Sunday, December 28, 2014


  Grant and staff at City Point Virginia in 1864. John A. Rawlins, is the first man to the left in the picture. He became Grants chief of staff at the beginning of the war and also his closest friend. Grant was a binge drinker and was inclined to drink too much when he was away from his family or he was bored. Historians believe that one of Rawlins main responsibilities was to keep Grant sober. Although Grant was one of my heroes he was a failure in every aspect of his life except for three things. He was a great general, a great horseman, and a great family man. Grant was a humble and imperturbable man but one of my favorite moments was when at the battle of the Wilderness he displayed a rare outburst of anger. This moment also revealed Grant's strategic thinking and the fact that the Union finally had the right man in command of it's armies.The following is from Horace Porters book,( Campaigning With Grant.) A general officer came in from his command at this juncture, and said to the general-in-chief, speaking rapidly and laboring under considerable excitement: "General Grant, this is a crisis that cannot be looked upon too seriously. I know Lee's methods well by past experience ; he will throw his whole army between us and the Rapidan, and cut us off completely from our communications." The general rose to his feet, took his cigar out of his mouth, turned to the officer, and replied, with a degree of animation which he seldom manifested : "Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what we are going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do." The officer retired rather crestfallen, and without saying a word in reply.

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