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First Name: Hiram

Last Name: Grant

Birthplace: Point Pleasant, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Ulysses

Date of Birth: 27 April 1822

Date of Death: 23 July 1885

Rank: General

Years Served: 1839-1854, 1861-1869
Hiram Ulysses Grant

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1843

•  Mexican-American Wars (1846 - 1848)
•  American Civil War (1861 - 1865)


Hiram Ulysses Grant or Ulysses S. Grant
General, U.S. Army

This biography will only contain information appropriate to his military service. For information on his presidency, see Wikipedia.

Hiram Ulysses Grant was born on 27 April 1822 in Point Pleasant, OH, to parents born in Pennsylvania. His father Jesse Root Grant (1794-1873) was a tanner of Yankee and English ancestry; his mother Hannah Simpson Grant (1798-1883) was of Scottish ancestry. In the fall of 1823, the family moved to the village of Georgetown in Brown County, OH. Raised a Methodist, although not an official member of the church, Grant prayed in private and opposed religious pretentiousness.

At the age of 17, Grant entered the U.S. Military Academy secured by nomination from Congressman Thomas L. Hamer. An opening had become available when a cadet from Georgetown resigned in October 1838.

Hamer mistakenly nominated him as "Ulysses S. Grant of Ohio." At West Point, he adopted this name with a middle initial only. His nickname became "Sam" among Army colleagues at the Academy, since the initials "U.S." stood for "Uncle Sam." The influence of Grant's family caused the appointment to West Point; he himself did not wish to become a soldier.

Grant graduated from West Point in 1843, ranking 21st in a class of 39. Although he boasted of never having studied, Grant was so talented at mathematics that after graduation he would have become an instructor in the subject had the Mexican War not occurred. He established a reputation as a fearless and expert horseman, setting an equestrian high jump record that lasted almost 25 years. Although naturally suited for cavalry, he was assigned to duty as a Regimental Quartermaster, achieving the rank of Lieutenant. He helped to manage supplies and equipment.

Mexican-American War

During the Mexican American War (1846-1848), Lieutenant Grant served under Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. Although assigned as a Quartermaster, he got close enough to the front lines to see action, participating in the battles of Resaca de la Palma, Palo Alto, Monterrey, and Veracruz. At Monterrey, he carried a dispatch voluntarily on horseback through a sniper-lined street. He was twice brevetted for bravery: at Molino del Rey and Chapultepec. He was a remarkably close observer of the war, learning to judge the actions of colonels and generals, particularly admiring how Zachary Taylor campaigned. At the time he felt that the war was a wrongful one and believed that territorial gains were designed to spread slavery throughout the nation, writing in 1883, "I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day, regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation."


Between Wars

On 22 August 1848, Grant married Julia Boggs Dent (1826-1902), the daughter of a slave owner. Together, they had four children: Frederick Dent Grant; Ulysses S. "Buck" Grant, Jr.; Ellen Wrenshall "Nellie" Grant; and Jesse Root Grant.

Lieutenant Grant remained in the Army and was assigned to several different posts. He was sent west to Fort Vancouver in the Oregon Territory in 1852, initially landing in San Francisco during the height of the California Gold Rush. Julia was eight months pregnant with their second child and could not accompany him because a lieutenant's salary, at the time, would not support a family on the frontier.

The journey proved to be a horrid ordeal and Grant narrowly escaped a cholera epidemic while traveling overland through Panama. At Fort Vancouver, he served as Quartermaster of the 4th Infantry Regiment. Grant came in contact with western American Indian tribes. In 1853, Grant stated that the Native Americans were "harmless" and that they would be "peaceful" had they not been "put upon by the whites." He stated that the Klickitat tribe was formerly "powerful," yet had been inundated by white civilization's "whiskey and Small pox."

In 1854, he was promoted to Captain, one of only 50 still on active duty, and assigned to command Company F, 4th Infantry, at Fort Humboldt, on the northwest California coast. Without explanation, he abruptly resigned from the Army with little notice on 31 July 1854. The Commanding Officer at Fort Humboldt, Bvt. Lt. Col. Robert C. Buchanan, had learned that Grant was intoxicated off-duty while seated at the pay officer's table. Buchanan gave him an ultimatum and told him to leave the Army either by court-martial or resignation. Whether the threat of court-martial by Buchanan was justifiable, Grant decided to resign, the War Department having stated on his record, "Nothing stands against his good name." Rumors, however, persisted in the regular army of Grant's intemperance.

A civilian at age 32, Grant struggled through seven financially lean years. From 1854-58, he labored on a family farm near St. Louis, MO, using slaves owned by Julia's father, but it did not prosper. In 1856, Grant, in order to give his family a home, made a house he called "Hardscrabble." Julia, however, did not like the house, what she described as an "unattractive cabin." In 1858, Grant bought a slave from Julia's father, which made him one of twelve U.S. Presidents who owned slaves during their lifetime. From 1858-59, he was a bill collector in St. Louis. In 1860, after many failed business pursuits, he was given a job as an assistant in his father's tannery in Galena, IL. The leather shop, "Grant & Perkins," sold harnesses, saddles, and other leather goods and purchased hides from farmers in the prosperous Galena area. He moved his family to Galena and lived in a brick house before the Civil War broke out.

Up until the outbreak of the Civil War, Grant kept any political opinions private and never endorsed any candidate running for public office. He also, at this time, had no animosity toward slavery. His father-in-law was a prominent Democrat in St. Louis, a fact that contributed to a failed attempt to become county engineer in 1859. In the 1856 presidential election, he voted for the Democratic candidate James Buchanan to prevent secession and because "I knew Frémont," the Republican presidential candidate. In 1860, he favored Democratic presidential candidate Stephen A. Douglas over Abraham Lincoln, but did not vote. His own father, Jesse Root, was a prominent Republican in Galena. It was during the Civil War that his political sympathies coincided with the Republicans' aggressive prosecution of the war. In 1864, his patron Congressman Elihu B. Washburne used Grant's private letters as campaign literature for Lincoln's reelection. In 1868, Grant, affiliated with the Radical Republicans, was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate.

Civil War

On 13 April 1861, Confederate troops attacked Union Fort Sumter in Charleston, SC, forcing surrender. Two days later, on 15 April, President Lincoln put out a call for 75,000 volunteers. Grant helped recruit a company of volunteers and accompanied it to Springfield, the capital of Illinois. He accepted a position offered by Illinois Gov. Richard Yates to recruit and train volunteers. Grant, who wanted a field command, was efficient and energetic in the training camps and made a positive impression on the volunteer Union recruits. With the aid of his advocate in Washington DC, Elihu B. Washburne, Grant was promoted to Colonel by Governor Richard Yates on 14 June 1861, and put in charge of the unruly Twenty-first Illinois Volunteer Regiment. By the end of August 1861, Grant was given charge of the District of Cairo by Major General John C. Fremont, an outside Lincoln appointment, who viewed Grant as "a man of dogged persistence, and iron will." Grant's own demeanor changed; having renewed energies, he began to walk with a confident step.

Belmont, Henry, and Donelson

Grant's first battles during the Civil War centered on Cairo, IL, where the Ohio River runs into the Mississippi River. The Confederate Army was stationed in Columbus, KY, under General Leonidas Polk. Grant, who was headquartered at Cairo, was given an open order by Union General John C. Frémont to make demonstrations against the Confederate Army at Belmont. Taking 3,114 Union troops by boat, Grant attacked Fort Belmont on 7 November 1861. Initially taking the fort, his Army was pushed back to Cairo by Confederate General Gideon J. Pillow. Though considered a defeat, the battle gave confidence to Grant and the Union Army. Following Beltmont, Grant moved Union forces down the Mississippi River to capture Confederate water fortresses. Grant's troops, in collaboration with the Union Navy under Andrew H. Foote, successfully captured Fort Henry on 6 February 1862 and Fort Donelson on 16 February. Fort Henry, undermanned by Confederates and nearly submerged from flood waters, was taken over with few losses; however, at Fort Donelson the Union Army and Navy experienced stiff resistance from the Confederate forces under General Pillow. Grant's initial 15,000 troop strength was increased by 10,000 reinforcements. Grant's first attack on Fort Donelson was countered by Pillow's forces, pushing the Union Army into disorganized retreat eastward on the Nashville road. However, Grant was able to rally the troops; he resumed the offensive and the Confederates forces surrendered. Grant's surrender terms were popular throughout the nation: "No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender." With these victories, President Abraham Lincoln promoted Grant to Major General of Volunteers.


The Union advances achieved by Maj. Gen. Grant and Adm. Foote at Forts Henry and Donelson caused significant concern in the Confederate government. The Union Army, known as the Army of the Tennessee, under Grant had increased to 48,894 men and were encamped on the western side of the Tennessee River. On 6 April 1862, a determined full-force attack from the Confederate Army took place at the Battle of Shiloh; the objective was to destroy the entire Western Union offensive once for all. Over 44,699 Confederate troops led by Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard, vigorously attacked five divisions of Grant's Army bivouacked nine miles south at Pittsburgh Landing. Aware of the impending Confederate attack, Union troops sounded the alarm and readied for battle, however, no defensive entrenchment works had been made. The Confederates struck hard and repulsed the Union Army towards the Tennessee River. Grant and Maj. General William T. Sherman were able to rally the troops and make a stand. After receiving reinforcement troops from Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell and Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace's missing division, Grant succeeded in stabilizing the Army of the Tennessee. Confederate General Johnson was killed in the battle on the first day of fighting. On 7 April, Grant launched a costly counter-offensive and pursuit that forced the Confederate Army, now under P.G.T. Beauregard, to retreat to Corinth.

The battle was the costliest in the Civil War up until this time, having 23,746 combined Union and Confederate casualties. The carnage at Shiloh demonstrated to both Confederates and Unionists that the Civil War was both very serious and extremely costly. Shiloh was the first battle in the American Civil War with tremendous casualties and Grant received much criticism for keeping the Union Army bivouacked rather than entrenched. As a result, Grant's superior Maj. Gen Henry Halleck demoted him to second-in-command of a newly formed 120,000-strong Union Army. Grant was ready to resign from command when Maj. Gen. Sherman talked him into remaining in Halleck's army. After Halleck slowly moved on Corinth unopposed, the 120,000-man army was broken up and Grant returned to his previous command over the Army of the Tennessee. After being restored to command, Grant was responsible for the refugee slave contraband whom President Lincoln had authorized to be recruited into the Union Army. Grant put the refugees under the protection of Chaplain John Eaton who authorized them to work on abandoned Confederate plantations. Eventually, these refugees were paid to cut wood to fuel Union steamers, and were the beginnings of the Freedman's Bureau during Reconstruction.

Vicksburg and Chattanooga

On 17 December 1862 Grant issued General Orders No. 11 that expelled Jews, as a class, from Grant's military district, in a response to root out an illicit southern cotton trade in the Western War Department. President Lincoln demanded the order to be revoked, and it was cancelled after it lasted 21 days. Without admitting fault, Grant believed he had only complied with the instructions sent from Washington. According to Grant biographer, Jean E. Smith, it was "one of the most blatant examples of state-sponsored anti-Semitism in American history."

Resolved for more victories, President Lincoln, the Union Army and Navy, were determined to take the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg, located on the Mississippi River. In December 1862, with headquarters in Memphis, TN, Grant first campaigned to take Vicksburg by an overland route following a railroad in combination with a water expedition on the Mississippi led by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman. Confederate cavalry raiders Bedford Forest and Earl Van Dorn stalled Grant's advance by breaking communications, while the Confederate army led by John C. Pemberton concentrated and repulsed Sherman's direct approach at Chickasaw Bayou. During the second phase to capture Vicksburg, Grant attempted a series of unsuccessful and highly criticized system of bayou and canal water routes. Finally, in April 1863, Grant marched Union troops down the west side of the Mississippi River and crossed east over at Bruinsburg using Adm. David Porter's naval ships. Grant previously had implemented two diversion battles that confused Pemeberton and allowed the Union Army to cross the Mississippi River. After a series of battles and having taken a railroad junction near Jackson, Grant went on to defeat Confederate General John C. Pemberton at the Battle of Champion Hill. After Champion Hill, Grant made two costly direct-assaults on the Vickburg fortess and finally settled for a 7-week siege. Pemberton, who was in charge of the fortress, surrendered to Grant on 4 July 1863.

The Vicksburg Campaign was Grant's greatest achievement up to this time, having opened the south to Chattanooga and gave the Union Army access to the vital grainery supply in Georgia. The Union Army and Navy now controlled the entire Mississippi and divided the Confederacy in two. Grant demonstrated that an indirect assault coupled with diversionary tactics was highly effective strategy in defeating an entrenched Confederate Army. Although the success at Vicksburg was a great moral boost for the Union war effort, Grant received much criticism. During the campaign, Grant had many times been accused of being drunk by military rivals and newspapers. President Lincoln sent Charles Dana to keep a watchful eye on Grant's alleged controversial drunken behavior. In addition, a personal rivalry between Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand and Grant had developed over who took credit for capturing Vicksburg. McClernand was removed from command after he published a contradictory military order to the press and the rivalry ended.

After Vicksburg, President Lincoln put Grant in charge of the newly formed Division of the Mississippi in October 1863. Grant was in charge of the entire Union warfront in the West except for Louisiana. After the Battle of Chickamauga, Confederate General Braxton Bragg had forced Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans's Army of the Cumberland to retreat into Chattanooga, a central railway hub, surrounded the city and kept the Union army from escaping. Only Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas and the XIV Corps kept the Army of the Cumberland from complete defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga. When informed of the ominous situation at Chattanooga, Grant relieved Maj. Gen. Rosecrans from duty and placed Maj. Gen. Thomas in charge of and reorganize the besieged Army of the Cumberland. To stop the siege and go on the attack, Grant, although injured from a previous horse fall in New Orleans, personally rode out to Chattanooga and took charge of the Union Army's desperate situation. Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker and two divisions of the Army of the Potomac were sent by President Lincoln to reinforce the Army of the Cumberland; however, the Confederates kept the two Armies from meeting. Grant's first action was to open up a supply line to the Army of the Cumberland trapped in Chattanooga. Through an ingenious plan by Maj. Gen. William F. Smith, a "Cracker Line" was formed with Hooker's Army of the Potomac located at Lookout Mountain and supplied the Army of the Cumberland with food and military weapons.

The situation at Chattanooga was urgent and Grant ordered Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and four divisions of the Army of the Tennessee to get into position to attack Bragg's right flank. A week later three Union armies, the Tennessee, the Cumberland, and the Potomac were ready to make the final assault on Bragg's entrenched armies on Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain. On 24 November 1863, Maj. Gen. Hooker captured Lookout Mountain in order to draw Bragg's troops away from Missionary Ridge. On 25 November, Grant began his assault on Missionary Ridge. Maj. Gen. Sherman made an attempt to attack Bragg's right flank but topographical difficulties and stiff Confederate resistance prevented a successful assault. The Army of the Cumberland took matters into their own hands, stormed over Missionary Ridge, and forced Bragg to retreat in a disorganized rout. Grant, initially upset, had only ordered the Army of the Cumberland to take the rifle pits at the base of the ridge. The victory at Chattanooga increased Grant's fame throughout the country. Grant was promoted to Lieutenant General, a position that had previously been given to George Washington and given to Winfield Scott as a brevet promotion. Grant was given charge of the entire Union Army. Grant gave the Department of the Mississippi to Maj. Gen. Sherman, and went east to Washington, DC, to make and implement an overall strategy in partnership with President Lincoln to finally win the Civil War. Grant was the only General consistently winning victories for the Union. The decisive 1863 Chattanooga battle opened Georgia and the heartland of the Confederacy to Union invasion by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman.

Overland Campaign

In Washington, President Lincoln met with Grant and discussed an overall "total war" military strategy to end the Civil War with a Union victory. The strategy consisted of combined military Union offensives attacking the Confederacy's Armies, railroads, and economic infrastructures. The overall strategy was to keep the Confederate Armies from mobilizing reinforcements within southern interior lines. Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman would attack Atlanta and Georgia, while the Army of the Potomac, led by Maj. Gen. George Meade with Grant in camp, would attack Robert E. Lee's Army of Virginia. Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler was to attack and advance towards Richmond, going up the James River. Depending on Lee's actions, Grant would join forces with Butler's Armies and be fed supplies from the James River. Maj. Gen. Franz Sigel was to capture the railroad line at Lynchburg, move east, and attack from the Blue Ridge Mountains. However, the efforts of both Sigel and Butler failed and Grant was left alone to fight Robert E. Lee in a series of bloody battles of attrition known as the Overland Campaign that finally ended in a stalemate siege at Petersburg. Lee's objectives were to prolong the war and discourage the Northern will to fight, keep Grant from crossing south of the James River, and protect Richmond from Union attack.

After taking the month of April 1864 to assemble and ready the Union Army of the Potomac, Grant crossed the Rapidan River on 4 May and attacked Lee in the Wilderness, a hard-fought battle, with many casualties, that lasted three days. Rather than retreat as his Union predecessors had done, Grant flanked Lee's Army of Virginia to the southeast and attempted to wedge the Union Army between Lee and Richmond at Spotsylvania. Lee's Army got to Spotsylvania first and a costly and lengthy battle began that lasted 13 days. During the battle, Grant attempted to break through Lee's line of defense at the Mule Shoe, which resulted in one of the most violent assaults during the Civil War, known as The Battle of the Bloody Angle. Unable to break Lee's line of defense after repeated attempts, Grant flanked Lee to the southeast east again at North Anna, a battle that lasted three days. This time the Confederate Army had a superior defensive advantage on Grant; however, due to sickness, Lee was unable to lead the battle. Grant then maneuvered the Union Army to Cold Harbor, a vital railroad hub that was linked to Richmond, but Lee was able to make strong trenches to defend a Union assault. During the third day of the 13-day Cold Harbor battle, Grant led a costly fatal assault on Lee's trenches and, as news spread in the North, heavy criticism fell on Grant who was called "the Butcher," having lost 60,000 casualties in 30 days since crossing the Rapidan. Unknown to Robert E. Lee, Grant pulled out of Cold Harbor and stealthily moved his Army south of the James River, freed Maj. Gen. Butler from the Bermuda Hundred, and attacked Petersburg, Richmond's central railroad hub.

Petersburg and Appomattox

After Grant and the Army of the Potomac had successfully crossed the James River undetected by Lee and rescued Maj. Gen. Butler from the Bermuda Hundred, Grant advanced the Union army southward to capture Petersburg. Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard, in charge of Petersburg, was able to defend the city until Lee's veteran reinforcements arrived. Grant forced Lee into a long nine-month siege of Petersburg and the Union War effort stalled. Northern resentment grew as the Copperhead movement led by Clement Vallandigham demanded that the war be settled through peace talks. During the Petersburg siege, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman was able to take Atlanta, a victory that allowed President Lincoln to be reelected. Maj. Gen. Phil Sheridan had also defeated Confederate General Early in the Shenandoah Valley; saving Washington from capture. Lee had sent Early up the Shenandoah Valley to attack Washington and draw troops away from Grant's Army of the Potomac. Sheridan's cavalry, after Early was defeated, destroyed vital Confederate supply farms in the Shenandoah Valley. Grant was able to blow up part of Lee's trenches from an underground tunnel, however, the Union troops were disorganized and unable to break through Lee's entrenchments and capture Petersburg. On 9 August 1864 Lieut. Gen. Grant, who had just arrived at his headquarters in City Point, narrowly escaped certain death when Confederate spies blew up an ammunition barge moored below the city's bluffs. The enormous explosion, similar to the Petersburg mine, killed 47 men; 146 injured.

As the war slowly progressed, Grant continued to extend Robert E. Lee's entrenchment defenses southwest of Petersburg, in an effort to capture vital railroad links. By 21 August 1864 the Union Army had reached and captured the Weldon Railroad. As Grant continued to push the Union advance westward towards the South Side Railroad, Lee's entrenchment lines became overstretched and undermanned. Finally, in April 1865, Grant was able to break through Lee's weakened entrenchments and capture Richmond. Knowing that Maj. Gen. Sherman's Army, who had cost vast economic destruction in the south, would eventually link up with Grant's Army, Confederates troops in Lee's trenches deserted to the Army of the Potomac. Disease and lack of supplies also weakened Lee's forces. After an unsuccessful Confederate assault on Fort Stedman, Lee retreated from Petersburg and attempted to link up with the remnants of Confederate General Joe Johnson's defeated Army in order to continue the war. However, Union cavalry led by Maj. Gen. Phil Sheridan, a close friend of Grant, was able to stop the two armies from converging. Lee and the Army of Virginia reluctantly surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House on 9 April 1865. Grant gave generous terms; Confederate troops surrendered their weapons and were allowed to return to their homes on the condition they would not take up arms against the U.S. Within a few weeks the Civil War was over.

On 14 April 1865, only 5 days after Grant's victory at Appomattox, President Lincoln was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater. The President-who had been one of Grant's staunchest supporters, had consulted with the General on military strategy, and had become a close friend-died the next morning. Grant and his wife were originally invited to accompany Lincoln to the theater, but they declined and instead took a train to Philadelphia. Grant was, at various points, a potential target in the Lincoln assassination plot. An unknown assailant allegedly attempted to break into Grant's railroad car; but with the car securely locked and protected by porters, the assailant fled. Upon returning to Washington the following day and having learned that Lincoln was dead, Grant became enraged and carelessly ordered arrests of paroled Confederate officers. Maj. Gen. Edward Ord, however, was able to calm the growing hysteria in Washington through the use of accurate army intelligence and persuaded Grant to reverse his arrest orders. Attending Lincoln's funeral on 19 April, Grant stood alone and wept openly. Grant said of Lincoln, "He was incontestably the greatest man I have ever known."


On 25 July 1866, Congress promoted Grant to the newly created rank of General of the Army of the U.S., a form of the rank General of the Armies of the U.S. Grant was the most popular man in the country and became the Republican presidential candidate in 1868.

Maximilian in Mexico

Following the Civil War, Grant, as commanding general, immediately had to contend with Maximilian and the French Army who had taken over Mexico under the authority of Napoleon III. Grant put military pressure on the French Army to leave Mexico by sending 50,000 troops to the south Texas border led by Phil Sheridan. Grant secretly told Sheridan to do whatever it took to get Maximilian to abdicate and the French Army to leave Mexico. Sheridan sent Benito Juárez, the ousted leader of Mexico, 60,000 U.S. rifles to aid in an effort to defeat Maximillian. By 1866, the French Army completely withdrew from Mexico, leaving Maximilian to fend for himself. Maximilian, who had been installed as the Emperor of Mexico in 1864, was executed by the Mexican Army in 1867.

Stopped Fenian Canadian Invasion

After the war, thousands of Irish veterans joined the Fenian Brotherhood and formed the Irish Republican Army with the intention of invading and holding Canada hostage in exchange for Irish independence. In June 1866, Grant went to Buffalo, NY, to assess the situation. He ordered the Canadian border closed to prevent Fenian soldiers from crossing over at Fort Erie and that more weapons be confiscated. In June 1866, the U.S. Army arrested 700 Fenian troops at Buffalo and the Fenians gave up on their attempt to invade Canada.


To bear the fruits of a Northern victory over the South, Radical Republicans deployed troops in the former Confederate states to ensure constitutional rights to loyal whites and freedmen. Grant, as the highest military commander next to President Johnson, favored the will of Congress through the enforcement of congressional Reconstruction. Grant reported to President Johnson that military occupation should remain in the South and that the Freedman's Bureau was an "absolute necessity." Throughout the Reconstruction period, thousands of blacks were elected to political office, sheriffs, and assessors while Grant and the military protected their rights initially by overturning the black codes in 1867. The southern states were divided into five military districts to ensure that African-Americans newly granted constitutional and congressional rights were protected. Although Grant was initially in favor of using limited military force, he authorized Phil Sheridan to remove public officials in Louisiana who were against congressional Reconstruction. Congressional Reconstruction finally ended with the Compromise of 1877 and the complete withdrawal of military troops from the southern states.

Last Days

Grant learned at the same time that he was suffering from throat cancer. Grant and his family were left destitute, having forfeited his military pension when he assumed the office of President. Deep in debt, Grant wrote a series of literary works that improved his reputation and eventually brought his family out of bankruptcy. Grant first wrote several warmly received articles on his Civil War campaigns for The Century Magazine. Mark Twain offered Grant a generous contract for his memoirs, including 75% of the book's sales as royalties. Congress restored Grant to General of the Army with full retirement pay.

In 1883, Grant was elected as the eighth president of the National Rifle Association.

Terminally ill, Grant finished his memoir just a few days before his death. The Memoirs sold over 300,000 copies, earning the Grant family over $450,000. Twain promoted the book as "the most remarkable work of its kind since the Commentaries of Julius Caesar." Grant's memoir has been regarded by writers as diverse as Matthew Arnold and Gertrude Stein as one of the finest works of its kind ever written.

Death and Burial

Ulysses S. Grant died on Thursday, 23 July 1885, at the age of 63 in Mount McGregor, Saratoga County, NY. After lying in state, Grant's body was placed on a funeral train and traveled south from Albany, NY, and passed through the West Point station of Garrison, across the Hudson River from the Academy. The train carrying Grant's body was draped in black and slowly passed on its way to New York City. As it passed through West Point, the whole undergraduate battalion with Cadet Captain John J. Pershing at its head stood at present arms.

Grant's body lies in New York City's Riverside Park, beside that of his wife, in Grant's Tomb, the largest mausoleum in North America.

Grant is honored by the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial at the base of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Origin of Nickname/Handle:
His nomination to the U.S. Military Academy was mistakenly in the name Ulysses S. Grant. He was awarded this name by the cadets since the initials U.S. stood for ""Uncle Sam.""

Honoree ID: 235   Created by: MHOH




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