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Ulysses S. Grant's Memoirs -- The Mexican War

Ulysses S. Grant's Memoirs
The Mexican War

 

The Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant (In Two Volumes, 1,231 pages, published by J. J. Little and Company, New York, 1885) include several chapters recounting his experiences during the Mexican War. This section of our web site presents Grant's own words written 115 years ago.

 

In his new introduction to a reprinting of Grant's memoirs, William S. McFeely [Capo Press, 1982] writes:

"Recently in England their appeared a lament that Grant is no longer remembered primarily for his patriotic valor as a soldier: 'It is, perhaps, a sign of our times that we should be asked to admire the greatest nineteenth-century American general for his authorship of a now unread book.' Without bothering to read the sign, it can be said, unequivocally, that this assessment of his writing is wrong; the book is read. Its readers, enemies of cant, include Gore Vidal, who, in one of his brilliant iconoclastic essays, wrote, 'it simply is not possible to read Grant's memoirs without realizing that the author is a man of first-rate intelligence.' The book is one of the most unflinching studies of war in our literature.

Grant gives the best account we have of the Mexican War, complete with telling observations on the politics of slavery and, more particularly, of expansionist aggression. His watchful eye does not fail him as he scans the social and natural landscape of Texas and Mexico. The Mexican War chapters are masterful . . . ."

Ulysses S. Grant in 1881
Ulysses S. Grant
During the Mexican War

Grant became a member of the Aztec Cub in Mexico City in 1847 and was active in affairs of the Club for the rest of his life. While serving as President of the United States, the Aztec Club dined at the White House. In 1881 Grant was among those who attended the Aztec Club's historic meeting in Philadelphia. He was elected Vice President of the Club, announcing his intention to become its President in 1885.

Ulysses S. Grant in 1881
Ulysses S. Grant
Vice President of the Aztec Club 1881-1885

Included in Grant's writings are numerous references to individual commanders and officers, most of whom, like Grant, were members of the Aztec Club of 1847. Their biographies can be accessed via links provided in the text, or by visiting the Original Members or Biographies Index sections of our site.

Grant began work on his memoirs in late summer of 1884 just as he learned he had cancer. He finished the task less than a year later. His last work on the proofs was done on July 14, 1885. He died on July 23.

 

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