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Produced by Glen Bledsoe. Additional proofing by David Widger





PERSONAL MEMOIRS OF U. S. GRANT

Volume I.

by U. S. Grant




PREFACE.

"Man proposes and God disposes." There are but few important events in
the affairs of men brought about by their own choice.

Although frequently urged by friends to write my memoirs I had
determined never to do so, nor to write anything for publication. At
the age of nearly sixty-two I received an injury from a fall, which
confined me closely to the house while it did not apparently affect my
general health. This made study a pleasant pastime. Shortly after, the
rascality of a business partner developed itself by the announcement of
a failure. This was followed soon after by universal depression of all
securities, which seemed to threaten the extinction of a good part of
the income still retained, and for which I am indebted to the kindly act
of friends. At this juncture the editor of the Century Magazine asked
me to write a few articles for him. I consented for the money it gave
me; for at that moment I was living upon borrowed money. The work I
found congenial, and I determined to continue it. The event is an
important one for me, for good or evil; I hope for the former.

In preparing these volumes for the public, I have entered upon the task
with the sincere desire to avoid doing injustice to any one, whether on
the National or Confederate side, other than the unavoidable injustice
of not making mention often where special mention is due. There must be
many errors of omission in this work, because the subject is too large
to be treated of in two volumes in such way as to do justice to all the
officers and men engaged. There were thousands of instances, during the
rebellion, of individual, company, regimental and brigade deeds of
heroism which deserve special mention and are not here alluded to. The
troops engaged in them will have to look to the detailed reports of
their individual commanders for the full history of those deeds.

The first volume, as well as a portion of the second, was written before
I had reason to suppose I was in a critical condition of health. Later
I was reduced almost to the point of death, and it became impossible for
me to attend to anything for weeks. I have, however, somewhat regained
my strength, and am able, often, to devote as many hours a day as a
person should devote to such work. I would have more hope of satisfying
the expectation of the public if I could have allowed myself more time.
I have used my best efforts, with the aid of my eldest son, F. D. Grant,
assisted by his brothers, to verify from the records every statement of
fact given. The comments are my own, and show how I saw the matters
treated of whether others saw them in the same light or not.

With these remarks I present these volumes to the public, asking no
favor but hoping they will meet the approval of the reader.

U. S. GRANT.

MOUNT MACGREGOR, NEW YORK, July 1, 1885.


CONTENTS

VOLUME I.

CHAPTER I. ANCESTRY - BIRTH - BOYHOOD.

CHAPTER II. WEST POINT - GRADUATION.

CHAPTER III. ARMY LIFE - CAUSES OF THE MEXICAN WAR - CAMP SALUBRITY.

CHAPTER IV. CORPUS CHRISTI - MEXICAN SMUGGLING - SPANISH RULE IN MEXICO
- SUPPLYING TRANSPORTATION.

CHAPTER V. TRIP TO AUSTIN - PROMOTION TO FULL SECOND-LIEUTENANT - ARMY OF
OCCUPATION.

CHAPTER VI. ADVANCE OF THE ARMY - CROSSING THE COLORADO - THE RIO GRANDE.

CHAPTER VII. THE MEXICAN WAR - THE BATTLE OF PALO ALTO - THE BATTLE OF
RESACA DE LA PALMA - ARMY OF INVASION - GENERAL TAYLOR - MOVEMENT ON
CAMARGO.

CHAPTER VIII. ADVANCE ON MONTEREY - THE BLACK FORT - THE BATTLE OF
MONTEREY - SURRENDER OF THE CITY.

CHAPTER IX. POLITICAL INTRIGUE - BUENA VISTA - MOVEMENT AGAINST VERA CRUZ
- SIEGE AND CAPTURE OF VERA CRUZ.

CHAPTER X. MARCH TO JALAPA - BATTLE OF CERRO GORDO - PEROTE - PUEBLA - SCOTT
AND TAYLOR.

CHAPTER XI. ADVANCE ON THE CITY OF MEXICO - BATTLE OF CONTRERAS - ASSAULT
AT CHURUBUSCO - NEGOTIATIONS FOR PEACE - BATTLE OF MOLINO DEL REY
- STORMING OF CHAPULTEPEC - SAN COSME - EVACUATION OF THE CITY - HALLS OF
THE MONTEZUMAS.

CHAPTER XII. PROMOTION TO FIRST LIEUTENANT - CAPTURE OF THE CITY OF
MEXICO - THE ARMY - MEXICAN SOLDIERS - PEACE NEGOTIATIONS.

CHAPTER XIII. TREATY OF PEACE - MEXICAN BULL FIGHTS - REGIMENTAL
QUARTERMASTER - TRIP TO POPOCATAPETL - TRIP TO THE CAVES OF MEXICO.

CHAPTER XIV. RETURN OF THE ARMY - MARRIAGE - ORDERED TO THE PACIFIC COAST
- CROSSING THE ISTHMUS - ARRIVAL AT SAN FRANCISCO.

CHAPTER XV. SAN FRANCISCO - EARLY CALIFORNIA EXPERIENCES - LIFE ON THE
PACIFIC COAST - PROMOTED CAPTAIN - FLUSH TIMES IN CALIFORNIA.

CHAPTER XVI. RESIGNATION - PRIVATE LIFE - LIFE AT GALENA - THE COMING
CRISIS.

CHAPTER XVII. OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION - PRESIDING AT A UNION MEETING
- MUSTERING OFFICER OF STATE TROOPS - LYON AT CAMP JACKSON - SERVICES
TENDERED TO THE GOVERNMENT.

CHAPTER XVIII. APPOINTED COLONEL OF THE 21ST ILLINOIS - PERSONNEL OF THE
REGIMENT - GENERAL LOGAN - MARCH TO MISSOURI - MOVEMENT AGAINST HARRIS AT
FLORIDA, MO. - GENERAL POPE IN COMMAND - STATIONED AT MEXICO, MO.

CHAPTER XIX. COMMISSIONED BRIGADIER-GENERAL - COMMAND AT IRONTON, MO.
- JEFFERSON CITY - CAPE GIRARDEAU - GENERAL PRENTISS - SEIZURE OF PADUCAH
- HEADQUARTERS AT CAIRO.

CHAPTER XX. GENERAL FREMONT IN COMMAND - MOVEMENT AGAINST BELMONT - BATTLE
OF BELMONT - A NARROW ESCAPE - AFTER THE BATTLE.

CHAPTER XXI. GENERAL HALLECK IN COMMAND - COMMANDING THE DISTRICT OF
CAIRO - MOVEMENT ON FORT HENRY - CAPTURE OF FORT HENRY.

CHAPTER XXII. INVESTMENT OF FORT DONELSON - THE NAVAL OPERATIONS - ATTACK
OF THE ENEMY - ASSAULTING THE WORKS - SURRENDER OF THE FORT.

CHAPTER XXIII. PROMOTED MAJOR-GENERAL OF VOLUNTEERS - UNOCCUPIED
TERRITORY - ADVANCE UPON NASHVILLE - SITUATION OF THE TROOPS - CONFEDERATE
RETREAT - RELIEVED OF THE COMMAND - RESTORED TO THE COMMAND - GENERAL
SMITH.

CHAPTER XXIV. THE ARMY AT PITTSBURG LANDING - INJURED BY A FALL - THE
CONFEDERATE ATTACK AT SHILOH - THE FIRST DAY'S FIGHT AT SHILOH - GENERAL
SHERMAN - CONDITION OF THE ARMY - CLOSE OF THE FIRST DAY'S FIGHT - THE
SECOND DAY'S FIGHT - RETREAT AND DEFEAT OF THE CONFEDERATES.

CHAPTER XXV. STRUCK BY A BULLET - PRECIPITATE RETREAT OF THE
CONFEDERATES - INTRENCHMENTS AT SHILOH - GENERAL BUELL - GENERAL JOHNSTON
- REMARKS ON SHILOH.

CHAPTER XXVI. HALLECK ASSUMES COMMAND IN THE FIELD - THE ADVANCE UPON
CORINTH - OCCUPATION OF CORINTH - THE ARMY SEPARATED.

CHAPTER XXVII. HEADQUARTERS MOVED TO MEMPHIS - ON THE ROAD TO MEMPHIS
- ESCAPING JACKSON - COMPLAINTS AND REQUESTS - HALLECK APPOINTED
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF - RETURN TO CORINTH - MOVEMENTS OF BRAGG - SURRENDER
OF CLARKSVILLE - THE ADVANCE UPON CHATTANOOGA - SHERIDAN COLONEL OF A
MICHIGAN REGIMENT.

CHAPTER XXVIII. ADVANCE OF VAN DORN AND PRICE - PRICE ENTERS IUKA - BATTLE
OF IUKA.

CHAPTER XXIX. VAN DORN'S MOVEMENTS - BATTLE OF CORINTH - COMMAND OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE.

CHAPTER XXX. THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST VICKSBURG - EMPLOYING THE FREEDMEN
- OCCUPATION OF HOLLY SPRINGS - SHERMAN ORDERED TO MEMPHIS - SHERMAN'S
MOVEMENTS DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI - VAN DORN CAPTURES HOLLY SPRINGS
- COLLECTING FORAGE AND FOOD.

CHAPTER XXXI. HEADQUARTERS MOVED TO HOLLY SPRINGS - GENERAL MCCLERNAND IN
COMMAND - ASSUMING COMMAND AT YOUNG'S POINT - OPERATIONS ABOVE VICKSBURG
- FORTIFICATIONS ABOUT VICKSBURG - THE CANAL - LAKE PROVIDENCE - OPERATIONS
AT YAZOO PASS.

CHAPTER XXXII. THE BAYOUS WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI - CRITICISMS OF THE
NORTHERN PRESS - RUNNING THE BATTERIES - LOSS OF THE INDIANOLA
- DISPOSITION OF THE TROOPS.

CHAPTER XXXIII. ATTACK ON GRAND GULF - OPERATIONS BELOW VICKSBURG.

CHAPTER XXXIV. CAPTURE OF PORT GIBSON - GRIERSON'S RAID - OCCUPATION OF
GRAND GULF - MOVEMENT UP THE BIG BLACK - BATTLE OF RAYMOND.

CHAPTER XXXV. MOVEMENT AGAINST JACKSON - FALL OF JACKSON - INTERCEPTING
THE ENEMY - BATTLE OF CHAMPION'S HILL.

CHAPTER XXXVI. BATTLE OF BLACK RIVER BRIDGE - CROSSING THE BIG BLACK
- INVESTMENT OF VICKSBURG - ASSAULTING THE WORKS.

CHAPTER XXXVII. SIEGE OF VICKSBURG.

CHAPTER XXXVIII. JOHNSTON'S MOVEMENTS - FORTIFICATIONS AT HAINES'S BLUFF
- EXPLOSION OF THE MINE - EXPLOSION OF THE SECOND MINE - PREPARING FOR THE
ASSAULT - THE FLAG OF TRUCE - MEETING WITH PEMBERTON - NEGOTIATIONS FOR
SURRENDER - ACCEPTING THE TERMS - SURRENDER OF VICKSBURG.

CHAPTER XXXIX. RETROSPECT OF THE CAMPAIGN - SHERMAN'S MOVEMENTS - PROPOSED
MOVEMENT UPON MOBILE - A PAINFUL ACCIDENT - ORDERED TO REPORT AT CAIRO.



Volume one begins:




CHAPTER I.

ANCESTRY - BIRTH - BOYHOOD.

My family is American, and has been for generations, in all its
branches, direct and collateral.

Mathew Grant, the founder of the branch in America, of which I am a
descendant, reached Dorchester, Massachusetts, in May, 1630. In 1635 he
moved to what is now Windsor, Connecticut, and was the surveyor for that
colony for more than forty years. He was also, for many years of the
time, town clerk. He was a married man when he arrived at Dorchester,
but his children were all born in this country. His eldest son, Samuel,
took lands on the east side of the Connecticut River, opposite Windsor,
which have been held and occupied by descendants of his to this day.

I am of the eighth generation from Mathew Grant, and seventh from
Samuel. Mathew Grant's first wife died a few years after their
settlement in Windsor, and he soon after married the widow Rockwell,
who, with her first husband, had been fellow-passengers with him and his
first wife, on the ship Mary and John, from Dorchester, England, in
1630. Mrs. Rockwell had several children by her first marriage, and
others by her second. By intermarriage, two or three generations later,
I am descended from both the wives of Mathew Grant.

In the fifth descending generation my great grandfather, Noah Grant, and
his younger brother, Solomon, held commissions in the English army, in
1756, in the war against the French and Indians. Both were killed that
year.

My grandfather, also named Noah, was then but nine years old. At the
breaking out of the war of the Revolution, after the battles of Concord
and Lexington, he went with a Connecticut company to join the
Continental army, and was present at the battle of Bunker Hill. He
served until the fall of Yorktown, or through the entire Revolutionary
war. He must, however, have been on furlough part of the time - as I
believe most of the soldiers of that period were - for he married in
Connecticut during the war, had two children, and was a widower at the
close. Soon after this he emigrated to Westmoreland County,
Pennsylvania, and settled near the town of Greensburg in that county.
He took with him the younger of his two children, Peter Grant. The
elder, Solomon, remained with his relatives in Connecticut until old
enough to do for himself, when he emigrated to the British West Indies.

Not long after his settlement in Pennsylvania, my grandfather, Captain
Noah Grant, married a Miss Kelly, and in 1799 he emigrated again, this
time to Ohio, and settled where the town of Deerfield now stands. He
had now five children, including Peter, a son by his first marriage. My
father, Jesse R. Grant, was the second child - oldest son, by the second
marriage.

Peter Grant went early to Maysville, Kentucky, where he was very
prosperous, married, had a family of nine children, and was drowned at
the mouth of the Kanawha River, Virginia, in 1825, being at the time one
of the wealthy men of the West.

My grandmother Grant died in 1805, leaving seven children. This broke
up the family. Captain Noah Grant was not thrifty in the way of "laying
up stores on earth," and, after the death of his second wife, he went,
with the two youngest children, to live with his son Peter, in
Maysville. The rest of the family found homes in the neighborhood of
Deerfield, my father in the family of judge Tod, the father of the late
Governor Tod, of Ohio. His industry and independence of character were
such, that I imagine his labor compensated fully for the expense of his
maintenance.

There must have been a cordiality in his welcome into the Tod family,
for to the day of his death he looked upon judge Tod and his wife, with
all the reverence he could have felt if they had been parents instead of
benefactors. I have often heard him speak of Mrs. Tod as the most
admirable woman he had ever known. He remained with the Tod family only
a few years, until old enough to learn a trade. He went first, I
believe, with his half-brother, Peter Grant, who, though not a tanner
himself, owned a tannery in Maysville, Kentucky. Here he learned his
trade, and in a few years returned to Deerfield and worked for, and
lived in the family of a Mr. Brown, the father of John Brown - "whose
body lies mouldering in the grave, while his soul goes marching on." I
have often heard my father speak of John Brown, particularly since the
events at Harper's Ferry. Brown was a boy when they lived in the same
house, but he knew him afterwards, and regarded him as a man of great
purity of character, of high moral and physical courage, but a fanatic
and extremist in whatever he advocated. It was certainly the act of an
insane man to attempt the invasion of the South, and the overthrow of
slavery, with less than twenty men.

My father set up for himself in business, establishing a tannery at
Ravenna, the county seat of Portage County. In a few years he removed
from Ravenna, and set up the same business at Point Pleasant, Clermont
County, Ohio.

During the minority of my father, the West afforded but poor facilities
for the most opulent of the youth to acquire an education, and the
majority were dependent, almost exclusively, upon their own exertions
for whatever learning they obtained. I have often heard him say that
his time at school was limited to six months, when he was very young,
too young, indeed, to learn much, or to appreciate the advantages of an
education, and to a "quarter's schooling" afterwards, probably while
living with judge Tod. But his thirst for education was intense. He
learned rapidly, and was a constant reader up to the day of his death in
his eightieth year. Books were scarce in the Western Reserve during his
youth, but he read every book he could borrow in the neighborhood where
he lived. This scarcity gave him the early habit of studying everything
he read, so that when he got through with a book, he knew everything in
it. The habit continued through life. Even after reading the daily
papers - which he never neglected - he could give all the important
information they contained. He made himself an excellent English
scholar, and before he was twenty years of age was a constant
contributor to Western newspapers, and was also, from that time until he
was fifty years old, an able debater in the societies for this purpose,
which were common in the West at that time. He always took an active
part in politics, but was never a candidate for office, except, I
believe, that he was the first Mayor of Georgetown. He supported
Jackson for the Presidency; but he was a Whig, a great admirer of Henry
Clay, and never voted for any other democrat for high office after
Jackson.

My mother's family lived in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, for several
generations. I have little information about her ancestors. Her family
took no interest in genealogy, so that my grandfather, who died when I
was sixteen years old, knew only back to his grandfather. On the other
side, my father took a great interest in the subject, and in his
researches, he found that there was an entailed estate in Windsor,
Connecticut, belonging to the family, to which his nephew, Lawson Grant
- still living - was the heir. He was so much interested in the subject
that he got his nephew to empower him to act in the matter, and in 1832
or 1833, when I was a boy ten or eleven years old, he went to Windsor,
proved the title beyond dispute, and perfected the claim of the owners
for a consideration - three thousand dollars, I think. I remember the
circumstance well, and remember, too, hearing him say on his return that
he found some widows living on the property, who had little or nothing
beyond their homes. From these he refused to receive any recompense.

My mother's father, John Simpson, moved from Montgomery County,
Pennsylvania, to Clermont County, Ohio, about the year 1819, taking with
him his four children, three daughters and one son. My mother, Hannah
Simpson, was the third of these children, and was then over twenty years
of age. Her oldest sister was at that time married, and had several
children. She still lives in Clermont County at this writing, October
5th, 1884, and is over ninety ears of age. Until her memory failed her,
a few years ago, she thought the country ruined beyond recovery when the
Democratic party lost control in 1860. Her family, which was large,
inherited her views, with the exception of one son who settled in
Kentucky before the war. He was the only one of the children who
entered the volunteer service to suppress the rebellion.

Her brother, next of age and now past eighty-eight, is also still living
in Clermont County, within a few miles of the old homestead, and is as
active in mind as ever. He was a supporter of the Government during the
war, and remains a firm believer, that national success by the
Democratic party means irretrievable ruin.

In June, 1821, my father, Jesse R. Grant, married Hannah Simpson. I was
born on the 27th of April, 1822, at Point Pleasant, Clermont County,
Ohio. In the fall of 1823 we moved to Georgetown, the county seat of
Brown, the adjoining county east. This place remained my home, until at
the age of seventeen, in 1839, I went to West Point.

The schools, at the time of which I write, were very indifferent. There
were no free schools, and none in which the scholars were classified.
They were all supported by subscription, and a single teacher - who was
often a man or a woman incapable of teaching much, even if they imparted
all they knew - would have thirty or forty scholars, male and female,
from the infant learning the A B C's up to the young lady of eighteen
and the boy of twenty, studying the highest branches taught - the three
R's, "Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic." I never saw an algebra, or other
mathematical work higher than the arithmetic, in Georgetown, until after
I was appointed to West Point. I then bought a work on algebra in
Cincinnati; but having no teacher it was Greek to me.

My life in Georgetown was uneventful. From the age of five or six until
seventeen, I attended the subscription schools of the village, except
during the winters of 1836-7 and 1838-9. The former period was spent in
Maysville, Kentucky, attending the school of Richardson and Rand; the
latter in Ripley, Ohio, at a private school. I was not studious in
habit, and probably did not make progress enough to compensate for the
outlay for board and tuition. At all events both winters were spent in
going over the same old arithmetic which I knew every word of before,
and repeating: "A noun is the name of a thing," which I had also heard
my Georgetown teachers repeat, until I had come to believe it - but I
cast no reflections upon my old teacher, Richardson. He turned out
bright scholars from his school, many of whom have filled conspicuous
places in the service of their States. Two of my contemporaries there
- who, I believe, never attended any other institution of learning - have
held seats in Congress, and one, if not both, other high offices; these
are Wadsworth and Brewster.

My father was, from my earliest recollection, in comfortable
circumstances, considering the times, his place of residence, and the
community in which he lived. Mindful of his own lack of facilities for
acquiring an education, his greatest desire in maturer years was for the
education of his children. Consequently, as stated before, I never
missed a quarter from school from the time I was old enough to attend
till the time of leaving home. This did not exempt me from labor. In
my early days, every one labored more or less, in the region where my
youth was spent, and more in proportion to their private means. It was
only the very poor who were exempt. While my father carried on the
manufacture of leather and worked at the trade himself, he owned and
tilled considerable land. I detested the trade, preferring almost any
other labor; but I was fond of agriculture, and of all employment in
which horses were used. We had, among other lands, fifty acres of
forest within a mile of the village. In the fall of the year choppers
were employed to cut enough wood to last a twelve-month. When I was
seven or eight years of age, I began hauling all the wood used in the
house and shops. I could not load it on the wagons, of course, at that
time, but I could drive, and the choppers would load, and some one at
the house unload. When about eleven years old, I was strong enough to
hold a plough. From that age until seventeen I did all the work done
with horses, such as breaking up the land, furrowing, ploughing corn and
potatoes, bringing in the crops when harvested, hauling all the wood,
besides tending two or three horses, a cow or two, and sawing wood for
stoves, etc., while still attending school. For this I was compensated
by the fact that there was never any scolding or punishing by my
parents; no objection to rational enjoyments, such as fishing, going to
the creek a mile away to swim in summer, taking a horse and visiting my
grandparents in the adjoining county, fifteen miles off, skating on the
ice in winter, or taking a horse and sleigh when there was snow on the
ground.

While still quite young I had visited Cincinnati, forty-five miles away,
several times, alone; also Maysville, Kentucky, often, and once
Louisville. The journey to Louisville was a big one for a boy of that
day. I had also gone once with a two-horse carriage to Chilicothe,
about seventy miles, with a neighbor's family, who were removing to
Toledo, Ohio, and returned alone; and had gone once, in like manner, to
Flat Rock, Kentucky, about seventy miles away. On this latter occasion
I was fifteen years of age. While at Flat Rock, at the house of a Mr.
Payne, whom I was visiting with his brother, a neighbor of ours in
Georgetown, I saw a very fine saddle horse, which I rather coveted, and
proposed to Mr. Payne, the owner, to trade him for one of the two I was
driving. Payne hesitated to trade with a boy, but asking his brother
about it, the latter told him that it would be all right, that I was
allowed to do as I pleased with the horses. I was seventy miles from
home, with a carriage to take back, and Mr. Payne said he did not know
that his horse had ever had a collar on. I asked to have him hitched to
a farm wagon and we would soon see whether he would work. It was soon
evident that the horse had never worn harness before; but he showed no
viciousness, and I expressed a confidence that I could manage him. A
trade was at once struck, I receiving ten dollars difference.

The next day Mr. Payne, of Georgetown, and I started on our return. We
got along very well for a few miles, when we encountered a ferocious dog
that frightened the horses and made them run. The new animal kicked at
every jump he made. I got the horses stopped, however, before any
damage was done, and without running into anything. After giving them a
little rest, to quiet their fears, we started again. That instant the
new horse kicked, and started to run once more. The road we were on,
struck the turnpike within half a mile of the point where the second
runaway commenced, and there there was an embankment twenty or more feet
deep on the opposite side of the pike. I got the horses stopped on the
very brink of the precipice. My new horse was terribly frightened and
trembled like an aspen; but he was not half so badly frightened as my
companion, Mr. Payne, who deserted me after this last experience, and
took passage on a freight wagon for Maysville. Every time I attempted
to start, my new horse would commence to kick. I was in quite a dilemma
for a time. Once in Maysville I could borrow a horse from an uncle who
lived there; but I was more than a day's travel from that point.
Finally I took out my bandanna - the style of handkerchief in universal
use then - and with this blindfolded my horse. In this way I reached
Maysville safely the next day, no doubt much to the surprise of my
friend. Here I borrowed a horse from my uncle, and the following day we
proceeded on our journey.

About half my school-days in Georgetown were spent at the school of John
D. White, a North Carolinian, and the father of Chilton White who



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