Old Glory 1863

General Grant

A graduate of West Point and veteran of the Mexian-American War, Ulysses S. Grant was working in his father’s leather store in Galena, Illinois when the American Civil War started. He was appointed by the Governor to command an unruly volunteer regiment.1 Grant whipped the troops into shape and by September 1861 he had risen to the rank of brigadier general of volunteers.

Ulysses S. Grant led his Union troops to a couple of victories in February 1862 with the Battle of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, both in Tennessee. When the Confederate general in charge of the fort asked about terms of surrender, Grant famously replied, “No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted.”2 President Lincoln promoted Grant to the rank of major general of volunteers.

The Battle at Gettysburg was one of two Union victories in early July 1863 that would turn the tide of the American Civil War in the North's favor. The other victory occured General Grant his troops seizure of the Confederate seaport of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Ironically, the Confederates surrendered on July 4th and no one was more elated about this victory than President Abraham Lincoln himself!3 He would soon appoint Ulysses S. Grant as commander of all Union forces.

In 1866, Ulysses was promoted to a Four Star General. This was a new rank in the military, and Ulysses was the first person promoted to a Four Star General.4 From 1867 to 1868, he served as Secretary of War under President Johnson. Grant would later become 18th President of the United States.

Here is a camp chair and field glasses
once used by Ulysses S. Grant.

This photograph was taken in May 2011 at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

General Grant used this saddle for horse riding during the Civil War.

This photograph was taken in August 2013 at the U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum at Fort Lee, VA.