What became known as Grant’s Overland Campaign, his drive to destroy Lee’s Army by threatening Richmond, was about to begin 150 years ago. Lincoln writes a letter to Grant expressing full confidence in him. Lincoln has often intervened in military matters over the years, maddened by Generals he perceived as being unwilling to fight. Lincoln knows that, whatever else may occur, Grant will fight with all resources in his command. Lincoln can now place on Grant’s shoulders the task of beating one of the great commanders in world history, Robert E. Lee. The destiny of the country, and the Lincoln administration, is now in the hands of the failure from Galena, and his unexpected genius for war:
Executive Mansion Washington,
April 30, 1864
Lieutenant General Grant.
Not expecting to see you again before the Spring Campaign opens, I wish to express, in this way, my entire satisfaction with what you have done up to this time, so far as I understand it. The particulars of your plans I neither know, or seek to know. You are vigilant and self-reliant; and, pleased with this, I wish not to obtrude any constraints or restraints upon you. While I am very anxious that any great disaster, or the capture of our men in great numbers, shall be avoided, I know these points are less likely to escape your attention than they would be mine. If there is anything wanting which is within my power to give, do not fail to let me know it. And now with a brave Army, and a just cause, may God sustain you.
Yours very truly