believe it would be better for our cause if this prohibition was general with all the states in rebellion. Trade however has been opened, under restrictions, I believe, in all the Depts. except this, and in this as far down as Helena. Under these circumstances I do not know but it would be advisable to open up means for those persons living within our lines in the states of Miss. and Louisiana to obtain the necessaries of life and indispenseble articles of clothing &c. —If trade is opened under any general rule all sorts of dishonest men will engage in it, taking any oath or obligation necessary to secure the privilege. Smuggling will at once commence, as it did from Memphis, Helena and every place where trade has been allowed within the disloyal states, and the armed enemy will be enabled to procure from Northern markets every article they require. —In view of all these facts therefore I would recommend the appointment of a Post Sutler for each post occupied in those parts of the country where trade has not been opened, and authorize them to keep such articles as it is desirable should be supplied to citizens within our lines. Such persons would be under Military controll and being limited in number such precautions might be taken as would prevent improper trade.
I have the honor to be
your obt. svt.
U. S. GRANT
ALS, James S. Schoff, New York, N. Y. O. R., III, iii, 721. See letter to Salmon P. Chase, Sept. 26, 1863.
Memphis, Tenn., Aug. 26, 1863.
GENTLEMEN: I have received a copy of resolutions passed by the "loyal citizens of Memphis at a meeting held at the rooms of the Chamber of Commerce, August 25, 1863," tendering me a public reception. 1