James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
shell the town a little every day and keep the enemy constantly on the alert, said Grant in his despatch of June 3.1 After the exciting active campaign, the siege operations were slow, heavy and exacting work which during the extreme hot weather of June induced a feeling of lassitude and depression among both officers and men.2 Even Grant felt it and, on one occasion, yielded to his appetite for drink. On this occasion he invited Charles A. Dana to go with him to Satartia and the two went up the Yazoo river on a small steamboat. Grant fell ill and went to bed. When within two miles of Satartia, two gun-boats were met, whose officers came aboard and said that the General would run the risk of capture if he should proceed farther. Dana awakened Grant who, being too ill to decide, left the decision to Dana who ordered the steamer round-about. The next morning, as Dana related the story, Grant came out to breakfast fresh as a rose, clean shirt and all, quite himself. Well, Mr. Dana, he said, I suppose we are at Satartia now. No, general, was the reply, we are at Hayness Bluff,3 the point from which they had started on the steamer, the day before.
This river excursion took place on June 6; at one A.M. of that day, John A. Rawlins, Grants chief of staff, wrote a remarkable letter to his general. The great solicitude I feel for the safety of this army leads me to mention what I had hoped never again to doRawlins wrote, the subject of your drinking. To-night I find you where the wine bottle has just been emptied, in company with those who drink and urge you to do likewise, and the lack of your usual promptness of decision and clearness in expressing yourself in writing tended to confirm my suspicions.