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Ulysses S. Grant Quotes

This collection of Ulysses S. Grant quotes contains the General's thoughts on everything from the "art of war" to swearing at mules. Many of these quotes are short and to the point, which is consistent with the direct and determined nature of his command.

Please enjoy this collection of Ulysses S. Grant quotes...

Ulysses S. Grant
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"The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on."

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"No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works."

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"I rise only to say that I do not intend to say anything. I thank you for your hearty welcomes and good cheers."

(Grant's "perfect speech," which he used on more than one occasion.)

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"As the United States is the freest of all nations, so, too, its people sympathize with all people struggling for liberty and self-government; but while so sympathizing it is due to our honor that we should abstain from enforcing our views upon unwilling nations and from taking an interested part, without invitation, in the quarrels between different nations or between governments and their subjects. Our course should always be in conformity with strict justice and law, international and local."

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"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."

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"Wherever the enemy goes let our troops go also."

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"Laws are to govern all alike — those opposed as well as those who favor them. I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution."

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"Let us have peace."

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"Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately you occasionally find men disgrace labor."

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"I never wanted to get out of a place as much as I did to get out of the presidency."

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"Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace."

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"I know only two tunes: one of them is 'Yankee Doodle', and the other one isn't."

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"The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times."

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"The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of the oppression, if they are strong enough, either by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable. But any people or part of a people who resort to this remedy, stake their lives, their property, and every claim for protection given by citizenship — on the issue. Victory, or the conditions imposed by the conqueror — must be the result."

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"This war was a fearful lesson, and should teach us the necessity of avoiding wars in the future."

McLean House, Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia
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"The war is over — the rebels are our countrymen again."

(After stopping his men from cheering Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.)

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"I had known General Lee in the old army, and had served with him in the Mexican War; but did not suppose, owing to the difference in our age and rank, that he would remember me, while I would more naturally remember him distinctly, because he was the chief of staff of General Scott in the Mexican War.

... When I went into the house (McLean House, pictured above) I found General Lee. We greeted each other, and after shaking hands took our seats. I had my staff with me, a good portion of whom were in the room during the whole of the interview.

What General Lee's feelings were I do not know. As he was a man of much dignity, with an impassible face, it was impossible to say whether he felt inwardly glad that the end had finally come, or felt sad over the result, and was too manly to show it. Whatever his feelings, they were entirely concealed from my observation; but my own feelings, which had been quite jubilant on the receipt of his letter, were sad and depressed. I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly..."

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"There is no great sport in having bullets flying about one in every direction, but I find they have less horror when among them than when in anticipation."

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"Ah, you know my weaknesses--my children and my horses."

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"I am not aware of ever having used a profane expletive in life; but I would have the charity to excuse those who may have done so, if they were in charge of a train of Mexican pack mules."

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