Biography of Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was born as Hiram Ulysses Grant on April 27, 1822. He was an American general and the eighteenth President of the United States from 1869 to 1877. He achieved international fame as the head Union general in the American Civil War.
During the Civil War, Grant reached his first national prominence by taking Forts Henry and Donelson in 1862. The following year, the surrender of Confederate troops at Vicksburg secured Union control of the Mississippi and helped turn the tide of the war in the North's favor. In 1864, Grant was named commanding general of the Federal armies and implemented a strategy of simultaneous attacks which aimed to destroy the South's ability to carry on the war. In 1865, Grant accepted the surrender of Robert E. Lee and his troops at Appomattox Court House. Grant has been described by J.F.C. Fuller as "the greatest general of his age and one of the greatest strategists of any age."
In 1868, Grant was elected President of the United States as a Republican. He was the first president to serve for two full terms since Andrew Jackson forty years before him. Grant led the Radical Reconstruction and built a powerful patronage-based Republican party in the South, with the clever use of the army. He also took a hard line that reduced violence by groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
Presidential experts and historians typically rank Grant as one of the worst U.S. presidents, primarily for his tolerance of corruption. However, in recent years, his reputation as president has improved slightly among scholars due to his support for civil rights for black Americans. After being unsuccessful in winning a third term, bankrupted by bad investments, and terminally ill with throat cancer, Grant wrote his Memoirs, which became successful among veterans, the public, and the critics.
President Grant died on July 23, 1885.
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