Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant Brief Biography

Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant; April 27, 1822 " July 23, 1885) was the 18th President of the United States (1869"1877) following his successful role as a general in the second half of the Civil War. Under Grant, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military; the war, and secession, ended with the surrender of Robert E. Lee's army at Appomattox. As president he led the Radical Republicans in their effort to eliminate all vestiges of Confederate nationalism and slavery. Upset over uncontrolled violence in the South and wanting to protect African American citizenship, Grant effectively destroyed the Ku Klux Klan in 1871. Grant was the first president to establish Civil Service reform, creating a two-year federally funded Civil Service Commission in 1871. In foreign policy, Grant revealed an "unexpected capacity for deliberation and consultation" that promoted the national interest. His reputation was marred by his repeated defense of corrupt appointees, and by America's first industrial age economic depression (called the "Panic of 1873") that dominated his second term. Although his Republican Party split in 1872 with reformers denouncing him, Grant was easily reelected. By 1875 the conservative white Southern opposition regained control of every state in the South and as he left the White House in March 1877 his policies were being undone.

A career soldier, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the Mexican"American War. When the Civil War began in 1861, Grant trained Union volunteer regiments in Illinois. In 1862, as a general he fought a series of battles and was promoted to major general after forcing the surrender of a large Confederate army and gaining control of Kentucky and most of Tennessee. He then led Union forces to victory after initial setbacks in the Battle of Shiloh, earning a reputation as an aggressive commander. In July 1863, after a long, complex campaign, Grant defeated five uncoordinated Confederate armies (capturing one of them) and seized Vicksburg. This famous victory gave the Union full control of the Mississippi River, dividing the Confederacy, and opening the way for more Union triumphs. After another win at the Battle of Chattanooga in late 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made him lieutenant general and commander of all of the Union armies. As commanding general of the army, Grant confronted Robert E. Lee in a series of bloody battles in 1864 known as the Overland Campaign that ended with the bottling up of Lee at Petersburg, outside the Confederate capital. During the siege, Grant coordinated a series of devastating campaigns launched by William Tecumseh Sherman, Philip Sheridan, and George Thomas. Finally breaking through Lee's trenches, the Union Army captured Richmond in April 1865. Lee surrendered his depleted forces to Grant at Appomattox as the Confederacy collapsed. Although pro-Confederate historians attacked Grant as a ruthless butcher who won by brute force, most historians have hailed his military genius.

Ulysses S. Grant News

• The Almanac for April 27, the 117th day of 2019
• The Almanac for Saturday, April 20, the 110th day of 2019
• The Almanac for April 9, the 99th day of 2019
• The Almanac for April 7, the 97th day of 2019

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