed Banks' army a short distance above
Carrollton. The horse I rode was vicious and but little used, and on my
return to New Orleans ran away and, shying at a locomotive in the
street, fell, probably on me. I was rendered insensible, and when I
regained consciousness I found myself in a hotel near by with several
doctors attending me. My leg was swollen from the knee to the thigh,
and the swelling, almost to the point of bursting, extended along the
body up to the arm-pit. The pain was almost beyond endurance. I lay at
the hotel something over a week without being able to turn myself in
bed. I had a steamer stop at the nearest point possible, and was
carried to it on a litter. I was then taken to Vicksburg, where I
remained unable to move for some time afterwards.

While I was absent General Sherman declined to assume command because,
he said, it would confuse the records; but he let all the orders be made
in my name, and was glad to render any assistance he could. No orders
were issued by my staff, certainly no important orders, except upon
consultation with and approval of Sherman.

On the 13th of September, while I was still in New Orleans, Halleck
telegraphed to me to send all available forces to Memphis and thence to
Tuscumbia, to co-operate with Rosecrans for the relief of Chattanooga.
On the 15th he telegraphed again for all available forces to go to
Rosecrans. This was received on the 27th. I was still confined to my
bed, unable to rise from it without assistance; but I at once ordered
Sherman to send one division to Memphis as fast as transports could be
provided. The division of McPherson's corps, which had got off and was
on the way to join Steele in Arkansas, was recalled and sent, likewise,
to report to Hurlbut at Memphis. Hurlbut was directed to forward these
two divisions with two others from his own corps at once, and also to
send any other troops that might be returning there. Halleck suggested
that some good man, like Sherman or McPherson, should be sent to Memphis
to take charge of the troops going east. On this I sent Sherman, as
being, I thought, the most suitable person for an independent command,
and besides he was entitled to it if it had to be given to any one. He
was directed to take with him another division of his corps. This left
one back, but having one of McPherson's divisions he had still the

Before the receipt by me of these orders the battle of Chickamauga had
been fought and Rosecrans forced back into Chattanooga. The
administration as well as the General-in-chief was nearly frantic at the
situation of affairs there. Mr. Charles A. Dana, an officer of the War
Department, was sent to Rosecrans' headquarters. I do not know what his
instructions were, but he was still in Chattanooga when I arrived there
at a later period.

It seems that Halleck suggested that I should go to Nashville as soon as
able to move and take general direction of the troops moving from the
west. I received the following dispatch dated October 3d: "It is the
wish of the Secretary of War that as soon as General Grant is able he
will come to Cairo and report by telegraph." I was still very lame, but
started without delay. Arriving at Columbus on the 16th I reported by
telegraph: "Your dispatch from Cairo of the 3d directing me to report
from Cairo was received at 11.30 on the 10th. Left the same day with
staff and headquarters and am here en route for Cairo."


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