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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Ulysses S. Grant

  • [Born in Ohio, April 27, 1822; graduated from West Point, 1843; served in the Mexican War; entered the War of the Rebellion as colonel of volunteers; took Forts Henry and Donelson, 1862; captured Vicksburg, July 4, 1863; made major-general and lieutenant-general in the regular army, and commander of all the forces of the United States, March, 1864; captured Petersburg, April 2, 1865, and received Lee’s surrender, April 9; secretary of war ad interim, 1867; President of the United States, 1869–77; after his retirement made a tour of the world; died July 23, 1885.]
  • I propose to move immediately upon your works.

  • Having been appointed to the command of South-east Missouri, and all that part of Kentucky west of the Cumberland River, Gen. Grant ascended the Tennessee River with the aid of gun-boats, and took Fort Henry, Feb. 6, 1862; he then attacked Fort Donelson, by which the navigation of the Cumberland was obstructed. On the 16th Gen. Buckner made overtures, in reply to which Grant wrote: “No terms other than unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works.” The fort was accordingly surrendered to him with more than fifteen thousand prisoners.
  • The next of the pithy sayings of the general was uttered on the 11th of May, 1864. While fighting and manœuvring before Richmond, he concluded a despatch to the Secretary of War with a sentence which was at once taken up, and made the motto of the campaign: “I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.”
  • Let us have peace!

  • Neither accepting the policy of President Johnson, nor desiring unharmonious action between the reunited sections of the country, Grant closed his letter accepting the nomination to the presidency, May 29, 1868, with an exclamation which became at once a watchword, “Let us have peace!”
  • In his first inaugural address, March 4, 1869, referring to the attempt of his predecessor to carry out a policy in opposition to the views of the dominant party, President Grant announced as his view of the relations which should exist between the executive and legislative branches of the government: “I shall on all subjects have a policy to recommend, but none to enforce against the will of the people.”
  • Let no guilty man escape.

  • To correct an impression that the President and Secretary of the Treasury were not in full accord in the efforts made by the latter to bring to justice all who were engaged in the violation of the internal-revenue laws in relation to the tax on distilled spirits (in other words, the Western “Whiskey Ring”), President Grant made the following autographic indorsement of a letter relating to the prosecution, July 29, 1875: “Let no guilty man escape, if it can be avoided. No personal consideration should stand in the way of performing a public duty.”