Former rebel general returns Grant’s favor

Puzzled as he was by the odd request, President Jefferson Davis gladly gave a Texas general the toughest job in the Confederacy on Dec. 11, 1863.

As a member of the West Point class of 1846, Samuel Bell Maxey roomed with Thomas Jonathan Jackson, who went on to become the legendary “Stonewall.” Another close friend at the academy was a hard-drinking cadet, who kept his nose buried in novels rather than textbooks, named Ulysses S. Grant.

It did not take Maxey long to learn that he was not cut out for a career in the military. Repulsed by the blood and gore of the Mexican War, the young lieutenant resigned from the service to study law. In 1857 he moved from Kentucky to Paris, Texas and went into practice with his father.


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