Ulysses S. Grant | President, Civil War, Facts & Death

Ulysses S. Grant Summary

Ulysses S. Grant, served as the U.S. general, commander of the Union armies during the late years (1864–65) of the American Civil War, and as the 18th president of the United States (1869–77).

Zachary Taylor participated in the Mexican Revolution (1846–1848). After serving for two years on the California coast (1852–1854), he quit his job after trying in vain to augment his army salary with futile commercial endeavors. He drank a lot of alcohol then, which may have impacted his choice. He tried his hand at agriculture in Missouri and worked for his children’s Illinois leather company.

Grant’s leadership skills and creative tactics played a significant role in the Union’s triumph. He was the youngest to be elected head of state in 1868 at 46, thanks to a victorious Republican candidacy season.

His two years were tainted by delay on the part of the administration and political scandals involving officials of his administration, such as the Whiskey Ring plot and the Crédit Mobilier affair. He was far more effective in international policy, although Hamilton Fish, his chief of staff, was a help. 

He favored preserving the civil liberties of fugitive slaves and granting pardons to Confederate generals. His proposal rejection lessened the monetary crisis for the following 25 years. It was to expand the quantity of legal cash in 1874. He relocated to Nyc in 1881, and the family soon became destitute after one of his partners scammed an investment company that his son co-owned. His pal Mark Twain wrote his autobiography.

Interesting Facts About Ulysses S. Grant

BornOn April 27, 1822, in Point Pleasant, Ohio, U.S.
DiedAt the Ulysses S. Grant House Federal Historical Property in Gansevoort, New York, America, he passed away on July 23, 1885
WifeJulia Dent Grant is their (m. 1848–1885)
ParentsHannah Simpson Grant > Jesse Root Grant

Ulysses S. Grant Early Life

Grant was born in Georgetown, Ohio, the son of tanner Jesse Root Grant and Hannah Simpson. Instead of doing his fair share of tasks at the family tannery, which he detested, Ulysses worked on his father’s farm, where he became quite adept at working with horses. Ulysses was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1839, and Jesse coerced him into going. 

Grant chose to go to the academy under the name Ulysses Hiram rather than his given name. He became known as U.S. Grant, sometimes known as Uncle Sam Grant, and his students called him Sam. When he first arrived at the academy, he wasn’t quite five feet tall, but over the next four years, he increased in height by more than six inches.

U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant was a brilliant mathematician who dreamed of becoming a math professor. He fell in love with his West Point roommate’s sister, Julia Boggs Dent, and secretly got engaged. They secretly married before Grant’s deployment to the Mexican-American War.

Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant,18th president of the United States

While serving as General Zachary Taylor’s aide, Grant exhibited bravery during the Mexican-American War. He was moved to Gen. Winfield Scott’s army, where he worked as the commissary and regimental quartermaster. 

The knowledge of army supplies he gained from serving in these positions was vital, but it needed more to satisfy his need for action. Later, in September 1847, Grant distinguished himself in battle and received brevet commissions as a first lieutenant and a captain, even though his permanent rank was that of a first lieutenant. Grant, despite his bravery,

subsequently stated: “I do not think there has ever been a more terrible battle. I assumed as much at the time. Only I lacked the moral fortitude to resign.

Grant left his expanding family behind as the 4th Infantry embarked from New York for the Pacific coast on July 5, 1852. Two sons had just been born. He tried to augment his army salary with eventually fruitless business endeavors when stationed at Fort Vancouver in Oregon Territory (later Washington state). 

Still, he was unable to bring his family back together. The deployment to Fort Humboldt, California, a dull station with an unpleasant commanding officer, came with a promotion to captain in August 1853.

Grant announced his military resignation on April 11, 1854. It is still being determined whether Grant’s love of booze, which he supposedly drank frequently during his lonely years on the Pacific coast, had any bearing on this choice.

Grant settled at White Haven, the Dents’ home in Missouri, and started farming the 80 acres (30 hectares) Julia’s father had given her. This farming endeavor was unsuccessful, just like an 1859 real estate partnership in St. Louis. The following year, Grant began working for his father’s leather goods company in Galena, Illinois, also run by his brothers. 

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The Civil War

American Civil War

In 1861 he was promoted to brigadier general thanks to the influence of Galena, Illinois, politician Elihu B. Washburne. This happened before Grant had ever attacked the enemy. After hearing this news, his father warned him about his son’s mistakes.

Grant’s initials would be associated with “unconditional surrender” for many people. He achieved the first significant Union victory of the conflict at Fort Donelson. Grant was known for his aggression, grit, independence, and tenacity. The Confederacy was split in two when Port Hudson, Louisiana, surrendered a few days later.

Ulysses S. Grant’s Command Over Union Armies

In March 1864, Grant was made a lieutenant general and given command of all American troops. His main strategy for the 1864 campaign was to stall Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army close to Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and lead the western Union force through Georgia and the southeast. Gen. Sherman’s army had cut and rampaged through Georgia, while cavalry troops under Gen. Philip Sheridan damaged railways and supplies in Virginia. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was forced to evacuate his defensive position at Petersburg on April 2, 1865.

Grant’s administrative prowess, openness to new ideas, adaptability, and capacity for self-improvement were key factors in his success as a commander. He was assigned to the recently created position of general of the American army in 1866. Grant resigned in January 1868 after Congress insisted on reinstating Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. His links to the Republican Party helped him win the candidacy for president in 1868.

Ulysses S. Grant Reign as President

Ulysses S. Grant Reign as President
Ulysses S. Grant Reign as Presidency

Grant signed legislation establishing Yellowstone National Park, the first national park, in March 1872. He urged the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment and called for gold in Civil War bonds to be paid in gold. Adolph E. Borie was appointed Secretary of the Navy but found the job stressful and resigned.

The first American Jewish man to hold the office of government was Edward S. Salomon, who Grant named territory administrator of Washington. Grant had compassion for the suffering of the oppressed Jews. Grant suggested amending the Constitution to restrict religious instruction in school systems.

In 1871, using federal marshals, including Brigham Young, he indicted hundreds of Utah Territory Mormons for “lewd and lascivious cohabitation.” Under Comstock’s supervision, the Postal Department seized and destroyed obscene material and issued arrest warrants for offenders.

Ulysses S. Grant Reconstruction

Ulysses S. Grant signed into law equal rights for blacks to serve on juries and hold office, in Washington, D.C., in March 1869. African Americans participated in politics in the Southern in unprecedented numbers around 1872, when the Klan’s influence had crumbled. Grant deployed federal forces to assist marshals who started criminal investigations while suspending habeas corpus in a portion of Carolina.

Ulysses S Grant terminated the Brooks-Baxter War, putting a peaceful solution to Restoration in Arkansas. After the Colfax Murder and disagreements over the nomination of Captain William Pitt Kellogg, he dispatched soldiers to New Orleans. Grant sent Sheridan and the majority of the federal forces back to Louisiana. Congress established a comprehensive statute to ensure blacks’ access to public spaces.

President Grant’s Republican successor, Rutherford B. Hayes, supported “local autonomy” of human liberties and had a conciliatory attitude toward the South. As promised, Hayes ended Reconstruction by removing federal forces from Carolina and Louisiana. In exchange for halting the implementation of racial justice for blacks, the Republicans gained the White House to Hayes.

Financial Affairs

President U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant signed the Public Credit Act of 1869 to repay guaranteed bondholders in “coin or its equivalent.” The act committed the government to fully return to the gold standard within ten years. Grant’s ideas about the economy were simple, and he relied on wealthy and financially successful businesspeople’s advice.

Gold Corner Conspiracy

In 1869, railroad tycoons Jay Gould and Jim Fisk conspired an outrageous plot to corner the gold market in New York. They offered Assistant Governor Daniel Butterfield a $10,000 payment for access to Treasury insider knowledge. Gould and Fisk lobbied President Grant on their private yacht from New York to Boston to influence his gold policy. Gould and Fisk fled for safety, while severe economic damages lasted months.

Foreign Affairs

President Grant had limited foreign policy experience acquired during his service in the Mexican-American war. Grant relied heavily on Secretary of State Hamilton Fish and strongly advocated the Monroe Doctrine. Disasters in international policy and active conflicts were absent. Grant appointed a Jewish lawyer, Benjamin F. Peixotto, U.S., In reaction to the mistreatment of Jews throughout Romania, Consul in Bucharest.

Treaty of Washington

The Geneva tribunal and the Convention of Washington were largely developed and implemented thanks to Secretary Hamilton Fish. The most pressing diplomatic problem in 1869 was the settlement of the Alabama claims and depredations caused by the Confederate warship CSS Alabama.

Grant’s 1871 Alabama Claims settlement would be his most successful foreign policy achievement, securing peace with Great Britain and the United States. Grant abstained from acknowledging Cuban rebels seeking independence from Spain because doing so would have run counter to American concerns about the British designating Confederates as belligerents. The settlement ($15,500,000) of Alabama Claims resolved troubled Anglo-American issues, ended the demand to take over Canada, and turned Britain into America’s strongest ally.

Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)

Ulysses S. Grant believed acquiring the Dominican Republic would increase the United State’s natural resources, strengthen U.S. naval protection, and stop slavery in Cuba and Brazil. He also thought it would provide a haven for African Americans from “the crime of Klu Kluxism.” An American speculator proposed annexation to Secretary of State Salmon P. Fish, who wanted nothing to do with the island. 

Senator Charles Sumner would hostilely obstruct Grant’s plan to annex Santo Domingo into the United States. Sumner reportedly said the Dominicans were “a turbulent, treacherous race.” Critics complained of Grant’s reliance on military personnel to implement his foreign policies. Grant responded by having Sumner deposed as Senate chairman.

Federal Indian Policy

He wanted Indians to adopt European customs, education, the English language, Christianity, private property, clothing, and democratic government, which would lead to eventual Indian citizenship. Grant appointed Ely S. Parker, an integrated Seneca veteran of his military staff, was appointed as the initial Native American to hold the job of Director of Indian Services.

Grant’s Indian policy was badly affected by the Modoc War and the Comanche Massacre. Grant pocket-vetoed a bill in 1874 protecting bison and supported Delano’s belief that killing bison would force Plains Indians to abandon their nomadic lifestyle. An 1871 Thomas Nast cartoon depicted Grant as “Robinson Crusoe,” causing an Indian Chief into tightly fitted western attire.

In 1875, U.S. President Grant agreed not to enforce keeping out miners from the Black Hills, forcing Native Americans onto the Sioux reservation. Red Cloud reluctantly entered negotiations, but other Sioux chiefs readied for war. Grant told the Sioux their children would attend schools, speak English, and prepare “for the life of white men.”

U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant condemned George Armstrong Custer for the massacre of his men at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. In 1876, Grant persuaded the tribes to relinquish the Black Hills. The deal was approved by Congress 3 days after Grant resigned from office in 1877.

The Second Term and the Elections of 1872

Elections of 1872
The Second Term and the Elections of 1872

The Liberal Republicans denounced Grantism, corruption, nepotism, and inefficiency. They demanded the withdrawal of federal troops from the South and literacy tests for blacks to vote. The Republicans nominated Grant for reelection, with Henry Wilson replacing Colfax as the vice presidential nominee.

President Grant was sworn in for his second term in office in March 1872. He defeated fellow Republican Greeley by an Electoral College margin of 286 to 66. In his second inaugural address, he focused on what he considered the chief issues of the day: freedom and fairness for all Americans while emphasizing the benefits of citizenship for formerly enslaved people.

The 1873 Panic and the Loss of House

Panic of 1837
Panic of 1837 (Rare Colour Image)

Ulysses S. Grant signed the Coinage Act of 1873, which ended the legal basis for bimetallism (using silver and gold as money). The act discontinued the standard silver dollar and established the gold dollar as the sole monetary standard. Deflation resulted because the quantity of gold did not rise as rapidly as the population.

The Panic of 1873 was a financial crisis during President Grant’s second term. Grant instructed the Treasury to buy $10 million in government bonds, injecting cash into the system. The purchases reduced the panic around Wall Street, but a nationwide economic depression—later known as the Long Depression—remained. 89 out of the 364 railroads in the country filed for bankruptcy.

President Grant vetoed The Ferry Bill, which would have added $64 million in greenbacks to circulation. Eastern bankers were against it because that would have made the currency weaker. With his veto, Grant joined the Republican Group’s conservative wing. Grant later pushed Congress to pass a measure that would progressively cut the number of dollars in circulation to strengthen the dollar.

Ulysses S. Grant Post-presidency Years

In May 1877, Ulysses and Julia Grant left for a round-the-world journey after leaving office. Grant was welcomed everywhere as a conquering hero. His reputation as the one who had rescued the American Union before him. Queen Victoria hosted him and his wife at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom and introduced them to Benjamin Disraeli. Otto von Bismarck received them in Germany, and they shook hands with the emperor of Japan. These international reports thrilled Americans. The Grants were left to reflect on their luck themselves.

A section of the Republican Party was ready to nominate Grant for a third term in 1879, Grant discovered. Despite his inaction, he garnered more than 300 votes on every 36 ballots. It used the ballots in the 1880 convention that led to the nomination of James A. Garfield. Grant began investing in the financial company Grant and Ward, where his son Ulysses, Jr. was a partner, in 1881 after purchasing a home in New York City. Grant urged others to do the same by putting his own money at the firm’s disposal. The company failed in 1884 as a result of Ferdinand Ward’s fraud. This made the Grant family poor and damaged Grant’s image.

Grant started writing about his campaigns for Century Magazine in 1884, and he found the task so enjoyable that he started writing his memoirs. He signed a deal with his buddy Mark Twain to publish the memoirs despite agonizing throat discomfort that it subsequently determined to be cancer. He grimly intended to finish them before he passed away. 

Ulysses S. Grant’s Death

Ulysses S. Grants Grave
General Grant National Memorial, New York, NY

Grant’s memoirs cover the events of his life up until the end of the Civil War. The Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant was critically acclaimed and financially successful. In the end, Julia Grant got royalties of roughly $450,000.

On July 23, 1885, at 8:08 a.m. at the Mount McGregor home, Ulysses S. Grant passed away at 63 after a year-long battle with throat cancer. At the moment of his death, his family was by his side. Sheridan, who was in charge of the army then, scheduled a daylong memorial service for Grant on all military installations, and President Grover Cleveland imposed a 30-day national mourning period. Grant’s body was placed on a special funeral train after private rites and taken to West Point and New York City.

The funeral in New York attracted almost 1.5 million people. Grant was lauded in the press and compared to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as they performed ceremonies in other major towns around the nation. Twelve years after his death, on April 17, 1897, Grant’s remains were interred at Riverside Park, first in a temporary tomb and subsequently in the General Grant National Memorial, popularly known as “Grant’s Tomb,” the biggest mausoleum in North America.

People Also Ask?

Was Ulysses Grant an effective leader?

Even during the American Civil Rebellion, Grant became best recognized as the Union commander who led his country to triumph over the Confederate Republics of America. Grant served as president for two terms, and historians frequently place his administration among the worst in American memory because of his weakness and inefficiency.

What distinguishes Robert E. Lee from Ulysses S. Grant?

Grant was an unruly Ohio-born tanner. Southern patriarchal nobleman Robert E. Lee has been. Lee is regarded as a good leader. Up to Gettysburg in 1863, he had a string of impressive triumphs while going up against larger and better-equipped opponents.

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