Michigan in the Civil War

Grisson, Samuel, 1819-

Grisson, of Ann Arbor, Mich., served as major and paymaster of volunteers, April 1864-November 1865. Fifteen letters written to his wife in 1865, are chiefly about home and family affairs. But he also tells of his trips as paymaster from Washington to New York, Burlington, Vt., Ogdensburg, N.Y., and Sacket Harbor, N.Y. He says that "the business in which I am engaged is very arduous and requires my individual attention, and I have to work awfully hard . . . we have a good income but not any too much, either as the responsibility and the work is very great."

He describes the cities he works in as, for instance, New York; "The streets are narrow and crowded, but on the whole clean. . . . But incessant is the noise and rumble in the streets and deafening to the ear." His landlady refused to let him use his room as an office because of the annoyance of having soldiers tramp all over the house . . . so, "yesterday," he said, "I paid all day in a back room of a beer saloon." The men cheered him whenever they saw him coming with his money satchel. "I have received and disbursed during last month about "666,000". He abhorred working on Sunday but found it necessary occasionally. At Sacket Harbor he said, "Such a Sabbath I do not wish to witness again. So much vileness and profanity and drunkenness among the officers and men that it is shocking to experience."

He writes of Charles (Grisson, 26th Michigan Infantry?) provost marshal at Fortress Monroe, who "sees Jeff Davis every day, and he seems to have found favor in his eyes but does not show Davis any in return."