Top 7 President Ulysses S. Grant Quotes

Who was Ulysses S. Grant? He was the 18th President of the United States and the esteemed Union General during the Civil War. He went to West Point and achieved a lot of successes during his presidency and career.  What I’d like to do in the article below is share my top seven Ulysses S. Grant quotes.   Each quote is in bold.  I provide my two cents to each quote immediately after it.

1. “There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword.” Is war unavoidable? 

2. “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.” I don’t think most Soldiers enjoy war, but we accept it as a necessary means to peace, and we understand the sacrifices. 

3. “The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.” I have said this many times, but true friends are those who have seen us at our worst, and loved us anyway. Too often, those friends have been military comrades, and I am thankful for them. 

4. “Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.” Don’t be too good for any job, or think yourself to be above anything. Take any challenge given to you and do your best.  The job doesn’t make a person.  The person makes the job.

5. “It was my fortune, or misfortune, to be called to the office of Chief Executive without any previous political training.Too many are ‘bred’ to be politicians, the freshest ones are those who didn’t seek political success or train specifically for it.

 6. “Failures have been errors of judgment, not of intent.” Always intend to do the right thing, even if you fail, at least you can retain your integrity.

7. “I don’t underrate the value of military knowledge, but if men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail.” This reminds me of the early days of OIF/OEF, before they became more like garrisons overseas. Soldiers improvise if you let them, and that can lead to greater success. One improvisation that comes to mind is when the HMMWVs were not armored – Soldiers found ways to do it themselves, out of sheer necessity.

Final Thoughts

In summary, President/General Ulysses S. Grant was a very influential leader in the Civil War and beyond.  I hope you have enjoyed these Ulysses S. Grant quotes.  I would love to hear which quote is your favorite and why.  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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13 thoughts on “Top 7 President Ulysses S. Grant Quotes”

  1. This post was really great to see. I have always had a fondness for President Grant, but unfortunately so many people neglect to see him as a powerful man who did a lot for our nation and instead see him as a useless president. I love quote #3 and I could truly not agree more. It is hard to trust someone is an authentic friend if they only wish to celebrate with you in the good times instead of struggling with you in the difficult times. I loved this quote list!

  2. Number four speaks the most to me. I think that their are a lot of people who shun laborers (the “blue collar workers” if you will), like those in construction, plumbing, agriculture, etc. as worse than themselves. But the effort that the men and women in those field put in is paramount to the success of the nation and world. How would one eat steak if a ranchers hadn’t raised the beef?

  3. Even though I really like #5 I think my favorite quote is really #3. Like Candace mentions, you really get to know who your friends are when you go through dark times. It is very difficult for me to ask for help. I’ve always been a doer. On rare occasions I’ve had to call on “friends.” The fair weather friends are being weaned out of my life where I treasure the ones who stepped up in my greatest time of need.

  4. AMEN to that, Chuck! I have often said that politicians should be volunteers so they serve the people in the truest sense.

  5. The more and more I think on these great quotes, the more I wish Ulysses S. Grant were our President now. I especially consider #5. We have so many career politicians now, that it seems to be ruining our country. Maybe we should make politicians all volunteer. That would weed out about 98% of them. I hope we can find more men like General Grant. It would do our country well.

    1. Candace Ginestar

      It would be very interesting to see what would happen if our politician force was all volunteer. I wonder what it would be like. I would like to think that things would be for the better!

      1. The main problem I see with all volunteer is the fact that many would use it as a means for greed in other ways. This is why I think lobbying needs to be outlawed also. When each politician votes on a particular subject, there should be studies as to why they were driven that way. If there seems to be a factor of greed in helping themselves, instead of the whole population, they need to be removed.

        Yes, I have ideas on how to save the world, maybe I should run for President. LOL.

  6. These quotes from the great General Grant are timeless. Even though they were said many years ago, they are still applicable today.

    #1-There is always a way to avoid war; it is just sometimes not seen.

    #2- If a soldier enjoys war, I believe they should be checked for psychiatric problems.

    #6- We all will have failures; it is what we do with them that make ud who we truly are.

    Thank you for this great post!

  7. Candace Ginestar

    My favorite quote is #3. It means a lot to me because we all go through dark times, and it is who stands by us during those times that shows their true friendship. I am thankful to have people like this in my life.
    I also like #6, because we often make mistakes, but at least we intend on doing the right thing.

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