Ulysses S. Grant is well-known as one of the pillars of our nation’s history; however, few are familiar with John A. Rawlins, the man that kept that pillar from crumbling. This is the story of John Rawlins, the man who guarded Grant, reproached him, and idolized him. He was Grant’s trusted confident, advisor and critic. Without him, many doubt that Grant could have fulfilled his destiny as a distinguished military commander. One slip brought to public attention might have ended Grant’s career. This study follows John Rawlins from his birth in Galena, Illinois (February 13, 1831) to his death. A brief sketch of his industrious youth; his successful law practice, and, in 1861, his appointment to the position of assistant adjutant general to Grant, paint a vivid portrait of this exceptional man. As AAG, Rawlins’ first order of business was to obtain a promise from Grant to abstain from alcohol. Anyone who offered a drink to Grant faced demotion and exile. Grant’s alcohol consumption was a never-ending source of concern for Rawlins. From the field of battle to the political arena, Rawlins was Grant’s right arm. Grant was inaugurated president in 1868; Rawlins was appointed secretary of war. Rawlins had a passion for justice, and espoused the cause of Cuban freedom. After a lengthy struggle with pulmonary consumption, Rawlins died on September 5, 1869. Brief outlines of battles in which Grant participated have been included. Maps and facsimile reprints of vintage photographs enliven this fascinating account of a forgotten patriot.
J. C. Ladenheim
2011, 5½x8½, paper, index, 286 pp.