Grant's Tribute to the U.S. Soldier

samgrant

Captain
Retired Moderator
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Location
Galena, Illinois 61036 U.S.A.
Ulysses Grant was not known as an "eloquent" speaker, indeed he was by some regarded as a man of few words.

I had not been aware of what follows here, but found it in Joan Waugh's U. S. Grant.

I think it is appropriate to Veterans Day.


While on his "World Tour", in Hamburg, Germany on July 4, 1878, Grant responded to his host's remark that Grant "had saved the country during the recent war.":


"I share with you all the pleasure and gratitude which Americans should feel on this anniversary. But I must dissent from one remark to the effect that I saved the country during the war.

If our country could be saved or ruined by the efforts of any one man, we should not have a country, and we should not be now celebrating our Fourth of July. There are many men who would have done far better than I did under the circumstances in which I found myself during the war.

If I had never held command; if I had fallen; if all our generals had fallen, there were ten thousand behind us who would have done our work just as well, who would have followed the contest to the end and never surrendered the Union.

Therefore, it is a mistake and a reflection upon the people to attribute to me, or to any number of us who held high commands, the salvation of the Union. We did our work as well as we could, and so did hundreds of thousands of others. We deserve no credit for it, for we should have been unworthy of our country and of the American name if we had not made every sacrifice to save the Union.

What saved the Union was the coming forward of the young men of the nation. They came from their homes and fields, as they did in time of the Revolution, giving
everything to the country. To their devotion we owe the salvation of the Union.

The humblest soldier who carried a musket is entitled to as much credit for the results of the war as those who were in command. So long as our young men are
animated by this spirit there will be no fear for the Union."


To me, that's "eloquent".


--
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Near Kankakee
To me, that's "eloquent".
Me too. That scruffy looking guy had a strange way of nailing things. Spang on. I cannot find an instance where a Grant order was misunderstood or misinterpreted. He said you will do this and you better well ask how high on the way up or what color?

Ole
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
A soldier said that, a soldier that understood it has nothing to do with glory and parades.

Sam THANK YOU for reminding me of this particular quote. Years ago I put it in my notes, today I was reminded of it and placed it on two more boards as a reminder.
 

gary

Captain
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Sam Grant memoirs is among the clearest written after the war. His simplicity in writing conveys the message quite easily to the reader. We could all take a lesson from "useless" as his father called him.

The other soldier writer I admire is Edward Porter Alexander of the Corn-federacy. I was impressed by his Military Memoirs of a Confederate. I was equally impressed by his other work (published as Fighting For the Confederacy) that was intended only for his family's eyes.
 
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