He passed out because he got a pommel of a saddle slammed into his groin. :eek: I think most men would pass out, under the circumstances. I don’t know about his drinking while in the White House (this indicates he was an alcoholic, but the report is second-hand and only says that he drank a lot – but everyone of his generation did*), but there was a good chance he was clinically depressed over the loss of his son.
Grant was a problem drinker – he didn’t drink much, and he didn’t do it regularly, but it hit him hard when he did. Most of his drinking was prior to the Civil War; he remained sober afterward. In a clinical sense, he might have been what nowadays would be termed an alcoholic, but he avoided drink so kept it under control.
The big problem in determining this is defining “alcoholic.” What would be considered signs of alcoholism today would be normal behavior in the 19th Century (see note below).
*In the 1830s, for instance, everyone, including children, drank alcoholic beverages (usually cider). They were safer than water (which often was polluted) or milk (which wasn’t pasteurized), and it were the only drink that could be kept for any length of time.