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ULYSSES S. GRANT President of the United States, 

Ulysses S. Grant

28th President
of the United States
18th under the US Constitution

View an Autograph Letter Signed by U.S. Grant as General reorganizing the army on March 18, 1864 Courtesy of Estoric.com.


ULYSSES S. GRANT was born on April 27, 1822 in a two-room log cabin in Point Pleasant in southwestern Ohio. His father, Jesse Root Grant, born January 23, 1794, near Greensburg, Pennsylvania, was a tanner and made a great deal of money. His mother, Hannah Simpson Grant was born November 23, 1798, in Montgomery, Pennsylvania. He was born Hiram Ulysses Grant, and became known as Ulysses Simpson Grant when U. S. Congressman Thomas L. Hammer of Ohio mistakenly erred on his application in securing Grants admission to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1839.

Growing up, Grant was the son of a frontier family living in Georgetown, Ohio. He worked his father’s farm, but was not fond of the work in his father’s tannery, choosing to do anything else. At eight and a half years, he became a regular driver, using his father’s team to haul wood and at ten he drove a pair of horses to Cincinnati to bring back a load of passengers. He excelled at horsemanship and mathematics at West Point but when he graduated in 1843, he was 21st in a class of 39. He was assigned to infantry duty on the southwestern frontier and for two years he served in various posts in Missouri and Louisiana. While in Missouri, Grant met Julia Dent, the sister of a West Point classmate, whose family had a plantation near St. Louis. When he left, he gave her his school ring and the two were married four years later on August 22, 1848. They had four children, three boys and a girl and were a very devoted couple throughout their lives together.

Grant fought in the Mexican War (1846-1848) but had little heart for the campaign. Grant served at army posts in Detroit, Michigan and Sackets Harbor, New York. In 1852 he was transferred to the Pacific Coast and this duty left him homesick and isolated and missing his young family. He grew morose and started drinking heavily and he quarreled with his commander. Two months later, he was made to resign having reached the rank of captain. In August 1854 he returns to Missouri and starts working a 60-acre farm near St. Louis that his father-in-law had given to Julia. He builds a home, sells wood in St. Louis and unable to turn a profit, he is forced to pawn his pocket watch and chain in 1857 to buy his family Christmas presents. In 1858, he enters a real estate and property management business partnership with one of Julia’s cousins. This too did not work out as he was incapable of collecting the back due rents and was frequently late for work. He moved his family to Galena, Illinois and accepted a job as a clerk in his brother’s leather shop, living comfortably in a snug house overlooking a cemetery. At about this time, the Civil War broke out and Grant applied to serve as an officer when a call for troops went out.

On June 17, 1861, Grant is appointed a Colonel of the 21st Illinois Infantry and in August he his appointed Brigadier General. His first engagement as a General was the Battle of Belmont, Missouri and three months later aided by Commodore Andrew H. Foote, he captured Fort Donelson and Fort Henry. These were the first major Union victories of the war. The victory won Grant a promotion to Major General volunteers.

Two months later, in April 1862, the Battle of Shiloh caught Grant unaware of a Confederate attack as he waited for General Buell and the Army of the Ohio. He had not fortified his position and his forces suffered severe losses before Buell arrived and turned back the attack. In the fall of 1862, Grant began planning the drive on Vicksburg, Mississippi, the Confederate stronghold that would be one of his greatest military successes. On July 4, 1863, after a siege lasting months, the confederate General John C. Pemberton surrendered his 30,000 men to Grant. The same day the Union victory at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania brought great joy to the North. Grant was made a Major General in the regular army.

During the summer of 1863, Grant was recovering from a fall from his horse and spent his time with his family in a house near Vicksburg. He was bedridden for weeks and was on crutches until mid-fall. On October 22, 1863, he took command at Chattanooga, Tennessee and was victorious in the Battle of Chattanooga, forcing the Confederates to retreat into Tennessee. In March of 1864, he received his commission as Lieutenant General from President Lincoln and on March 12 he is appointed General in Chief of all United States Armies. From the middle of June 1864 until early April 1865, Grant besieged Petersburg, the railroad and supply link between Richmond and the rest of the South. He cut Lee’s transportation lines and sent out flanking expeditions against Southern forces. Grant slowly starved out Lee’s men, and on April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered to Grant in the McLean House in Appomattox, Virginia. When the Union soldiers got to impassioned, Grant showed his great decency and delicately quieted them, saying “The war is over, the Rebels are again our countrymen, and the best sign of rejoicing is to abstain from all demonstrations in the field.” In his memoirs, Grant said that he felt no exultation on the surrender, rather he felt sad and depressed for the foe that had suffered so much for a cause.

In 1866, Grant was given the grade of full general, a rank held only by George Washington previously. He supervised the demobilization of the army and he administered the reconstruction of the South. Because of his great popularity as a war hero, Grant was launched on a career in politics and on May 21, 1868, the republican National Convention that was meeting in Chicago nominated him as a candidate for President. He was unanimously nominated, with House Speaker Schuyler Colfax as his running mate. Grant did no active campaigning and easily won the presidency, receiving 214 electoral votes to his opponent’s 80.

However, the war hero proved a poor chief executive, filling many government posts with corrupt or incompetent relatives and friends. Although personally honest, he drew criticism for accepting expensive gifts and his two terms as President were plagued by scandals. However, the president remained loyal to his friends, almost regardless of what their conduct had been or of how seriously they had damaged his reputation.

His followers planned to nominate him for a third term in 1876, but the leaders of the Republican Party opposed his re-nomination. Grant left office in Match 1877, with a few thousand dollars saved and a desire to see the world. On May 17, he sailed with his family on the first leg of an around the world journey. He was well received everywhere, not as the former president of the United States, but as the Civil War hero. After two years of travel, he returned home and in June 1880 he was unsuccessful in securing the Republican nomination for President. It is difficult to know whether he actually coveted the Presidency again, though his wife, Julia certainly wanted to return to the White House. His friends and sons were convinced he didn't care and the evidence shows they were correct.

On December 24, 1883, Grant slipped on the pavement outside his home while handing a cab driver a $20 bill. He falls heavily on is side and suffers a serious injury to his hip, remaining bedridden for weeks and walking with a cane or crutches for the rest of his life. The brokerage firm that he had invested in failed in May 1884 and Grant lost his family’s fortune, begging for a personal loan from William Vanderbilt, which he eventually repaid with his war trophies and uniforms. The failure plunged Grant into a prolonged depression and in September he is diagnosed with cancer of the throat. The cancer spreads and he is only able to swallow liquids in small portions, the pain is unbearable but he works on his Memoirs in an effort to provide for his family after his death. He finishes his Memoirs on July 19, 1885, by this time he is down to 120 pounds and is so weak he sometimes falls from his chair.

At 8:06 am on July 23, 1885, Grant dies, surrounded by his family and physicians. His Memoirs sell over 300,000 copies and earn Julia a staggering $450,000.





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Edited 1887 Appletons' Encyclopedia, 
Copyright © 2002 Virtualology

GRANT, Ulysses S., eighteenth president of the United States under the Constitution, born at Point Pleasant, Clermont County, Ohio, 27 April, 1822; died on Mount McGregor, near Saratoga, New York. 23 July, 1885. (See the accompanying view of Grant's birthplace.) He was of Scottish ancestry, but his family had been American in all its branches for eight generations. He was a descendant of Matthew Grant, who at-rived at Dorchester, Massachusetts, in May, 1630. His father was Jesse R. Grant, and his mother Hannah Simpson. They were married in June, 1821, in Clermont County, Ohio. Ulysses, the oldest of six children, spent his boyhood in assisting his father on the farm, a work more congenial to his tastes than working in the tannery of which his father was proprietor. He attended the village school, and in the spring of 1839 was appointed to a cadetship in the United States military academy by Thomas L. Hamer, M.C. 

The name given him at birth was Hiram Ulysses, but he was always called by his middle name. Mr. Hamer, thinking this his first name, and that his middle name was probably that of his mother's family, inserted in the official appointment the name of Ulysses S. The officials at West Point were notified by Cadet Grant of the error, but they did not feel authorized to correct it, and it was acquiesced in and became the name by which he was always known. As a student, Grant showed the greatest proficiency in mathematics, but he gained a fair standing in most of his studies, and at cavalry-drill he proved himself the best horseman in his class, and afterward was one of the best in the army. He was graduated in 1843, standing twenty-first in a class of thirty-nine. He was commissioned, on graduation, as a brevet 2d lieutenant, and was attached to the 4th infantry and assigned to duty at Jefferson barracks, near St. Louis. (See portrait taken at this period on page 711.) In May, 1844, he accompanied his regiment to Camp Salubrity. Louisiana. He was commissioned 2d lieutenant in September, 1845. That month he went with his regiment to Corpus Christi (now in Texas) to join the army of occupation, under command of General Zachary Taylor.

He participated in the battle of Palo Alto, 8 May, 1846; and in that of Resaca de la Palma, 9 May, he commanded his company. On 19 August he set out with the army for Monterey, Mexico, which was reached on 19 September He had been appointed regimental quartermaster of the 4th infantry, and was placed in charge of the wagons and pack-train on this march. During the assault of the 21st on Black Fort, one of the works protecting Monterey, instead of remaining in camp in charge of the quartermaster's stores, he charged with his regiment, on horseback, being almost the only officer in the regiment that was mounted. The adjutant was killed in the charge, and Lieutenant Grant was designated to take his place. On the 23d, when the troops had gained a position in the City of Monterey, a volunteer was called for, to make his way to the rear under a heavy fire, to order up ammunition, Lieutenant Grant volunteered, and ran the gantlet in safety, accomplishing his mission. Garland's brigade, to which the 4th infantry belonged, was transferred from Twiggs's to Worth's division, and ordered back to the mouth of the Rio Grande, where it embarked for Vera Cruz, to join the army under General Scott. It landed near that City on 9 March, 1847, and the investment was immediately begun. 

Lieutenant Grant served with his regiment during the siege, until the capture of the place, 29 March, 1847. On 13 April his division began its march toward the City of Mexico; and he participated in the battle of Cerro Gordo, 17 and 18 April. The troops entered Pueblo on 15 May, and Lieutenant Grant was there ordered to take charge of a large train of wagons, with an escort of fewer than a thousand men, to obtain forage. He made a two days' march, and procured the necessary supplies. He participated in the capture of San Antonio and the battle of Churubusco, 20 August, and the battle of Molino del Rey, 8 September, 1847, in the latter engagement he was with the first troops that entered the mills. Seeing some of the enemy on the top of a building, he took a few men, climbed to the roof, received the surrender of six officers and quite a number of men. For this service he was brevetted a 1st lieutenant. He was engaged in the storming of Chapultepec on 13 September, distinguished himself by conspicuous services, was highly commended in the reports of his superior officers, and brevetted captain. While the troops were advancing against the City of Mexico on the 14th, observing a Church from the top of which he believed the enemy could be dislodged from a defensive work, he called for volunteers, and with twelve men of the 4th infantry, who were afterward joined by a detachment of artillery, he made a flank movement, gained the Church, mounted a howitzer in the belfry, using it with such effect that General Worth sent for him and complimented him in person. He entered the City of Mexico with the army, 14 September, and a few days afterward was promoted to be 1st lieutenant. 

He remained with the army in the City of Mexico till the withdrawal of the troops in the summer of 1848, and then accompanied his regiment to Pascagoula, Mississippi He there obtained leave of absence and went to St. Louis, where, on 22 August, 1848, he married Miss Julia B. Dent, sister of one of his classmates. He was soon afterward ordered to Sackett's Harbor, New York, and in April following to Detroit, Michigan In the spring of 1851 he was again transferred to Sackett's Harbor, and on 5 July, 1852, he sailed from New York with his regiment for California via the Isthmus of Panama. While the troops were crossing the isthmus, cholera carried off one seventh of the command. Lieutenant Grant was left behind in charge of the sick, on Chagres River, and displayed great skill and devotion in caring for them and supplying means of transportation. On arriving in California, he spent a few weeks with his regiment at Benicia barracks, and then accompanied it to Fort Vancouver, Oregon. On 5 August, 1853, he was promoted to the captaincy of a company stationed at Humboldt bay, California, and the next September he went to that post.

He resigned his commission, 31 July, 1854, and settled on a small farm near St. Louis. He was engaged in farming and in the real-estate business in St. Louis until May, 1860, when he removed to Galena, Illinois, and there became a clerk in the hardware and leather store of his father, who in a letter to General Jas. Grant Wilson, dated 20 March, 1868, writes : " After Ulysses's farming and real-estate experiments in St. Louis County, Missouri, failed to be self-supporting, he came to me at this place [Coyington, Kentucky] for advice and assistance. I referred him to Simpson, my next oldest son, who had charge of my Galena business, and who was staying with me on account of ill health. Simpson sent him to the Galena store, to stay until something else might turn up in his favor, and told him he must confine his wants within $800 a year. That if that would not support him he must draw what it lacked from the rent of his house and the hire of his Negroes in St. Louis. He went to Galena in April, 1860, about one year before the capture of Stunter; then he left. That amount would have supported his family then, but he owed debts at St. Louis, and (lid draw $1,500 in the year, but he paid back the balance after he went into the army." 

When news was received of the beginning of the civil war, a public meeting was called in Galena, and Captain Grant was chosen to preside. He took a pronounced stand in favor of the Union cause and a vigorous prosecution of the war. A company of volunteers was raised, which he drilled and accompanied to Springfield, Illinois Governor Yates, of that state, employed Captain Grant in the adjutant general's department, and appointed him mustering officer. He offered his services to the National government in a letter written on 24 May, 1861, but no answer was ever made to it. On 17 June he was appointed colonel of the 21st Illinois regiment of infantry, which had been mustered in at Mattoon. The regiment was transferred to Springfield, and on 3 July he went with it from that place to Pahnyra, Missouri, thence to Salt River, where it guarded a portion of the Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad, and thence to the town of Mexico, where General Pope was stationed as commander of the military district. 

On 31 July, Grant was assigned to the command of a sub-district under General Pope, his troops consisting of three regiments of infantry and a section of artillery. He was appointed a brigadier-general of volunteers on 7 August, the commission being dated back to 17 May, and was ordered to Ironton, Missouri, to take command of a district in that part of the state, where he arrived 8 August Ten days afterward he was ordered to St. Louis, and thence to Jefferson City. Eight days later he was directed to report in person at St. Louis, and on reaching there found that he had been assigned to the command of the district of southeastern Missouri, embracing all the territory in Missouri south of St. Louis, and all southern Illinois, with permanent headquarters at Cairo. He established temporary headquarters at Cape Girardeau, on the Mississippi, to supervise the fitting out of an expedition against the Confederate Colonel Jeff Thompson, and arrived at Cairo on 4 September. 

The next day he received information that the enemy was about to seize Paducah, Kentucky, at the mouth of the Tennessee, having already occupied Columbus and Hickman. He moved that night with two regiments of infantry and one battery of artillery, and occupied Paducah the next morning. He issued a proclamation to the citizens, saying, "I have nothing to do with opinions, and shall deal only with armed rebellion and its aiders and abettors." Kentucky had declared an intention to remain neutral in the war, and this prompt occupation of Paducah prevented the Confederates from getting a foothold there, and did much toward retaining the state within the Union lines. General Sterling Price was advancing into Missouri with a Confederate force, and Grant was ordered, 1 November, to make a demonstration on both sides of the Mississippi, to prevent troops from being sent from Columbus and other points to re-enforce Price. 

On 6 November, Grant moved down the River with about 3,000 men on steamboats, accompanied by two gun-boats, debarked a few men on the Kentucky side that night, and learned that troops of the enemy were being ferried across from Columbus to re-enforce those on the west side of the river. A Confederate camp was established opposite, at Belmont, and Grant decided to attack it. On the morning of the 7th he debarked his troops three miles above the place, left a strong guard near the landing, and marched to the attack with about 2,500 men. A spirited engagement took place, in which Grant's horse was shot under him. The enemy was routed and his camp captured, but he soon rallied, and was re-enforced by detachments ferried across from Columbus, and Grant fell back and re-embarked. He got his men safely on the steamboats, and was himself the last one in the command to step aboard. He captured 175 prisoners and two guns, and spiked four other pieces, and lost 485 men. The Confederates lost 642. The opposing, troops, including re-enforcements sent from Columbus, numbered about 7,000.

In January, 1862, he made a reconnaissance in force toward Columbus. He was struck with the advantage possessed by the enemy in holding Fort Henry on Tennessee River, and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland, and conceived the idea of capturing them before they could be further strengthened, by means of an expedition composed of the troops under his command, assisted by the gun-boats. He went to St. Louis and submitted his proposition to the department commander, General Halleck, but was listened to with impatience, and his views were not approved. On 28 January he telegraphed Halleck, renewing the suggestion, and saying, "If permitted, I could take and hold Fort Henry on the Tennessee." Commander Foote, commanding the gun-boats, sent a similar dispatch. On the 29th Grant also wrote, urging the expedition. Assent was obtained on 1 February, and the expedition moved the next day. General Tilghman surrendered Fort Henry on the 6th, after a bombardment by the gun-boats. He with his staff and ninety men were captured, but most of the garrison escaped and joined the troops in Fort Donelson, eleven miles distant, commanded by General Floyd, who, after this re-enforcement, had about 21,000 men. 

Grant at once prepared to invest Donelson, and on the 12th began the siege with a command numbering 15,000, which was increased on the 14th to 27,000; but about 5,000 of these were employed in guarding roads and captured places. His artillery consisted of eight light batteries. The weather was extremely cold, the water high, much rain and snow fell, and the sufferings of the men were intense. The enemy's position, naturally strong, had been entrenched and fortified. There was heavy fighting on three successive days. On the 15th the enemy, fearing capture, made a desperate assault with the intention of cutting his way out. Grant detected the object of the movement, repelled the assault, and by a vigorous attack secured so commanding a position that the enemy saw further resistance would be useless. Floyd turned over the command to Pillow, who in turn resigned it to Buckner, and Floyd and Pillow escaped in the night on a steamboat. Over 3,000 infantry and the greater portion of Forrest's cavalry made their escape at the same time. On the 16th Buckner wrote proposing that commissioners be appointed to arrange for terms of capitulation. Grant replied: "No terms other than an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works." 

The garrison was surrendered the same day, unconditionally. The capture included 14,623 men, 65 cannon, and 17,600 small-arms. The killed and wounded numbered about 2,500. Grant's loss was 2,041 in killed, wounded, and missing. This was the first capture of a prominent strategic point since the war began, and indeed the only substantial victory thus far for the National arms. It opened up two important navigable rivers, and left the enemy no strong foot-hold in Kentucky or Tennessee. Grant was soon afterward made a major-general of volunteers, his commission dating from 16, February, and his popularity throughout the country began from that day. He urged a prompt following up of this victory, and set out for Nashville, 28 February, without waiting for instructions, but telegraphing that he should go if he received no orders to the contrary. For this, and under the pretence that he had not forwarded to his superiors in command certain reports showing the strength and positions of his forces, he was deprived of his command, and ordered to remain at Fort Henry. 

He was not restored to command until 13 March, When his services were again required in view of the enemy's having concentrated a large army near Corinth, Mississippi, and he transferred his headquarters to Savannah, on Tennessee River, on the 17th. He found the forces under his command, numbering about 38,000 men, encamped on both sides of the River, and at once transferred them all to the west side and concentrated them in the vicinity of Pittsburgh Landing. He there selected a favorable position, and put his army in line, with the right resting at Shiloh Church, nearly three miles from the river. He was directed not to attack the enemy, but to await the arrival of General Buell's army of 40.000 men, which was marching southward through Tennessee to join Grant. 

On 6 April the Confederate army, numbering nearly 50,000 men, commanded by General Albert S. Johnston, made a vigorous attack at daylight, drove the National troops back in some confusion, and continued to press the advantage gained during the entire day. General Johnston was killed about one o'clock, and the command of the Confederates devolved upon General Beauregard; 5,000 of Grant's troops did not arrive on the field during the day, so that his command was outnumbered, and it required all his efforts to hold his position on the River until evening. Late in the afternoon the head of Buell's column crossed the River, but not in time to participate actively in the fighting, as the enemy's attacks had ceased. Grant sought shelter that night in a hut; but the surgeons had made an amputating hospital of it, and he found the sight so painful that he went out into the rain-storm and slept under a tree. 

He had given orders for an advance all along the lines the next morning. Buell's troops had now joined him, and the attack was pushed with such vigor that the enemy were steadily driven back, and retreated nineteen miles to Corinth. On this day Grant's sword-scabbard was broken by a bullet. His loss in the battle was 1,754 killed, 8,408 wounded, 2,885 missing: total, 13,047. The enemy acknowledged a loss of 1,728 killed, 8,012 wounded, and 957 missing; total, 10.699; but there are evidences that it was much greater. The National officers estimated the Confederate dead alone at 4,000. On the 11th General Halleck arrived at headquarters, and took command in person. The forces consisted now of the right and left wings, center, and reserve, commanded respectively by Generals Thomas, Pope, Buell, and McClernand, numbering in all nearly 120,000 men. The enemy was behind strong fortifications, and numbered over 50,000. Grant was named second in command of all the troops, but was especially entrusted with the right wing and reserve. 

On 30 April an advance was begun against Corinth, but the enemy evacuated the place and retreated, without fighting, on 30 May. On 21 June, Grant moved his headquarters to Memphis. General Halleck was appointed general-in-chief of all the armies, 11 July. Grant returned to Corinth on 15 July, and on the 17th Halleck set out for Washington, leaving Grant in command of the Army of the Tennessee; and on 25 October he was assigned to the command of the Department of the Tennessee, including Cairo, Forts Henry and Donelson, northern Mississippi, and portions of Kentucky and Tennessee west of Tennessee river. He ordered a movement against the enemy at Iuka to capture Price's force at that place, and a battle was fought on 19 and 20 September The plan promised success, but the faults committed by the officer commanding one wing of the troops engaged permitted the enemy to escape. The National loss was 736, that of the Confederates 1,438. Grant strengthened the position around Corinth, and remained there about eight weeks. When the enemy afterward attacked it, 3 and 4 October, they met with a severe repulse. General William S. Rosecrans was in immediate command of the National troops. On the 5th they were struck while in retreat, and badly beaten in the battle of the Hatchie. The entire National loss was 2,359. From the best attainable sources of information, the Confederates lost nearly twice that number.

After the battle of Corinth, Grant proposed to Halleck, in the latter part of October, a movement looking to the capture of Vicksburg. On 3 November he left Jackson, Tennessee, and made a movement with 30,000 men against Grand Junction, and on the 4th he had seized this place and La Grange. The force opposing him was about equal to his own. On the 13th his cavalry occupied Holly Springs; on 1 December he advanced against the enemy's works on the Tallahatchie, which were hastily evacuated, and on the 5th reached Oxford. On the 8th he ordered Sherman to move down the Mississippi from Memphis to attack Vicksburg, Grant's column to cooperate with him by land. On 20 December the enemy captured Holly Springs, which had been made a secondary base of supplies, and seized a large amount of stores. Colonel Murphy, who surrendered the post without having taken any proper measures of defense, was dismissed the service. 

The difficulties of protecting the long line of communication necessary for furnishing supplies, as well as other considerations, induced Grant to abandon the land expedition, and take command in person of the movement down the Mississippi. Sherman had reached Milliken's Bend, on the west side of the River, twenty miles above Vicksburg, on the 24th, with about 32,000 men. He crossed the River, ascended the Yazoo to a point below Haines's Bluff, landed his forces, and made an assault upon the enemy's strongly fortified position at that place on the 29th, but was repelled with a loss of 175 killed, 930 wounded, and 743 missing. The enemy reported 63 killed, 134 wounded, and 10 missing. 

Grant's headquarters were established at Memphis on 10 January and preparations were made for a concentrated movement against Vicksburg. Oil the 29th he arrived at Young's Point, opposite the mouth of the Yazoo, above Vicksburg, and took command in person of the operations against that City, his force numbering 50,000 men. Admiral Porter's co-operating fleet was composed of gun-boats of all classes, carrying 280 guns and 800 men. Three plans suggested themselves for reaching the high ground behind Vicksburg, the only position from which it could be besieged: 

First, to march the army down the west bank of the River, cross over below Vicksburg, and co-operate with General Banks, who was in command of an expedition ascending the River from New Orleans, with a view to capturing Port Hudson and opening up a line for supplies from below. The high water and the condition of the country made this plan impracticable at that time. 

Second, to construct a canal across the peninsula opposite Vicksburg, through which the fleet of gun-boats and transports could pass, and which could be held open as a line of communication for supplies. This plan was favored at Washington, and was put into execution at once ; but the high water broke the levees, drowned out the camps, and flooded the country, and after two months of laborious effort Grant reported it impracticable. 

Third, to turn the Mississippi from its course by opening a new channel via Lake Providence and through various bayous to Red river. A force was set to work to develop this plan; but the way was tortuous and choked with timber, and by March it was found impossible to open a practicable channel. 

In the mean time an expedition was sent to the east side of the River to open a route via, Yazoo pass, the Tallahatchie, the Yalabusha, and the Yazoo rivers; but insurmountable difficulties were encountered, and this attempt also had to be abandoned. Grant, having thoroughly tested all the safer plans, now determined to try a bolder and more hazardous one, which he had long had in contemplation, but which the high water had precluded. This was to run the batteries with the gun-boats and transports loaded with supplies, to march his troops down the west side of the River from Milliken's Bend to the vicinity of New Carthage, and there ferry them across to the east bank. The movement of the troops was begun on 29 March. They were marched to New Carthage and Hard Times. 

On the night of 16 April the fleet ran the batteries under a severe fire. On 29 April the gun-boats attacked the works at Grand Gulf, but made little impression, and that night ran the batteries to a point below. On 30 April the advance of the army was ferried across to Bruinsburg, below Grand Gulf and 30 miles south of Vicksburg, and marched out in the direction of Port Gibson. Everything was made subordinate to the celerity of the movement. The men had no supplies except such as they carried on their persons. Grant himself crossed the River with no personal baggage, and without even a horse; but obtained one raggedly equipped horse on the east side. The advance encountered the enemy, under General Bowen, numbering between 7,000 and 8,000, on 1 May, near Port Gibson, routed him, and drove him in full retreat till nightfall. Grant's loss was 131 killed and 719 wounded. The Confederates reported their loss at 448 killed and wounded, and 384 missing; but it was somewhat larger, as Grant captured 650 prisoners. 

At Port Gibson he learned of the success of Grierson, whom he had dispatched from La Grange, 17 April, and who had moved southward with 1,000 cavalry, torn up many miles of railroad, destroyed large amounts of supplies, and arrived, with but slight loss, at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 2 May. On 3 May, Grant entered Grand Gulf, which had been evacuated. He was now opposed by two armies--one commanded by General John C. Pemberton at Vicksburg, numbering about 52,000 men; the other by General Joseph E. Johnston at Jackson, 50 miles east of Vicksburg, who was being rapidly re-enforced. 

General Sherman had been ordered to make a demonstration against Haines's Bluff, to compel the enemy to detach troops for its defense and withhold them from Grant's front; and this faint was successfully executed, 30 April and 1 May, when Sherman received orders to retire and join the main army. Grant determined to move with celerity, place his force between the two armies of the enemy, and defeat them in detail before they could unite against him. He cut loose from his base, and ordered that the three days' rations issued to the men should be made to last five days. Sherman's command reached Grand Gulf on the 6th. On the 12th Grant's advance, near Raymond, encountered the enemy approaching from Jackson, and defeated and drove him from the field with a loss of 100 killed, 305 wounded, 415 prisoners, and 2 guns. Grant's loss was 66 killed, 339 wounded, and 37 missing. 

He pushed on to Jackson, and captured it on the 14th, with a loss of 42 killed, and 251 wounded and missing. The enemy lost 845 in killed, wounded, and missing, and 17 guns. Grant now moved rapidly toward Vicksburg, and attacked Pemberton in a strong position at Champion Hill. After a hotly contested battle, the enemy was completely routed, with a loss of between 3,000 and 4,000 killed and wounded, 3,000 prisoners, and 30 guns; Grant's loss being 410 killed, 1,844 wounded, and 187 missing. The enemy made a stand at Big Black River bridge on the 17th, holding a strongly entrenched position; but by a vigorous assault the place was carried, and the enemy was driven across the River in great confusion, with the loss of many killed, 1,751 prisoners, and 18 guns. Grant's loss was but 39 killed, 237 wounded, and 3 missing. On the 18th the National army closed up against the outworks of Vicksburg, driving the enemy inside his fortifications. Sherman took possession of Haines's Bluff, a base for supplies was established at Chickasaw Landing, and on the 21st the army was once more supplied with full rations. On 19 and 22 May assaults were made upon the enemy's lines, but only a few outworks were carried, and on the 23d the siege was regularly begun. By 30 June there were 220 guns in position, all light field-pieces except six 32-pounders and a battery of heavy guns supplied by the navy. 

Grant now had 71,000 men to conduct the siege and defend his position against Johnston's army threatening him in the rear. The operations were pressed day and night; there was mining and countermining; and the lines were pushed closer and closer, until the garrison abandoned all hope. On 3 July, Pemberton asked for an armistice, and proposed the appointment of commissioners to arrange terms of capitulation. Grant replied that there would be no terms but unconditional surrender; and this was made on the 4th of July. He permitted the officers and men to be paroled, the officers to retain their private baggage and side-arms, and each mounted officer one horse. Grant showed every consideration to the vanquished, supplied them with full rations, and, when they marched out, issued an order saying, "Instruct the commands to be orderly and quiet as these prisoners pass, and to make no offensive remarks." The surrender included 31,600 prisoners, 172 cannon, 60,000 muskets, and a large amount of ammunition. Grant's total loss in the Vicksburg campaign was 8,873; that of the enemy nearly 60,000. Port Hudson now surrendered to Banks, and the Mississippi was opened from its source to its mouth. Grant was made a major general in the regular army; and congress, when it assembled, passed a resolution ordering a gold medal to be presented to him (see illustration), and returning thanks to him and his army.

He soon recommended a movement against Mobile, but it was not approved. He went to New Orleans, 30 August, to confer with Banks, and while there was severely injured by a fall from his horse, while engaged in a trial of speed with the senior editor of this work. For nearly three months he was unable to walk unaided, but on 16 September set out for Vicksburg, being carried on board the steamboat. He received orders from Washington on the 27th to send all available forces to the vicinity of Chattanooga, to co-operate with Rosecrans. While personally superintending the carrying out of this order, he received instructions, 10 October, to report at Cairo. He arrived there on the 16th, and was directed to proceed to Louisville, At Indianapolis he was met by Mr. Stanton, secretary of war, who accompanied him to Louisville and delivered an order to him placing him in command of the military division of the Mississippi, which was to embrace the departments and armies of the Tennessee, the Cumberland, and the Ohio. 

He at once went to Chattanooga, arriving on the 23d, and took command there in person. On 29 October the battle of Wauhatchie was fought, and a much-needed line of communication for supplies was opened to the troops in and around Chattanooga, besieged by Bragg's army, which held a strongly fortified position. Thomas commanded the Army of the Cumberland, which held Chattanooga; Sherman, who had succeeded Grant in command of the Army of the Tennessee, was ordered to bring all his available troops to join Thomas; and Burnside, who was in Knoxville, in command of the Army of the Ohio, besieged by Longstreet's corps, was ordered to hold his position at all hazards till Bragg should be crushed and a force could be sent to the relief of Knoxville. Grant, having concentrated his troops near Chattanooga, made an assault upon the enemy's lines on the 23d, which resulted in carrying important positions. The attack was continued on the 24th and 25th, when the enemy's entire line was captured, and his army completely routed and driven out of Tennessee. Grant's forces consisted of 60,000 men; those of the Confederates, 45.000. The enemy's losses were reported at 361 killed and 2,180 wounded, but were undoubtedly greater. There were captured 6.442 men, 40 pieces of artillery, and 7,000 stands of small-arms. Grant's losses were 757 killed, 4,529 wounded, and 330 missing. 

On the 28th a force was dispatched to Knoxville, the command of the expedition being given to Sherman. On the 29th Longstreet assaulted Knoxville before the arrival of the troops sent for its relief, but was repelled by Burnside, and retreated. Grant visited Knoxville the last week in December, and went from there to Nashville, where he established his headquarters, 13 January 1864. He now ordered Sherman to march a force from Vicksburg into the interior to destroy the enemy's communications and supplies, it moved on 3 February, went as far as Meridian reaching there 14 February, and, after destroying railroads and great quantities of supplies, returned to Vicksburg. The grade of lieutenant-general was revived by act of congress in February, and Grant was nominated for that office on 1 March, and confirmed by the senate on the 2d. He left Nashville on the 4th, in obedience to an order calling him to Washington, arrived there on the 8th, and received his commission from the president on the 9th. He was assigned to the command of all the armies on the 12th (Sherman being given the command of the military division of the Mississippi on the 18th), and established his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac at Culpepper, Virginia, on the 26th.

Grant now determined to concentrate all the National forces into several distinct armies, which should move simultaneously against the opposing Confederate armies, operate vigorously and continuously, and prevent them from detaching forces to strengthen threatened points, or for the purpose of making raids. He announced that the Confederate armies would be the only objective points in the coming campaigns. Sherman was to move toward Atlanta against Johnston. Banks's army, after it could be withdrawn from the Red River expedition, was to operate against Mobile. Sigel i was to move down the valley of Virginia against Breckenridge to destroy communications and supplies, and prevent raids from that quarter. Butler was to ascend the James River and threaten Richmond. The Army of the Potomac, re-enforced by Burnside's troops and commanded by Meade, was to cover Washington, and assume the offensive against the Army of northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee. 

Orders were issued for a general movement of all the armies in the field on 4 May. During the night of the 4th and 5th Grant crossed the Rapidan and encountered Lee in the Wilderness, where a desperate battle was fought on the 5th, 6th, and 7th. Grant's loss was 2,261 killed, 8.785 wounded, and 2,902 missing. Lee's losses have never been reported; but, as he was generally the attacking party, he probably lost more. He fell back on the 7th, and on that day and the next took up a strong defensive position at Spottsylvania. Grant moved forward on the night of the 7th. As he rode through the troops, the men greeted him as their new commander with an extraordinary demonstration in recognition of the victory, shouting, cheering, and kindling bonfires by the road-side as he passed. The 8th and 9th were spent by both armies in skirmishing and maneuvering for position. Sheridan's cavalry was dispatched on the 9th to make a raid in rear of the enemy and threaten Richmond. On the 10th there was heavy fighting, with no decisive results, and on the 11th skirmishing and reconnoitering. 

On the morning of this day Grant sent a letter to Washington containing the famous sentence, "I propose to fight it out on this line, if it takes all summer." On the 12th a heavy assault was made on Lee's line, near the center, in which he lost nearly 4,000 prisoners and 30 guns. Violent storms now caused a cessation in the fighting for several days. On the 19th, Ewell's corps, of Lee's army, moved around Grant's right flank and attacked, but was repelled after hard fighting. Grant's losses from the 8th to the 21st of May, around Spottsylvania, were 2,271 killed, 9,360 wounded, and 1,970 missing. The estimate of the enemy's loss, in killed and wounded, was nearly as great as that of the National army, besides about 4,000 prisoners and 30 cannon captured. 

In the mean time Butler had occupied Bermuda Hundred, below Richmond. Sherman had reached Dalton, Georgia, and was steadily driving Johnston's army toward Atlanta. But Sigel had been forced to retreat before Breckinridge. On the 21st, Grant moved by the left flank to North Anna River, where he again encountered Lee, and after several engagements moved again by the left from that position on the 27th toward Cold Harbor. Grant's losses between the 20th and 26th were 186 killed, 792 wounded, and 165 missing. Lee's losses during this period have never been fully ascertained.

 After much fighting by detached portions of the two armies, Grant made a general assault upon Lee's heavily intrenched position at Cold Harbor on 3 June, but did not succeed in carrying it, being repelled with a loss of about 7,000 in killed, wounded, and missing, while Lee's loss was probably not more than 2,500. The campaign had now lasted thirty days. Grant had received during this time about 40,000 re-enforcements, and had lost 39,259 men--6,586 killed, 26,047 wounded, and 6,626 missing. Lee had received about 30,000 re-enforcements. There are no official figures as to his exact losses, but they have been estimated at about equal to his re-enforcements. 

Sherman had now reached Kenesaw, within thirty miles of Atlanta; and on the 7th news arrived that Hunter, who had succeeded Sigel, had gained a victory and had seized Staunton, on the Virginia Central railroad. Grant made preparations for transferring the Army of the Potomac to the south side of James River, to operate against Petersburg and Richmond from a more advantageous position. The army was withdrawn from the enemy's front on the night of 12 June, and the crossing of the River began on the 13th, and occupied three days. A force had also been sent around by water, by York and James rivers to City Point, to move against Petersburg. On the 15th the advanced troops attacked the works in front of that place; but, night coming on, the successes gained were not followed up by the commanders, and the next morning the position had been re-enforced and strengthened. An assault was made on the afternoon of the 16th, which was followed up on the 17th and 18th, and the result was the capture of important outworks, and the possession of a line closer to Petersburg. 

Lee's army had arrived, and again confronted the Army of the Potomac. Grant's headquarters had been established at City Point. On 22 and 23 June he made a movement from the left toward the Weldon railroad, and heavy fighting took place, with but little result, except to render Lee's use of that line of communication more precarious. Sheridan had set out on a raid from Pamunkey River, 7 June, and, after defeating the enemy's cavalry, in the battle of Trevilian Station, destroying portions of the Virginia railroad, and inflicting other damage, he returned to White House, on York River, on the 20th. Prom there he crossed the James and rejoined the Army of the Potomac. A cavalry force under General James H. Wilson had also been sent to the south and west of Petersburg, which destroyed railroad property, and for a time seriously interrupted the enemy's communications via the Danville and South-side railroads. Hunter, in the valley of Virginia, had destroyed the stores captured at Staunton and Lexington, and moved to Lynchburg. This place was re-enforced, and, after sharp fighting, Hunter fell back, pursued by a heavy force, to Kanawha river. 

Early's army drove the National troops out of Martinsburg, crossed the upper Potomac, and moved upon Hagerstown and Frederick. There was great consternation in Washington, and Grant was harassed by many anxieties. On 11 July, Early advanced against the fortifications on the north side of Washington; but Grant had sent the 6th corps there, which arrived opportunely, and the enemy did not attack. Sherman had outflanked Johnston at Kenesaw, crossed the Chattahoochee on 17 July, driven the enemy into his works around Atlanta, and destroyed a portion of the railroad in his rear. In Burnside's front, before Petersburg, a large mine had been constructed beneath the enemy's works. Many of Lee's troops had been decoyed to the north side of the James by feints made upon the lines there. The mine was fired at daylight on the morning of 30 July. A defective fuse caused a delay in the explosion, and when it occurred the assault ordered was badly executed by the officers in charge of it. Confusion arose, the place was re-enforced, and the National troops had to be withdrawn, after sustaining a heavy loss. 

Grant, in his anxiety to correct the errors of his subordinates, dismounted and made his way to the extreme front, giving directions in person, and exposing himself to a most destructive fire. He went to Monocacy 5 August, had Sheridan meet him there on the 6th, and placed him in command of all the forces concentrated in Maryland, with directions to operate against Early's command. On 14 August, Hancock's corps was sent, to the north side of the James, and made a demonstration against the enemy at Deep Bottom, to develop his strength and prevent him from detaching troops to send against Sheridan. This resulted in the capture of six pieces of artillery and a few prisoners. On 18 August, Warren's corps moved out and, after heavy fighting, seized and held a position on the Weldon railroad. Fighting continued on the 19th, with Warren's troops re-enforced by part of the 9th corps. Lee attempted to recover the Weldon road by an assault on the 21st, but was repelled. 

On the 23d Ream's Station was occupied by the National troops, and the enemy attacked them in this place in force. Two assaults were successfully met, but the place was finally captured, and the National troops were compelled to fall back. Sherman's series of brilliant battles and maneuvers around Atlanta had forced the enemy to evacuate that place, and his troops entered the City on 2 September Sheridan attacked Early's army on 19 September, and in the battle of Winchester completely routed him. He pursued the enemy to Fisher's Hill, and on the 22d gained another signal victory. Grant now made several movements against Richmond and Petersburg, intended to keep Lee from detaching troops, to extend the National lines, and to take advantage of any weak spot in the enemy's front, with a view to penetrate it. 

On 29 September, Butler's forces were ordered to make an advance upon the works at Deep Bottom. Fort Harrison, the strongest work north of the James, was captured, with 15 guns and several hundred prisoners. On the 30th the enemy made three attempts to retake it by assault, but was each time repelled with heavy loss. On the sane day Meade moved out and carried two redoubts and a line of rifle-pits at Peebles's farm, two miles west of the Weldon railroad. On 1 October, Meade's left was attacked; but it successfully repelled the assault, and he advanced his line on the 2d. Butler lost, in the engagements of the 29th and 30th, 394 killed, 1,554 wounded, and 324 missing. Meade lost, from 30 September to 2 October, 151 killed, 510 wounded, and 1,348 missing. 

On 19 October, Sheridan's army was attacked by Early at Cedar Creek. Sheridan, who was on his return from Washington, rode twenty miles from Winchester, turned a defeat into a decisive victory, captured 24 guns, 1,600 prisoners, and 300 wagons, and left the enemy a complete wreck. On 27 October, Butler was ordered to make a demonstration against the enemy's line in his front, and had some fighting. At the same time, Meade moved out to Hatcher's run; but the enemy was found strongly entrenched, the ground very difficult, and no assault was attempted. In the afternoon a heavy attack was made by the enemy, but was successfully resisted. That night the National forces were withdrawn to their former positions. Meade's loss was 143 killed, 653 wounded, and 488 missing. The enemy's casualties were greater, as he lost in prisoners alone about 1,300 men. Butler lost on this day 700 in killed and wounded, and 400 prisoners.

Sherman destroyed the railroad in his rear, cut loose from his base, and set out from Atlanta, 16 November, on his march to Savannah. General John D. Hood, who had superseded Johnston, instead of following Sherman, turned northward and moved his army against Thomas, who had been placed in command of the troops left for the defense of Tennessee. Thomas concentrated his forces in the vicinity of Nashville. Schofield was at Franklin, twenty-five miles from Nashville, with about 26,000 men. Hood attacked him on 30 November, but after a hotly contested battle was repelled with heavy loss. Thomas, with his entire army, attacked Hood, and in the battle of Nashville, 15 and 16 December completely defeated the enemy, capturing 53 guns and 4,462 prisoners, and drove him south of Tennessee river. 

Sherman reached the sea-coast near Savannah on 14 December after destroying about 200 miles of railroad and $100,000,000 worth of property. He invested Savannah, and forced the enemy to evacuate it on the night of 20 December Grant had sent Butler in charge of an expedition against Port Fisher, at the mouth of Cape Fear River, to act in conjunction with the naval fleet under Admiral Porter. He sailed from Fort Monroe, 14 December landed his troops, 25 December and advanced against the fort, which had been vigorously shelled by the navy ; but, while the assaulting party had every prospect of entering the work, they received an order to fall back and re-embark. The expedition reached Fort Monroe on its return 27 December Butler was relieved, and General E. O. C. Ord was assigned to the command of the Army of the James. 

Grant fitted out another expedition against Fort Fisher, under General Alfred H. Terry, which sailed from Fort Monroe on 6 January 1865. On the 13th the navy directed a heavy fire against the fort. Terry landed his troops, entrenched against a force of the enemy threatening him from the direction of Wilmington, and on the 15th made a vigorous assault, capturing the fort with its garrison and 169 heavy guns, and a large quantity of ammunition. It was at first thought best to transfer Sherman's army by sea to Virginia, but this plan was abandoned, and on 27 December he was ordered to move north by land. His army numbered 60,000 men, and was accompanied by 68 guns and 2,500 wagons. 

On 7 January Schofield was directed to bring his army, then at Clifton, Tennessee, to the sea-coast. It reached Washington and Alexandria, 31 January and on 9 February arrived at the mouth of Cape Fear River, with instructions to operate against Wilmington and penetrate the interior. He entered Wilmington on 22 February, it having been evacuated by the enemy, and took 51 heavy guns, 15 light guns, and 800 prisoners. His own loss in these operations was about 200 in killed and wounded. He moved thence to Goldsboro, where it was intended he should form a junction with Sherman. On 2 March, Lee addressed a letter to Grant, suggesting a personal meeting with a view to arranging subjects of controversy between the belligerents to a convention ; but Grant replied that he had no authority to accede to the proposition; that he had a right to act only on subjects of a purely military character.

Sheridan moved down the valley of Virginia, from Winchester, 27 February, and defeated Early at Waynesboro, 2 March, capturing and scattering nearly his entire command. He then turned eastward, destroyed many miles of the James River canal, passed around the north side of Richmond, and tore up the railroads, arrived at White House on the 19th, and from there joined the Army of the Potomac. Grant had been anxious for some time lest Lee should suddenly abandon his works and fall back to unite with Johnston's forces in an attempt to crush Sherman and force Grant to pursue Lee to a point that would compel the Army of the Potomac to maintain a long line of communications with its base, as there would be nothing left in Virginia to subsist on after Lee had traversed it. Sleepless vigilance was enjoined on all commanders, with orders to report promptly any movement looking to a retreat. Sherman captured Columbia on 17 February, and destroyed large arsenals, railroad establishments, and forty-three cannon. The enemy was compelled to evacuate Charleston. 

On 3 March, Sherman struck Cheraw, and seized a large quantity of material of war, including 25 guns and 3,600 barrels of powder. At Fayetteville, on the 11th, he captured the finely equipped arsenal and twenty guns. On the 16th he struck the enemy at Averysboro, and after a stubborn fight drove him from his position, losing 554 men. The Confederates reported their loss at 500. On the 19th Johnston's army attacked a portion of Sherman's forces at Bentonville, and made six heavy assaults, which were all successfully met, and on the night of the 21st the enemy fell back. The National loss was 191 killed and 1,455 wounded and missing ; that of the Confederates was reported at 223 killed, 1,467 wounded, 653 missing, but Sherman reports his captures of prisoners at 1,621. On the 23d Sherman reached Goldsboro, where Schofield had arrived two days before, and was again in communication with the sea-coast, and able to draw supplies. On 20 March, General George Stoneman set out to march eastward from east Tennessee, toward Lynchburg, and on the same (lay General E. R. S. Canby moved against Mobile. General Pope, who had succeeded Rosecrans in Missouri, was ordered to drive Price beyond Red river. Hancock had been assigned to command the middle division when Sheridan joined the Army of the Potomac, and the troops under him near Washington were held in readiness to move.

All was now in readiness for the spring campaign, which Grant intended should be the last. President Lincoln, between whom and Grant had sprung up a strong personal attachment, visited him at City Point on 22 March, and Sherman came there on the 27th. They, with Grant and Admiral Porter, held an informal conference, and on the 28th Sherman set out again to join his army. At daylight, on 25 March, Lee had made a determined assault, on Grant's right, capturing Fort Steadman, breaking through the National lines, and gaining possession of several batteries. In a few hours he was driven back, and all the captured positions were regained. Lee took this step to endeavor to force the withdrawal of troops in front of his left, and enable him to leave his entrenchments and retreat toward Danville. Its failure prevented the attempt. The country roads being considered sufficiently dry, Grant had issued orders for a general advance on the 29th, and these were carried out at the appointed time. 

Continued on Page 2

 


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