During the polite War, approve was the one general Abraham Lincoln might depend on. The was ultimately named commander of every Union forces and lead those troops come victory. After the war, when give was president, he to be a champion the the rights of African-Americans and also took strong action against the Klu Klux Klan.

You are watching: If grant had been drinking at appomattox

But friend know, he was sort of a drinker.

On Sunday i attended what showed to be a yes, really fun present at the Hanover Theater referred to as "Bill Murray, january Vogler and Friends." The present was a mix of music and also literature. It to be quite various from what you would intend from invoice Murray the comedian.


Mr. Murray read assorted excerpts, which to be pared to music. Throughout the present I found myself reasoning over and over, "Hey! That"s cool."

I loved the show, yet now find myself extremely annoyed through the so late James Thurber, humorist, playwright, author, cartoonist and also many other things.

One the Mr. Murray"s readings was Thurber"s an extremely humorous "If grant had been drinking in ~ Appomattox."


Anyone who has the smallest amount of expertise of U.S. History knows the Grant welcomed General Robert E. Lee"s surrender in ~ Appomattox, Virginia. The surrender efficiently ended the civil War. Thurber"s take it on it, and I am sure he was simply trying to make human being laugh, played turn off a longstanding stereotype of grant as a drunk, and imagining what that would have been like had actually he to be drinking the night before the surrender and still drunk once he met through Lee. In Thurber"s sketch, he to be so in his cups that, rather of agree Lee"s surrender, the surrendered come the Confederate general.

It to be pretty funny in a belly laugh, guffawing kind of way. Ns laughed in ~ a few things, but generally to be annoyed.

Thurber is from mine grandparents" generation. I understand jokes may have been different then, however using humor today to mock people troubles me. The is a popular means of funny friends and also followers and additionally cutting the target the the humor down a notch. I view it all the time in politics, but additionally often top top Facebook and Twitter. The "People of Wal-Mart" Facebook short articles are a an excellent example. The short articles are a series of photographs required to ridicule world shopping in the store. The shoppers room dressed oddly, overweight or acting in someway world might think is weird. In writing about Grant, Thurber offered the general"s biggest weakness to create laughs.

In thinking about this, ns realized us all have actually some aspect of oneself that can be made funny of. Thurber, who shed sight the one eye when his brother shot him through an arrowhead while play William Tell and often experienced hallucinations throughout his lifetime, could have had something in his background the other world could ridicule.

As much as give was a great military leader, that struggled v alcohol lot of his life. The drinking did not impair his capability to command troops, but prior to the Civil war he was required out of the military because the his drinking. Alcohol abuse this particular day is still one of the most devastating forces in society. I"ve viewed it in my family, my community and know that is a significant problem everywhere, affecting both the rich and also the poor. I find no humor in it.


With his writing, Thurber turned one of the world most responsible for the Union success in the civil War right into a cartoonish drunk, simply for laughs. The story still makes civilization laugh, and likely pipeline the impression with people who cannot separate humor from reality that grant was nothing however a drunk.

I really loved Murray"s show, and most human being in the audience gained a great laugh over Thurber"s drunken tale. Ns didn"t. I"m no humorless or Puritanical, yet I no longer enjoy humor that exposes a person"s weaknesses, and exploits them because that laughs.

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At Appomattox, Grant worked hard to obtain Lee to the allude where he was willing to finish the horrid bloodshed between north and south. He readily available generous terms that aided heal the nation. As he created out the surrender terms to provide to Lee, he decided not to humiliate the Confederate policemans by taking their swords, horses and an individual baggage. It to be a gesture remembered come this day. Sitting at the desk writing the surrender terms was not an old drunk making a mockery of one of the most far-reaching moments in American history. It to be a true leader, a male who dealt with his very own demons, giving an olive branch to the general he had fought to the bitterness end.