Ulysses S. Grant
Copyright Michael D. Robbins 2005
 

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"The will of the people is the best law."

"Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace."

"My failures have been errors of judgment, not of intent."

Everyone has his superstitions. One of mine has always been when I started to go anywhere, accomplished.

I have made it a rule of my life to trust a man long after other people gave him up, but I don't see how I can ever trust any human being again.

I have never advocated war except as a means of peace.

I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.

I know only two tunes: one of them is “Yankee Doodle,” and the other isn't.

If men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail.

In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.

It was my fortune, or misfortune, to be called to the office of Chief Executive without any previous political training.

Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.

Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate.

The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.

The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of oppression, if they are strong enough, whether by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable.

There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword.

 

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.

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. and Hannah Simpson Grant. 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 , 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.

After service in the Mexican-American War he was promoted to Captain in 1853. 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 however 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 its first victory of the war by capturing Fort Henry, Tennessee on February 6, 1862.

Following the Battle of Chattanooga, he was appointed Lieutenant-General on March 2, 1864, and on the 17th he assumed command of all of the armies of the United States.

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. On election day he won with a majority of 309,684 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. After the end of his second term Grant spent two years travelling around the world.

Grant wrote his memoirs shortly before his death, whilst 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.

Late in the administration of Andrew Johnson, Gen. quarreled with the President and aligned himself with the Radical Republicans. He was, as the symbol of Union victory during the Civil War, their logical candidate for President in 1868.

When he was elected, the American people hoped for an end to turmoil. Grant provided neither vigor nor reform. Looking to Congress for direction, he seemed bewildered. One visitor to the White House noted "a puzzled pathos, as of a man with a problem before him of which he does not understand the terms."

Born in 1822, Grant was the son of an Ohio tanner. He went to West Point rather against his will and graduated in the middle of his class. In the Mexican War he fought under Gen. Zachary Taylor.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Grant was working in his father's leather store in Galena, Illinois. He was appointed by the Governor to command an unruly volunteer regiment. Grant whipped it into shape and by September 1861 he had risen to the rank of brigadier general of volunteers.

He sought to win control of the Mississippi Valley. In February 1862 he took Fort Henry and attacked Fort Donelson. When the Confederate commander asked for terms, Grant replied, "No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted." The Confederates surrendered, and President Lincoln promoted Grant to major general of volunteers.

At Shiloh in April, Grant fought one of the bloodiest battles in the West and came out less well. President Lincoln fended off demands for his removal by saying, "I can't spare this man--he fights."

For his next major objective, Grant maneuvered and fought skillfully to win Vicksburg, the key city on the Mississippi, and thus cut the Confederacy in two. Then he broke the Confederate hold on Chattanooga.

Lincoln appointed him General-in-Chief in March 1864. Grant directed Sherman to drive through the South while he himself, with the Army of the Potomac, pinned down Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

Finally, on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Lee surrendered. Grant wrote out magnanimous terms of surrender that would prevent treason trials.

As President, Grant presided over the Government much as he had run the Army. Indeed he brought part of his Army staff to the White House.

Although a man of scrupulous honesty, Grant as President accepted handsome presents from admirers. Worse, he allowed himself to be seen with two speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk. When Grant realized their scheme to corner the market in gold, he authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to sell enough gold to wreck their plans, but the speculation had already wrought havoc with business.

During his campaign for re-election in 1872, Grant was attacked by Liberal Republican reformers. He called them "narrow-headed men," their eyes so close together that "they can look out of the same gimlet hole without winking." The General's friends in the Republican Party came to be known proudly as "the Old Guard."

Grant allowed Radical Reconstruction to run its course in the South, bolstering it at times with military force.

After retiring from the Presidency, Grant became a partner in a financial firm, which went bankrupt. About that time he learned that he had cancer of the throat. He started writing his recollections to pay off his debts and provide for his family, racing against death to produce a memoir that ultimately earned nearly $450,000. Soon after completing the last page, in 1885, he died.

 

 

Order:

18th President

Term of Office:

March 4, 1869 - March 4, 1877

Followed:

Andrew Johnson

Succeeded by:

Rutherford B. Hayes

Date of Birth

April 27, 1822

Place of Birth:

Point Pleasant, Ohio

Date of Death:

July 23, 1885

Place of Death:

Mount McGregor, New York

First Lady:

Julia Boggs Dent

Occupation:

soldier

Political Party:

Republican

Vice President:

Schuyler Colfax (1869-1873)

Henry Wilson (1873-1875)

Eighteenth President 1869-1877

The man we know as was actually named Hiram Ulysses Grant. As a boy he was known as "Lyss". Thomas Hamer, the Congrssman who appointed Grant to West Point, forgot all about Hiram. Remembering that Grant's mother's maiden name was Simpson and thinking that was Lyss Grant's middle name, he filled out the application in the name of "".

When Grant arrived at West Point and discovered that the Academy had him registered under the wrong name, he tried to get the error corrected. He was told that it didn't matter what he or his parents thought his name was, the official government application said his name was "Ulysses S." and that application could not be changed.
If Hiram U. Grant wanted to attend West Point, he would have to change his name.*

Biography: Late in the administration of Andrew Johnson, Gen. quarreled with the President and aligned himself with the Radical Republicans. He was, as the symbol of Union victory during the Civil War, their logical candidate for President in 1868.

When he was elected, the American people hoped for an end to turmoil. Grant provided neither vigor nor reform. Looking to Congress for direction, he seemed bewildered. One visitor to the White House noted "a puzzled pathos, as of a man with a problem before him of which he does not understand the terms."

Born in 1822, Grant was the son of an Ohio tanner. He went to West Point rather against his will and graduated in the middle of his class. In the Mexican War he fought under Gen. Zachary Taylor.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Grant was working in his father's leather store in Galena, Illinois. He was appointed by the Governor to command an unruly volunteer regiment. Grant whipped it into shape and by September 1861 he had risen to the rank of brigadier general of volunteers.

He sought to win control of the Mississippi Valley. In February 1862 he took Fort Henry and attacked Fort Donelson. When the Confederate commander asked for terms, Grant replied, "No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted." The Confederates surrendered, and President Lincoln promoted Grant to major general of volunteers.

At Shiloh in April, Grant fought one of the bloodiest battles in the West and came out less well. President Lincoln fended off demands for his removal by saying, "I can't spare this man--he fights."

For his next major objective, Grant maneuvered and fought skillfully to win Vicksburg, the key city on the Mississippi, and thus cut the Confederacy in two. This was the culmination of one of the most brilliant military campaigns of the war. With the loss of Pemberton's army and this vital stronghold on the Mississippi, the Confederacy was effectively split in half. Grant's successes in the West boosted his reputation, leading ultimately to his appointment as General-in-Chief of the Union armies. Then he broke the Confederate hold on Chattanooga.

Lincoln appointed him General-in-Chief in March 1864. Grant directed Sherman to drive through the South while he himself, with the Army of the Potomac, pinned down Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

Finally, on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Lee surrendered. Grant wrote out magnanimous terms of surrender that would prevent treason trials.

As President, Grant presided over the Government much as he had run the Army. Indeed he brought part of his Army staff to the White House.

Although a man of scrupulous honesty, Grant as President accepted handsome presents from admirers. Worse, he allowed himself to be seen with two speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk. When Grant realized their scheme to corner the market in gold, he authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to sell enough gold to wreck their plans, but the speculation had already wrought havoc with business.

During his campaign for re-election in 1872, Grant was attacked by Liberal Republican reformers. He called them "narrow-headed men," their eyes so close together that "they can look out of the same gimlet hole without winking." The General's friends in the Republican Party came to be known proudly as "the Old Guard."

Grant allowed Radical Reconstruction to run its course in the South, bolstering it at times with military force.

After retiring from the Presidency, Grant became a partner in a financial firm, which went bankrupt. About that time he learned that he had cancer of the throat. He started writing his recollections to pay off his debts and provide for his family, racing against death to produce a memoir that ultimately earned nearly $450,000. Soon after completing the last page, in 1885, he died

 

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