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Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, IV. (search)
asked for his resignation, which was not to be forwarded to Washington, but held in escrow, so to speak, that he might pull himself together. He could not, and the plain truth is that he drank himself 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 f