Ulysses S. Grant
To the men of his time, Grant was the
most celebrated, famous and respected
American of his generation. Civil War
veterans cheered him wherever he went.
He was called "the savior of the Union."
His legacy, however, changed, making
him one of "the most misunderstood figures
of American history... Grant's character
has been reduced to a cardboard caricature,
which contains the brief description
of 'slovenly drunkard' and an indolent,
ill-kept President." (Ulysses S. Grant
personality was not typical of a great
general. He was a very modest man. Many
thought of him as rough and crude, with
a macho edge and hard personality. Those
who knew him well, however, often described
him as a man with a gentle and forgiving
disposition. He was said to be shy and
was a highly moral man who was better
read and educated than most of his countrymen.
While he preferred to discuss horses,
he was knowledgeable in several areas.
He could easily talk about military
matters, farming, topography, and history.
Grant's silence was mistaken for stupidity.
Soldiers who served with him noted that
he only spoke when he had something
to say. He did not speak simply to fill
the silence. What he knew, he really
knew especially where military
matters were concerned. His military
communications were precise and clear.
No one ever had to re-read them to understand
more about U.S. Grant:
Before the Presidency
The Hero of the
Grant: A Misunderstood Leader
A Loving Family
Life After the
Did You Know?