✺ [BOOKS] ✮ Memoirs and Selected Letters By Ulysses S. Grant ❄ – Dailytradenews.co.uk

Memoirs and Selected Letters pdf Memoirs and Selected Letters, ebook Memoirs and Selected Letters, epub Memoirs and Selected Letters, doc Memoirs and Selected Letters, e-pub Memoirs and Selected Letters, Memoirs and Selected Letters 59af6a9659d Twenty Years After Appomattox, The Civil War S Greatest General Fought His Last Campaign Against Death And Time Stricken By Cancer As His Family Faced Financial Ruin, Ulysses S Grant Wrote His Personal Memoirs To Secure Their Future, And In Doing So Won For Himself A Unique Place In American Letters Acclaimed By Readers As Diverse As Mark Twain, Matthew Arnold, Gertrude Stein, And Edmund Wilson, The Personal Memoirs Demonstrates The Intelligence, Intense Determination, And Laconic Modesty That Made Grant The Union S Foremost Commander This Library Of America Volume Also Includes Letters Written By Grant From To Many Of Them Are To His Wife, Julia, And Offer An Intimate View Of Their Affectionate And Enduring Marriage Others, Addressed To Fellow Generals, Government Officials, And His Congressional Patron Elihu B Washburne, Provide A Fascinating Contemporary Perspective On The Events That Would Later Figure In The MemoirsGrant S Autobiography Is Devoted Almost Entirely To His Life As A Soldier His Years At West Point, His Service In The Peacetime Army, And His Education In War During Conflicts Foreign And Domestic Grant Considered The Mexican War One Of The Most Unjust Ever Waged By A Stronger Against A Weaker Nation And Thought That The Civil War Was Our Punishment For It But His Retrospective Disapproval Did Not Prevent Him From Becoming Enchanted By Mexico Or From Learning About His Own Capacity For Leadership Amid The Confusion And Carnage Of BattleHis Account Of The Civil War Combines A Lucid Treatment Of Its Political Causes And Its Military Actions, Along With The Story Of His Own Growing Strength As A Commander At The End Of An Inconsequential Advance In Missouri In He Realized That His Opponent Had Been As Much Afraid Of Me As I Had Been Of Him Fort Donelson And Shiloh Taught Him To Seize The Initiative, While His Success In Living Off The Land During The Vicksburg Campaign Inspired William T Sherman To Undertake His Marches Through The Interior Of The SouthBy Grant Knew That The Rebellion Could Be Suppressed Only By Maintaining Relentless Pressure Against Its Armies And Methodically Destroying Its Resources As The Union S Final General In Chief, He Acted With The Resolve That Had Eluded His Predecessors, Directing Battles Whose Drawn Out Ferocity Had No Precedent In Western Warfare His Narrative Of The War S Final Year Culminates In His Meeting With Lee At Appomattox, A Scene Of Quiet Pride, Sadness, And HumanityGrant S Writing Is Spare, Telling, And Quick, Superbly Evocative Of The Imperatives Of Decision, Motion, And Action That Govern Those Who Try To Shape The Course Of War Grant Wrote About The Most Destructive War In American History With A Clarity And Directness Unequaled In Our Literature


10 thoughts on “Memoirs and Selected Letters

  1. says:

    I came to Grant s memoirs, not because of its military history though I am a fan of that sort of thing , but because both Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway were fans of Grant s work I have only read the first volume, which takes the reader up to the fall of Vicksburg What a trudge Actually, up to Shiloh, I was rating the Memoirs much higher Grant or Twain for him could write some really clean, uncluttered prose His sharp eye for telling and economical detail certainly must have been attractive to Hemingway My favorite portions were the times where Grant wasn t recounting military events though the war with Mexico is stunningly told stuff Grant s descriptions of visiting a Mexican cave, or San Francisco during the Gold Rush each of these segments represent only a few pages , stand out a crystal clear portraits, where eye and pen achieve perfect balance One aspect of Memoirs that surprised me is that they are hardly as egoless as many have portrayed them Grant does indeed come across as a humble, straightforward guy, but then again, he almost never dwells on himself in any deep way You do see flashes when he discusses his politics and his dislike for the rebellion You can t help but admire his passion and devotion to his country But he s also quite capable of snark, and he does get his digs in at those he feels were incompetent or a drag to the cause You also sense a thin skin.This sensitivity really jumps out at you when he discusses Shiloh Essentially he got caught with his pants down, as the Confederates launched a berserker attack that almost swamped the Union troops Grant tries to wave this off, insisting that the battle was never in any real doubt He then disparages the Confederate General, Albert Johnson, as being overrated and vacillating I tend to agree with him on the first point, but his loss along with his coordinating eye, certainly damaged the Confederate chances on the first day Grant also insists in a contradictory way that Shiloh was the severest battle fought at the West during the war, and but few in the East equalled it for hard, determined fighting Shiloh was a wild affair, fought by two undisciplined and green armies But there are a number of savage and bloodier battles yet to come Even a casual reader of Civil War history knows this Grant s statement simply makes no sense, and its especially damning to an author known for his objective eye Also odd was Grant s carping about how the Confederates in general low balled the number of troops engaged, as well at the casualties suffered Grant insists that twice the number of Confederates died than has been reported As far as I can tell, history records that the Union lost slightly men than the Confederates But the Union also won the battle, so why the hyper sensitivity At this point, I started noticing Grant s fixation on the numbers How this plays out over the course of both volumes, I can only guess from what I understand, he was no fan of Lee But I m left with the impression that the specter of Grant the butcher of his own men haunted the general What follows, other than some smaller battles and maneuvering, is the Vicksburg campaign I ve read Shelby Foote s take on the campaign, and in his capable hands it s nearly impossible to follow Grant s take is no better You would need detailed maps of the day to make any sense of what Grant is no doubt accurately describing Here s a taste The 9th, McPherson moved to a point within a few miles of Utica McClernand and Sherman remained where they were On the 10th McPherson moved to Utica, Sherman to Big Sandy McClernand was still at Big Sandy The 11th, McClernand was at Five Mile Creek Sherman at Auburn McPherson five miles advanced from Utica May 12, McClernand was at Fourteen Mile Creek McPherson at Raymond after a battle Man, that s some numbing stuff, and hardly memorable literature The point, I gather, is the slow strangulation of Vicksburg It is this battle that stands as Grant s great achievement But it seems, at least in part, an engineer s achievement The terrain, a swampy impossibility, was the main opponent Grant successfully coordinated a complicated land and water campaign, against a smaller sized opponent who got little help other than a piecemeal kind from other Confederate forces Grant would indeed save the Union, but it would be on Virginia s bloody soil A brutal campaign where numbers and time mattered, and not battle field finesse One gets the sense that Grant resented that interpretation Bitterly.


  2. says:

    In conjunction with Grant s memoir, this is a must read for anyone interested not only in the Civil War, but the mindset of one of our greatest generals.At West Point we studied many generals and my own personal area of interest has always been the Civil War I ve walked most of the battlefields, wrote the Staff Walk for Gettysburg for the JFK Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, and also wrote a trilogy of novels about two West Pointers going from 1842 into the Civil WarGrant s best two subjects at West Point were math and art, which is a strange combination He was also a horse whisperer I think his unique brain, which is shown in these letters, was the key to his unique leadership and calmness.I feel Grant has been greatly under rated as a General.


  3. says:

    These memoirs, completed while Grant was dying of throat cancer, and published with the help of Mark Twain, succeeded in two ways in the short term they sold quite well and earned enough money to ensure Grant s surviving family would not fall into poverty, and for the long term they now provide a firsthand account of the Mexican American War invasi n estadounidense de M xico and the American Civil War War Between the States.Grant writes well, with an economy of style which is perhaps evidence of an attitude towards prose as a means of transport or a method of delivery and not an art The passages are direct, and cleanly composed with humility, empathy, and subtle wit like one of those chairs you buy from a rural craftsman that will still be around long after the hands that made it and the ass that first rode it are in the grave.It s a kind of trap, to be one of the fortunate who stand at the ground zero of cataclysmic change From such a vantage one may acquire great power because the lever of history tilts in your favor However, one may become deluded by this apparent command of the flux, and identify them self as the source of worldly change as an agent of fate or the god who commands To magnify ones ego to such ridiculous proportion is an error Others pass through the maelstrom changed in a different way they leave with a respect for the limits of human grace, and a respect for those who manage to cultivate this grace to its limit despite the cruel engines that drive this world and all of us in it along its required course.While reading this people would ask me what mention Grant made of his drinking problem Like most of his personal life, very little, almost none Someone else asked me who wrote them Grant did While taking my order at a caf a young tattooed woman exclaimed that she had just herself finished reading them, and deemed them lovely and so truly they and she were.


  4. says:

    American Anti hero Ulysses S Grant A review of his memoirs The story of America s first anti hero ended as it began, in poverty At the tail end of his life, however, Ulysses S Grant possessed something that he did not have before one of the most intriguing life stories in American history To the men of his own time, Ulysses S Grant was the most famous, celebrated and respected American of his generation Crowds of people swarmed the streets to cheer for him wherever he went During his world tour, twenty thousand working Englishmen went out into the streets to cheer for the General of Freedom, the one who had single handedly defeated the armies of slavery and set free thousands of men, women and children However, Grant s legacy has in time become the most tarnished, with Americans often believing him to be a drunkard, an ill kept shadow of a president that is nothing than a blemish on the nation s resume of leaders His book proves that this he was not, and that it was not merely doggedness and persistence that allowed him to be the hero of the Civil War and savior of the Union, but also his towering intellect and genius strategic sense This book is not merely his story, but a relevant account of the most tumultuous time in American history, coming from the man who played the most pivotal role in it, a man whose legacy has perhaps unjustly been tarnished by time As in almost every memoir, the early chapters of Grant s autobiography make for some of the most interesting reading The entire first chapter is dedicated to recounting Grant s ancestry, and it is interesting to note that he places great importance in how American his family is Most of the family descriptions pertain to his father s side of the family, as his mother s family did not keep records of ancestry True to his military background, his book covers little than his military years, with the narrative ending shortly after the surrender of General Lee s army Also interesting to note is that Grant never wanted to attend the academy at West Point, as he deemed the academics too demanding and he could not bear the idea of failing Grant opposed the Mexican War, only partaking in it because of his duty as a recent West Point graduate he regarded it among the most unjust ever waged by a stronger nation against a weaker one Moreover, he maintains that the American Civil War was an outgrowth of the Mexican War, specifically the annexation of southern states and the spread of slavery that this action represented He goes as far as to deem the Mexican war a transgression in the part of the United States, and calling the Civil War fair punishment that the United States deserved One of the interesting aspects of the book is Grant s ability to write about the War s most important men in such a personal way It is good that he is seemingly very objective, and that for every fault he finds in a rival he can also find virtue As might be expected, he has many words for both Lincoln and Sherman, and his glowing review of Sherman s virtues on and off the battlefield has made me want to pick up Sherman s memoirs as well Even though his words for Lincoln and Sherman are interesting and illuminating after all, readers do not often get primary sources as relevant as those that Grant offers , it is his words for the war s lesser known, but perhaps equally important, military men that makes this book stand out Grant s sketches of his comrades are concise and they offer insight into the men s personality than perhaps many full length autobiographies could Of President Taylor, a General at the time, he says No soldier could face either danger or responsibility calmly than he These are qualities rarely found than genius or physical courage And on his mentor from West Point, General C.F Smith, he said His death was a severe loss to our western army His personal courage was unquestioned, his judgment and professional acquirements were unsurpassed, and he had the confidence of those he commanded as well as those over him In my opinion, it is moments in the book like these where Grant s beautifully spare writing makes the men, whom we previously only knew from battle plans and history textbooks, take life and become real to the reader that makes this book, in my opinion, far and away the best autobiography I have ever read Although primarily a beautiful narrative of a man s rise from obscurity into military heroism, Grant s Memoirs is arguably the most essential book for someone who is seeking to be a student of the Civil War His insight, coupled with his towering intellect, strategic sense and spare, concise writing make this book an unparalleled read The book s relevance, however, does not come from its aesthetic qualities It comes from having been written by the most celebrated, respected American of his generation, a true military genius who was there when the events depicted happened, and he tells us what he saw exactly how he saw it Sometimes genius can t be explained, and sometimes the reader doesn t understand some of the nuances of the battles, but we are not expected to do so Grant is the genius the reader is merely along for the ride Grant was picked by Lincoln as his General because he was a fighter He was not prone to heroics, but neither was he prone to cowardice He confined himself to saying as little as possible in front of his men, and he was known for not speaking unless he had something to say In his Memoirs, he found his voice and a story worth telling, and he told it the only way he knew how in a concise, precise manner that left nothing out yet did not embellish, a Magnus Opus of the military genre that takes us on a tour de force through his life and to the farthest corners of his mind.


  5. says:

    Perhaps the best memoir I ve read The writing is clean, graceful, blunt, and lucid While reading it, I kept thinking that the North may have won the war because Grant was such a good writer What I mean is that the clarity of his prose shines through so brightly, and it does the same even in his orders during the war Of course, it is not enough for orders to be clear, they must also be effective But if the orders are sloppy, it doesn t much matter what was intended in the first place I wish I had come across this book thirty years ago, so that I could have studied it as an example of simple, concise and powerful writing.At the same time, this is one of the least personal of memoirs that I have read The material covered is basically Grant the soldier and general There is a short preamble about his family and roots, and a passing nod to his wife Otherwise, this book covers his time at West Point, in the Mexican War, and then in the Civil War Thankfully, for me at least, those are all good enough subjects From its contents, the main thing I took away from this book is how little a general thinks about fighting itself Instead, thoughts go towards troop disposition, morale, and above all, supplies The details of fighting, I m led to believe, rests with the lower commanders As a result, the commanding generals almost necessarily think of their units as pieces, and to a certain extent stop thinking of them as men I think this habit of thinking simply goes with the territory, and I also think it probably makes possible the incredibly horrible decisions that the generals must make.Grant struck me as being considerably humble than I would have thought possible in a general His praise for Sherman seems unbounded, and Sheridan gets only slightly less effusive treatment For the most part, he does not brag about his own accomplishments Rather, he is quick to give credit to his underlings, but always in a way that seems fair and well considered.The one person to whom Grant seems incapable of being generous is Lee For years, I m sure Grant lived at least partly aware of the conventional wisdom that Lee was the unparalleled genius, while Grant was a drunken butcher who had the advantage of far superior numbers He debunks the numbers At several points, he notes how Lee must have been deceived He rarely gives Lee credit for any fine military move And there is one anecdote that seems to make Lee seem like an unfeeling bastard After a particularly bloody fight, the no man s land was filled with wounded from both sides, and the camps could hear their pitiful screaming and moaning Grant wrote Lee proposing a temporary truce to allow both sides to collect their wounded and dead Lee haggled over the terms of the truce for a few days In the meantime, the wounded basically all bled out, and by the time they had arrived at terms, both sides could only go out to collect their dead He didn t say it, but this anecdote clearly raises the question Who was the heartless butcher The book is packed with very detailed descriptions of campaigns and troop movements For me, there were too many I m sure these are invaluable to students of history And I completely understand why they are there But for my purposes, the detail was a bit excessive and this is my failing, not the book s My Library of America edition also has perhaps the most useless maps They might just as well have put a map of the U.S at every one of these pages, and it would have been just as much help I highly recommend this book if you have any interest in the Civil War, or American History, or even if you just want to see the difference between the clarity of thinking at that time and what passes for thought among politicians today.


  6. says:

    With all the rightful excitement surrounding Chernow s new biography of US Grant many of you on here have marked it as reading or to read I just want to give a thumbs up to the Library of America edition of Grant s memoirs and letters I first came to this book because Ta Nahesi Coates couldn t stop raving about it on Twitter going so far as to change his Twitter profile pic to one of Grant for a while While much of what is in here will be covered in the Chernow book, it was my exposure to Grant s prose style that really stuck with me there is a simplicity, directness, and moral courage esp w r t slavery in this book that really shines through I ve never been much of a military history reader but this book made things like supply lines, foraging, and provisions seem not only interesting but showed how vital they are to success on a battlefield Anyway, the LOA volume is probably a steep first step if you re just casually interested in this topic, but much of it is online in the public domain, and I really can t recommend it highly enough, even if just as a skim to accompany the new biography.


  7. says:

    Some people are war history buffs I have never been one of them That said, this book was completely fascinating from start to finish Grant could write I mean really write People are not exaggerating when they say this is one of the best autobiographies ever written My only wish was that there was even perhaps a third volume to cover his term in the presidency.My favorite quote, if only because it is so keenly true Experience proves that the man who obstructs a war in which his nation is engaged, no matter whether right or wrong, occupied no enviable place in life or history Volume 1, page 68


  8. says:

    Ulysses S Grant is perhaps the most misunderstood and under rated President in US history He was a courageous and determined military leader, a firm believer in civil rights and Reconstruction, and a humble and loving family man He wrote Memoirs while he was dying of cancer finishing the book three days before his death With his elegant prose, he tells the story of his life his struggles with poverty and failure, his rise to Lieutenant General in the US Army a rank held previously only by George Washington , and his two terms as President of the United States This is not a book written by a ghost writer or dictated and heavily edited it is a book written with pen and paper by a man racing against death so that he could provide for his soon to be widow and his children I have read Memoirs twice and each time I am astounded by the moving prose and the courage of this simple man.


  9. says:

    One of the best books I have ever read, by one of the most important figures of the United States s second century and a man of deep integrity, humanity, and perception Wonderfully written, a joy to read, and a privilege to have come to know a little bit about Grant through his writings.


  10. says:

    For some reason, I had this unexplainable Ulysses S Grant craving I think that part of it came from teaching American history, and when I reached the Reconstruction in my mind, thinking it would be the most boooooring section I mean, come on, who can top the drama of a CIVIL WAR I found that the scant sections on his participation as President fascinating Then I heard from someone else, possibly NPR, mention that his memoirs were probably the only Presidential memoirs worth reading Well, when I got my Kindle and found that they were free what else could I do The big surprise His memoirs don t even address his presidential years AT ALL It is simply Grant from kid to Grant as the eventual victor of the Civil War and then, that s it Truth be told, even as a teacher of history I have neglected to be a passionate aficionado of Civil War history I ve avoided it I think it was so broad in scope and so trammeled by other historians that I simply didn t have the ambition to step into a serious study of it And so, now I m reading a two volume book that pretty much details every event from this war I had so carefully avoided for so long not what I had planned.And yet this is by far the best way for any aspiring Civil War historian to get started on the Civil War Instead of trying to swallow the monster events, people, and places that all encapsulate a nationwide war, you get the war from the point of view of one, single soldier And, conveniently enough, this soldier participates in many of the most significant portions of the war, particularly towards the end Ulysses, also, turns out to be a relatively humble guy well, no general can be truly considered humble and of course most autobiographies are tainted by the reputation someone would hope to have, but still Ulysses is no eloquent author, yet he is still one that you trust His assessments are simple, meticulously justified, and whether you agree with them or not they at least make sense Besides that, Grant really knew how to put you in the moment When he finally corners Lee and is able to extract a surrender, and then weeks later someone else hunts down Jefferson Davis, I felt as if I had been experiencing these things in the moment I took a huge sigh of relief I had to stop reading temporarily and swallow in the news The fact that these events coincided with the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden only did to increase my sense of understanding for the emotional impact of the events of that time Not that Lee or Davis were equals to Bin Laden, but the idea of a long, fought era of history being drawn to a close would be difficult to not compare Now that I m done, my only regret is that I didn t get to read about what followed I wanted to hear about Grant s presidency from Grant himself, but if I must, I suppose that I can look to others to fill in that remaining craving.


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