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shoulders, standing with his feet on his shoulders, and with his hands holding on to his hair. At this there was another and a still louder shout, but not a muscle of Ulysses' face moved. There was not a tremor of his nerves. A few more rounds, and the ring-master gave it up; he had come across a boy that the pony and the monkey both could not dismount.”
It appears that when he was twelve years of age, his father sent him to a neighboring farmer, a Mr. Ralston, to close the bargain for a horse which he was wishing to purchase. Before Ulysses started, his father said to him,
«You can tell Mr. Ralston that I have sent you to buy the horse, and that I will give him fifty dollars for it. If he will not take that, you may offer lim fifty-five; and I should be willing to go as high as sixty, rather than not get the horse.”
This is essentially an old story, probably having a mere foundation in fact; but the peculiarity in this case was, that when Ralston asked Ulysses directly, “How much did your father say you might give for the horse?” he did not know how to prevaricate, but replied, honestly and emphatically,
“Father told me to offer you fifty dollars at first; if that would not do, to give you fifty-five dollars; and that he would be willing to give sixty, rather than not get the horse."
Of course, Ralston could not sell the horse for less than sixty dollars.
“I am sorry for that,” returned Grant, “ for, on looking at the horse, I have determined not to give more than fifty dollars for it, although father said I might give sixty. You may take fifty if you like, or you may keep the horse."
Mr. Ralston took the fifty dollars, and Ulysses rode the horse home.
The father also tells the following incident, in which one can trace the same quiet, fixed resolution, which is such a strong feature in his character in his later years. The son possessed his father's unbounded confidence in his ability to take care of himself. When Ulysses was but
twelve years of age, his father sent him to Louisville alone. · Of this trip his father says:
“ It was necessary for me to have a deposition taken there, to be used in a lawsuit in which I was engaged in the State of Connecticut. I had written more than once about it to my lawyers, but could not get the business done. I can do it,' said Ulysses. So I sent him on the errand alone. Before he started, I gave him an open letter that he might show the captain of the boat, or any one else, if he should have occasion, stating that he was my son, and was going to Louisville on my business. Going down, he happened to meet a neighbor with whom he was acquainted; so he had no occasion to use the letter. But when he came on board a boat to return, the captain asked him who he was. He told him; but the captain answered, “I cannot take you; you may be running away.' Ulysses then produced my letter, which put everything right; and the captain not only treated him with great kindness, but took so much interest in him as to invite him to go as far as Mayville with him, where he had relatives living, free of expense. He brought back the deposition with him, and that enabled me to succeed in making a satisfactory adjustment of my suit.”
AT WEST POINT.
When a young man, it was Grant's earnest desire to secure a collegiate education. As has been stated in the previous chapter, his father's limited means presented an almost insurmountable obstacle to the acquirement of more than a common school education. Under these circumstances but one way suggested itself to the youthful Grant, and that was by adopting the profession of arms, and obtaining an appointment of cadet at West Point. He knew that at this school, not only was education gratuitous, but that during his course the student was supported well and paid a regular sum, which was more than enough for the ordinary expenses of a student at college. There was also, after graduation, a field open to him either to remain in the army, or to engage in engineering or industrial pursuits.
In the year 1839 his father secured, through the influence of General Thomas L. Hamer, then a member of Congress from the district, an appointment as cadet at West Point. Grant was at this time but seventeen years of age. It is somewhat remarkable that without any preparatory study he was able to pass the rigid examination which all cadets are obliged to undergo. He was admitted into the fourth class, where his studies consisted of mathematics, English grainmar,-including etymological and rhetorical exercises, composition, declamations,—-geoge raphy, French, and the use of small arms.
During a part of the summer, the cadets at West Point go into camp, living in tents as if “on the field.” Young Grant ranked during his first year as a private of the battalion, and enjoyed the privileges and had to submit to all the trials that privates in camp have to suffer. During the year 1840 he was advanced into the third class. His studies consisted of the higher mathematics, French, drawing, and the duties of a cavalry soldier. He was also ad. vanced to the rank of corporal in the cadet battalion.
During 1841 Cadet Grant entered the second class at the United States Military school, advancing to the rank of a sergeant in the battalion of cadets. The studies of this class he found were somewhat more laborious, yet his progress here, as in his previous studies, was steady-not rapid, but of the sure kind-mastering thoroughly all that he undertook, holding firmly on to all that he acquired. He never fell back; was ever found faithful in every duty, receiving the approbation of his teachers, and the friend.
ship of his associates. In this class his studies embraced natural and experimental philosophy, chemistry and drawing, and practical instruction in horsemanship, and during the summer encampment was well drilled in both infantry and artillery tactics. Passing out of this class with credit, he entered the first or senior class in 1842. In the battalion of cadets he ranked as a commissioned officer, learning here how to command a section, troop or company. In this class he engaged in acquiring the knowledge of civil and military engineering, in the study of ethics; constitutional, military and international law; in mineralogy and geology, and the Spanish language. He was also thoroughly drilled in infantry, artillery and cavalry tactics; in the use of rifled, mortar, siege and seacoast guns; in small sword and bayonet exercise, as well as in the construction of field works and fortifications, and in the fabrication of munitions and material of war.
Thus he received at West Point the best education a man can receive, namely, that which fits him for his work in life. He was subjected to a course of physical training which invigorated his body. Young Grant appreciated and improved all the opportunities which were offered to him. He gave these years diligently to selfimprovement in the widest sense. He graduated in June, 1843, with a good rank in his class, and, what was better, without vices which enfeebled his body, or mental habits which depraved his mind. It may not be uninteresting to the reader to know who General Grant's fellow graduates were, and what their relative positions were at the close of the civil war. There were in the graduating class of 1843 thirty-nine graduates, Grant standing the twenty-first on the list. The grade and brief biography of each at above date was as follows: