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[14] the western border of Louisiana. Ostensibly the American troops were to prevent filibustering into Texas; really they were sent as a menace to Mexico in case she appeared to contemplate war. Grant's life in Louisiana was pleasant. He had plenty of professional duty, many of his brother officers having been detailed on special duty away from the regiment. He gave up the thought of becoming a teacher of mathematics, and read only for his own amusement, “and not very much for that;” he kept a horse and rode, visited the planters on the Red River; and was out of doors the whole day nearly; and so he quite recovered from the cough, and the threatenings of consumption, which he had carried with him from West Point. “I have often thought,” he adds, “that my life was saved, and my health restored, by exercise and exposure enforced by an administrative act and a war, both of which I disapproved.”

For disapprove the menace to Mexico, and the subsequent war, he did. One lingers over a distinguished man's days of growth and formation, so important for all which is to come after. And already, under young Grant's plain exterior and air of indifference, there had grown up in him an independent and sound judgment.

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