Ulysses Grant (1822–1885) led the victorious Union army during the American Civil War (1861–1865) and was the 18th President of the United States from 1869 to 1877. Grant, an aggressive and resolute commander, was given command of the United States troops during the Civil War. He defeated the Confederate armies in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia and helped secure major victories at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Chattanooga, and Richmond. A great military tactician, he improved the army's organization, training, and equipment and introduced new tactics that were later used in World War I and II.
Grant was elected president after serving as chief executive of the United States Army during the Civil War. When he took office in March 1869, there was no national emergency, so Congress voted to pay his salary of $25,000 per year. But soon after his inauguration, the crisis of the Civil War had been resolved with the surrender of the last Confederate army on April 9, 1865. Now it was time for the country to move forward without violence.
So, Grant's role was more than just commanding armies during the war - he helped bring about a permanent end to slavery. The 13 original states of the Union agreed to abolish slavery as part of their ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which officially ended slavery in all forms throughout all of U.S. territory.
As commanding general in the American Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant led the Union Armies to victory over the Confederacy in 1865. Grant was eventually elected the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877) as an American hero, trying to enact Congressional Reconstruction and abolish slavery. His presidency is remembered for its conflict with Congress over funding for his war efforts and for the suspension of Habeas Corpus during the Civil War.
Grant has been called the "greatest military commander the United States has ever had." During his tenure, no larger battles were fought than those he himself engaged in, including Shiloh, Chattanooga, and Petersburg. He won every battle he participated in, including those where he was not the overall commander.
His victories helped ensure the survival of the Union after Lincoln's assassination in April 1865. They also helped convince European powers who were sympathizing with the Confederacy that the United States would not go down without a fight. In addition, Grant's successes on the battlefield earned him the respect of fellow officers and soldiers alike, which in turn helped him achieve his second goal: winning over Congress and securing federal funds for continued war efforts.
Furthermore, many historians believe that if it hadn't been for Grant's leadership during this time of crisis, then the country might have collapsed after the death of Abraham Lincoln.
In the American Civil War, Grant led the Union armies to victory over the Confederacy. However, he did not live up to his reputation as a great president, as he was unable to get Congress to approve any of his proposals. In fact, many of his ideas were rejected by Congress.
As a young man, Grant served in the Illinois Militia where he participated in the war against Native Americans before being recruited into the army. He rose through the ranks to become a general, winning major battles at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Petersburg. His victories helped turn the tide of the war away from the Confederacy.
Grant's presidency is most known for its involvement with African-Americans. As part of its policy of Radical Reconstruction, which aimed to give former slaves full rights as citizens, the National Republican Party appointed black men to be mayors of large cities such as Washington, D.C. The Democrats, who controlled state governments during this time, attempted to block these appointments by refusing to seat the men. In order to ensure that these men were given proper authority, Federal troops were needed to protect them, so they could do their jobs.
Grant served as the 18th President of the United States from 1822 to 1885. Prior to becoming President, he led the Union Army to victory in the Civil War. In this section from his Personal Memoirs, Ulysses uses the first-person point of view. He describes the events leading up to the war and the early battles of the war.
My life has been full of incident since I was a boy. My parents were not wealthy, but we had nothing to be poor about. My father was able to buy a farm when he was twenty-five years old. We lived on the farm until the age of forty, when my father moved to Georgetown town center. Here he bought an hotel, which he ran until his death at the age of sixty-four. I worked with him until I was eighteen years old, then went to work for a newspaper in Galena, Illinois. When I was twenty-one years old, I became editor of the paper. I kept that position for six years, then moved to St. Louis and bought a newspaper of my own. For two years I managed that paper without any assistance, then hired someone to help me.
In 1856, I married Julia Dent, a beautiful woman three years older than myself. We had one son together, who died in infancy. After our son's death, we didn't have much joy in our marriage.