James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
You have the full control of your appetite and can let drinking alone. Had you not pledged me the sincerity of your honor early last March that you would drink no more during the war and kept that pledge during your recent campaign, you would not to-day have stood first in the worlds history as a successful military leader. Your only salvation depends upon your strict adherence to that pledge. You cannot succeed in any other way.1
That same day Rawlins removed a box of wine from the front of Grants tent that had been sent to him to celebrate his prospective entrance into Vicksburg, and next morning he searched every suspected tent for liquor and broke every bottle he found over a near-by stump.2
How much depends in military matters on one master mind! said Lincoln when Lee was invading Pennsylvania and Hooker was still in command of the Army of the Potomac.3 A thorough study of the operations against Vicksburg brings the conviction that Grant alone of the Union generals could have conducted that brilliant campaign, discomfiting two Confederate Armies and establishing his own on the high ground behind Vicksburg, and that he alone could have prosecuted the siege to its successful conclusion. He was a greater general than Stonewall Jackson but he might have been still greater could he have said with Jackson, changing only the name of Federal to Confederate, I love whiskey but I never use it; I am more afraid of it than of Confederate bullets.