Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 22, 1861 (Thursday): Enter U. S. Grant

U. S. Grant
Jefferson City, Mo., August 22, 1861.

Captain SPEED BUTLER, Asst. Adjt. General, Saint Louis, Mo.:

    During yesterday I visited the camps of the different commands about this city, and selected locations for troops yet to arrive. I find a great deficiency in everything for the comfort and efficiency of an army. Most of the troops are without clothing, camp and garrison equipage. Ammunition was down to about ten rounds of cartridges, and for the artillery none is left.
    The artillery here consists of four 6-pounder, without artillery-men, and one 24-pounder howitzer, too heavy for field use. The post quartermaster and commissary have not been here since my arrival, so that I cannot report fully as to these departments. They are apparently in a bad condition. There are no rations to issue. The mules sent some time since are guarded in a lot, no effort being made to get them into teams, and a general looseness prevailing. I have fitted out an expedition of 350 men to scour the country around where the cars were fired into day before yesterday. Such information has been received here as will probably lead to the arrest of many of the parties engaged. The party in pursuit will subsist off of the community through which they pass. Stringent instructions have been given as to how supplies are to be got. From reports received here the whole of this country is in a state of ferment. They are driving out the Union men and appropriating their property. The best force to put this down would be mounted Home Guards, and I would therefore recommend that a many as possible of this class of troops be put upon horses. Generally they are able to mount themselves, and when they cannot, horses could be obtained from good secessionists who have been aiding and abetting the Southern cause. I would further recommend that companies of Home Guards be received without any reference to their being organized into regiments. They can be attached to other regiments either by companies or squadrons, and be quite as effective as if in large bodies.


Official Records, Series. I., Vol. 3, Part 1, Page 452

Grant began the war in command of the 21st Illinois and was later given a district command headquartered in Cario, Illinois.  Here he travels to Jefferson City, Missouri to assist in putting some order to Union efforts to combat marauding parties of Confederates who were active in the area.  There is a clarity thought in his writing, and an underlying theme of moving forward through hostile territory without fear of outrunning supplies.  These qualities will continue to manifest themselves in his career.

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