“Every body who knows me knows I have no political aspirations either now or for the future.”

I received a letter from Gen. Blair asking about my political aspirations. I replied,

Your letter of the 16th inst. is but just received. It is on a subject upon which I do not like to write, talk, or think. Every body who knows me knows I have no political aspirations either now or for the future. I hope to remain a soldier as long as I live, to serve faithfully any and every Administration that may be in power, and which may be striving to maintain the integrity of the whole Union, as long as I do live.
However far the powers that be may choose to extend my authority I will always endeavor to realize their expectations of me. However much my command may be reduced I will serve with the same fidelity and zeal.
Under no circumstances would I use power for political advancement, nor whilst a soldier take part in politics. If, in the conventions to meet, one candidate should be nominated whose election I would regard as dangerous to the country, I would not hesitate to say so freely however. Further than this I could take no part. Admiral Porter in writing to Asst. Sec. Fox has probably obtained his information from Sherman. Sherman knows my views exactly. On the subject of the Lieut. Generalcy however he has not exactly caught my idea. When the Bill reviving that grade was first proposed I did express doubts as to the effect such a measure might have on my influence over those whom I might have to command, and who after all have all the fighting to do. Rather than to loose the least power to do good, towards crushing out the rebellion in the shortest possible time, I would prefer remaining as I am. I also stated that under no circumstances could I be induced to take an office which would require me to stay in Washington and command whilst the Armies were in the Field.
I hope you will show this letter to no one unless it be the President himself. I hate to see my name associated with politics either as an aspirant for office or as a partizan.
Write to me again.
sincerely your friend
U. S. Grant

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 10, p 166-7