A Visit to Grant’s Cottage

Ulysses S. Grant

has long been

one of my heroes.

General Lee was more glamorous,

perhaps more brilliant.

But Grant knew how to 

play the hand he was dealt.

The north held the advantage

in troops and resources.

Grant understood this,

as did Lincoln.

And Lincoln understood what Grant

brought to the table.

“He will fight.”

I was drawn to Grant’s modesty,

His lack of pretense.

The visit to his cottage 

Reinforced my love for him.

Located on a hillside

In Wilton, New York..

The cottage is

as modest as the man himself.

Grant lived and worked

In a room on the first floor.

Unable to lie prone

Because of throat cancer,

He slept between two

Large chairs facing each other.

Down the hill from the cottage

is an overlook

with mountains and countryside beyond.

Grant walked down to it when he could.

His friend Mark Twain

Visited him at the cottage

And urged him to finish

Writing his memoirs.

Grant wrote until he died

while Twain sold subscriptions

to the book, making sure

Grant’s family was provided for.

I’ve read the memoirs.

They are riveting;

Revealing a humanism

and a literary skill

surprising in a fighting general

August 29, 2022

12 thoughts on “A Visit to Grant’s Cottage

  1. Very inspiring. I ordered Grant’s memoir and look forward to reading it.
    Also, love your using poetry to teach a piece of History.


  2. Thank you Harry. I grew up about a half mile from the site of Grant’s childhood home, which is a few miles outside of the city of St. Louis. Fascinated by the cottage you speak about, I assume his final home…


  3. Hi Harry – nice! enjoyed a bit of history weaved into a poem!
    How are you, Kathy and housemates?
    Your Alcorn poster is at the BkC office; we can figure out delivery down the road. Until then enjoy the warm days of summer. Lorraine

    PS – your posts go to the PROMOS section of our inbox so I dont see most of them unless i am clearing out emails.


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