This comprehensive volume contains all known documents, both military and private, written by and to Grant during the first six months of the Civil War. Of unusual interest are his letters to his wife, father, and sister which provide the best insight into his complex character. Thirty of the letters to Julia have never before been published.
The letters trace Grant’s early career as a Civil War officer to his promotion to brigadier general. His assignments to command at Ironton and Jefferson City, Missouri, and Cairo, Illinois, are fully covered. At Cairo, Grant’s area of responsibility straddled the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, forming a military command Grant considered to be “third in importance in the country.” From here he advanced the first federal troops into Kentucky, winning recognition for quick, sure judgment and military competence which started him on the road to Appomattox.
A new and deepening picture of Grant continues to emerge with the publication of these letters. Important as original history, they deserve reading for their own sake.