Tuesday, September 15, 2015

General Grant's Big Comeback...!

Most of what we know about some giant names of American history are centered on their accomplishments and successes, but seldom do we focus on the downsides of their lives.

We all have dark episodes in our lives and we forget that famous men have their share of tough times as well. After all, they are still men, right? No one is perfect and some of the more famous people in history had some major obstacles to overcome That's what made them great, what gave them their strength and backbone. Most became the heroes we know from history simply because they refused to give in or give up!

Ulysses S. Grant Becomes General

Photo via Wikimedia

Ulysses S. Grant was always a spectacular horseman. When he was young, his skill with horses was well-known, and he was the top horseman in his class at West Point. After he graduated, he naturally seemed the most likely candidate to enter the cavalry unit, but he was assigned instead to the infantry. During the Mexican War, Grant was cited for his bravery in battle and quickly rose through the ranks, marrying his wife, Julia, and starting a family. His life seemed secure, until he was assigned to the Northwest Territory, and he was forced to leave his family behind.

Grant was very unhappy serving in Oregon and California, so he began to drink heavily to cope with the loneliness. He started to encounter financial problems, which further fueled his self-loathing. Feeling too depressed to go on with his career, Grant resigned from the Army in 1854. Grant and his wife tried (with little success) to run a farm that her father had given them. Grant was given one slave but decided to free him instead. He worked hard, but his refusal to use slave labor caused further failure. He tried to find work and resorted to pawning his watch to buy presents for his family on Christmas.

When the Civil War broke out in 1860, Grant got a job training volunteers. Though he was seen by many as a drunk, he was eventually reabsorbed into the Army because they needed trained officers. Grant became a brigadier general. His military genius stood out above all others, and by 1864, he was appointed by Lincoln as general of the Union Army.

In 1865, General Lee of the Confederacy surrendered at Appomattox, ending the war. In 1866, Grant was made general of the armies, a rank attained only by George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Grant was popular with the public, and in 1868, he was elected president of the United States.

One thing that this article from Listverse shows us is that even famous, well known men often have the same kind of rough roads to travel as the rest of us. Sort of makes us all feel just a little closer, don't you think?

Better have coffee in the kitchen this morning. Rain is expected on the patio.


Sixbears said...

Usually it's the struggles along that way that stiffens the spine.

Enjoying a quiet coffee before the rest of the house gets up and moving.

linda m said...

Sometimes adversity makes us a stronger and better person. Enjoying my coffee and watching the sun come up.

JO said...

Did he ever give up the drink? I guess it doesn't matter we have had worse in the White House.

Cloudy here but cool. Skeeters drive me back inside these days.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sixbears...
The quiet time is often the best. Good time for reflection.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Linda...
I do believe you are right about that.
Thanks for comingt by today!

Hey Jo...
As far as I know, he never gave it up completely.
Thanks, sweetie, for dropping in this morning!

Dizzy-Dick said...

All our presidents have been human and as such, we have had some good ones and some bad ones and some lukewarm ones, none have been perfect. In my time, I would say Reagan was the best one.

Judy said...

Another general with drinking problems was Andrew Jackson. From what I've read, if his mind wasn't actively engaged in problem solving he was drunk.

Some of our greatest leaders would have never made it in today's political climate do to the invasion of privacy that goes on.

Still hot here in Phoenix so I'll take my coffee iced; if that is okay with you. By the way, I made Molasses Sugar Cookies yesterday. I'll bring a plate full to share.