During the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant played a main part in the Union’s Victory. He did this by: Winning multiple battles, his expertise as a leader, and defeating Robert E. Lee. Grant started his career as an officer by going through the military academy called WestPoint. After graduating as a Second Lieutenant, he made his way through the ranks in the Mexican-American War. During the Civil War, he was promoted to Brigadier General, Major General and then to Lieutenant General by President Abraham Lincoln. As a General in the war, Grant won multiple battles including: Vicksburg, Shiloh, Chattanooga, and Petersburg. Vicksburg was one of his best battles. Although he was outnumbered, Grant still managed to lead his men to victory. Vicksburg was one of the main battles that turned the war around, giving the Union Army the upper hand. All of these major battles lead to the defeat and surrender of Robert E. Lee at the Appomattox Court House in 1865. General Grant’s military skills were gained throughout his life as a soldier. All of these skills were used as he defeated countless enemies and won major battles. His expertise’s lead him to victories throughout the whole war, which ultimately helped him play a main role in the Union victory.
Grant started his military career in May 1839, at the military academy called WestPoint. He didn’t want to go to the academy; however, his father, Jesse Grant, forced him to go. Jesse made him go to WestPoint because it was the only college at the time that was free, and the Grant family didn’t have the money to send Ulysses to a university. When Grant arrived at WestPoint, his name wasn’t on the list of new students. On the list he saw a name that was close to his name so, to avoid confusion, he checked in as that person. (Marrin, Albert, pg. 10 )
While at the academy, he was just an average student. His best subjects were math and horsemanship Grant graduated as a Second Lieutenant in 1843, ranking 21 out of 39 in his class. After graduating from WestPoint, Grant was stationed in St. Louis, Missouri. He planned on resigning from the military after serving his time.
Six years after resigning from the military, Grant joined again when the Civil War broke out. He started out as a Colonel, and shortly after joining he was promoted to Brigadier General by President Lincoln. His first major battles as a Brigadier General were at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. During the battle of Fort Doneleson, the Confederates surrendered. Grant said to the General of the South’s army, “No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works” (“Ulysses S. Grant: General-in-Chief”). The victory at Fort Doneleson gained Grant another promotion to Major General.
When a surprise attack by Confederate forces at the Battle of Shiloh yielded devastating casualties during the first day's fighting, President Abraham Lincoln received several demands for Grant's removal from...