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Auction archive: Lot number 70

GRANT, ULYSSES S., President . Autograph letter signed ("U.S. Grant") to Major General [Edward Richard Sprigg] Canby in New Orleans; City Point, Va., 9 March 1865. 2 pages, 4to, written on one side each of two sheets of stationery, first page with im...

Auction 14.05.1992
14 May 1992
Estimate
US$8,000 - US$12,000
Price realised:
US$33,000
Auction archive: Lot number 70

GRANT, ULYSSES S., President . Autograph letter signed ("U.S. Grant") to Major General [Edward Richard Sprigg] Canby in New Orleans; City Point, Va., 9 March 1865. 2 pages, 4to, written on one side each of two sheets of stationery, first page with im...

Auction 14.05.1992
14 May 1992
Estimate
US$8,000 - US$12,000
Price realised:
US$33,000
Beschreibung:

GRANT, ULYSSES S., President . Autograph letter signed ("U.S. Grant") to Major General [Edward Richard Sprigg] Canby in New Orleans; City Point, Va., 9 March 1865. 2 pages, 4to, written on one side each of two sheets of stationery, first page with imprinted heading "Head Quarters, Armies of the United States," and marked in Grant's hand at top corner, "Cipher" (indicating it was intended for telegraphic transmission), faint mat-burn at extreme edges of both pages. AN ANGRY GRANT ORDERS CANBY TO "TAKE MOBILE AND HOLD IT," AND RECOMMENDS THE USE OF SHERMAN'S TACTICS The major port of Mobile remained one of the last in Confederate hands and became a center for the construction of ironclads. Admiral Farragut and a naval force attacked the Confederate stronghold on August 5th, and a celebrated battle ensued. In a coordinated assault by land, the three forts around the bay fell to Union forces. The city, port facilities, and surrounding area, though, remained in rebel hands, to Grant's great annoyance. In this letter, which launched the final Union push to take Mobile, Grant directly rebukes Canby, in command at New Orleans, for delaying his attack, ordered on 18 January, and for a plan to rebuild the rail-roads leading to Mobile and move his forces there by rail. "I am in receipt of a dispatch from Gen. [Montgomery C.] Meigs [Quartermaster General] informing me that you have made requisition for a construction Corps and material to build 70 miles of rail-road. I have directed that none be sent. Gen. Thomas['] Army has been depleted to send a force to you that they might be where they could act in the Winter and at least detain the force the enemy had in the West. If there had been any idea of repairing rail-roads it could have been done much better from the North where we already had the troops. I expected your movements to have been co-operative with Sherman's last. This has now entirely failed. I wrote to you long ago urging you to push forward promptly and to live upon the country and destroy rail-roads, Machine shops etc. not to build them. Take Mobile and hold it and push your forces to the interior to Montgomery & Selma [Alabama]. Destroy rail-road, rolling stock and everything useful for carrying on War and when you have done this take such positions as can be supplied by water. By this means alone you can occupy positions from which the enemy[']s roads in the interior can be kept broken...." Grant gives a detailed account, in his Memoirs , of his frustrations with General Canby delay in beginning his campaign. In fact, he quotes at length from the present angry letter ( Personal Memoirs , p.679). His strong words finally goaded Canby to action. On 17 May, one Union army marched overland from Pensacola and Canby led another from Forts Gaines and Morgan at the mouth of the Bay to converge on Mobile from the East. Major battles were fought at Spanish Fort (27 March-8 April) and Blakely (1-9 April) before Canby entered Mobile on April 12 after its evacuation by the rebels. The Union sustained some 1,400 casualties in the campaign, and Grant commented with marked asperity that, "I had tried for more than two years to have an expedition sent against Mobile when its possession by us would have been of great advantage.....It finally cost lives to take it when its possession was of no importance" ( Personal Memoirs, p.758). Provenance : Elsie O. & Philip D. Sang Foundation (sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, 3 June 1980, lot 921, naming the recipient "Cantey").

Auction archive: Lot number 70
Auction:
Datum:
14 May 1992
Auction house:
Christie's
New York, Park Avenue
Beschreibung:

GRANT, ULYSSES S., President . Autograph letter signed ("U.S. Grant") to Major General [Edward Richard Sprigg] Canby in New Orleans; City Point, Va., 9 March 1865. 2 pages, 4to, written on one side each of two sheets of stationery, first page with imprinted heading "Head Quarters, Armies of the United States," and marked in Grant's hand at top corner, "Cipher" (indicating it was intended for telegraphic transmission), faint mat-burn at extreme edges of both pages. AN ANGRY GRANT ORDERS CANBY TO "TAKE MOBILE AND HOLD IT," AND RECOMMENDS THE USE OF SHERMAN'S TACTICS The major port of Mobile remained one of the last in Confederate hands and became a center for the construction of ironclads. Admiral Farragut and a naval force attacked the Confederate stronghold on August 5th, and a celebrated battle ensued. In a coordinated assault by land, the three forts around the bay fell to Union forces. The city, port facilities, and surrounding area, though, remained in rebel hands, to Grant's great annoyance. In this letter, which launched the final Union push to take Mobile, Grant directly rebukes Canby, in command at New Orleans, for delaying his attack, ordered on 18 January, and for a plan to rebuild the rail-roads leading to Mobile and move his forces there by rail. "I am in receipt of a dispatch from Gen. [Montgomery C.] Meigs [Quartermaster General] informing me that you have made requisition for a construction Corps and material to build 70 miles of rail-road. I have directed that none be sent. Gen. Thomas['] Army has been depleted to send a force to you that they might be where they could act in the Winter and at least detain the force the enemy had in the West. If there had been any idea of repairing rail-roads it could have been done much better from the North where we already had the troops. I expected your movements to have been co-operative with Sherman's last. This has now entirely failed. I wrote to you long ago urging you to push forward promptly and to live upon the country and destroy rail-roads, Machine shops etc. not to build them. Take Mobile and hold it and push your forces to the interior to Montgomery & Selma [Alabama]. Destroy rail-road, rolling stock and everything useful for carrying on War and when you have done this take such positions as can be supplied by water. By this means alone you can occupy positions from which the enemy[']s roads in the interior can be kept broken...." Grant gives a detailed account, in his Memoirs , of his frustrations with General Canby delay in beginning his campaign. In fact, he quotes at length from the present angry letter ( Personal Memoirs , p.679). His strong words finally goaded Canby to action. On 17 May, one Union army marched overland from Pensacola and Canby led another from Forts Gaines and Morgan at the mouth of the Bay to converge on Mobile from the East. Major battles were fought at Spanish Fort (27 March-8 April) and Blakely (1-9 April) before Canby entered Mobile on April 12 after its evacuation by the rebels. The Union sustained some 1,400 casualties in the campaign, and Grant commented with marked asperity that, "I had tried for more than two years to have an expedition sent against Mobile when its possession by us would have been of great advantage.....It finally cost lives to take it when its possession was of no importance" ( Personal Memoirs, p.758). Provenance : Elsie O. & Philip D. Sang Foundation (sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, 3 June 1980, lot 921, naming the recipient "Cantey").

Auction archive: Lot number 70
Auction:
Datum:
14 May 1992
Auction house:
Christie's
New York, Park Avenue
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