Little Known Facts about General Ulysses S. Grant
- Although General Grant was reported to be a small man, in actuality he was five feet, eight inches tall. This was above average for the mid-nineteenth century man who was about five feet, seven inches. General Grant did not start life as a small baby, however, weighing ten and three quarters pounds at birth.
- At nine years of age young Ulysses was so adept at breaking horses to pace that many farmers in the region came to him for assistance in training their animals. His intense love for horses continued throughout his life. He set a high jump record at West Point that lasted for more than twenty-five years.
- Grant was very thin during the war, weighing only one hundred and thirty-five pounds. He was a very sparse eater. He abhorred red meat of any kind, and the sight of blood made him ill. Consequently, he insisted on his meat being cooked on the verge of being charred. He would not eat any kind of fowl, but was fond of pork and beans, fruit, and buckwheat cakes.
- In the heat of battle, when his staff officers were full of anxiety, Grant calmly smoked his cigar and never lost his composure. His nerves of steel were a wonder to all around him. He could write dispatches while shells burst around him and never flinch.
- On the day Lincoln was assassinated, Grant’s wife Julia was stalked by John Wilkes Booth. If the general had accepted the invitation to go to Ford’s Theater with the presidential party, there may have been a double tragedy. They went instead to Burlington, New Jersey, to see their children.
Sources -Campaigning with Grant, by Horace Porter.
The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant.
The Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant.
Captain Sam Grant, by Lloyd Lewis.
A Personal History of Ulysses S. Grant, by Albert D. Richardson.