The Last Days of General Grant


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A nationwide economic recession, the Panic of was blamed in part on Grant, leading to Democratic gains in The disputed election crisis was peacefully resolved under Grant's supervision. A native of Ohio, raised by Methodist parents, Grant's lineage in the new world went back several generations. From his youth, Grant was an equestrian and was able to control horses.

Reluctantly sent to West Point by his father, Grant graduated the academy in , and served with distinction in the Mexican—American War.


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Upon his return Grant married Julia Dent , and together they had four children. In , Grant abruptly resigned from the army and struggled financially in civilian life for seven years. In , after the Civil War broke out, Grant joined the Union Army, and rapidly rose in rank to general. Grant won major battles at Shiloh , seized Vicksburg , and gained control of the Mississippi River , that divided the Confederacy. These victories, combined with those in the Chattanooga Campaign , persuaded President Lincoln, in , to promote Grant to Lieutenant General, a rank previously reserved for George Washington.

After costly battles , Grant trapped Robert E.

Post-presidency of Ulysses S. Grant - Wikipedia

Lee at Petersburg , while he coordinated other successful Union campaigns. In April , Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox , effectively ending the war. Grant became increasingly disillusioned by Johnson's conservative approach to Reconstruction , and drifted toward the "Radical" Republicans. Elected president in , Grant stabilized the post-war national economy, created the Department of Justice , used the military to enforce laws in the former Confederacy and prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan.

Grant strengthened the Republican Party in the South and signed three civil rights acts into law. He appointed African-Americans and Jewish-Americans to prominent federal offices. In , Grant created the first Civil Service Commission. The Democrats and Liberal Republicans united behind Grant's opponent in the presidential election of , but Grant was re-elected by a large margin.

Grant's Peace Policy for Native Americans had both successes and failures. With Secretary of State Hamilton Fish , Grant successfully resolved the Alabama claims with Great Britain and negotiated a peaceful resolution with Spain over the Virginius Affair , but Congress rejected his initiative to annex the Dominican Republic. Grant's limited response to the Panic of failed to halt a severe industrial depression that devastated the national economy for years.

Throughout his two terms in office, Grant responded to many charges of corruption. After Grant left office in March , he embarked on a two-and-a-half-year world tour that captured favorable global attention for him and the United States. In , Grant was unsuccessful in obtaining the Republican presidential nomination for a third term. Facing severe investment reversals and dying of throat cancer, he wrote his memoirs , which proved to be a major critical and financial success. At the time of his death, he was memorialized as a symbol of national unity.

Historical assessments of Grant's legacy have varied considerably over the years. Historians have hailed Grant's military genius, and his strategies are featured in military history textbooks. Grant's presidency has been criticized for mulitple scandals, and for his protection his friends. Recent scholarship has recognized his achievements, and regarded him as an embattled president, who performed a difficult job during Reconstruction.

Although rankings of Presidents have rated his administration among the worst, modern appreciation for Grant's civil rights enforcement and diverse appointments, has raised his historical reputation to average levels. Jesse Grant moved to Point Pleasant in and found work as a foreman in a tannery. Wanting to honor his father-in-law, who had suggested Hiram, Jesse declared the boy to be Hiram Ulysses, though he would always refer to him as Ulysses. In , the family moved to Georgetown, Ohio , where five more siblings were born: Simpson, Clara, Orvil, Jennie, and Mary. In his youth, Grant developed an unusual ability to ride and manage horses.

I was raised in that school. Grant's father wrote to Representative Thomas L. When a spot opened in March , Hamer nominated the year-old Grant. Grant", which became his adopted name because West Point could not change the name of the appointee. Initially, Grant was indifferent to military life, but within a year he reexamined his desire to leave the academy and later wrote that "on the whole I like this place very much".

He was inspired both by the Commandant, Captain Charles F. Smith and by General Winfield Scott , who visited the academy to review the cadets. Grant later wrote of the military life, "there is much to dislike, but more to like. Grant graduated on June 30, , ranked 21st out of 39 alumni , and was promoted on July 1 to the rank brevet second lieutenant. Grant's first assignment took him to the Jefferson Barracks near St.

Kearny , the barracks was the nation's largest military base in the west. In Missouri, Grant visited Dent's family and became engaged to his sister, Julia , in Grant's abolitionist father Jesse, who disapproved of the Dents owning slaves, refused to attend their wedding, which took place without either of Grant's parents. Frederick , Ulysses Jr. Louis when he decided, with a wife to support, that he would remain in the army.

After rising tensions with Mexico following the United States' annexation of Texas , war broke out in During the conflict, Grant distinguished himself as a daring and competent soldier. Grant was tapped to serve as regimental quartermaster, [52] but yearned for a combat role; when finally allowed, he led a cavalry charge at the Battle of Resaca de la Palma. He demonstrated his equestrian ability at the Battle of Monterrey by carrying a dispatch past snipers while hanging off the side of his horse, keeping the animal between him and the enemy. During the war, Grant established a commendable record, studied the tactics and strategies of Scott and Taylor, and emerged as a seasoned officer, writing in his memoirs that this is how he learned much about military leadership.

However, Grant also wrote that the Mexican War was wrong and the territorial gains were designed to expand slavery, stating, "I was bitterly opposed to the measure Grant's first post-war assignments took him and Julia to Detroit on November 17, , only to find that after his four-month leave of absence he was replaced as quartermaster and was sent to Madison Barracks , a desolate outpost at Sackets Harbor in upstate New York, in bad need of supplies and repair.

When Ulysses had spare cash he would travel to nearby Watertown and buy supplies for himself and gifts for Julia in a dry goods store. When the discovery of gold in California brought droves of prospectors and settlers to the territory, Grant and the 4th infantry were ordered to reinforce the small garrison there. Grant was charged with bringing the soldiers and a few hundred civilians from New York City to Panama, overland to the Pacific and then north to California.

Julia, eight months pregnant with Ulysses Jr. While in Panama a cholera epidemic broke out and claimed many lives of soldiers, civilians and children. In Panama City, Grant established and organized a field hospital and moved the worst cases to a hospital barge one mile offshore. Grant's next assignment sent him north to Vancouver Barracks in the then Oregon Territory. To supplement a military salary which was inadequate to support his family, Grant speculated and failed at several business ventures, confirming his father's belief that he had no head for business.

Grant told Buchanan if he did not reform he would resign. One Sunday, Grant was again rumored to have been found at his company's paytable influenced by drink. Keeping his pledge to Buchanan, Grant resigned, effective July 31, , without explanation. Louis and reunited with his family, uncertain about his future. At age 32, with no civilian vocation, Grant needed work to support his growing family. It was the beginning of seven financially lean years. His father offered him a place in the Galena, Illinois , branch of the family's leather business on condition that Julia and the children stay with her parents in Missouri or with the Grants in Kentucky.

Ulysses and Julia opposed another separation and declined the offer. In , Grant farmed on his brother-in-law's property near St. Louis, using slaves owned by Julia's father. Julia disliked the rustic house , which she described as an "unattractive cabin". The same year, Grant acquired a slave from his father-in-law, a thirty-five-year-old man named William Jones. Louis, taking on a partnership with Julia's cousin Harry Boggs working in the real estate business as a bill collector, again without success, and at Julia's recommendation he dissolved his partnership.

His application came with thirty-five notable recommendations, but Grant correctly assumed the position would be given on the basis of political affiliation and was passed over by the Free Soil and Republican county commissioners because he was believed to share his father-in-law's Democratic sentiments. In April , Grant and his family moved north to Galena, accepting a position in his father's leather goods business run by his younger brothers Simpson and Orvil. Grant's early efforts to be recommissioned failed, rejected by Major General George B.

On April 29, supported by Congressman Elihu B. Washburne of Illinois, Grant was appointed military aide to Governor Richard Yates , and mustered ten regiments into the Illinois service. On June 14, again aided by Washburne, Grant was promoted to Colonel and put in charge of the unruly 21st Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment , which he soon restored to good order and discipline.

McClernand , landed 2, men at Hunter's Point, two miles north of the Confederate base outside Belmont. Pillow forced a chaotic Union retreat. Grant's troops had to fight their way back to their Union boats and escaped back to Cairo under fire from the heavily fortified stronghold at Columbus. Confederate-held Columbus blocked Union access to the lower Mississippi. Grant, and General James B. McPherson , came up with a plan to bypass Columbus and with a force of 25, troops, move against Fort Henry on the Tennessee River and then ten miles east to Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River , with the aid of gunboats, opening both rivers and allowing the Union access further south.

Grant presented his plan to Henry Halleck , his new commander under the newly created Department of Missouri. However, after Halleck telegraphed and consulted McClellan about the plan, he finally agreed on condition that the attack be conducted in close cooperation with navy Flag Officer , Andrew H. Grant then ordered an immediate assault on nearby Fort Donelson, under the command of John B. Floyd , which dominated the Cumberland River.

Unlike Fort Henry, Grant was now going up against a force equal to his. Unaware of the garrison's strength, Grant's forces were over-confident. Grant, McClernand, and Smith positioned their divisions around the fort. The next day McClernand and Smith launched probing attacks on apparent weak spots in the Confederate line, only to retreat with heavy losses.

On February 14, Foote's gunboats began bombarding the fort, only to be repulsed by its heavy guns. Foote himself was wounded. Thus far the Confederates were winning, but soon Union reinforcements arrived, giving Grant a total force of over 40, men. When Foote regained control of the river, Grant resumed his attack resulting in a standoff.

That evening Confederate commander Floyd called a council of war, unsure of his next action. Grant received a dispatch from Foote, requesting that they meet. Grant mounted a horse and rode seven miles over freezing roads and trenches, reaching Smith's division, instructing him to prepare for the next assault, and rode on and met up with McClernand and Wallace.

After exchanging reports, he met up with Foote. Foote resumed his bombardment, which signaled a general attack. After a day of battle, Fort Donelson submitted to Grant's demand for "unconditional and immediate surrender", and Floyd struck his flag. Grant telegraphed Halleck, informing him that Fort Donelson had fallen. Grant had won the first major victory for the Union, capturing Floyd's entire rebel army of more than 12, Halleck was nevertheless angry that Grant had acted without his authorization and complained to McClellan, accusing Grant of "neglect and inefficiency".

On March 3, Halleck sent a telegram to Washington complaining that he had no communication with Grant for a week. Three days later, Halleck followed up with a postscript claiming "word has just reached me that Grant has resumed his bad habits of drinking. Playing off his initials, they took to calling him "Unconditional Surrender Grant.

As the great numbers of troops from both armies gathered, it was widely assumed in the North that this would be the battle to end the war. Grant's main Union army was located at Pittsburg Landing , while 40, Confederate troops converged at Corinth. Grant agreed and wired Halleck with their assessment. Instead of preparing defensive fortifications between the Tennessee River and Owl Creek, [o] and clearing fields of fire, they spent most of their time drilling the largely inexperienced troops while Sherman dismissed reports of nearby Confederates.

Union inaction created the opportunity for the Confederates to attack first before Buell arrived. Beauregard , struck first "like an Alpine avalanche" near Shiloh church, attacking five divisions of Grant's army and forcing a confused retreat toward the Tennessee River. When asked by McPherson if he was going to retreat, Grant replied, "Retreat?

I propose to attack them at daylight and whip them.

Gen. Grant's heroic last battle

Bolstered by 18, fresh troops from the divisions of Major Generals Buell and Lew Wallace , Grant counterattacked at dawn the next day and regained the field, forcing the disorganized and demoralized rebels to retreat back to Corinth while thousands deserted. Shiloh was the costliest battle in American history to that point and the staggering 23, total casualties stunned the nation.

Halleck arrived from St. Louis on April 11, took command, and assembled a combined army of about , men. Halleck slowly marched his army to take Corinth, entrenching each night. On September 19, Grant's army defeated Confederates at the Battle of Iuka , then successfully defended Corinth , inflicting heavy casualties.

The Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg, Mississippi , blocked the way of Union control of the Mississippi River, making its capture vital. Pemberton repulsed Sherman's direct approach ascending the bluffs to Vicksburg at Chickasaw Bayou. Along with his military responsibilities in the months following Grant's return to command, he was concerned over an expanding illicit cotton trade in his district.

Sarna said Grant "issued the most notorious anti-Jewish official order in American history. On January 29, , Grant assumed overall command and attempted to advance his army through water-logged terrain to bypass Vicksburg's guns, while the green Union soldiers gained valuable experience. During quiet periods of the campaign Grant would take to drinking on occasion. Vicksburg's fall gave Union forces control of the Mississippi River and split the Confederacy. By that time, Grant's political sympathies fully coincided with the Radical Republicans ' aggressive prosecution of the war and emancipation of the slaves.

The personal rivalry between McClernand and Grant continued after Vicksburg until Grant removed McClernand from command when he contravened Grant by publishing an order without permission. Stanton suggested Grant be brought back east to run the Army of the Potomac , Grant demurred, writing that he knew the geography and resources of the West better and he did not want to upset the chain of command in the East. Lincoln promoted Grant to major general in the regular army and assigned him command of the newly formed Division of the Mississippi on October 16, , including the Armies of the Ohio , Tennessee, and Cumberland.

Union forces captured Brown's Ferry and opened a supply line to Bridgeport. Two days later, Hooker's forces took Lookout Mountain.

Ulysses S. Grant

Wood , charged uphill and captured the Confederate entrenchments at the top, forcing a retreat. On March 2, , Lincoln promoted Grant to lieutenant general, giving him command of all Union Armies, answering only to the president. Johnston 's Army of Tennessee and take Atlanta. Grant's own popularity had risen, and there was talk that a Union victory early in the year could lead to his candidacy for the presidency.

He was aware of the rumors, but had ruled out a political candidacy; the possibility would soon vanish with delays on the battlefield. The Overland Campaign was a series of brutal battles fought in Virginia for seven weeks during May and June Grant maneuvered his army to Cold Harbor , a vital railroad hub that linked to Richmond, but Lee's men had the defensive advantage and were already entrenched. On the third day of the thirteen-day battle, Grant led a costly assault and was soon castigated as "the Butcher" by the Northern press after taking 52, Union casualties; Lee's Confederate army suffered 32, casualties, but he was less able to replace them.

Undetected by Lee, Grant moved his army south of the James River, freed Butler from the Bermuda Hundred , and advanced toward Petersburg , Virginia's central railroad hub. Beauregard defended the city, and Lee's veteran reinforcements soon arrived, resulting in a nine-month siege.

Northern resentment grew as the war dragged on. Lee was forced to defend Richmond, unable to reinforce other Confederate forces. Sheridan was assigned command of the Union Army of the Shenandoah and Grant directed him to "follow the enemy to their death" and to destroy vital Confederate supplies in the Shenandoah Valley. When Sheridan reported suffering attacks by John S. Mosby 's irregular Confederate cavalry, Grant recommended rounding up their families for imprisonment as hostages at Fort McHenry. Because of the high casualties, Lincoln arrived at Grant's headquarters at City Point on June 21 to assess the state of Grant's army, meeting with Grant and Admiral Porter.

By the time Lincoln departed his appreciation for Grant had grown. At Petersburg, Grant approved a plan to blow up part of the enemy trenches from an underground tunnel. The explosion created a crater, into which poorly led Union troops poured. Recovering from the surprise, Confederates surrounded the crater and easily picked off Union troops within it. The Union's 3, casualties outnumbered the Confederates' by three-to-one; although the plan could have been successful if implemented correctly, Grant admitted the tactic had been a "stupendous failure".

By March , Grant had severely weakened Lee's strength, having extended his lines to 35 miles. On April 2, Grant ordered a general assault on Lee's entrenched forces. Union troops took Petersburg and captured an evacuated Richmond the following day. Johnston 's defeated army, but Sheridan's cavalry stopped the two armies from converging, cutting them off from their supply trains.

On his way Grant was hailed by a member of Meade's staff carrying a letter sent by Lee through the picket lines, informing Grant that he was ready to formally surrender.

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Although Grant felt depressed at the fall of "a foe who had fought so long and valiantly," he believed the Southern cause was "one of the worst for which a people ever fought. At Lee's request, Grant also allowed them to keep their horses, all on the condition that they would not take up arms against the United States. On April 14, , five days after Grant's victory at Appomattox, he attended a cabinet meeting in Washington.

Lincoln invited him and his wife to Ford's Theater , but they declined as upon his wife Julia's urging, had plans to travel to Philadelphia. In a conspiracy that also targeted top cabinet members, and in a last effort to topple the Union, Lincoln was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth at the theater, and died the next morning. Attending Lincoln's funeral on April 19, Grant stood alone and wept openly; he later said Lincoln was "the greatest man I have ever known.

At the war's end, Grant remained commander of the army, with duties that included dealing with Maximilian and French troops in Mexico, enforcement of Reconstruction in the former Confederate states, and supervision of Indian wars on the western Plains. Further travels that summer took the Grants to Albany, New York , back to Galena, and throughout Illinois and Ohio, with enthusiastic receptions. Reconstruction was a turbulent period from — when former Confederate states were readmitted to the Union, "during which the nation's laws and Constitution were rewritten to guarantee the basic rights of the former slaves, and biracial governments came to power throughout the defeated Confederacy.

Grant recommended continuation of a reformed Freedmen's Bureau , which Johnson opposed, but advised against using black troops, which he believed encouraged an alternative to farm labor. Concerned that the war led to a diminished respect for civil authorities, Grant continued using the Army to maintain order. Grant was initially optimistic about Johnson, saying he was satisfied the nation had "nothing to fear" from the Johnson administration.

Grant told Johnson he was going to resign office to avoid fines and imprisonment. Johnson, who was scheming to get rid of Grant, told him he would assume all such responsibility and asked him to delay his resignation until a suitable replacement could be found, believing Grant had agreed to do so.

The publication of angry messages between Grant and Johnson led to a complete break between the president and his general. When the Republican Party met at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, the delegates unanimously nominated Grant for president and Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax , for vice president. Blair Missouri for vice president. Grant played no overt role during the campaign and instead was joined by Sherman and Sheridan in a tour of the West that summer. Kansas, Georgia, and Louisiana. Grant's election was widely regarded as a triumph of principles that included restoration of Southern reconstructed states, efficient government, and sound money.


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Grant assumed the presidency with reluctance, which he expressed in an letter, after his nomination, to his close friend Sherman:. I have been forced into it in spite of myself. I could not back down without, as it seems to me, leaving the contest for power for the next four years between mere trading politicians, the elevation of whom, no matter which party won, would lose to us, largely, the results of the costly war which we have gone through.

Grant's presidency began unusually, as President Johnson, at the time angry with Grant, did not attend Grant's inauguration or ride with him as he departed the White House for the last time. Grant's cabinet appointments were made without senatorial approval and sparked both criticism and approval. Washburne for Secretary of State and John A. Rawlins as Secretary of War. Stewart who was found ineligible and replaced by Representative George S. Boutwell , a Massachusetts Radical Republican.

Borie was appointed Secretary of Navy, who was reluctant to accept, soon resigned due to poor health and was replaced by a relative unknown, George M. Robeson , a former brigadier general. Grant nominated Sherman his Army successor as general-in-chief and gave him control over war bureau chiefs. Grant reluctantly revoked his own order, upsetting Sherman and damaging their wartime friendship.

Grant also appointed four Justices to the Supreme Court: William Strong , Joseph P. Salomon Governor of the Washington Territory. When Grant took office in , Reconstruction took precedence, Republicans controlled most Southern states, propped up by Republican controlled Congress, northern money, and southern military occupation. The Ku Klux Klan terrorist group, however, continued to undermine Reconstruction by violence and intimidation.

Grant, in , signed legislation and created the Justice Department and immediately employed it to enforce the Reconstruction efforts in the South. Akerman , a former Confederate officer and now zealous civil rights attorney from Georgia, replaced Hoar. Bolstered by the Department of Justice and Solicitor General, he made hundreds of arrests while forcing 2, Klansmen to flee the state. Akerman returned over 3, indictments of the Klan throughout the South and obtained convictions for the worst offenders.

Lacking sufficient funding, the Justice Department stopped prosecutions of the Klan by June Civil rights prosecutions continued but with fewer yearly cases and convictions. After the Klan's decline, a faction of southern conservatives called " Redeemers " formed armed groups, such as the Red Shirts and the White League , who openly used violence, intimidation, voter fraud, and racist appeals in an attempt to take control of state governments.

The Panic of and the ensuing depression contributed to public fatigue, and the North grew less concerned with Reconstruction. Cruikshank restricted federal enforcement of civil rights. That same year, he sent troops and warships under Major General William H. By , Redeemer Democrats had taken control of all but three Southern states.

As violence against black Southerners escalated once more, Attorney General Edwards Pierrepont told Governor Adelbert Ames of Mississippi that the people were "tired of the autumnal outbreaks in the South", and declined to intervene directly, instead sending an emissary to negotiate a peaceful election. Hayes , abandoned the remaining three Republican governments in the South that were supported by the army after the Compromise of , which marked the end of Reconstruction. In , Grant proposed measures to limit religious roles in public schools.

Grant laid out his agenda for "good common school education. That amendment did not become federal law but many states adopted versions. Historian Tyler Anbinder says, "Grant was not an obsessive nativist. He expressed his resentment of immigrants and animus toward Catholicism only rarely. But these sentiments reveal themselves frequently enough in his writings and major actions as general In the s he joined a Know Nothing lodge and irrationally blamed immigrants for setbacks in his career.

When Grant took office in , the nation's policy towards Indians was in chaos, with more than , Indians being governed by treaties. Parker , a Seneca Indian, a member of his wartime staff, as Commissioner of Indian Affairs , the first Native American to serve in this position, surprising many around him.

On October 1, , General Oliver Otis Howard successfully negotiated peace with Apache leader, Cochise , who waged guerrilla war against the army and settlers, to move the tribe to a new reservation. After discovery of gold in the Black Hills , miners encroached on Sioux land guaranteed under the Fort Laramie treaty.

Later, Grant castigated Custer in the press, saying "I regard Custer's massacre as a sacrifice of troops, brought on by Custer himself, that was wholly unnecessary — wholly unnecessary.

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Congress ratified the agreement three days before Grant left office in Grant's settlement of the Alabama claims was undermined by his attempt to annex the Dominican Republic. Grant believed annexation would strengthen American strategic power in the Caribbean, increase natural resources, and serve as a safe haven for African Americans. In early January , Grant visited Senator Sumner's home to gain his support for annexation.

When Grant left, he was confident he had Sumner's approval, but he was wrong; the episode led to hostility between the two men. On January 20, Grant submitted the treaties to the Senate for ratification. After much stalling by Sumner, who strongly opposed annexation, the Foreign Relations Committee rejected the treaties by a 5 to 2 vote.

Grant had to personally lobby Senators on his own. In October , Grant's Caribbean neutrality policy was shaken when a Spanish cruiser captured a merchant ship, Virginius , flying the U. Grant and Fish secured a free trade treaty in with the Kingdom of Hawaii , incorporating the Pacific islands' sugar industry into the United States' economic sphere. Soon after taking office Grant took conservative steps to return the nation's currency to a more secure footing.

The " greenback " notes, as they were known, were necessary to pay the unprecedented war debts, but they also caused inflation and forced gold-backed money out of circulation; Grant was determined to return the national economy to pre-war monetary standards. The act committed the government to the full return of the gold standard within ten years. In April , financial speculators Jay Gould and Jim Fisk , plotted to corner the gold market in New York, the nation's financial capital.

Garfield cleared Grant of profiteering, but excoriated Gould and Fisk for their manipulation of the gold market and Corbin for exploiting his personal connection to Grant. Despite his administration's scandals, Grant continued to be personally popular. During the war, both factions' interests had aligned, and in both had supported Grant. As the wartime coalition began to fray, Grant's alignment with the party's pro-Reconstruction elements alienated party leaders who favored an end to federal intervention in Southern racial issues.

Cox , Grant's former Secretary of Interior, one hundred Republicans in Cincinnati broke from the party and formed what became the Liberal Republican Party , supporting "civil service reform, sound money, low tariffs, and states' rights. Gratz Brown , for vice president. Grant won reelection easily, as federal prosecution of the Klan, a strong economy, debt reduction, lowered tariffs, and tax reductions, helped Grant defeat Greeley.

Chase on March 4, In his second inaugural address, he reiterated the problems still facing the nation and focused on what he considered the chief issues of the day: Grant concluded his address with the words, "My efforts in the future will be directed towards the restoration of good feelings between the different sections of our common community". Grant continued to work for a strong dollar, signing into law the Coinage Act of , which effectively ended the legal basis for bimetallism the use of both silver and gold as money , establishing the gold standard in practice.

Silverites, who wanted more money in circulation to raise the prices that farmers received, denounced the move as the "Crime of ", claiming the deflation made debts more burdensome for farmers. Economic turmoil renewed during Grant's second term. The collapse rippled through Wall Street, and other banks and brokerages that owned railroad stocks and bonds were also ruined. The purchases curbed the panic on Wall Street, but an industrial depression, later called the Long Depression , nonetheless swept the nation.

Congress hoped inflation would stimulate the economy and passed what became known as the "Inflation Bill" in Grant believed the bill would destroy the credit of the nation, and he vetoed it despite their objections. Grant's veto placed him in the conservative faction of the Republican Party and was the beginning of the party's commitment to a strong gold-backed dollar.

When the Democrats gained a majority in the House after the elections , the lame-duck Republican Congress did so before the Democrats took office. Grant's presidency took place during massive post-war industrial growth, speculation and lifestyle extravagance, that fueled criminal behavior in government offices. Babcock , who indirectly controlled many cabinet departments and delayed federal investigations.

Grant had limited success in civil service reform and his Civil Service Commission. Cox , who strongly supported civil service reform, fired unqualified clerks, implemented a merit testing system, and rebuffed mandatory party contributions.


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The civil service reforms implemented by Grant, however, "were more honored in the breach than the observance. Murphy's men had created a corrupt profiteering ring at the New York Custom House. Grant appointed Chester A. Arthur , another Conkling man, to replace Murphy, and administration of the Customs House steadily improved. Pressured by an Congressional investigation, Grant ordered prosecutions of men involved in the bribery scandal and removed the ringleader. Scandals escalated in Grant's second term, reaching into the President's inner circle.

Richardson had hired John B. Sanborn to track down tax collectors and retain half of the collected taxes, known as a moiety. Grant appointed David Dyer , under Bristow's recommendation, federal attorney to prosecute the Ring in St. The Interior Department under Secretary Columbus Delano , whom Grant appointed to replace Cox, was rife with fraud and corrupt agents and Delano was forced to resign. Williams ' wife, Grant fired Williams and appointed Edwards Pierrepont in his place. Grant's new cabinet appointments temporarily appeased reformers. When the Democrats took control of the House in , they launched a series of investigations into corruption in federal departments.

Belknap taking quarterly kickbacks from the Fort Sill tradership , which led to his resignation in February Even as Grant drew cheers at the opening of the Centennial Exposition in May , the collected scandals of his presidency, the country's weak economy, and the Democratic gains in the House led many in the Republican party to repudiate him in June. Hayes of Ohio, a reformer. Tilden of New York. Voting irregularities in three Southern states caused the election that year to remain undecided for several months.

On January 29, , he signed legislation forming an Electoral Commission to decide the matter. The Republicans had won, but Reconstruction was over. After leaving the White House, Grant and his family stayed with Fish in Washington for two months before setting out on a world tour that lasted approximately two and a half years. Grant was the first U. President to visit Jerusalem and the Holy Land. During the tour, the Hayes administration encouraged Grant to assume a diplomatic role to unofficially represent the United States and strengthen American interests abroad, while resolving issues for some countries in the process.

Stalwarts , led by Grant's old political ally, Roscoe Conkling , saw Grant's renewed popularity as an opportunity to regain power, and sought to nominate him for the presidency in Opponents called it a violation of the unofficial two-term rule in use since George Washington. Grant said nothing publicly but wanted the job and encouraged his men. Blaine to John Sherman. Even so, Conkling and John A. Logan began to organize delegates in Grant's favor. When the convention convened in Chicago in June, there were more delegates pledged to Grant than to any other candidate, but he was still short of a majority vote to get the nomination.

At the convention, Conkling nominated Grant with an elegant speech, the most famous line being: After thirty-six ballots, Blaine's delegates deserted him and combined with those of other candidates to nominate a compromise candidate: The practice—called hypothecation —was legal and accepted; what was illegal was rehypothecation , the practice of pledging the same securities as collateral for multiple loans. If the trades resulted in profit, then there would be no problem; if they went bad, however, multiple loans would come due, all backed up by the same collateral.

Historians acknowledge that Grant was likely unaware of Ward's tactics, but it is unclear how much Buck Grant knew. In May , enough investments went bad to convince Ward that the firm would soon be bankrupted. He told Grant of the impending failure, but suggested that it was a temporary shortfall. Essentially penniless, but compelled by a sense of personal honor, Grant repaid Vanderbilt with his Civil War mementos. Although the market value did not cover the loan, Vanderbilt insisted it was paid in full.

The matter left Grant financially destitute. Grant learned in that he was suffering from throat cancer. The articles were well received by critics, and Johnson suggested Grant write a book of memoirs, as Sherman and others had successfully done. Grant ultimately decided on Twain's company, Charles L. His son Fred assisted primarily with references and proofing. Grant finished his memoir just a few days before his death. Twain created a unique marketing system designed to reach millions of veterans with a patriotic appeal just as the nation began mourning the war hero's death.

Ten thousand agents canvassed the North, following a script Twain had devised; many were themselves veterans who dressed in their old uniforms. Each copy contained what looked like a handwritten note from Grant himself. The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant has been highly regarded by the general public, military historians and literary critics. He portrayed himself in the persona of the honorable Western hero, whose strength lies in his honesty and straightforwardness. He candidly depicts his battles against both the external Confederates and internal Army foes.

Three days after finishing his memoirs, Grant died of throat cancer at the age of 63 in a cottage at the top of Mount McGregor in upstate New York. His last words were, "I hope that nobody will be distressed on my account. President Grover Cleveland ordered a thirty-day nationwide period of mourning.

Private services were held in Mount McGregor on August 4. After lying in state in the New York State Capitol at Albany , Grant's body was placed on a funeral train and traveled via West Point to New York City, where a quarter of a million people viewed in the two days prior to the funeral. Logan and admiral David Dixon Porter. Attendance at the New York funeral purportedly topped 1. In the days before and after the funeral, ceremonies were held in other major cities around the country. Those who eulogized Grant in the press likened him to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln , then the nation's two greatest heroes.

His wife, Julia Grant , was also interred in Grant's Tomb following her death in Grant is also honored by the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial at the base of Capitol Hill in Washington. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Post-presidency of Ulysses S. Grant Grant sometime in the postbellum period. World tour of Ulysses S. Grant's Tomb and Ulysses S. J R Soc Med. Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War, pp. Russell, "The memoirs of Ulysses S. The rhetoric of judgment," Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 66 2, pp. Republican National Convention, United States presidential election,

The Last Days of General Grant The Last Days of General Grant
The Last Days of General Grant The Last Days of General Grant
The Last Days of General Grant The Last Days of General Grant
The Last Days of General Grant The Last Days of General Grant
The Last Days of General Grant The Last Days of General Grant
The Last Days of General Grant The Last Days of General Grant
The Last Days of General Grant The Last Days of General Grant
The Last Days of General Grant The Last Days of General Grant
The Last Days of General Grant The Last Days of General Grant

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