U. S. Grant

U. S. Grant

U. S. Grant Quotes

Last Updated April 30, 2010

With quotations by Grant first followed by others in alphabetical order of the person making the quote.  The first note is the location where I found the quote and the second is the footnote in that work which contains more background information on the quote.

“All the older officers, who became conspicuous in the rebellion, I had served with and known in Mexico.  The acquaintance thus formed was of immense service to me in the War of the Rebellion, I mean what I learned of the characters of those to whom I was afterwards opposed.  I do not pretend to say that all my movements, or even many of them, were made with special reference to the characteristics of the commander against whom they were directed.  But my appreciation of my enemies was certainly affected by this knowledge.”

U. S. Grant

Grant describing the impact of knowing many of the southern officers during the civil war

Mason, Jack C.  Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army. Carbondale IL:  Southern Illinois Press, 2009 pg 51

Grant, Ulysses S.  Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant. Vol 1. New York:  Webster, 1885 pg129

“I have witnessed since my sickness just what I have wished to see ever since the war; harmony and good feeling between the sections.  I have always contended that if there had been no body left but the soldiers we would have had peace in a year.” U.S. Grant  July 10 1885

Grant just 10 days from his death scribbles this note to visiting friend and former Confederate general Simon Bolivar Buckner

“General Ulysses S. Grant’s papers now reside deep in the heart of Dixie” Civil War Times April 2010 pg 26

“I never knew what to do with a paper except to put in a side pocket or pass it to a clerk who understood it better than I did.” U.S. Grant

“Military Manuals of the Civil War – August V. Kautz’s The Company Clerk” Civil War Times April 2010 pg 25

Lt. Gen Ulysses S. Grant, in his Personal Memoirs

“Onlt my horse was under fire at the street crossings, but these I crossed at such a flying rate of speed, that generally I was past and under the cover of the next block of houses before the enemy fired.  I got out safely without a scratch.”

U.S. Grant  Sept 21 1846  Grant at the Battle of Monterry

Mason, Jack C.  Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army. Carbondale IL:  Southern Illinois Press, 2009 pg 34

Grant, Ulysses S.  Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant. Vol 1. New York:  Webster, 1885 pg 81

“The art of war is simple enough.  Find out where your enemy is.  Get at him as soon as you can.  Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving.” U.S. Grant

Grants explanation of the art of war

Rafuse, Ethan S. George Gordon Meade and the War in the East. Abilene:  McWhiney Founation Press. 2003 pg 118

“His face has three expressions:  deep thought, extreme determination, and great simplicity and calmness.”

A staff officer describing Grant

Rafuse, Ethan S. George Gordon Meade and the War in the East. Abilene:  McWhiney Founation Press. 2003 pg 118

“I have carefully searched the military records of both ancient and modern history, and have never found Grant’s superior as a general” Robert E. Lee

As quoted by John G. Wilson, General Grant (New York:  Appleton, 1913), pg 367

Grant – A Biography by John Mosier

“I think General Grant has managed his affairs remarkably well” Robert E. Lee May 1864

Lee talking about Grant at Spotsylvania.  Heth, Memoirs, 186-87

Robertson, James I.  General A. P. Hill. New York:  Random 1987. Pg 270

“Grant-incomparably the greatest.  He possessed an individuality that impressed itself upon all that he did…He understood the terrible power of concentration and persistency.  How stubbornly he struck Vicksburg and Richmond.  He concentrated all his strength, trained his energies to a single purpose, and then delivered terrible sledgehammer blows against which strategy and tactics could avail nothing.  He knew what a majorities properly handled must triumph in war as politics, and he always gathered his resources before striking.”

James Longstreet, Aug 2 1879

Longstreet in an interview with Henry Grady writing for the Philadelphia Weekly Times asked who the best general on the Northern side

“The War Was a Grievous Error” edited by Peter Cozzens, Civil War Times April 2010

37

Interview with James Longstreet by Henry W. Grady “General Longstreet” published in the Philadelphia Weekly Times, August 2, 1879

“. . .sent in my card after waiting some time I heard Genl Grants voice, he said – ‘Tell Gen McLaws not to go, as I wish to see him,’ – before that moment I had been stared at as an intruder, as one who had no business so near the President. But when the Genl gave his directive, I could see a relaxation in the looks of those around – and when the general afterwards came out and shook me warmly by the hand, and expressed great pleasure in seeing me…”

Lafayette McLaws 1875

McLaws undated manuscript on meeting with President U. S. Grant in Washington City. GHS-LM

http://asoldiersgeneral.com/lafayette.htm

“I was very much pleased with Grant in the view he expressed to me he showed much more capacity and character than I expected.”

George G. Meade March 14 1864

Meade to his wife.  Letters, 2: 178

Rafuse, Ethan S. George Gordon Meade and the War in the East. Abilene:  McWhiney Founation Press. 2003 pg115

“There are many things in Grant that call my warmest admiration, and but few that I feel called on to condemn…He is a good soldier, of great force of character, honest and upright, of pure purposes, I think, without political aspirations…His prominent quality is unflinching tenacity of purpose…Take him all in all, he is, in my judgment, the best man the war has yet produced.” George G. Meade  Nov 24 1864

Meade to his wife Letters 2:246

Rafuse, Ethan S. George Gordon Meade and the War in the East. Abilene:  McWhiney Founation Press. 2003 pg 151

“An old army officer, thoroughly a gentleman and an officer of intelligence and discretion.”

John Pope

Pope to John Fremont introducing him to Grant

Cozzens, Peter. General John Pope A Life for the Nation. Urbana:  University of Illinois Press, 2000 page 39

Simon, John Y., ed. The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant. 24 vols. Carbondale, Ill., 1967-Vol 2:86

“Grant is a soldier by education and experience and a discreet, prudent man who is eminently needed now for immediate supervision of the disaffected counties north of the Hannibal and St. Joseph road.”

John Pope

Pope to John Fremont recommending Grant for a command.

Cozzens, Peter. General John Pope A Life for the Nation. Urbana:  University of Illinois Press, 2000 page 39

Simon, John Y., ed. The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant. 24 vols. Carbondale, Ill., 1967- Vol 2:124

“I had known him slightly at West Point, where he was in no sense a man of mark, either with cadets or professors, I met him afterward in the service during the Mexican War, and subsequently I saw him frequently in St. Louis after he was out of the army and in extreme poverty.  Whilst I was never intimate with him in those days, I yet knew him very well, and often talked with him, and from these conversations I knew that he was profoundly discontented and unhappy.” John Pope 

Pope speaking about U.S. Gran in the days prior to the Civil War.

Cozzens, Peter. General John Pope A Life for the Nation. Urbana:  University of Illinois Press, 2000 page 34

Pope, John “War Reminiscences, IV,” NT Jan 1 1891

“for a silent man Grant was about the most interesting one we had recently found.  His talk was clean-cut, simple, direct, and clear

Moxley Sorrel

Sorrel describing a dinner party after the war which Grant attended in Savannah

Sorrell, G. Moxley.  Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer. New York:  Bantam edition, 1992. Page 197

“This general’s character made him very dear to his friends.  He was always true and helpful to them, and possessed a certain directness and simplicity of action that was in itself most attractive”

Moxley Sorrel

Sorrel describing US Grant

Sorrell, G. Moxley.  Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer. New York:  Bantam edition, 1992. pg196

“He has been much over-rated, and in my opinion I am sorry to say, owes more of his reputation to Genl Pemberton’s bad management than to his own sagacity & ability.  He will find, I trust that General Lee is a very different man.”

Walter Taylor  Apr 3 1864

Taylor to Bettie, Camp Orange County in Taylor Lee’s Adjutant, p 148

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007 pg 417

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