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Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant) (April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was general-in-chief of the Union Army from 1864 to 1869 during the American Civil War and the 18th President of the United States from 1869 to 1877.

The son of an Appalachian Ohio tanner, Grant entered the United States Military Academymarker at age 17. In 1846, three years after graduating, Grant served as a lieutenant in the Mexican–American War under Winfield Scott and future president Zachary Taylor. After the Mexican-American War concluded in 1848, Grant remained in the Army, but abruptly resigned in 1854. After struggling through the succeeding years as a real estate agent, a laborer, and a county engineer, Grant decided to join the Northern effort in the Civil War.

Appointed brigadier general of volunteers in 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln, Grant claimed the first major Union victories of the war in 1862, capturing Forts Henrymarker and Donelsonmarker in Tennesseemarker. He was surprised by a Confederate attack at the Battle of Shilohmarker; although he emerged victorious, the severe casualties prompted a public outcry. Subsequently, however, Grant's 1863 victory at Vicksburgmarker, following a long campaign with many initial setbacks, and his rescue of the besieged Union army at Chattanoogamarker, established his reputation as Lincoln's most aggressive and successful general. Named lieutenant general and general-in-chief of the Army in 1864, Grant implemented a coordinated strategy of simultaneous attacks aimed at destroying the South's armies and its economy's ability to sustain its forces. In 1865, after mounting a successful war of attrition against his Confederate opponents, he accepted the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court Housemarker.

Popular due to the Union victory in the war, Grant was elected President of the United States as a Republican in 1868 and re-elected in 1872, the first President to serve two full terms since Andrew Jackson 40 years before. As President, Grant led Reconstruction by signing and enforcing Congressional civil rights legislation. Grant built a powerful, patronage-based Republican Party in the South, straining relations between the North and former Confederates. His administration was marred by scandal, sometimes the product of nepotism; the neologism Grantism was coined to describe political corruption.

Grant left office in 1877 and embarked upon a two-year world tour. Unsuccessful in winning the nomination for a third term in 1880, left destitute by bad investments, and near the brink of death, Grant wrote his Memoirs, which were enormously successful among veterans, the public, and critics. However, in 1884, Grant learned that he was suffering from terminal throat cancer and, two days after completing his writing, he died at the age of 63. Presidential historians typically rank Grant in the lowest quartile of U.S. presidents for his tolerance of corruption, but in recent years his reputation has improved among some scholars impressed by his support for civil rights for African Americans.

Early life and family

Grant was born in Point Pleasant, Ohiomarker, to Jesse Root Grant (1794–1873), a tanner, and Hannah Simpson Grant (1798–1883), both Pennsylvaniamarker natives. At birth, Grant was named Hiram Ulysses. In the fall of 1823, the family moved to the village of Georgetownmarker in Brown County, Ohiomarker.

Education and the Mexican-American War

At the age of 17, Grant entered the United States Military Academymarker (USMA) at West Point, New Yorkmarker, after securing a nomination through his U.S. Congressman, Thomas L. Hamer, who erroneously nominated him as "Ulysses S. Grant of Ohio." Grant adopted the form of his new name with middle initial only. Because "U.S." also stands for "Uncle Sam," Grant's nickname became "Sam" among his army colleagues. He graduated from USMA in 1843, ranking 21st in a class of 39. At the academy, he established a reputation as a fearless and expert horseman. Although this made him seem a natural for cavalry, he was assigned to duty as a regimental quartermaster, managing supplies and equipment.

Mexican–American War

Lieutenant Grant served in the Mexican–American War (1846–1848) under Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott, where, despite his assignment 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 (where he volunteered to carry a dispatch on horseback through a sniper-lined street), and Veracruz. During one battle, Grant saw Fred Dent, his friend, later to become his brother-in-law, lying in the middle of the battlefield; he had been shot in the leg. Grant ran furiously into the open to rescue Dent; as they were making their way to safety, a Mexican soldier was sneaking up behind Grant, but the Mexican was shot by a fellow U.S. soldier. Grant was twice brevetted for bravery: at Molino del Reymarker and Chapultepecmarker. He was a remarkably close observer of the war, learning to judge the actions of colonels and generals. In the 1880s, he wrote that the war was unjust, accepting the theory that it was designed to gain land open to slavery. He wrote in his memoirs about the war against Mexico: "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

The Mexican-American War concluded on February 2, 1848.

On August 22, 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.

Grant remained in the army and was moved to several different posts. He was sent to Fort Vancouvermarker in the Washington Territory in 1853, where he served as quartermaster of the 4th Infantry Regiment. His wife, eight months pregnant with their second child, could not accompany him because his salary could not support a family on the frontier. In 1854, Grant was promoted to captain, one of only 50 still on active duty, and assigned to command Company F, 4th Infantry, at Fort Humboldtmarker, California. Grant abruptly resigned from the Army with little notice on July 31, 1854, offering no explanation for his decision. Rumors persisted in the Army for years that his commanding officer, Bvt. Lt. Col. Robert C. Buchanan, found him intoxicated on duty as a pay officer and offered him the choice between resignation or court-martial. However, the War Department stated, "Nothing stands against his good name."

At age 32, Grant struggled through seven lean years. From 1854 to 1858, he labored on a family farm near St. Louis, Missourimarker, using slaves owned by his father-in-law, but it did not prosper. Grant acquired one of those slaves in 1858 (and manumitted him the next year, when the Grants returned to Illinois) and his wife owned four slaves. From 1858–1859, he was a bill collector in St. Louis. Failing at everything, he asked his father for a job, and in 1860 was made an assistant in the leather shop owned by his father in Galena, Illinoismarker. Grant & Perkins sold harnesses, saddles, and other leather goods and purchased hides from farmers in the prosperous Galena area.

Although Grant was not affiliated with any political party, his father-in-law was a prominent Democrat in St. Louis, a fact that lost Grant the job of county engineer in 1859. In 1856, he voted for Democrat James Buchanan for president to avert secession and because "I knew Frémont" (the Republican candidate). In 1860, he favored Democrat Stephen A. Douglas but did not vote. In 1864, he allowed his political sponsor, Congressman Elihu B. Washburne, to use his private letters as campaign literature for Abraham Lincoln and the Union Party, which combined both Republicans and War Democrats. Grant announced his affiliation as a Republican in 1868, after years of apoliticism.

Civil War

Western Theater: 1861–63

Shortly after Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumtermarker, President Abraham Lincoln put out a call for 75,000 militia volunteers. Grant helped recruit a company of volunteers and accompanied it to Springfieldmarker, the capital of Illinoismarker. Grant accepted a position offered by Illinois Governor Richard Yates to recruit and train volunteers, which he accomplished with efficiency. Grant pressed for a field command; Yates appointed him a colonel in the Illinois militia and gave him command of the undisciplined and rebellious 21st Illinois Infantry in June 1861.

Grant was deployed to Missouri to protect the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad. Under pro-Confederate Governor Claiborne Jackson, Missouri had declared it was an armed neutral in the conflict and would attack troops from either side entering the state. By the August 1 the Union army had forcibly removed Jackson and Missouri was controlled by Union forces, who had to deal with numerous southern sympathizers.

In August, Grant was appointed brigadier general of the militia volunteers by Lincoln, who had been lobbied by Congressman Elihu Washburne. At the end of August, Grant was selected by Western Theater commander Major General John C. Frémont to command the critical District of Southeast Missouri.

Battles of Belmont, Henry, and Donelson

Brigadier General Ulysses S.
Grant photographed at Cairo, Illinois on September 4, 1861
Grant's first important strategic act of the war was to take the initiative to seize the Ohio River town of Paducah, Kentuckymarker, immediately after the Confederates violated the state's neutrality by occupying Columbus, Kentuckymarker. He fought his first battle, an indecisive action against Confederate Brig. Gen. Gideon J. Pillow, at Belmont, Missourimarker, in November 1861. Three months later, aided by Andrew H. Foote's Navy gunboats, he captured two major Confederate fortresses, Fort Henrymarker on the Tennessee River and Fort Donelsonmarker on the Cumberland River. At Donelson, his army was hit by a surprise Confederate attack (again by Pillow) while he was temporarily absent. Displaying the cool determination that would characterize his leadership in future battles, he organized counterattacks that carried the day. Both General Floyd and Pillow, the two senior Confederate commanders fled. The Confederate commander, Brig. Gen. Simon B. Buckner, an old friend of Grant's and a West Point classmate, and senior commander with Floyd and Pillow fleeing, yielded to Grant's hard conditions of "no terms except unconditional and immediate surrender." Buckner's surrender of over 12,000 men made Grant a national figure almost overnight, and he was nicknamed "Unconditional Surrender" Grant. The captures of the two forts with over 12,000 prisoners were the first major Union victories of the war, gaining him national recognition. Desperate for generals who could fight and win, Lincoln promoted him to major general of volunteers. Although Grant's new-found fame did not seem to affect his temperament, it did have an impact on his personal life. At one point during the Civil War, a picture of Grant with a cigar in his mouth was published. He was then inundated with cigars from well wishers. Before that he had smoked only sporadically, but he could not give them all away, so he took up smoking them, a habit which may have contributed to the development of throat cancer later in his life; one story after the war claimed that he smoked over 10,000 in five years.

Despite his significant victories (or perhaps because of them), Grant fell out of favor with his superior, Major General Henry W. Halleck. Halleck had a particular distaste for drunks and, believing Grant was an alcoholic, was biased against him from the beginning. After Grant visited Nashville, Tennesseemarker, where he met with Halleck's rival, Don Carlos Buell, Halleck used the visit as an excuse to relieve Grant on March 4 of field command of a newly launched expedition up the Tennessee River. However, Halleck soon restored Grant to field command of the expedition (personal intervention by President Lincoln may have been a factor), and on March 17 he joined his army at Savannah, Tennessee. At this juncture, Grant's command was known as the Army of West Tennessee; soon, however, it would acquire its more famous name as the Army of the Tennessee.


Eventually, most of Grant's expedition was staged at Pittsburg Landingmarker, Tennessee, nine miles south of Savannahmarker, on the western side of the Tennessee River. On April 6, those troops were surprised by Confederate generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard in the Battle of Shilohmarker. The violence of the Confederate attack sent the Union forces reeling; nevertheless, after hastening to Pittsburg Landing from Savannah, Grant refused to retreat. With grim determination, he stabilized his line. Then, on the second day, with the help of reinforcements, Grant counterattacked and turned a serious reverse into a victory.

The victory at Shiloh came at a heavy price; with approximately 12,000 casualties to each side, it was the bloodiest battle in the history of the United States to that time and had unpleasant repercussions for Grant. As previously planned, Grant's superior in the Department of the Mississippi, Henry Halleck, arrived at Pittsburg Landing to take personal command in the field, whereupon he proceeded to organize a 100,000-man army, dividing it into three corps and a reserve, in order to mount a campaign to capture Corinth, Mississippimarker. Initially, Grant was to command the right wing (First Corps). However, on April 30, perhaps in response to the surprise and disorganized nature of the Shiloh fighting and the ensuing criticism of Grant, Halleck assigned Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas to command the right wing and gave Grant the position of second-in-command of the entire 100,000-man force. Grant became very dissatisfied with this arrangement, which he complained was a censure and akin to an arrest. Accordingly, he explored the possibility of obtaining an assignment elsewhere and might have left the Army altogether after the Union forces occupied Corinth on May 30. The intervention of his subordinate and good friend, William T. Sherman, caused him to remain. He was thus in position to play an increasingly important role in the West when, in July 1862, Halleck was promoted to general-in-chief of the Union Army and recalled to Washington. That fall, Grant had overall command of the Union forces for the battles of Iukamarker and Corinthmarker, although the fighting in those battles fell mostly to Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans.


In an attempt to capture the Mississippi River fortress of Vicksburg, Mississippimarker, Grant spent the winter of 1862–1863 conducting a series of operations to gain access to the city through the region's bayous, which ended in failure. One newspaper complained that "[t]he army was being ruined in mud-turtle expeditions, under the leadership of a drunkard, whose confidential adviser [Sherman] was a lunatic."

However, his strategy to take Vicksburg in 1863 is considered one of the most masterful in military history. Grant marched his troops down the west bank of the Mississippi and crossed the river by using United States Navy ships that had run the guns at Vicksburg. There, he moved inland and—in a move that defied conventional military principles—cut loose from most of his supply lines. Operating in enemy territory, Grant moved swiftly, never giving the Confederates, under the command of John C. Pemberton, an opportunity to concentrate their forces against him. Grant's army went eastward, captured the city of Jacksonmarker, and severed the rail line to Vicksburg.

Grant and Pemberton at Vicksburg
Knowing that the Confederates could no longer send reinforcements to the Vicksburg garrison, Grant turned west and won the Battle of Champion Hillmarker. The Confederates retreated within their fortifications, and Grant promptly surrounded the city. Finding that assaults against the impregnable breastworks were futile, he settled in for a six-week siegemarker. Cut off and with no possibility of relief, Pemberton surrendered to Grant on July 4, 1863. It was a devastating defeat for the Southern cause, effectively splitting the Confederacy in two, and, in conjunction with the Union victory at Gettysburgmarker the previous day, is widely considered the turning point of the war. For this victory, President Lincoln promoted Grant to the rank of major general in the regular army, effective July 4.

One historian with a military background has written that "we must go back to the campaigns of Napoleon to find equally brilliant results accomplished in the same space of time with such a small loss." Indeed, anticipating that Grant would soon capture Vicksburg, Abraham Lincoln declared that "if Grant only does this thing down there . . ., why, Grant is my man and I am his the rest of this war."


After the Battle of Chickamaugamarker Union Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans and his Army of the Cumberland retreated to Chattanooga, Tennesseemarker. Confederate Braxton Bragg followed to Lookout Mountainmarker and Missionary Ridge, surrounding the Federals on three sides and besieging them. On October 17, to deal with this crisis, Grant was placed in command of the sweeping, newly-created Military Division of the Mississippi; this command placed Grant in overall charge of the previously independent Departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland (embracing Chattanooga), and the Tennessee. In taking this new command, Grant chose a version of the War Department's order that relieved Rosecrans from command of the Department of the Cumberland and replaced him with Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas. Sherman succeeded Grant in charge of the Department of the Tennessee.

Grant went to Chattanooga personally to take charge of the situation. Devising a plan known as the "Cracker Line," Thomas's chief engineer, William F. "Baldy" Smith opened a new supply route to Chattanooga, helping to feed the starving men and animals of the Union army. Upon reprovisioning and reinforcement by elements of Sherman's Army of the Tennessee and troops from the Army of the Potomac under Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, the morale of Union troops lifted. In late November, Grant went on the offensive.

The Battles for Chattanoogamarker started out with Hooker's capture of Lookout Mountainmarker on November 24 and with Sherman's failed attack on the Confederate right the following day. He occupied the wrong hill and then committed only a fraction of his force against the true objective, allowing them to be repulsed by one Confederate division. In response, Grant ordered Thomas to launch a demonstration on the center, which could draw defenders away from Sherman. Thomas's men made an unexpected but spectacular charge straight up Missionary Ridgemarker and broke the fortified center of the Confederate line. Grant was initially angry at Thomas that his orders for a demonstration were exceeded, but the assaulting wave sent the Confederates into a head-long retreat, opening the way for the Union to invade Atlanta, Georgiamarker, and the heart of the Confederacy. According to Hooker, Grant said afterward, "Damn the battle! I had nothing to do with it."

Grant's willingness to fight and ability to win impressed President Lincoln, who appointed him lieutenant general in the regular army—a rank not awarded since George Washington (or Winfield Scott's brevet appointment), recently re-authorized by the U.S. Congress with Grant in mind—on March 2, 1864. On March 12, Grant became general-in-chief of all the armies of the United Statesmarker.

General-in-Chief and strategy for victory

"General Ulysses S.
Grant at City Point in 1864 with his wife and son Jesse."
In March 1864, Grant put Major General William T. Sherman in immediate command of all forces in the West and moved his headquarters to Virginiamarker where he turned his attention to the long-frustrated Union effort to destroy the Army of Northern Virginia; his secondary objective was to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginiamarker, but Grant understood that the latter would ensue, once the former was accomplished. He devised a coordinated strategy that would strike at the heart of the Confederacy from multiple directions: Grant, George G. Meade, and Benjamin Franklin Butler against Lee near Richmond; Franz Sigel in the Shenandoah Valleymarker; Sherman to invade Georgiamarker, defeat Joseph E. Johnston, and capture Atlantamarker; George Crook and William W. Averell to operate against railroad supply lines in West Virginiamarker; and Nathaniel Banks to capture Mobile, Alabamamarker. Grant was the first general to attempt such a coordinated strategy in the war and the first to understand the concepts of total war, in which the destruction of an enemy's economic infrastructure that supplied its armies was as important as tactical victories on the battlefield.

Overland Campaign, Petersburg, and Appomattox

Ulysses S.
The Overland Campaign was the military thrust needed by the Union to defeat the Confederacy; it pitted Grant against Robert E. Lee. It began on May 4, 1864, when the Army of the Potomac crossed the Rapidan River, marching into an area of scrubby undergrowth and second growth trees known as the Wilderness. It was such difficult terrain that the Army of Northern Virginia was able to use it to prevent Grant from fully exploiting his numerical advantage.

The Battle of the Wilderness was a stubborn, bloody two-day fight, resulting in advantage to neither side, but with heavy casualties to both. After similar battles in Virginia against Lee, all of Grant's predecessors had retreated from the field. Grant ignored the setback and ordered an advance around Lee's flank to the southeast, which lifted the morale of his army. Grant's strategy was not just to win individual battles, it was to fight constant engagements to wear down and destroy Lee's army.

Sigel's Shenandoah campaign and Butler's James River campaign both failed. Lee was able to reinforce with troops used to defend against these assaults.

The campaign continued. Confederate troops beat the Union to Spotsylvania, Virginia, where, on May 8, the fighting resumed. The Battle of Spotsylvania Court Housemarker lasted 14 days. On May 11, Grant wrote a famous dispatch containing the line "I propose to fight it out along this line if it takes all summer". These words summed up his attitude about the fighting, and the next day, May 12, he ordered a massive assault by Hancock's 2nd Corps that broke a portion of Lee's line, captured 30 artillery pieces, took 4,000 prisoners, and broke forever the famous Stonewall Division. In spite of mounting Union casualties, the contest's dynamics changed in Grant's favor. Most of Lee's great victories in earlier years had been won on the offensive, employing surprise movements and fierce assaults. Now, he was forced to continually fight on the defensive without a chance to regroup or replenish against an opponent that was well supplied and had superior numbers. The next major battle, however, demonstrated the power of a well-prepared defense. Cold Harbormarker was one of Grant's most controversial battles, in which he launched on June 3 a massive three-corps assault without adequate reconnaissance on a well-fortified defensive line, resulting in horrific casualties (3,000–7,000 killed, wounded, and missing in the first 40 minutes, although modern estimates have determined that the total was likely less than half of the famous figure of 7,000 that has been used in books for decades; as many as 12,000 for the day, far outnumbering the Confederate losses). Grant said of the battle in his memoirs "I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made. I might say the same thing of the assault of the 22nd of May, 1863, at Vicksburg. At Cold Harbor no advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained." But Grant moved on and kept up the pressure. He stole a march on Lee, when Union engineers had stealthfully constructed a pontoon bridge, allowing the Army of the Potomac to move southward across the James River on June 15, 1864.

Arriving at Petersburg, Virginiamarker, first, Grant should have captured the rail junction city, but he failed because of the excessively cautious actions of his subordinate William Smith. Over the next three days, a number of Union assaults to take the city were launched. All failed, however, and finally on June 18, Lee's veterans arrived. Faced with fully manned trenches in his front, Grant was left with no alternative but to settle down to a siegemarker.

As the summer drew on and with Grant's and Sherman's armies stalled, respectively in Virginia and Georgia, politics took center stage. There was a presidential election in the fall, and the citizens of the North had difficulty seeing any progress in the war effort. To make matters worse for Abraham Lincoln, Lee detached a small army under the command of Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early, hoping it would force Grant to disengage forces to pursue him. Early invaded north through the Shenandoah Valleymarker and reached the outskirts of Washington, D.C.marker. Although unable to take the city, Early embarrassed the Administration simply by threatening its inhabitants, making Abraham Lincoln's re-election prospects even bleaker.

In early September, the efforts of Grant's coordinated strategy finally bore fruit. First, Sherman took Atlanta. Then, Grant dispatched Philip Sheridan to the Shenandoah Valley to deal with Early. It became clear to the people of the North that the war was being won, and Lincoln was re-elected by a wide margin. Later in November, Sherman began his March to the Sea. Sheridan and Sherman both followed Grant's strategy of total war by destroying the economic infrastructures of the Valley and a large swath of Georgia and the Carolinas.

General-in-Chief of the Union Army, Ulysses S.
Grant in 1865.
In March 1865, Grant invited Lincoln to visit his headquarters at City Point, Virginia. By coincidence, Sherman (then campaigning in North Carolina) happened to visit City Point at the same time. This allowed for the war's only three-way meeting of Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman. At the beginning of April, Grant's relentless pressure finally forced Lee to evacuate Richmond, and after a nine-day retreat, Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox Court Housemarker on April 9, 1865. There, Grant offered generous terms that did much to ease the tensions between the armies and preserve some semblance of Southern pride, which would be needed to reconcile the warring sides. Within a few weeks, the American Civil War was effectively over; minor actions would continue until Kirby Smith surrendered his forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department on June 2, 1865.

Immediately after Lee's surrender, Grant had the sad honor of serving as a pallbearer at the funeral of his greatest champion, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln had been quoted after the massive losses at Shiloh as saying, "I can't spare this man. He fights." It was a two-sentence description that completely caught the essence of Ulysses S. Grant.

Grant's fighting style was what one fellow general called "that of a bulldog". The term accurately captures his tenacity, but it oversimplifies his considerable strategic and tactical capabilities. Although a master of combat by outmaneuvering his opponent (such as at Vicksburg and in the Overland Campaign against Lee), Grant was not afraid to order direct assaults, often when the Confederates were themselves launching offensives against him. Such tactics often resulted in heavy casualties for Grant's men, but they wore down the Confederate forces proportionately more and inflicted irreplaceable losses. Many in the North denounced Grant as a "butcher" in 1864, an accusation made both by Northern civilians appalled at the staggering number of casualties suffered by Union armies for what appeared to be negligible gains, and by Copperheads, Northern Democrats who either favored the Confederacy or simply wanted an end to the war, even at the cost of recognizing Southern independence. Grant persevered, refusing to withdraw as had his predecessors, and Lincoln, despite public outrage and pressure within the government, stuck by Grant, refusing to replace him. Although Grant lost battles in 1864, he won all his campaigns.

Despite his reputation, deserved or not, as an uncaring butcher, Grant was always concerned about the sufferings of the wounded. Horace Porter who served with him, described a scene of a soldier dying beside a roadside during the battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, and Grant's reaction as the dying young man was splattered with mud by a passing rider:

Historian Michael Korda explained his strategic genius:

After the war, on July 25, 1866, Congress authorized the newly created rank of General of the Army of the United States, the equivalent of a full (four-star) general in the modern United States Army. Grant was appointed as such by President Andrew Johnson on the same day.

General Order No. 11 and antisemitism

Allegations of antisemitism -- "a blot on Grant's reputation" -- arose in the wake of the infamous General Order No. 11, issued by Grant in Oxford, Mississippimarker, on December 17, 1862, during the Vicksburg Campaignmarker. The order stated in part:

The New York Times denounced the order as "humiliating" and a "revival of the spirit of the medieval ages." Its editorial column called for the "utter reprobation" of Grant's order. After protest from Jewish leaders, the order was rescinded by President Lincoln on January 3, 1863. Though Grant initially maintained that a staff officer issued it in his name, it was suggested by General James H. Wilson that Grant may have issued the order in order to strike indirectly at the "lot of relatives who were always trying to use him" (for example his father Jesse Grant who was in business with Jewish traders), and perhaps struck instead at what he maliciously saw as their counterpart — opportunistic traders who were Jewish. Bertram Korn suggests the order was part of a consistent pattern. "This was not the first discriminatory order [Grant] had signed [...] he was firmly convinced of the Jews' guilt and was eager to use any means of ridding himself of them." During the campaign of 1868, Grant admitted the order was his, but maintained, "It would never have been issued if it had not been telegraphed the moment it were penned, and without reflection."

The order, ostensibly in response to illegal Southern cotton smuggling, has been described by one modern historian as "the most blatant official episode of anti-Semitism in nineteenth-century American history."

Antisemitism became an issue during the 1868 presidential campaign. Though Jewish opinion was mixed, Grant's determination to "woo" Jewish voters ultimately resulted in his capturing the majority of that vote, though "Grant did lose some Jewish votes as a result of" the order. Grant appointed more Jewish persons to public office than any president before him. Although Grant's order was anti-Jewish, Grant had many Jewish friends. One such friend was Joseph Seligman, whom Grant offered the position as Secretary of the Treasury. Seligman declined. Seligman had helped finance the Union war effort by obtaining European capital.

1868 presidential campaign

As commanding general of the army, Grant had a difficult relationship with President Andrew Johnson, a Southern Democrat, who preferred a moderate approach to relations with the South. Johnson tried to use Grant to defeat the Radical Republicans by making Grant the Secretary of War in place of Edwin M. Stanton, whom he could not remove without the approval of Congress under the Tenure of Office Act. Grant refused but kept his military command. This made him a hero to the Radical Republicans, who gave him the Republican nomination for president in 1868. He was chosen as the Republican presidential candidate at the 1868 Republican National Convention in Chicagomarker; he faced no significant opposition. In his letter of acceptance to the party, Grant concluded with "Let us have peace," which became his campaign slogan. In the general election of that year, Grant won against former New York Governor Horatio Seymour with a lead of 300,000 votes out of a total of 5,716,082 votes cast. However, Grant commanded an Electoral College landslide, receiving 214 votes to Seymour's 80. When he assumed the presidency, Grant had never before held elected office and, at the age of 46, was the youngest person yet elected president.

Presidency 1869–1877

The second President from Ohiomarker, Grant was elected the 18th President of the United States in 1868, and was re-elected to the office in 1872. Grant served as President from March 4, 1869, to March 4, 1877. In his re-election campaign, Grant benefited from the loyal support of Harper's Weekly political cartoonist Thomas Nast and later sent Nast a deluxe edition of Grant's autobiography when it was finished. Grant's notable accomplishments as President include the enforcement of Civil Rights to African Americans, the Treaty of Washington in 1871, and the Resumption of Specie Act in 1875. At the same time Grant's reputation as President suffered from scandals caused by many of his political appointees and personal associates.


Grant presided over the last half of Reconstruction. In the late 1870s, he watched as the Democrats (called Redeemers) took the control of every state away from his Republican coalition. When urgent telegrams from state leaders begged for help to put down the waves of violence by paramilitary groups surrounding elections, Grant and his Attorney General replied that "the whole public is tired of these annual autumnal outbreaks in the South," saying that state militias should handle the problems, not the Army.

He supported amnesty for former Confederates and signed the Amnesty Act of 1872 to further this. He favored a limited number of troops to be stationed in the South—sufficient numbers to protect Southern African Americans, suppress the violent tactics of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), and prop up Republican governors, but not so many as to create resentment in the general population.

Grant confronted a Northern public tired of committing to the long war in the South, violent paramilitary organizations in the late 1870s, and a factional Republican Party.

Civil and human rights

A distinguishing characteristic in the Grant Presidency was Grant's concern with the plights of African Americans and native Indian tribes. Grant's 1868 campaign slogan, "Let us have peace," defined his motivation and assured his success. As president for two terms, Grant made many advances in both civil and human rights. He won passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, which gave the freedman the vote, and the Ku Klux Klan Act, which empowered the president "to arrest and break up disguised night marauders." He pressed for the former slaves to be "possessed of the civil rights which citizenship should carry with it." In 1869 and 1871, Grant signed bills promoting voting rights and prosecuting Klan leaders and later signed the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which entitled equal treatment in public accommodations and jury selection. The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, establishing voting rights, was ratified in 1870. While these were used to effectively suppress the Klan, by 1874 a new wave of paramilitary organizations arose in the Deep South. The Red Shirts and White League, that conducted insurgency in Mississippimarker, North Carolinamarker, South Carolinamarker, and Louisianamarker, operated openly and were better organized than the Ku Klux Klan had been. They aimed to turn Republicans out of office, suppress the black vote, and disrupt elections.

Grant also created the Office of Solicitor General to aid the attorney general Amos T. Akerman and appointed Benjamin H. Bristow to the post. Both Akerman and Bristow vigorously prosecuted Ku Klux Klan members in the early 1870s. The first few years of Grants first term in office there were 1000 indictments against Klan members with over 550 convictions from the new office establish by Congress, the Department of Justicemarker. By 1871 there were 3000 indictments and 600 convictions, most only serving briefly while the ringleaders were imprisoned for up to 5 years in the federal penitentiary located in Albanymarker, New Yorkmarker. The result was a dramatic decrease in violence in the South. Akerman gave credit to Grant and even told a friend that no one was "better" or "stronger" then Grant when it came to prosecuting terrorists.

Grant's attempts to provide justice to Native Americans marked a radical reversal of what had long been the government's policy: "Wars of extermination . . . are demoralizing and wicked," he told Congress. The president lobbied, not always successfully, to preserve Native American lands from encroachment by the westward advance of pioneers.

Recent historians have emphasized Grant's commitment to protecting Unionists and freedmen in the South until 1876. Grant's commitment to African American civil rights was demonstrated by his address to Congress in 1875 and by his attempt to use the annexation of Santo Domingo as leverage to force white supremacists to accept blacks as part of the Southern political polity.

Panic of 1873

The Panic of 1873 hit the country hard during his presidency, and he never attempted decisive action to alleviate distress. The first law that he signed, in March 1869, established the value of the greenback currency issued during the Civil War, pledging to redeem the bills in gold. In 1874, he vetoed a bill to increase the amount of a legal tender currency, which defused the currency crisis on Wall Street but did little to help the economy as a whole. The depression led to Democratic victories in the 1874 off-year elections, as that party took control of the House for the first time since 1856.

By 1875 the Grant administration was in disarray and on the defensive on all fronts other than foreign policy. With the Democrats in control of the House, Grant was unable to pass legislation. The House discovered gross corruption in the Interior, War, and Navy Departments; they did much to discredit the Department of Justice, forced the resignation of Robert C. Schenck, the Minister to Britain, and cast suspicion upon Blaine's conduct while Speaker. Historian Allan Nevins concludes:

In 1876, Grant helped to calm the nation over the Hayes-Tilden election controversy; he made clear he would not tolerate any march on Washington, such as that proposed by Tilden supporter Henry Watterson.

Economic affairs

The Grant administration's first economic accomplishment was the signing of the Act to Strengthen the Public Credit which the Republican Congress had passed after Grant's inaugural in March 18, 1869. The act had the effect that the gold price on New Yorkmarker exchange fell to $130 per ounce, the lowest point since the suspension of specie payment in 1862.

As Jean Edward Smith notes in his 2002 biography on Grant, the presidential treasury secretary George S. Boutwell reorganized the United States Treasurymarker by discharging unnecessary employees, started sweeping changes in Bureau of Printing and Engraving to protect the currency from counterfeiters and revitalized tax collections to hasten the collection of revenue. These changes soon led the Treasury having a monthly surplus. By May 1869, Boutwell reduced the national debt by $12 million. By September the national debt was reduced by $50,000,000, which was achieved by selling the growing gold surplus at weekly auctions for greenbacks and buying back wartime bonds with the currency. The public was very enthusiastic about Grant's appointment of Boutwell as Secretary of Treasury. Newspapers such as the New York Tribune wanted the government to buy more bonds and greenbacks and the New York Times praised the Grant administration`s debt policy.
Political cartoon by Thomas Nast: Grant congratulated for vetoing the "inflation bill" on April 22, 1874
On January 14, 1875 Ulysses S. Grant signed the Resumption of Specie Act, and could not have been more happier. He even wrote a note to Congress congratulating members on the passage of the act. The legislation was drafted by Ohiomarker Republican Senator John Sherman, the brother to General William T. Sherman. This act provided that paper money in circulation would be exchanged for gold specie and silver coins and would be effective on January 1, 1879. The act also implemented that gradual steps would be taken to reduce that amount of greenbacks or paper money in circulation. At that time there were "paper coin" currency worth less than $1.00 and these would be exchanged for silver coins. The effect in essence was to stabilize the currency making the consumers money as "good as gold". In an age were there was no Federal Reserve system to control inflation this act stabilized the economy. Grant considered it the hallmark of his Administration.

Foreign affairs

Grant/Wilson campaign poster

Alabama Claims

In foreign affairs, a notable achievement of the Grant administration was the 1871 Treaty of Washington, negotiated by Secretary of State Hamilton Fish. It settled American claims against Britain concerning the wartime activities of the British-built Confederate raider CSS Alabamamarker.

Cuban Insurrection

In 1869, Grant was urged by popular opinion to support rebels in Cuba with military assistance and give them U.S. diplomatic recognition. Grant and Fish instead attempted to use arbitration in Madridmarker, Spainmarker with Daniel Sickles negotiating. Grant supported the rebels, but did not want to go to war with Spain. Grant and Fish wanted Cuban independence and to end slavery without U.S. military intervention or occupation. Fish, diligently, against popular pressure, was able to keep Grant from officially recognizing Cuban Independence because it would have endangered negotiations with Britain over the Alabama Claims.

The negotiations failed in Madrid, however, Grant and Fish did not succumb to popular pressure to go to war. Grant sent a message to Congress, written by Fish and signed by Grant, to urge not to officially recognize the Cuban revolt. War had been averted with Cuba and Spain. The United States, during the McKinley Administration, finally did go to War with Spain over Cuba in 1898, known as the Spanish-American War. Cuba was granted independance, however, the United States was granted the condition to keep U.S. military occupation. This upset many Cubans who wanted full independence as a nation. Currently, the United States, continues military occupation on Cuba at Guantanamo Bay Naval Stationmarker.

Santo Domingo

He also proposed to annex the independent, largely black nation of Santo Domingo. Not only did he believe that the island would be of use to the navy tactically, but he sought to use it as a bargaining chip. By providing a safe haven for the freedmen, Grant believed that the exodus of black labor would force Southern whites to realize the necessity of such a significant workforce and accept their civil rights. Sending African Americans to Santo Domingo to gain citizenship and employment had first been suggested by Thomas Jefferson in 1824. At the same time he hoped that U.S. ownership of the island would urge nearby Cuba to abandon slavery. The Senate refused to ratify it because of (Foreign Relations Committee Chairman) Senator Charles Sumner's strong opposition. Grant helped depose Sumner from the chairmanship, and Sumner supported Horace Greeley and the Liberal Republicans in 1872.

Liberian-Grebo War

Another notable foreign policy action under Grant was the settlement of the Liberian-Grebo War through the dispatching of the USS Alaska to Liberiamarker, where US envoy James Milton Turner, the first African American U.S. Ambassador, negotiated the incorporation of Grebo people into Liberian society and the ousting of foreign traders from Liberia. Grebo tribesmen, starting in September 1875, were rebelling against the Liberian government and threatening the safety of American and British missionaries. Turner informed Hamilton Fish at the U.S. State Department of the Grebo Rebellion and with Fish's prompt involvement got the full support from the U.S. government. Turner believed that a show of force was neccessary to stop the Grebo tribesmen. Grant then issued orders to send the "man of war" USS Alaska to Cape Palmasmarker, Liberia.

On February 3, 1876, the USS Alaska, headed by Captain Alexander A. Semmes, pulled into Cape Palmas and immediately began talks with the Grebo tribesmen. Semmes agreed with Turner that a show of force was necessary and told the tribes men that United States was determined to use the full extent of its power to defeat them. With the USS Alaska in port and with the threat of further U.S. force from Semmes, the Grebos eventually signed a peace treaty with the Liberian government on March 1, 1876.


Grant's inability to establish personal accountability among his subordinates and cabinet members led to many scandals during his administration. His appointments of personal military friends or campaign contributors opened opportunities for corruption. Although Grant himself was not directly responsible for and did not profit from the corruption among subordinates, he was reluctant to believe friends could commit criminal activities. As a result, he failed to take any direct action and rarely reacted strongly after their guilt was established.

Grant, often, would vigorously attack when critics complained, being very protective and defensive of his subordinates. In essence attacking a subordinate was the same as attacking Grant himself. Grant often was weak in his selection of subordinates, many times favoring colleagues from the war over those with more practical political experience. He alienated party leaders by giving many posts to his friends and political contributors rather than supporting the party's needs. His failure to establish working political alliances in Congress allowed the scandals to spin out of control. At the conclusion of his second term, Grant wrote to Congress that "Failures have been errors of judgment, not of intent."

Black Friday

Daniel Butterfield
The first scandal to taint the Grant administration known as Black Friday, was a scurrilous attempt by two financiers to corner the price of gold without regard to the nation's economic welfare. The intricate financial scheme was conceived and administered by Wall Streetmarker manipulators Jay Gould and James Fisk in September 1869. The financial duo were able to get Grant's brother in law Abel Rathbone Corbin involved with the scheme, to get access to Grant himself. Also Gould had given a $10,000 bribe to the assistant secretary of Treasury, Daniel Butterfield, to get inside information. Gould had also tried to bribe Horace Porter, Grant's personal secretary, with a $500,000 stake in the gold market. Porter declined and would later tell Grant of the attempted bribe. Gould attempted to get Mrs. Grant involved by offering half interest in $250,000 in bonds. However, she politely declined the offer. Gould himself, while Grant was riding on the Erie Railroad, owned by Gould and Fisk, personally attempted to lure Grant into the scheme by informing Grant there was a way to make a lot of money with gold. Grant refused to listen to what the scheme was and rejected it outright because it was being done without public knowledge. However, President Grant's personal associations with Gould and Fisk gave the clout needed to continue their financial scam on Wall Street.Gould had bought the Tenth National Bank that was used as a buying house for gold. On September 6, 1869, Gould and Fisk began buying gold in earnest. By September 12, Grant had become suspicious of the gold market manipulation and wrote to George S. Boutwell, United States Secretary of Treasury, urging him to keep releasing the same amount of gold noting, "A desperate struggle is now taking place..." Corban had also sent a letter to Grant, at the urging of Gould, desperately urging Grant not to release gold from the Treasury. Grant received the letter from a messenger while playing croquet with Porter at a deluxe Pennsylvania retreat. It was then that Porter told Grant about Gould's attempted $500,000 bribery. Grant finally realized what was going on and he was determined to stop the gold manipulation scheme. When pressed for a reply to the letter Grant responded curtly the everything was "All right" and that there was no reply. One Grant biographer described the comical nature of the events as an "Edwardian farce". Grant, however, did respond and sternly told Corbin to get out of the gold market in a letter written by Julia Grant to Corbin's wife. When Gould found out about Grant's letter to Corbin, Gould started to sell gold at the same time buying gold to keep people from getting suspicious.The observant Boutwell was already keeping track of the situation and knew that the profits made in the manipulated rising gold market could ruin the nation's economy for several years. By September 21 the price of gold had jumped from $137 to $141, and Gould and Fisk owning jointly $50 million to $60 million in gold. Boutwell and Grant finally met on Thursday, September 23 and agreed that if the gold price kept rising to release gold from the treasury. Boutwell had also ordered that the Tenth National Bank was to be closed on the same day. Then on (Black) Friday, September 23, 1869, when the price of gold had soared up to $160 dollars an ounce, Boutwell released $4,000,000 in gold specie into the market and bought $4,000,000 in bonds. The gold market crashed, Gould and Fisk had been foiled while many investors went bankrupt.

The gold crash devastated the United Statesmarker economy for months. Stock prices plunged and the price of food crops such as wheat and corn dropped severely devastating farmers and did not recover for years afterward. Also Fisk refused to pay off many of his investors who had bought gold on paper. The volume of stocks being sold on Wall Street decreased by 20%. Fisk and Gould were never held accountable for their profiteering, hiring the best lawyers while at the same time favorable judges declined to prosecute. Gould remained a powerful force on Wall Street for the next 20 years. Fisk, who practiced a licentious lifestyle, was killed by a jealous rival on January 6, 1872. Butterfield resigned. Grant's inability to doubt the sincerity of Gould and Fisk motives contributed to the scandal.

Crédit Mobilier

The Crédit Mobilier was a construction company for the Union Pacific Railroad. The company received money from the United States government to complete the Transcontinental Railroad. In turn the Company would sell stocks and bonds to investors. In 1868, during the Andrew Johnson Administration, Congressmen Oakes Ames, Chairman for Crédit Mobilier, had given stock shares of the coorperation and bribery money to win passage of critical legislation. Thus, the congressmen in charge of granting money to Crédit Mobilier were also stock holders to the same company. In 1872, the scandal broke out when Ames opened his financial notes and showed what congressmen received stocks in the company or bribery money. Vice President Schuyler Colfax, then Speaker of the House, was one of the many congressmen named, had received stocks from Ames and as a result had to be dropped from the 1872 presidential ticket.Grant's replacement for Vice President, Henry Wilson, was also on the Ames list. Wilson returned the Crédit Mobiler stock he bought in his wife's name and was later exonerated by a House investigating committee.

Whiskey ring

Orville Elias Babcock, Private Secretary to Grant
The most famous scandal was the Whiskey Ring of 1875, exposed by Secretary of the Treasury Benjamin H. Bristow and Myron Colony, a journalist from a St. Louis newspaper. Distillers of whiskey bribed Treasury Department agents who in turn aided the distillers in evading taxes between 12 to 15 million dollars a year. On May 13, 1875, under Grant's authority, Bristow made many arrests around the country and brought many members of the ring to trial. Two of Grant's appointees General John H. McDonald and Orville E. Babcock, the private secretary to the President were involved with the ring. Grant then appointed a special prosecutor, Senator John B. Henderson, to go after the ring. Henderson ordered a grand jury that went on to find that Babcock was one of the ring leaders. Sometime around July 29, 1875, Grant wrote on the back of a letter that indicated Babcock was part of the ring, "Let no guilty man escape."

It was discovered that Babcock sent coded letters to McDonald on how to run the ring in St. Louis. During the investigation Mcdonald claimed he gave Babcock $25,000 from the divided profits and even personally sent him a $1,000 bill in a cigar box. The scam was to charge the whiskey distillers a lower tax and in return receive kick back money. Grant intervened and requested that Babcock go through a military trial rather than a public trial. Henderson refused to allow information to go to the military court. The grand jury indicted Babcock in December 1875 and decided that Babcock would go to a public trial rather than the military trial format that Grant had proposed. Rather than just prosecuting Babcock, during the trial Henderson accused Grant of interferring with his and Bristow's investigation.

The accusation angered Grant and the result was that Henderson was fired as special prosecutor. Grant replaced Henderson with James Broadhead who had to hastily get acquainted with the facts about Babcock's and other the Whiskey Ring cases brought to trial. At the trial a letter was read from President Grant stating that he had no knowledge that Babcock was involved in any matter with the ring. The jury listened to the President's letter and quickly acquitted Babcock of any charges. Broadhead went on to close out all the other cases in the Whiskey Ring.After the trial, Grant distanced himself from Babcock by placing him in charge of superintendent of buildings and grounds for Washington D.C. Grant's earlier statement on not letting any guilty man escape rang hollow.

Indian post ring

Immediately after the Whiskey Ring prosecutions ended in 1876, it was discovered that Secretary of War William W. Belknap had taken extortion money in exchange for an appointment to a lucrative Native American trading post. The Secretary of War was authorized with the power to award lucrative private Indian trading post contracts. Belknap's wife, Carrie Belknap, who desired to profit from these wealthy contracts, managed to secure a private trading post at Fort Sillmarker to a personal friend from New Yorkmarker, Caleb P. Marsh. However, the post was being run by, John S. Evans, an incumbent contract holder. An extortion arrangement was set up between Carrie Belknap and Caleb P. Marsh and John S. Evans, where Carrie Belknap and Marsh would receive $3,000 every quarter splitting the proceeds, while Evans would be able to retain his post at Fort Sill. Carrie Belknap died within the year and then William Belknap, himself, took over receiving a reduced amount of extortion payments, due to Fort Sill's decline in profits. By 1876 Belknap had received $20,000 from the illicit arrangement and then on March 2, 1876 a House of Representatives investigation headed by Congressman Lyman K. Bass, broke up the Indian trading post ring.

Grant was immediately informed by Benjamin Bristow at breakfast of the House investigation against Secretary Belknap. After hearing about Belknap's predicament Grant arranged a meeting with Congressmen Bass about the investigation. However, Belknap who was escorted by Interior Secretary Zachariah Chandler, rushed to the White House and met with Grant before his meeting with Congressman Bass. Belknap appeared visibly upset or ill, at the same time, earnestly begging Grant to accept his resignation "at once". Grant, in a hurry to get to a photography studio for a formal portrait, regretfully agreed and accepted Belknap's resignation without reservation.

The unquestioning acceptance of Secretary Belknap's resignation prompted one Grant biographer to write:

Grant's acceptance of the resignation of Belknap allowed Belknap, after he was impeached by the House of Representatives for his actions, to escape conviction, since he was no longer a government official. Belknap was acquitted by the Senate escaping with less than the two-thirds majority vote needed for conviction.

Cuttlefish Affair

George M.
Robeson, Secretary of Navy


The Department of Navy, under Secretary George M. Robeson, was distributed $56,000,000 by congress for construction programs. A congressional committee in 1876 discovered that $15,000,000 was found unaccounted for. The committee suspected that Robeson, who was responsible for naval spending, pocketed most of the $15,000,000 and bought real estate and houses. Robeson had bought 18 building lots in Washington and held large stag parties and banquets at the Wormely Hotel. Robeson was also suspected of funneling $92,000 dollars from the Secor Claim to Mrs. Aulick, Robeson's future wife. Robeson allegedly took $320,000 in bribes from one contractor used to purchase a new vacation home.

Robeson, however, was good at hiding his financial tracks and no one was able to convict him. When called to visit the Secretary of State Hamilton Fish in regards to the Secor Claim payout, Robeson flatly denied any involvement. On March 18th, 1876 Admiral David D. Porter wrote a letter to William T. Sherman, "...Our cuttle fish [Robeson] of the navy although he may conceal his tracks for awhile in the obscure atmosphere which surrounds him, will eventually be brought to bay..." Robeson, however, was never successfully brought to trial and served as Secretary of Navy until March 4, 1877. Robeson did have to testify in front of a House Naval Committee on January 16th, 1879 in regards to giving contracts to private companies. Robeson was also asked concerning the use of old material to rebuild ironclads and whether he had the authority to dispose of the Puritan, an outdated ironclad.


Other scandals included the Sanborn incident, an embezzlement of government funds involving Treasury Secretary William Adams Richardson and his assistant John D. Sanborn. Another scandal involved Grant's secretary of the Interior Columbus Delano's son and Grant's brother Orvil Grant had received partnerships in contracts in return for awarding the contracts.

Reforming cabinet members

Although Grant had many scandals during his administration due to appointments of persons with questionable character, there were a few notable and outstanding exceptions. Grant also appointed persons who were of sound character, reformers, who did not abide by or endorse the widespread practice of political or party patronage.

Hamilton Fish

Hamilton Fish, U.S.
Secretary of State (1869-1877)
Hamilton Fish was not seeking any office when his name was presented to the Senate for confirmation and even declined Grant’s offer to serve as Secretary of State. Grant, however, insisted that Fish be in his cabinet and had his name placed before the Senate where he was confirmed on March 17th, 1869. According to Amos Elwood Corning in 1919, Fish's biographer, Fish was known as "a gentleman of wide experience, in whom the capacities of the organizer were happily united with a well balanced judgement and broad culture." After the confirmation Fish went immediately to work and collected, classified, indexed, and bound seven hundred volumes of correspondence of a malicious nature. He established a new indexing system that simplified retrieving information by clerks. Fish also created a rule that applicants for consulate had to take an official written examination in order to get an appointment. Previously, applicants were given positions on a patronage system solely on the recommendations of Congressmen and Senators. This raised the tone and efficiency of the consular service and if a Congressman or Senator objected, Fish could show them that the applicant did not pass the written test.

George S. Boutwell

George S.
Boutwell, U.S.
Secretary of Treasury (1869-1873)
Another reforming cabinet member was Secretary of Treasury George S. Boutwell who was confirmed by the Senate on March 12th, 1869. His first actions was to dismiss S.M. Clark, the chief of U.S. Bureau and Engraving, and set up a system of securing the plates that the paper money was printed on to prevent counterfeiting. Boutwell also set up a system to monitor the manufacturing of money to ensure nothing would be stolen. Boutwell prevented collusion in the printing of money by preparing sets of plates for a single printing, with the red seal being imprinted in the Treasury Bureau. It was also Boutwell who convinced Grant to have Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Alfred Pleasanton, removed for misconduct over approving a $600,000 tax refund. In addition to these measures Boutwell established a uniform mode of accounting at custom houses and ports.

Zachariah Chandler

Zachariah Chandler, U.S.
Secretary of Interior (1875-1877)
In 1875, the U.S.marker Department of Interiormarker was in serious disrepair with corruption and incompetence. The result was that Secretary of Interior Columbus Delano, although personally honest, was forced to resign from office on October 15, 1875. In a personal effort of reform Grant appointed Zachariah Chandler on October 19, 1875 to the position and he was confirmed as Secretary of the Interior by the Senate in December 1875. Chandler imediately went to work reforming the Interior Departmentmarker by dismissing all the important clerks in the Patent Office. Chandler had discovered fictitious clerks were earning money and other clerks were earning money without performing services. Chandler also simplified the patent application procedure and as a result reduced costs.

Chandler next turned to the Department of Indian Affairs to reform. This department had more corruption then the Patent Office. President Grant was personally interested in this reform and ordered Chandler to fire everyone saying, "have those men dismissed by 3 o'clock this afternoon or shut down the bureau." Chandler did exactly as Grant had ordered. Chandler also banned the practice of Native American agents, known as "Indian Attorneys" being payed $8.00 a day plus expenses for supposedly representing their tribes in Washington. Many of these agents did nothing neccessary to aid the Native Americans and enduced the tribes into believing they were being represented in Washington D.C.marker

Civil Service reform

Grant was the first U.S. President to recommend a professional civil service, pushed the initial legistation through Congress, and appointed the members for the first Civil Service Commission. The Commission recommended administering competitive exams and issuing regulations on the hiring and promotion of government employees. Grant put their recommendations in effect in 1872. However, Congress denied any long-term reform by refusing to enact the necessary legislation to make the changes permanent.

The movement for Civil Service reform was the growth of the National Government after the American Civil War and reflected two distinct objectives: to eliminate the inefficiencies in a non professional bureaucracy, and to check the power of (President) Andrew Johnson. Although many reformers after the Election of 1868, looked to Grant to ram Civil Service legislation through Congress, what they got was a pragmatist. Unlike many reformers, Grant did not confuse patronage with corruption. Grant believed that Civil Service reform rested entirely with Congress.

Civil Service Reform rests entirely with Congress. If members will give up claiming patronage, that will be a step gained. But there is an immense amount of human nature in the members of Congress, and it is human nature to seek power and use it to help friends. You cannot call it corruption-it is a condition of our representative form of Government.
President Grant believed deeply in reform but was not sanctimonious about it. Grant accepted patronage as a fixture in Washington but sought to minimize its effects.

President Grant instinctively protected those whom he thought were the victims of injustice, even if those persons were at fault. Grant believed in loyalty with his friends, as one writer called it the "Chivalry of Friendship". It was more important for Grant to be loyal to a friend then letting his Presidency suffer in reputation. Loyalty from the bottom up also demanded loyalty from the top down.


Grant vetoed more bills then any of his predecessors, a total of 93 vetoes, during the 41st through 44th Congresses. 45 were regular vetoes and 48 pocket vetoes. A pocket veto is one where the President does not sign while Congress is in session, making the veto permanent without Congress's constitutional ability to override with 2/3's majority, as with regular vetoes. Grant had 4 vetoes overridden by Congress.

Administration and Cabinet

Only two of Grant's cabinet appointments lasted from 1869 to 1877. These include Secretary of State Hamilton Fish and Secretary of Navy George M. Robeson.

Supreme Court appointments

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

States admitted to the Union

Government agencies instituted


The legacy of President Grant is one of American civil rights, international diplomacy, and scandals. In terms of civil rights Grant had urged the passing of the 15th Amendment and signed into law the Civil Rights Bill of 1875 that gave all citizens access to places of public enterprise. Grant defeated the Ku Klux Klan by sending in the military in order to vigorously enforce civil rights legislation passed by Congress. Also, while Grant was President the term he coined in the 1868 Presidential campaign “Let us have peace” did not ring hollow during Grant’s two terms as President. Two wars had been averted with Englandmarker and Spainmarker under the leadership of Grant’s Secretary of State Hamilton Fish and with the new concept of “International Arbitration”.

Finally, historians have been correct to point out in History texts and biographies of Grant’s scandals and associations with persons alleged to have committed extortion, bribery, and tax evasion. Although Grant did not directly cause any of these scandals he never was able to establish a strong ethical code within his cabinet members. Outside of the battlefield Grant did not have the ability to discern who his "real" enemies were and was very reluctant to prosecute those viewed as friends or personal associates. The associations with the many scandals during Grant’s Presidency has tarnished Grant’s personal reputation while he was President and ever afterwards. By the end of Grant's second term he was able to clear up the corruption in the Department of Interior and Treasury. However, the corruption in the Naval department remained.

Although Grant did not display the eloquent genius of Abraham Lincoln, he managed to stabilize the country by enforcing civil rights legislation and by keeping the United Statesmarker out of war with Englandmarker, Spainmarker, and Liberiamarker with diplomacy and international arbitration. Grant’s economic struggles during his times in Missourimarker actually helped him achieve a common touch with the people and his generous treatment of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox helped give him popularity in the South. Through his support of civil and human rights and the "security of property" Grant attempted to restore his reputation and gain support within the Jewish community. Although Grant kept civil rights on the political agenda, the Republican party at the end of Grant's second term shifted to pursueing conservative fiscal policies. Grant was the first President to appoint a Seneca Indian, Do-Ne-Ho-Geh-Weh, name in English Ely Spenser Parker, as Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1869.James Milton Turner was the first African American to be appointed an U.S. Ambassador postion in 1871 by Grant.


World tour 1877–1879

Ulysses S.
Grant in his postbellum
After the end of his second term in the White House, Grant spent over two years traveling the world with his wife. He traveled first to Liverpoolmarker, England onboard the Pennsylvania class steamship , subsequently visiting Scotlandmarker and Irelandmarker; the crowds were enormous. The Grants dined with Queen Victoria at Windsor Castlemarker and with Prince Bismarck in Germanymarker. They also visited Russiamarker, Egyptmarker, the Holy Land, Siammarker (Thailand), and Burmamarker. In Japanmarker, they were cordially received by Emperor Meiji and Empress ShĹŤken at the Imperial Palace. Today in the Shibakoen section of Tokyomarker, a tree still stands that Grant planted during his stay.

In 1879, the Meiji government of Japan announced the annexation of the Ryukyu Islandsmarker. Chinamarker objected, and Grant was asked to arbitrate the matter. He decided that Japan's claim to the islands was stronger and ruled in Japan's favor.

Grant returned to the United States from Japan on board the Pacific Mail steamship City of Tokio. That year, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Medical School.

Third term attempt in 1880

In 1879, the "Stalwart" faction of the Republican Party led by Senator Roscoe Conkling sought to nominate Grant for a third term as president. He counted on strong support from the business men, the old soldiers, and the Methodist church. Publicly Grant said nothing, but privately he wanted the job and encouraged his men. His popularity was fading however, and while he received more than 300 votes in each of the 36 ballots of the 1880 convention, the nomination went to James A. Garfield. Grant campaigned for Garfield, who won by a very narrow margin. Grant supported his Stalwart ally Conkling against Garfield in the battle over patronage in spring 1881 that culminated in Conkling's resignation from office.


Grant writing his memoirs.
In 1881, Grant purchased a house in New York Citymarker and placed almost all of his financial assets into an investment banking partnership with Ferdinand Ward, as suggested by Grant's son Buck (Ulysses, Jr.), who was having success on Wall Streetmarker. In 1884 Ward swindled Grant (and other investors who had been encouraged by Grant), bankrupted the company, Grant & Ward, and fled.

Last days

Grant learned at the same time that he was suffering from throat cancer. Today, it is believed that Grant suffered from a T1N1 carcinoma of the tonsillar fossa. Grant and his family were left destitute; at the time retired U.S. Presidents were not given pensions, and Grant had forfeited his military pension when he assumed the office of President. Grant first wrote several articles on his Civil War campaigns for The Century Magazine, which were warmly received. Mark Twain offered Grant a generous contract for the publication of his memoirs, including 75% of the book's sales as royalties.

It was not until 1958 that Congress, believing it inappropriate that a former President or his wife might be poverty-stricken, passed a bill granting them a pension, still in effect today.

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.

Ulysses S. Grant died on Thursday, July 23, 1885, at the age of 63 in Mount McGregormarker, Saratoga Countymarker, New Yorkmarker. His body lies in New York Citymarker's Riverside Parkmarker, beside that of his wife, in Grant's Tombmarker, the largest mausoleum in North America. It was originally interred in a vault in the same park, which was used until the current mausoleum was built. The Ulysses S.marker Grant Memorialmarker honors Grant.

Writings and speeches

Cinematically portrayed

Actors have played Ulysses S. Grant in 35 movies. Grant is 3rd most popular President to be portrayed in movies, films, or cinema.

Portrayals include:
The Birth of a Nation, 1915 silent epic movie, played by Donald Crisp.
Only the Brave, 1930, played by Guy Oliver.
They Died with their Boots On, 1941, played by Joseph Crehen (uncredited).
The Horse Soldiers, 1959 John Wayne movie, played by Stan Jones.
How the West Was Won, 1962, played by Harry Morgan.
Lincoln, 1992, played by Rod Steiger.
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, 2007, played by Senator Fred Thompson
Sherman's March, 2007, played by Harry Bulkeley.

Grant is often portrayed in cinema or mass media derogatorily and historically inaccurate. One notable acception was by Kevin Kline who consulted with Grant scholar John Y. Simon for advise on how to play Grant in the 1999 film Wild, Wild, West. Grant is played as a formidable authority figure who has courage mixed with a hard bitten sense of humor.

See also


  1. See Skidmore (2005); Bunting (2004), Scaturro (1998), Smith (2001) and Simpson (1998); List of presidential rankings. Historians rank the 42 men who have held the office. AP via MSNBC. Last visited February 16, 2009. See list of greatest presidents.
  2. Simpson, p. 2
  3. Smith, Grant, p. 24.
  4. Smith, Grant, p. 83. In a letter to his wife Julia dated March 31, 1853, Grant wrote, "Why did you not tell me more about our dear little boys ? ... What does Fred. call Ulys. ? What does the S stand for in Ulys.'s name? In mine you know it does not stand for anything!" McFeely, p. 524, n. 2: "Grant himself never used more than 'S.'; others converted the single letter to 'Simpson.'
  5. Ulysses S Grant Quotes on the Military Academy and the Mexican War
  6. Smith, p. 73.
  7. According to Smith, pp. 87-88, and Lewis, pp. 328-32, two of Grant's lieutenants corroborated this story and Buchanan himself confirmed it to another officer in a conversation during the Civil War. Years later, Grant told educator John Eaton, "the vice of intemperance had not a little to do with my decision to resign."
  8. McFeely, pp. 62-3. His wife's slaves were leased in St. Louis in 1860 after Grant gave up farming; during the war, she reclaimed one slave woman as her personal attendant when visiting Grant in camp. The land and cabin where Grant lived is now an animal conservation reserve, Grant's Farm, owned and operated by the Anheuser-Busch Company.
  9. McFeely, ch. 5.
  10. The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  11. Hesseltine, chapter 6.
  12. Many authors see presidential pressure behind Grant's reinstatement to field command. See, e.g., Gott, pp. 267-68; Nevin, p. 96. But there is room to question that conclusion. Halleck relieved Grant of field command of the expedition (but not his overall command) on March 4 (OR I-10-2-3). On March 9 and 10, Halleck advised Grant to prepare himself to take the field. On March 10, the President and Secretary of War inquired about Grant's status, and on March 13, Halleck directed Grant to take the field. See Halleck to Grant, March 9, 10, 13, 1862, OR I-10-2-22, 27, 32; Thomas to Halleck, March 10, 1862, OR I-7-683. This sequence suggests that Halleck may have decided to restore Grant to field command before receiving Lincoln's inquiry. See Smith, p. 176: Halleck's "reinstatement of Grant preceded by one day the bombshell that landed on his desk from the adjutant general [on behalf of the President and Secretary of War] in Washington."
  13. Halleck's 100,000-man army incorporated Grant's Army of the Tennessee, Buell's Army of the Ohio, and John Pope's Army of the Mississippi. The three armies were formally redesignated as corps.
  14. On May 11, Grant wrote Halleck privately that he considered his second-in-command position to be "anomylous," to constitute a "sensure," and his position to differ "but little from that of one in arrest." Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, 5:114; see Smith, p. 209.
  15. McFeeley, pp. 119-20; Smith, pp. 210-11.
  16. For a good discussion of Grant's experiences after Shiloh, see Brooks D. Simpson, "After Shiloh: Grant, Sherman, and Survival," 142, in Stephen E. Woodworth, ed., The Shiloh Campaign (Carbondale: Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 2009).
  17. Whitelaw Reid, Ohio in the War: Her Statesmen, Her Generals, and Soldiers (New York, 1868), 1:387.
  18. One of the enduring myths about Grant is that he dispensed with all of his supply lines and lived entirely off the land. This story was first propagated by former journalist Charles A. Dana and years later, Grant wrote the same in his memoirs. However, supply requisitions show that, while the men and animals of the Army of the Tennessee foraged for much of their food, staples such as coffee, salt, hardtack, ammunition, and medical supplies kept a large fleet of wagons moving inland from Grand Gulf throughout the campaign. This supply train was a target of Pemberton until Champion Hill.
  19. Francis V. Greene, The Mississippi (Campaigns of the Civil War - VIII) (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1884), 170-71; see William Farina, Ulysses S. Grant, 1861-1864: His Rise From Obscurity to Military Greatness (McFarland, 2007), 214.
  20. James R. Rusling, Men and Things I Saw in Civil War Days (New York: Eaton & Mains, 1899), 16-17. According to Rusling, an eyewitness, Lincoln made this remark on July 5, 1863, before learning that Grant had taken Vicksburg on July 4.
  21. Grant's new command unified the Union command in the West for the first time since Henry W. Halleck vacated the erstwhile Department of the Mississippi to become general-in-chief. According to his memoirs, had he so wished, Grant could have chosen a version of the War Department order continuing Rosecrans in command of the Department of the Cumberland. See Grant, Memoirs (Lib. of Am., 1990), 403.
  22. Lloyd Lewis, Sherman: Fighting Prophet, 323.
  23. Catton, Grant Takes Command, pg 284, Little, Brown, and Company (Inc.), 1968, 1969.
  24. Sherman, Memoirs, pp. 806-17; Donald C. Pfanz, The Petersburg Campaign: Abraham Lincoln at City Point (Lynchburg, VA, 1989), 1-2, 24-29, 94-95. This meeting was memorialized in G.P.A. Healy's famous painting "The Peacemakers."
  25. Korda, (2004)
  26. Eicher, Civil War High Commands, p. 264.
  27. The road to Appomattox, Robert Hendrickson, J. Wiley, 1998, Page 16.
  28. Robert Michael, A Concise History Of American Antisemitism, p. 91. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. ISBN 0742543137
  29. McFeely, p 124.
  30. Bertram Korn, American Jewry and the Civil War, p. 143. Korn cites Grant's order of November 9 and 10, 1862, "Refuse all permits to come south of Jackson for the present. The Israelites especially should be kept out," and "no Jews are to be permitted to travel on the railroad southward from any point. They may go north and be encouraged in it; but they are such an intolerable nuisance that the department must be purged of them."
  31. American Jewish history, Volume 6, Part 1, Jeffrey S. Gurock, American Jewish Historical Society, Taylor & Francis, 1998, page 14.
  32. American Jewish history, Volume 6, Part 1, Jeffrey S. Gurock, American Jewish Historical Society, Taylor & Francis, 1998, page 15.
  34. Robert Michael, A Concise History Of American Antisemitism, p. 92. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.
  35. Albert Bigelow Paine, Thomas Nast: His Period and His Pictures, 1904.
  37. Jean Edward Smith, Grant, pgs 542-547, Simon & Shuster, 2001.
  38. Akerman to Garnet Andrews, July 31, 1871, Akerman Papers
  39. Nevins, Hamilton Fish 2:811ff.
  40. Nevins, Fish 2:811
  41. Jean Edward Smith, Grant, pgs 480-481, Simon & Schuster, 2001.
  42. Jean Edward Smith, Grant, pgs 480-481, Simon & Shuster, 2001.
  43. Jean Edward Smith, Grant, pgs 581-582, Simon & Shuster, 2001.
  44. [1]| Specie Resumption Act
  45. Amos Elwood Corning|Hamilton Fish|pgs 49-54|1918
  46. Josiah Bunting III, Grant, pg 102, Times Books, Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2004
  47. Jean Edward Smith, Grant,pgs 495-499, 2001
  48. Amos Elwood Corning|Hamilton Fish|pgs 49-54|1918
  49. [2]|Cuba Gains Independence
  51. A PLAN OF EMANCIPATION To Jared Sparks Monticello, February 4, 1824
  52. Liberian-Grebo War of 1876
  53. Jean Edward Smith, Grant, pgs 481-490, Simon & Shuster, 2001.
  54. Josiah Bunting III, Ulysses S. Grant, pgs 96-98, Times Books, Henry Holt and Company, LCC, Edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Junior.
  55. {{cite web |title=Henry Wilson, 18th Vice President (1873-1875)|url=|access date=11-30-09|
  56. Josiah Bunting III, Ulysses S. Grant, pgs 136-138, Times Books, Henry Holt and Company, LCC, Edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Junior.
  57.|Mark Grossman|Political corruption in America: an encyclopedia of scandals, power, and greed|pgs 182-183|2003
  58.|Mark Grossman|Political corruption in America: an encyclopedia of scandals, power, and greed|pgs 182-183|2003
  59. Josiah Bunting III, Ulysses S. Grant, pgs 136-138, Times Books, Henry Holt and Company, LCC, Edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Junior.
  60. Jean Edward Smith, Grant, pgs 593-596, Simon & Shuster, 2001.
  61. Josiah Bunting III, Ulysses S. Grant, pgs 135-136, Times Books, Henry Holt and Company, LCC, Edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Junior.
  62. [3]|James F. Muench|Five stars: Missouri's most famous generals|2006
  63. [4]|George M. Robeson]
  64. Amos Elwood Corning|Hamilton Fish|pgs 49-54|1918
  65. George S. Boutwell|Reminiscences of Sixty Years in Public Affairs, Volume 2|pgs 120-123|2008
  66. Arthur Tappan Pierson|Zachariah Chandler: an outline sketch of his life and public services|pgs 340-345|1880
  67. Arthur Tappan Pierson|Zachariah Chandler: an outline sketch of his life and public services|pgs 340-345|1880
  68. Professor Jean Edward Smith, Grant, Simon & Schuster, June 2001, First Edition.
  71. [5]|Neal Fitz Simons|DO-NE-HO-GEH-WAH: SENECA SACHEM AND CIVIL ENGINEER|Reprinted from the June, 1973 issue of Civil Engineering magazine, courtesy American Society of Civil Engineers. Mr. Fitz Simons is a Fellow of ASCE.
  72. Hesseltine (2001) pp 432-39
  73.|Five Cinematically Portrayed Presidents
  75. [6]|Grant in Film


  • Catton, Bruce, Grant Takes Command, Little, Brown and Company, 1968, Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 69-12632.
  • Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
  • Fuller, Maj. Gen. J. F. C., Grant and Lee, A Study in Personality and Generalship, Indiana University Press, 1957, ISBN 0-253-13400-5.
  • Garland, Hamlin, Ulysses S. Grant: His Life and Character, Macmillan Company, 1898.
  • Gott, Kendall D., Where the South Lost the War: An Analysis of the Fort Henry—Fort Donelson Campaign, February 1862, Stackpole books, 2003, ISBN 0-8117-0049-6.
  • Grant, Ulysses S., Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Charles L. Webster & Company, 1885–86, ISBN 0-914427-67-9.
  • Hesseltine, William B., Ulysses S. Grant: Politician 1935.
  • Lewis, Lloyd, Captain Sam Grant, Little, Brown, and Co., 1950, ISBN 0-316-52348-8.
  • McFeely, William S., Grant: A Biography, W. W. Norton & Co, 1981, ISBN 0-393-01372-3.
  • McPherson, James M., Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States), Oxford University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-19-503863-0.
  • Nevin, David, and the Editors of Time-Life Books, The Road to Shiloh: Early Battles in the West, Time-Life Books, 1983, ISBN 0-8094-4716-9.
  • Simpson, Brooks D., Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity, 1822-1865, Houghton Mifflin, 2000, ISBN 0-395-65994-9.
  • Smith, Jean Edward, Grant, Simon and Shuster, 2001, ISBN 0-684-84927-5.
  • Woodworth, Steven E., Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861 – 1865, Alfred A. Knopf, 2005, ISBN 0-375-41218-2.
  • Official Ulysses Simpson Grant biography from the US Army Center for Military History


Biographical, political

  • Bunting III, Josiah. Ulysses S. Grant (2004) ISBN 0-8050-6949-6
  • William Dunning, Reconstruction Political and Economic 1865-1877 (1905), vol 22
  • Hesseltine, William B. Ulysses S. Grant, Politician (2001) ISBN 1-931313-85-7 online edition
  • Mantell, Martin E., Johnson, Grant, and the Politics of Reconstruction (1973) online edition
  • Nevins, Allan, Hamilton Fish: The Inner History of the Grant Administration (1936) online edition
  • Rhodes, James Ford., History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the McKinley-Bryan Campaign of 1896. Volume: 6 and 7 (1920) vol 6
  • Scaturro, Frank J., President Grant Reconsidered (1998).
  • Schouler, James., History of the United States of America: Under the Constitution vol. 7. 1865-1877. The Reconstruction Period (1917) online edition
  • Simpson, Brooks D., Let Us Have Peace: Ulysses S. Grant and the Politics of War and Reconstruction, 1861-1868 (1991).
  • Simpson, Brooks D., The Reconstruction Presidents (1998)
  • Simpson, Brooks D., Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity, 1822-1865 (2000)
  • Skidmore, Max J. "The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant: a Reconsideration." White House Studies (2005) online

Military studies

  • Badeau, Adam. Military History of Ulysses S. Grant, from April, 1861, to April, 1865. 3 vols. 1882.
  • Ballard, Michael B., Vicksburg, The Campaign that Opened the Mississippi, University of North Carolina Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8078-2893-9.
  • Bearss, Edwin C., The Vicksburg Campaign, 3 volumes, Morningside Press, 1991, ISBN 0-89029-308-2.
  • Carter, Samuel III, The Final Fortress: The Campaign for Vicksburg, 1862-1863 (1980)
  • Catton, Bruce, Grant Moves South, 1960, ISBN 0-316-13207-1; Grant Takes Command, 1968, ISBN 0-316-13210-1; U. S. Grant and the American Military Tradition (1954)
  • Cavanaugh, Michael A., and William Marvel, The Petersburg Campaign: The Battle of the Crater: "The Horrid Pit," June 25-August 6, 1864 (1989)
  • Conger, A. L. The Rise of U.S. Grant (1931)
  • Davis, William C. Death in the Trenches: Grant at Petersburg (1986).
  • Fuller, Maj. Gen. J. F. C., Grant and Lee, A Study in Personality and Generalship, Indiana University Press, 1957, ISBN 0-253-13400-5.
  • Gott, Kendall D., Where the South Lost the War: An Analysis of the Fort Henry-Fort Donelson Campaign, February 1862, Stackpole Books, 2003, ISBN 0-8117-0049-6.
  • Korda, Michael. Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero (2004) 161 pp
  • McWhiney, Grady, Battle in the Wilderness: Grant Meets Lee (1995)
  • McDonough, James Lee, Shiloh: In Hell before Night (1977).
  • McDonough, James Lee, Chattanooga: A Death Grip on the Confederacy (1984).
  • Maney, R. Wayne, Marching to Cold Harbor. Victory and Failure, 1864 (1994).
  • Matter, William D., If It Takes All Summer: The Battle of Spotsylvania (1988)
  • Miers, Earl Schenck., The Web of Victory: Grant at Vicksburg. 1955.
  • Mosier, John., "Grant", Palgrave MacMillan, 2006 ISBN 1-4039-7136-6.
  • Rhea, Gordon C., The Battle of the Wilderness May 5–6, 1864, Louisiana State University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-8071-1873-7.
  • Rhea, Gordon C., The Battles for Spotsylvania Court House and the Road to Yellow Tavern May 7–12, 1864, Louisiana State University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-8071-2136-3.
  • Rhea, Gordon C., To the North Anna River: Grant and Lee, May 13–25, 1864, Louisiana State University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8071-2535-0.
  • Rhea, Gordon C., Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26 – June 3, 1864, Louisiana State University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-8071-2803-1.
  • Miller, J. Michael, The North Anna Campaign: "Even to Hell Itself," May 21-26, 1864 (1989).
  • Simpson, Brooks D., "Continuous Hammering and Mere Attrition: Lost Cause Critics and the Military Reputation of Ulysses S. Grant," in Cad Gallagher and Alan T. Nolan, eds., The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History, (2000)
  • Steere, Edward, The Wilderness Campaign (1960)
  • Sword, Wiley, Shiloh: Bloody April. 1974.
  • Williams, T. Harry, McClellan, Sherman and Grant. 1962.

Primary sources

External links

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