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Julia Dent Grant

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As we know, Julia Dent Grant had a profound influence on her husband, including support, advocate, confidant. When separated by military duty, the two exchanged letters almost daily: it could be said that Julia was General Grant's rock. The linked website is recently constructed, and one of the best biographies of its kind to be found on the internet, as "First Lady Julia Grant" contains information about family, friends, locations of homes and travel involving herself and General Grant not easily found elsewhere:

  • Frederick T. Dent: Grant's West Point roommate (and Julia's brother)
  • photographs of Grant family homes
  • photographs of Julia and Ulysses Grant at significant events
  • family photographs of the Grants.

http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=19  Brief biography of Julia Dent Grant.

 

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The above is a great starting point... and for those wishing to use Julia Grant's role as confidant to General Grant to better advantage, the Letters written by Grant to his wife are to be found scattered through the 30 - plus volumes of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant. In order to quickly find the letters distributed throughout each 400 page volume:

U.S. Grant included details in letters to his wife (such as being without a watch at Shiloh) not to be found elsewhere.

 

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The Memoirs 

After her husband's death, Julia Dent Grant contemplated selling her extensive Letter Collection; and she set to work on a "personal biography" (which expanded into a Memoirs, which appears to have been nearly complete, but never published.) In about 1970 John Y. Simon (intimately connected with The Papers Of U.S. Grant) obtained the rights to publish that work by Mrs. Grant, and in 1975 it was released to the public by Putnam of New York.

The Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant (with Introduction by Bruce Catton) has been reprinted several times, and is available on amazon.com. The work is of value because it reveals in Mrs. Grant's own words, her evaluation of, and interaction with key Civil War personalities, including William Tecumseh Sherman, Edwin Stanton, John Rawlins, President and Mrs. Lincoln, the Hillyer Family (Captain William Hillyer was ADC to General Grant) ...and of course, "Ulys" Grant. The book begins with a discussion of Grant's drinking problem; moves into description of Julia Dent's childhood in Missouri, near St. Louis; reveals the courtship of Jules and Ulysses; the pre-war years; the Civil War years; Grant's Presidency, and world travels.

Of obvious benefit for revealing a side of Ulysses Grant not frequently seen, excerpts of the book are accessible via Search Box at this link:

https://books.google.com.au/books?redir_esc=y&id=tQaZhxwbLB8C&q=Lincoln#v=snippet&q=Lincoln&f=false  Mrs. Grant's Memoirs

 

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The General's Wife: the Life of Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, published 1959 by Ishbel Ross; Dodd, Meade & Co., New York is another collection of letters and memories, centered on Julia Dent Grant (as she observed the enormity of History taking place around her -- and had her own "brushes with fate and notoriety.") This work is valuable, to compare with other references, and extend general knowledge of General Grant and his wife. Available online:

https://archive.org/details/generalswifethel010870mbp/page/n5

 

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