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Ulysses S. Grant quotes (showing 1-30 of 33)

“The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who have helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“I only knew what was in my mind, and I wished to express it clearly”
Ulysses S. Grant
“I know only two tunes. One of them is 'Yankee Doodle' the other isn't.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“There are but few important events in the affairs of men brought about by their own choice.”
Ulysses S. Grant, Memoirs and Selected Letters
“I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten then he who continues the attack wins.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“But my later experience has taught me two lessons: first, that things are seen plainer after the events have occurred; second, that the most confident critics are generally those who know the least about the matter criticised.”
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant: All Volumes
“Leave the matter of religion to the family altar the church and the private school supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“The great bulk of the legal voters of the South were men who owned no slaves; their homes were generally in the hills and poor country; their facilities for educating their children, even up to the point of reading and writing, were very limited; their interest in the contest was very meagre--what there was, if they had been capable of seeing it, was with the North; they too needed emancipation. Under the old regime they were looked down upon by those who controlled all the affairs in the interest of slave-owners, as poor white trash who were allowed the ballot so long as they cast it according to direction.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“i have never advocated war except as a mean of peace”
Ulysses S. Grant
tags: war
“The line between the Rebel and Union element in Georgetown was so marked that it led to divisions even in the churches. There were churches in that part of Ohio where treason was preached regularly, and where, to secure membership, hostility to the government, to the war and to the liberation of the slaves, was far more essential than a belief in the authenticity or credibility of the Bible. There were men in Georgetown who filled all the requirements for membership in these churches.”
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs, Vol. 1
“THE CAUSE of the great War of the Rebellion against the United Status will have to be attributed to slavery. For some years before the war began it was a trite saying among some politicians that "A state half slave and half free cannot exist." All must become slave or all free, or the state will go down. I took no part myself in any such view of the case at the time, but since the war is over, reviewing the whole question, I have come to the conclusion that the saying is quite true.”
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs, Vol. 2
“The distant rear of an army engaged in battle is not the best place from which to judge correctly what is going on in front.”
Ulysses S. Grant, The Complete Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant
tags: war
“There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“The darkest day of my life was the day I heard of Lincoln's assassination. I did not know what it meant. Here was the rebellion put down in the field, and starting up in the gutters...”
Ulysses S. Grant
“No other terms than unconditional and immediate surrender. I propose to move immediately upon your works.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“The great bulk of the legal voters of the South were men who owned no slaves; their homes were generally in the hills and poor country; their facilities for educating their children, even up to the point of reading and writing, were very limited; their interest in the contest was very meagre--what there was, if they had been capable of seeing it, was with the North; they too needed emancipation.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“There are many men who would have done better than I did under the circumstances in which I found myself. If I had never held command, if I had fallen, there were 10,000 behind who would have followed the contest to the end and never surrendered the Union.”
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs
“The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“I travelled through the Northwest considerably during the winter of 1860-61. We had customers in all the little towns in southwest Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa. These generally knew I had been a captain in the regular army and had served through the Mexican war. Consequently wherever I stopped for the night, some of the people would come to the public house where I was, and sit till a late hour discussing the probabilities of the future.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“When the men were all back in their places in line, the command to advance was given. As I looked down that long line of about three thousand armed men, advancing towards a larger force also armed, I thought what a fearful responsibility General Taylor must feel, commanding such a host and so far away from friends. The Mexicans immediately opened fire upon us, first with artillery and then with infantry. At first their shots did not reach us, and the advance was continued. As we got nearer, the cannon balls commenced going through the ranks. They hurt no one, however, during this advance, because they would strike the ground long before they reached our line, and ricochetted through the tall grass so slowly that the men would see them and open ranks and let them pass.”
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs
“The natural disposition of most people is to clothe a commander of a large army whom they do not know, with almost superhuman abilities. A large part of the National army, for instance, and most of the press of the country, clothed General Lee with just such qualities, but I had known him personally, and knew that he was mortal; and it was just as well that I felt this.”
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant - Volume 1
“During the day I was passing along the line from wing to wing continuously. About the centre stood a house which proved to be occupied by an old lady and her daughter. She showed such unmistakable signs of being strongly Union that I stopped. She said she had not seen a Union flag for so long a time that it did her heart good to look upon it again. She said her husband and son, being Union men, had had to leave early in the war, and were now somewhere in the Union army, if alive. She was without food or nearly so, so I ordered rations issued to her, and promised to find out if I could where the husband and son were.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“I believe it has never been my misfortune to be placed where I lost my presence of mind--unless indeed it has been where thrown in strange company, particularly of ladies.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“Every one has his superstitions. One of mine is that in positions of great responsibility every one should do his duty to the best of his ability where assigned by competent authority, without application or the use of influence to change his position.”
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant - Volume 1
“Two commanders on the same field are always one too many.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“The darkest day of my life was the day I heard of Lincoln's assassination. I did not know what it meant. Here was the rebellion put down in the field, and staring up in the gutters...”
Ulysses S. Grant
“I believe . . . that if our country ever comes into trial again, young men will spring up equal to the occasion, and if one fails, there will be another to take his place.”
Ulysses S. Grant
“the most confident critics are generally those who know the least about the matter criticised.”
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S Grant, Includes Both Volumes
“Generally the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory. Texas was originally a state belonging to the republic of Mexico. It extended from the Sabine River on the east to the Rio Grande on the west, and from the Gulf of Mexico on the south and east to the territory of the United States and New Mexico – another Mexican state at that time – on the north and west. An empire in territory, it had but a very sparse population, until settled by Americans who had received authority from Mexico to colonize. These colonists paid very little attention to the supreme government, and introduced slavery into the state almost from the start, though the constitution of Mexico did not, nor does it now, sanction that institution. Soon they set up an independent government of their own, and war existed, between Texas and Mexico, in name from that time until 1836, when active hostilities very nearly ceased upon the capture of Santa Anna, the Mexican President. Before long, however, the same people – who with permission of Mexico had colonized Texas, and afterwards set up slavery there, and then seceded as soon as they felt strong enough to do so – offered themselves and the State to the United States, and in 1845 their offer was accepted. The occupation, separation and annexation were, from the inception of the movement to its final consummation, a conspiracy to acquire territory out of which slave states might be formed for the American Union. Even if the annexation itself could be justified, the manner in which the subsequent war was forced upon Mexico cannot. The fact is, annexationists wanted more territory than they could possibly lay any claim to, as part of the new acquisition. Texas, as an independent State, never had exercised jurisdiction over the territory between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande. Mexico had never recognized the independence of Texas, and maintained that, even if independent, the State had no claim south of the Nueces. I am aware that a treaty, made by the Texans with Santa Anna while he was under duress, ceded all the territory between the Nueces and the Rio Grande – , but he was a prisoner of war when the treaty was made, and his life was in jeopardy. He knew, too, that he deserved execution at the hands of the Texans, if they should ever capture him. The Texans, if they had taken his life, would have only followed the example set by Santa Anna himself a few years before, when he executed the entire garrison of the Alamo and the villagers of Goliad. In taking military possession of Texas after annexation, the army of occupation, under General Taylor, was directed to occupy the disputed territory. The army did not stop at the Nueces and offer to negotiate for a settlement of the boundary question, but went beyond, apparently in order to force Mexico to initiate war. It is to the credit of the American nation, however, that after conquering Mexico, and while practically holding the country in our possession, so that we could have retained the whole of it, or made any terms we chose, we paid a round sum for the additional territory taken; more than it was worth, or was likely to be, to Mexico. To us it was an empire and of incalculable value; but it might have been obtained by other means. The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive”
Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs: Ulysses S. Grant

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