Ulysses S. Grant
18th President of the United States
Ulysses S. Grant
• Born: April 27, 1822 in Point Pleasant, Ohio
• Died: July 23, 1885 in Mount McGregor, New
• Education: U.S. Military Academy at West Point
• Occupations: Soldier
• Married: Julia Dent Grant in August, 1848
• Home: Galena, Illinois
• Political Party: Republican
• Inauguration: March 4, 1869 and March 3,
• In 1839, Grant's father got him appointed to the U.S.
Military Academy at West Point. He was accidentally given
the name Ulysses Simpson Grant, and the name remained
with him ever afterward.
• In August 1848, he married Julia Dent, the sister of one of
his classmates. Julia was to be a source of strength to Grant
for the rest of his life.
• In the Mexican War, he fought under Gen. Zachary Taylor.
• In 1853, he was promoted to captain, but the pay was too
low to support his family in the West. Grant resigned from
the Army in 1854.
• Grant began the Civil War as a colonel of the Illinois
volunteers. Grant whipped it into shape and by September
1861, he had risen to the rank of brigadier general of all
• In February 1862, Grant took Fort Henry and attacked Fort
Donelson. When the Confederates surrendered, President Lincoln
promoted Grant to major general of volunteers.
• At Shiloh in April 1862, Grant fought one of the bloodiest battles
in the West. President Lincoln refused to remove him saying, "I
can't spare this man--he fights."
• Grant maneuvered and fought skillfully to win Vicksburg, the key
city on the Mississippi, and thus cut the Confederacy in two. Then
he broke the Confederate hold on Chattanooga.
• Lincoln appointed Grant General-in-Chief in March 1864.
• Grant directed Sherman to drive through the South while he
himself, with the Army of the Potomac, pinned down Gen. Robert
E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.
• Finally, on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Lee
surrendered. Grant wrote out magnanimous terms of surrender
that would prevent treason trials.
• Jay Gould and James Fisk tried to corner the gold market. When
Grant discovered their plan, he authorized the Secretary of the
Treasury to sell enough gold to wreck their plans.
• Grant allowed Radical Reconstruction to run its course in the
South, bolstering it at times with military force.
• His personal secretary was implicated in one of the most notorious
scandals, the Whiskey Ring, which sought to evade U.S. taxes in
the manufacture of whiskey.
• Grant and Congress attempted to end the KKK when Congress
passed the so-called Force Acts of 1870-71.
• His most notable achievement was the settlement of a dispute with
Britain with the Treaty of Washington (1871). The Alabama had
been one of several Confederate warships built by Britain during
the Civil War. The United States demanded compensation for
damages done to the Union merchant marine by these ships and in
1872 was awarded $15.5 million.
• After retiring from the Presidency, Grant became a
partner in a financial firm, which went bankrupt. About
that time, he learned that he had cancer of the throat.
• Grant wrote his recollections to pay off his debts and
provide for his family, earning nearly $450,000. Soon
after completing the last page, in 1885, he died.
• He was once fined $20 for speeding on his horse.
• He apologized upon leaving the White House, not for
errors of intent but for errors of judgment.
• Even though he had throat cancer, he finished his
memoirs and had them published with the help of Mark
• Two Vice-Presidents – Schuyler Colfax and Henry
1868 – Grant ran on the Republican
ticket with Schuyler Colfax as his Vice-
President. They ran against Horatio
Seymour and Francis Blair, the
democrats. Grant won 53% of the
popular vote, and won the Electoral vote
214-80. Texas, Mississippi, Virginia, and
Florida did not vote because of
1872 – This time Grant ran with Henry
Wilson as his Vice-President. They ran
against Horace Greeley and Gratz Brown
the democrats. This time Grant won
55% of the popular vote and won the
Electoral vote 286 to 66. All southern
states were now back in the Union.
• "No terms except an unconditional and
immediate surrender can be accepted."
• "I have never advocated war except as a
means of peace."
• "My failures have been errors of
judgment, not of intent."