Civil War Leaders


Ulysses S Grant

{ April 27, 1822 - July 23, 1885 }

April 27, 1822
Birth of a son, later named Hiram Ulysses Grant, to tanner Jesse R. Grant and Hannah Simpson Grant, at Point Pleasant, Clermont County, Ohio.

Autumn, 1836-Spring, 1837
Ulysses attended the school of Richeson and Rand at Maysville, Kentucky.

Autumn, 1838-Spring, 1839
Ulysses attended the Presbyterian academy at Ripley, Ohio.

March 3, 1839
Ulysses appointed to West Point.

May 15, 1839
Ulysses boarded a steamboat at Ripley to begin his journey to West Point. Apprehensive that other cadets would tease him about his initials, he decided to reverse his first two names and call himself Ulysses H. Grant.

May 29, 1839
Ulysses arrived at West Point and discovered that the congressman who appointed him, in doubt about his name, had used his middle name first and had used his mother's maiden name (Simpson) for a middle name. Officers insisted that Ulysses S. Grant had been appointed to West Point, Ulysses Hiram Grant had not. In time, Ulysses accepted U. S. Grant as his true name, insisting that his middle initial stood for "nothing." His family and Ohio friends continued to call him Ulysses; the other cadets nicknamed him "Uncle Sam" for his initials, soon shortened it to "Sam."

June, 1843
Grant graduated from West Point, ranked twenty-first in a class of thirty-nine.

July 28, 1843
Grant learned that he was assigned to duty, beginning September 30, with the Fourth U. S. Infantry at Jefferson Barracks, just outside St. Louis, Missouri.

September 21, 1846
During the battle of Monterey, Quartermaster Grant was expected to remain behind the lines. Without orders, he rode to the front and charged with his regiment. Grant now replaced the regimental adjutant.

September 8, 1847
Grant participated in the assault on Molino del Rey.

August 22, 1848
Captain Grant was married to Julia Dent

April 11, 1854
Grant received his official commission as captain and wrote his resignation from the army the same day. On June 2, Secretary of War Jefferson Davis accepted the resignation

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Summer, 1856
The Grant family moved into its own home, built largely by Grant alone. Almost every farm in the neighborhood had a name, often a pretentious one; Grant called his Hardscrabble.

November, 1856
Grant cast his only presidential ballot prior to the time he was himself elected.

December 23, 1857
Grant pawned his watch, presumably to buy Christmas gifts for his family. Grant rented out his Hardscrabble farm and himself rented White Haven from his father-in-law. Following another poor season, plagued by poor health, he entered the real estate business in St. Louis. In January 1859 he moved into a back room in St. Louis rented from his business partner, while his family temporarily remained at White Haven. In March, his family joined him in a rented cottage in St. Louis.

March 29, 1859
Despite the financial troubles of the Grant family, there was one remedy Grant refused to consider. He set free his slave, William Jones, who had come to him through his wife's family.

May, 1860
Grant took a clerkship in a leather goods store owned by his father and operated by his brothers Orvil and Simpson in Galena, Illinois.

April 18, 1861
Grant found temporary employment as clerk in the adjutant's office.

May 8, 1861
Grant was appointed mustering officer. It was a temporary job, which ended within two weeks.

May 22, 1861
Grant finished his mustering and returned to Galena. Two days later he wrote to Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas: "I feel myself competent to command a Regiment if the President, in his judgment, should see fit to entrust one to me." The letter was never answered.

June, 1861
Grant visited the headquarters of George B. McClellan in Cincinnati seeking a staff appointment. McClellan did not receive him.

June 15, 1861
Grant returned to Springfield and accepted Governor Yates' offer of the colonelcy of the Seventh District Regiment, an unruly group which had driven its first colonel into retirement.

July 31, 1861
President Lincoln appointed Grant a brigadier general of volunteers following the recommendations of a caucus of Illinois congressmen. Then, August 5, the appointment was confirmed by the Senate. Grant's commission was dated back to May 17, which gave him valuable seniority.

August 27, 1861
Replaced by General Jefferson C. Davis at Jefferson City, Grant again returned to St. Louis. This time he was given command of all troops in south-east Missouri

November 7, 1861
Grant led his troops to Belmont, Missouri, across the Mississippi River from Columbus, Kentucky. The Union troops overran a Confederate camp and the Confederates returned with a superior force. Grant's men began to scramble for their transports, and the general himself barely escaped death or capture.

February 17, 1862
Lincoln signed the papers for Grant's promotion to major general of volunteers.

October 25, 1862
Grant was assigned the Department of Tennessee and reinforced. On November 2, he began the Vicksburg campaign.

January 30, 1863
Grant took personal command of the Vicksburg expedition.

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May 1, 1863
Grant's victory at the battle of Port Gibson gave the Union forces a firm footing in Mississippi

July 3, 1863
Pemberton sent a message to Grant requesting terms of surrender. Grant answered as he had at Fort Donelson that his only terms were unconditional surrender.

July 4, 1863
Vicksburg surrendered. The garrison Marched out and stacked arms. Grant immediately provided food for the starving soldiers and civilians.

August 1863
Grant went to New Orleans to confer with General Banks. While there, he received painful injuries when his horse fell.

November 23-25, 1863
Battle of Chattanooga. On the first day, Grant put his men in position and drove the Confederates from Orchard Knob.

February 29, 1864
The bill to restore the rank of lieutenant general became a law. It had been passed with the understanding that Grant would receive the promotion. On March 1, Lincoln submitted Grant's nomination, which was confirmed the following day. On March 3, Grant was ordered to Washington to receive his commission. By this time, there was speculation about a political career for Grant.

March 8, 1864
Lincoln and Grant met for the first time. In the evening, Grant was guest of honor at a White House reception.

March 12, 1864
Grant was assigned to command all armies of the United States. He decided to make his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac.

August 7, 1864
Grant replaced General David Hunter in the Shenandoah Valley with General Philip Sheridan.

April 7, 1865
Grant wrote to Lee: "The results of the last week must convince you of the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia in this struggle."

April 9, 1865
After discovering that escape would be impossible, Lee arranged to meet Grant at Appomattox. The two generals met in the parlor of the McLean House, Lee in an immaculate new uniform, Grant informally dressed with only shoulder straps to show rank. "We soon fell into a conversation about old army times . . . Our conversation grew so pleasant that I almost forgot the object of our meeting." Finally, Grant wrote a letter embodying his terms and Lee wrote one accepting them.

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April 14, 1865
Grant met with the Cabinet to discuss Lee's surrender and the future of the South. Lincoln invited the Grants to join him at the theatre that evening. Grant replied that he was anxious to visit his children at Burlington, New Jersey. Thus Grant eluded the plan of John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators to assassinate him along with Lincoln.

November-December, 1865
Grant toured the South at the request of President Andrew Johnson, and was greeted with surprising friendliness. His report recommended a lenient Reconstruction policy.

July 25, 1866
Congress established a new rank, general of the armies of the United States, to which Grant was immediately appointed.

May 21, 1868
The Republican National Convention at Chicago nominated Grant for President and Schuyler Colfax of Indiana for Vice President.

May 29, 1868
Grant concluded his letter of acceptance with "Let us have peace." The words became a Republican slogan.

November 3, 1868
Grant was elected President, winning the electoral votes of 26 of 34 states and an electoral college majority of 214-80 over his Democratic opponent. But the popular majority was only 306,000 in a total vote of 5,715,000. The newly enfranchised Negroes of the South cast 700,000 votes generally at the bidding of their Republican protectors.

March 4, 1869
Grant was inaugurated President.

January 10, 1870
Grant submitted to the Senate a treaty of annexation with Santo Domingo.

May 22, 1872
Grant signed an amnesty bill he had advocated. Although the final legislation was less generous than Grant wanted, now only a few hundred former Confederates were excluded from political privileges.

March 4, 1873
Grant was inaugurated for a second term

April 22, 1874
Grant vetoed a bill to increase the amount of legal tender currency.

May 29, 1875
Grant wrote a public letter announcing that he would not be a candidate for a third term.

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March 4, 1877
Grant retired from the White House.

December 16, 1879
Grant returned from his trip during which he had been honored in many countries and had done much to improve relations with the United States.

April 1881
The Grants, Ulysses Jr. and his new wife, and Senor Don Matias Romero (former Mexican minister in Washington) toured Mexico. Grant had become president of Jay Gould's Mexican Southern Railroad.

December 24, 1883
Returning from a visit, Grant slipped on the ice in front of his home in New York City. While still confined to bed in January, Grant developed pleurisy.

November 1884
As Grant dictated to his secretary, he began to feel pain in his throat, which soon made eating almost impossible. It was learned that this was a fatal cancer.

February 27, 1885
Grant signed a contract with his friend Mark Twain to publish his "Memoirs."

March 4, 1885
As an act of respect, Grant was placed on the list of retired generals. The money this would bring was much needed.

July 23, 1885
Grant died at the cottage at Mount McGregor.

August 8, 1885
Three Presidents of the United States attended the burial services, and Union and Confederate Generals rode together in carriages.

April 27, 1891
Ground was broken for Grant's tomb. The task of raising the necessary $600,000 had taken considerable time, as did the construction of the tomb.

April 27, 1897
The tomb was dedicated on what would have been Grant's seventy-fifth birthday. The coffin had been privately transferred ten days earlier.

December 14, 1902
Julia Grant died, and was buried with her husband as both had earnestly requested.

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