Julia Dent Grant - The Things You May Not Know

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Just to offer another view - we have already discussed the "tension" that existed between Mary Lincoln and Julia Grant. My first thought was perhaps this was Mary Lincoln's idea and she asked her husband for this favor, just to make Julia's life difficult and to prove to her that in the end Mary was powerful than she was. We know the two ladies had some words less than a month to this.

I found this interesting "tidbit" from Carl Sandburg's "Abraham Lincoln" - regarding the evening of April 14th and perhaps why the Grant's did not want to attend (of Julia) - - -

"But Mrs. Lincoln had set her heart (on attending the theater), and she invited General and Mrs. Grant. And General Grant accepted, the newspapers were announcing.

Grant however had changed his mind. Mrs. Grant, in all probability, had told the General that the more she thought about it, the more it seemed impossible that she could endure an evening with the unfortunate woman she had last seen in such outbursts of temper and rages of jealousy at City Point. The General himself, anyone who knew him would testify, could see no fun in such a social evening."

Clearly - two women that did not particularly care for each other.
I read part of Mrs. Grant’s memoirs. The Lincolns returned to City Point after Richmond fell. Mrs. Lincoln organized a sightseeing trip to Richmond but didn’t invite Mrs. Grant. Then Mrs. Lincoln planned an evening party but didn’t invite Mrs. Grant. Mrs. Grant planned her own sightseeing trip AND she took the only available military band along with her on her excursion. So the Lincolns had no band for their party that night. When Mrs. Grant’s boat returned from her trip, the boat sailed down the river past the Lincolns’ boat (the party was in full swing at that time) and Julia had the band play the song, “Now you’ll remember me.” Julia admitted in her memoirs that she did this. She regretted that she never saw President Lincoln again prior to his death later that month.
 
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I know that Mary Lincoln struggled a great deal with her mental health and I am horrified about how Andrew Johnson treated her after she witnessed her husband’s death.

That being said, I do not criticize anyone for refusing to attend a public function with her. Mrs. Lincoln completely publicly humiliated several people at City Point. This is something that a bully does. For all anyone knew, there was a chance that Mrs Lincoln would publicly humiliate her “guests” at Ford’s Theater, in front of a much larger crowd.
 
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Do you know whether he did this voluntarily or was supposed to because of law or some other rule?
I believe it was the rule at the time. At the end of Grant’s life, as he was dying and struggling to complete his memoirs, William Tecumseh Sherman lobbied Congress to make an exception for Grant and reinstate his army pension. Sherman had some clout as General of the Army and brother of John Sherman. No one could have known that the memoirs would become bestsellers, so it was good that they acquiesced.
 
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I read part of Mrs. Grant’s memoirs. The Lincolns returned to City Point after Richmond fell. Mrs. Lincoln organized a sightseeing trip to Richmond but didn’t invite Mrs. Grant. Then Mrs. Lincoln planned an evening party but didn’t invite Mrs. Grant. Mrs. Grant planned her own sightseeing trip AND she took the only available military band along with her on her excursion. So the Lincolns had no band for their party that night. When Mrs. Grant’s boat returned from her trip, the boat sailed down the river past the Lincolns’ boat (the party was in full swing at that time) and Julia had the band play the song, “Now you’ll remember me.” Julia admitted in her memoirs that she did this. She regretted that she never saw President Lincoln again prior to his death later that month.
That is absolutely priceless! She was a spirited woman and must have been fun to know.
 
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Regarding the City Point “Incident”. First Mary Lincoln was on dangerous ground when she was attacking an officer’s wife. I believe there was a comradery among the ladies, and Mrs. Grant in particular, felt protective of the wives, especially those wives that were married to the Generals that her husband admired. I found this website that describes Mary Lincoln, Mrs. Ord and Julia and everyone else in hearing range, beginning the afternoon of March 26th - - -

“Finally the party arrived at its destination and Mrs. Ord came up to the ambulance. Then Mrs. Lincoln positively insulted her, called her vile names in the presence of a crowd of officers, and asked what she meant by following up the President. The poor woman burst into tears and inquired what she had done, but Mrs. Lincoln refused to be appeased, and stormed till she was tired. Mrs. Grant still tried to stand by her friend, and everybody was shocked and horrified. But all things come to an end, and after a while we returned to City Point.”

Then the evening at dinner (Mary Lincoln was not done with Mrs. Ord)

“That night of the 26th the President and Mrs. Lincoln entertained General and Mrs. Grant and the General's staff at dinner on the steamer, and before us all Mrs. Lincoln berated General Ord to the President, and urged that he should be removed. He was unfit for his place, she said, to say nothing of his wife. General Grant sat next and defended his officer bravely. Of course General Ord was not removed.”

This was the General Mary Lincoln wanted removed - and this is his wife she called a vile name - - -

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https://www.pillartopost.org/2016/03/retro-files-lincoln-endures-uncivil-wars.html

So that's why I would not put it past Mary Lincoln to have suggested to the President that it be General Grant to take her out to see the "light" show and celebrate the victory.
 

Cavalry Charger

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So that's why I would not put it past Mary Lincoln to have suggested to the President that it be General Grant to take her out to see the "light" show and celebrate the victory.
AKA shirking his duties? No thought to how Julia might feel about that as long as he didn't have to deal with the fallout perhaps?
 
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Washington, D.C. after Lee's surrender was full of demoralized Confederate agents. Dealing with Mrs. Lincoln's petty efforts to put herself between Grant and Julia, was a little too much to expect. I speculate that Julia heard more rumors then she could tolerate and wanted to put some distance between herself and the White House.
 

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