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Either great strain or great ennui may drive a strong, resourceless man to drink; and both at different times visited Grant, and overcame him. It has been plainly written, but is seldom remembered, that his head in these days was singularly light: a strange thing in such a temperament, but well authenticated. Very little was too much for him. Never to touch liquor was his only safety.

How he left the army is conflictingly told. He could scarcely be expected to explain it himself. It is only the Franklins and the Rousseaus who can be as impersonally candid as that. Richardson's version closely tallies with what is still reported on the coast. Grant's commandant 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.

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