Confederate Brig. General Nathan Bedford Forrest was not amused when he learned the identity of a civilian taken prisoner at Holly Springs, Mississippi, in December 1862. Because Forrest was barely able to scribble a few common words, no written records of his order has survived. His oral command probably was brief and to the point: “Pass that woman through the lines, and waste no time.”
His captive, Julia Grant, is believed to have been the only wife of a Union major general to be taken prisoner by a Confederate force.
Often accompanied by their youngest son, Jesse, Mrs. Grant was with her husband in numerous camps. When Grant settled down at City Point, Virginia, for the long siege of Petersburg, it was his wife who made sure that he frequently had “good home-cooked food.”