Volume 7 documents Grant’s winter of discontent. In late December, his Mississippi Central campaign, an overland drive toward Vicksburg, was fatally disrupted by Confederate cavalry raids. Forced to withdraw northward, Grant could not apply pressure on the enemy when Major General William T. Sherman attacked Vicksburg directly. Sherman suffered a disastrous repulse at Chickasaw Bayou, and Grant pulled back to Memphis and, during the winter, continued to cope with the myriad administrative problems of his department.
Balancing the North’s need for cotton against the need to prevent cash from flowing to the enemy created constant tension. Infuriated by unscrupulous cotton speculators, Grant issued orders on December 17 expelling the Jews from his department. This controversial and puzzling document receives extensive analysis in this volume.