Praise of Grant
I kind of like U.S. Grant. He doesn’t worry and bother me. He isn’t shrieking for reinforcements all the time. He takes the troops we can safely give him…and does the best he can, and he doesn’t grumble and scold all the while.
Abraham Lincoln16th President of the United States
General Grant is a great general. I know him well. He stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk; and now, sir, we stand by each other always.
William Tecumseh ShermanUnion General
A man too broad for prejudice, too humane to despise the humblest, too great to be small at any point. In him the Negro found a protector, the Indian a friend, a vanquished foe a brother, an imperiled nation a savior.
His spare figure, simple manners, lack of all ostentation, extreme politeness, and charm of conversation were a revelation to me, for I had pictured him as a man of a directly opposite type of character, and expected to find in him only the bluntness of a soldier. Notwithstanding the fact that he talks so well, it is plain he has more brains than tongue. He is one of the most remarkable men I have ever met. He does not seem to be aware of his powers.
Alexander StephensConfederate Vice President
There is one West Pointer, I think in Missouri, little known, and whom I hope the northern people will not find out. I mean Sam Grant. I knew him well at the Academy and in Mexico. I should fear him more than any of their officers I have yet heard of. He is not a man of genius, but he is clear-headed, quick and daring.
Richard EwellConfederate General
Criticism of Grant
[Grant was] one of the most remarkable accidents of the war…a man without any marked ability, certainly without genius, without fortune, without influence.
Edward A. PollardHistorian and author of The Lost Cause: A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates (1866) and The Lost Cause Regained (1868)
[Grant] is not to the English imagination the hero of the American Civil War; the hero is Lee.
Matthew ArnoldBritish writer
[Complaining of Grant’s Reconstruction policy.] We have just witnessed the elections throughout several States of this “Free Republic,” some of which are called “loyal States” supintended by armed agents of the United States Government, backed by U.S. troops, for the purpose of perpetuating the power of the ruling faction, through the instrumentality of the ballot in the hands of an ignorant and inferior race.
Jubal EarlyConfederate General and “Lost Cause” advocate
In reviewing the history of this century it will be impossible to find a rule so barren of statesmanship…as Grant’s has been…It is uncharitable and of little profit to speculate upon the remnant of his life left to him. But we may well believe “his [remaining] days will be few and evil!”