October 16, 1863: Grant gets his orders

Ulysses S. Grant

Well, after all Sherman’s foreshadowing, adumbration, presagifying, and auguring, Grant finally got the orders from the President putting him in charge of essentially all the Union land forces between the Appalachians and the Mississippi. He gets to choose between Rosecrans and Thomas, according to Halleck’s memo, but Stanton’s adjutant relieves Rosecrans in the very next dispatch in the records. Not that Grant would have decided differently.

Official Records:


WASHINGTON, D. C., October 16, 1863.
Major-General GRANT,
Louisville, Ky.:

GENERAL: You will received herewith the order of the President of the United States placing you in command of the Departments of the Ohio, Cumberland, and Tennessee. The organization of these departments will be changed as you may deem most practicable. You will immediately proceed to Chattanooga and relieve General Rosecrans. You can communicate with Generals Burnside and Sherman by telegraph. A summary of the order sent to those officers will be sent to you immediately. It is left optional with you to supersede General Rosecrans by General G. H. Thomas or not. Any other changes will be made an your request by telegraph.

One of the first objects requiring your attention is the supply of your armies. Another is the security of the passes in the Georgia mountains to shut out the enemy from Tennessee and Kentucky. You will consult with General Meigs and Colonel Scott in regard to transportation and supplies.

Should circumstances permit I will visit you personally in a few days for consultation.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief.

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GENERAL ORDERS,
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE

No. 337.
Washington, October 16, 1863.

I. By direction of the President of the United States the Departments of the Ohio, of the Cumberland, and of the Tennessee will constitute the Military Division of the Mississippi.

II. Major General U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, is placed in command of the Military Division of the Mississippi, headquarters in the field.

III. Major General W. S. Rosecrans, U. S. Volunteers, is relieved from the command of the Department and Army of the Cumberland. Major General G. H. Thomas is hereby assigned to that command.

By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

This entry was posted in Edwin M. Stanton, George Thomas, Henry Halleck, Ulysses S. Grant, William Rosecrans, William Tecumseh Sherman. Bookmark the permalink.

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