they could see and understand as plainly as they could anything else under the sun. And there was no more mystery about it all in fact than there was in the popular mind.
Matchless courage and composure in the midst of the most trying events of battle, magnanimity in the hour of victory, and moral courage to compel all others to respect his plighted faith toward those who had surrendered to him, were the crowning glories of Grant
's great and noble character.
On September 29, 1895, came the hour when I had done, however imperfectly, all the duty my country required of me, and I was placed on the retired list of the army.
Having been, at appropriate periods in my official career, by the unsolicited action of my official superiors, justly and generously rewarded for all my public services, and having been at the head of the army several years, near the close of the period fixed by law for active military service I was made the grateful recipient of the highest honor which the government of my country can confer upon a soldier, namely, that of appointment to a higher grade under a special act of Congress.
My public life was, in the main, a stormy one, as this volume has, perhaps too fully, shown.
Many times I felt keenly the injustice of those who did not appreciate the sincerity of my purpose to do, to the best of my ability, what the government desired of me, with little or no regard for my own personal opinions or ambitions.
But I can now concede to nearly all those who so bitterly opposed me the same patriotic motives which I know inspired my own conduct; and I would be unworthy of my birthright as an American citizen if I did not feel grateful to my countrymen and to our government for all the kindness they have shown me.