Who was Ulysses S. Grant?
Ulysses S Grant was born on April 27, 1822 at Point Pleasant in
Clermont County, Ohio. He attended school in Georgetown, Ohio, receiving an appointment to
West Point in 1839 where he particularly excelled in horsemanship. Following his
graduation from West Point in 1843, he served in various garrisons until 1854, at which
time he resigned his commission and returned to civilian life. Responding to President
Lincoln's call for volunteers at the outbreak of the war between the states, Grant
accepted a commission as Colonel of the Twenty-First Illinois Volunteers. Shortly
thereafter, he was promoted by President Lincoln to the rank of Brigadier General in the
Regular Army. His record during the war between the states was one of perseverance in the
face of adversity, frequently resulting in brilliant victories. In recognition of this
record, he was appointed to the rank of Lieutenant General of the Armies on Feb 29, 1864,
and placed in command of all Union forces in the field. In this capacity it was said of
him that, "Once he decided on a course of action, he would not turn back, no matter
how great were the obstacles to victory."
His magnanimous treatment of and consideration for confederate combatants at the
cessation of hostilities was most significant in limiting further deterioration of
relationships between opposing forces. Following the close of the war between the states,
his abilities as a tactician and leader of men were again recognized when on July 25, 1866
he was appointed to the newly created four-star rank of General of the Armies.
During the difficult reconstruction period, General Grant gained a reputation as a
steadfast advocate of firm, but fair, administrative action; an attitude which won him
respect and admiration and was greatly responsible for his unanimous nomination as a
presidential candidate in the election of 1868.
Grant took the oath of office as our nation's eighteenth President on March 4, 1869,
and began a tenure of two terms.
Ulysses S. Grant died a Mount McGregor near Saratoga, New York, on July 23, 1885. He
reposes in a magnificent tomb, dedicated in 1897, on Riverside Drive in New York City.
- History of the Grant SSBN-631