Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Very Much Dislike Speaking of Myself

This entry in an excerpt from  a letter from U. S. Grant wrote to his father, dated August 3, 1861  from Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to His Father and His Youngest Sister, 1857-78, by Ulysses S. Grant, Edited by Jesse Grant Cramer (As found at  I think this quote speaks to Grant's character; He reveals that he is more concerned with results than recognition.

I see from the papers that my name has been sent in for Brigadier General. This is certainly very complimentary to me, particularly as I have never asked a friend to intercede in my behalf. My only acquaintance with men of influence in the State was whilst on duty at Springfield, and I then saw so much pulling and hauling for favors that I determined never to ask for anything, and never have, not even a colonelcy. I wrote a letter to Washington tendering my services, but then declined Governor Yates' and Mr. Trumbull's endorsement.

My services with the regiment with which I now am have been highly satisfactory to me. I took it in a very disorganized, demoralized and insubordinate condition, and have worked it up to a reputation equal to the best, and, I believe, with the good will of all the officers and all the men. Hearing that I was likely to be promoted, the officers, with great unanimity, have requested to be attached to my command. This I don't want you to read to others for I very much dislike speaking of myself.. . .
U. S. Grant photograph by Mathew Brady from Library of Congress Collection

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