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Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, IV. (search)
imself out of the army. He departed into an era that was to be one of deepening gloom, remarking, Whoever hears of me in ten years will hear of a well-to-do old Missouri farmer. Expecting money at San Francisco, he did not get it. Sixteen hundred dollars were also owed him by the post-trader at Vancouver. He saw the man again, but the dollars never. The chief quartermaster of the coast found him penniless and forlorn, and helped him to go East. In New York he was generously helped by Buckner, who had ascended Popocatapetl with him. In the autumn he is seen working as a labourer on his father-in-law's farm near St. Louis. With his own hands he builds a cabin on some of this land, and names it Hardscrabble. It is recorded that every animal about his farm was a pet. In 1858 he sold his farm at auction. He went into real estate, and next into the custom-house, and was even an auctioneer, it is said. Sometimes army friends came to visit him, for he retained their regard; and, wi
Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, V. (search)
Pillow, he made the error worse. Grant knew them. He struck, and won. They deserted, leaving Buckner to conduct the surrender. The news to the Union was a breath of health after jaded months of sstfallen Buckner capitulated, and Grant found him penniless in the forlorn place, he remembered Buckner's friendly help when he had been penniless in New York. He left the officers of his own army (says Buckner in a speech long afterward), and followed me, with that modest manner peculiar to himself, into the shadow, and there tendered me his purse. It seems to me, Mr. Chairman, that in the moto hide it from the world. We can appreciate that, sir. Indeed, we can; and we can appreciate Buckner's own warm heart whenever history gives us a glimpse of it. When Grant was bidding this world good-by in patience and suffering, Buckner was one of the last to visit him, and take his hand. The pen would linger over Donelson; over Smith's gallantry that saved the day on the 15th, and his de
Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, VI. (search)
grew worse. Reviving, however, his vast will pushed on with the book, in order to leave something for his wife's support. He had no voice any more, but whispered his dictation, and wrote on days when he was strong enough. He held death away until the book was finished, and then gave death leave to come. In June he had been taken up the Hudson River to Mount McGregor, near Saratoga, from his New York house. His eyes followed West Point as the train passed by it. On July 3 his old friend Buckner, of Donelson, came affectionately to bid him farewell; and he spoke of his happiness in the growing harmony between North and South. On July 9, in a trembling pencil, he wrote to Mr. Wood: I am glad to say that, while there is much unblushing wickedness in this world, yet there is a compensating generosity and grandeur of soul. In my case I have not found that republics are ungrateful, nor are the people. On July 23 he died. To pay his debts, he had so utterly stripped himself of all hi