The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 153
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integrated in the story of the building of Grant's character that
one feels the theme. From the early days in the woods and in
the tanyard, through the Ohio Academy, and on into the United
States Military Academy at West Point, the reader comes to know
the quiet, stubborn youth, and to enjoy following his growth.
Grant's love of horses and his many feats of horsemanship are
Mr. Lewis has written of himself that as a farm boy "he was
generally useless, owing to my inability to get on well with ani-
mals," and if there is one noticeable emphasis in his book it is
on Grant's youthful and continuing "ability to get on well with
horses." Lewis writes most interestingly of Grant's years at West
Point and on his life at Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis. It was
there that Grant courted Julia Dent, and there that he returned
to her after the Mexican War. The chapters dealing with this
period are the most vivid, detailed and penetrating, as the author
analyzes the forces and events which continued to mould Grant's
character. At the same time he writes an excellent account of
the Mexican War itself. It is here that Grant's most dashing and
courageous exploits are recorded.
After the war, his marriage, and the birth of their first child,
Grant and his beloved Julia were stationed at and near Detroit.
This was the happiest period; it ended with his transfer to Cali-
fornia. Julia was expecting a second child, and he could not take
her with him. Grant's trip through Panama is again a picture
of fortitude, courage, and character building. The lonely sea
voyage, the dullness of his new station at Fort Vancouver, where
he felt all the more deeply the slow and painful "waiting for
promotion," preyed upon him. Here he was "a dismal man rot-
ting in the dull round of the years," separated from his family,
constantly "waiting to go home." Here he went into debt as a
result of ventures into potato farming, woodcutting, and other
projects in ice, pigs, lumbering and chickens, all undertaken in
the hope of adding to his inadequate and meager salary. He was
indeed lonely, forelorn, and desperately anxious to be at home
again. He "took to going on sprees," and a bit later, at Fort
Humboldt, he became a "four-finger drinker." Again and again
he decided "to resign and go farming." He had never liked
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/177/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.