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UNION HEADQUARTERS, JULY 3, 1863. GENERAL GRANT
Receiving GENERAL PEMBERTON'S MESSAGE
267 285 297 307 329
The picture on page 85, of “The Storming of Stony Point,"
is used by permission of Messrs. Harper & Brothers.
HERO TALES FROM AMERICAN HISTORY “ Hor. I saw him once; he was a goodly king. Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.”
HE brilliant historian of the English people*
has written of Washington, that "no nobler figure ever stood in the fore-front of a nation's life.” In any book which undertakes to tell, no matter how slightly, the story of some of the heroic deeds of American history, that noble figure must always stand in the fore-front. But to sketch the life of Washington even in the barest outline is to write the history of the events which made the United States independent and gave birth to the American nation. Even to give a list of what he did, to name his battles and recount his acts as president, would be beyond the limit and the scope of this book. Yet it is always possible to recall the man and to consider what he was and what he meant for us and for mankind. He is worthy the study and the remembrance of all men, and to Americans he is at once a great glory of their past and an inspiration and an assurance of their future.
* John Richard Green.
To understand Washington at all we must first strip off all the myths which have gathered about him. We must cast aside into the dust-heaps all the wretched inventions of the cherry-tree variety, which were fastened upon him nearly seventy years after his birth. We must look at him as he looked at life and the facts about him, without any illusion or deception, and no man in history can better stand such a scrutiny.
Born of a distinguished family in the days when the American colonies were still ruled by an aristocracy, Washington started with all that good birth and tradition could give. Beyond this, however, he had little. His family was poor, his mother was left early a widow, and he was forced after a very limited education to go out into the world to fight for himself. He had strong within him the adventurous spirit of his
He became a surveyor, and in the pursuit of this profession plunged into the wilderness, where he soon grew to be an expert hunter and backwoodsman. Even as a boy the gravity of his character and his mental and physical vigor commended him to those about him, and responsibility and military command were put