would crush the rebellion.
But stubborn facts and hard experience have shown the folly of such conclusions; and among those stubborn facts are the failure of George B. McClellan
, the first scholar, and the signal success of Ulysses S. Grant
, who ranked even below the middle of his class.
's genial though retiring disposition, and quiet and unassuming manners, gradually made him many friends among the cadets; and when he became known, “Uncle Sam” was one of the most esteemed of his class, though not so popular, perhaps, as more talkative, rolicking, and demonstrative fellows.
At first there were some who were disposed to make fun of the western country boy; and there were others, scions of southern aristocracy, who looked down upon him and his comparatively humble origin with contempt.
He was one of the “mudsills” whom they despised.
He proved, however, by his conduct, that he was worthy of respect even from these young aristocrats, and he taught those who made fun at his expense to cease their jokes.
Though never disposed to quarrel, it is said that he found it necessary to maintain his own self-respect and dignity by punishing one or two who carried their jests too far. What was to be done in this line was, of course, done promptly and thoroughly, according to his manner of doing all things.
Such rebukes were effectual; they established his pluck, and made him more generally respected, and esteemed.
His comrades found that he was not ashamed of his origin or any want of superficial polish; that he had no false pride which their jests could wound, but that he had a just self-respect; and this, coupled with his firmness