Greetings from the new host of the Ulysses S. Grant forum!

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Cavalry Charger

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Just wanted to touch base regarding my new role here.

First, let me begin my saying it is a privilege. Thank you to the site owners for placing their trust in me.

Secondly, why would someone who lives nearly 17,000 kms from Grant's final resting place want to host a forum on Grant?

Last year, I travelled those nearly 17,000 kms to visit Grant's tomb. My visit there was unexpected in terms of the lack of number of visitors. The tomb was quiet and peaceful. And, in many ways, the Visitor's Centre there carried all the humility of Grant with very little pomp and ceremony. The back cover blurb on McFeely's book at the centre tempted me to buy it. The young woman managing the store recommended others. There were so many biographies, I found it impossible to make a choice there and then. Probably one of my biggest regrets. But, I'm not done yet :smile: What I did pick up was a book on Grant's campaign at Vicksburg, so I'm sure there will be more to come on that.

I also had the unexpected and fortunate experience of being able to raise a glass to the General in Grant's Bar at Ebbitt's Grill in Washington. Yep! There is an iconic image of the general hanging at one end of the bar and I sat at the bar with Ulysses, shared a few thoughts, and raised my glass to him :smile coffee:

Anyway, back to my second point. Why would I want to host this forum? Because Grant fascinates me. He has from the moment I arrived here on the site. And the biggest hook to generate my interest was not the battles he fought and won, but his wonderful relationship with his wife Julia, and hers with him. Their sense of committment and loyalty drew me in, and I have learned so much more since then.

Having said that, there is always more to learn. I have many topics lined up for discussion, and will rely on those who have studied Grant in depth to contribute their knowledge and understanding. I will raise questions, many that I do not know the answer to, in order to learn more and develop a greater sense of appreciation of Grant.

And that is my aim as host. To raise the profile of Grant in general, as General, and the ways he made a contribution to his country.

And what led me here originally were the letters of an ordinary soldier, who died in service of Grant, the Union army and his country.

Once again, thanks for having me. I hope I do a good job.
 
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Pat Young

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Just wanted to touch base regarding my new role here.

First, let me begin my saying it is a privilege. Thank you to the site owners for placing their trust in me.

Secondly, why would someone who lives nearly 17,000 miles from Grant's final resting place want to host a forum on Grant?

Last year, I travelled those nearly 17,000 miles to visit Grant's tomb. My visit there was unexpected in terms of the lack of number of visitors. The tomb was quiet and peaceful. And, in many ways, the Visitor's Centre there carried all the humility of Grant with very little pomp and ceremony. The back cover blurb on McFeely's book at the centre tempted me to buy it. The young woman managing the store recommended others. There were so many biographies, I found it impossible to make a choice there and then. Probably one of my biggest regrets. But, I'm not done yet :smile: What I did pick up was a book on Grant's campaign at Vicksburg, so I'm sure there will be more to come on that.

I also had the unexpected and fortunate experience of being able to raise a glass to the General in Grant's Bar at Ebbitt's Grill in Washington. Yep! There is an iconic image of the general hanging at one end of the bar and I sat at the bar with Ulysses, shared a few thoughts, and raised my glass to him :smile coffee:

Anyway, back to my second point. Why would I want to host this forum? Because Grant fascinates me. He has from the moment I arrived here on the site. And the biggest hook to generate my interest was not the battles he fought and won, but his wonderful relationship with his wife Julia, and hers with him. Their sense of committment and loyalty drew me in, and I have learned so much more since then.

Having said that, there is always more to learn. I have many topics lined up for discussion, and will rely on those who have studied Grant in depth to contribute their knowledge and understanding. I will raise questions, many that I do not know the answer to, in order to learn more and develop a greater sense of appreciation of Grant.

And that is my aim as host. To raise the profile of Grant in general, as General, and the ways he made a contribution to his country.

And what led me here originally were the letters of an ordinary soldier, who died in service of Grant, the Union army and his country.

Once again, thanks for having me. I hope I do a good job.
Great to have you take this on.
 
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John Hartwell

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Great to have you here, indeed.

I'd also suggest to you John Russel Young's Around the World with General Grant, a 2-volume, first-hand account of Grant's "World Tour" of 1877-78-79, by a friend and newspaperman who accompanied him. Julia and 19-year-old Jesse accompanied him. You learn a lot about the general and the man from his meetings with world leaders (and common men as well), and his informal conversations about so many topics of war, politics, and life in general. It's available several places online.
 
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@Cavalry Charger Thanks for taking on the responsibility. A true passion to understand your subject is a great motivator indeed. I visited Grant's Tomb myself for the first time this past fall (after years of studying Grant's life:nah disagree:) and I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I'm only 200 miles away! I did get a Junior Ranger badge on my visit which was awesome. I have been to his birthplace and boyhood home in Ohio (700 miles) a couple times. You'll have to visit Grant Cottage Historic Site next time your in the area, it's a truly beautiful and historic place (let me know and I'll get you a private tour). Since you mentioned reading materials here are some of the books I've found (some I'm still reading) on Grant that I like (as you'll notice I'm not a huge fan of full-length biographies, especially McFeely's):

Pre-Civil War:
Captain Sam Grant by Lloyd Lewis
The Trial of U.S. Grant: The Pacific Coast Years 1852-1854 by Charles Ellington
The General's Wife by Ishbel Ross

Civil War:
Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity 1822-1865 by Brooks Simpson
Let Us Have Peace: Ulysses S. Grant and the Politics of War & Reconstruction 1861-1868 by Brooks Simpson
Grant Moves South 1861-1863 by Bruce Catton
Grant Takes Command 1863-1865 by Bruce Catton

Presidency:
President Grant Reconsidered by Frank Scaturro
The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant by Charles Calhoun
Interrupted Odyssey: Ulysses S. Grant and the American Indians by Mary Stockwell

Post-Presidency:
Around the World with General Grant by John Russell Young
Citizen of a Wider Commonwealth: Ulysses S. Grant's Postpresidential Diplomacy by Edwina Campbell
Grant's Final Victory by Charles Flood
The Captain Departs by Thomas Pitkin

General Research:
The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant (fully searcheable online)
The US Grant Information Center
The Ulysses S. Grant Collective Project - Pinterest Account - Facebook Page

Studying and interpreting Grant's life can be a real challenge due to all the myth and misconceptions that surround him, but it's a challenge worth undertaking. People often see Grant as they unconsciously want to see him. His character and life are picked apart, analyzed and scrutinized, yet still falsehoods prevail. It's because it's easier to simply accept and parrot what's been written before. Perhaps everyone is intent on finding something special, peculiar or extraordinary to explain his accomplishments, when the reality seems to be much simpler and less fantastic, but nonetheless meaningful. Perhaps he is turned into a mythical hero because we don't want to self-reflect on the simple but fundamental character traits, convictions and actions that we can all aspire to and practice. It is not that he was flawless, but he did not let his flaws control him and through depth of character and firm convictions prevailed.

" The most extraordinary quality [of Grant's] extraordinary character...was its extreme simplicity-so extreme that many have overlooked it in their search for some deeply hidden secret to account for so great a character, unmindful that simplicity is one of the most prominent attributes of greatness." -John M. Schofield (General & Sec. of War)

Well that oughtta keep you busy for a while, welcome to the rabbit hole :wink:
 
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Cavalry Charger

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Great to have you here, indeed.

I'd also suggest to you John Russel Young's Around the World with General Grant, a 2-volume, first-hand account of Grant's "World Tour" of 1877-78-79, by a friend and newspaperman who accompanied him. Julia and 19-year-old Jesse accompanied him. You learn a lot about the general and the man from his meetings with world leaders (and common men as well), and his informal conversations about so many topics of war, politics, and life in general. It's available several places online.
Thanks so much, John. I like the idea of getting to know Grant better through the years, and I'm sure this is a wonderful reflection of the man.
 
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Cavalry Charger

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Well that oughtta keep you busy for a while, welcome to the rabbit hole :wink:
:laugh: Rabbit hole indeed! It's a vast expanse of knowledge to try and capture, and thank you so much for the recommendations. Your contributions here are always so valuable, and I particularly like the quote you ended with.

So, I will try and keep it simple by saying I will greatly appreciate your continued input into the Ulysses S. Grant forum.
 
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Cavalry Charger

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being a fellow fan of the general I look forward to what you have to say. Good luck I have always though his personal memoirs to be one of the best Civil War books.
I loved Grant's personal memoirs, and always thought it was the place to start. I wanted to perceive things from Gran'ts point of view, and it was incredibly easy to read with some real insights into the man. I do believe his writing has been praised as well.

Thanks @civilken :smile:
 

Cavalry Charger

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I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I'm only 200 miles away!
Don't be embarrassed. Some folks know I live at a distance and may wonder how I became so interested/involved.

I incorrectly posted miles instead of kilometres :eek: Must have been thinking about the round trip :laugh:

It's actually just over 10,000 miles, but when you have a passion for something distance is no issue.

And I know from my own experience, the closer you are the more you can take things for granted sometimes, or figure it's close enough that you've got plenty of time to visit. It's a combination of factors, but I'm a bit of a bulldog like Grant. When I decide I'm going to do something, it's done before the planning even begins :D
 
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Cavalry Charger

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Congratulations. Have you been to his boyhood home in Georgetown Ohio? Very modest.
No, but I would love to visit, and will make sure it's on my list of future plans :smile: Perhaps someone has posted a thread on it. I will have to have a look in the forum and see :nerd:

And thanks!
 
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