Brigadier-General Ulysses S. Grant fought his first major combat engagement of the war during a joint army and navy operation down the Mississippi from Cairo, Illinois, completed the day 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. In a brief message of thanks to his troops, Grant praises their conduct and compares it favorably to anything he saw during the Mexican War. (By John Osborne)
Reprinted in Frank Moore, ed., The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, Etc. (New York: G.P.Putnam, 1861), III: 285-286.