Total War: March to September 1864

Disaster at Cold Harbor

Who was Grant’s other correspondent?

The official papers of Ulysses Grant run to eleven impressive volumes, and the modern-day reader is struck by the terse but accurate composition of this man, who was so quiet in public. Many of the letters are to General-in-Chief William Henry Halleck, but the ones that really catch the reader’s eye are those to Lincoln. Grant and the president clearly understood and valued one another. Grant’s other major correspondent, however, was his wife.

Ulysses and Julia Grant were an uncommonly close and happy couple. He was a recent graduate of West Point when he courted her at her father’s Missouri farm, and once married they were seldom apart (one of the few times they were separated led to his resignation from the U.S. Army in 1854). In his numerous letters, Grant informed Julia of what was happening at the front, but he always asked about personal matters: How was this nephew doing? Was there enough money? The letters between husband and wife show an appealing side to the man whom some people called “the butcher” because of his willingness to shed blood in the cause of the Union.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Civil War Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App