1 March 1864 – President Lincoln nominates Ulysses S. Grant for the newly revived rank of lieutenant general. At the time, George Washington was the only other man to have held that rank and the promotion carried Grant to the supreme command of Union forces
Born in Ohio in 1822, he attended West Point and graduated in 1843, 21st in a class of 39. He served in the Mexican War in 1847 to 1848 and on the frontier in the 1850s. During this time, Grant acquired experience in logistics and the supply of troops, developing skills that later made him a success during the Civil War.
When the Civil War erupted, Grant was not in the service and was working as a clerk in his father’s store in Galena, Illinois and he reenlisted after Fort Sumter fell in April 1861. His campaign to capture Vicksburg was one of the most efficient offensives of the war, and the Yankees captured the Mississippi River and most of Tennessee under his leadership. Lincoln replaced Henry Halleck as the commander of all Union armies when he elevated Grant to the rank of lieutenant general.
Unlike Halleck, Grant did not serve from behind a desk; he took the field with the largest Federal force, the Army of the Potomac, as he moved against Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Virginia. Later taking the United States Army to victory over the Confederacy. A hard drinking military man, President Lincoln once is quoted as saying “Find out what he drinks and send a case to each of my generals”!
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