grant-writing

The Dedication of Grant’s Memoirs

On April 27, 1822, military leader and U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio.

Years after his presidency, in 1884, the Grant family was reduced to poverty as the result of a failed business venture. That same year, President Grant was diagnosed with terminal throat cancer.

Racing against time and while in considerable pain, Grant wrote his personal memoirs in hopes that they would provide his family with some financial security after his death.  The two volumes were published by Grant’s friend and admirer Mark Twain the books enjoyed near overnight success. The books eventually earned the Grant family over $400,000.

Grant completed the text just days before his death on July 23, 1885. His memoir is widely considered to be the best military autobiography ever written.

The full text of both volumes can be searched and read by Accessible Archives users in The Civil War: The Generals’ Perspective.

From the Preface

In preparing these volumes for the public, I have entered upon the task with the sincere desire to avoid doing injustice to any one, whether on the National or Confederate side, other than the unavoidable injustice of not making mention often where special mention is due. There must be many errors of omission in this work, because the subject is too large to be treated of in two volumes in such way as to do justice to all the officers and men engaged. There were thousands of instances, during the rebellion, of individual, company, regimental and brigade deeds of heroism which deserve special mention and are not here alluded to. The troops engaged in them will have to look to the detailed reports of their individual commanders for the full history of those deeds.

The first volume opens with:

These volumes are dedicated to the American soldier and sailor. — U.S. Grant

Grant's Dedication

Grant’s Dedication

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