Homework (October 30, 1864)

Ulysses S. Grant gives General Meade an assignment, as reported by Theodore Lyman.

“Grant says I must write a report of the whole campaign,” says the General, in the discontented voice of a schoolboy who has been set a long exercise. “I can’t write a report of the whole campaign. I don’t remember anything about some of it. I ‘m all mixed up about the Tolopotomoy and the Pamunkey and the what-do-you-call-’em Creek.” Hence it came that I was requested to give him some extracts from my valuable archives, and I since have written a lot of notes for him, extending from May 4th to August 28th. He is very quick with his pen, is the General, and possesses a remarkable power of compressing a narrative and still making it clear and telling.

Theodore Lyman’s letter is from Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865: Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox, p. 256. Edited by George R. Agassiz. Boston, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1922. Available via Google Books.

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