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The Grants - A Love Story

Patti House, Fort D Historic Site Volunteer, has Ulysses S. Grant on her mind around Valentine's Day every year. Read on to find out why! 

"Recently on an NPR interview I heard the speaker say, 'Emails are the love letters of our times.' This may be true, but I cherish the handwritten notes from my spouse, especially those written while we were trying to maintain a long distance courtship. Thankfully, letter writing was alive and well during the Civil War. The letters, diaries, and journals that have survived give a view from a personal perspective of life during that time period. Ulysses S. Grant and his wife, Julia Dent Grant, were active correspondents during the war. Although his letters often shared the realities of war he ended them with, “Kiss all the children for me and accept the same for yourself.” Grant often writes that he has sent money for household expenses as well as a little something extra for each of the four children. Many times his letters end with a request for Julia to write to him when she receives his letter. As Grant traveled with the army their letters often crossed, but once received were greatly appreciated. On July 23, 1885, a month before the Grants’ 37th wedding anniversary, Ulysses S. Grant lost his battle with cancer. Upon his death, Julia wrote in her memoirs, “he my beloved, my all, passed away, and I was alone, alone.”

As February 14th, nears perhaps it’s time to write a handwritten note to someone you cherish. And if you find yourself standing at the bottom of the stairs of the Common Pleas Courthouse on Spanish Street, take a moment to read the interpretive sign 'Grant in Southeast Missouri.'"

Thanks for sharing this side of General Grant with us, Patti! Walk in General Grant's footsteps in Cape Girardeau, where he took command of the Union Army. Patti House mentioned the storyboard sign at the foot of the Common Pleas Courthouse with the great piece on Grant, and you can pick up your free copy of the Ulysses S. Grant Tour's Southeast Segment at VisitCape's office at 220 N. Fountain Street. Want to learn more about the Civil War in Cape Girardeau? Download the Civil War driving tour here

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