Tuesday, May 27, 2014

April 22, 1864 (Saturday): Grant Responds to Plymouth

Destruction of Federal Gunboats at Plymouth (Harper's Weekly)

CULPEPER, VA., April 22, 1864-11 a. m.
(Received 2.45 p. m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff:
    Admiral Lee's dispatch to the Secretary of the Navy has been sent to me for my information. I do not know the situation of affairs in North Carolina well enough to give positive instructions, but it appears to me there is no use of our holding Washington or Plymouth. It would be better to have the forces necessary to garrison those two places added to General Butler's column of attack, which, if successful, will give back to us not only the coast, but probably most of the State. It may be that to evacuate now would compromise Union men who have shown their Unionism in full faith that the country would never be given up to the enemy. I wish you would inquire of General Butler if the two points above mentioned can be abandoned as well as not, and, if so, give the order.

     U. S. GRANT,

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 33, Part 1, Page 947.

Grant realized the setback in Plymouth would require the loss of part of North Carolina.  But he remained, as he would throughout the Overland Campaign, fixed on the real objective--Richmond. 

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