“(Cipher)/ City Point, Va. Dec. 30th 1864/ Hon. E.M. Stanton, Sec. of War./ The accompanying dispatch was received over your signature and answered. Subsequently a dispatch from operator was received stating that it should have been signed G. Wells [sic], Sec. of the Navy. It is all right however for I do not propose to correspond with the Navy Dept about Military operations except through you. My first dispatch gives all that I would advise should be said to the Sec. of the Navy for the present. U.S. Grant/ Lt. Gen. [ink line through each]/ I will say to Mr. Welles that I will advise with you about further operations against Wilmington and he can get his information from you. U.S. Grant/ Lt. Gen.” One page; folded; excellent condition. This piece was reproduced in facsimile at page 188 in Louis A. Coolidge’s The Life of Ulysses S. Grant ( Centenary Edition. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1922). In the list of illustrations, it is noted that this was then in the possession of the author. Grant made his headquarters at City Point, from where he directed operations against Petersburg and Richmond, as well as commanding other Union armies in the field. Famously informal and modest, the headquarters of the only regularly promoted Lieutenant-General since George Washington lodged in a log cabin. Nevertheless, this dispatch demonstrates how aware Grant was of the prerogatives of his unique rank and that he was not reluctant to assert these when he perceived them as threatened. (Inventory #: 31070P)
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