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Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to His Father and His Youngest Sister

Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to His Father and His Youngest Sister by Ulysses S. Grant
By: (1822-1885)

Among the national leaders whose names will always hold an honorable place in American history is Ulysses S. Grant, the simple-hearted man and capable soldier, to whose patriotism, courage, persistence, and skill was so largely due the successful termination of the war between the States, the contest which assured the foundations of the Republic. We are interested not only in learning what this man did, but in coming to know, as far as may be practicable, what manner of man he was. It is all-important in a study of development of character to have placed within reach the utterances of the man himself. There is no utterance that can give as faithful a picture of a man's method of thought and principle of action as the personal letter written, with no thought of later publication, to those who are near to him.

This collection of letters will constitute a suitable companion volume to Grant's Personal Memoirs and to the accepted biographies of the Great Commander whose memory is honored by his fellow-citizens not only for the patience, persistence, and skill of the leader of armies, as evidenced in the brilliant campaigns that culminated with Vicksburg, Missionary Ridge, and Appomattox, but for the sturdy integrity of character, modest bearing, and sweetness of nature of the great citizen. (Excerpt from the preface)

First Page:

LETTERS OF ULYSSES S. GRANT TO HIS FATHER AND HIS YOUNGEST SISTER, 1857 78

Edited by his Nephew

JESSE GRANT CRAMER

With Portraits

1912

PREFACE

There has of late years been a tendency, as a result of the teachings of certain historical authorities, to minimize the influence of the leadership of the so called Great Men, and to question the importance of their work as a factor in shaping the history of the time. Great events are referred to as brought about by such general influences as "the spirit of the time" (Goethe's Zeitgeist ), the "movement of humanity," or "forces of society." If we accepted the theories of the writers of this school, we should be forced to the conclusion that generations of men move across the world's stage impelled by forces entirely outside of themselves; and that as far as the opportunity of individual action is concerned, that is for action initiated and completed under his own will power, man might almost as well be a squirrel working in a revolving cage. The squirrel imagines that he moves the cylinder, but the outsider knows that the movement is predetermined, and that there is no change of position and no net result from the exertion... Continue reading book >>


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