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THE author of this volume acceded the more readily to the desire of others, in preparing it, because it was for boys.
To interest and instruct them, who are to bear the burdens of the church and state in the peaceful future which must ere long succeed the stormy period, has been the inspiring hope. The materials were from immediate friends of the subject of biography, or other reliable sources, so far as the years previous to the Great Rebellion are concerned. The incidents of his early life are, for the most part, from data furnished by General Grant's father. He stated that the published stories of purchasing a horse of Farmer Ralston, and the quarrel with his Canada cousin—also letters purporting to be his early correspondence—are fictions entirely; they are therefore omitted. He made the pencil sketch from which the view of Point Pleasant, and the humble home of General Grant's infancy, were engraved. Larke's compilation, and Carleton's “ Days and Nights on the Battle Field,” have been valuable books of reference.
The deeds of the Lieutenant-General since the conflict opened, are spread abroad in official and unofficial records, so that no serious error is possible, unless by singular oversight, or misprint of the pages. It is believed to be a correct outline of a hero's life.
And, to give a more distinct impression of the war field over which General Grant moved, outline, maps are added. A glossary of military terms is also given. pages were not written to glorify a military chieftain, and add to the ephemeral productions of the day, but to present to our youth a record reliable as the sources of information could make it, of an unostentatious, earnest, brave, and successful man. It is offered to the homes of the people with the prayer that the memorial of a distinguished general who sprang from a humble dwelling in the wilderness of the West, may aid in moulding character for the country's' need, and for the “Better Land.”
This volume is the first of a series for boys, entitled “The Young American's Library of Modern Heroes." The biography of the brilliant astronomer, patriot, and commander, General O. M. Mitchel, is in press; to be followed by “The Life of Captain John Ericsson ; or, The Miner Boy and his Monitor”-a biography of rare interest, from authentic sources. Other volumes will be added to the series.