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[After Vicksburg, Grant began a tour of observation among the important parts of his military rule. In October, 1863, the "Military Division of the Mississippi" was created and Grant given the command. This was composed of the Departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland, and the Tennessee. Headquarters were established at Nashville, which was the most central point from which to communicate with his entire military division. The winter was quiet, preparing for the campaign against Atlanta. He says in this letter, "I am not a candidate for any office." This refers, doubtless, to a proposal that he become a candidate for the Presidency.]
Feby. 20th, 1864.
I have received your letter and those accompanying, to wit, Mr. Newton's and I.N. Morris'. I may write to Mr. Newton but it will be different from what he expects. I am not a candidate for any office. All I want is to be left alone to fight this war out; fight all rebel opposition and restore a happy Union in the shortest possible time. You know, or ought to know, that the public prints are not the proper mediums through which to let a personal feeling pass. I know that I feel that nothing personal to myself could ever induce me to accept a political office.
From your letter you seem to have taken an active feeling, to say the least, in this matter, that I would like to talk to you about. I could write, but do not want to do so. Why not come down here and see me?
I did tell Julia to make a visit to Cincinnati, Batavia, Bethel and Georgetown.ULYSSES.
- Ulysses S. Grant