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Ulysses S Grant

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Salah ad-Din View Drop Down
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  Quote Salah ad-Din Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Ulysses S Grant
    Posted: 06-Nov-2012 at 19:02
Ulysses S Grant (1822 – 1885)
West Point 1843, 21/39

Grant was born Hiram Ulysses, at Point Pleasant in southwestern Ohio. Both as a child and as a cadet at West Point, he was chiefly noted for his skill with handling horses, and his talent with mathematics. The shy and diminutive Grant was nicknamed ‘Sam Grant’ at West Point, where he proved himself to be a deceptively strong personality with a gritty fighting spirit. Grant performed well in the Mexican War, serving in the 4th Infantry and winning two citations for bravery. In 1848 he married Julia Dent, the union producing four children. Grant was stationed on the West Coast after the Mexican War, but the loneliness and boredom of peacetime military life allegedly drove him to drink irresponsibly. In 1854 he resigned from the military to avoid a court martial, and spent the next seven years of his life eking out a humble civilian existence.

Offering his services to the Union in 1861, Grant began his Civil War career commanding the 21st Illinois Infantry and suffering a defeat at Belmont in November. 1862 saw him become the most successful Union general in the West, capturing Forts Henry and Donelson and managing to win a bloody victory at Shiloh. His crowning achievement in the West came in 1863, when after a grueling campaign he took Vicksburg on July 4th, thus claiming the Mississippi for the Union. His reputation as a ‘fighting general’ was further reinforced later in that year with his victories around Chattanooga.

Grant incurred the disfavor of several fellow Union generals, and was repeatedly slandered with allegations that he had taken up his ‘old habit’ of heavy drinking. However, he won the support of President Lincoln and in March of 1864 he became the first Lieutenant General in the history of America since George Washington. That May Grant directed the Army of the Potomac in the Overland Campaign, attempting to destroy Robert E. Lee in a series of gruesome attritional battles. The campaign culminated in the Battle of Cold Harbor, in which over 7,000 Federal soldiers were lost while being thrown at Rebel defensive positions. It was the most controversial moment of Grant’s military career, but it did not shake the faith that Lincoln and many of his soldiers had placed in him.

Grant oversaw the Union siege of Petersburg and the final campaigns in the Virginian Theater, and in April of 1865 he received the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. By this point the grizzled general had become a national hero, and was named Secretary of War by Andrew Johnson in place of Stanton. Grant, a Republican, had two terms as president, 1868-1876. The motto of his administration was ‘let us have peace’ and he had a liberal policy towards newly liberated black Americans. However, his presidential record was stained by the antics of a corrupt cabinet, and this caused Grant, quite unfairly, to be remembered as one of America’s worst presidents.

After his second term Grant went on a year-long world tour and returned to embark on a financial venture with Ferdinand Ward. This was a disaster for Grant’s family; in 1884 he lost his entire life savings shortly before finding out that he was dying of throat cancer. Refusing to give into despair, Grant spent his remaining months feverishly working on his memoirs, publishing them a few weeks before his death in July of 1885. His memoirs brought in enough money to ensure a comfortable existence for his widow Julia.

Like many great generals, Grant had little care for outer appearances – he was content to wear the uniform of a cavalry private. His hair and scruffy beard were often disheveled, and he was commonly seen chomping a cigar and grimacing determinedly. Grant was a man of action, a highly aggressive general who hit his enemy hard with what were styled ‘bulldog’ attacks by his contemporaries. The high casualties his style of warfare produced brought him vehement criticism, but no one could deny the results they brought. Like his close friend William T. Sherman, Grant was an example of the breed of general that rose to the top late in the Civil War – a man who recognized war for the hell that it was, and had little time for the chivalry and foppery so enjoyed by his predecessors. He was praised for his willingness to use the army for what it was for – heavy fighting – and his orders were always direct, concise, and focused. As his memoirs suggest, he was a simple yet elegant communicator.
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LeopoldPhilippe View Drop Down
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  Quote LeopoldPhilippe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2015 at 20:56
In 1869, when Grant became the President, he was 46. He became the youngest president theretofore.     
When he attended West Point, Ulysses received several demerits for slovenly dress and tardiness.
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Centrix Vigilis View Drop Down
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2015 at 22:04
Yup and he's been criticized to the heavens for his tactics on multiple occasions as a General.

In the end...he still was a better General than President. Tho as a pres he was example of the era context.

Nothing new. And he won the most import fight of his life..the ACW.

I'd rode with him.

Amen.



Edited by Centrix Vigilis - 09-Jun-2015 at 22:06
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

S. T. Friedman


Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

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Centrix Vigilis View Drop Down
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2015 at 13:33
If you are interested here are his memoirs free and on line.


http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4367
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

S. T. Friedman


Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

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