Pure Inventions (April 4, 1864)

Ulysses S. Grant, in a print based on an illustration by Thomas Nast (Library of Congress).

Ulysses S. Grant, in a print based on an illustration by Thomas Nast (Library of Congress).

George Meade was never a fan of the press and here he vents a bit about the false stories being told about Ulysses S. Grant.

If you believe all you see in the papers about Grant, you will be greatly deceived. All that I have seen are pure inventions. I mean such stories as his being opposed to reviews, balls, etc., having given orders to stop them; of inviting soldiers into his car; of announcing his displeasure at the luxury of the officers of the Army of the Potomac, that all he wanted was soldiers’ fare, pork and beans; of the enthusiasm with which he is received by the soldiers, etc., etc. All these are humbugs, and known to the writers to be without foundation, but are persistently put forth for some purpose unknown. When he first came down he said he wished to keep out of Washington as much as possible, and it was his intention while in this part of the country to remain with my army, and he asked me where he could find a good house for his headquarters. I told him his only chance was either in Warrenton or Culpeper; that the former was rather out of the way, and that I thought he could readily get one in the latter place, which he did; whereupon the newspapers announced him as establishing his headquarters eight miles nearer the enemy than even I did. Not content with puffing him, they must have a fling at me. Grant is very much annoyed at the foolish way they are mentioning his name; but it is a matter he cannot very well notice. As I have before told you, he is very well disposed towards me, and has talked very freely and properly about my particular friends Hooker, Sickles and Butterfield.

Meade’s correspondence taken from The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), p. 187. Available via Google Books.

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