Friday, October 19, 2007

ON THIS DAY: Sunday, Oct. 20, 1861

As usual, paperwork occupies part of Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s day in his headquarters at Cairo, Illinois, but as is so often the case, he finds time to write to his beloved Julia at their home in Galena. He promises to send several copies of his photograph to her. Unlike McClellan, who remains rooted near Washington, Grant seeks action: “What I want is to advance,” he tells Julia.

“I have been writing all day and have grown tired,” he adds, but still takes the time to ask her to “[g]ive my love to all our friends and remember me to all the neighbors. Kiss the children all round for me….Kisses for yourself dear Julia. Write often.” He closes playfully, “Your hateful husband. Ulys.” Quiet and solemn in person, Grant can be warm and expressive in his letters.

Earlier in the letter he wrote, “We are all quiet here though how long we shall remain so is hard to tell.” Within 24 hours, his troops will see action.

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