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Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, II. (search)
II. none of our public men have a story so strange as this. It is stranger than Lincoln's. It is very much the strangest of them all. We have been too near the man and his time to see them clear through personal, political, and military feelings, mostly violent. All the people are not dead yet. Nearly all the writers have ant by some grown — up writers. His own words give the unconscious explanation: I feel as sure of taking Richmond as I do of dying. Not McClellan, not Meade, not Lincoln himself, not any one at all, had ever been able to feel as sure as that. This utter certainty of the Union's success burned in Grant like a central fire, and, with all his limitations, made his will a great natural force which gravitated simply and irresistibly to its end. Lincoln; beginning to feel it from afar, answered the grave complaints that rose after the carnage of Shiloh: I can't spare this man: he fights. And presently, during the impatient days of Vicksburg failures, he insists
Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, IV. (search)
e liked him, answered, He is a very able, at least a very smart man. And from having been a Democrat--so far as he was definitely anything political — his change of view dates from this occasion. The words of Douglas caused him to rejoice over Lincoln's election. Except his vote for Buchanan, his single political manifestation previous to this had been to join the Know-Nothings at St. Louis, and attend one meeting. But now he had listened to Douglas, and preferred Lincoln; and South Carolinious to this had been to join the Know-Nothings at St. Louis, and attend one meeting. But now he had listened to Douglas, and preferred Lincoln; and South Carolina had seceded. The state of the country became his one thought. It is interesting to reflect that South Carolina, the first state to leave the Union, sent one man in thirty-eight to the Revolution, while Grant's ancestral state, Connecticut, furnished one man in seven, or five times as many. Virginia furnished one in twenty-eight
Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, V. (search)
baggage animals were starving at Chattanooga, Lincoln complained, I can make a brigadier-general anemies, both military and civil, were pressing Lincoln for Grant's removal. It is recorded that Gent and son, Galena, Ill. Horace Porter records Lincoln's cry of welcome that evening. John Sherman itance. He had his own way, not only because Lincoln had at length learned how disastrous meddling The heavy strain — heavier these months than Lincoln's — with distant campaigns to plan, near batty Sherman's and Sheridan's successes clinched Lincoln's election. Next Butler showed incompetence een given. The Secretary rushed to Lincoln. Lincoln said, But Congress has made him general of alarmies. There it stopped permanently. And Lincoln's words to Grant through this time, though onply unites a modesty and a self-reliance that Lincoln had not heard until this general came: Shouldrs. With tact still greater he had persuaded Lincoln to come and see them himself instead of sendi[9 more...]<
Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, VI. (search)
new his friend. But we Americans, the most consistently inconsistent people on earth, have passed a century in abusing our army, and in electing every military hero we could get for president: Washington, Jackson, Harrison, Taylor, Grant. When Lincoln was taken from us, no man was so loved as Grant; and, therefore, without asking or caring to know how he could have learned statesmanship, in our gratitude we twice gave him the greatest gift we have. Before this happened, his straightforwardts in his tomb at Riverside. But his greatest visible monument is the book. Quite apart from its history, which here and there needs amendment, and quite independent of its masterly prose, it is a picture of a noble, modest, great heart. As Lincoln asked Grant after Corinth, How does it all sum up Let poetry, which is the summing of all substance, reply :--My good blade carves the casques of men, My tough lance thrusteth sure, My strength is as the strength of ten, Because my heart is pure