A Few Quiet Years in Michigan; Ulysses S. Grant in Detroit.

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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The newest issue of Michigan History magazine arrived today and Timothy D. Lusch has an article in the magazine with the above name. The article covers Grant's time in Detroit and is interesting. When Grant move to Detroit he rented a house on Fort Street. Fort Street at that time was where young men would race their buggies. Mr. Lusch states that fellow officer James E. Pitman stated "In Detroit, he (Grant) bought a jet-black mare from a French-Canadian man named David Cicottee for $200. Grant trained her, and she became so fast that, according to Pitman, Grant showed "the back of his buggy to almost anything in the town." To me the thought of a young Grant racing other young men in the streets of Detroit is humorous.

Mr. Lusch also quotes James E. Pitman who served with Gant in Detroit as saying Grant "At other times rode French ponies that "ran wild in the marshes outside of the city." Pitman said, "He was the best horseman I ever saw. he could fly on a horse, faster than a slicked bullet."

The article also makes a brief mention of Gregorio who followed Grant back from the Mexican War and was Grant's hired servant.
 

Grant's Tomb

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He didn't stay there that long. The 4th Infantry eventually had him transferred back to Madison Barracks in Sackets Harbor again before the 4th Infantry was deployed to Fort Vancouver in 1852.
 
According to Grant, he and the other officers had absolutely nothing to do while stationed in Detroit. The local sutler was located at the corner of Jefferson and Woodward avenues and it is here that the officers would spend their evenings in a back room of the store that had tin cups and a large barrel of whiskey that was "always miraculously replenished." The proprietor allowed the officers to drink for free and to use the room as a lounge where they would routinely meet and discuss current events or gripe about the military.

Between the store and the officer's quarters was a home that belonged to a dry-goods merchant by the name of Zachariah Chandler. The sidewalk in front of Chandler's house always became a sheet of ice during the winter storms and during the late hours of the night, officers returning from the sutler's store would slip and fall regardless of their state of sobriety. One night during the winter of 1851, as the officers were headed home from the sutler's store, Grant slipped on Chandler's sidewalk "severely" injuring himself. Grant filed a lawsuit against Chandler and during the trial the dry-goods merchant declared that the officers were "idle loafers" who did nothing but "live on the community." He looked at Grant and said "if you soldiers would keep sober, perhaps you would not fall on people's pavements and hurt your legs." The jury awarded the verdict in Grant's favor.

In 1875 President Grant appointed the dry-goods merchant, Zachariah Chandler, as his Secretary of the Interior.
 

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
According to Grant, he and the other officers had absolutely nothing to do while stationed in Detroit. The local sutler was located at the corner of Jefferson and Woodward avenues and it is here that the officers would spend their evenings in a back room of the store that had tin cups and a large barrel of whiskey that was "always miraculously replenished." The proprietor allowed the officers to drink for free and to use the room as a lounge where they would routinely meet and discuss current events or gripe about the military.

Between the store and the officer's quarters was a home that belonged to a dry-goods merchant by the name of Zachariah Chandler. The sidewalk in front of Chandler's house always became a sheet of ice during the winter storms and during the late hours of the night, officers returning from the sutler's store would slip and fall regardless of their state of sobriety. One night during the winter of 1851, as the officers were headed home from the sutler's store, Grant slipped on Chandler's sidewalk "severely" injuring himself. Grant filed a lawsuit against Chandler and during the trial the dry-goods merchant declared that the officers were "idle loafers" who did nothing but "live on the community." He looked at Grant and said "if you soldiers would keep sober, perhaps you would not fall on people's pavements and hurt your legs." The jury awarded the verdict in Grant's favor.

In 1875 President Grant appointed the dry-goods merchant, Zachariah Chandler, as his Secretary of the Interior.
While in Detroit, Grant sought help from Doctor Taylor to help with his drinking problem. After a huge temperance meeting held by John B. Gough, Grant along with 2,446 audience members, took a temperance pledge in Detroit.
 
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