Ulysses S. Grant
of the Civil War
As the Civil War reached its peak, Grant
sought to win control of the Mississippi
Valley. In February 1862, he took Fort
Donelson in Tennessee, which was the
first Union victory of strategic importance.
When the Confederate commander asked
for terms, Grant replied, "No terms
except an unconditional and immediate
surrender can be accepted." The Confederates
surrendered, and President Lincoln promoted
Grant to major general of volunteers
the fierce battles of the Civil War
continued, some began to question General
Grant's military leadership. At Shiloh,
Grant fought one of the bloodiest battles
in the West. Some called for him to
be replaced. President Lincoln fended
off demands that Grant be removed by
saying, "I can't spare this man
he fights." (From the Ulysses S. Grant
President Lincoln's support, Grant was
determined to move ahead to victory.
He captured Vicksburg, the key city
on the Mississippi River, which cut
the Confederacy in two. He then broke
the Confederate hold on Chattanooga,
appointed Grant General-in-Chief of
the Union Army in March 1864. Grant
directed Sherman to drive through the
South while he used the Army of the
Potomac to pin down General Lee's Army.
After the Overland campaign in the spring
of 1864, City Point, (the city is named
Hopewell today) Virginia, served as
General Grant's Headquarters of the
Armies of the United States. From City
Point, Grant directed the movements
of the various Union troops across the
country. His primary goal was to destroy
General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern
Virginia. As Sherman and Grant moved
farther into the Confederate strongholds,
it became clear that the final battles
of the Civil War were at hand.
Lincoln, anxious for the war to end,
traveled to City Point and Grant's headquarters.
From March 20 to April 8, 1865, the
President met with Grant and his officers
to discuss the final push into Petersburg.
They also talked about the conditions
for reuniting the nation after the war.
the end of March, a "war council" conference
was held between the President, Generals
Grant and Sherman, and other key military
leaders. They discussed battle plans
that they hoped would end the war. Grant
then moved his headquarters into Petersburg
so he would be near the final battleground.
President Lincoln stayed at City Point,
where it is reported that he dreamed
of his own death. Interestingly enough,
Lincoln did not tell anyone at City
Point of his strange dream while he
was there. Instead, he reportedly first
mentioned it to his wife and others
during a social gathering, days later
when he returned to Washington, D.C.
Grant's military strategy was on target
as he defeated General Lee at Petersburg.
Finally, on April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered
at Appomattox Court House. Grant wrote
generous terms of surrender that helped
to begin the process of uniting the
nation again. A main part of Grant's
terms included provisions that prevented
future trials for treason. Jefferson
Davis, President of the Confederacy,
was arrested for treason and spent three
years in prison at Fort Monroe. But
Davis never went to trial on these treason
the Civil War, Grant served as the Secretary
of War from August 12, 1867 to January
more about U.S. Grant:
Before the Presidency
The Hero of the Civil War
Grant: A Misunderstood
A Loving Family
Life After the
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