Faced with cancer and financial ruin, the Civil War's greatest general and former president, Ulysses S. Grant wrote his personal memoirs to secure his family's future. In doing so, he won himself a unique place in American letters. Acclaimed by writers as diverse as Mark Twain and Gertrude Stein, Grant's memoirs demonstrate the intelligence, intense determination, and laconic modesty that made him the Union's foremost commander. "Personal Memoirs" is devoted almost entirely to his life as a soldier. For their directness and clarity, his writings on war are without rival in American Literature.