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Brigadier-General U.S. Grant, Report of the November 7, 1861 engagement at Belmont, Missouri, November 12, 1861

Ulysses Simpson Grant, detail
Brigadier-General Ulysses S. Grant reported on his first major combat engagement of the war, a joint army and navy operation down the Mississippi from Cairo, Illinois, completed five days before. A force of two brigades, escorted by U.S. Naval gunboats, had moved down river to attack Confederate concentrations around Columbus, Kentucky. They found that Confederate troops under Gideon Pillow had crossed into Missouri at Belmont. The Union troops overran Pillow before he could be reinforced from across the river, burned his equipment, and returned to their transports. Grant explained the action from the ground force perspective, singling out officers and units for praise of their conduct during the fighting. For the naval perspective of the fight, see Flag Officer A. H. Foote's report, as well as the significantly different view of the combat from the Confederate commander, General Leonidas Polk, linked below. (By John Osborne)