Ulysses S Grant

  • American

Ulysses S Grant was an American hero. As a Civil War general he led the North to victory, keeping the nation united and abolishing slavery. As 18th President of the United States he worked to guarantee justice for all. Ulysses Grant also loved his wife Julia and their four children: Fred, Ulysses Jr, Ellen, and Jesse. When he died in 1885, he was one of the most famous Americans of his time. - NPS

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Works about Ulysses S Grant


Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Home Ulysses S Grant House Galena, IL
Union General Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Wildwood
Union General Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Chattanooga
1822/04/27 Hiram Ulysses Grant is born in Point Pleasant, Ohio, to Jesse Root Grant, a tanner, and Hannah Grant (nee Simpson). Grant Birthplace is at 1551 State Route 232. Born US Grant Birthplace and Grant Commemorative Sites Historic District Point Pleasant
1823/10/00 Autumn 1823, the Grant family moves to Georgetown, Brown County, Ohio. Home Ulysses S Grant Boyhood Home Georgetown
1839/09/14 Hiram Ulysses Grant enlist as Cadet U S Grant, Representative Thomas L Hamer having goofed up Grant's name, at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. Education US Military Academy, West Point West Point, NY
1840/00/00 Cadet Deshon and Cadet Grant begin roasting a turkey in their chamber at the US Military Academy at West Point. Life How Grier Became a Colonel (article) US Military Academy, West Point West Point, NY Turkey
1843/06/30 Ulysses S Grant graduates, 21st out of 39 in his class, from United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. At USMA, Grant grew 5 inches taller. Education US Military Academy, West Point West Point, NY
1843/09/30 Bvt 2nd Lt Ulysses S Grant reports for duty to Jefferson Barracks near St Louis, Mo. Military Jefferson Barracks Park Lemay
1852/07/05 Stationed on Governors Island for a few weeks in the summer of 1852, Ulysses S Grant and the 4th Infantry departure New York, bound for the Pacific Coast. Military The Block House New York City
1852/09/03 Regimental quartermaster, US Grant and several units of the Fourth US Infantry arrive at Columbia Barracks (today's Vancouver, Washington). Military Posting Officers Row, Fort Vancouver Barracks Vancouver
1853/01/05 Ulysses S Grant reports for duty at Fort Humboldt, California. Military Fort Humboldt Eureka
1853/04/11 The isolation of Fort Humboldt does not appeal to Grant, and after serving as commanding officer of Company F for six months, resigns his commission. Military Fort Humboldt Eureka
1853/08/00 Secretary of War Jefferson Davis (who would become the president of the Confederate States of America) officially notifies Grant that he has been promoted to captain and reassigns him to Fort Humboldt, California. Military Fort Humboldt Eureka
1853/09/00 Grant leaves Fort Vancouver in September 1853, returning in November to close out several remaining contracts, including one with the Hudson's Bay Company's Peter Skene Ogden. Life Vancouver National Historic Reserve Historic District Vancouver
1854/06/00 Ulysses S Grant rejoins his family at White Haven, outside St Louis, Mo. Home White Haven Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site Grantwood Village
1857/12/23 As his farm continues to fail, Ulysses Grant pawns his gold watch to buy Christmas presents for his children. Life White Haven Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site Grantwood Village
1859/00/00 Ulysses S Grant manumits, emancipates and sets free forever his only slave, his Negro man William, sometimes called William Jones. Life White Haven Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site Grantwood Village
1860/04/00 Ulysses Grant, his four children and wife Julia, arrive in Galena on the Mississippi steam ship ITASCA and soon rent a brick Federal style home on a high bluff above Main Street. Life Galena, IL Illinois
1860/05/00 US Grant works at his father's leather store on Main Street - helping customers, buying and selling hides and collecting bills. With his great strength, he can put a hide on his shoulders, some weighing 250 lbs, and toss it down a chute to the basement. Work J R Grant Leather Store Galena, IL
1862/00/00 Prior to the Battle of Shiloh, Ulysses S Grant makes Cherry Mansion his headquarters. Union General Cherry Mansion Savannah Battle of Shiloh
1862/02/15 On the morning of the 15 of February, Confederate General Simon Bolivar Buckner ask Union Gen US Grant for terms. Grant's answer is short and direct: "No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted." Buckner surrendered. Union General Dover Hotel (Surrender House) Dover, TN Battle of Fort Donelson
1863/02/05 General Grant inspects the progress on a canal at Lake Providence. "there was scarcely a chance of this ever becoming a practicable route for moving troops through an enemy's country." - USG. Marker on Lake St at Ingram St. Union General Lake Providence Residential Street Historic District Lake Providence
1863/02/05 General Grant lodges at Arlington plantation, home of General Edward Sparrow. Union General Arlington Plantation Lake Providence
1863/05/00 US Grant passes by The Ceders enrout to Vicksburg Union General The Cedars Clinton Siege of Vicksburg
1863/08/00 General Grant begins using Rosalie as Union Army headquarters Union General Rosalie Natchez, MS
1863/11/25 Union forces under Maj Gens Ulysses S Grant, William T Sherman and George H Thomas battle Confederate forces under Gen Braxton Bragg near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Union General Chattanooga, Harrison, Georgetown and Charleston Railroad Tunnel Chattanooga Battle of Missionary Ridge
1863/11/25 Union forces under Maj Gens Ulysses S Grant, William T Sherman and George H Thomas battle Confederate forces under Gen Braxton Bragg near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Union General Chattanooga, Harrison, Georgetown and Charleston Railroad Tunnel Chattanooga Chattanooga Campaign
1864/00/00 Union General Petersburg National Battlefield Petersburg Siege of Petersburg
1864/00/00 Union General Massaponax Baptist Church Massaponax
1864/03/00 Enroute from Chattanooga to Lexington, General U S Grant dines and sleeps at Merritt Jones Tavern. Merritt Jones and his sons were off fighting for the Confederacy, but his daughters attended to Grant. He paid for their services and left the next day. Union General Merritt Jones Tavern Site Bighill
1864/06/00 Lt Gen Ulysses S Grant makes his headquarters at Appomattox Manor where he will stay in a tent. Union General Appomattox Manor, Hopewell Hopewell, VA Siege of Petersburg
1865/03/29 President Lincoln sees off US Grant as the General boards a train preparing to move his headquarters closer to anticipated hot spots at the western end of his siege lines. Union General City Point Historic District Hopewell, VA
1865/04/02 Grant orders a massive bombardment to begin around midnight and continue until 4:00 am. Followed with the Infantry of IX Corps attacking the trenches near Fort Mahone while the VI Corps assault the Confederate trenches along the Boydton Plank Road line. Union General Petersburg Breakthrough Battlefield Pamplin Historical Park, Petersburg Siege of Petersburg
1865/04/03 US Grant uses the Thomas Wallace House as his headquarters in Petersburg. In the library, Grant has his final meeting with Abraham Lincoln where they discuss the inevitable end to the conflict and the surrender. Union General Thomas Wallace House Petersburg End of the American Civil War
1865/04/07 While camping on Cumberland Rd near the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (Rt 45) Robert Lee receives a message from US Grant (headquartered at the now demolished Farmville Hotel, Farmville) recommending the surrender the Army of Northern Virginia. Union General Cumberland Presbyterian Church Farmville Battles of Appomattox Station and Court House
1865/04/09 Robert E Lee, accompanied by five Major generals, surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S Grant. Union General Appomattox Court House National Historical Park Appomattox, VA Battles of Appomattox Station and Court House
1865/04/09 Robert E Lee, accompanied by five Major generals, surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S Grant. Union General Appomattox Court House National Historical Park Appomattox, VA End of the American Civil War
1865/04/14 Lincoln remarks that he has been urged to visit the theatre this evening, and ask Gen Grant if he would join the party. The General excuses himself, as he has a previous engagement and takes his leave, and some of the others follow him. Union General White House Executive Residence The White House Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
1865/04/14 General Grant and his wife, Julia, decline the invitation to accompany the President and the First Lady to Ford's theater, deciding instead to visit their children in New Jersey. Union General Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
1866/09/06 Cornerstone for the Douglas Monument is ceremoniously laid into place. Guest Douglas Tomb State Memorial Chicago
1868/04/16 Annie Ellicott Kennedy marries John Bidwell in Washington, DC. G guests include Elizabeth Cady Stanton, President Andrew Johnson and future president Ulysses S Grant. Guest Marriage of Annie Ellicott Kennedy and John Bidwell
1869/00/00 Ulysses S Grant holidays in Long Branch, New Jersey. Visitor Long Branch New Jersey
1869/00/00 While in Boston, President-elect Grant is entertained by David Sears with a banquet at his home on Beacon Street. Visitor David Sears House Boston
1872/03/01 Bill establishing Yellowstone National Park is signed into law by Ulysses S Grant. President Yellowstone National Park, MT, WY Wyoming
1872/03/01 Bill establishing Yellowstone National Park is signed into law by Ulysses S Grant. President Yellowstone National Park, MT, WY Montana
1874/00/00 The cornerstone for the American Museum of Natural History's first building at 77th St (obscured by current buildings) is laid by US President Ulysses S Grant. Dignitary American Museum of Natural History New York City
1876/05/10 Opening ceremonies for the Centennial International Exhibition. Presider Memorial Hall Philadelphia, PA Centennial Exposition
1876/05/10 At the center of the Machinery Hall, US Grant and Emperor Pedro II of Brazil turn on the Corliss Engine. The 45 ft (14 m) tall steam engine with a 30 ft (9.1 m) flywheel, powered 800 machines across the Exposition via a system of shafts in tunnels. Presider Centennial Exposition
1878/03/00 US Grant and his son Jesse arrive in Constantinople (Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire. After touring the Imperial stables, Sultan Abdul Hamid II presents US Grant with two Arabian horses, Leopard and Linden. Visitor Istanbul Turkiye
1879/10/00 In Fall 1879, President US Grant stables his two Arabian horses, Leopard and Linden, at Ash Hill. Horse Stable Ash Hill Hyattsville
1879/12/21 US Grant is honored during a banquet at St George's Hall in Philadelphia. Guest of Honor Mercer Manor Colonnade Princeton Battlefield
1880/08/25 US Grant and wife stop at the old wooden UP depot on his way to Illinois from Denver. He briefly met with Gen Brackett from Fort DA Russell. Dined in the old UP Depot dining room and gave a impromptu speech from the balcony of the old depot hotel. Visitor Union Pacific Railroad Depot Cheyenne
1883/01/00 Mr and Mrs grant visit the Beale's during their stay in Washington. Visitor Decatur House Washington, DC
1883/09/08 Ulysses S Grant and Henry C Davis drive the Northern Pacific's Golden Spike, ceremoniously completing a transcontinental railroad begun by Jay Cooke. Dignitary Northern Pacific Railroad Completion Site, 1883 Goldcreek, MT
1883/11/17 En route to Buffalo and Rochester, NY, Ulysses S Grant tours the Pennsylvania oil region and inspects the Kinzua railroad viaduct near Bradford, November 15-18. Life Kinzua Viaduct Mount Jewett
1885/06/16 General Grant arrives from New York City Life Grant Cottage Wilton
1885/07/23 Ulysses S Grant dies of throat cancer at Grant Cottage in Mount McGregor. Died Grant Cottage Wilton
1885/08/08 Ulysses S Grant 's cortege is held in New York City, attended by 1.5 million people. The seven mile procession includes President Grover Cleveland and former presidents, Rutherford B Hayes and Chester A Arthur. In Memoriam Death of Ulysses S Grant
1885/08/08 Hiram Ulysses Grant is laid to rest in a temporary Tomb at Riverside Park in New York City. In Memoriam General Grant National Memorial New York City Death of Ulysses S Grant



Hiram Ulysses Grant was born April 27, 1822 in Pt. Pleasant, Ohio. He was the first child of Jesse and Hannah Grant. His family called him Ulysses, or Ulys for short. When Ulysses was one year old, his family moved to Georgetown, Ohio. His father owned a tannery, where they made animal hides into leather. Ulysses did not like working at the tannery. Instead, he would take care of the family farm, and care for the animals, especially horses. He attended several grade schools in Ohio and in Maysville, Kentucky, and thought about becoming a math teacher. His father wanted him to work in the tannery, but when Grant stated that he would like to go to college, Jesse got him an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Grant did not want to become a military officer, but his father convinced him to go. By mistake, his name was listed on the roster as Ulysses S. Grant, and although he tried to correct it upon entering the Academy, they informed him it would require a new appointment. Knowing this would upset his father, Ulysses accepted the change. His classmates soon nicknamed him United States or Uncle Sam Grant, and then called him Sam Grant.

Pre-Civil War

Ulysses graduated from West Point in 1843, 21st out of 39 cadets graduating that year. He was assigned to the 4th Infantry stationed at Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis, Missouri. Ulysses' roommate his last year at West Point was Fred Dent, whose family lived at White Haven, in St. Louis County. Ulysses visited the family and in February 1844 met and fell in love with Fred's younger sister, Julia Dent. Although he proposed to her several months later, they were not married until August 22, 1848 when he returned from service during the Mexican-American War.

Grant served in nearly every battle during the Mexican-American War, despite believing that it was an unjust war. He was awarded several brevet promotions for his actions on the battlefield, even though he was officially the quartermaster; a position that should have kept him behind the battlefront.

After his marriage to Julia, he was stationed in Michigan and New York. Julia traveled with him to these posts, returning to White Haven in 1850 for the birth of their first child, Fred, in 1850. When Ulysses was sent west in 1852, Julia was not able to go with him, being pregnant with their second child. She returned to her parents' home after stopping at Ulysses' parents' home in Ohio, where Ulysses Jr., was born. Grant's army pay was insufficient to bring his family out to the West Coast, and he tried several business ventures to supplement his income. Suffering from depression and loneliness after being separated for two years, Grant finally resigned from the army in 1854 and returned to White Haven.

Grant farmed the White Haven property for his father-in-law, working with the slaves owned by Julia's father. Two more children were born, Ellen, born on July 4, 1855, and Jesse, in February 1858. Due to a financial panic in 1857, along with bad weather that destroyed many farmer's crops, Ulysses worked for a short time in the city of St. Louis in real estate and as an engineer. In 1860, Ulysses, Julia, and their four children moved to Galena, Illinois. Ulysses worked with his brothers selling leather goods made in their father's tannery.

Civil War

The Civil War began in April 1861. Ulysses felt it was his duty to re-enter the military having been educated at the federal government's expense at West Point. He soon rose to fame following battles at Forts Henry and Donelson, along with the new nickname, "Unconditional Surrender" since those were the terms he gave to the Confederate forces at Donelson. Other battles, especially Vicksburg, brought Grant to the attention of President Abraham Lincoln, who named him general of all Union armies in March 1864. Grant supported Lincoln's war aims of union and freedom for the nearly 4 million African American enslaved individuals. Following Lincoln's enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation, Grant made sure that the enslaved men, women, and children who escaped to Union lines were protected and cared for. After being promoted, Grant worked diligently to bring an end to the war, accepting Confederal General Robert E. Lee's surrender in April 1865, effectively ending the Civil War.


After the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant continued to serve his country. Following President Lincoln's assassination, Andrew John became president, and Grant continued his duties as General of the Armies, followed by a brief period as Secretary of War. He was elected President in 1868 and again in 1872. Some of his notable achievements include support for and signing the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, giving African American men the right to vote. His Native American policy, considered enlightened for his time, revised government relations with Native Americans and attempted to protect Indians from people who wanted their land. He sought free public education for all, regardless of race, gender, or religion. In international affairs, he peacefully settled major disputes with England over its support for the Confederacy during the Civil War, setting up a framework for international arbitration. He instituted civil service reform in the executive branch of government to reduce the negative effects of patronage and the spoils system. The recommendations of the Civil Service Commission would not become law until after President Garfield's assassination in 1881.


Ulysses and Julia Grant planned to retire to the White Haven farm they had purchased from her father. First they went on a world tour, lasting two and a half years. Grant was greeted by heads of state and common people wherever he traveled and honored as a representative and unofficial diplomat from the United States. During the last part of his world tour, the governments of China and Japan asked him to serve as a negotiator between the two countries who were at odds over territorial rights to a group of islands. When the Grants returned to the United States in 1879, some Republicans sought to nominate him for another term as president, but Grant's refusal to attend the national convention most likely cost him the nomination. The Grants decided to live close to their children and grandchildren in New York, rather than retire to White Haven, which now held only memories.

Ulysses became a silent partner in his son's business partnership with Ferdinand Ward, a Wall Street financier who ended up swindling the Grants and many others out of their life savings. Grant became ill with cancer in 1884. Before he died, he wrote his memoirs in an effort to regain some financial security for Julia. The Memoirs were published by Mark Twain's publishing firm after Grant's death on July 23, 1885 and became the biggest best seller of the time. The people of the nation donated money to build a tomb in New York where people could come to remember and honor Grant. Mrs. Grant died in 1902 and is entombed alongside her husband. Today, Grant's Tomb is a unit of the National Park Service. - NPS

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