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Ulysses S. Grant
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Ulysses S. Grant


Ulysses S. Grant
Order:18th President
Term of Office:March 4, 1869 - March 4, 1877
Followed:Andrew Johnson
Succeeded by:Rutherford B. Hayes
Date of BirthApril 27, 1822
Place of Birth:Point Pleasant, Ohio
Date of Death:July 23, 1885
Place of Death:Mount McGregor, New York
First Lady:Julia Grant
Political Party:Republican
Vice President:

Ulysses Simpson Grant (April 27, 1822 - July 23, 1885) was an American Civil War General and the 18th (1869-1877) President of the United States.

Though a successful general, he is considered by many historians to be one of America's worst Presidents and led an administration that was plagued by severe scandal and corruption. However, historians also agree that the scandal was not Grant's fault: he had a corrupt cabinet.

Table of contents
1 Biography
2 Military career
3 Presidency
4 Later life
5 Key events in Grant's military career
6 Nicknames
8 Supreme Court appointments
9 Related articles
10 Currency Image
11 External links


Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant) was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio, Clermont County, Ohio (25 miles above Cincinnati on the Ohio River) to Jesse R. Grant and Hannah Simpson. His father and also his mother's father were born in Pennsylvania. His father was a tanner. In the fall of 1823 they moved to the village of Georgetown in Brown County, Ohio, where Grant spent most of his time until he was 17.

At the age of 17, he received a cadetship to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York through his Congressman. The Congressman erroneously registered him as Ulysses S. Grant, and as such he is thus known. He graduated from West Point in 1843, No. 21 in a class of 39.

He married Julia Boggs Dent (1826-1902) on August 22, 1843 and they had four children: Frederick Dent, Ulysses Simpson, Jr., Ellen Wrenshall, and Jesse Root.

Military career

He served in the Mexican-American War under Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott, taking part in the battles of Resaca de la Palma, Palo Alto, Monterrey, and Vera Cruz. He was twice breveted for bravery: at Molino del Rey and Chapultepec. The following summer, on July 31, 1854, he resigned from the army. Seven years of civilian life following, in which he was a farmer, a real estate agent in St. Louis, and finally an assistant at his father and brother's leather business.

On April 24, 1861, ten days after the fall of Fort Sumter, Captain Grant arrived in Springfield, Illinois with a company of men he had raised. The Governor felt that a West Point man could be put to better use and appointed him Colonel of the Twenty-first Illinois Infantry (effective June 17, 1861). On August 7th he was appointed a Brigadier-General of volunteers.

Grant gave the Union Army its first major victory of the American Civil War by capturing Fort Henry, Tennessee on February 6, 1862.

He doggedly pursued the Confederate Army and won impressive but costly victories at the Battle of Shiloh, the Battle of Vicksburg, and the Battle of Chattanooga. His willingness to fight and ability to win impressed President Lincoln who appointed him Lieutenant-General on March 2, 1864, and on the 17th he assumed command of all of the armies of the United States.

Grant left Major General William T. Sherman in immediate charge of all forces in the west and moved his headquarters to Virginia where he turned his attention to the long frustrated Union effort to take Richmond, Virginia. Despite heavy losses and difficult terrain, the Army of the Potomac kept up a relentless pursuit of General Robert E. Lee's troops and a lost bloody contest in the Battle of the Wilderness, had no more than a draw at the Spotsylvania, and horribly lost at Cold Harbor. Finally, he slipped his troops across a river, fooling Lee, and it was the Siege of Petersburg. His relentless pressure finally forced Lee to evacuate Richmond, which shortly burned, forcing him to surrender at Appomattox Courthouse on 9 April 1865. Within a few weeks, the American Civil War was effectively over, though the last land battle at Palmito Ranch took place in May 12 - 13, 1865, and Confederate general Kirby Smith surrendered his forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department on June 2nd.

After the war the United States Congress appointed him to the newly-created rank of General of the Army on July 25, 1866.


Grant was chosen as the Republican presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention in Chicago on May 20 1868 with no real opposition. In the general election that year, he won with a majority of 3,012,833 out of a total of 5,716,082 votes cast.

He was the 18th (1869-1877) President of the United States and served two terms from March 4, 1869 to March 3, 1877.

Grant's presidency was plagued with the suspicion of scandal, especially the Whiskey Ring fraud in which over $3 million in taxes were taken from the federal government. Orville E. Babcock, the private secretary to the President, was indicted as a member of the ring and escaped conviction only because of a presidential pardon. After the Whiskey ring, Grant's Secretary of War William W. Belknap was involved in an investigation which revealed that he had taken bribes in exchange for the sale of Native American trading posts. Although there is no evidence that Grant himself profited from corruption among his subordinates, he did not take a firm stance against malefactors and failed to react strongly even after their guilt was established.

Grant was peripherally involved in the matter of Edgardo Mortara, sending a plea to Pope Pius IX to allow the boy to return to his parents.

Later life

After the end of his second term Grant spent two years travelling around the world. On this tour he visited Sunderland where he opened the first free municipal public library in England.

Grant was elected the eighth president of the National Rifle Association in 1883.

Grant wrote his memoirs shortly before his death, while terminally ill from throat cancer and in financial difficulties after the collapse of the firm Grant and Ward. He heroically fought to finish his memoirs in the hope they would provide financially for his family after his death. He finished them just a few days before his death, and they succeeded in providing a comfortable income for his wife and children. He died on July 23, 1885 at Mount McGregor, Saratoga County, New York. His body lies in New York City, with that of his wife, in Grant's Tomb, the largest mausoleum in North America.

Grant's portrait appears on the U.S. $50 bill.

His professed religion was Methodist.

Key events in Grant's military career



Supreme Court appointments

Grant appointed the following Justices to the
Supreme Court of the United States:

Related articles

Currency Image

Grant as he appears on the 2004 series U. S. fifty dollar note.

External links

Preceded by:
Andrew Johnson
President of the United States
Succeeded by:
Rutherford B. Hayes