General Grant Congratulates Union Troops for their Victory
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Grant thanks his loyal soldiers for all their efforts to preserve the Union, as well as the sacrifices of the war dead. U.S. GRANT.
Printed Document. General Orders No. 108. Washington, D.C., June 2, 1865. 1 p., 5 x 7 ¼ in.
With: # 22948.02 Carte-de-visite of Grant in dress uniform, 2½ x 4 in.
General Orders,} War Department
No. 108 Adjutant General’s Office
Washington, D.C. June 2, 1865
Soldiers of the Armies of the United States: By your patriotic devotion to your country in the hour of danger and alarm—your magnificent fighting, bravery, and endurance—you have maintained the supremacy of the Union and the Constitution, overthrown all armed opposition to the enforcement of the laws, and of the Proclamation forever abolishing Slavery—the cause and pretext of the Rebellion—and opened the way to the rightful authorities to restore order and inaugurate peace on a permanent and enduring basis on every foot of American soil.
Your marches, sieges, and battles, in distance, duration, resolution, and brilliancy of result, dim the lustre of the world’s past military achievements, and will be the Patriot’s precedent, in defense of Liberty and Right, in all time to come.
In obedience to your country’s call, you left your homes and families and volunteered in its defense. Victory has crowned your valor and secured the purpose of your patriotic hearts; and with the gratitude of your countrymen, and the highest honors a great and free nation can accord, you will soon be permitted to return to your homes and families, conscious of having discharged the highest duty of American citizens.
To achieve these glorious triumphs, and secure to yourselves, your fellow-countrymen, and posterity, the blessings of free institutions, tens of thousands of your gallant comrades have fallen, and sealed the priceless legacy with their lives. The graves of these a grateful nation bedews with tears, honors their memories, and will ever cherish and support their stricken families.
Assistant Adjutant General
In his typical, clear prose, U.S. Grant thanks his troops for their efforts during the war. He touches on the major points of the conflict, including the issue of ending slavery, and casts the war in a grand narrative of American history.
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), born in Illinois as Hiram Ulysses Grant, was the leading Union general of the Civil War and the 18th President of the United States. He graduated from West Point in 1843 and served in the Mexican War, but at the start of the Civil War, he was a little-known grocer in Galena, Illinois. In June 1861, he was appointed colonel of the 21st Illinois and quickly rose to prominence in the western theater. His victories at Forts Henry and Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga earned him fame and steady promotion. In March 1864, he was named lieutenant general (the first since George Washington) and general-in-chief of all Union armies. On March 8, Grant went to Washington and met Lincoln for the first time. His command was not without controversy. After great numbers of dead at the battle of Shiloh, Lincoln responded to criticisms of Grant by saying, “I can’t spare this man—he fights.” To complaints of Grant’s drinking, Lincoln quipped: “Tell me what brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.” Grant remained in the Eastern Theater to take on Robert E. Lee. After the difficult Overland Campaign, the Siege of Petersburg, and the climactic Appomattox Campaign, Grant forced Lee to surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865. He was commanding general of the U.S. Army after the war, and was elected as a Republican to the presidency in 1868 and 1872.
Fine. Previously folded, two holes punched in left margin.