President Ulysses S. Grant

President Ulysses S. Grant

Easton Press Ulysses S. Grant books

Grant: A Biography - William S. McFeely - 1987
Lee and Grant a Dual Biography - Gene Smith - 1987
Personal Memoirs - Library of Military History - 1989
Web of Victory: Grant at Vicksburg - Civil War Library - Earl Schenck Miers - 1996

President Ulysses S. Grant biography

Ulysses Simpson Grant (1822-1885), American soldier and 18th President of the Unites States, born in Point Pleasant, Ohio. As a boy he worked on his father's farm and in has tannery in Georgetown, Ohio, to which the Grant family had moved in 1823. He attended school in Georgetown and in Maysville, Kentucky, and in 1839 received an appointment to the United States military Academy at WestPoint, New York; through an error in the application filled out by the congressman who sponsored him, Grant's given names were entered on the Academy's rolls not as Ulysses Hiram (his baptismal names in reverse order), but as Ulysses Simpson, the names which Grant continued to use thereafter.

At West Point Grant displayed proficiency in mathematics and engineering, and excelled in horsemanship. He graduated in 1843, was commissioned a second lieutenant, and was assigned to the fourth United States Infantry Regiment, which was subsequently included in the army commanded by Zachary Taylor in the newly admitted State of Texas. Following the outbreak of hostilities with Mexico in 1846, Ulysses S. Grant fought with distinction under Taylor in the battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and Monterey. After being transferred to the command of General Winfield Scott, Ulysses S. Grant took part in the campaign which resulted in Scott's capture of Mexico City in 1847. In recognition of his bravery under fire, Ulysses S. Grant was promoted, during the campaign, to first lieutenant, and at its close to captain. He remained on duty in Mexico until 1848.

Later Ulysses S. Grant was assigned to garrison duty in Michigan and in 1852, at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River. While at the latter post, he began the first of a series of varied business enterprises which met with little financial success. A transfer to California followed in 1853. There, disheartened by barracks life and the separation from his wife, whom he had married in St. Louis in 1848, Ulysses S. Grant became addicted to alcohol. In 1854, offered the choice by his superiors of standing trial or of resigning, he chose the latter course.

With the aid of his father-in-law Ulysses S. Grant started farming in the vicinity of St. Louis. After four years of toil and little success, illness forced Ulysses S. Grant to abandon his farm. For the next two years he made a meager living in the real estate business in St. Louis, giving that up in 1860 to move to Galena, Illinois, where he worked as a clerk in his father's leather store until the outbreak of the Civil War.

In May, 1861, Ulysses S. Grant offered his services to the War Department, and in June was appointed a colonel in command of a regiment of volunteers and was dispatched to suppress guerilla warfare in Missouri. On August 7, President Abraham Lincoln made Grant a brigadier general of volunteers, and in September Ulysses S. Grant was given command of the military district comprising western Kentucky and southeastern Missouri, with headquarters in Cairo Illinois. Almost his first act in his new post was to seize the strategically situated Confederate base of Paducah, Kentucky at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers. In February, 1862, Ulysses S. Grant won the first important Union victory of the war when, after taking Fort Henry on the Tennessee River, near the Kentucky - Tennessee border, he compelled the surrendered of Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River, about 12 miles to the east of Fort Henry. The offer by the Confederate commander of Fort Donelson, General S.B. Buckner, to negotiate an armistice, elicited from Ulysses s. Grant the statement that he could consider only the unconditional surrender of the Confederate force. Thereafter Ulysses S. Grant became known as "unconditional surrender Grant". In recognition of his signal success he was brevetted a major general.

Highly prejudicial journalistic reports of Ulysses S. Grant's conduct in the battle of Shiloh in April, 1862, up to that time the bloodiest battle of the war, led to widespread demands for his removal. Lincoln however, resisted the pressure put upon him with the explanation "I can't spare this man; he fights". In July, Ulysses S. Grant was placed n charge of the military district of West Tennessee, and in October he was given command of the military Department of Tennessee with the specific assignment of taking Vicksburg, Miss., a primary Confederate stronghold. After a series of defeats in the effort to approach and invest Vicksburg, Ulysses S. Grant finally, in May, 1863, laid siege to the city, which capitulated in July. As a result of the fall of Vicksburg, which followed soon after the victory of Gettysburg in the east, the Confederates lost control of the Mississippi River and was cut in two. Ulysses S. Grant was hailed a hero in the North and was rewarded with an appointment as a major general in the United States regular army. Another notable success was won by Ulysses S. Grant in November, 1863, with the battle of Chattanooga, which with other corollary successes opened the way to Georgia and resulted in General William Sherman's famous eastward "march to the sea".

Congress, in March 1864, conferred on Ulysses S. Grant the rank of lieutenant general, having received the rank for that purpose in February. A few days after his promotion Ulysses S. Grant assumed command for all United States forces, under Lincoln, and established his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac in the east. He at once began planning the campaign to take Richmond, Virginia. There followed the long series of battles in which Grant, out maniuevered by his great opponent, Robert E. Lee, and suffering heavier losses than Lee, nevertheless presses his weakening opponent back toward Richmond. Finally, after the Confederate citadels of Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia had fallen to Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant took Richmond on April 3, 1865. Six days later came the ultimate triumph for which Grant had striven, Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House; the terms of the surrender imposed by Ulysses S. Grant were generous. In 1866 he was commissioned General of the Armies of the United States, and in 1867 he was appointed secretary of war in the cabinet of President Andrew Johnson.

The Republican National Convention meeting in Chicago 1868, unanimously nominated Ulysses S Grant for President. He won an easy victory over Democratic candidate Horatio Seymour, ex governor of New York State. In the field of foreign policy, President Ulysses S. Grant's term of office was marked by the negotiation of a treaty with Great Britain, providing for a solution to a number of serious disputes between the two nations, and by fruitless efforts to annex Santo Domingo. In the realm of domestic policy President Grant introduced a number of civil service reforms but evoked much criticism by favoring wealthy men in making Cabinet appointments and by showing marked favortism to members of his and his wife's families in making other appointments. More serious dissatisfaction with his administration was caused by a series of rail and stock speculations undertaken by leading financiers and industrialists. These speculations led to the attempt of Jay Gould and James Fisk to corner the gold market, which resulted on September 24, 1869, known as Black Friday in financial panic.

These scandals, however did not touch President Ulysses S. Grant personally, and in subsequently re-nominated for the office of the President. He won an even easier victory over his principal opponent, Horace Greeley, than he had over Seymour in 1868. Upon assuming his second term as President of the United States in 1873, President Ulysses S. Grant had to contend with the effects of one of the greatest scandals in the history of the United States, that of Credit Mobilier of America; charges of corruption involved congressmen, Federal judges, and Vice President Henry Wilson. Another serious problem was the financial panic which began in September as a result of unsound business expansion and currency inflation. As the country continued to be shocked by scandals involving public officials, President Ulysses S. Grant also began to lose public esteem. A severe blow to the reputation of his administration was the resignation in 1876 of his secretary of war, William Belknap, to avoid impeachment on charges of malfeasance in office.

After leaving the White House in 1877, President Ulysses S. Grant engaged in a number of unprofitable business ventures. In 1884 he became financially bankrupt. The final year of his life was spent in writing his personal memoirs, regarded as one of the great autobiographies of American Literature, and in a hopeless struggle with a cancerous growth in his throat.


Grant - A Biography by William S. McFeely

Grant: A Biography by William S. McFeely presents an insightful exploration of the life and legacy of one of America's most celebrated generals and presidents. Delving into Ulysses S. Grant's complex personality and remarkable achievements, McFeely offers readers a vivid portrait of a man who played a pivotal role in shaping the nation's history. With meticulous research and engaging prose, this biography provides a compelling journey through Grant's military triumphs, political challenges, and personal struggles, shedding light on the enduring significance of his leadership and the indelible mark he left on America.

Lee and Grant - A Dual Biography

Lee and Grant: A Dual Biography by Gene Smith masterfully intertwines the lives of two of the most influential figures in American history. From their formative years to their legendary roles in the Civil War, Smith delves deep into the contrasting backgrounds and leadership styles of Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. With meticulous research and vivid storytelling, he paints a compelling portrait of these complex men, illuminating their triumphs, struggles, and the profound impact they had on the nation. Rich in detail and insight, this dual biography offers a captivating exploration of two iconic figures whose legacies continue to shape the course of American history.

Personal Memoirs of President Ulysses Grant

Personal Memoirs of President Ulysses Grant stands as a monumental work, not just in the annals of American literature, but also in the realm of political memoirs. Completed in the final months of his life, the memoir represents Grant's attempt to secure financial stability for his family while also providing a comprehensive account of his remarkable life. Born Hiram Ulysses Grant on April 27, 1822, in Point Pleasant, Ohio, Grant rose to prominence during the Civil War. His military genius and steadfast determination earned him the rank of General-in-Chief of the Union Army, and his leadership played a pivotal role in securing victory for the North. Grant's memoir offers unparalleled insight into his military strategies, providing firsthand descriptions of key battles such as Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Appomattox.

Beyond his military career, Grant's memoir also delves into his presidency (1869-1877). As the 18th President of the United States, Grant faced numerous challenges, including Reconstruction, Native American conflicts, and economic turmoil. Despite criticism and political turbulence, Grant's memoir reflects his unwavering commitment to preserving the Union and advancing the cause of freedom and equality.

Grant's writing style is straightforward and unpretentious, reflecting his no-nonsense approach to both war and politics. His memoir is characterized by its honesty and humility, as Grant candidly acknowledges his mistakes and shortcomings. Yet, throughout the narrative, one can discern the strength of character and resilience that defined Grant's life and career. Published by Mark Twain's publishing company shortly after Grant's death in 1885, the Personal Memoirs became an instant bestseller. Praised for its literary merit and historical significance, Grant's memoir remains a seminal work in American literature and an indispensable resource for understanding one of the nation's most consequential figures.

The Web of Victory - Grant at Vicksbur

Web of Victory: Grant at Vicksburg by Earl Schenck Miers is a meticulously researched biography that offers a comprehensive examination of one of the most pivotal campaigns of the American Civil War. Focusing on General Ulysses S. Grant's siege and eventual capture of Vicksburg, Mississippi, Miers provides a detailed narrative of the military strategies, political dynamics, and human stories that shaped this critical moment in history. Born out of Miers' deep passion for Civil War history and his dedication to scholarly rigor, Web of Victory presents Grant's Vicksburg campaign as a multifaceted web of intricate maneuvers, daring decisions, and intense struggles. Miers meticulously analyzes Grant's leadership style, his interactions with subordinates and superiors, and the challenges he faced both on and off the battlefield.

Through vivid storytelling and insightful analysis, Miers brings to life the soldiers, civilians, and leaders who were caught up in the crucible of war. He explores the experiences of Union and Confederate troops, as well as the civilians who endured the hardships of the siege. Moreover, Miers examines the political implications of Grant's success at Vicksburg, highlighting its significance in turning the tide of the war and securing Union control of the Mississippi River. Miers' writing style is both engaging and authoritative, drawing readers into the heart of the action while also providing in-depth analysis and interpretation. With meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of the historical context, "Web of Victory" offers a compelling portrait of Grant's leadership and the decisive campaign that helped to shape the course of American history.

Published in 1955, Web of Victory: Grant at Vicksburg remains a seminal work in Civil War scholarship, revered for its thorough research, balanced perspective, and compelling storytelling. It continues to be essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of the Civil War and the remarkable leadership of Ulysses S. Grant.

Ulysses S. Grant quotes

"The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on."

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

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

"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."

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

"I only knew what was in my mind, and I wished to express it clearly."

"The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on."

"The distant rear of an army engaged in battle is not the best place from which to judge correctly what is going on in front."

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