Ulysses S. Grant was an alcoholic. He failed at farming and business.
Men blamed him for the Battle of Shiloh, urging Lincoln to fire him.
Lincoln remained silent for what seemed a very long time. He then gathered himself up in his chair and said in a tone of earnestness that I shall never forget: “I can’t spare this man; he fights.”1
Lincoln saw Grant’s skill, and he kept him.
It’s not always obvious who the great ones will be.
“He stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk; and now, sir, we stand by each other always.”2 —William T. Sherman