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27 Apr 2019

Commemorate Ulysses Grant’s Birthday by Giving a Grant to Save Battlefields

Commemorate Ulysses Grant’s Birthday by Giving a Grant to Save Battlefields

When Hiram Ulysses Grant was born on April 27th, 1822, in Point Pleasant, Ohio, it's probably safe to assume his parents never dreamed their baby boy would one day be immortalized on the $50 bill. Yet a combination of Grant's personal traits and the mysterious hand of fate would carry this tanner's son all the way to the White House and even as far as this email I'm writing you today.

There's just one problem with legends like Grant: it can be far too easy for other people's stories or opinions to distort how we see them these opinions and stories can eclipse the true person altogether. That's why to commemorate Grant's birthday, I bring you some of his own words, which can tell us as much about his character and worldview as any historian's analysis.

He never gave up.

"Everyone has his superstitions. One of mine has always been when I started to go anywhere, or to do anything, never to turn back or to stop until the thing intended was accomplished." (Unknown)

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

He believed in divine justice.

"Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions." (Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant, 1885)

He advocated following the rules but not thoughtlessly.

"I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution." (First Inaugural Address, 1869)

"I don't underrate the value of military knowledge, but if men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail." (As quoted in A History of Militarism: Romance and Realities of a Profession by Alfred Vagts, 1937)

He placed a high value on humility and hard work.

"It is men who wait to be selected, and not those who seek, from whom we may always expect the most efficient service." (Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant, 1885)

"Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor." (Speech at Midland International Arbitration Union, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 1877)

"I leave comparisons to history, claiming only that I have acted in every instance from a conscientious desire to do what was right, constitutional, within the law, and for the very best interests of the whole people. Failures have been errors of judgment, not of intent." (Eighth State of the Union Address, 1876)

My friend, will you commemorate Grant's birthday today by committing to save the battlefields where he forged his hard-won path to Appomattox Court House? Remember, if you give a Grant ($50 or more) to save hallowed ground this month, we'll send you an American Battlefield Trust Founding Member hat in addition to our standard membership benefits.

Please help do justice to the many Americans generals, soldiers and civilians alike whose courage and resolve helped make our nation what it is today. Visit our website to join the movement to preserve precious American history for future generations.

Time is running out to get a Trust membership plus our Founding Member hat in exchange for just one Grant. Show your dedication to saving hallowed ground today by joining the Trust or renewing your membership with a donation of $50 or more.

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American Battlefield Trust

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