y years retrospect is consistent with his letter after Cerro Gordo: You say you would like to hear more about the war . . . . Tell them I am heartily tired of the wars.
On the intellectual side, his letters read stark and bald as time-tables.
Mexico, Cortez, Montezuma, are nothing to him. But his constant love of nature leads him to remark and count the strange birds of the country; and he speaks of the beauty of the mountain sides covered with palms which toss to and fro in the wind like plped also.
His ease-loving nature furnished no inward ambition to keep him going; and so, in the dead calm of a frontier post, he degenerated.
This drifting and stagnation filled thirteen years, but is not long to tell.
In July, 1848, he left Mexico for Mississippi with his regiment.
He was a brevet captain, and twenty-six years old. In August he was married.
As quartermaster, the regiment s new headquarters at Detroit should have been his post that winter; but a brother officer, ordered t
n rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.
But, inside the house, what had gone on between the two chiefs?
The witnesses watched and moved always with the hush of a sick-room.
And after the first greeting, when they sat down, it became Grant who shrank from the point.
He talked to Lee about Mexico and old times, and how good peace was going to be now; and twice Lee had to remind him of the business they had to do. Then Grant wrote, as always, simple and clear words.
In the middle, his eye fell upon Lee's beautiful sword; and the chivalric act which it prompted has knighted his own spirit forever.
The surrender, he instantly wrote, would not embrace the side-arms of the officers, nor their private horses or baggage.
When Lee's eyes reached that sentence, his face changed for the fir