97+ Best Ulysses S. Grant Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Ulysses S. Grant was an American soldier and politician who served as the 18th president of the United States. Before his presidency, Grant led the Union Army as Commanding General of the United States Army in winning the American Civil War. Profoundly inspirational Ulysses S. Grant quotes will encourage growth in life, make you wiser and broaden your perspective.

If you’re searching for greatest quotes by presidents that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes from Ulysses S. Grant, powerful John F. Kennedy quotes and famous Harry S. Truman quotes.

Famous Ulysses S. Grant Quotes

Everyone has his superstitions. One of mine has always been when I started to go anywhere, accomplished. – Ulysses S. Grant

If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other. – Ulysses S. Grant

In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins. – Ulysses S. Grant

One of my superstitions had always been when I started to go anywhere or do anything, not to turn back, or stop until the thing intended was accomplished. I have frequently started to go places where I had never been and to which I did not know the way, depending upon making inquiries on the road, and if I got past the place without knowing it, instead of turning back, I would go until a road was found turning in the right direction, take that, and come in by the other side. – Ulysses S. Grant

I leave comparisons to history, claiming only that I have acted in every instance from a conscientious desire to do what was right, constitutional, within the law, and for the very best interests of the whole people. Failures have been errors of judgment, not of intent. – Ulysses S. Grant

The distant rear of an army engaged in battle is not the best place from which to judge correctly what is going on in front. – Ulysses S. Grant

Ah, you know my weaknesses–my children and my horses. – Ulysses S. Grant

The one thing I never want to see again is a military parade. When I resigned from the army and went to a farm, I was happy. When the rebellion came, I returned to the service because it was a duty. I had no thought of rank; all I did was try and make. – Ulysses S. Grant

I feel that we are on the eve of a new era, when there is to be great harmony between the Federal and Confederate. I cannot stay to be a living witness to the correctness of this prophecy; but I feel it within me that it is to be so. – Ulysses S. Grant

Let no guilty man escape if it can be avoided. Be especially vigilant-or instruct those engaged in the prosecution of fraud to be-against all who insinuate that they have high influence to protect-or to protect them. No personal consideration should stand in the way of performing a public duty. – Ulysses S. Grant

Declare church and state forever separate and distinct, but each free within their proper spheres. – Ulysses S. Grant

The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. – Ulysses S. Grant

No theory of my own will ever stand in the way of my executing, in good faith, any order I may receive from those in authority over me. – Ulysses S. Grant

I would suggest the taxation of all property equally, whether church or corporation, exempting only the last resting place of the dead and possibly, with proper restrictions, church edifices. – Ulysses S. Grant

I appreciate the fact, and am proud of it, that the attentions I am receiving are intended more for our country than for me personally. – Ulysses S. Grant

Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. – Ulysses S. Grant

I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer. – Ulysses S. Grant

I have made it a rule of my life to trust a man long after other people gave him up, but I don’t see how I can ever trust any human being again. – Ulysses S. Grant

I will raid the arsenal and start a war to end slavery. – Ulysses S. Grant

There is nothing more I should do to it now, and therefore I am not likely to be more ready to go than at this moment. – Ulysses S. Grant

The natural disposition of most people is to clothe a commander of a large army whom they do not know, with almost superhuman abilities. A large part of the National army, for instance, and most of the press of the country, clothed General Lee with just such qualities, but I had known him personally, and knew that he was mortal; and it was just as well that I felt this. – Ulysses S. Grant

The colored man has been accustomed all his life to lean on the white man, and if a good officer is placed over him, he will learn readily and make a good soldier. – Ulysses S. Grant

In politics I am growing indifferent – I would like it, if I could now return to my planting and books at home – Ulysses S. Grant

War is progressive because all instruments of war are progressive. – Ulysses S. Grant

How do people come up with a date and a time to take life from another man? Twelve white men say a black man must die, and another white man sets the date and time without consulting one black person… They sentence you to death because you were at the wrong place at the wrong time, with no proof that you had anything at all to do with the crime… Yet six months later they come and unlock your cage and tell you, We, us, white folks all, have decided it’s time for you to die, because this is the convenient date and time. – Ulysses S. Grant

Wars produce many stories of fiction, some of which are told until they are believed to be true. – Ulysses S. Grant

The fact is I think I am a verb instead of a personal pronoun. A verb is anything that signifies to be; to do; or to suffer. I signify all three. – Ulysses S. Grant

There are but few important events in the affairs of men brought about by their own choice. – Ulysses S. Grant

But my later experience has taught me two lessons: first, that things are seen plainer after the events have occurred; second, that the most confident critics are generally those who know the least about the matter criticized. – Ulysses S. Grant

Two commanders on the same field are always one too many. – Ulysses S. Grant

When news of the surrender first reached our lines our men commenced firing a salute of a hundred guns in honor of the victory. I at once sent word, however, to have it stopped. The Confederates were now our prisoners, and we did not want to exult over their downfall. – Ulysses S. Grant

Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command and try to think what are we going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do. – Ulysses S. Grant

I have never advocated war except as a means of peace. – Ulysses S. Grant

A hero does for others. He would do anything for people he loves, because he knows it would make their lives better. I am not that kind of person, but I want you to be. You could give something to her, to me, to those children in the quarter. You could give something I never could … The white people out there are saying you don’t have it-that you’re a hog, not a man. But I know they are wrong. – Ulysses S. Grant

Quit thinking about what Bobby Lee’s gonna do to us and start thinking about what we’re going to do to him. – Ulysses S. Grant

I believe that our Great Maker is preparing the world, in His own good time, to become one nation, speaking one language, and when armies and navies will be no longer required. – Ulysses S. Grant

There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword. – Ulysses S. Grant

Generally, the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation [of Texas] was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory. – Ulysses S. Grant

I would like to call your attention to … an evil that, if allowed to continue, will probably lead to great trouble … It is the accumulation of vast amounts of untaxed church property. – Ulysses S. Grant

Venice would be a fine city if it were only drained. – Ulysses S. Grant

I will not move my army without onions. – Ulysses S. Grant

If you see the President, tell him from me that whatever happens there will be no turning back. – Ulysses S. Grant

It does look like a very good exercise. But what is the little white ball for? – Ulysses S. Grant

No other terms than unconditional and immediate surrender. I propose to move immediately upon your works. – Ulysses S. Grant

I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution. – Ulysses S. Grant

I don’t underrate the value of military knowledge, but if men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail. – Ulysses S. Grant

The most confident critics are generally those who know the least about the matter criticized. – Ulysses S. Grant

I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse. – Ulysses S. Grant

The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can and keep moving on. – Ulysses S. Grant

There are but two parties now: traitors and patriots. And I want hereafter to be ranked with the latter and, I trust, the stronger party. – Ulysses S. Grant

Cheap cigars come in handy; they stifle the odor of cheap politicians. – Ulysses S. Grant

Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your hearts and practice them in your lives. – Ulysses S. Grant

As soon as slavery fired upon the flag it was felt, we all felt, even those who did not object to slaves, that slavery must be destroyed. We felt that it was a stain to the Union that men should be bought and sold like cattle. – Ulysses S. Grant

Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace. – Ulysses S. Grant

God gave us Lincoln and Liberty, let us fight for both. – Ulysses S. Grant

The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of oppression, if they are strong enough, whether by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable. – Ulysses S. Grant

Whatever there is of greatness in the United States, or indeed in any other country, is due to labor. The laborer is the author of all greatness and wealth. Without labor there would be no government, no leading class, and nothing to preserve. – Ulysses S. Grant

The will of the people is the best law. – Ulysses S. Grant

Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor. – Ulysses S. Grant

I never was an Abolitionest, not even what could be called anti slavery, but I try to judge farely and honestly and it become patent to my mind early in the rebellion that the North and South could never live at peace with each other except as one nation, and that without Slavery. – Ulysses S. Grant

It will be all right if it turns out all right. – Ulysses S. Grant

It is men who wait to be selected, and not those who seek, from whom we may expect the most efficient service. – Ulysses S. Grant

The great bulk of the legal voters of the South were men who owned no slaves; their homes were generally in the hills and poor country; their facilities for educating their children, even up to the point of reading and writing, were very limited; their interest in the contest was very meagre–what there was, if they had been capable of seeing it, was with the North; they too needed emancipation. – Ulysses S. Grant

Encourage free schools and resolve that not one dollar appropriated for their support shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian schools. Resolve that neither the state nor nation, nor both combined, shall support institutions of learning other than those sufficient to afford every child growing up in the land of opportunity of a good common school education, unmixed with sectarian, pagan, or atheistical dogmas. Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church and the private school supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate. – Ulysses S. Grant

It was my fortune, or misfortune, to be called to the office of Chief Executive without any previous political training. – Ulysses S. Grant

I know only two tunes: one of them is ‘Yankee Doodle,’ and the other isn’t. – Ulysses S. Grant

Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate. – Ulysses S. Grant

My failures have been errors in judgment, not of intent. – Ulysses S. Grant

If men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail. – Ulysses S. Grant

Lee’s army will be your objective point. Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also. – Ulysses S. Grant

The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times. – Ulysses S. Grant

I never wanted to get out of a place as much as I did to get out of the presidency. – Ulysses S. Grant

A military life had no charms for me, and I had not the faintest idea of staying in the army even if I should be graduated, which I did not expect, – Ulysses S. Grant

Really, Mr. Lincoln, I have had enough of this show business. – Ulysses S. Grant

Jesse has a new dog. You may have noticed that his former pets have been peculiarly unfortunate. When this dog dies every employee in the White House will be at once discharged. – Ulysses S. Grant

So vast a sum, receiving all the protection and benefits of the government, without bearing its proportion of the burdens and expenses of the same, will not be looked upon acquiescently by those who have to pay the taxes… I would suggest the taxation of all property equally. – Ulysses S. Grant

The Jews are a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department, and also department orders and are herein expelled from the department within 24 hours from receipt of this order. – Ulysses S. Grant

I suppose this work is part of the devil that is in us all. – Ulysses S. Grant

England and the United States are natural allies and should be the best of friends. – Ulysses S. Grant

I desire the good-will of all, whether hitherto my friends or not. – Ulysses S. Grant

It is preposterous to suppose that the people of one generation can lay down the best and only rules of government for all who are to come after them, and under unforeseen contingencies. – Ulysses S. Grant

In 1856…I preferred the success of a candidate whose election would prevent or postpone secession, to seeing the country plunged into a war the end of which no man could foretell. With a Democrat elected by the unanimous vote of the Slave States, there could be no pretext for secession for four years…. I therefore voted for James Buchanan as President. – Ulysses S. Grant

I’m afraid I’m elected. – Ulysses S. Grant

My family is American, and has been for generations, in all its branches, direct and collateral – Ulysses S. Grant

You can violate the law. The banks may violate the law and be sustained in doing so. But the President of the United States cannot violate the law. – Ulysses S. Grant

All secret oath-bound political parties are dangerous to any nation, no matter how pure or how patriotic the motives and principles which first bring them together. – Ulysses S. Grant

The long-continued and useful public service and eminent purity of character of the deceased ex-President will be remembered. – Ulysses S. Grant

I never knew what to do with a paper except to put it in a side pocket or pass it to a clerk who understood it better than I did. – Ulysses S. Grant

I read the story and reread the story, but I still could not find the universality that the little Irishman had spoken of. All I saw in the story was some Irishmen meeting in a room and talking politics. What had that to do with America, especially with my people? It was not until years later that I saw what he meant … I began to listen, to listen closely to how they talked about their heroes, to how they talked about the dead and how great the dead had once been. I heard it everywhere. – Ulysses S. Grant

The United States, knowing no distinction of her own citizens on account of religion or nationality, naturally believes in a civilization the world over which will secure the same universal laws. – Ulysses S. Grant

I only knew what was in my mind, and I wished to express it clearly – Ulysses S. Grant

Retreat? NO. I propose to attach at daylight and whip them. – Ulysses S. Grant

Our great modern Republic. May those who seek the blessings of its institutions and the protection of its flag remember the obligations they impose. – Ulysses S. Grant

In 1850, I believe, the church property in the United States, which paid no tax, amounted to $87 million. In 1900, without a check, it is safe to say, this property will reach a sum exceeding $3 billion. I would suggest the taxation of all property equally. – Ulysses S. Grant

There are many men who would have done better than I did under the circumstances in which I found myself. If I had never held command, if I had fallen, there were 10,000 behind who would have followed the contest to the end and never surrendered the Union. – Ulysses S. Grant

The theory of government changes with general progress. – Ulysses S. Grant

Wherever the enemy goes let our troops go also. – Ulysses S. Grant

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