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Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, IV. (search)
cely have held this estimate after Molino-del-Rey and Chapultepec. In the months of peace preceding, whether in Louisiana or at Corpus Christi, Grant's thoughts still saw the goal of a professorship; nor was his heart in the Mexican War, when it came. He pronounces it unholy, and he writes: The Southern Rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican War. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. This forty 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 plumes in a helmet. This poetical note rings so strangely in