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Letter to Ulysses S. Grant, July 13, 1863

Vicksburg had just fallen after a long siege and Lincoln took this occasion to pen a short note to General Ulysses Grant, the victorious general. While it is a letter of congratulations, it also shows that Lincoln was not above admitting it when he made a mistake.

                   Lincoln                                                   Grant 

Executive Mansion,

Washington, July 13, 1863.

Major General Grant

My dear General:

I do not remember that you and I ever met personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowledgment for the almost inestimable service you have done the country. I wish to say a word further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I thought you should do, what you finally did --march the troops across the neck, run the batteries with the transports, and thus go below; and I never had any faith, except a general hope that you knew better than I, that the Yazoo Pass expedition, and the like, could succeed. When you got below, and took Port-Gibson, Grand Gulf, and vicinity, I thought you should go down the river and join Gen. Banks; and when you turned Northward East of the Big Black, I feared it was a mistake. I now wish to make the personal acknowledgment that you were right, and I was wrong.

Yours very truly

A. Lincoln

Famous Lincoln Letters