Ulysses S Grant Quotes On Civil War, Slavery, Equality, Leadership

Ulysses S. Grant was an American soldier and politician who served as the 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877. Before his presidency, Grant led the Union Army as Commanding General of the United States Army in winning the American Civil War. As president, Grant was an effective civil rights executive who worked with the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction to protect African Americans and reestablish the public credit. He is credited with rebuilding the U.S. Navy, which at the time-lagged behind other world-power navies, such as those of Great Britain and Spain. These Ulysses S Grant quotes will motivate you in life.

Best Ulysses S Grant Quotes

  1. “If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  2. “In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  3. “There are but two parties now: traitors and patriots. And I want hereafter to be ranked with the latter and, I trust, the stronger party.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  4. “The most confident critics are generally those who know the least about the matter criticized.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

  5. “I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  6. “… anything is better than indecision. We must decide. If I am wrong, we shall soon find out and can do the other thing. But not to decide wastes both time and money and may ruin everything.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  7. “Let us labor for the security of free thought, free speech, pure morals, unfettered religious sentiments, and equal rights and privileges for all men, irrespective of nationality, color, or religion;…. leave the matter of religious teaching to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contribution. Keep church and state forever separate.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  8. “Cheap cigars come in handy; they stifle the odor of cheap politicians.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

  9. “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.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  10. “Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your hearts, and practice them in your lives.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  11. “As soon as slavery fired upon the flag it was felt, we all felt, even those who did not object to slaves, that slavery must be destroyed. We felt that it was a stain to the Union that men should be bought and sold like cattle.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  12. The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  13. “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.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  14. “God gave us Lincoln and Liberty, let us fight for both.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

  15. “Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what are we going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  16. “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 oppression, if they are strong enough, whether by withdrawal from it or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  17. “The will of the people is the best law.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  18. “Our great modern Republic. May those who seek the blessings of its institutions and the protection of its flag remember the obligations they impose.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  19. “Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

  20. “But my later experience has taught me two lessons: first, that things are seen plainer after the events have occurred; second, that the most confident critics are generally those who know the least about the matter criticized.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  21. “Hold fast to the Bible. To the influence of this Book, we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  22. “There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  23. “Encourage free schools and resolve that not one dollar appropriated for their support shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian schools. Resolve that neither the state nor nation, nor both combined, shall support institutions of learning other than those sufficient to afford every child growing up in the land of opportunity of a good common school education, unmixed with sectarian, pagan, or atheistical dogmas. Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church and the private school supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  24. “It will be all right if it turns out all right.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

  25. “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.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  26. “I never was an Abolitionist, not even what could be called anti-slavery, but I try to judge fairly and honestly and it becomes patent to my mind early in the rebellion that the North and South could never live at peace with each other except as one nation, and that without Slavery.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  27. “Wars produce many stories of fiction, some of which are told until they are believed to be true.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  28. “The great bulk of the legal voters of the South were men who owned no slaves; their homes were generally in the hills and poor country; their facilities for educating their children, even up to the point of reading and writing, were very limited; their interest in the contest was very meager–what there was if they had been capable of seeing it, was with the North; they too needed emancipation.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  29. “Quit thinking about what Bobby Lee’s gonna do to us and start thinking about what we’re going to do to him.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  30. “I have never advocated war except as a means of peace.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

  31. “Whatever there is of greatness in the United States, or indeed in any other country, is due to labor. The laborer is the author of all greatness and wealth. Without labor, there would be no government, no leading class, and nothing to preserve.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  32. “Two commanders on the same field are always one too many.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  33. “There are many men who would have done better than I did under the circumstances in which I found myself. If I had never held command, if I had fallen, there were 10,000 behind who would have followed the contest to the end and never surrendered the Union.” ~ Ulysses S Grant Quotes
  34. “The cause of the great War of the Rebellion against the United States will have to be attributed to slavery. For some years before the war began it was a trite saying among some politicians that “A state half slave and half free cannot exist.” All must become slave or all free, or the state will go down. I took no part myself in any such view of the case at the time, but since the war is over, reviewing the whole question, I have come to the conclusion that the saying is quite true.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  35. “If you see the President, tell him from me that whatever happens there will be no turning back.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

  36. “How do people come up with a date and a time to take life from another man?. . Twelve white men say a black man must die, and another white man sets the date and time without consulting one black person. . . . They sentence you to death because you were at the wrong place at the wrong time, with no proof that you had anything at all to do with the crime . . . . Yet six months later they come and unlock your cage and tell you, We, us, white folks all, have decided it’s time for you to die because this is the convenient date and time.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  37. “One of my superstitions had always been when I started to go anywhere or do anything, not to turn back, or stop until the thing intended was accomplished. I have frequently started to go places where I had never been and to which I did not know the way, depending upon making inquiries on the road, and if I got past the place without knowing it, instead of turning back, I would go until a road was found turning in the right direction, take that, and come in by the other side.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  38. “It is men who wait to be selected, and not those who seek, from whom we may expect the most efficient service.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  39. “I will not move my army without onions.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

  40. “A hero does for others. He would do anything for people he loves because he knows it would make their lives better. I am not that kind of person, but I want you to be. You could give something to her, to me, to those children in the quarter. You could give something I never could … The white people out there are saying you don’t have it-that you’re a hog, not a man. But I know they are wrong.” ~ Ulysses S Grant Quotes
  41. “The fact is I think I am a verb instead of a personal pronoun. A verb is anything that signifies to be; to do; or to suffer. I signify all three.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  42. “Venice would be a fine city if it were only drained.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  43. “It does look like a very good exercise. But what is the little white ball for?” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  44. “I know only two tunes: one of them is “Yankee Doodle” and the other isn’t.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

  45. “When news of the surrender first reached our lines our men commenced firing a salute of a hundred guns in honor of the victory. I at once sent word, however, to have it stopped. The Confederates were now our prisoners, and we did not want to exult over their downfall.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  46. “…I never heard him abuse an enemy. Some of the cruel things said about President Lincoln, particularly in the North, used to pierce him to the heart; but never in my presence did he evince a revengeful disposition.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  47. “The Jews are a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department, and also department orders and are herein expelled from the department within 24 hours from receipt of this order.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  48. “I don’t underrate the value of military knowledge, but if men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  49. “Let no guilty man escape if it can be avoided. Be specially vigilant-or instruct those engaged in the prosecution of fraud to be-against all who insinuate that they have high influence to protect-or to protect them. No personal consideration should stand in the way of performing a public duty.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  50. “There are but few important events in the affairs of men brought about by their own choice.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

  51. “Generally the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation [of Texas] was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  52. “No other terms than unconditional and immediate surrender. I propose to move immediately upon your works.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  53. “I would like to call your attention to … an evil that, if allowed to continue, will probably lead to great trouble … It is the accumulation of vast amounts of untaxed church property.” ~ Ulysses S Grant Quotes
  54. “I believe that our Great Maker is preparing the world, in His own good time, to become one nation, speaking one language, and when armies and navies will be no longer required.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  55. “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.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  56. “Let no guilty man escape if it can he avoided. . . . No personal consideration should stand in the way of performing a public duty.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  57. “I only knew what was in my mind, and I wished to express it clearly” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

  58. “Retreat? NO. I propose to attach at daylight and whip them.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  59. “I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  60. “I never wanted to get out of a place as much as I did to get out of the presidency.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  61. “Lee’s army will be your objective point. Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  62. “You can violate the law. The banks may violate the law and be sustained in doing so. But the President of the United States cannot violate the law.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  63. “The United States, knowing no distinction of her own citizens on account of religion or nationality, naturally believes in a civilization the world over which will secure the same universal laws.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  64. “The cause of the great War of the Rebellion against the United Status will have to be attributed to slavery.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  65. “It is preposterous to suppose that the people of one generation can lay down the best and only rules of government for all who are to come after them, and under unforeseen contingencies.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

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