Ulysses S. Grant, fully Ulysses Simpson Grant, born Hiram Ulysses Grant

Ulysses S.
Grant, fully Ulysses Simpson Grant, born Hiram Ulysses Grant

American General, 18th President of the United States

Author Quotes

I believe that our Great Maker is preparing the world in His own good time to become one nation, speaking one language, when armies and navies will no longer be required.

I never held a council of war in my life. I heard what men had to say--the stream of talk at headquarters,--but I made up my own mind, and from my written orders my staff got their first knowledge of what was to be done. No living man knew of plans until they matured and decided.--In a conversation.

If you see the President, tell him from me that whatever happens there will be no turning back.

No other terms than unconditional and immediate surrender. I propose to move immediately upon your works.

The Jews, as a class, violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department, and also Department orders, are hereby expelled from the Department. Within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order by Post Commanders, they will see that all of this class of people are furnished with passes and required to leave, and any one returning after such notification, will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners unless furnished with permits from these Head Quarters. No permits will be given these people to visit Head Quarters for the purpose of making personal application for trade permits.

What General Lee's feelings were I do not know. As he was a man of much dignity, with an impassible face, it was impossible to say whether he felt inwardly glad that the end had finally come, or felt sad over the result, and was too manly to show it. Whatever his feelings, they were entirely concealed from my observation; but my own feelings, which had been quite jubilant on the receipt of his letter, were sad and depressed. I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse. I do not question, however, the sincerity of the great mass of those who were opposed to us.

I desire the good-will of all, whether hitherto my friends or not.

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

In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th inst., I propose to receive the surrender of the Army of N. Va. on the following terms, to wit: Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate. One copy to be given to an officer designated by me, the other to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate. The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the Government of the United States until properly exchanged, and each company or regimental commander sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The arms, artillery and public property to be parked and stacked, and turned over to the officer appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers, or their private horses or baggage. This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside.

No personal consideration should stand in the way of performing a public duty.

The line between the Rebel and Union element in Georgetown was so marked that it led to divisions even in the churches. There were churches in that part of Ohio where treason was preached regularly, and where, to secure membership, hostility to the government, to the war and to the liberation of the slaves, was far more essential than a belief in the authenticity or credibility of the Bible. There were men in Georgetown who filled all the requirements for membership in these churches.

Whatever there is of greatness in the United States, or indeed in any other country, is due to labor. The laborer is the author of all greatness and wealth. Without labor there would be no government, and no leading class, and nothing to preserve.

Ah, you know my weaknesses--my children and my horses.--to Horace Porter.

I did not ask for place or position, and was entirely without influence or the acquaintance of persons of influence, but was resolved to perform my part in a struggle threatening the very existence of the nation.

I never learned to swear ... I could never see the use of swearing ... I have always noticed ... that swearing helps to rouse a man's anger.

In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.

No term s except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works.

The military caste did not originate as a party of patriots, but as a party of bandits

When I had left camp that morning I had not expected so soon the result that was then taking place, and consequently was in rough garb. I was without a sword, as I usually was when on horseback on the field, and wore a soldier's blouse for a coat, with the shoulder straps of my rank to indicate to the army who I was. When I went into the house I found General Lee. We greeted each other, and after shaking hands took our seats. I had my staff with me, a good portion of whom were in the room during the whole of the interview.

Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any fondness for war, and I have never advocated it except as a means of peace.

I don't believe in strategy in the popular understanding of the term. I use it to get up just as close to the enemy as practicable, with as little loss of life as possible. Then, up guards, and at 'em.--In a conversation.

I never liked service in the army. I did not wish to go to West Point. My father had use his authority to make me go. I never went into a battle willingly or with enthusiasm. I never want to command another army. It was only after Donelson that I began to see how important was the work that Providence devolved upon me. I did not want to be made lieutenant-general. I did not want the presidency, and have never quite forgiven myself for resigning the command of the army to accept it.--In a conversation.

It has been my misfortune to be engaged in more battles than any other general on either side of the Atlantic; but there was never a time during my command when I would not have chosen some settlement by reason rather than the sword.

No theory of my own will ever stand in the way of my executing, in good faith, any order I may receive from those in authority over me.

The one thing I never want to see again is a military parade. When I resigned from the army and went to a farm I was happy. When the rebellion came, I returned to the service because it was a duty. I had no thought of rank; all I did was try and make myself useful.--In a conversation with the Duke of Cambridge.

Author Picture
First Name
Ulysses S.
Last Name
Grant, fully Ulysses Simpson Grant, born Hiram Ulysses Grant
Birth Date
Death Date

American General, 18th President of the United States