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Assess the Role of Ulysses S. Grant in the Union Victory

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Asses the role of Ulysses S. Grant in the victory of the union

Ulysses S. Grant played a crucial role in the victory of the union in the American civil war. Ulysses S. Grant, later to become the 18th president of the United States, commanded union forces during the civil war as a general and general in chief.

The greatest assets that Ulysses S. Grant brought to the union forces were his incredible strategic mind, his determination, his willingness to fight and his ability to win. Throughout the war grant steered the union to victory many major battles both before and after her was assigned general in chief of the union army.

Grant produced the first two major union victories of the war in February of 1862 by capturing fort hennery on the Tennessee river and fort Donnellson on the Cumberland river, these victories gave a brief display of Grants calm determination to succeed and on only his terms, thus Grant became somewhat of a hero when Simon Buckner called for terms of surrender and yielded to Grants "no terms but unconditional and immediate surrender". This surrender of 14000 confederate men resulted in grants immediate promotion to major general of volunteers.

In the April of 1962 Grant was violently surprised in an attack by confederate generals A. Johnston and P. Beauguard at the battle of Shiloh. In a battle that was to become the bloodiest up to that date in American history, with 23,000 casualties, Grant refused to retreat, he eventually managed to stabilize his line and with the help of reinforcements produced a counterattack and turned a severe loss into a victory.

Grant received heavy criticism for his decisions at Shiloh but Lincoln defended him stating "I can't spare this man, he fights"

One of Grants greatest military success of the war was the siege of Vicksburg, July-August 1863. Grant spent the winter of 62-63 attempting and failing multiple operations to gain access to the town, Grant crossed the Mississippi and headed for Jackson, he took a great risk and cut away from his supplies to sever the railroad to Vicksburg effectively cutting the confederate garrison off from reinforcements. Grant now defeated the confederate army at Champion Hill and then pursued the retreating army to the garrison at Vicksburg. The six week siege began. On the 4th of July 1863, being cut off and with no possibility of relief confederate general John Pemberton surrendered.

This union victory in conjunction with the battle of Gettysburg the previous day is considered the turning point in the war.

Another example of grants impressive strategic mind was at the battle of Chattanooga. After a confederate victory at Chickamauga, union forces retreated to the city of Chattanooga, and were surrounded by the pursuing confederates.

On the 7th of October 1863 Grant was placed in command of the operation and he immediately began a strategy known as the cracker line. Grant opened the Tennessee River with a victory in Battle of Wauhatchie to allow supplies and reinforcements to enter into the city. The union now went on the offensive and broke the confederate forces. A path to Atlanta and the rest of the confederacy now opened

It took three years of trial and error in Lincolns search for a war winning lieutenant general before grant was summoned to Washington to receive his commission as commander in chief with the rank of lieutenant general on the 9th of March 1864.

Throughout the war grant had shown that he understood the basic truth of war, men would die and he realized that the north could afford to lose more men than the south, and it was from this fact that



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