Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 7.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Ulysses S. Grant [1]

``Cypher'' Office U.S. Military Telegraph,
Lieut. Genl. Grant War Department,
City-Point, Va. Washington, D.C., August 14 1864.

The Secretary of War and I concur that you better confer with Gen. Lee and stipulate for a mutual discontinuance of house-burning and other destruction of private property. The time and manner of conference, and particulars of stipulation we leave, on our part, to your convenience and judgment. A. LINCOLN


[1]   ALS, DNA WR RG 107, Presidential Telegrams, I, 131. Grant telegraphed on August 17: ``I have thought over your dispatch relative to an arrangement between Gen. Lee and myself for the suppression of insindiaryism by the respective Armies. Experience has taught us that agreements made with rebels are binding upon us but are not observed by them longer than suits their convenience. On the whole I think the best that can be done is to publish a prohibitory order against burning private property except where it is a Military necessity or in retaliation for like acts by the enemy. When burning is done in retaliation it must be done by order of a Dept. or Army Commander and the order for such burning to set forth the particular act it is in retaliation for. Such an order would be published and would come to the knowledge of the rebel Army. I think this course would be much better than any agreement with Gen. Lee. I could publish the order or it could be published by you. This is respectfully submitted for your consideration and I will then act as you deem best.'' (ALS, DLC-Grant Papers).