2009

Letter from Dr. John F. Marszalek, Director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association

10 February 2009

Dear Members and Friends of the Ulysses S. Grant Association,

As you know, our Association moved from the Morris Library, Southern Illinois University, our home for the past forty four years to our new home in the Mitchell Memorial Library, Mississippi State University. Our relocation has received coverage in newspaper around the nation. U.S. Grant is now back in the state of his greatest military success, and we are moving forward to continue the mission of our organization.

I think you also know that, at the untimely death of our long-time leader and inspiration, John Y. Simon, the Board of Directors asked me to try to fill John Y's shoes. I promise you that I will do all I can to fulfill the legacy that this organization, under John Y.'s leadership, so nobly began.

I am looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible. Consequently, I invite you to attend our annual meeting, scheduled from May 3-5, 2009, on the campus of MSU. We have planned an exciting program, which will begin on Sunday, May 3 between one and five PM with registration and a tour of the Mitchell Memorial Library, followed by a 7:30 PM dinner where our main speaker will be Grant biographer Dr. Jean Edward Smith. On Monday we will take a bus trip to the new Civil War Museum in Corinth, Mississippi and to a specially escorted tour of Shiloh, led by Dr. Tim Smith, one of the nation's authorities on this battlefield. That evening, at dinner we will hear from Dr. Jason Phillips, an MSU historian and author, who will speak to us on "Confederate Rumors about U.S. Grant." On Tuesday, we will have discussion panel consisting of published historians who will also be available for a book signing. We will adjourn at 10:30 AM.

Starkville and Mississippi State University have air service through the Golden Triangle Regional Airport (Columbus) GTR. One can also reach here through Jackson, Mississippi (2 hours away by car); Memphis (three hours away by car); Birmingham, Alabama (three hours away by car) and Tupelo, Mississippi (one hour away by car). These airports are busy so I urge you to make your flight plans early.

The headquarters hotel is the Hampton Inn in Starkville. We have reserved a limited block of rooms at $99 a night plus tax, and this includes an excellent breakfast. Make your reservations early and be sure to mention the Grant Association to receive the special rate. The direct local telephone contact for the Starkville Hampton Inn is 662-324-1333. You may also go to www.hamptoninn.com and type in GRANT to receive the special rate for the Starkville hotel.

Registration cost is $200 per person for members and their spouses or guest, $300 per person for non-members. This includes the cost of meals and the bus trip. Please include your registration check when returning the registration form.

I urge you to act quickly to secure your place in this, one of the most important, meetings our Association has held in some time. We want to show you our new home and let you know that our Association is looking to the future with great anticipation and confidence. John Y. would have it no other way.

Please feel free to contact me if I can provide any further information.

Cordially,

John F. Marszalek