Recollections of Grant.
Looking over my diary to-day, kept when a corporal in Company B, I find this half-faded entry: “This day our corps, the Seventeenth, McPherson
commanding, marched from the Mississippi river
up to Fort Gibson
While I was standing by the pontoon bridge watching the boys cross the bayou, I heard somebody cheering, and, looking round, saw an officer on horseback in a major general's uniform.
He dismounted and came over to the very spot where I was standing.
I did not know his face, but something told me it was Grant Ulysses Grant
, at that moment the hero of the Western army.
Solid he stood-erect; about five feet eight, with square features, thin closed lips, brown hair, brown beard, both cut short and neat.
“He must weigh one hundred and fifty pounds; looks just like the soldier he is. I think he is larger than Napoleon
, but not much-he is not so dumpy; looks like a man in good earnest, and the rebels think he is.”
And this was the first time I saw Grant
I think I still possess some of the feeling that overcame me at that moment as I stood so near to one who held our lives and, possibly, our country's in his hands.
I heard him speaker: “Men, push right along; close up fast, and hurry over.”
Two or three men mounted on mules attempted to wedge past the soldiers on the bridge.
noticed it, and quietly said, “Lieutenant
, send those men to the rear.”
Every soldier passing turned to gaze on him, but there was no further recognition.
There was no McClellan
, begging the boys to allow him to light his cigar by theirs, or inquiring to what regiment that exceedingly fine-marching company belonged to. There was no