To learn more about Ulysses S. Grant, visit the U.S. Grant Web site. (See Sources Used.)

Ulysses S. Grant

Presidential Accomplishments

U.S Grant officially ended his military career when he resigned his commission as general of the U.S. Army on March 4, 1869, the year he became President of the United States. As the hero of the Civil War, he was the popular choice to lead the United States through the problems that existed following the war between the States.

The American people hoped to end the nation's turmoil when they elected Grant to office. But many historians determined that Grant did little to move the country forward. Looking to Congress for direction, he often seemed bewildered. One visitor to the White House noted "a puzzled pathos, as of a man with a problem before him of which he does not understand the terms." (Ulysses S. Grant Web site:

After his election, Grant even took part of his army staff to the White House. He led the government in much the same way as he had led the army. Many felt he had no real policy for Reconstruction, and he just continued Congress' policy of Radical Reconstruction, which was the plan President Johnson enacted to reconstruct the nation. As time went on however, many people, including many Republicans, began to see Grant's continuation of stationing troops in the South as militarism. This led to dissatisfaction with the Republican Party. As more states re-entered the Union, they began to enact State governments led by Democrats.

During his campaign for re-election in 1872, Grant was attacked by Liberal Republican reformers. His supporters in the Republican Party became known proudly as "the Old Guard." Winning a second term in office, Grant allowed Radical Reconstruction to run its course in the South, bolstering it at times with military force.

Learn more about U.S. Grant:

Life Before the Presidency
The Hero of the Civil War
Presidential Accomplishments
Grant: A Misunderstood Leader
A Loving Family Man
Life After the Presidency
Did You Know?