About Patricia Cameron
A fan of General Ulysses S. Grant from childhood, Patricia Cameron has spent more than ten years studying the intense and often-overlooked relationship between Grant and his wife, Julia. Patricia’s extensive research and in-depth examination of the Grants, through their memoirs, letters and first-hand accounts of them, makes her the expert on one of the most important marriages in our nation’s history.
General Grant is often remembered as a ruthless general, and for leading the Union Army to victory over the Confederates, for stabilizing the newly reunited United States after the Civil War, for his international diplomacy, and, sadly, for his problems with alcoholism. What is mostly unknown about Grant is his passionate, romantic and undying love for Julia. He was, in fact, a tender, devoted and romantic husband, who sent his wife “a thousand kisses” and sent her flowers through the mail. It was being with Julia that brought Grant happiness and gave him the strength to be the general and president that his country needed him to be.
“Your letters always afford me a greatdeal of happiness because they assure me again that you love me still; I never doubted your love Julia for one instant but it is so pleasant to hear it repeated, for my own part I would sacrifice evrything Earthly to make my Dear Julia my own forever.”
– First letter to Julia written by Ulysses from his army camp in Corpus Christi, Texas, on his way to the Mexican War (includes his misspellings).
No study of Grant or the Civil War is complete without an understanding of the powerful role of this couple’s love for each other.
When he was away during the Mexican War, he once opened a letter from his “Dear Dear Julia”, which contained two flowers she had sent, but the wind blew them away. He could not find them, and he grieved.
The complete romance of Julia and Ulysses S. Grant and its impact on history could be lost, as well, if not for the passion and research of Patricia Cameron.
In her book “Unconditional Surrender: The Romance of Julia and Ulysses S. Grant,” Patricia offers a chronological collection of every letter young Lieutenant Grant wrote to Julia during their courtship, allowing his heart to pour out like never before. Patricia provides insightful comments and context about the letters, drawn from her decade of research, while letting the words of love and devotion speak for themselves.
Recently, Patricia also released “My Spiritual Journey with General Grant,” the first in a travelogue series about her journey of discovery, including more than twenty trips to historic sites important in the lives of the Grants.
For ten years, Patricia had experiences such as reading Grant’s original love letters in the Library of Congress, spending the night in their newlywed homes, including once in the dead of winter with no electricity, in a house reported to be haunted. Patricia has sought knowledge in obscure archives and museums in small towns and big cities, and from a vast array of primary sources. The second book in the series of "My Spiritual Journey with General Grant" will be available in the spring of 2013.
“They would seek a quiet corner of his quarters of an evening and sit with her hand in his, manifesting the most ardent devotion; and if a staff officer came accidentally upon them, they would act as bashful as two young lovers spied upon in the scenes of their courtship.”
– Horace Porter, aide-de-camp to General Grant
“The whole way I done nothing but think of you…”
– Ulysses writes to Julia of his first trip home to visit his parents following the Mexican War.