The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant is an autobiography of American President Ulysses S. Grant, focused mainly on the general's actions during the American Civil War. Written as Grant was dying in 1885, the two volume set was published by Mark Twain shortly after Grant's death.
These Memoirs have been highly regarded by the general public, military historians and literary critics. Grant was a shrewd, intelligent, and effective writer. He portrayed himself in the persona of the honorable Western hero, whose strength lies in his honesty and straightforwardness. He candidly depicts his battles against both the external Confederates and his internal Army foes. The autobiography is unusual but not unique in that large sections of Grant's life (most notably, his childhood and his presidency) are given brief mention or not discussed at all. The focus of the book is Grant's military career—his service in the Mexican-American War and the Civil War.
Grant's writing has been praised for its conciseness and clarity—a sharp contrast from contemporary Civil War memoirs, which tended to reflect the Victorian fondness for elaborate (and sometimes overblown) language.
Many years ago I had read what is purported to be the best military autobiography ever, that is, Caesars Commentaries on the Gallic Wars. Yes, they were most dramatic and interesting, if a bit of self-promotion to his friends and enemies back in Rome. Imagine my surprise when I learned that stodgy, plodding, Ulysses Sam Grants writings were considered comparable to Caesars work. I vowed then to read Grants work someday. It took many years later a Christmas gift of a Nook for me to find the book available from Barnes and Noble for only two dollars. I read it… and it was well worth the investment and more. If you’re a Civil War buff or know one, I recommend most highly, you get this memoir and get the facts straight finally on who did what and why….. This is all for only two bucks at that at Barnes and Noble. J