This is a biographical story of General Grant. Since the end of the civil war in the United States, whoever has occasion to name the three most distinguished representatives of our national greatness is apt to name Washington, Lincoln, and Grant. General Grant is now our national military hero. Of Washington it has often been said that he was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen". When this eulogy was wholly just the nation had been engaged in no war on a grander scale than the war for independence. That war, in the numbers engaged, in the multitude and renown of its battles, in the territory over which its campaigns were extended, in its destruction of life and waste of property, in the magnitude of the interests at stake (but not in the vital importance of the issue), was far inferior to the civil war. It happens quite naturally, as in so many other affairs in this world, that the comparative physical magnitude of the conflicts has much influence in moulding the popular estimate of the rank of the victorious commanders. Those who think that in our civil war there were other officers in both armies who were Grant's superiors in some points of generalship will hardly dispute that, taking all in all, he was supreme among the generals on the side of the Union. He whom Sherman, Sheridan, Thomas, and Meade saw promoted to be their commander, not only without envy, but with high gratification, under whom they all served with cordial confidence and enthusiasm, cannot have been esteemed by them unfit for the distinction.