Ron Chernow’s massive biography of Ulysses Grant is amazing. I learned so much from reading this book about the famous general of the Union army during the Civil War and our 18th President.
He certainly had his weaknesses and struggles, but he is a giant of American history. Over 1.5 million people attended his funeral in New York City. His funeral procession was the longest one in history. Grant and his wife, Julia, are entombed in the largest mausoleum in America.
I was especially moved with the closing chapter of the book. The chapter is entitled, “Taps.” It focuses on the illness that took Grant’s life, cancer of the throat and tongue.
Because of a friend who swindled from him, Grant was impoverished towards the end of his life. He knew his life was ending. He didn’t want to leave his wife in a desperate financial situation.
So, with the encouragement of his friend, Mark Twain, he worked with much devotion at writing, “The Personal Memoirs of President Ulysses Grant.” In spite of the pain, he wrote for several hours every day at his New York City home. He completed the work only a few days before passing away. It has been called his final victory. It was a commercial success. Mark Twain called it, “a literary masterpiece.”
The Apostle Paul wrote, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14) Persistence means everything. It really does. Don’t give up!