General U.S. Grant : Civil War Hero

Thomas' Legion
American Civil War HOMEPAGE
American Civil War
Causes of the Civil War : What Caused the Civil War
Organization of Union and Confederate Armies: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery
Civil War Navy: Union Navy and Confederate Navy
American Civil War: The Soldier's Life
Civil War Turning Points
American Civil War: Casualties, Battles and Battlefields
Civil War Casualties, Fatalities & Statistics
Civil War Generals
American Civil War Desertion and Deserters: Union and Confederate
Civil War Prisoner of War: Union and Confederate Prison History
Civil War Reconstruction Era and Aftermath
American Civil War Genealogy and Research
Civil War
American Civil War Pictures - Photographs
African Americans and American Civil War History
American Civil War Store
American Civil War Polls
North Carolina Civil War History
North Carolina American Civil War Statistics, Battles, History
North Carolina Civil War History and Battles
North Carolina Civil War Regiments and Battles
North Carolina Coast: American Civil War
Western North Carolina and the American Civil War
Western North Carolina: Civil War Troops, Regiments, Units
North Carolina: American Civil War Photos
Cherokee Chief William Holland Thomas
Cherokee Indian Heritage, History, Culture, Customs, Ceremonies, and Religion
Cherokee Indians: American Civil War
History of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Nation
Cherokee War Rituals, Culture, Festivals, Government, and Beliefs
Researching your Cherokee Heritage
Civil War Diary, Memoirs, Letters, and Newspapers

Hero of the Civil War

General US Grant
General U.S. Grant.jpg
General U.S. Grant

As the Civil War reached its peak, Grant sought to win control of the Mississippi Valley. In February 1862, he captured Fort Donelson in Tennessee, which was the first Union victory of strategic importance. When the Confederate commander asked for terms, Grant replied, "No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted." The Confederates surrendered, and President Lincoln promoted Grant to major general of volunteers in 1863.

As the fierce battles of the Civil War continued, some began to question General Grant's military leadership. At Shiloh, Grant fought one of the bloodiest battles in the West. Some "called for him to be replaced." President Lincoln fended off demands that Grant be removed by saying, "I can't spare this man — he fights."

With President Lincoln's support, Grant was determined to move ahead to victory. He captured Vicksburg, the key city on the Mississippi River, which cut the Confederacy in two. He then broke the Confederate hold on Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Lincoln appointed Grant General-in-Chief of the Union Army in March 1864. Grant directed Sherman to advance through the South while he directed the Army of the Potomac to pin down General Lee's Army. After the Overland campaign in the spring of 1864, City Point, (the city is named Hopewell today) Virginia, served as General Grant's Headquarters of the Armies of the United States. From City Point, Grant directed the movements of the various Union troops across the country. His primary goal was to destroy General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. As Sherman and Grant moved farther into the Confederate strongholds, it became clear that the final battles of the Civil War were at hand.

President Lincoln, anxious for the war to end, traveled to City Point and Grant's headquarters. From March 20 to April 8, 1865, the President met with Grant and his officers to discuss the final push into Petersburg. They also talked about the conditions for reuniting the nation after the war.

At the end of March, a "war council" conference was held between the President, Generals Grant and Sherman, and other key military leaders. They discussed battle plans that they hoped would end the war. Grant then moved his headquarters into Petersburg so he would be near the final battleground. President Lincoln stayed at City Point, where it is reported that he dreamed of his own death. Interestingly enough, Lincoln did not tell anyone at City Point of his strange dream while he was there. Instead, he reportedly first mentioned it to his wife and others during a social gathering, days later when he returned to Washington, D.C.

General Grant's military strategy was on target as he defeated General Lee at Petersburg. Finally, on April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House. Grant wrote generous terms of surrender that assisted in the process of uniting the nation again. A main part of Grant's terms included provisions that prevented future trials for treason. Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, was arrested for treason and spent three years in prison at Fort Monroe. But Davis, however, never went to trial for treason.

General US Grant
General US Grant .gif
Union General US Grant

After the Civil War, Grant served as the Secretary of War from August 12, 1867, to January 14, 1868.

Sources: National Park Service; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

Site search Web search

Return to American Civil War Homepage

Best viewed with Internet Explorer or Google Chrome

Google Safe.jpg