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General Grant possessed in a striking degree all the characteristics of the successful soldier. His methods were all stamped with tenacity of purpose, with originality and ingenuity. He depended for his success more upon the powers of invention than of adaptation, and the fact that he has been compared at different times to nearly every great commander in history is perhaps the best proof that he was like none of them. He was possessed of a moral and physical courage which was equal to every emergency in which he was placed; calm amidst excitement, patient under trials, never unduly elated by victory or depressed by defeat. While he possessed a sensitive nature and a singularly tender heart, yet he never allowed his sentiments to interfere with the stern duties of the soldier. He knew better than to attempt to hew rocks with a razor. He realized that paper bullets cannot be fired in warfare. He felt that the hardest blows bring the quickest results; that more men die from disease in sickly camps than from shot and shell in battle.

His magnanimity to foes, his generosity to friends, will be talked of as long as manly qualities are honored. You know after Vicksburg had succumbed to him he said in his order: ‘The garrison will march out to-morrow. Instruct your commands to be quiet and orderly as the prisoners pass by, and make no offensive remarks.’ After Lee's surrender at Appomattox, when our batteries began to fire triumphal salutes, he at once suppressed them, saying in his order: ‘The war is over; the rebels are again our countrymen; the best way to celebrate the victory will be to abstain from all demonstrations in the field.’ After the war General Lee and his officers were indicted in the civil courts of Virginia by direction of a President who was endeavoring to make treason odious, but succeeded in making nothing so odious as himself. General Lee appealed to his old antagonist for protection. He did not appeal to that heart in vain. General Grant at once took up the cudgels in his defense, threatened to resign his office if such officers were indicted while they continued to obey their paroles, and such was the logic of his argument and the force of his character that those indictments were soon after quashed. So that he penned no idle platitude, he fashioned no stilted epigram, he spoke the earnest convictions of an honest heart when he said, ‘Let us have peace.’ He never tired of giving

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Robert E. Lee (3)
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