Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S.Grant

Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S.Grant

Paperback Penguin Classics

By (author) Ulysses S. Grant, Introduction by James M. McPherson, Notes by James M. McPherson

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  • Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • Format: Paperback | 704 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 32mm | 440g
  • Publication date: 24 June 1999
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0140437010
  • ISBN 13: 9780140437010
  • Illustrations note: 48 pp b&w illustrations & maps
  • Sales rank: 125,415

Product description

Faced with cancer and financial ruin, the Civil War's greatest general and former president, Ulysses S. Grant wrote his personal memoirs to secure his family's future. In doing so, he won himself a unique place in American letters. Acclaimed by writers as diverse as Mark Twain and Gertrude Stein, Grant's memoirs demonstrate the intelligence, intense determination, and laconic modesty that made him the Union's foremost commander. "Personal Memoirs" is devoted almost entirely to his life as a soldier. For their directness and clarity, his writings on war are without rival in American Literature.

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Author information

Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), the eighteenth president of the United States, graduated from West Point, fought in the Mexican War, and led the Union army to victory in the Civil War. James M. McPherson, George Henry David Professor of History at Princeton University, is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM.

Review quote

"The best [memoirs] of any general's since Caesar." --Mark Twain "A unique expression of the national character....[Grant] has conveyed the suspense which was felt by himself and his army and by all who believed in the Union cause. The reader finds himself...on edge toknow how the Civil War is coming out." --Edmund Wilson

Editorial reviews

It is said the Ulysses S Grant was a failure in everything except marriage and war. This isn't quite true; he must also be accounted a considerable success as a writer, even though this success came so late in his life. As he was dying of throat cancer he faced the prospect of leaving his family destitute because of unwise investments (he always failed at business). He wrote his memoirs at the behest of a publisher, finishing them only days before he died, and the success ensured his family's future. And rightly so, for these memoirs are among the finest works of literature to have emerged from the American Civil war. Beautifully written, with lucid, clear prose that instantly brings great events to life, Grant tells a stirring story that takes us from his childhood to his experiences in the Mexican War, then garrison duty in California shortly before the gold rush, resignation from the army to pursue a variety of doomed busineess ventures (though unfailingly honest himself, he was never able to recognize graft or duplicity in others), and then the war. His account of his wartime experiences is reportage of a very high order, and because Grant was present at (and indeed largely responsible for) many of the most important Union victories of the war from Forts Henry and Donaldson to Shiloch, Vicksburg, Chattanooga and on to the surrender a Appomattox, we are treated to an intimate glimpse of turning points in the conflict. The memoirs end with the grand parade at the finale of the war; they don't take us on to Grant's unhappy time as president, though perhaps that is just as well. With an introduction by James M McPherson, one of the finest of contemporary Civil War historians, this is a book that deserves to be read by anyone with an interest in the people who make history. (Kirkus UK)

Back cover copy

Faced with failing health and financial ruin, the Civil War's greatest general and former president wrote his personal memoirs to secure his family's future - and won himself a unique place in American letters. Devoted almost entirely to his life as a soldier, Grant's Memoirs traces the trajectory of his extraordinary career - from West Point cadet to general-in-chief of all Union armies. For their directness and clarity, his writings on war are without rival in American literature, and his autobiography deserves a place among the very best in the genre.

Table of contents

Introduction by James M. McPherson Suggestions for Further Reading Maps and Illustrations Preface 1. Ancestry—Birth—Boyhood 2. West Point—Graduation 3. Army Life—Causes of the Mexican War—Camp Salubrity 4. Corpus Christi—Mexican Smuggling—Spanish Rule in Mexico—Supplying Transportation 5. Trip to Austin—Promotion to Full Second Lieutenant—Army of Occupation 6. Advance of the Army—Crossing the Colorado—The Rio Grande 7. The Mexican War—The Battle of Palo Alto—The Battle of Resaca de la Palma—Army of Invasion—General Taylor—Movement on Camargo 8. Advance on Monterey—The Black Fort—The Battle of Monterey—Surrender of the City 9. Political Intrigue—Buena Vista—Movement against Vera Cruz—Siege and Capture of Vera Cruz 10. March to Jalapa—Battle of Cerro Gordo—Perote—Puebla—Scott and Taylor 11. Advance on the City of Mexico—Battle of Contreras—Assault at Churubusco—Negotiations for Peace—Battle of Molino del Rey—Storming of Chapultepec—San Cosme—Evacuation of the City—Halls of the Montezumas 12. Promotion to First Lieutenant—Capture of the City of Mexico—The Army—Mexican Soldiers—Peace Negotiations 13. Treaty of Peace—Mexican Bull Fights—Regimental Quartermaster—Trip to Popcatapetl—Trip to the Caves of Mexico 14. Return of the Army—Marriage—Ordered to the Pacific Coast—Crossing the Isthmus—Arrival at San Francisco 15. San Francisco—Early California Experiences—Life on the Pacific Coast—Promoted Captain—Flush Times in California 16. Resignation—Private Life—Life at Galena—The Coming Crisis 17. Outbreak of the Rebellion—Presiding at a Union Meeting—Mustering Officer of State Troops—Lyon at Camp Jackson—Services Tendered to the Government 18. Appointed Colonel of the 21st Illinois—Personnel of the Regiment—General Logan—March to Missouri—Movement against Harris at Florida, MO—General Pope in Command—Stationed at Mexico, MO 19. Commissioned Brigadier-General—Command at Ironton, MO—Jefferson City—Cape Girardeau—General Prentiss—Seizure of Paducah—Headquarters at Cairo 20. General Fremont in Command—Movement against Belmont—Battle of Belmont—A Narrow Escape—After the Battle 21. General Halleck in Command—Commanding the District of Cairo—Movement on Fort Henry—Capture of Fort Henry 22. Investment of Fort Donelson—The Naval Operations—Attack of the Enemy—Assaulting the Works—Surrender of the Fort 23. Promoted Major-General of Volunteers—Unoccupied Territory—Advance upon Nashville—Situation of the Troops—Confederate Retreat—Relieved of the Command—Restored to the Command—General Smith 24. The Army at Pittsburg Landing—Injured by a Fall—The Confederate Attack at Shiloh—The First Day's Fight at Shiloh—General Sherman—Condition of the Army—Close of the First Day's Fight—The Second Day's Fight—Retreat and Defeat of the Confederates 25. Struck by a Bullet—Precipitate Retreat of the Confederates—Intrenchments at Shiloh—General Buell—General Johnston—Remarks on Shiloh 26. Halleck Assumes Command in the Field—The Advance upon Corinth—Occupation of Corinth—The Army Separated 27. Headquarters Moved to Memphis—On the Road to Memphis—Escaping Jackson—Complaints and Requests—Halleck Appointed Commander-in-Chief—Return to Corinth—Movements of Bragg—Surrender of Clarksville—The Advance Upon Chattanooga—Sheridan Colonel of a Michigan Regiment 28. Advance of Van Dorn and Price—Price Enters Iuka—Battle of Iuka 30. The Campaign against Vicksburg—Employing the Freedmen—Occupation of Holly Springs—Sherman Ordered to Memphis—Sherman's Movements down the Mississippi—Van Dorn Captures Holly Springs—Collecting Forage and Food 31. Headquarters Moved to Holly Springs—General McClernand in Command—Assuming Command at Young's Point—Operations above Vicksburg—Fortifications about Vicksburg—The Canal—Lake Providence—Operations at Yazoo Pass 32. The Bayous West of the Mississippi—Criticisms of the Northern Press—Running the Batteries—Loss of the Indianola—Disposition of the Troops 33. Attack on Grand Gulf—Operations below Vicksburg 34. Capture of Port Gibson—Grierson's Raid—Occupation of Grand Gulf—Movement up the Big Black—Battle of Raymond 35. Movement against Jackson—Fall of Jackson—Intercepting the Enemy—Battle of Champion's Hill 36. Battle of Black River Bridge—Crossing the Big Black—Investment of Vicksburg—Assaulting the Works 37. Siege of Vicksburg 38. Johnston's Movements—Fortifications at Haines' Bluff—Explosion of the Mine—Explosion of the Second Mine—Preparing for the Assault—The Flag of Truce—Meeting with Pemberton—Negotiations for Surrender—Accepting the Terms—Surrender of Vicksburg 39. Retrospect of the Campaign—Sherman's Movements—Proposed Movement upon Mobile—A Painful Accident—Ordered to Report at Cairo 40. First Meeting with Secretary Stanton—General Rosecrans—Commanding Military Division of Mississippi—Andrew Johnson's Address—Arrival at Chattanooga 41. Assuming the Command at Chattanooga—Opening a Line of Supplies—Battle of Wauhatchie—On the Picket Line 42. Condition of the Army—Rebuilding the Railroad—General Burnside's Situation—Orders for Battle—Plans for the Attack—Hooker's Position—Sherman's Movements 43. Preparations for Battle—Thomas Carries the First Line of the Enemy—Sherman Carries Missionary Ridge—Battle of Lookout Mountain—General Hooker's Fight 44. Battle of Chattanooga—A Gallant Charge—Complete Rout of the Enemy—Pursuit of the Confederates—General Bragg—Remarks on Chattanooga 45. The Relief of Knoxville—Headquarters Moved to Nashville—Visiting Knoxville—Cipher Dispatches—Withholding Orders 46. Operations in Mississippi—Longstreet in East Tennessee—Commissioned Lieutenant-General—Commanding the Armies of the United States—First Interview with President Lincoln 47. The Military Situation—Plans for the Campaign—Sheridan Assigned to Command of the Cavalry—Flank Movements—Forrest at Fort Pillow—General Banks's Expedition—Colonel Mosby—An Incident of the Wilderness Campaign 48. Commencement of the Grand Campaign—General Butler's Position—Sheridan's First Raid 49. Sherman's Campaign in Georgia—Siege of Atlanta—Death of General McPherson—Attempt to Capture Andersonville—Capture of Atlanta 50. Grand Movement of the Army of the Potomac—Crossing the Rapidan—Entering the Wilderness—Battle of the Wilderness 51. After the Battle—Telegraph and Signal Service—Movement by the Left Flank 52. Battle of Spottsylvania—Hancock's Position—Assault of Warren's and Wright's Crops—Upton Promoted on the Field—Good News from Butler and Sheridan 53. Hancock's Assault—Losses of the Confederates—Promotions Recommended—Discomfiture of the Enemy—Ewell's Attack—Reducing the Artillery 54. Movement by the Left Flank—Battle of North Anna—An Incident of the March—Moving on Richmond—South of the Pamunkey—Position of the National Army 55. Advance on Cold Harbor—An Anecdote of the War—Battle of Cold Harbor—Correspondence with Lee—Retrospective 56. Left Flank Movement across the Chickahominy and James—General Lee—Visit to Butler—The Movement on Petersburg—The Investment of Petersburg 57. Raid on the Virginia Central Railroad—Raid on the Weldon Railroad—Early's Movement upon Washington—Mining the Works before Petersburg—Explosion of the Mine before Petersburg—Campaign in the Shenandoah Valley—Capture of the Weldon Railroad 58. Sheridan's Advance—Visit to Sheridan—Sheridan's Victory in the Shenandoah—Sheridan's Ride to Winchester—Close of the Campaign for the Winter 59. The Campaign in Georgia—Sherman's March to the Sea—War Anecdotes—The March on Savannah—Investment of Savannah—Capture of Savannah 60. The Battle of Franklin—The Battle of Nashville 61. Expedition against Fort Fisher—Attack on the Fort—Failure of the Expedition—Second Expedition against the Fort—Capture of Fort Fisher 62. Sherman's March North—Sheridan Ordered to Lynchburg—Canby Ordered to Move against Mobile—Movements of Schofield and Thomas—Capture of Columbia, South Carolina—Sherman in the Carolinas 63. Arrival of the Peace Commissioners—Lincoln and the Peace Commissioners—An Anecdote of Lincoln—The Winter before Petersburg—Sheridan Destroys the Railroad—Gordon Carries the Picket Line—Parke Recaptures the Line—The Battle of White Oak Road 64. Interview with Sheridan—Grand Movement of the Army of the Potomac—Sheridan's Advance on Five Forks—Battle of Five Forks—Parke and Wright Storm the Enemy's Line—Battles before Petersburg 65. The Capture of Petersburg—Meeting President Lincoln in Petersburg—The Capture of Richmond—Pursuing the Enemy—Visit to Sheridan and Meade 66. Battle of Sailor's Creek—Engagement at Farmville—Correspondence with General Lee—Sheridan Intercepts the Enemy 67. Negotiations at Appomattox—Interview with Lee at McLean's House—The Terms of Surrender—Lee's Surrender—Interview with Lee after the Surrender 68. Morale of the Two Armies—Relative Conditions of the North and South—President Lincoln Visits Richmond—Arrival at Washington—President Lincoln's Assassination—President Johnson's Policy 69. Sherman and Johnston—Johnston's Surrender to Sherman—Capture of Mobile—Wilson's Expedition—Capture of Jefferson Davis—General Thomas's Qualities—Estimate of General Canby 70. The End of the War—The March to Washington—One of Lincoln's Anecdotes—Grand Review at Washington—Characteristics of Lincoln and Stanton—Estimate of the Different Corps Commanders Conclusion Explanatory Notes Index