The man of all men who knew General Grant
best, his friend and chief ally, General W. T. Sherman
, declared that Grant
more nearly than any other man impersonated the American
character of 1861-65, and was the typical hero of our great Civil War.
It is an anomaly of history that a man so distinguished in war should be so unwarlike in personal characteristics as was Ulysses Simpson Grant
, and so singularly free from the ambitions supposed to dominate the soldier.
He sickened at the sight of blood, was so averse to inflicting pain that, as a lad, he never enjoyed the boyish sport of killing small animals, and at no time in his life was he fond of hunting.
Indeed, no more gentle-hearted and kindly man is known to American history, not excepting Abraham Lincoln
Numerous circumstances in the life of Grant
illustrate his consideration for others.
At Vicksburg, Mississippi
, where over thirty thousand Confederates surrendered to him, July 4, 1863, he directed his exulting troops ‘to be orderly and quiet as the paroled prisoners passed’ and to make no offensive remarks.
The only cheers heard there were for the defenders of Vicksburg
, and the music sounded was the tune of Old hundred,
in which victor and vanquished could join.
The surrender at Appomattox, Virginia
, April 9, 1865, was characterized by almost feminine tenderness and tact, and a sympathetic courtesy toward the conquered so marked that an observer was moved to ask, ‘Who's surrendering here, anyway?’
A simple-hearted country lad disposed to bucolic life, so