Military Career Achievements And Presidency Of Ulysses S. Grant

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Ulysses S. Grant, also known as Unconditional Surrender Grant, was known for his military services before his presidency. His presidency was interesting as he had no prior political experience. American Ulysses by Ronald C. White states that “..Lincoln commissioned Grant commander of all the Union armies”. He therefore had plenty of leadership skills, if none politically. Grant’s life can be studied in three sections: before, during, and after his presidency.

Hiram Ulysses Grant was born on April 27, 1822 in Point Pleasant, Ohio. At age one, his family moved from Point Pleasant to Georgetown, which were about twenty-five apart. He had five siblings,Samuel Simpson “Simp”, Clara, Virginia “Nellie”, Orvil, and Mary Frances, who were born in 1825, 1828, 1832, 1835, and 1839. Grant was always well-behaved, quiet boy, and was exceptionally good with horses. In fact, when he was eleven, a circus came into town, offering to pay five bucks to anyone who could stay on a bucking horse, and he won the cash. When he was fourteen, his father, Jesse, sent him twenty miles away to a school in Maysville, Kentucky, to study.

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Eventually, he went to the United States Military Academy in West Point. There, he did well in the military skills, but not so well in the actual school,as he devoted so much of his time to reading. Around this time, he changed his name from Hiram Ulysses Grant to Ulysses Simpson Grant. He meant only to rearrange his first two names, but instead accidentally changed his middle name to his mother’s maiden name. Later, he led troops to victory in the Mexican War and had a very successful military career. As mentioned before, he was eventually appointed commander of all the Union armies.

He was sworn into presidency on March 4, 1869, at age forty-six. Some highlights of this part of his life included: The first transcontinental railway being completed (May 1869), the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge starting (January 1870), and Mississippi and Texas being readmitted into the Union (February and March 1870). On the same day Texas was readmitted (March 30, 1870), the fifteenth amendment was made. It stated that everyone is allowed to vote no matter their “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”.

Also on May 8, 1871, the Treaty of Washington between Britain and the United States was made, and in October of 1871, the Chicago Fire burned much of the city. Grant was reelected on November 5, 1872, and sworn in on March 4, 1873. In 1875, the Hawaiin Reciprocity treaty was made and the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was signed. This stated that African-Americans had the same in public places. In ‘76, Colorado became a state and the election of a new president was disputed. Early in 1877, Hayes was sworn in, and Grant moved on to his retired life.

After Ulysses was done with his two terms as president, he wanted to travel the world, and to see his daughter, who lived in Scotland. He then took a two year world tour with his wife. Grant considered running for a third term in 1880, however decided against it. In 1884, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. He devoted his last years to writing memoirs and autobiographies. He died July 23, 1885, at age sixty-three. He was buried in Grant’s Tomb, where his wife would be buried later.

Ulysses Simpson Grant will be remembered forever for his military career and his amazing presidency. His life can be broken into the years before, during, and after his presidency. Our country is grateful for the many wonderful things that happened during his presidency.

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