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Ulysses Simpson Grant

U.S. President and Outstanding Union Officer of Civil War

Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States, is better known for his distinguished military career than his political record. He is perhaps the outstanding Union commander of the Civil War. Grant accepted the surrender of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. ■ General Grant was admired by President Lincoln for his ability to make decisions, his willingness to take the initiative, and his bulldog determination in the face of adversity. Historians rank him among America’s most resourceful military commanders. ■ U. S. Grant was born April 27, 1822, at Point Pleasant, Ohio. He was descended from Matthew Grant, a Scotsman who emigrated to the American Colonies in 1630. He left the farm to enter the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. Following graduation, he fought in the Mexican War and was decorated for conspicuous gallantry at Molino del Ray and Chapultepec. ■ He was living in Galena, Illinois, when the Civil War broke out. Appointed a colonel, he quickly moved up the ranks and pushed the strategy of splitting the Confederacy. ■ General Grant accomplished this in a brilliant campaign that ended with the siege and surrender of Vicksburg. He was transferred east to do battle with Gen. Robert E. Lee whom Grant drove out of Richmond. Surrender of the Confederacy followed soon after. ■ Grant was elected President in 1869, but he was not a politician and he made mistakes in appointing capable men who were not politicians either. But he did succeed in bringing economic and political stability to a nation wracked with severe post-war problems. ■ He died near Saratoga, New York, July 23, 1885, and was interred in a monument in New York City.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
Scottish-American History Club
2800 Des Plaines Avenue
North Riverside, IL 60546