The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: January 1 - May 31, 1864 - Vol. 10

The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: January 1 - May 31, 1864 - Vol. 10

The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: January 1 - May 31, 1864 - Vol. 10

The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: January 1 - May 31, 1864 - Vol. 10

Synopsis

Grant's career in the closing months of 1861 has been obscured by the success which came to him on the battlefield early in the following year, beginning with the victory at Fort Donelson in February 1862. Hence, Volume 3 of this definitive edition will be especially valuable to historians of the presidency as well as the Civil War for the clear, comprehensive insight itprovides into Grant's attitudes and motives on the eve of his military victories.

The fourteen-week period covered by this volume has been exhaustively researched, and includes a great store of previously unpublished material, which has been combined with already available Grant documents- many of them now printed from the original manuscripts. All the correspondence has been placed in context and annotated. As in previous volumes of the Papers, a deepening portrait of Grant emerges. Here is the key to his future actions and policies and a guide to the thought of generations who looked to him for military and political leadership.

Excerpt

Following the battle of Chattanooga (November 23-25, 1863), Ulysses S. Grant sent forces to relieve Knoxville, where Major General Ambrose E. Burnside had been besieged by Lieutenant General James Longstreet. Although General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee had left Chattanooga in disorder, the need to send troops to Knoxville prevented Grant from launching an aggressive campaign into Georgia. Longstreet raised his siege upon learning that reinforcements were on the way, but he remained a menace in east Tennessee during the customary winter slackening of military action. Grant wanted to drive Longstreet away, but problems of supply and weather frustrated his efforts. Grant finally realized that Longstreet faced the same problems and once out of Tennessee might do more damage elsewhere.

The winter months of 1864 found Grant preparing for the inevitable spring campaign in Georgia. At the same time, he could not ignore the deliberations of Congress as it considered a bill to revive the rank of lieutenant general, intending it for Grant. in January, Grant and his staff mapped out grand strategy, forwarding suggestions to Major General Henry W. Halleck.

In late February, the lieutenant general bill passed, and President Abraham Lincoln called Grant to Washington to receive his commission and assume command of all the armies. Halleck immediately resigned his post of general-in-chief and was appointed Grant's chief of staff, a move which provided the U. S. Army with a modern command system, freeing Grant to take the field while Halleck dealt with administrative matters and implemented Grant's orders.

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