GRANT AT SHILOH: A LETTER OF WILLIAM R. ROWLEY *** “The battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg landing, has been perhaps less understood, or, to state the case more accurately, more persistently misunderstood, than any other engagement between National and Confederate troops during the entire rebellion,” wrote General Ulysses S. Grant near the close of his life.1 Immediately after the two days of battle, April 6-7, 1862, controversy settled over the battlefield. Was Grant surprised by the Confederate attack? Why was he nine miles away when the battle began? Why were some 5,000 U. S. troops under Major General Lewis Wallace absent during the first day of battle? Did Grant eventually win the field because of the death of his Confederate counterpart, General Albert Sidney Johnston? Or did Major General Don Carlos Buell’s Army of the Ohio save the second day of battle after finding Grant’s army in panic-stricken disarray on the banks of the Tennessee River?
One man in a position to answer these questions on the basis of personal knowledge was Captain William R. Rowley. Born in Gouverneur, New York, in 1824, he had taught school in Brown County, Ohio, and in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. In 1849, he was appointed an assessor and collector in Jo Daviess County, and continued to serve the county as deputy circuit court clerk, sheriff, and finally, circuit court clerk, a position he held for twenty years. When war
[pg. 2] came in April, 1861, Rowley became better acquainted with Grant, his neighbor in Galena, as both men worked to organize and equip the local volunteers.
Rowley himself entered the war on November 20, 1861, as 1st Lieutenant in Colonel John E. Smith’s 45th Illinois, also known as the Washburne Lead Mine Regiment. On January 20, 1862, Rowley wrote to Congressman Elihu B. Washburne praising Grant: “I think you will have no cause to be ashamed of the Brigadier you have manufactured.”2 Rowley also stated that Grant would be agreeable to having Rowley serve him as an aide, and Washburne was asked to arrange this. The appointment was made on Feb. 24, and Rowley thereafter served Grant both in the field and by sending favorable reports to Washburne.3
Rowley, then represented Grant’s strongest link with his Republican supporters in Galena, especially Washburne. As a man constantly with Grant, Rowley was well-informed, and Grant sometimes used him as a channel for forwarding requests for favors to Washington. The letter below, addressed to Edward Hempstead, was copied by Hempstead and forwarded to Washburne, and the text comes from the copy in the Washburne Papers, Library of Congress.
Head Quarters Army in the Field
Near Pittsburg Tenn April 19th 1862
E Hempstead Esqr
Dear Sir Yours of the 14th Inst is just recd and I will proceed at once to answer your enquiries on the score of old friendship. First as to the Genls being intemperate, I pronounce it an unmitigated slander. I have been on his Staff ever since the Donelson affair (and saw him frequently during that) and necessary in close contact with him every day, and I have never seen him take even a glass of liquor more than two or three times in my life and then only a single at a time. And I have never seen him intoxicated or even approximate to it. As to the story that he was intoxicated at the Battle of Pittsburg, I have only to say that the man who fabricated the story is an infamous liar, and you are at liberty to say to him that I say so. As to the Question was the Gen at the town of savannah at the commencement of the fight, I answer he was. There was the point where our head quartes were established as being the most convenient for all part of the command, some of the troops being stationed at Crumps Landing 4 miles above, some at Pittsburg, and the new arrivals all coming to Savanna made it necessary to establish Head Quarters at that place.
[pg. 3] Although the General was personally at Pittsburg almost every day, and had made arrangements to remove there permanently as soon as Buells forces should arrive. On tile morning of the 6th we embarked on the Steamer as soon as the fireing commenced at Pittsburg, (the distance is about 8-1/2 miles) and we arrived there at about 1/2 past 7 oclock stopping at Crumps landing where L Wallace & his command were encamped long enough to order his Division under arms ready to move at a moments notice. And meeting the messenger who was sent to Savanna to notify us of the attackt only two miles below Pittsburg, where we arrived before the attackt had become general all along the line, from which time Gen Grant was in the saddle constantly and always, where the fight was the hottest. as to our being surprised it is simply all humbug and the sensation stories about officers and men being bayonetted in their tents would do to publish in the ledger “to be continued”4 but newspapers of character aught to be ashamed to give circulation to such absurdities, as I do not believe that in truth a single man was killed by a bayonet during the two days fight. I did not see one. And I think I saw as much of the fight as any one, being constantly engaged in carrying orders from one part of the field to the other. The simple statement of the whole matter is this. We were attackt by vastly superior numbers on Sunday and were crowded hard and forced gradually to contract our lines, during the whole day but at no time did we imagine that we were whipped or would be. Grant always insisting that we were able to whip them & would do it as soon as Wallace and Nelson (who had arrived at Savanna the night before) should arrive with their forces. word had been left with Nelson when we started from Savanna to start immediately with his Division for Pittsburg but owing to the state of the roads they did not begin to arrive on the opposite side of the River until after noon. Orders had also been sent to L Wallace, as soon as it was found the fight was becoming general to bring up his Division but as it did not make its appearance as soon as was expected I was sent through the lines by the General to ascertain the reason, and found that they had mistaken the road and were four miles out of the way, and necessarily had to retrace their steps to avoid coming in where the enemys forces were the strongest & running the risk of being cut off. the consequences was they did not get in until dark in the mean time our forces were gallantly contesting the ground inch by inch until dark. as to the story “that Prentiss was surprised I have only to say that I myself saw Prentiss after noon gallantly fighting at the head of his Division. It was I think about 2 oclock P M when he was outflanked and himself and a part of his command captured. Most of our troops behaved well but some of the raw regiments broke and run and among them their officers. these stories you hear emanate it is necessary that they should have some excuse for their cowardice and the best way to direct public attention from themselves is to direct it in some other course: As to your question Did General Grant lead the last charge on Monday? I answer he did, as I was present and saw it, having been sent by him to bring up the troops.5 it was the turning point of the day and ended the close fighting I hear nothing of the troops having lost confidence in their Division commanders. If those newspaper correspondents who take so much pains to vilify men who are engaged in fighting the battles would shoulder a musket and go into the field themselves I think they would do more to advance the cause, than in pitching in undiscriminately as they do. so far as Gen Grant is concerned they are losing their time and trouble as he has no political asperations as they seem to fear and will never be a candidate [pg. 4] for President. His greatist ambition is to see this war pushed to a close, and then go Home to his family and business. One question more I had forgotten. why we were at Pittsburg in the face of the enemy not entrenched. as to the entrenchments this is a heavily timbred country and one where entrenchments amount to nothing, and we came here to fight. if we had staid at Chicago or Cairo I have no Idea the fight would have taken place, but it did take place & we gave them a glorious thrashing. Col Smith (J. E) & Dr Kittoe6 are both here and well
Yours &c W R ROWLEY
P S I can probally explain to you some of the reasons why this man chapman7 has such an interest in Lying about Gen Grant. When he was at Donelson he made himself so obnoxious that Gen Grant issued a special order, directing him to be removed outside of our lines, and to remain there. that will probally explain why he interests himself so much.
The 45th behaved well and lost heavily their loss in killed & wounded was 194 too much can not be said in their praise Col J E carried himself through gloriously
W. R. R
A few days later, Rowley wrote directly to Washburne about Shiloh, although the major purpose of the letter was to request assistance in the promotion of Grant’s aides Clark B. Lagow and William S. Hillyer to colonel. Both were promoted in July, with commissions dated back to May 3. This letter is also in the Washburne Papers, Library of Congress.
Head Quarters Army of the Tennessee
Pittsburg April 23d 1862
Friend Washburne I have intended ever since the Battle at this place to have written you a letter, but the hurry and confusion incident to such a fight as we have had prevented, and I do not know even now if I should take the time did not business matters spur me up to it. First however a word with reference to the Thousand and one stories that are afloat with reference to Gen Grant suffice it to say they have the same foundation as did those that were circulated after the Battle of Donelson and no more: It is sufficient to say that Gen Halleck is now here and the conduct of the Battle and all the details meet his entire approbation and the stories in circulation have their origin in the efforts of Cowardly hounds who “stampeded” and now would be glad to turn public attention from themselves, and direct it elsewhere, together with the eagerness of Newspaper Correspondents to get items I who was on the field know that had it not been for the almost superhuman efforts of the Gen’ added to the assistance he had from his officers we would have been forced to Record a defeat instead of one of the most Brilliant victories that was ever won on any field….
Yours &c W R ROWLEY
2. Rowley to Washburne, Jan. 30, 1862, Elihu B. Washburne Papers, Library of Congress.
3. The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant (Carbondale and Edwardsville, Ill., 1967- ), 4, 277n-278n.
4. The New York Ledger was a successful magazine of the day specializing in popular fiction. See Ulysses S. Grant Association Newsletter, VIII, I (Oct., 1970), 4.
5. In his Memoirs, I, 350-351, Grant writes of personally assembling troops for a final charge at Shiloh, but does not state that he led the charge.
6. Dr. Edward D. Kittoe of Galena, then surgeon of the 45th Ill., later a member of Grant’s staff.
7. Frank G. Chapman, reporter for the New York Herald, whose early but inaccurate report of Shiloh received much attention. J. Cutler Andrews, The North Reports the Civil War (Pittsburgh, 1955), 177-179.
NEWS NOTES *** In commemoration of the close of the Ulysses S. Grant sesquicentennial year, the Illinois State Historical Society is sponsoring a conference, “Ulysses S. Grant in Perspective,” at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, April 27-28, 1973. Richard N. Current, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will address the conference on the response of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant to issues raised by the Civil War and Reconstruction. The conference is co-sponsored by Northern Illinois University and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Papers will be presented by Michael Les Benedict, Ohio State University; Thomas L. Connelly, University of South Carolina; Ralph G. Newman; Mark Plummer, Illinois State University; John Y. Simon; and Arthur Zilversmit, Lake Forest College. Commentators on the papers will include Christopher N. Breiseth, Sangamon State University; Roger D. Bridges, Illinois State Historical Library;
[pg. 6] Victor Hicken, Western Illinois University; Robert W. Johannsen, University of Illinois, Urbana; and Paul Kleppner, Northern Illinois University. Illinois State Historian William K. Alderfer will preside over a round table discussion in which the conference speakers will participate and answer questions from the audience. For details about the conference and copies of the program, contact Roger D. Bridges, Director of Research, Illinois State Historical Library, Old State Capitol, Springfield, Illinois 62706.
[pg. 7] WILLIAM C. CARROLL IN THE CIVIL WAR *** In later 1862, twenty-five-year-old William C. Carroll wrote a lengthy letter to U. S. Representative Elihu B. Washburne of Illinois discussing in considerable detail his experiences during the past year as newspaper correspondent, staff officer of Brigadier General John A. Logan, and volunteer aid to Major General Ulysses S. Grant for two days during the battle of Shiloh. Carroll told of his success in telegraphing news of Shiloh to the New York Herald before his competitors could contact their newspapers. During this crowded year, he had also met twice with President Lincoln.1
Carroll’s letter to Washburne appeared at first both interesting and important–but then encouraged doubts. Of the information provided, only his service on Logan’s staff could be verified from a printed source.2 Although Carroll stated that he was a correspondent for at least three major newspapers, his name appeared nowhere in the copious literature of Civil War journalism. His presence at Shiloh was not mentioned in Grant’s official report (in which he praised other staff officers individually) or in his Memoirs, and Carroll remained unnoticed in many accounts by others
[pg. 8] of the great battle. Although he indicated important political connections with both Republicans and Democrats, no record of these could be found, and especially disturbing was the thought that he could slip into the White House for two interviews with Lincoln, leave with two endorsements, and still evade both contemporary observers and later eagle-eyed Lincoln scholars. Carroll’s own account seemed to deserve the closest possible scrutiny in order to determine whether printed history had passed him by inadvertently or through some instinct for justice. The letter presented below, therefore, is heavily annotated with available documentation bearing on its contents.3
New York Decr 22d 1862
Hon E. B. Washburn
Dear Sir I have twice called to see you at 9 oClock P. M. having misread your card–and did not discover my mistake untill this morning.
In the event that I may again fail in my efforts to get an interview with you, I have presumed to acquaint you with the object I have in seeing you, in writing, hoping that the knowedge of the facts in relation to case I am about to inform you of will induce you to interest yourself in my favour–In order to furnish you with a proper idea of my situation I will be compelled to some extent to go into details–for which I beg your kind indulgence.
About the first day of April last at Cairo Genl Logan invited me to join his staff, promising that I should have rank and pay of at least a Captain.4 My admiration for the man induced me to resign my connections with the press–which up to this time had been my profession–and accept the offer of Genl Logan.
From Cairo, in company with Genl Logan–as his Aid de Camp–I proceeded up the Tennessee–it being his (Genl Logans) object to report to Genl Grant for duty.–having some business at Fort Donaldson with his old Regiment Genl Logan–stoped at Fort Henry–and ordered me to report to Genl Grant at
[pg. 9] Savannah and there await his arrival.5 I reached Savannah on the morning of the 6th of April and according to instructions reported to Genl Grant as the Aid-de-Camp of Genl Logan. Shortly after the report of the firing at Pittsburg Landing became audible–when I offered my services to Genl Grant as a Volunteer Aid–which he accepted,–and in this capacity I served with him throughout the two days conflict that raged at that that [cancelled] point.
On Monday Evening the 7th after the close of the fight discovering the bitterness of feeling and jelousy of Genl Buell and his officers, towards Genl Grant and the Illinois troops, and it being evident to me that an effort would be made on their part to bring them into disrepute by a series of false and slanderous reports, as a friend of Genl Grant and his army I determined if possible to defeat their ungenerous aims, by making a truthfull report of the battle, I accordingly–without signifying my intentions–obtained leave from Gen Grant, to proceed down the river–Commodore Wash Graham6 detaining a steamer untill I was prepared to leave–on this same steamer I discoverd some Reporters for Cincinnati papers who were friends of Buell an found them profuse in their denunciations of Genl Grant.7–not having been on the field like myself they had gained time on me in having most of their reports ready to go to press.–in order to overcome this advantage I got off the steamer at Fort Henry–the first telegraph station and there secured the lines and sent my account by telegraph to the N. Y Herald8–which was received in advance of the Government, and all other dispatches,–forwarded to the President, Senate, and House of Representatives–and then transmitted to all the leading papers in the loyal States–thus securing to the public the first–which was a favourable–impression in behalf of Genl Grant and his unconquerable army–most of which was composed of troops from Illinois,–that this account was truthfull and impartial and had the effect of preserving the reputation of Illinois which was being connived at by men like Buell and his confederates–I have had the assurance of most of the General and other officers of Genl Grants command without their knowing that I was the author of the account.
[pg. 10] Shortly after the battle at Pittsburg Landing I was summonsed to N. Y. by the Editors of the N Y Herald, to furnish a more detailed account–but arrived here to late to accomplish the object intended.–At this time Genl Logan furnished me with a letter to the Presdt requesting that I be appointed as an Aid-de-Campt with rank as Capt and assigned to him for duty–this was the time I saw you in Washington and by your request had an interview with the [cancelled] his Excellency with refference to the conduct of the Illinois troops–I presented the letter to his Excellency and secured his endorsement9–for the action of the Secty of War, who referred it to the Adjutant General.–I did not succeed in seeing the last named person,–and expecting that a battle would shortly occur near Corinth I preferred to return to the field and take the chances in the fight that was daily expected to take place rather than to await the action of the War Depart–supposing that the issuing of my commission was a mere matter of time
I rejoined Genl Logan at Camp No 4 before Corinth was with him in the fight on the right wing of the army on Thursday, before the Evacuation of Corinth,–and continued on duty with him as Aid-de-Camp and Actg Asst Adjt Genl–up to the 16th of September last.–Meanwhile no commission had made its appearance, consequently I could receive no pay. Shortly before this time Col Lagow10 informed me that Genl Grant could order me to be paid. Genl Logan–supposing that Genl Grant was in command of the Department (after Genl Halleck went to Washington to assume the duties of General in Chief of the Army) wrote to Genl Grant at Corinth requesting him to appoint me upon his (Genl Gra [cancelled] Grants) staff in order that I might receive pay for my services, this it proves Genl Grant had not the power to do–but in his reply to Genl Logan he urged him to apply to the President to have me appointed as an additional aid to one of the Major Generals of the regular army to take rank from the date of my entering upon duty to secure my pay and assigned to him, (Genl Logan) for duty,–at the same time acknowedging in his reply my deserts, as a competent and efficient officer and expressing a deep interest in my behalf.11–In compliance with the instructions from Genl Grant, Genl Logan sent my application to the President for my appoint
[pg. 11]ment, but no attention was paid to it.–As I could not sustain myself much longer without pay I was advised by Genl’s Grant and Logan–to proceed to Washington and there present my claims to the President–in person.–I was accordingly furnished with addition letter from Genl Logan12 besides the one from Genl Grant–and the first letter of Genl Logan bearing the endorsement of the President. Arriving at Washington Genl McClernard supplied me with a letter indorsing these recommendations and certifying to the services I had rendered in Camp and on the field.13 I was obliged to remain in Washington untill the return of the President and his suit from their visits to the army of the Potomac–after the battles of South Mountain and Antitam–and then learned that the power of the president to appoint additional Aids-de-Camp had been revoked. I however presented my papers to his Excellency–upon which he made the following endorsement to the Secty of war [five words cancelled] “Referred to the Secty of War. If this appointment can be made as suggested by Genl Grant, let it be done.” (signed) A. LINCOLN14
Col Dickey who was at this time in Washington15 interested himself in my matters, but nothing was accomplished. I was advised to leave my papers with Mr. Potts Chief Clerk to the Secty of War who promised to bring the matter to the attention of the Hon Secty but states that it would require a weeks time before I could get an answer.–I was then assured by Col Beckwith16 that the appointment could not be made as it conflicted with the law–which abolished the power of the president to make such appointments, but was told that it would not interfere with my payment for services rendered.–So I accordingly left my papers with Mr Potts for [cancelled] in hopes of getting Mr Stanton to make an order for my payment,17–my means then [cancelled] being nearly exhausted I came here in company with Col Dickey–and have since that time–nearly two months–heard nothing in relation to the matter. About the time I left the Army of the Tennessee at Jackson, Gov Yates who a long time previous had promised Genl Logan to notice my services–presented me with a complimentary commission as Major of Illinois Volunteers–“on account of meritorious services rendered at Shiloh”18 I was proud of this acknowedgement because it came from Illinois and shall ever feel gratefull for it, but sir this will not support me as I can draw no pay by it. I yielded up a salary of $2.000–a year as correspondent
[pg. 12] for the several papers, and used all the means I had to support myself in the service of my country. I have suffered my body to be a targate for Rebel bullets, ever since the army moved from Cairo on its victorious march southward. I have lain on wet blankets night after night, slept on the bloody field of Pittsburg Landing under drenching rain and in mud, and the only rest that the brave meek commander from Illinois received on the terrible night of the 6th of April last was in my arms while my eyes were unclosed,19 I have conducted every flag of truce for the care of our wounded that went from the command of the army of the Tennessee at Jackson, labored late and early in the official business of the “District,” and from exposure, contracted diseases which came within a hairs-bredth of termingting my existance, and while a correspondent of the Chicago Tribune, Louisville Journal,20 N. Y. Herald and other papers as far as my poor abilities would admit, every stroke of my pen was aimed for the honor of Illinois.
All these things have I done, but to find myself neglected, and about to realize the truth of the ingratitude of Republic’s I do not care for my personal safety I do not care for my life if my country, if the Union requires it for a sacrafice, but I do care for my honor, it is now compromised I entered the service under fair promises and have served faithfully, as the records will show. Genl Logan has done all in his power to fullfill the promises he made for [cancelled] to me–he did more–he beseached me to return to him if I failed in my object of securing my commission and that I should have the use of his salary so long as it lasted. Others who have accomplished nothing have recieved preferment–I do not even object to this so that I receive my rights. I am unwilling to surrender my claims untill they have first been established by the proper authority
I am here now amoung strangers my means are entirely exhausted–and since it does not appear to me probable that my claims upon the Govt will be speedily acknowedged–I desire to get back amoung my friends in the army.
You are the friend of Genl Grant and Logan–I was the friend to both when it was in my power to be so. I supported and had my papers to support Genl Grant when others who had a better right to be his friends, were his enemies. I therfore presume to ask that I [cancelled] you interest yourself in my favor If you can accomplish nothing for me at Washington, try and have me sent back to Genl Grants army and there I can manage to shift for myself–Illinois may accord to me the justice that the United States refuses
My friends there do not know the situation that I am in–and I lack the courage to inform them. I would not troble [cancelled] trouble you with this long complaint by I recd a letter from Col–now Genl John E. Smith at Washington, stating that when he was home during the summer he met you at Chicago and made mention of my case to you–“that you made a memorandum on the
[pg. 13] subject and assured him that you would be happy to attend to it.”–If possible I would be much pleased to see you before you leave if not let me request that you give me a reply to this letter and advise me as to the prospects of securing my desires.
I am dear Sir Your Obdt Servt W. C. Carroll
79 First Street
P.S. The letters of which I speak from Genls Grant, Logan and McClernand are still in the hands of Mr. Potts Chief Clerk to the Secty of War I will call on you to-morrow morning W. C. C.
As the notes should indicate, none of Carroll’s statements has been refuted, and many have documentary support. Washburne, at least, was sufficiently impressed with the case to write to Lincoln that Carroll deserved a hearing.21 Whatever the justice of his claims, however, he never received the coveted staff appointment, and evidence is lacking as to whether or not he received pay for the time he served on Logan’s staff. Perhaps he simply dropped the matter to pursue something more desirable. On March 2, 1863, Carroll prepared a petition asking appointment as provost marshal of the thirteenth district of Illinois on which he eventually secured the signatures of nine U. S. Representatives from Illinois (both Republicans and Democrats), and Governor Richard Yates.22 On May 5, Lincoln asked Provost Marshal General James B. Fry to appoint Carroll.23
By May 22, Carroll was ready for duty at Cairo,24 assuming responsibility for administering the draft and apprehending deserters in the southernmost counties of Illinois, an area of divided loyalty settled originally by southerners and geographically south of many Confederate
[pg. 14] bastions. Carroll began energetically, but had no chance to prove himself. Even before he reached Cairo, four men who had boarded at the same house in Washington swore to a statement that he was “disloyal in all his feelings and views.”25 This statement was sent to Lincoln,26 forwarded through Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton to Fry, and brought back a curious letter from Fry urging that Carroll’s appointment be revoked: “He is not identified with the District, not in reality a resident of it, and there are other reasons why it is best to remove him.”27 Other reasons were, perhaps, most important to Lincoln as he ordered Carroll’s replacement that same day.28
Still not ready to be left out of the war, Carroll rejoined Logan’s staff as a volunteer in the closing days of the Vicksburg campaign, then obtained Logan’s support in raising a cavalry regiment in southern Illinois.29 Logan’s letter was favorably endorsed by Yates, and Carroll set to work. Finally, on February 12, 1864, Carroll was mustered into service as Major, Third Battalion, 13th Cavalry.
Carroll returned from a forage expedition of November 13-14, from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to face charges of drunkenness on duty, disobedience to
[pg. 15] orders and neglect of duty (growing out of the plundering of troops while on the expedition), and, finally, disrespectful language in referring to Colonel Albert Erskine. Found guilty of every charge and specification, except one accusing him of calling Erskine “a damned consumate coward,” Carroll was cashiered.30 He then sought the aid of Lincoln. The court was prejudiced, he asserted, and the charges were unproved.31
Lincoln referred the transcript of the trial to Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt, who seemed puzzled. Witnesses agreed that Carroll did drink on the fatal November 13–one defense witness who denied that Carroll was drunk admitted that he was intoxicated–but no clear evidence of drunken behavior appeared in the prosecution. Furthermore, Carroll attributed his condition to illness, and he had spend at least six weeks during the previous summer in the hospital with “Remittend fever.”32 Carroll had come out of a farmhouse twice during the evening to stop soldiers who were skirmishing with the farmer’s hogs, yet much livestock vanished during the night. The accusations concerning his denunciation of Erskine, sustained only by the sutler, seemed to indicate carelessness in speech rather than a military offense. Holt noted that eight officers of the regiment who wrote to express their confidence in Carroll blamed his conviction on the enmity of Erskine.
Holt concluded somewhat ambiguously that Carroll did not appear to be technically guilty of drunkenness while the other charges were “substantially
[pg. 16] sustained”; yet the contradictions in the testimony deserved presidential attention.33 Lincoln was assassinated, however, before he acted on Carroll’s case. Undaunted, Carroll drew on yet another influential friend, Major General William S. Rosecrans, for a letter to President Andrew Johnson. Carroll was “the ablest and most efficient Field officer of his Regiment,” Rosecrans asserted, and the conflicting testimony at the court-martial justified a reconsideration of the case. In endorsing this letter, Johnson disapproved the sentence of the court-martial and restored Carroll to duty.34
Carroll immediately resigned, perhaps by prearrangement, and Grant recommended acceptance.35 Carroll soon encountered one more problem with the army: denied back pay from the date of his cashiering to the date of his restoration to duty, he found himself “without any means whatever.”36 Grant recommended payment, and when the paymaster general insisted that special permission from the secretary of war would be necessary, Assistant Secretary of War Charles A. Dana added a favorable endorsement.37 With back pay in hand, Carroll returned to his customary obscurity, from which he never returned. Whatever abilities he had shown early in the Civil War, which had won him the support of so many influential leaders, were presumably forgotten in the aftermath of an ill-starred forage expedition in Arkansas.
[notes originally appeared as footnotes]
1. Elihu B. Washburne Papers, Library of Congress. This letter is not in Carroll’s hand.
2. Logan to C. T. Hotchkiss, June 1862, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, 1880-1901), I, x, part 1, 762. Hereafter O.R.
3. For information on Carroll we are much indebted to Roger D. Bridges, Illinois State Historical Library; Wayne C. Temple, Illinois State Archives; and, especially, Karl L. Trever, Grant Association searcher in the National Archives, whose resurrection of Carroll has been a minor miracle of archival technique.
4. In a letter to Governor Richard Yates of Ill., Aug. 24, 1863, Logan stated that Carroll “has been acting upon my staff from the time I was appointed Brig. Genl. [March 21, 1862] up to the close of last year, and subsequently at the siege and surrender of Vicksburg.” Letters Received, Volunteer Service Branch, Record Group 94, National Archives. Hereafter RG, DNA.
5. Logan reached Pittsburg Landing a few days after the battle of Shiloh. James P. Jones, “Black Jack:” John A. Logan and Southern Illinois in the Civil War Era (Tallahassee, 1967), 132; O.R., I, x, part 2, 102.
6. George Washington Graham of Cairo, Ill., a civilian employee of the quartermaster’s dept., served USG as steamboat superintendent. The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant (Carbondale and Edwardsville, Ill., 1967-), 2, 278n-279n.
7. Grant had already noted the hostility of Cincinnati newspapers. Ibid., 4, 292, 293n. Whitelaw Reid’s account of Shiloh for the Cincinnati Gazette, a journalistic classic, was most unfavorable to Grant.
8. The New York Herald, April 9, 1862, printed a dispatch sent from Fort Henry at 3:20 a.m. that same morning, which scooped all other newspapers on the battle of Shiloh. The reporter who sent the dispatch spoke of arriving at the battle about 9:00 a.m. on April 6, about the time Grant arrived, wrote as if he had been with Grant during the battle, included information (notably a remark that Major General Lewis Wallace took the wrong road to the battle) which suggested a proximity to headquarters, and favored Grant by stating Confederate losses as double those of the U. S. Authorship of this dispatch has been credited to New York Herald reporter Frank G. Chapman. J. Cutler Andrews, The North Reports the Civil War (Pittsburgh, 1955), 177-179. The evidence for this is thin, and Chapman was no favorite at Grant’s headquarters.
9. In a letter to Lincoln, April 15, 1862, Logan introduced “Captain Carroll–of N. Y. Herald–Who acted as Vol Aid to Genl. Grant in the late battle,” and requested a staff appointment for him. Lincoln dated his endorsement April 30. “This letter is written by (now) Brig. Genl. Logan, who went out of Congress to command a Regiment and faught at Belmont & Fort Donaldson being wounded at the latter place–Let him be obliged in the desired Staff appointment if possible” Copy, Correspondence Relating to the Provost Marshals, Illinois, 13th District, RG 110, DNA. Letters in this file were copied and certified in the paymaster general’s office.
10. Col. Clark B. Lagow, Grant’s aide.
11. On. Aug. 3, 1862, Grant acknowledged Logan’s letter “asking Me to appoint Cap’t Carroll on My Staff and assign him to yours.” Grant explained that he could not comply because he was neither major general in the regular army nor officially commander of a department, but suggested a request to Lincoln. “I can testify to the Efficiency and credit due to Captain Carroll and will be pleased to see him receive the appointment saught.” Copy, ibid. On Oct. 9, Lincoln endorsed this letter. “Submitted to the Secretary of War–If the appointment can be lawfully made as suggested by Genl. Grant let it be done” Copy, ibid.
12. Logan to Lincoln, Sept. 16, 1862, copy, ibid. This letter was favorably endorsed by Maj. Gen. Lovell H. Rousseau.
13. Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand to Lincoln, Oct. 9, 1862, copy, ibid.
14. See note 11.
15. On Sept. 28, 1862, by Special Orders No. 205, District of West Tenn., Grant sent Col. T. Lyle Dickey, his chief of cavalry, to Washington to obtain carbines.
16. Col. Edward G. Beckwith, then in the commisary dept. In late 1862, however, he expected appointment as a paymaster. Roy P. Basler, et al., eds., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, 1953-5), V, 426. Hereafter Lincoln, Works.
17. On Oct. 17, Carroll wrote to the war dept. asking pay for time served on the staffs of Grant and Logan. He enclosed the letters of Grant, Logan, and McClernand, cited above, and a letter of U. S. Representative Erastus Corning of N. Y. Register of Letters Received, RG 107, DNA.
18. On Sept. 16, 1862, Yates commissioned Carroll major to rank from April 7. Executive Record, Illinois State Archives.
19. Grant later recalled that he had spent that night under a tree in the rain, but did not mention Carroll. Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant (New York, 1885-6), I, 349.
20. George D. Prentice, editor of the Louisville Journal, wrote to Lincoln, March 11, 1863, stating that Carroll had been an army correspondent for his newspaper. Correspondence Relating to Provost Marshals, Illinois, 13th District, RG 110, DNA. Carroll stated that he had been Cairo correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Louisville Journal in a letter to O. M. Hatch, July 30, 1862, Hatch Papers, Illinois State Historical Library.
21. Feb. 19, 1862, Correspondence Relating to Provost Marshals, Illinois, 13th District, RG 110, DNA. U. S. Representative William P. Kellogg of Ill. also signed the letter.
23. Lincoln, Works, VI, 198.
24. Carroll to Fry, May 22, 1863, Letters Received 1863, RG 110, DNA. Additional letters from Carroll during his brief term as provost marshal are in this series, others are in Letters Received by the Disbursing Branch, and Carroll’s own letter press book is in Records of the 13th District, Illinois.
25. Benjamin Caywood et al., May 21, 1863, Letters Received 1863, ibid.
26. William P. Dole to Lincoln, May 21, 1863, ibid.
27. John G. Nicolay to Stanton, May 22, 1863, ibid.; Fry to Stanton, May 26, 1863, Letters Sent to the Secretary of War, ibid. Carroll was born in New York City; no other information about his prewar residence is at hand.
28. Lincoln, Works, VI, 232.
29. Logan to Yates, Aug. 24, 1863, Letters Received 1863, RG 110, DNA. A letter of Ill. Secretary of State Ozias M. Hatch and Ill. Auditor Jesse K. Dubois to Fry, Dec. 15, 1863, ibid., implies that Fry had urged the appointment of Carroll as colonel of the regiment, but perhaps they had created a misunderstanding themselves in a letter to Stanton, Nov. 29, which spoke of Carroll recruiting a regiment without mentioning the name of any potential commander. C1400 VS 1865, Document File, Volunteer Service Division, RG 94. They also stated that Grant had written a letter endorsing the project. Grant’s approval is mentioned in E. M. Gorde to Carroll, Nov. 1863, O. M. Hatch Papers, Illinois State Historical Library.
30. The transcript is Court-Martial Case File 00 173, RG 153, DNA.
31. Carroll to Lincoln, undated, C1400 VS 1865, Document File, Volunteer Service Division, RG 94, DNA.
32. Asst. Surgeon D. McL. Miller, Little Rock, to Surgeon Joseph R. Smith, Sept. 18, 1864, Illinois, 13th Cavalry, Carded Records, RG 94, DNA.
33. Holt to Lincoln, April 3, 1865, C1400 VS 1865, Document File, Volunteer Service Division, RG 94, DNA.
34. Rosecrans to Johnson, April 27, 1865, endorsed by Johnson May 5, ibid.
35. Carroll to Adjutant General of the Army, May 8, 1865, endorsed by Grant May 18, ibid.
36. Carroll to Adjutant General of the Army, June 6, 1865, ibid.
37. Grant endorsement June 6, and Dana endorsement June 19, ibid.
[pg. 17] GRANT AND ABSALOM H. MARKLAND *** Fourteen-year-old Ulysses S. Grant first met Absalom H. Markland, three years younger, when both were attending Maysville Seminary in Maysville, Kentucky. Grant was in Maysville for less than a year, and they did not meet again until fall, 1861, when Markland, recently an attorney in Washington, D. C., arrived in Cairo as special agent of the Post Office Department to weed out disloyal employees. As he left for the Tennessee River expedition in February, 1862, Grant placed Markland in charge of delivering mail to his army.1 Through the remainder of the Civil War Markland continued as special agent of the Post Office, forwarding mail to armies in the field, earning the honorary title of colonel and the gratitude of many officers, especially Grant and William T. Sherman,2 who appreciated the effect on soldier morale of prompt mail delivery.
As an old and close friend of Grant, Markland was sought out in 1885 to comment on a recent letter of Dr. Edward Kittoe of Galena, Ill., who had entered the Civil War in 1861 as a volunteer surgeon and left it as a brevet colonel in 1865 after serving as medical director on Grant’s staff.
Galena, Ill., Jan. 26.
I noticed a short paragraph a few days since referring to Gen. Grant’s profanity. I happen to know the General pretty well, having
[pg. 18] been with him as one of his staff at different times during the war, and I never but once heard him make use of any word that could be called profane, and that was “dog on it.” The article reminded me of a little incident that came to my notice at Memphis just previous to the General’s going to Young’s Point, above Vicksburg. I was smoking a cigar with the General in his room when a dispatch arrived which provoked Gen. Rawlins, the chief of staff, and which Rawlins read to the General, and with some pretty rough oaths urged him to take sunmary measures with a prominent General who had, I believe, disobeyed or transcended orders. The General, in his good-humored way turned to me and asked: “Do you know what I keep Rawlins for?” I replied no, unless it was on account of his valuable services. “I’ll tell you what for. I never swear myself, so I keep him to do it for me when occasion needs.” The time I refer to when he said “dog on it” was at Lexington, Ky., on our ride from Knoxville, when a certain mule contractor wanted to escort the General through the town with a band of music, to avoid which we got out of the hotel by a back way and drove incognito to the Louisville train. After being seated in the car the man came and undertook to remonstrate with Gen. Grant for giving him the slip. The General was angry and annoyed, and said: “Dog on it, Sir, do you want to show me around like a circus?” Very respectfully,
EDWARD D. KITTOE, M. D.3
The reporter who spoke to Markland conscientiously recorded that “we chatted for an hour about Grant. It was not an interview, but it was so Interesting that I will reproduce some parts of It as far as I can remember.”
“Gen. Grant never swore, and in my long connection with him I have never heard him utter a profane word. I have been with him on many occasions in which, perhaps, the use of profanity would have been pardonable. I have heard him tell in social circles stories in which oaths have been always used, but in retelling them he would not quote the oaths. He was freer from using unkind expressions toward his fellow-man than any one I have ever known. And the chief misfortunes of his life have arisen from his misplaced confidence in his fellow-man. Speaking of profanity, I remember one or two occasions on which Grant should have sworn, and I think would have sworn if he could. One was while we were at Young’s Point, with headquarters on the steamboat Magnolia. Two of the staff officers had been sent North under orders, leaving their rooms on the boat vacant. Gen. Grant invited two officers on board one night for consultation. During the consultation a violent rainstorm came up, and Gen. Grant asked these officers to remain on board over night, saying that he had two rooms and that it would be more pleasant for them to stay there than to go to their camp in the storm. The time for retiring arrived and the officers were shown to their rooms. When the doors were opened, however, it was found that the beds were occupied by the colored servants of the officers who were absent. Gen. Grant was very angry, but his [pg. 19] indignation did not find vent in oaths; he merely ordered these servants out on shore into the rain, and in a short time, his indignation having cooled, he sent an orderly to tell them they could come back upon the boat.”
“How did you become acquainted with Gen. Grant?” I asked.
“I knew him as a boy at school. My home was at Maysville, Ky., and young Grant came there a boy of 12 or 13 to attend the academy. He lived with his aunt in Maysville, and was a very quiet, retiring, and studious boy. As I remember him he was a little chubby fellow with a round, freckled face and sandy hair. He was a good-natured boy and went by the name of ‘Lyss.’ Shortly after he left school he went to West Point, and from that time I did not meet him again until in the Fall of 1861 I was sent West in connection with the Post Office Department. In attending to my business I was thrown in with Gen. Grant at Cairo at about the time he took command. Here I got my first glimpse of him as a man. As an instance of his remarkable memory of features, though he could not have known I was coming to Cairo, he recognized me at once one day when I was passing the window of his headquarters. I did not recognize him. It did not take us long to revive our old school fellowship, and we became great friends. I remained about Cairo in my connection with the Post Office Department until about the time of the movement on Fort Henry. At this time Gen. Grant asked me if I did not want to see a fight, and invited me to go to Fort Henry with him. On the way to Fort Henry, on the headquarters steamer New Uncle Sam, knowing that I was an officer of the Post Office Department, he suggested to me, or rather inquired if it were not possible, to keep the mail up to the army and to take the soldiers’ letters home. On my answering that I thought that this could be done, he gave me that branch of the service, and from that beginning sprang the great army mail service of the war, and to Gen. Grant the credit of originating that service belongs. The army mail service developed the fact that the mails could be distributed in railway cars, and on the top of railway cars going at the rate of 30 miles an hour. In wagons, ambulances, and even on horseback mails were frequently distributed and delivered under the murderous fire of the enemy, and it may be said that the perfect railway mail service of to-day is the outgrowth of the army mail service.”
“What about Shiloh?” I asked.
“That is a question of controversy which any impression I may have will not settle. Gen. Grant has recently published his views of that battle. Whether they will settle the question or not is uncertain. Stories of battles are not told until all the actors are dead. It is sufficient that the battle was fairly won by the Federal troops. And there should have been no difficulty in dividing the honors of the victory.”
“Do you think Gen. Grant was surprised?” said I.
“I state with positiveness, no Sir. Gen. Grant was never surprised. No man ever saw Gen. Grant speak or act as if he were surprised. His staff officers would try to see if they could not get him to exhibit surprise or astonishment at some of their stories or by extravagant statements. They never succeeded. When every one else was surprised he never gave any indication that the matter of the surprise was not perfectly familiar to him. In the most trying times he was the coolest and most self-possessed.
[pg. 20] On one occasion 200 tons of powder in a barge lying at the water’s edge in the James River, immediately opposite Grant’s headquarters at City Point, was exploded by an infernal machine of the Confederates, blowing the bodies of men and mules and the débris of the Quartermaster’s department into his camp, so that the air was thick with smoke and falling bodies, add [and] every one was frightened. Grant did not move a facial muscle. With imperturbable gravity he said to a staff officer, ‘Babcock, go out and see what is the matter.’ Nothing ever disturbed Grant’s equanimity. He never lost his head. You might tell him the most startling news in regard to the enemy, but his face would never indicate that it was news to him. If he was ignorant of a matter about which you were talking, he would draw you out in such a quiet way that you would never imagine that the whole matter was not perfectly familiar to him.”
“How about the time when they talked of relieving him of the command about Vicksburg? Did Gen. Grant manifest any feeling on that subject?”
“By no means. He was apparently the most indifferent of all men upon that subject. I remember on one occasion at this time I asked him what he would do if he were relieved. He said that he would ask for the command of a corps or a division or a brigade, saying, ‘This war must be put down,’ and showing his consciousness of the fact that he would be a feature of the war at its close.”
“I see that Mr. Childs, of Philadelphia, in an interview recently printed, says that Gen. Grant was promised by Senator Wilson, of Massachusetts, then Chairman of Military Affairs in the Senate, that if he would become a candidate of the Republican Party he would be elected, and that the place of General of the Army would be kept open, so that he could resume that position at the end of his term. Do you know anything about that?”
“I do not, but I don’t doubt its accuracy, for this reason: A number of very prominent Democratic politicans came to this city just before the meeting of the Democratic Convention of 1868 to see if it could not be arranged to make Gen. Grant the candidate of that convention by acclamation. When the subject was broached to Gen. Grant in a very delicate way he threw cold water on that and on all other plans to nominate him by saying that he did not want the nomination from either party, because if he were nominated and elected he would be out of employment when his term expired, therefore he preferred to remain in the army. It was then suggested by this Democratic delegation that the Democrats would see that the rank of General of the Army was kept open for him. I was present when this statement was made to Gen. Rawlins that he might communicate it to Gen. Grant. Rawlins replied that he was sure that Gen. Grant would not accept the nomination, and it would be no use to tell him about holding the Generalship open for future occupancy by him. I think there are some other gentlemen now living, though not in public life, who know something of the effort made to have Gen. Grant become the candidate of the Democracy in 1868.”
“Do you think he would have been elected if the Democrats had nominated him?”
“Certainly, he would have been elected without a party nomination if he had declared himself a candidate.”
“To what do you attribute the decline in the popularity of Grant’s political administration? His military administration was successful.”
[pg. 21] “Private secretaries, my young friend, private secretaries, and the numbers of weak men who played the sycophant that they might hold office. The same influences have brought disaster upon other Administrations. Statesmanship cannot be filtered through such private secretaries as we have had of late years.”4
Less than six months later Grant was dead, and Markland was again asked to comment on his friendship. The reporter, quite likely the same one, again noted that the remarks were made in the course of conversation and were not printed verbatim.
He was my schoolmate and playfellow in boyhood days. At school he was a quiet, studious boy, rarely on the playground during recess, but then engaged in study. He was exceedingly kind in prompting those of his classmates who were a little negligent and behind in their recitations. He was very popular as a schoolboy, being even tempered, gentle, and generous. He was a member of the Philomathean Society, to which I belonged, and he was a good debater at that time for one of his age. As an executive officer of that society he displayed many of the traits which were prominent in him in after life. It was not in Gen. Grant’s nature to give personal offense by word or act unless he felt that his kind feelings and good name had been willingly trifled with, and then he did not hesitate to resent such trifling in a firm and unmistakable way. He was never boisterous in words, but very decided in word and act. The governing, overshadowing trait of his character was kindness for others. For his bitterest personal enemy he would try to make excuse. When excuses were not gratified he severed friendly relations promptly and as quietly as the circumstances would admit. He was very slow to believe that any one would take advantage of his confidence or do him a wrong.
At Cairo, in 1861, it was reported to Gen. Grant that a young officer, who was stationed at Fort Holt, across the Ohio River, in Kentucky, had been culpably derelict in the discharge of some delicate duty. The General was much angered, and directed Col. Webster to bring the officer to him in irons. Capt. Rawlins, the Adjutant, said, “What is the use of Gen. Grant giving Webster such an order as that? If Webster brings that man here in irons Grant will reprimand Webster and recommend the officer for promotion.” When Col. Webster went to Fort Holt and discovered that the officer had been misrepresented to Gen. Grant he simply asked the officer to return with him to the General’s quarters and make his statement of the case. When the officer came into the presence of Gen. Grant he was received with much kindness, and when he had told his story the General apologized for having caused his arrest and mortification. Not long after that the General did recommend his promotion, as Rawlins had predicted, and he found in him a valuable officer during the war.
The General’s sympathies were always with the private soldier and that class of officers who had not received a military education and training. At Fort Donelson, after the surrender, a complaint was made to him that an officer was not diligent in enforcing discipline. The
[pg. 22] General replied: “He inspired them to fight at the right time and in the right way; that is the kind of discipline we want.” At the same time a German officer who commanded a battery of fine new guns came and reported to the General that his battery had been captured. The General asked him if he spiked the guns before they were captured. The officer astounded the General by exclaiming: “What spike those good guns? My God! no.” The General smiled and said: “I am satisfied that the Captain fought his guns to the last, and would have taken care of them as public property, if for no other reason.”
When President Grant was about to appoint a prominent gentleman to the position of Commissioner of the District of Columbia his attention was called to the fact that the gentleman in question had slighted him when in his poverty and want of employment and had assailed his private character in the darkest period of his command during the war. Gen. Grant replied: “He was mistaken then, and he knows his mistake now. He has qualities that fit him for the place, and I am going to appoint him,’ and he did appoint him.
When I first met Gen. Grant at Cairo I had gone out from this city, and he was much interested in knowing the feeling here as to a vigorous prosecution of the war or a hope of some kind of a compromise. He said: “I see by the papers that Gen. McClellan is having big reviews and that sort of thing. I think this is a mistake. A compromise at this stage is impossible. It will have to be fought out, and I intend to make it as hot as I can, so that it won’t last long.”
Gen. Grant was absolutely fearless. He had a boundless faith in his judgment and luck. He and his staff viewed the naval fight at Fort Henry from the deck of a small tugboat, which was more nearly in the range of the guns of the fort than were the ironclads and gunboats. Gen. Tilghman told me after the surrender that if he had known that Gen. Grant was on that tug during the fight he would have blown it out of the water and deprived the Yankees of one of the best men they had. The soldiers of the South who had been in the Mexican war knew Grant’s value as a fighter. When he left Corinth for Grand Junction and Jackson he went on a platform car, wholly unprotected, and passed through a section of country infested by guerrillas. The non-combatants who visited his headquarters, and who were proud to ride around the lines with him, will remember that they never wanted to go with him but once. He always managed, somehow or other, to get under fire. From Cairo to Appomattox he took the chances of war in every form, fairly and squarely. He did not ask others to take risks that be was not willing to take himself. He had the faith which prompted him to say: “When the head of my army is whipped the whole body is gone.” He meant by that that he had confidence in the courage and persistency of his whole command.
I don’t think that Gen. Grant ever had any one about him that he did not have confidence in. That applies to staff officers, clerks, sentry guards, and visitors. He was only suspicious of the movements of the enemy, and in that he rarely betrayed his suspicion in any other way than by his orders. His staff officers had his full confidence in the lines in which their official duties were required to be performed. To some he gave a character of confidence not necessary to be given to others and not withheld from distrust, but because it had had no relation to official
[pg. 23] duties and might not be interesting otherwise. I never saw Gen. Grant whisper or speak in low tones, as if he was unwilling that all present might not hear. Of all men I ever knew, he was the one who knew what to say and what to leave unsaid. He told what he wanted you to know, and it was useless to try to gain further information from him by questions. He joined freely with his staff officers, and such others as might be about his headquarters, in conversation, and always added to the interest of the occasion. I never knew him to speak harshly or petulantly to a staff officer. His living staff officers, wherever they may be, will have no more pleasant a remembrance of him than of his polite language and genial manner to them.
Gen. Grant had one friend outside his family who stood far above all the rest, as many and as devoted friends as he had. From Cairo to Appomattox and after, Abraham Lincoln never faltered in his friendship for or his confidence in Gen. Grant. Whoever else may have doubted and weakened, Abraham Lincoln never did. He once doubted, but he did not weaken, and afterward he apologized for the doubt. I know that in the darkest hours Mr. Lincoln sent to Gen. Grant many words of cheer.5
2. Markland’s recollections of Sherman are in a letter of Sept. 8, 1885, printed in Report of the Proceedings of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee … 1885 (Cincinnati, 1893), 162-71, and in an apparently unpublished manuscript, “A Chapter of War History,” The Filson Club, Louisville, Ky.
3. New York Times, Feb. 7, 1885.
4. Ibid., Feb. 16, 1885. Reprinted from the Cleveland Leader.
5. New York Times, Aug. 4, 1885. Reprinted from the Washington Star, Aug. 1, 1885.
NEWS NOTES *** Southern Illinois University Press plans publication of volume 5 of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant in October. The battle of Shiloh provides the major focal point of this volume, which covers correspondence from April through August, 1862. *** David L. Wilson, a doctoral candidate in American history at the University of Tennessee, is currently working for the Grant Association as a part-time researcher.
[pg. 24] Funds for his employment were contributed by the Civil War Centennial Association (through Ralph G. Newman and Carl Haverlin), matched by the Office of Research and Projects, Southern Illinois University. *** T. Harry Williams, chairman of the editorial board of the Grant Association, Is the 1912-1973 president of the Organization of American Historians. His presidential address, delivered In Chicago, dealt with “Huey, Lyndon, and Southern Radicalism.” *** Earl S. Miers died on November 17, 1972, at the age of sixty-two, shortly after publication of his The Last Campaign: Grant Saves the Union. A prolific author, Miers had written of Grant frequently, and was best known in this field for The Web of Victory: Grant at Vicksburg (1955). *** Books expected soon Include Johnson, Grant, and Reconstruction Politics by Martin E. Mantell from Columbia University Press, and The Captain Departs: Ulysses S. Grant’s Last Campaign by Thomas M. Pltkln, scheduled for September publication by Southern Illinois University Press.
[pg. 25] FAREWELL *** With this issue the Newsletter terminates after completing ten years of publication. The officers of the Grant Association have reluctantly agreed with the managing editor to suspend publication because of the rising cost of preparation and distribution, the increasing need for time for completion of other projects, and the accomplishment of the primary purpose of the Newsletter. When the first Newsletter appeared, several years before publication of the first volume of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, it served to inform scholars, librarians, curators, collectors, and potential readers of the existence of this editorial project; four volumes in print (and a fifth to be published in October) can speak for themselves. In suspending publication of the Newsletter on a regular basis, the Grant Association has not ruled out possible occasional issue for special purposes, and will explore possibilities of creating a financially self-sustaining publication which will serve the same purpose of printing information about Grant and news of activities in the Grant field. Suggestions concerning such a publication will be welcomed.
In a decade of publication, the Newsletter drew on modern Grant authorities including Thomas G. Alexander, Roger D. Bridges, John A. Carpenter, Bruce Catton, Ralph G. Newman, and Thomas M. Pitkin; collected family reminiscences of Emma Dent Casey, Frederick Dent Grant, and Jesse Root Grant;
[pg. 26] and presented previously unpublished or obscure accounts by important Grant contemporaries including Adam Badeau, Benjamin H. Grierson, William S. Hillyer, James Longstreet, and Walt Whitman. To make more than three hundred pages of this material more easily accessible, the last Newsletter contains an index of all preceding issues. Xerox University Microfilms, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106, can provide either microfilm of the entire Newsletter or xerographic copies of individual issues.
NEWS NOTES *** The Grant Association received a grant of $11,000 from the National Historical Publications Commission for the current fiscal year. *** David L. Wilson, researcher for the Grant Association, recently completed The Lloyd Lewis-Bruce Catton Research Notes: An Inventory with Biographical and Bibliographic Notes. The Grant Association will send a copy of the twelve-page inventory to those requesting it. *** At the Grant Association board meeting held in April, two new members were elected to the editorial board: Richard N. Current, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and E. Berkeley Tompkins, executive director of the National Historical Publications Commission. *** Grady McWhiney, a member of the editorial board of the Grant Association, recently published Southerners and Other Americans (New York: Basic Books), a collection of essays Including “Ulysses S. Grant’s Pre-Civil War Military Education.” McWhiney argues that Grant’s West Point training and Mexican War experience influenced his Civil War strategy and tactics more than has been generally recognized.