Besides family, the people who know us best are those we attended school with. Here are a couple of observations of Ulysses S. Grant (one of which you've probably encountered already. But the other...)
"One day at West Point, as our section in mathematics was marching to recitation hall, Frank Gardner produced an old silver-cased watch, about four inches in diameter. It, as a curiosity, was passed along from one lad to another... it chanced to be in Grant's hands as we reached the door of the recitation room, and he tucked it into his tunic and buttoned it up. The regular Professor was absent; Cadet Z. B. Tower occupied his chair. He sent four cadets to the blackboards, Grant being one. Grant quickly solved his math problem, and turned to begin his demonstration, when all of a sudden the room was filled with a sound not unlike a Chinese gong. All looked amazed, and Tower, thinking the noise was in the hall, ordered the door closed. And that only made the matter worse. Grant, with a sober countenance, continued his demonstration. The racket ceased, and shortly afterwards, so did Grant. Tower had no idea from whence the noise came (Gardner had accidentally set the alarm on the ancient timepiece concealed in Grant's bosom.) Tower's bewilderment, and Grant's sobriety afforded us much amusement."
Rufus Ingalls (USMA 1843) was known at West Point as "the Prince of Good Fellows." During the Civil War, he served as Chief Quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac; and one night during Spring of 1865, at City Point, he and General Grant and a few others were sitting around their camp fire. Conversation had lapsed into silence, which after a while was suddenly broken by Grant exclaiming: "Ingalls, do you expect to take that yellow dog of yours into Richmond with you?"
Ingalls nodded. "Oh yes, General. You see, he belongs to a long-life breed."
Silence returned, but many of the witnesses had to remove themselves for a time...