Back to top

Ulysses S. Grant to Andrew Johnson, December 18, 1865, Washington, DC

Ulysses Simpson Grant, Brady image
In late November 1865, Lieutenant General U.S. Grant made a whirlwind one week tour of the Southern States to ascertain the need and the disposition of continued federal military garrisons across the recently subdued South. Grant's brief political observations backed President Johnson assertion that most "thinking" southerners accepted both the end of the Confederacy and of slavery in a positive light. Grant's more expressed concerns were with the absorption of those newly freed from slavery into the economic and social life of the South. He laid out his reservations concerning the lack of coordination among agents of the Freedmens' Bureau, particular concerning the widely circulating false rumor that plantations would be parceled out to their former enslaved inhabitants. The education of the freed slaves to their rights and responsibilities required both clear action and protection. Accordingly, Grant recommended placing the Bureau under closer military control, and maintaining small garrisons so that the work could continue protected from the less "thinking" white population. (By John Osborne)


How to Cite This Page: "Ulysses S. Grant to Andrew Johnson, December 18, 1865, Washington, DC," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,