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Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, II. (search)
reaping the glory which other people sowed. These extremes meet in error. We have not produced a Napoleon, and military talents of greater brilliancy than Grant's fought on both sides. Purely as captains, Lee, Jackson, Sherman, Thomas, if not others, are likely to stand higher; while Sheridan during his brief opportunity proved such a thunderbolt that, did history know men by their promise instead of by their fruits, he might outshine the whole company, and rank with Charles of Sweden or Conde. Yet Grant sits above and apart. Is this accident? Is it accident that at the beginning of a certain four years this middle-aged man should be nobody, and at the end should be the one commander out of all to win and retain the supreme confidence of his government and his people? It has been called accident 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 a