Photo Friday—U.S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln at City Point

In our newsletter Volume 10 (Nov 2017), we learned about the Eppes Plantation and Appomattox Manor at City Point (now Hopewell), Virginia, also known from 15 Jun 1864 to 29 Mar 1865 as the Headquarters of the Armies of the United States.

There is a wealth of information available about Appomattox Manor, and the surrounding area of City Point, including an exhaustive history—Appomattox Manor—City Point: A History [1].

The Library of Congress also has many photographs available online.

Here are a few interesting finds since our original Nov 2017 article.

From Jun to Nov 1864, before permanent cabins were constructed at Appomattox Manor, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant and his staff lived in tents, as seen below. [2]

Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (third from left) and staff at City Point, Virginia, summer 1864 [2].

While LTG Grant and his staff lived in tents and then cabins, the Appomattox Manor house was used by the Chief Quartermaster of Grant’s staff, as well as the Army Quartermaster Corps Telegraph Service, which occupied the center portion of the house. [1]

President Abraham Lincoln spent two of the last three weeks of his life at City Point. Below is the telegram received by President Lincoln from LTG Grant inviting him to visit—”the rest would do you good.” President Lincoln visited from 24 Mar to 8 Apr 1865.

Telegram (cipher, meaning encrypted) from Lt. Gen. Grant to Abraham Lincoln, 20 Mar 1865 [3].

Captain Robert Todd Lincoln, the President’s son, served in the last weeks of the war at City Point as part of LTG Grant’s immediate staff.

LTG Grant departed Appomattox Manor on 29 Mar 1865, moving his headquarters closer to the front in anticipation of General Robert E. Lee evacuating Richmond and Petersburg. Lincoln remained to monitor the progress of the war from the telegraph office in the Appomattox Manor house, visited Petersburg on 3 Apr and 7 Apr, and visited the Depot Field Hospital (which had 10,000 beds, one of four military hospitals at City Point) on 8 Apr.

On 7 Apr 1865, “the last telegram of military importance to be sent by President Lincoln” was sent from the Appomattox Manor house. [1]

Head Quarters Armies of the United States

City Point, April 7, 11 A.M., 1865

Lieut. Gen. Grant

Gen. Sheridan says “If the thing is pressed I think that Lee will surrender.” Let the thing be pressed.

A. Lincoln

Telegram, 7 Apr 1865 [4]

GEN Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered two days latter in the McLean house in the village of Appomottox Court House.

LTG Hiram Ulysses Simpson Grant (1822-1885) is 6th cousin 6x removed of MKS in the Knight branch.

CPT Francis Eppes (1597-1674) and Marie Pawlett Eppes (1601-1674) are 12th great-grandparents of MKS in the Spratlin branch.

Dr. Richard Cocke Eppes (1824-1896) is 4th great-grandson of Francis and Marie, and 5th cousin 8x removed of MKS in the Spratlin branch.

[1] Appomattox Manor—City Point: A History, Dr. Harry Butowsky, National Park Service Staff Historian, 1978.
[2] Grant and staff at City Point, Va., summer, 1864, Library of Congress, LCCN Permalink.
[3] Ulysses S. Grant to Abraham Lincoln, 20 Mar 1865 (telegram inviting Lincoln to visit City Point), Library of Congress, Digital Id.
[4] Abraham Lincoln—Let the Thing Be Pressed Telegram to General U.S. Grant April 7.