71 HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.
deeds, and they have made an impression on the popular mind that will endure, and which finds expression in hearty action as he journeys through the country, though he probably cares less for attentions than any eminent American who has lived since Washington. The latter was a reserved man, and had been trained in a state of society in which distinctions were very strong, even stronger than they are in England at this day, and there was little that was democratical in his nature as in his training. But General Grant's reserve is simply a natural feeling. He is fond of quiet, and has never made a speech in his life, and it seems that he is destined never to make one. Had he been born in Sparta he could not have been more laconic than he is, though he is a native of a country in which everybody is supposed to talk, and to talk much.
General Grant is in his forty-fourth year, as he was born on the 27th of April, 1822, in Ohio. It was not until 1859 that he took up his residence at Galena, in Illinois, where he embarked on the leather and saddlery business, his father being his partner. His previous attempts in civil pursuits had all been failures, but at Galena he was successful. He left the regular army, in which he had become Captain, in 1854. He married in 1843, his bride being Miss Dent, a lady of Missouri. He resumed military life in 1861, not long after the beginning of the war. His first office was that of Adjutant-General of Illinois, and his first field service was in command of the Twenty-First Illinois Infantry. As his qualities became known he was promoted, until he became the foremost man of the American world. He owes his success to his honesty and tenacity of purpose, as much as to his rare abilities as a soldier, and hence his career affords matter of profitable study to the youth of the republic, who can see in it that integrity and resolution are necessary to conduct men to fame and usefulness.
With the single exception of General Grant, no man stands so high as General Sherman in the estimation of the country, when military merit is considered. Both of them are able soldiers, but they are very unlike, mentally; and their moral qualities also present remarkable points of contrast. General Grant is singularly quiet and retiring. General Sherman, without being encroaching or obtrusive, is as singularly demonstrative. He does not speak because he thinks that his opinions are of value, or that others are anxious to know them, but because it is his nature to be bold, frank and open. He acts according to the law of his being in talking freely, as General Grant does in keeping silent. They have strong points of resemblance, nevertheless, – for both are honest men, and both have rendered incalculable service to the republic. It would be hard to say which of the two we could best spare, and therefore it is to be hoped that we shall have them with us for many years.
General Sherman is in the prime of life. He was born on the 8th of February, 1820, at Lancaster, Ohio, he being, like General Grant, a "Buckeye," as Ohioans are called. He entered West Point Academy in 1836, and was there graduated in 1840, standing well in his class. The artillery was his arm of the service, and he served in Florida, South Carolina, California and Louisiana. Like Grant, he never got higher than the rank of Captain in the old regular army; and then, again like Grant, he retired and went into business. He was at San Francisco, manager of a banking house, from 1853 to 1857.
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