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The Paonia progressive and the Paonia newspaper. (Paonia, Colo.) 1911-19??, May 26, 1911, Image 3

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90051109/1911-05-26/ed-1/seq-3/

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Boyhood of
Great Union
Captain
By CALVIN DILL WILSON.
HE cabin In which Ulysses
Grant was born April 27,
1822, at Point Pleasant, O.,
was a one-story building
of two very small rooms
It was a weather-boarded
structure with two front
windows. One room was
used for cooking, eating
and living
in the day-
T
time; the whole
family slept in the
second room. The
Ohio river, on which
In those days rafts,
steamers and flat
boats plied, flowed
not far from the
front door. The
father. Jesse Grant,
was at that time
foreman of the tan
nery of the village.
He had lost his
money and was
now saving more
money for a new
start. The Grants,
originally settlers
in Massachusetts,
had emigrated to
Pennsylvania, and
in 1799 to Ohio.
Ulysses* mother's
father, John Simpson, also went from
Pennsylvania to Ohio about 1819 In
tbe autumn of 1823 the Grants re
moved to Georgetown, the county seat
of Brown This remained Ulyeses’
home until at the age of seventeen he
went to West Point.
The year after the birth of Ulysses
Jesse set up a tannery of his own in
Georgetown, which was situated in a
wilderness of oaks that provided
abundance of. tan bark Jesse
was strong in body and mind, nearly
■ sis 'feet high, with large head sbd
strong face He was essentially a New
Knglatoder. was fond of arguing, and
was much criticised in the commu
nity Itecaus** of his dogmatic nature
and .his northern prejudices. Tbe vil
lage ronslated of 20 houses, placed
about the court bouse square. On all
sides around the village were forests,
eicept where clearings bad been made
for the fields, these were still filled
with stumps. Tbe manners of the peo
ple were rude. The houses were
small, with low ceilings, bare walls
and Utile furniture They were modi
fled woodsman's cabins, wtth outside
chimneys and a lean to kitchen be
hind. The cltixens were plain peo
pie. but they despised foolish pride,
and they ridiculed the name Jesse
had given his son and changed it into
"Useless." The boy had been named
Hiram Ulysses; tbe first name was
dropped and 8 was afterward adopted
by Grant as tbe Initial of bis mother s
name. Simpson.*
Tbe father was always extremely
fond of his boy and excited the rid!
rule of his neighbors by prophecies of
bis greatnesa. Tbe Ohio schools were
then very indifferent; they were sup
ported by subscription, and a single
teacher would have thirty or forty
scholars, from little ones learning the
A. B. Cs up to girls and boys of
eighteen stud>ing reading, writing and
arithmetic. From the age of five or
six until aeventeen. Ulysses attended
tbe subscription school of Georgetown,
except during the winter of 1836 7.
when he attended school in Marys
vllle. Ky.. and the winter of 18389.
when he studied at a private school
st Ripley. Ohio. He was not studious;
both winters were spent going over
the same old arithmetic, of which he
knew every word before
Ills father was. from tbe boy's
earliest recollection, in comfortable
circumstances for that time and
region His great desire was for tbe
education of bis children; so Ulysses
never missed a quarter from school.
He bad to work, however, as every
one labored in that region then; his
father not only carried on the maou
facture of leather and worked at the
trade himself, but also owned and
farmed some land. Ulysses hated the
tanning business, but was fond of
farming and of all employments in
which horses were used. When
Ulysses was eight years old he began
hauling from the farm all tbe wood
used In the house and shop; he could
not load it on the wagons, but he
could drive and the choppers would
load, and someone at the house would
unload. In the woods he was willing
to help strip the bark from the trees
and to set fire to stumps and brush
piles, but the tannery was repulsive
to him; he would not scrape nor even
handle them.
In ten years Jesse Grant had be
come one of the prosperous citizens of
the town; ho had built a brick house
and >wned a carriage. When Ulysses
was ten year* old he used to drive a
team all alone to Cincinnati. 40 mllee
sway, and bring home a load of pas
sengers. His mother was a sweet,
lovely woman, beloved by everybody,
and she agreed in her husband's ef
forts to educate Ulysses and saw that
he waa always well dressed and
ready for school. Ulykses, either on
account of his superiority or because
of his quietness, was always an ob
ject of ridicule among his mates; yet
he commanded respect. He kept
among the better class of boys, never
swore or used vulgar words, or used
tobacco In his youth, or drank, and
he was the soul of honor.
At ten years of age he astonished
everybody by his ability to manage
horses. . He liked fanning, be saved
his money, and ‘he was always will
ing to haul and plow. When he was
not busy otherwise be would haul pas
sengers to Ripley, to Msysvtlie or to
Cincinnati. When be was thirteen he
drove two lawyers to Toledo, when
his father was asked If he was not
afraid to truat his boy on such a long
trip, he replied that he could take
care of himself. From eleven years
of age until he was seventeen, he did
all the work done with horses, break
ing up the land, furrowing, plowing
corn and potatoes, bringing in the
crops when harvested, hauling all the
wood, besides tending two or threw
horses, a cow or two. sawing wood for
stoves, while still attending scnool.
He was never scolded or punished by
bis parents. No objection was made
to rational amusements, such as flah
ln6- going to tbe creek a mile away
to swim in summer, taking a horse to
visit his grandparents 15 miles off. or
taking a horse and sleigh when there
was snow on tbe ground. Ulysses got
his share of punishment at school,
however; the teacher. John D. White,
used to compel the boys to bring in
switches In bundles from a beech
wood near the school house, and often
a bunch would be used up In a day.
Ulysses .was a good swimmer, could
play bail well, and could ride stand
ing on one foot on the back of a gal
loping horse. The girls liked him. he
had a team and sleigh to take them
riding. He was short, strong and
sturdy His parents belonged to the
Methodist church and Ulysses was
trained to respect tbe Sabbath, and
his mother s religious spirit made a
deep Impression upon him.
When he was sixteen his father
wished him to help In the tannery.
He told his father he disliked It. but
he would work for him till he wss
twenty one but not a day more. His
father replied that if he did not mean
to stick to It he need not go into tbe
tannery now. and he asked what he
would like. The boy said be would
be a farmer or a river trader or get
An education. So hts father arranged
for him to go to Ripley 0.. to an scad
emy there. That winter he spent the
Christmas holidays at home, and dur
ing his vacation his father received a
letter from the United States senator
from Ohio. When he had read the
letter he turned to Ulysses, saying:
"Ulysses. I believe you are going to
receive the appointment.'* "What ap
pointment?" the bby asked. "To West
Point. I have applied for It.’* "But I
won t go." Ulysses said. His father
replied. "I think you will." And
Ulysses thought so. too. If his father
did for his father expected obedience.
Ulysses had no objection to going ex
cept thnt no had a very exalted idea
of the requirements necessary to get
through and could not bear the Idea
of falling. He had always a desire to
travel, and to go to West Point would
give him the chance to visit Phila
delphia and New York. He had saved
8100 and was proud to be able to pay
so much of hia own expenses.
He started for West Point about the
middle of May, 1839. byway of Pitts
burg. Harrisburg and Philadelphia.
He stopped five days in Philadelphia;
an aunt there described him as a
rather awkward country boy, wearing
plain, ill-fitting clothes and large
coarse shoes. His stay in New York
waa shorter, and he reported at West
Point May SO. Two weeks later he
passed the examination for admission
without difficulty, much to his sur
prise. In oommon with all other new
men at West Point, he was bullied
and called all sorts of names. He
felt awkward in bis new uniform, and
the Innumerable rules and regulations
annoyed, him. The boys nicknamed
him "Uncle Bam and then "Bam."
He became the most daring horseman
4n the academy; he lacked elegance,
however; tbe southern men. at that
period, led all In social affairs; the
tanner's son was among the plebeians
at the school. He soon became
as moet truthful, good - and honest.
And one from ...whom many things
might be expeete i He .was quiet, but
full of fun ahd ready for fnn : dW
not take to his studies with .avidity
and rarely read a over a sec
ond time. Mathematics was very
easy »o him He afterward said of hts
standing: "If the ejass had < been
turned the other foremost, I
should have been very near the head.'*
When he wa* ready for his fur
lough after two >ears, £e had acquired
a soldierly bearing, be was now nine
teen. His father was delighted with
his improvement and provided a fine
colt for him He enjoyed this fur
lough beyond any other period of his
life. The last two years of his time
at the academy wore away more rap
idly for him than the first two had
done, and at last all the examinations
were passed and all the members of
the class were called upon to record
their choice of arms of service and
regiments. Ul> >ses recorded bis first
choice cavalry, second; Fourth infan
try. and got the latter. He graduated
the twenty first In a roll of thirty
nine. He had a good record In
mathematics and engineering, a fair
record in all things, and a remarkable
record as a berseman. After a fur
lough at home he reported Septem
ber 30. at Jefferson Barracks. St.
Ix>uts. with the Fourth Untied States
Infantry.
Dissertation on Woman.
"What constitutes society? Woman;
she is Its sovereign arbltress; it exists
for her and for her exclusively. Hut
woman forms the grest educating in
fluence for mar. she it is trains him
in tbe gifts that charm—courtesy, dis
cretion. and the pride that shudders
to be self-assertive. She It la teaches
a few the art of pleasing, and all the
useful art of not displeasing From her
we learn the lesson that human so
ciety is more complex and more deli
cately adjusted than is generally sub
pected by tbe politicians of the cafes.
Last, but not least. It is she brings
borne to us the great truth that th«
ideals of sentiment and the visions ol
faith are invincible forces, and that it
Is by no means reason that governs
humankind Vntole France
Panama Peculiarities.
It Is news to some people that the
Entrance to the > .mama canal Is more
than 600 miles to the east of New Or
leans. A visitor to the isthmus is apt
to have many of his fixed ideas in re
gard to geography upset He finds
that the eastern end of the canal Is
farther west than the western end; he
finds the canal running from a north
westerly to a southeasterly direction;
he sits on a porch at Colon and
watches the sun sink into the Atlan
tic; and. if he rise* at the hour that
most of the jA*oplo do when at Ancon,
he will see the sun come up out of the
Pacific.— Exchange.
Their Style.
"The highwaymen who held up a
train containing a paymaster and took
his money bags, were right up with
the procession "
"Certainly It was something of a pay
raid."
We Unknown Blue
and Grey
By WILBUR D. NESBIT
There are unknown graves in the valleys
That the troops or war possessed.
Where the bugles sounded for rallies
But the bullets sang of rest;
And the mountains hold without number
Hidden graves from war’s mad day.
Where the unknown men have their slumber
In their shrouds of blue and gray.
And no drums will rumble and rattle.
And no fifes blow sharp and shrill
In the valleys that knew the battle.
Nor atep the lone high hill;
But the silent stars know the story
And the broad skv of the day
Bends and whispers low of their glory
To these men of blue and gray.
And no banners o'er them are waving. .■ j
No marchers come and pause \ ■ *
With cheers for the land of their saving
Or tears for their lost cause;
Yet the twilight stare intermingle -j i
With the hues when ends the dav. *% , . -
And the striving flags now are single
O’er the men of blue and grey.
There are unknown graves in the thicket*
On the hiilside and the plain.
Of the missing scouts and the picket*
Yet they did not fall in vain.
Though their names may not be engraven
And their places in the fray.
In our hearts now each finds a haven—
They who wore the blue and gray.
For the God of battles is kindly
With none of mankind’s hate
That is cherished ever too blindly—
And"these pawns of warefare s fate
Have their tombs of nature’s splendor * -
Each set forth in proud array
Through an impulse holy and tender.
Though they wore the blue and gray.
Where once were the guns that wrangled
Sounds the peace song of the thrush.
« • And Lhe roses and vines are tangled
. . In t£e solemn, sacred hush;
Where the cannon one day would hurtle
* Their missiles in the fray
Grows the rue and the creeping myrtle
% O'er the graves of blue and gray.
They are nature's hands that are strewing
The flowers on each mound;
It is God s own beautiful doing
That each unknown grave is found
Where the cypress leaves are aquiver.
Where peaks lift through the day.
Where the forest sighs to the river
Of Lhe unknown blue and gray.
Fast Passing Away
T has become, per
haps. too common as
Memorial day ap
proaches to remind
the public and tbe sur
viving heroes of the
60s how fast the army
I
of blue Is marching Into the unknown
Mowers are strewn upon the graves of
the dead and statistics of mortality
are as freely flung at the beads of
tbe llTing soldiers. Possibly the vet
erans are not cheered by this sober
and convincing information, and cer
tainly their children and grandchil
dren give it cold entertainment.
A look at the other side, the living
aide, of the old soldiers’ great day
presents something of good cheer as
well as a surprising fact—that of the
extreme youth of the army of the
Union In those days when the life of
a nation was at stake.
The survivors of the Union army of
the Civil war are known to number
at this date 620.000. and a majority
of these men are in the active pur
suits of Industry Although there are
a few very old men among the vet
The Sharpshooter
F no class or coldiers
Is so little actually
know n as of the sharp
shooters. At best theirs
was desperate work.
They were obliged
often to fight from
O
their regiments, without any chance of
assistance, perhaps literally surround
ed by the enemy. And when the end
came for one of them he must die
alone, and In time he would be marked
"missing ' on the books and every
trace of him would be lost. C. H.
Gulnand. a famous shot in his day. a
past commander of the Berdan Sharp
shooters. was the hero of many stir
ring adventures of the fighting before
Fredericksburg
"Few civilians or soldiers either, for
that matter, can realize what It meant
to be a sharpshooter In such a battle
as Fredericksburg," said Mr. Gulnand.
In recalling his experiences.
"During the battle of Fredericksburg
I with two other sharpshooters was
detailed to pick off a negro sharp
shooter. a Confederate, who had been
crans. the average age of the sur
vivors Is sixty-three years. With the
lengthening of life which has become
a feature of our time we ought to
have with us for many years at least
a fair remnant of the heroes.
The most desperate civil war of
modern times was fought, it is now
realized, by boys in their teens or
barely out of their teens. The rec
ords of the war and navy departments
show that of the enlistments 1.161.438
were at the age of eighteen years or
under, and that 2.159.789 enlistments
were at the age of twenty-one years
or under, while only 618.511 of the
total 2.778.309 enlistments were at
the age of twenty two years and over.
In decorating tbe graves of the dead
and in honoring the living soldiers of
’6l the whole nation renews yearly the
inspirations of patriotism. This year
there are still in the land of the living
and the country they saved more than
half a million of the heroic "boys’* of
*6l. and we are just coming to see
that they really were boys, and boys
well worth remembering—those who
have answered the last roll call and
those who are yet with us In the bat
tles of peace.
working havoc among our men. We
got a glimpse of him now and then,
but nothing more. He was a crack
shot and had brought down many of
ficers and privates. In order to get
within range of him we had to go far
beyond our picket lines and beyond
any chance of assistance. This gen
eral region was well within range of
the enemy.
"The three of us waited for night
and then crept with the greatest cau
tion toward the enemy's lines. By
morning we had hidden ourselves in
trees well apart, where we awaited
developments. We were well enough
hidden, but the bullets whistled
through the trees and occasionally
dropped showers of leaves on us; but
that was to be expected. Well, It took
us all day to locate that negro, but we
got him finally. He had hidden him
self in an old chimney, which made a
pretty good defense. He would fire
and then duck behind the bricks, and
our bullets would glance off. During
that long wait both my companions
were silenced by the cross fire. It
was two lives for one. but we never
hesitated when such a call cam*"

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