Today In History – July 25

On July 25, 1866, Ulysses S Grant was named General of the Army of the United States. This was a significant moment in American history, as Grant had proven himself to be an outstanding military leader during the Civil War.

Grant’s military career began in 1843 when he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He served in the Mexican-American War and was promoted to captain in 1853. However, Grant resigned from the army in 1854 due to personal reasons.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Grant re-enlisted in the army and was quickly promoted to brigadier general. He won a series of victories in the Western theater of the war, including the capture of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in Tennessee. His victory at the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862 solidified his reputation as a skilled military leader.

Grant continued to win victories in the Western theater, including the siege of Vicksburg in July 1863. President Abraham Lincoln recognized Grant’s talents and appointed him commander of all Union forces in March 1864. Grant devised a coordinated strategy that involved simultaneous offensives in several theaters of the war. This approach ultimately led to the defeat of the Confederacy.

After the war, Grant was promoted to the rank of General of the Army, the highest rank possible in the U.S. Army. This new rank was explicitly created for Grant, putting him in charge of all U.S. military forces. Grant used his position to advocate for the rights of African Americans and Native Americans, and he supported Reconstruction efforts in the South.

However, Grant’s tenure as General of the Army was not controversial. He clashed with President Andrew Johnson over the issue of Reconstruction and was eventually forced to resign in 1868. However, Grant remained popular with the American public and was elected president in 1868 and re-elected in 1872.

Grant’s legacy as a military leader and president is mixed. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest military commanders in American history, but corruption scandals and economic instability marred his presidency. However, his efforts to promote civil rights and Reconstruction in the South remain an essential part of his legacy.

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