Ulysses S. Grant was the most famous general of the Union armies during the American Civil War. He was the one who ultimately defeated the army of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and brought an end to the Civil War.
Grant was so famous because of his victories against Confederacy that soon after the Civil War, he was elected as the President of the United States of America.
Ulysses S. Grant was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio on April 27, 1822. His father was a tanner and Grant spent the early years of his life at a farm where he became skilled at horse riding. His family could not afford to get him any formal education, so Grant decided to join the military which would have allowed him to get education.
He joined the famous West Point Military Academy and after graduation, fought in the Mexican-American War under the command of the famous American General Zachary Taylor. After the war, he missed his family, so he went back to his home and left the army.
The American Civil War broke out in 1861 between the southern states called the Confederacy and the northern states called the Union. Grant returned to military service during the war and joined the Illinois militia. Due to his battlefield bravery and courage, he was quickly promoted to senior positions in the Union armies.
His first major victory against the Confederate forces came in 1862 when Grant captured Fort Donelson in Tennessee from a Confederate army. This victory earned him the nickname of ‘Unconditional Grant’ since he asked the enemy soldiers to unconditionally surrender.
Grant then took control of the city of Vicksburg from the Confederate forces, which was a very important victory for the Union. Due to his victories and success on the battlefield, Grant was promoted to the position of the commander-in-chief of all Union armies in 1864.
His final campaign was against the main Confederate army under General Robert E. Lee. Grant and his Union army pursued and fought with Lee’s army for nearly a year and finally surrounded the army, forcing Lee to surrender. This finally brought the Civil War to an end. Grant became a national hero and one of the most famous people all over the USA.
After the American Civil War, Grant remained a very popular figure all over USA. He ran for the Presidency in 1868 and won the election. He later ran for Presidency a second time and elected again. During his two terms as President of USA, he helped in creating the Department of Justice and took steps to ensure that African Americans as well as Native Americans had equal rights.
However, the economic situation of USA during his Presidency was bad. Many people in his government’s administration were involved in financial misappropriation and all of this led to the economic panic that began in 1873.
Grant ran for the Presidency a third time 1877 but lost the election. After this, he left politics and went on a world tour meeting many famous leaders of the world at the time. These include Queen Victoria of England, the Emperor of Japan and the Pope. He later returned to U.S. and died in 1885.