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Ulysses S. Grant

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Ulysses S. Grant lived an interesting life. He gave so much to this country. His life was

exciting and he lived in many different places, from small houses to a house given by people to

the white house. From saving the blacks from more slavery to giving the U.S. bad years from


Ulysses S. Grant was an American general and the 18th president of the U.S.

(Williams 53).Grant was born in point pleasant, Ohio, on April 27 ,1822, the son os Hannah

Simpson and Jesse Grant, the owner of a tannery (Williams 52). In 1839, under the name of

Ulysses Simpson, instead of his original Hiram Ulysses, he was appointed to West Point

("Ulysses"Online). Graduating 21st in a class of 39,loosing to Robert E. Lee, who came 1st

("Ulysses"Online). There he met Julia Dent, whom he married after the Mexican war


During the Mexican war, Grant served under both General Zachary Taylor and

General Winfield Scott and distinguished himself ("Ulysses"Online). In 1854, while stationed at

Fort Humboldt, California, Grant resigned his commission because of loneliness and drinking

problems, and in the following years he engaged in generally unsuccessful farming and business

ventures in Missouri(Williams 19- 59). He moved to Galena, Illinois, in 1860, where he became

a clerk in his father's leather store (Williams 21).

In the Civil War, after an indecisive battle raid on Belmont, Missouri, he gained fame

when in February 1862, in conjunction with the navy; he succeeded in reducing Forts Henry and

Donelson, Tennessee, forcing General Simon B. Buckner to accept unconditional surrender and

earned him the nickname Unconditional Surrender Grant (Williams 52). In 1863 he established

his reputation as a strategist in the brilliant campaign against Vicksburg, Mississippi, which took

place on July 4 ("Ulysses"Online). After being appointed commander in the west, he defeated

Braxton Bragg at Chattanooga ("Ulysses"Online). Grant's victories made him so prominent that

he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and in February 1864 was given command of

all Union armies("Ulysses"Online).

Grant accompanied the army of the Potomac in its overland assault on Richmond,

Virginia.Grant continues to press the drive against General Robert E. Lee's army

("Ulysses"Online). After Sherman's success in Georgia and the conquest of Shenandoah Valley

by General Philip H. Sheridan, Grant forced Lee to abandon Petersburg and Richmond and to

surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9 ("Ulysses"Online).

As the country's best known military leader, he became the Republican candidate for

president in 1868 and defeated his democratic rival, Horatio Seymour (Williams 53). Grants

military experience ill prepared him for his new duties, he faced major problems with

Reconstruction, civil service reform, and economic adjustment, he did not know how to choose

proper advisors or to avoid the pitfalls of an age of corruption (Williams 57). Irregularly trying to

protect the tights of the freed slaves, he repeatedly intervened but could no prevent the

reappearance of white supremacists in all but a few southern states ("Ulysses"Online).

Other problems were equally troublesome, in 1871 Grant appointed a civil service

commission headed by George W. Curtis, but because of the president's increased trust in corrupt

republican machines, he was ill fitted to end the system of whereby federal jobs were distributed

as rewards for political loyalty ("Ulysses"Online). More over his inexperience in economic

matters and his unreasonable respect for wealth rendered him easy prey to scheming



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