Mark Twain said this of Ulysses Grant’s Memoirs:
“I had been comparing the [M]emoirs with Caesar’s Commentaries. . . I was able to say in all sincerity that the same high merits distinguished both books – clarity of statement, directness, simplicity, manifest truthfulness, fairness and justice toward friend and foe alike and avoidance of flowery speech. General Grant was just a man, just a human being, just an author. . .The fact remains and cannot be dislodged that General Grant’s book is a great, unique and unapproachable literary masterpiece. There is no higher literature than these modest, simple Memoirs. Their style is at least flawless, and no man can improve upon it.”
Readers who are very familiar with Missouri’s Civil War history have some idea of the ways that the life of Missouri’s greatest author (Twain) became entwined with the life of Missouri’s most famous military figure (Grant). This blog is for those who know, and those who want to know more, about the unique character of the Civil War that occurred in Missouri. It was Missouri, and nowhere else, that saw a full-blown civil war during the years 1861-1865.
If you are a serious student of Missouri’s Civil War, then chances are you tend to side with the South or the North. Regardless of the place from which you began your journey, please mind the lesson that comes to us from Grant through Twain. Fairness and justice “toward friend and foe alike.”