Born into a family with little money he spent the early part of his childhood working the family farm and helping with his dad’s tannery business. He was a shy boy and awkward around people and often found his sanctuary around animals. It has even been said he had a special ability to relate to them.
Wanting more for their son his parents were somehow able to get him in the prestige’s academy of West Point. Considered an honor they had high hopes that this would help their reclusive young son.
Although he did not yet know it among those who attended West Point was a man who would change his life, this man was from a rich upbringing, and this man would graduate top of his class. Back to our guy, he did not finish in the top of his class, in fact he finished 21 out of a class of 39 and during his time at West Point he had received several demerits. Still he was assigned to the 4th infantry.
Life was not easy, but he slowly and steadily worked his way up the ranks. During one of his battles, the battle of Monterey, General Garland asked for a volunteer to carry a message to General Twiggs. The route required the messenger to run the gauntlet down the streets occupied by Mexican forces.
He accepted and rode into the streets where the Mexican forces were waiting to shower him with bullets. He rode on the side of his horse, with only one foot hooked on the saddle and one arm around the horse’s neck, dodging bullets and he successfully delivered the message. This would mark a high point for him and word of what he did spread like wild-fire.
Soon after he married and had a son. He was happy and life seemed filled with riches. But it did not last long. Soon after his child’s birth he moved away from his family. Not being with them drove him crazy and with no chance of being transferred back he dove deeper and deeper into depression. Nothing made him happy so he escaped his troubles through excessive drinking. Many people said he was nothing more than a used up a drunk.
But regardless on August 5th he became a captain to take the place of an officer who died.However he was miserable without his loved ones and wrote his resignation from the army. On June 2nd, the resignation was accepted. And it seemed his time honoring his country was over.
He spent the next several years with his family. Slavery was dividing the nation and bad crops made for unsteady pay. Times were so tough that he had to pawn his gold watch just to buy Christmas presents for his family. Some people suggested he should sell his slave to make money; instead he set the man free.
Finally in a desperate act he asked for help from his father after everyone else turned him down.. He worked with his father for only a short time before actively joining the army again.
The next several chapters of his life are interesting. He climbed up the ranks of the military yet again and won several battles. Although the President of the USA was found of him many of his peers still viewed him as a drunk. It seemed he would never out run his label.
As the battle over slavery raged the South was winning the war because of one man. General Lee. He was the man who graduated at the top of his class back at West Point and he had the reputation of being unstoppable.
Many officers from the North refused to enter a blood bath with him and battle after battle it appeared slavery and the confederate army would prevail, unless the North could find a man who could stop Lee.
That man was none other than Ulysses S Grant. Although he once was a drunk, lived most of his life poor and depressed, and battled internally with whom he was and what he was made of. This man, Ulysses S Grant took up the tall order of stopping the unstoppable and in a battle that would test every man’s faith to the core; he stopped Lee and in turn stopped slavery.
What would our world look like had Grant not returned to the army and battled for what he felt was right? It took him almost a life time to discover who he was, but once he did, he became unstoppable. He took down General Lee in one of the most amazing military feats in History.
We all battle with ourselves and have internal issues that keep us from our duties, but as long as we never surrender, we can always win!