Grant, Ulysses S.

civilwartalk

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#1
"I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause thought was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse."

-- General Grant on General Lee's surrender at Appomattox.
 

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civilwartalk

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#2
"I would not have the anniversaries of our victories celebrated, nor those of our defeats made fast days and spent in humiliation and prayer; but I would like to see truthful history written. Such history will do full credit to the courage, endurance and soldierly ability of the American citizen, no matter what section of the country he hailed from or in what ranks he fought...For the present, and so long as there are living witnesses of the great war of sections, there will be people who will not be consoled for the loss of a cause they believed to be holy. As time passes, people, even of the South will begin to wonder how it was possible that their ancestors ever fought for or justified institutions which acknowledged the right of property in man."

-- U.S. Grant
 

unionblue

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#3
"By your patriotic devotion to your country in the hour of danger and alarm, your magnificent fighting, bravery, and endurance, you have maintained the supremacy of the Union and the Constitution, overthrown all armed opposition to the enforcement of the laws and of the proclamation forever abolishing Slavery--the cause and pretext of the Rebellion--and opened the way to the rightful authorities to restore order and inaugurate peace on a permanent and enduring basis on every foot of American soil...Victory has crowned your patriotic hearts, and, with the gratitude of your countrymen and the highest honor a great and free nation can accord, you will soon be permitted to return to your homes and families, conscious of having discharged the highest duty of American citizens."

Ulysses S. Grant, Union General, message to the Union Army, June 2, 1865.

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unionblue

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#4
"This, with the emancipation of the negro, is the heavyest blow yet given the Confederacy."

U.S. Grant on enlisting African American troops, letter to Abraham Lincoln, August 23, 1863.

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unionblue

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#8
"I was never an abolitionist, not even what could be called anti-slavery, but I try to judge fairly and honestly and it became patent in my mind early in the rebellion that the North and South could never be at peace with each other except as one nation, and that without slavery. As anxious as I am to see peace established, I would not therefore be willing to see any settlement until the question is forever settled."

General Grant in a letter to Elihu Washburne, Aug. 30, 1863.

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unionblue

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#9
"As soon as slavery fired upon the flag, it was felt, we all felt, even those who did not object to slaves, that slavery must be destroyed. We felt it was a stain to the Union that men should be bought and sold like cattle..."

Grant in an 1878 conversation with Bismark of Germany.

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unionblue

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#10
"The cause of the great War of the Rebellion against the United States 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 states 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."

Grant in his memoirs, 1885.

Unionblue
 
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#11
Hq Qrs Army in the Field
Camp Near Donelson, Feby 16th

Gen S. B. Buckner,
Confed. Army,

Sir:
Yours of this date proposing Armistice and appointment of Commissioners, to settle terms of Capitulation, is just received. No terms except an unconditional surrender can be accepted.
I propose to move immediately upon your works.
I am sir , very respectfully,
Your obt. sevt.

U.S. GRANT; Brig. Gen


U.S. Grant, Feb 16, 1862, Ft Donaldson TN.
 

unionblue

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#12
President Johnson asked him (Gen. Grant), "At what time can Lee and Beauregard and other leading Rebels be arrested and imprisoned?"

Grant replied, "Mr. President, so long as these men remain at home and observe the terms of their parole you never can do so. The Army of the United States stands between these men and you."

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unionblue

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#14
When Charles Sumner asked for General Grant's cooperation in having a picture of Lee's surrender painted in the rotunda of the capitol, Grant said,

"No, gentlemen. While I can prevent it there shall be no picture in the rotunda representing a surrender in which Americans are the humiliated parties."

Unionblue
 
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#15
unionblue said:
In a visit to Grant at Mt. McGregor, NY, in 1885 by Simon Bolivar Buckner, Grant said,

"The trouble is now made by men who did not go into the war at all, or who did not get mad till the war was over."

Unionblue
True even now, Unionblue!!

Zou
 

samgrant

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#16
unionblue said:
President Johnson asked him (Gen. Grant), "At what time can Lee and Beauregard and other leading Rebels be arrested and imprisoned?"

Grant replied, "Mr. President, so long as these men remain at home and observe the terms of their parole you never can do so. The Army of the United States stands between these men and you."

Unionblue
That is a man! With Johnson and the Rad. Republicans, in charge, only Grant could prevent that travesty that would reopen that wound already inflicted. (Wonder how it would play out if the situation would be reversed?)

Never mind that, it is interesting to me that it was the 'Northwesterners' (Illinoisians?) who came to be those who both ultimately took charge and made the victory, but also were the most magnanimous in the treatment of those defeated.
 

ole

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#17
Grant and Sherman remained loyal to Lincoln's "let 'em up easy" intent. Sherman, perhaps the most intense prosecutor of all-out war, abruptly proved to be one of the most charitable victors. For them, when it was over, it was over and time to rebuild. Their next fight was with those who wanted to find and hang all the leaders of the rebellion. We;ve had men like that. Too often, we've ignored them.
Ole
 

larry_cockerham

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#18
Even these two tough stubborn soldiers, Grant and Sherman, could see it was well past time to end the war. Lee and Johnston had also made prior claims. It's a shame none of them had the power to act on their instincts. It was easy for Lincoln, Grant and Sherman to be so considerate of their Confederate adversaries (also 'brothers' and cousins); very few of those who began the war were still alive.
 

unionblue

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#19
"The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of the oppression if they are strong enough, either by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable. But any people or part of a people who resort to this remedy, stake their lives, their property, and every claim for protection given by citizenship--on the issue. Victory, or the conditions imposed by the conqueror--must be the result."

Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, 1885.

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trice

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#20
In a visit to Grant at Mt. McGregor, NY, in 1885 by Simon Bolivar Buckner, Grant said,

"The trouble is now made by men who did not go into the war at all, or who did not get mad till the war was over."

Unionblue
On the way back from Quebec last month, my wife and I stopped to see Grant's Cottage at Mt. McGregor, the place where he died. Nice tour, very worthwhile. http://www.grantcottage.org/

One caveat: time has passed and the mountaintop is no longer a resort. These days there is a New York State prison up there, and you have to check in through the gate to get to the cottage, then drive up the mountain a ways (3/4 of a mile). There is a walk of 50-100 yards or so to the cottage from the visitor center, uphill.

Tim
 



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