Template:Infobox President Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant; April 27, 1822– July 23, 1885) was the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877) as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under the command of Grant, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America. His image as a war hero was tarnished by corruption scandals during his presidency. Grant began his life long career as a soldier after graduating from the United States Military Academy in 1843. Fighting in the Mexican American War, he was a close observer of the techniques of Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. He retired from the Army in 1854, then struggled to make a living in St. Louis. After many financial setbacks, he finally moved to Galena, Illinois where he worked as a clerk in his father's tannery shop, making Galena his permanent legal home.
In 1861, after the American Civil War broke out, he joined the Union war effort, taking charge of training new regiments and then engaging the enemy near Cairo, Illinois. In 1862 he fought a series of major battles and captured a Confederate army, earning a reputation as an aggressive general and allowing the Union to seize control of most of Kentucky and Tennessee. In July 1863, after a long complex campaign he captured Vicksburg, captured another Confederate army, and took control of the Mississippi River, splitting the Confederacy and opening the way for more Union victories and conquests. Lincoln promoted him, and gave him charge of all the Union Armies. As Lieutenant General of the Union Armies from 1864 to 1865, Grant confronted Robert E. Lee in a series of very high casualty battles known as the Overland Campaign that ended in a stalemate siege at Petersburg. During the siege, Grant coordinated a series of devastating campaigns launched by William Tecumseh Sherman, Philip Sheridan, and George Thomas. Finally breaking through Lee's trenches at Petersburg, the Union Army captured Richmond, the Confederate capital in April 1865. Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox; the Confederacy collapsed and the Civil War ended.
During Reconstruction, Grant remained in command of the Army and implemented the Congressional plans to reoccupy the South and hold new elections in 1867 with black voters that gave Republicans control of the Southern states. Enormously popular in the North after the Union's victory, he was elected to the presidency in 1868. Reelected in 1872, he became the first president to serve two full terms since Andrew Jackson did so forty years earlier. As president, he led Reconstruction by signing and enforcing civil rights laws and fighting Ku Klux Klan violence. He helped rebuild the Republican Party in the South, an effort that resulted in the election of African Americans to Congress and state governments for the first time. Despite these civil rights accomplishments, Grant's presidency was marred by economic turmoil and multiple scandals. His response to the Panic of 1873 and the severe depression that followed was heavily criticized. His low standards in Cabinet and federal appointments and lack of accountability generated corruption and bribery in seven government departments. In 1876, his reputation was severely damaged by the graft trials of the Whiskey Ring. He left office at the low point of his popularity.
After leaving office, Grant embarked on a two-year world tour that was received favorably with many royal receptions. In 1880 he made an unsuccessful bid for a third presidential term. In 1884, broke and dying of cancer, he wrote his enormously successful memoirs. Historians have ranked his Administration poorly due to tolerance of corruption. His presidential reputation has improved among scholars impressed by the Administration's support for civil rights for freed slaves.
Early life and family
Grant was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio on April 27, 1822 to Jesse Root Grant (1794–1873), a tanner, and Hannah Simpson Grant (1798–1883), both Pennsylvania natives. His birth name was Hiram Ulysses. In the fall of 1823, the family moved to the village of Georgetown in Brown County, Ohio. Raised a Methodist, although not an official member of the church, he prayed in private and opposed religious pretentiousness. At the age of 17, the young Ulysses entered the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York, secured by Congressman Thomas L. Hamer's nomination. Hamer mistakenly nominated him as "Ulysses S. Grant of Ohio." At West Point he adopted this name with a middle initial only. His nickname became "Sam" among army colleagues at the academy since the initials "U.S." stood for "Uncle Sam". He graduated from West Point in 1843, ranking 21st in a class of 39. At the academy, he established a reputation as a fearless and expert horseman, setting an equestrian high jump record that lasted almost 25 years. Although naturally suited for cavalry, he was assigned to duty as a regimental quartermaster, achieving the rank of lieutenant, managing supplies and equipment.
During the Mexican American War (1846–1848), Lieutenant Grant served under Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. Although assigned as a quartermaster, he got close enough to the front lines to see action, participating in the battles of Resaca de la Palma, Palo Alto, Monterrey and Veracruz. At Monterrey, he carried a dispatch voluntarily on horseback through a sniper-lined street. He was twice brevetted for bravery: at Molino del Rey and Chapultepec. He was a remarkably close observer of the war, learning to judge the actions of colonels and generals, particularly admiring how Zachary Taylor campaigned. In the 1880s, he wrote that the war was a wrongful one and believed that territorial gains were designed to spread slavery throughout the nation. Written in his memoirs, "I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day, regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation."
On August 22, 1848, Grant married Julia Boggs Dent (1826–1902), the daughter of a slave owner. Together, they had four children: Frederick Dent Grant, Ulysses S. "Buck" Grant, Jr., Ellen Wrenshall "Nellie" Grant, and Jesse Root Grant.
Lieutenant Grant remained in the army and was assigned to several different posts. He was sent west overseas to Fort Vancouver in the Washington Territory in 1852, initially landing in San Francisco during the height of the California gold rush. Julia was eight months pregnant with their second child and could not accompany him because a lieutenant's salary, at the time, would not support a family on the frontier. The journey proved to be a horrid ordeal and Grant narrowly escaped a cholera epidemic while traveling overland through Panama. At Fort Vancouver he served as quartermaster of the 4th Infantry Regiment. In 1854, he was promoted to captain, one of only 50 still on active duty, and assigned to command Company F, 4th Infantry, at Fort Humboldt, on the northwest California coast. Without explanation, he abruptly resigned from the Army with little notice on July 31, 1854. Commanding officer at Fort Humbolt, Bvt. Lt. Col. Robert C. Buchanan, had learned that Grant was intoxicated off duty while seated at the pay officer's table. Buchanan gave him an ultimatum and told him to leave the Army either by court-martial or resignation. Whether the threat of court-martial by Buchanan was justifiable, Grant decided to resign, the War Department having stated on his record, "Nothing stands against his good name." Rumors, however, persisted in the regular army of Grant's intemperance.
A civilian at age 32, Grant struggled through seven financial lean years. From 1854 to 1858, he labored on a family farm near St. Louis, Missouri, using slaves owned by Julia's father, but it did not prosper. He bought one of these slaves in 1858. From 1858–1859, he was a bill collector in St. Louis. In 1860, after many failed business pursuits, he was given a job as an assistant in his father's tannery in Galena, Illinois. The leather shop, "Grant & Perkins", sold harnesses, saddles, and other leather goods and purchased hides from farmers in the prosperous Galena area. He moved his family to Galena and lived in a brick house before the Civil War broke out.
Up until the outbreak of the Civil War, Grant kept any political opinions private and never endorsed any candidate running for public office. He also, at this time, had no animosity toward slavery. His father-in-law was a prominent Democrat in St. Louis, a fact that contributed to a failed attempt to become county engineer in 1859. In the 1856 presidential election, he voted for the Democratic candidate, James Buchanan, to prevent secession and because "I knew Frémont", the Republican presidential candidate. In 1860, he favored Democratic presidential candidate Stephen A. Douglas over Abraham Lincoln, but did not vote. His own father, Jesse Root, was a prominent Republican in Galena. It was during the Civil War that his political sympathies coincided with the Republicans' aggressive prosecution of the war. In 1864, his patron Congressman Elihu B. Washburne used Grant's private letters as campaign literature for Lincoln's reelection. In 1868 Grant, affiliated with the Radical Republicans, was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate.
On April 15, 1861, after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down secession. Galena was enthusiastic in support of the war and recognized in Grant the one local with broad military experience. Grant helped recruit a company of volunteers in Galena and accompanied it to Springfield, the state capital, where untrained units were assembling in great confusion. Sponsored by his influential Congressman Elihu B. Washburne, Grant was named by the governor Richard Yates to train volunteers; he proved efficient and energetic in the training camps but desired a field command. Yates appointed him as a colonel in the Illinois militia and gave him command of the undisciplined and rebellious 21st Illinois Infantry on June 17. He went to Mexico, Missouri, guarding the corner of the state from Confederate attack. On July 31, 1861, President Lincoln appointed him as a brigadier general in the federal Volunteers. On September 1, he was selected by Western Department Commander Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont to command the District of Southeast Missouri. He soon established his headquarters at Cairo, Illinois, where the Ohio River joins the Mississippi. His command was soon reconfigured and renamed the District of Cairo.
Battles of Belmont, Fort Henry, and Fort Donelson
Grant’s first Civil War battles occurred while he was in command of the District of Cairo. The Confederate Army was stationed in Columbus, Kentucky, under General Leonidas Polk. Grant was ordered by Union Maj. Gen. John C. Fremont to make demonstrations against the Confederate Army, but not to attack Polk. Grant, who wanted to attack the Confederate position at Beltmont, Missouri, obeyed the order not to fight until President Lincoln discharged Fremont from active duty. Grant could then go on the offensive; taking 3,000 Union troops by boat, he attacked Camp Johnson at Belmont on November 7, 1861. Having initially pushed back the Confederate forces from Camp Johnson, Grant's undisciplined volunteers wildly celebrated rather then continuing the fight. Confederate General Gideon J. Pillow, who had been given reinforcements by Polk, forced the Union troops to retreat. Although the battle was considered inconclusive and futile, Grant and his troops gained the confidence needed to continue on the offensive. More importantly, President Lincoln took notice of Grant's willingness to fight.
On February 6, 1862, Fort Henry was bombarded and captured by Adm. Andrew H. Foote Union naval fleet consisting of ironclads and wooden ships. Grant's forces, two divisions of 15,000 troops, arrived after the fort had been surrendered to Adm. Foote. The fall of Fort Henry opened up the Union war effort in Tennessee and Alabama. After the fall of Fort Henry, Grant moved his army overland 12 miles east to capture Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River. Foote's naval fleet arrived, on February 14, and immediately started a series of bombardments; however Fort Donelson's water batteries effectively repulsed the naval fleet. Stealthily, on February 15, Confederate Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd ordered General Pillow to strike at Grant's Union forces encamped around the fort, in order to establish an escape route to Nashville, Tennessee. Pillow's attack pushed Grant's troops into a disorganized retreat eastward on the Nashville road. However, Grant was able to rally the Union troops to keep the Confederates from escaping. The Confederates forces finally surrendered Fort Donelson on February 16. Grant’s surrender terms were popular throughout the nation, “No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender.” and he was known from then on as "Unconditional Surrender" Grant. President Abraham Lincoln promoted Grant to major general of volunteers.
The surrender of Fort Donelson was a tremendous victory for the Union war effort. 12,000 Confederate soldiers had been captured in addition to the bountiful weapon supplies at the fort. However, Grant now experienced serious difficulties with his superior in St. Louis, Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck; some writers believe that Halleck was personally or professionally jealous of Grant. In any event, Halleck made various criticisms about Grant to Washington, even suggesting that Grant's performance was impaired by drinking. With Washington's support, Halleck told Grant to remain at Fort Henry and give command of a new expedition up the Tennessee River to Charles F. Smith, newly nominated as a major general. Grant asked three times to be relieved from duty under Halleck. However, Halleck soon restored Grant to field command, perhaps in part because Lincoln intervened to inquire into Halleck's dissatisfaction with Grant. Grant soon rejoined his forces, eventually known as the Army of the Tennessee, at Savannah. After the fall of Donelson, Grant became popularly known for smoking cigars, as many as 18-20 a day.
In early March 1862, Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck ordered Grant's Army of the Tennessee to move up the Tennessee River (southward) to attack Confederate railroads. Halleck then ordered Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell's Army of Ohio to concentrate with Grant, before implementing a planned attack on Confederate troops concentrated in Corinth, Mississippi. Buell, whose veteran army was only 90 miles east in Columbia was hesitant in sending reinforcements claiming "swollen rivers" were hindering progress. Union commanders Grant, and then Brig. Gen. William T. Sherman, the informal commander at Pittsburg Landing, mistakenly assumed Confederate troops would not attack the Union Army so there were no entrenchments. On April 6, 1862, the Confederates launched a preemptive full force attack on Grant's troops in the Battle of Shiloh; the objective was to destroy Grant's forces before being reinforced by Buell's army. Over 44,000 Confederate Army of Mississippi troops led by Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard, vigorously attacked five divisions of Grant’s army bivouacked nine miles north from Savannah, Tennessee, at Pittsburg Landing. Union Col. Everett Peabody, upon his infantry discovering the oncoming Confederate assault, was able to adequately warn the Union Army to form battle lines. Nonetheless, the Confederates initially were able to drive back the Union Army.
The Union left, however, under Brig. Gens. Benjamin Prentiss, W.H.L. Wallace, and James M. Tuttle, bravely withstood determined Confederate assaults in a road pocket known as the "Hornet's Nest", for seven crucial hours before being forced to yield ground towards the Tennessee River. This gave the Union army much needed time to be able to stabilize their line formations and gather reinforcements. Prentiss, himself, was taken prisoner and forced to surrender his division to the Confederates, while Wallace was mortally wounded. Grant, nursing a previous horse fall injury, arrived from Savannah where both he and Sherman rallied the troops and staved off defeat. Although Grant's forces were battered, the Army of the Tennessee held strong compact positions with 50 artillery guns while two federal gunboats fired at the Confederates. After receiving reinforcements from Buell and his own army, Grant had a total of 45,000 troops and launched a counter offensive the following day (April 7). Confederate General Johnston was killed in the battle on the first day of fighting, and the Confederate Army, now under Beauregard was outnumbered and forced to retreat to Corinth, Mississippi.
The 23,746 casualties at Shiloh shocked both the Union and Confederacy, whose combined totals exceeded casualties from all of the United States previous wars. The Battle of Shiloh led to much criticism of Grant for leaving his army unprepared defensively; he was also falsely accused of being drunk. According to one account, President Lincoln rejected suggestions to dismiss Grant, saying, "I can't spare this man; he fights." After Shiloh, General Halleck took the field personally and gathered a 120,000-man army at Pittsburg Landing, including Grant's Army of the Tennessee, Buell's Army of the Ohio, and John Pope's Army of the Mississippi. Halleck assigned Grant the role of second-in-command, with others in direct command of his divisions. Grant was upset over the situation and might have left his command, but his friend and fellow officer, William T. Sherman, persuaded him to stay in Halleck's Army. After capturing Corinth, Mississippi, the 120,000-man army was disbanded; Halleck was promoted to General in Chief of the Union Army and transferred east to Washington D.C. Grant resumed immediate command of the Army of the Tennessee and, a year later, captured the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg.
Refugee slave contraband
Template:See On July 2, 1862 President Lincoln had authorized African American contraband or "fugitive slaves" seeking refuge in the Union Army to be recruited. During the fall of 1862 Grant made efforts to take care of "wagon loads" of black slave refugees in Western Tennessee and Northern Mississippi. On November 13, 1862 Grant placed Chaplain John Eaton of the 27th Ohio Infantry in charge of the refugees; who organized camps and put them to work to bring in the fall corn and cotton crops on deserted plantations. Eaton proved to be a judicious and fair leader of the Union contraband; protecting them from Confederate marauders. The refugees were not paid directly at this time, however, money was allocated and spent on them reasonably for their benefit. Eventually, these African Americans were recruited into the Union Army and paid directly to cut wood to fuel the Union steamers. With the resulting income the Union contraband were able to feed and clothe their families. This would be the beginnings of what would be known as the Freedmens Bureau during Reconstruction. Similar efforts to incorporate African Americans into the Union war effort were made on the Atlantic coast. Many northern political conservatives in Illinois, however, were against and blocked the influx of African Americans into their state. On January 1, 1863 President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves in the Confederate states. The Union contraband, now known as Freedmen, were formed into infantry corps fighting for the Union Army against the Confederacy.
Resolved to take control of the Mississippi River from the control of the Confederacy, President Lincoln, the Union Army and Navy, were determined to take the Confederate stronghold Vicksburg in 1862. Lincoln authorized Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand, a war Democrat politician, to recruit troops, the XIII corps, and organize an expedition against Vicksburg. A personal rivalry developed between Grant and McClernand on who would get credit for taking Vicksburg. The Vicksburg campaign started in December 1862 and lasted six months before the Union Army finally took the fortress. The campaign combined many important naval operations, troop maneuvers, failed initiatives, and was divided into two stages. The prize of capturing Vicksburg would ensure either McClernand or Grant's success and would divide the Confederacy in two eastern and western parts. At the opening of the campaign, Grant attempted to capture Vicksburg overland from the Northeast; however, Confederate Generals Nathan B. Forrest and Earl Van Dorn thwarted the Union Army advance by raiding Union supply lines. A related riverine expedition then failed when Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman was repulsed by the Confederate forces at the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou.
In January 1863, McClernand and Sherman's combined XIII and XV corps, the Army of the Mississippi, successfully defeated the Confederates at Arkansas Post. Grant made five attempts to capture Vicksburg by water routes, however, all had failed. With the Union impatient for a victory, in March 1863, the second stage to capture Vicksburg began. Starting in March 1863, Grant launched the final stage to capture Vicksburg; marched his troops down the west side of the Mississippi River and crossed over at Bruinsburg. Adm. David D. Porter’s navy ships had previously run the guns at Vicksburg on April 16, 1863, enabling Union troops to be transported to the east side of the Mississippi. The crossing was successful due to Grant's elaborate series of demonstrations and diversions that fooled the Confederates on what the Union army was going to do. After crossing the Mississippi river, Grant maneuvered his army inland and after a series of battles the state capital Jackson Mississippi was captured. Confederate general John C. Pemberton was defeated by Grant’s forces at the Battle of Champion Hill retreated to the Vicksburg fortress. After two unsuccessful assaults on Vicksburg, Grant settled for a 40-day siege. Pemberton, unable to combine forces with Joseph E. Johnson, finally surrendered Vicksburg on July 4, 1863.
The aftermath of Vicksburg was a turning point for Union war effort. The surrender of Vicksburg in combination with Confederate general Robert E. Lee's defeat at Gettysburg were stinging defeats for the Confederacy, now split in two across the Mississippi River. President Lincoln promoted Grant to Maj. Gen. of the Armed forces and it was the second time a Confederate army surrendered, the first done after Fort Donelson surrendered. During the Vicksburg siege Grant dismissed McClernand for publishing a congratulatory order to the press and the rivalry between to the two ended. The Union army had captured considerable Confederate artillery, small arms, and ammunition. Total casualties, killed or wounded, for the final operation against Vicksburg that started on March 29, 1863 were 10,142 for the Union and 9,091 for the Confederacy.
Although the victory at Vicksburg was a tremendous advance in the Union War effort, Grant's reputation did not escape criticism. During the initial campaign in December, 1862 Grant became upset and angry over speculators and traders who inundated his department and violated rules about trading cotton in a militarized zone. As a result, Grant issued his notorious General Order No. 11 on December 17, expelling all Jews whom he believed were engaged in trade in his department, including their families. When protests erupted from Jews and non-Jews alike, President Lincoln rescinded the order on January, 1863, however, the episode tarnished Grant's reputation. Grant also was accused by his rivals Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand and Maj. Gen. Charles S. Hamilton for being "gloriously drunk" in February and March, 1863. Both McClernand and Hamilton were seeking promotion in the army at the time of these allegations. Cincinnati Commercial editor, Murat Halstead, railed that, "Our whole Army of the Mississippi is being wasted by a foolish, drunken, stupid Grant". Lincoln sent Charles A. Dana to keep a watchful eye. To save Grant from dismissal, assistant Adjutant General John A. Rawlins, Grant's friend, got him to take a pledge not to touch alcohol.
When Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans was defeated at the Chickamauga in September 1863, the Confederates, led by Braxton Bragg, besieged the Union Army of the Cumberland in Chattanooga. In response, President Lincoln put Grant in charge of the new Military Division of the Mississippi to break the siege at Chattanooga, making Grant the commander of all Western Armies. Grant, who immediately relieved Rosecrans from duty, personally went to Chattanooga to take control of the situation taking 20,000 troops commanded by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, from the Army of the Tennessee. Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker was ordered to Chattanooga taking 15,000 troops from the Army of the Potomac. Rations were running severely low for the Cumberland army and supply relief was necessary for a Union counter offensive. When Grant arrived at Chattanooga at the Union camp he was informed of their plight and implemented a system known as the "Cracker Line,” devised by Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas's chief engineer, William F. "Baldy" Smith. After Union army seized Brown’s Ferry, Hooker's troops and supplies were sent into the city, helping to feed the starving men and animals and to prepare for an assault on the Confederate forces surrounding the city.
On November 23, Grant launched his offensive on Missionary Ridge combining the forces of the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of the Tennessee. Maj. Gen. Thomas took a minor high ground known as Orchard Knob while Maj. Gen. Sherman took strategic positions for an attack Bragg’s right flank on Missionary Ridge. On November 24, Maj. Gen. Hooker with the Army of the Potomac captured Lookout Mountain and positioned his troops to attack Braggs left flank at Rossville. On November 25, Grant ordered Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland to make a diversionary attack only to take the “rifle pits” on Missionary Ridge. However, after the soldiers took the rifle pits, they proceeded on their own initiative without orders to make a successful frontal assault on Missionary Ridge. Bragg’s army, routed and defeated, was in complete disarray from the frontal assault and forced to retreat to South Chickamauga Creek. Although the valiant frontal assault was successful, Grant was initially upset because he did not give direct orders for the men to take Missionary Ridge, however, he was satisfied with their results. The victory at Missionary Ridge eliminated the last Confederate control of Tennessee and opened the door to an invasion of the Deep South, leading to Sherman's Atlanta Campaign of 1864. Casualties after the battle were 5,824 for the Union and 6,667 for Confederate armies, respectively.
Lieutenant General promotion
After the Confederate defeat at Chattanooga, President Lincoln promoted Grant to a special regular army rank, Lieutenant General, authorized by Congress on March 2, 1864. This rank had previously been awarded two other times, a full rank to George Washington and a Brevet rank to Winfield Scott. President Lincoln was reluctant to award the promotion, until informed that Grant was not seeking to be a candidate in the Presidential Election of 1864. With the new rank, Grant moved his headquarters to the east and installed his friend Maj. Gen. Sherman as Commander of the Western Armies. President Lincoln and Grant met together in Washington and devised "total war" plans that struck at the heart of the Confederacy, including military, railroad, and economic infrastructures. No longer refugees, African Americans, were now incorporated into the Union Army as trained soldiers, taking away the Confederacy's labor force. The two primary objectives in the plans were to defeat Robert E. Lee's Army of Virginia and Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee. They would attack the Confederacy from multiple directions: the Union Army of the Potomac, led by George G. Meade, would attack Lee's Army of Northern Virginia; Benjamin Butler would attack south of Richmond from the James River; Sherman would attack Johnson's army in Georgia; George Crook and William W. Averell would destroy railroad supply lines in West Virginia. Nathaniel P. Banks was to capture Mobile, Alabama. Franz Sigel was to guard the Baltimore and Ohio railroad and advance in the Shenandoah Valley. Grant would command all the Union army forces while in the field with Meade and the Army of the Potomac.
On May 4, 1864 Grant began a series of battles with Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia known as the Overland Campaign. The first battle between Lee and Grant took place after the Army of the Potomac crossed Rapidan River into an area of secondary growth trees and shrubs known as the Wilderness. Lee was able to use this protective undergrowth to counter Grant's superior troop strength. Union Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock's XVI corps were able to inflict heavy casualties and drive back the Confederate General A.P. Hill's corps two miles; however, Lee was able to drive back the Union advance with Confederate General James Longstreet's reserves. The difficult, bloody, and costly battles lasted two days, May 5 and 6, resulting in an advantage to neither side. Unlike Union generals who retreated after similar battles with Lee, Grant ignored any setbacks and continued to flank Lee's right moving southward. The tremendous casualties for the Battle of the Wilderness were 17,666 for the Union and 11,125 for the Confederate armies, respectively.
Once Grant broke away from Army of Northern Virginia at the Wilderness on May 8, he was forced into yet an even more desperate 14-day battle at Spotsylvania. Anticipating Grant's right flank move southward, Lee was able to position his army at Spotsylvania Court House before Grant and his army could arrive, the battle started on May 10. Although Lee's Army of Virginia was located in an exposed rough arc known as the "Mule Shoe", his army resisted assault after assault from Grant's Army of the Potomac for the first 6 days of the battle. The fiercest fighting in the battle took place on a point known as "Bloody angle". Both Confederates and Union soldiers were slaughtered like cattle and men were piled on top of each other in their attempt to control the point. By May 21 the fighting had finally stopped; Grant had lost 18,000 men with 3,000 having been killed in the prolonged battle. Many talented Confederate officers were killed in the battle with Lee's Army significantly damaged having a total of 10-13,000 casualties. The popular Union Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick of the VI corps was killed in the battle by a sharpshooter and replaced by Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright. During the fighting at Spotsylvania Grant made the statement, "I will fight it on this line if it takes all summer."
Finding he could not break Lee's line of defense at Spotsylvania, Grant turned southward and moved to the North Ana River a dozen miles closer to Richmond. An attempt was made by Grant to get Lee to fight out in the open by sending an individual II Corps on the west bank of the Mattatopi River. Rather then take the bait, Lee anticipated a second right flank movement by Grant and retreated to the North Anna River in response to the Union V and VI corps withdrawing from Spotsylvania. During this time many Confederate generals, including Lee, were incapacitated due to illness or injury. Lee, stricken with dysentery, was unable to take advantage of an opportunity to seize parts of the Army of the Potomac. After series of inconclusive minor battles at North Anna on May 23 and 24, the Army of the Potomac withdrew 20 miles southeast to important crossroads at Cold Harbor. From June 1 to 3 Grant and Lee fought each other at Cold Harbor with the heaviest Union casualties on the final day. Grant's ordered assault on June 3 was disastrous and lopsided with 6,000 Union casualties to Lee's 1,500. After twelve days of fighting at Cold Harbor total casualties were 12,000 for the Union and 2,500 for the Confederacy. On June 11, 1864 Grant's Army of the Potomac broke away completely from Robert E. Lee, and on June 12 secretly crossed the James River on a pontoon bridge, and attacked the railroad junction at Petersburg. For a brief time, Robert E. Lee, had no idea where the Army of the Potomac was.
To many in the North after the utter Union defeat at Cold Harbor, Grant was castigated as the "Butcher" for having sustained high casualties without a substantial advantage over Robert E. Lee. Grant, himself, who regretted the assault on June 3 at Cold Harbor was determined to keep casualties minimal thereafter. Without a Union military victory, President Abraham Lincoln's presidential Campaign of 1864 against former general and Democratic contender George McClellan was in serious doubt. Maj. Gen. Sherman was bogged down chasing Confederate general Joseph E. Johnson into a conclusive battle. Benjamin Butler, who was supposed to attack Confederate railroads south of Richmond, was trapped in the Bermuda Hundred. Sigel had failed to secure the Shenendoah Valley from Confederate invasion and was relieved from duty. The entire Union war effort seemed to be stalling and the Northern public was growing increasingly impatient. The Copperheads, a northern democrat anti-war movement, advocated legal recognition of the Confederacy, immediate peace talks, and encouraged Union soldiers to desert the army. The Northern war effort was at this lowest ebb when Grant made a bold gamble to march deeper into Virginia at the risk of leaving the Washington capitol exposed to Confederate attack.
Petersburg and Appomattox
Petersburg was the supply center for Northern Virginia with five railroads meeting at one junction. Its capture meant the immediate downfall of Richmond. To protect Richmond and fight Grant at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor battles, Lee was forced to leave Petersburg with minimal troop protection. After crossing the James River the Army of the Potomac without any resistance marched towards Petersburg. After crossing the James Grant rescued Butler from the Bermuda Hundred and sent the XVIII corps led Brig. Gen. William F. "Baldy" Smith to capture the weakly protected Petersburg; guarded by Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard. Grant established his new headquarters at City Point for the rest of the Civil War. The Union forces quickly attacked and overtook the Petersburg's outlying trenches on June 15, however, Smith inexplicably stopped fighting and waited until the following day, June 16, to attack the city allowing Beauregard to concentrate reinforcement troops in secondary defenses. The second Union attack on Petersburg started on June 16 and lasted until June 18, when Lee's veterans finally arrived to keep the Union army from taking the important railroad junction. Unable to break Lee's Petersburg defenses, Grant had to settle for a seige.
Realizing that Washington was left unprotected do to Grant's siege on Petersburg, Lee detached a small army under the command of Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early, hoping it would force the Union army to send forces to pursue him. If Early could capture Washington the Civil War would be over and the Confederates could claim victory. Early, with 15,000 seasoned troops, invaded north through the Shenandoah Valley, defeated Union Major General Lew Wallace at the Monocacy, and reached the outskirts of Washington, causing alarm. At Lincoln's urging, just in time, Grant dispatched the veteran Union VI Corps and parts of the XIX Corps, led by Major General Horatio Wright. With the Union XXII Corps in place in the Washington D.C. fortifications, Early was unable to take the city. The Confederate Army's mere presence close to the capitol was embarrassing simply by being so close to the capitol. At Petersburg Grant blew up Lee's trench work with explosives planted inside a tunnel causing a huge crater; however; the Union assault that followed was slow and chaotic allowing Lee to repulse the breakthrough.
With Grant having locked Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia into a seige at Petersburg, the Union war effort finally began to bear fruit of its own. Sherman took Atlanta on September 2, 1864 and began his March to the Sea in November. With the victory in Atlanta, Lincoln was elected President and the war effort continued. On October 19, after three battles, Phil Sheridan and the Army of the Shenandoah defeated Early's army. Sheridan and Sherman followed Lincoln and Grant's strategy of total war by destroying the economic infrastructures of the Shenendoah Valley and a large swath of Georgia and the Carolinas. On December 16, Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas had beaten Confederate general John B. Hood at Nashville. Grant continued for months to stretch the Petersburg siege line westward to capture vital railroad lines that supplied Richmond, stretching Lee's defensive works thin.
In March 1865, Grant invited Lincoln to visit his headquarters at City Point, Virginia. By coincidence, Sherman (then campaigning in North Carolina) happened to visit City Point at the same time. This allowed for the war's only three-way meeting of Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman, which was memorialized in G.P.A. Healy's famous painting The Peacemakers. Grant continued to apply months of relentless military pressure at Petersburg on the Army of Northern Virginia, until Lee was forced to evacuate Richmond in April 1865. After a nine-day retreat, Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Considered his greatest triumph, this was the third time a Confederate Army surrendered to Grant. There, Grant offered generous terms that did much to ease tensions between the armies and preserve some semblance of Southern pride, which was needed to reunite the warring sides. Within a few weeks, the American Civil War was over, though minor actions continued until Kirby Smith surrendered his forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department on June 2, 1865.
On April 14, 1865, tragedy struck the nation when Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theater, dying the next morning. Lincoln had been Grant's greatest champion, friend, and military adviser. Lincoln had said after the massive losses at Shiloh, "I can't spare this man. He fights." It was a two-sentence description that caught the essence of Ulysses S. Grant.
After the war, on July 25, 1866, Congress authorized the newly created rank of General of the Army of the United States, the equivalent of a full (four-star) general in the modern United States Army. Grant was appointed as such by President Andrew Johnson on the same day.
Secretary of War and 1868 presidential campaign
As commanding general of the army, Grant had a difficult relationship with President Andrew Johnson, who preferred a moderate approach to reconstruction the South and was increasingly at swords-point with the Radicals in Congress. Johnson tried to use Grant to defeat the Radical Republicans by making him the Secretary of War "ad-interim" in place of Edwin M. Stanton. Under the Tenure of Office Act, Johnson could not remove Stanton without the approval of Congress. When Congress reinstated Stanton as Secretary, Grant handed over the keys to War Department, and continued his military command. This made him a hero to the Radical Republicans, who gave him the Republican nomination for president in 1868. He was chosen as the Republican presidential candidate at the 1868 Republican National Convention in Chicago; he faced no significant opposition. In his letter of acceptance to the party, Grant concluded with "Let us have peace," which became his campaign slogan.
Grant's General Orders No. 11 and antisemitism became an issue during the 1868 presidential campaign. Though Jewish opinion was mixed, Grant's determination to "woo" Jewish voters ultimately resulted in his capturing the majority of that vote, though "Grant did lose some Jewish votes as a result of" the order. Grant appointed more Jewish persons to public office than any president before him. Although Grant's order was anti-Jewish, Grant had many Jewish friends. To one such friend Joseph Seligman, Grant offered the position of Secretary of the Treasury. Seligman, who had helped finance the Union war effort by obtaining European capital, declined the offer.
In the general election of that year, Grant won against former New York Governor Horatio Seymour with a lead of 300,000 votes out of 5,716,082 votes cast. Grant commanded an Electoral College landslide, receiving 214 votes to Seymour's 80. When he assumed the presidency, Grant had never before held elected office and, at the age of 46, was the youngest person yet elected president.
The second president from Illinois, Grant was elected the 18th President of the United States in 1868, and was re-elected to the office in 1872. He served as President from March 4, 1869, to March 4, 1877. In his re-election campaign, Grant benefited from the loyal support of Harper's Weekly political cartoonist Thomas Nast.
Although there were initial scandals in his first term, Grant remained popular in the country and was re-elected a second term in 1872. His notable accomplishments as President include the enforcement of Civil Rights for African Americans in the Reconstruction states, the Treaty of Washington in 1871, and the Resumption of Specie Act in 1875. Grant's reputation as President suffered from scandals caused by many corrupt appointees and personal associates and for the ruined economy caused by the Panic of 1873.
Grant presided over the last half of Reconstruction. He supported amnesty for former Confederates and signed the Amnesty Act of 1872 to further this. He favored a limited number of troops to be stationed in the South—sufficient numbers to protect Southern Freedmen, suppress the violent tactics of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), and prop up Republican governors, but not so many as to create resentment in the general population.
By 1873 Grant was confronted by a Northern public angry with the economic depression that began in 1873 and tired of continuing to use the army to control politics in the former Confederate states.
In 1873-75, he watched as the Democrats (called Redeemers) took the control of all but three Southern states. The Republican coalition in the South was collapsing. When urgent telegrams from Republicans begged for Army help to put down the violence by paramilitary groups at election time, he told his Attorney General that, "the whole public is tired of these annual autumnal outbreaks in the South,", insisting that state militias should handle the problems, not the Army.
Civil and human rights
A distinguishing characteristic in the Grant Presidency was his concern with the plight of African Americans and native Indian tribes, in addition to civil rights for all Americans. Grant's 1868 campaign slogan, "Let us have peace," defined his motivation and assured his success. As president for two terms, Grant made many advances in civil and human rights. In 1869 and 1871, he signed bills promoting black voting rights and prosecuting Klan leaders. He won passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, which gave freedmen the vote, and the Ku Klux Klan Act, which empowered the president "to arrest and break up disguised night marauders."
Grant continued to fight for black civil rights when he pressed for the former slaves to be "...possessed of the civil rights which citizenship should carry with it." However, by 1874 a new wave of paramilitary organizations arose in the Deep South. The Red Shirts and White League, that conducted insurgency in Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana, operated openly and were better organized than the Ku Klux Klan had been. They aimed to turn Republicans out of office, suppress the black vote, and disrupt elections. In response to the renewed violent outbreaks against African Americans Grant was the first President to sign a congressional civil rights act. The law was titled the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which entitled equal treatment in public accommodations and jury selection.
Grant's attempts to provide justice to Native Americans marked a radical reversal of what had long been the government's policy: "Wars of extermination... are demoralizing and wicked," he nobly told Congress. The president lobbied, though not always successfully, to preserve Native American lands from encroachment by the westward advance of pioneers.
Panic of 1873
The Panic of 1873 was a world-wide depression that started when the stock market in Vienna crashed in June 1873. Unsettled markets soon spread to Berlin, and throughout Europe. Three months later the Panic spread to the United States when three major banks stopped making payments, the New York Warehouse & Security Company on September 8, Kenyon, Cox, & Co. on the 13th, and the largest bank Jay Cooke & Company on September 18. On September 20, the New York Stock Exchange shut down for ten days. All of these events created a depression that lasted 5 years in the United States, ruined thousands of businesses, depressed daily wages by 25% from 1873 to 1876, and brought the unemployment rate up to 14%. Some 89 out of 364 American railroads went bankrupt.
The causes of the panic in the United States included over-expansion in the railroad industry after the Civil War, losses in the Chicago and Boston fires of 1871 and 1872, respectively, and insatiable speculation by Wall Street financiers. All of this growth was done on borrowed money by many banks in the United States having over-speculated in the Railroad industry by as much as $20,000,000 in loans. Grant, who knew little about finance, relied on bankers for advice on how to curb the panic. Secretary of Treasury William A. Richardson responded by liquidating a series of outstanding bonds. The banks, in turn, issued short-term clearing house certificates to be used as cash. By October 1, $50,000,000 had been released into an economy desperate for paper currency. This was done without undermining the value of the dollar. By January 10, 1874 Richardson continued to liquidate bonds that released a total of $26,000,000 of greenback reserves into the economy. Although this curbed the Panic on Wall Street it did nothing to stop the ensuing five year depression. Grant did nothing to prevent the panic and responded slowly after the banks crashed in September. The limited action of Secretary Richardson did nothing to increase confidence in the general economy.
Vetoes inflation bill
After the Panic of 1873, Congress debated an inflationary policy to stimulate the economy and passed the Inflation Bill on April 14, 1874. The bill released an additional $100,000,000 into the nation's tight money supply. Many farmers and working men in the southwest anticipated that Grant would sign the bill. Those with outstanding loans needed greenbacks to stay in business. Eastern bankers favored a veto because of their reliance on bonds and foreign investors. On April 22, 1874 Grant unexpectedly vetoed the bill on the fiscal grounds that it would destroy the credit of the nation. Initially, Grant favored the bill, but decided to veto after evaluating his own reasons for wanting to pass the bill.
The Caribbean island of Hispaniola, now Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, (sometimes known as Santo Domingo), was the source of bitter political discussion and controversy during Grant's first term in office. Grant wanted to annex the island to allow Freedmen, oppressed in the United States, to work, and to force Brazil to abandon slavery. Senator Charles Sumner was opposed to annexation because it would reduce the amount of autonomous nations run by Africans in the western hemisphere. Also disputed was the unscrupulous annexation process under the supervision of Grant's private secretary Orville E. Babcock. The annexation treaty was defeated by the Senate in 1871; however, it led to unending political enmity between Senator Sumner and Grant.
Treaty of Washington
Historians have heralded the Treaty of Washington for settling the Alabama Claims dispute between Britain and the United States by International Arbitration. In 1871, Grant’s Secretary of State Hamilton Fish had orchestrated many of the events leading up to the treaty. The main purpose of the arbitration treaty was to remedy the damages done to American merchants by three Confederate war ships: CSS Florida, CSS Alabama, and CSS Shenandoah built by or purchased from the British. These ships had inflicted tremendous damage to U.S. merchant ships during the Civil War with the result that relations with Britain were severely strained. A commission met in Washington and designed a treaty whereby an international tribunal would settle the damage amounts; the British admitted regret, rather than fault. Grant and the Senate approved the Treaty of Washington. The international tribunal awarded the United States $15,500,000. Historian Amos Elwood Corning noted that the Treaty of Washington and arbitration “bequeathed to the world a priceless legacy”.
On October 31, 1873, a merchant ship, Virginius, carrying war materials and men to aid the Cuban insurrection was taken captive by a Spanish warship. Virginius was flying the United States flag and had an American registry; the U.S. did not at first realize it was secretly owned by Cuban insurgents. 53 of the passengers and crew, eight being United States citizens, were trying to illegally get into Cuba to help overthrow the government; they were executed, and many Americans such as William M. Evarts, Henry Ward Beecher, and even Vice President Henry Wilson made impassioned speeches calling for war with Spain.
Fish handled the crisis coolly. He found out there was question over whether Virginius had the right to bear the United States flag. Spain's President expressed profound regret for the tragedy and was willing to make reparations through arbitration. Fish met with the Spanish Ambassador in Washington and negotiated reparations. Spain surrendered the Virginius and paid a cash indemnity to the families of the executed Americans.
Grant's inability to establish personal accountability among his subordinates and cabinet members led to many scandals during his administration. Grant often attacked vigorously when critics complained, being protective of his subordinates. Grant was weak in his selection of subordinates, often favoring military associates from the war over talented and experienced politicians. He also protected close friends with his Presidential power and pardoned persons who were convicted after serving a few months in prison. His failure to establish working political alliances in Congress allowed the scandals to spin out of control. At the conclusion of his second term, Grant wrote to Congress that, "Failures have been errors of judgment, not of intent." Nepotism was rampant. Around 40 family relatives financially prospered while Grant was President.
There were 10 scandals directly associated with Grant's two terms as President of the United States. The main scandals included Black Friday in 1869 and the Whiskey Ring in 1875. The Crédit Mobilier is not considered a Grant scandal; however, it actually began in 1864 during the Abraham Lincoln Administration and carried over into the Andrew Johnson Administration. The Crédit Mobilier scandal was exposed during the Grant Administration in 1872 as the result of political infighting between Congressman Oakes Ames and Congressman Henry S. McComb. The involvement of U.S. Ambassador to Britain, Robert C. Schenck, owning stock in the Emma Silver Mine, although corrupt, was an embarrassment to the Administration, rather then a scandal. The primary instigator and contributor to many of these scandals was Grant's personal secretary, Orville E. Babcock, who indirectly controlled many cabinet departments and was able to delay investigations by reformers. Babcock had direct access to Grant at the White House and had tremendous influence over who could see the President.
Grant defended Babcock in an unprecedented 1876 deposition during the Whiskey Ring graft trials. The result of Grant's deposition saved his friend Babcock with an acquittal. However, political enemies and the unpopularity of giving the deposition for Babcock, ruined any chances for Grant getting a third term nomination.
|Grant Administration Scandals and Corrupt Activities||Description||Date|
|Black Friday||Speculators corner the gold market and ruin the economy for several years.|
|Emma Silver Mine||Speculators sell worthless Utah silver mine to British investors.|
|Star Route Postal Ring||Corrupt system of postal contractors, clerks, and brokers to obtain lucrative Star Route postal contracts.|
|Crédit Mobilier||Congressmen exposed in bribery to stop regulating railroad industry legislation.|
|Salary Grab||Congressmen receive a retroactive $5,000 bonus for previous term served.|
|Sanborn Contract||John Sanborn collected taxes at exorbitant fees and split the profits among associates.|
|Delano Affair||Secretary of Interior, Columbus Delano, allegedly took bribes to secure fraudulent land grants.|
|Pratt & Boyd||Attorney General George H. Williams allegedly received a bribe not to prosecute the Pratt & Boyd company.|
|Whiskey Ring||Corrupt government officials and whiskey makers steal millions of dollars in national tax evasion scam.|
|Trading Post Ring||Secretary of War William Belknap allegedly takes extortion money from trading contractor at Fort Sill.|
|Cattelism||Secretary of Navy George Robeson allegedly receives bribes from Cattell & Company for lucrative Naval contracts.|
|Safe Burglary Conspiracy||Private Secretary Orville Babcock indicted over framing a private citizen for uncovering corrupt Washington contractors.|
Administration and Cabinet
Supreme Court appointments
Grant appointed the following Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States:
- Edwin M. Stanton – 1869 (died before taking seat)
- William Strong – 1870
- Joseph P. Bradley – 1870
- Ward Hunt – 1873
- Morrison Remick Waite (Chief Justice) – 1874
States admitted to the Union
- Colorado – August 1, 1876
Government agencies and parks
- Department of Justice (1870)
- Office of the Solicitor General (1870)
- "Advisory Board on Civil Service" (1871); after it expired in 1873, it became the role model for the "Civil Service Commission" instituted in 1883 by President Chester A. Arthur, a Grant faithful. (Today it is known as the Office of Personnel Management.)
- Office of the Surgeon General (1871)
- Army Weather Bureau (currently known as the National Weather Service) (1870)
- Yellowstone National Park (1872)
After the end of his second term in the White House, Grant spent over two years traveling the world with his wife. In Britain the crowds were enormous. The Grants dined with Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle and with Prince Bismarck in Germany then ventured east to Russia, Egypt, the Holy Land, Siam (Thailand), Burma, and China.
In Japan, they were cordially received by Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken at the Imperial Palace. Today in the Shibakoen section of Tokyo, a tree still stands that Grant planted during his stay. In 1879, the Meiji government of Japan announced the annexation of the Ryukyu Islands. China objected, and Grant was asked to arbitrate the matter. He decided that Japan's claim to the islands was stronger and ruled in Japan's favor.
Third term attempt
In 1879, the "Stalwart" faction of the Republican Party led by Senator Roscoe Conkling sought to nominate Grant for a third term as president. He counted on strong support from the business men, the old soldiers, and the Methodist church. Publicly Grant said nothing, but privately he wanted the job and encouraged his men. His popularity was fading however, and while he received more than 300 votes in each of the 36 ballots of the 1880 convention, the nomination went to James A. Garfield. Grant campaigned for Garfield, who won by a narrow margin. Grant supported his Stalwart ally Conkling against Garfield in the battle over patronage in spring 1881 that culminated in Conkling's resignation from office.
The trip around the world, although successful, was costly. When Grant returned to America he had depleted most of his savings from the long trip and needed to earn money. In 1881, Grant purchased a house in New York City and placed almost all of his financial assets into an investment banking partnership with Ferdinand Ward, as suggested by Grant's son Buck (Ulysses, Jr.), who was having success on Wall Street. In 1884 Ward swindled Grant (and other investors who had been encouraged by Grant), bankrupted the company, Grant & Ward, and fled. Depleted of money, Grant was forced to repay a $150,000 loan to one of his creditors, William H. Vanderbilt, with his Civil War mementos.
Grant learned at the same time that he was suffering from throat cancer. Today, it is believed that he suffered from a T1N1 carcinoma of the tonsillar fossa. Grant and his family were left destitute, having forfeited his military pension when he assumed the office of President. When his family left in debt from the Ward swindle, suffering from throat cancer, Grant began a series of literary works that improved his reputation and eventually brought his family out of bankruptcy. Grant first wrote several warmly received articles on his Civil War campaigns for The Century Magazine. Mark Twain offered Grant a generous contract for his memoirs, including 75% of the book's sales as royalties.
Grant's supporters in Congress, Senator George Edmunds, and Representative Joseph E. Johnston, had rallied to get a bill passed, efforts starting in 1881, that restored Grant to General of the Army with full retirement pay. President Chester A. Arthur signed the bill, not specifically naming Grant, on March 4, 1885; then President Grover Cleveland commissioned Grant as General of the Army so Grant would receive much needed retirement pay. Grant, after receiving the first pay on March 31, 1885 immediately gave it to his family; Grant now believed he had finally been vindicated by the public. It was not until 1958 that Congress, believing it inappropriate that a former President or his wife might be poverty-stricken, passed a bill granting them a pension, still in effect today.
Terminally ill, Grant finished his memoir just a few days before his death. The Memoirs sold over 300,000 copies, earning the Grant family over $450,000. Twain promoted the book as "the most remarkable work of its kind since the Commentaries of Julius Caesar." Grant's memoir has been regarded by writers as diverse as Matthew Arnold and Gertrude Stein as one of the finest works of its kind ever written.
Ulysses S. Grant died on Thursday, July 23, 1885, at the age of 63 in Mount McGregor, Saratoga County, New York. His body lies in New York City's Riverside Park, beside that of his wife, in Grant's Tomb, the largest mausoleum in North America. It was originally interred in a vault in the same park, which was used until the current mausoleum was built. Grant is honored by the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial at the base of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Cinema and media portrayals
The following is a sample of persons who portrayed Ulysses S. Grant as a character in either historical-dramatic or documentary media formats. A more complete list can be found at Ulysses S. Grant.
Actors have played Ulysses S. Grant in 35 movies. Grant is the third most popular President to be portrayed in movies, films, or cinema.
- The Birth of a Nation, 1915 silent epic movie, played by Donald Crisp.
- Only the Brave, 1930, played by Guy Oliver.
- They Died with their Boots On, 1941, played by Joseph Crehen (uncredited).
- The Horse Soldiers, 1959 John Wayne movie, played by Stan Jones.
- How the West Was Won, 1962, played by Harry Morgan.
- Wild Wild West, 1999, played by Kevin Kline
- Jonah Hex, 2010, played by Aidan Quinn
Grant has often been portrayed in film as a scowling drunkard, which is historically inaccurate, and has also frequently been placed in false historical events. One notable exception was by Kevin Kline in the 1999 film Wild Wild West. Kline consulted Grant scholar John Y. Simon for advice on how to play Grant, and portrays him as a formidable authority figure who has courage mixed with a hard-bitten sense of humor.
Television series and documentary
- The Wild Wild West, aired on CBS, 1965–1969, played by James Gregory (voice) and Roy Angle.
- The Civil War, aired on PBS, 1990, played by Jason Robards. Titled The American Civil War in the United Kingdom.
- Lincoln, aired on PBS, 1992, played by Rod Steiger.
- Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, aired on HBO, 2007, played by Senator Fred Thompson.
- Sherman's March, aired on the History Channel, 2007, played by Harry Bulkeley.
In The Wild Wild West, President Grant appeared occasionally, as Secret Service agents West and Gordon worked exclusively for him. In Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Senator Fred Thompson played Grant as an astute leader who listens to both sides of an argument.
Fifty dollar bill controversy
The portrait design on the United States fifty dollar bill in March 2010 was challenged by North Carolina Republican Representative Patrick T. McHenry who requested President Ronald Reagan's portrait be put on the fifty dollar bill rather than President Ulysses. S. Grant. McHenry's reasons included that, "Every generation needs its own heroes," and that a Wall Street Journal poll ranked Reagan sixth and Grant 28th. California Democratic Representative Brad Sherman said that Reagan was too controversial and that, "Our currency should be something that unites us." A Marist poll of 956 Americans taken in March 2010 showed that 79% favored keeping Ulysses S. Grant on the $50 bill, while 12% supported the proposed change to Ronald Reagan.
Statuary Hall vote
In early 2010, Grant was proposed by the Ohio Historical Society as a finalist in a statewide vote for inclusion in Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol.
- Grant's Farm
- History of the United States (1865–1918)
- List of American Civil War generals
- U.S. Grant Home, Galena, Illinois
- Ulysses S. Grant Memorial
- Western Theater of the American Civil War
- "Who's Buried in the History Books?" by Sean Wilentz, New York Times, March 14, 2010
- Corruption in the Grant Administration included price skimming, bribery, extortion, tax embezzlement, money laundering, fraud, and straw bidding. Grant was personally honest and was never charged with financial corruption. The problem was setting low standards, protecting his friends, and undercutting reformers and whistle blowers.
- Farina (2007), Ulysses S. Grant, 1861-1864: his rise from obscurity to military greatness, pp. 13, 14; Simpson (2000), Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity, 1822-1865, pp. 2, 3.
- Smith (2001), Grant, pp. 24, 83. In 1853 Grant noted the "S" in his name "does not stand for anything!"
- Ulysses S Grant Quotes on the Military Academy and the Mexican War
- McFeely, William S. (1981). Grant. p. 37.
- Smith (2001), Grant, p. 73
- According to Smith (2001), pp. 87-88, and Lewis (1950), pp. 328-32, two of Grant's lieutenants corroborated this story and Buchanan confirmed it to another officer in a conversation during the Civil War. Years later, Grant told John Eaton, "the vice of intemperance had not a little to do with my decision to resign."
- Edmonds (1915), Ulysses S. Grant, pp. 74-75
- Longacre (2006), General Ulysses S. Grant: The Soldier and the Man, pp. 55-58
- McFeely (1981), pp. 62-3. His wife's slaves were leased in St. Louis in 1860 after he gave up farming; during the war, she reclaimed one slave woman as her personal attendant when visiting him in camp. The land and cabin where Ulysses lived is now an animal conservation reserve, Grant's Farm, owned and operated by the Anheuser-Busch Company.
- McFeely (1981), ch. 5.
- The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
- Hesseltine, chapter 6.
- McFeely, Grant (2002) pp. 79-85; Smith Grant (2001), pp. 98-115.
- McFeely (2002), Grant: A Biography, pp. 79-85
- Smith (2001), Grant, pp. 98-115
- McFeely (2002), Grant: A Biography, pp. 89-101; Smith (2001), Grant, pp. 143-162.
- McFeely (2002), Grant: A Biography, pp. 107-109; Smith (2001), Grant, pp. 177-179, 244. According to Smith, the relationship between Halleck and Grant much improved as the War progressed. When Grant was heavily inundated with charges of drinking during the Vicksburg Campaign, Halleck wrote on March 20, 1863, "The eyes and hopes of the whole country are now directed to your army."
- Eicher (2001), The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War, pp. 219, 223; Timothy B. Smith (May 2006), The Untold Story of Shiloh: The Battle and the Battlefield, America's Civil War magazine; Emerson (1896), Grant's life in the West and his Mississippi Valley Campaigns, Midland Monthly
- Eicher (2001), The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War, pp. 219, 223; Timothy B. Smith (May 2006), The Untold Story of Shiloh: The Battle and the Battlefield, America's Civil War magazine -- According to T.B. Smith the battle of Shiloh is "perhaps one of the least understood" battles of the Civil War, with many myths generating years after the actual battle. The Union Army was never "surprised" by Johnson's Confederate attack, having been entirely mobilized after being alerted by a Union patrol under Col. Everett Peabody. Prentiss is claimed to be the hero of Shiloh, however, W.H.L. Wallace's brigade took most of the Confederate onslaught. Prentiss himself was taken prisoner by the Confederates, having surrendered the remnants of his brave division. The sunken road was not actually sunken, rather, it was mistaken to be sunken by one Union soldier, Thomas C. Robertson, who was in no position to accurately see the road. The claim that Buell's army saved Grant's army from destruction is unfounded, since the Army of the Tennessee was able to hold their lines before Buell's reinforcements arrived. The claim that Union soldiers were stabbed in their tents while sleeping was made by newspaper reporter, Whitelaw Reid, who was miles away from the actual battle when he wrote his 15,000 word article.
- Schenker (2010), "Ulysses in His Tent," passim.
- Daniel (1997), Shiloh: The Battle That Changed the Civil War, pp. 209, 210
- Farina (2007), Ulysses S. Grant, 1861-1864: his rise from obscurity to military greatness, pp. 101-103
- Simson (1999), Ulysses S. Grant and the Freedmen's Bureau, p. 1
- McFeely (2002),Grant: A Biography, pp. 126-128
- McFeely (2002), Grant, pp. 128–132
- McFeely (2002), Grant, pp. 128–132
- McFeely (2002), Grant, pp. 128–132
- Jones (2002), Historical Dictionary of the Civil War: A-L, pp. 590-591; Simpson (2000), Ulysses S. Grant: triumph over adversity, 1822-1865, pp. 176–181.
- Bruce Catton (1969), Grant Takes Command, pages 42-62
- Eicher (2001), The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War, pp. 600, 601
- Catton (1969), Grant Takes Command, Chapter 8
- McFeely (2002), Grant: A Biography, pp. 162-163 -- According to McFeely, "Lincoln wisely obtained from Grant a disclaimer of any hope of a hasty move to the White House."; pp. 180-181 During Sherman's southern campaign African Americans were employed and conscripted as soldiers into the Union Army.
- Bruce Catton (1969), Grant Takes Command, p. 181
- Bonekemper (2004), A Victor, Not a Butcher: Ulysses S. Grant's Overlooked Military Genius, p. 307 Appendix II
- McFeely (2002), Grant: A Biography, pp. 168-169
- Smith (2001), Grant, pp 360-365
- Catton (1969), Grant Takes Command, pp. 249-254
- Bruce Catton (1969), Grant Takes Command, pp. 309-318
- Catton (1969), Grant Takes Command, pp. 283, 285-291, 435
- Smith (2002), Grant, pp. 377-380
- McFeely (2002), Grant: A Biography, p. 186
- McFeely (2002), Grant: A Biography, p. 186
- Sherman, Memoirs, pp. 806-17; Donald C. Pfanz, The Petersburg Campaign: Abraham Lincoln at City Point (Lynchburg, VA, 1989), 1-2, 24-29, 94-95.
- Catton, Bruce (1969). Grant Takes Command. pp. 475–480.
- Eicher, Civil War High Commands, p. 264.
- Grant kept his legal and voting resident in Galena. See Simon, ed. The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: May 1-December 31, 1865 (1988) p.35 online
- American Jewish history, Volume 6, Part 1, Jeffrey S. Gurock, American Jewish Historical Society, Taylor & Francis, 1998, page 15.
- :: Welcome To The Jewish Ledger ::
- Robert Michael, A Concise History Of American Antisemitism, p. 92. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.
- Albert Bigelow Paine, Thomas Nast: His Period and His Pictures, 1904.
- "Amnesty & Civil Rights" (PDF). The New-York Times: pp. 1–2. May 23. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9404E7DF1E3EEE34BC4B51DFB3668389669FDE.
- John Y. Simon, ed. The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: 1875 (2003) Page xii
- Smith, Grant (2001) pp 542-547
- "The Civil Rights Bill" (PDF). The New-York Times: pp. 1–2. March 2. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9803EEDC1E39EF34BC4A53DFB566838E669FDE.
- Bunting III, Josiah (2004). Ulysses S. Grant. pp. 117–118. http://books.google.com/?id=GIe87SpKEx8C&pg=PA117&dq=Ulysses+Grant,+one+of+the+most+talented&cd=1#v=onepage&q=Ulysses%20Grant%2C%20one%20of%20the%20most%20talented. Retrieved 03-06-2010.
- McFeely, William S. (1981). Grant. p. 391.
- Smith, Grant (2001) pp 375–377
- Smith, Jean Edward (2001). Grant. Simon & Shuster Paperbacks. pp. 375–377.
- Kinley Ph. D., David (1910). The Independent treasury of the United States and its relations to the banks of its country. 5637. pp. 225–235. http://books.google.com/?id=4MAZAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA225&dq=Panic+of+1873#v=onepage&q=Panic%20of%201873. Retrieved 02-02-10.
- Rhodes LL.D, D.Litt, James Ford (1920). History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the McKinley-Brian campaign of 1896. pp. 118–119. http://books.google.com/?id=N_cpAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA126&dq=Grant+Vetoed+Inflation+Bill&cd=1#v=onepage&q=. Retrieved 02-02-10.
- Rhodes, James Ford (1912). History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the Final Restoration of Home Rule at the South in 1877. pp. 126–127. http://books.google.com/?id=0cMTAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA182&dq=Benjamin+Bristow#v=onepage&q=Benjamin%20Bristow. Retrieved 02-02-10.
- Smith, Gene Edward (2001). Grant. Simon & Shuster Paperbacks. pp. 576–577.
- McFeely, William S. (1982). Grant. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.. pp. 349–352.
- Corning, Amos Elwood (1918). Hamilton Fish. pp. 59–84. http://books.google.com/?id=QcNEAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Hamilton+Fish&q=. Retrieved 02-02-10.
- Corning, Amos Elwood (1918). Hamilton Fish. pp. 90–92. http://books.google.com/?id=QcNEAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Hamilton+Fish&q=. Retrieved 02-02-10.
- Lawrence M. Salinger (2005). Encyclopedia of white-collar & corporate crime, Volume 2. 2. pp. 374–375. http://books.google.com/?id=P41ij0GoFL4C&pg=PA374&lpg=PA374&dq=James+Watson+Webb+Scandal+in+Brazil&q=James%20Watson%20Webb%20Scandal%20in%20Brazil.
- "Yellowstone, the First National Park". http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/yehtml/yeabout.html.
- McFeely, Grant 459–460
- Hesseltine (2001) pp 432-39
- Grant, Julia Dent; Simon, John Y. (1988). The personal memoirs of Julia Dent Grant (Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant). p. 168. http://books.google.com/?id=tQaZhxwbLB8C&pg=PA168&dq=Ulysses+S.+Grant+and+Ferndinand+Ward&cd=3#v=onepage&q=. Retrieved 02-23-2010.
- A Renehan and J C Lowry (July 1995). "The oral tumours of two American presidents: what if they were alive today?". J R Soc Med. 88 (7): 377.
- Smith (2001), Grant, pp. 622, 625
- Garland, Ulysses S. Grant: his life and character, p. 512
- Top Five Cinematically Portrayed Presidents
- answers.com: What actors played Ulysses S Grant in the movies?
- "Grant in film". http://www.grantstomb.org/news/gif02.html. Retrieved 01-22-10.
- "Grant in Film". http://www.grantstomb.org/news/gif02.html. Retrieved 01-22-10.
- Neuman, Johanna (March 3, 2010). "Congressman wants Ronald Reagan to replace Ulysses S. Grant on the $50.00 bill". Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dcnow/2010/03/ronald-reagan-ulysses-s-grant-50-dollar-bill.html. Retrieved 03-04-10.
- Mark Silva (April 22, 2010). "Reagan $50: Most say keep the change". http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2010/04/reagan_50_most_say_keep_the_ch.html. Retrieved 05-11-2010.
- "4/22: Making Change with the 50 Dollar Bill". April 22, 2010. http://maristpoll.marist.edu/422-making-change-with-the-50-dollar-bill/. Retrieved 05-11-2010.
Biographical and political
- American Annual Cyclopedia...1868 (1869), online, highly detailed compendium of facts and primary sources
- Bunting III, Josiah. Ulysses S. Grant (2004) ISBN 0-8050-6949-6
- Dunning. William. Reconstruction Political and Economic 1865-1877 (1905), vol 22
- Garland, Hamlin, Ulysses S. Grant: His Life and Character, (1898), old but very well done online edition.
- Hesseltine, William B. Ulysses S. Grant, Politician (1935) ISBN 1-931313-85-7 online edition
- McFeely, William S. Grant: A biography (1981) ISBN 0-393-01372-3, Pulitzer prize; very well written hostile biography
- Mantell, Martin E., Johnson, Grant, and the Politics of Reconstruction (1973) online edition
- Nevins, Allan, Hamilton Fish: The Inner History of the Grant Administration (1936) online edition, detailed coverage of foreign affairs and many domestic issues during Grant's presidency
- Rhodes, James Ford., History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the McKinley-Bryan Campaign of 1896. Volume: 6 and 7 (1920) vol 6, old narrative based on original research
- Scaturro, Frank J., President Grant Reconsidered (1998), 137pp
- Simpson, Brooks D., Let Us Have Peace: Ulysses S. Grant and the Politics of War and Reconstruction, 1861-1868 (1991).
- Simpson, Brooks D., The Reconstruction Presidents (1998)
- Simpson, Brooks D., Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity, 1822-1865, Houghton Mifflin, 2000, ISBN 0-395-65994-9. major scholarly biography
- Simon, John Y. "Ulysses S. Grant," in Henry F. Graff, ed. The Presidents: A Reference Historyu (2nd ed. 1997), pp 245–60
- Skidmore, Max J. "The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant: a Reconsideration." White House Studies (2005)
- Smith, Jean Edward, Grant, Simon and Shuster, 2001, ISBN 0-684-84927-5. major scholarly biography
- Badeau, Adam. Military History of Ulysses S. Grant, from April, 1861, to April, 1865. 3 vols. 1882. full text online
- Ballard, Michael B., Vicksburg, The Campaign that Opened the Mississippi, University of North Carolina Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8078-2893-9.
- Bearss, Edwin C., The Vicksburg Campaign, 3 volumes, Morningside Press, 1991, ISBN 0-89029-308-2.
- Bonekemper, Edward H., III, A Victor, Not a Butcher: Ulysses S. Grant's Overlooked Military Genius, Regnery, 2004, ISBN 0-89526-062-X.
- Carter, Samuel III, The Final Fortress: The Campaign for Vicksburg, 1862-1863 (1980)
- Catton, Bruce, Grant Moves South, 1960, ISBN 0-316-13207-1; Grant Takes Command, 1968, ISBN 0-316-13210-1; U. S. Grant and the American Military Tradition (1954)
- Cavanaugh, Michael A., and William Marvel, The Petersburg Campaign: The Battle of the Crater: "The Horrid Pit," June 25-August 6, 1864 (1989)
- Davis, William C. Death in the Trenches: Grant at Petersburg (1986).
- Eicher, David J., The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War, Simon & Schuster, 2001, ISBN 0-684-84944-5.
- Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
- Fuller, Maj. Gen. J. F. C., Grant and Lee, A Study in Personality and Generalship, Indiana University Press, 1957, ISBN 0-253-13400-5.
- Farina, William (2007). Ulysses S. Grant, 1861-1864: his rise from obscurity to military greatness. http://books.google.com/?id=LiXipzGjMxsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Ulysses+S.+Grant:+1861-1864&cd=1#v=onepage&q. Retrieved 04-24-2010.
- Gott, Kendall D., Where the South Lost the War: An Analysis of the Fort Henry-Fort Donelson Campaign, February 1862, Stackpole Books, 2003, ISBN 0-8117-0049-6.
- Korda, Michael. Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero (2004) 161 pp
- Lewis, Lloyd, Captain Sam Grant, Little, Brown, and Co., 1950, ISBN 0-316-52348-8. before the Civil War
- McWhiney, Grady, Battle in the Wilderness: Grant Meets Lee (1995)
- McDonough, James Lee, Shiloh: In Hell before Night (1977).
- McDonough, James Lee, Chattanooga: A Death Grip on the Confederacy (1984).
- McPherson, James M., Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States), (1988), ISBN 0-19-503863-0; Pulitzer prize; comprehensive history of the war
- Maney, R. Wayne, Marching to Cold Harbor. Victory and Failure, 1864 (1994).
- Matter, William D., If It Takes All Summer: The Battle of Spotsylvania (1988)
- Miers, Earl Schenck., The Web of Victory: Grant at Vicksburg. 1955.
- Mosier, John., "Grant", Palgrave MacMillan, 2006 ISBN 1-4039-7136-6.
- Rhea, Gordon C., The Battle of the Wilderness May 5–6, 1864, Louisiana State University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-8071-1873-7.
- Rhea, Gordon C., The Battles for Spotsylvania Court House and the Road to Yellow Tavern May 7–12, 1864, Louisiana State University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-8071-2136-3.
- Rhea, Gordon C., To the North Anna River: Grant and Lee, May 13–25, 1864, Louisiana State University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8071-2535-0.
- Rhea, Gordon C., Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26 – June 3, 1864, Louisiana State University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-8071-2803-1.
- Miller, J. Michael, The North Anna Campaign: "Even to Hell Itself," May 21–26, 1864 (1989).
- Schenker, Carl R., Jr., "Ulysses in His Tent: Halleck, Grant, Sherman, and 'The Turning Point of the War,'" Civil War History (June 2010), vol. 56, no. 2, p. 175.
- Simpson, Brooks D., "Continuous Hammering and Mere Attrition: Lost Cause Critics and the Military Reputation of Ulysses S. Grant," in Cad Gallagher and Alan T. Nolan, eds., The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History, (2000)
- Simpson, Brooks D., "After Shiloh: Grant, Sherman, and Survival," 142, in Stephen E. Woodworth, ed., The Shiloh Campaign (2009).
- Steere, Edward, The Wilderness Campaign (1960)
- Sword, Wiley, Shiloh: Bloody April. 1974.
- Williams, Kenneth P. Lincoln Finds a General: A Military Study of the Civil War (5 vol 1959)
- Williams, T. Harry, McClellan, Sherman and Grant. 1962.
- Woodworth, Steven E., Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861 – 1865, Alfred A. Knopf, 2005, ISBN 0-375-41218-2.
- Grant, Ulysses S. Memoirs (1885) online edition
- Wilson, Edmund. Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War (1962) pp 131–73, analysis of the Memoirs
- Grant, Ulysses S. Memoirs and Selected Letters (Mary Drake McFeely & William S. McFeely, eds.) The Library of America, 1990, ISBN 978-0-940450-58-5
- Simon, John Y., ed., The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, Southern Illinois University Press (1967–2009 ) complete in 31 volumes; includes all known letters and writing by Grant, and the most important letters written to him.
- Johnson, R. U., and Buel, C. C., eds., Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. 4 vols. New York, 1887–88. Battle accounts by generals
- Porter, Horace, Campaigning with Grant (1897, reprinted 2000)
- Sherman, William Tecumseh, Memoirs of General William T. Sherman. 2 vols. 1875.
- First Inaugural Address
- Second Inaugural Address
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|Wikisource has original works written by or about: Ulysses S. Grant|
- "Ulysses S. Grant Association". http://library.msstate.edu/USGrant/. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
- "Extensive essay on Ulysses S. Grant and shorter essays on each member of his cabinet and First Lady from the Miller Center of Public Affairs". http://www.millercenter.virginia.edu/index.php/academic/americanpresident/grant. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
- "Ulysses S. Grant: A Resource Guide from the Library of Congress". http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/presidents/grant/index.html. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
- Ulysses S. Grant at Find a Grave Retrieved on November 3, 2008
- "Many rare General Grant photographs". http://www.empirenet.com/~ulysses/. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
- "Collection of US Grant Letters". http://www.familytales.org/results.php?tla=usg. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
- "Historic White Haven (Grant-Dent home)". http://www.nps.gov/ulsg/. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
- "Ulysses S. Grant Genealogy, Mississippi State University Library". http://library.msstate.edu/usgrant/genealogy.asp. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
- Template:Worldcat id
- "Animations of the Campaigns of Ulysses S. Grant (Forts Henry and Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Overland, and Petersburg/Appomattox)". http://civilwaranimated.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=29&Itemid=43. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
|President of the United States
March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
Rutherford B. Hayes
|Republican Party presidential candidate
Rutherford B. Hayes
Henry W. Halleck
|Commanding General of the United States Army
1864 – 1869
William T. Sherman
|Commander, Military Division of the Mississippi|
1863 – 1864
|Commander, Army of the Tennessee|
1862 – 1863
|Oldest U.S. President still living
July 31, 1875 – July 23, 1885
Rutherford B. Hayes
Template:US Presidents Template:USRepPresNominees
Template:US Army Chiefs of Staff
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