November 11, 1864: Located the leak in Sherman’s army

Ulysses S. Grant

As we’ve seen, Sherman’s plans are getting printed in northern papers. Grant complains to Stanton, who says it’s Sherman’s own fault.

Official Records 79:740

CITY POINT, VA., November 11, 1864.
Secretary of War:

All the Northern papers of 10th, and especially the New York Times, contain the most contraband news I have seen published during the war. The Times lays out Sherman’s programmed exactly and gives his strength. It is impossible to keep these papers from reaching the enemy, and no doubt by to-morrow they will be making the best arrangements they can to meet this move.



WAR DEPARTMENT, November 11, 1864-9. 30 p. m.
Lieutenant-General GRANT:

I have seen with indignation the newspaper articles referred to, and others of like kind, but they come from Sherman’s army, and generally from his own officers, and there is reason to believe he has not been very guarded in his own talk. I saw to-day, in a paymaster’s letter to another officer, his plans as stated by himself. Yesterday I was told full details given by a member of his staff to a friend in Washington. Matters not spoken of aloud in the Department are bruited by officers coming from Sherman’s army in every Western printing office and street. If he cannot keep from telling his plans to paymasters, and his staff are permitted to send them broadcast over the land, the Department cannot prevent their publication.

Secretary of War.

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