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Ulysses S. Grant And His Contribution To America

2054 words - 9 pages

“The result of the last week must convince you of the hopelessness of further resistance… [I] regard it as my duty to shift from myself the responsibility for further [loss] of blood, by asking you surrender [of] the Army of Northern Virginia.” is what General Ulysses S. Grant as the highest ranking officer of the Union Army, wrote to the opposing the highest ranking officer of the opposing Confederate army, General Robert E. Lee on April 7, 1865. (Alter, 2002) In 1861, the Southern states of the United States of America had seceded from the Union, forming the Confederate States of America, and President Lincoln deciding it was worth it to bring them back, declared war, sparking the American Civil War. (Gaines, 2009) Grant joined the army and was quickly promoted to general-in-chief, and despite a few setbacks, managed to force the Confederates to surrender after forcing their forces from the Rapidan River to the James River in a manner one soldier describe simply as "unspoken, unspeakable history." in 1865. (Civil War Trust, 2013) Four years later, Grant was voted as the United States president at forty six years old – the youngest president at that time. (Simon, 2013) Grant tried to help ease racial tensions during his term, but his presidency is most remembered as one filled with scandal. (PBS, 2013) From a humble background, to a soldier, and after some time, to a gifted and experienced general, eventually becoming a president, Grant fought his entire life as hard as he could for what he believed in, through both hardship and peace, helping America in many ways.
Hiram Ulysses Grant was born on April 27, 1822 in Point Pleasant, growing up in Georgetown, Ohio to Jesse Root Grant, and Hannah Simpson. (Gaines, 2009) He also had two brothers named Samuel and Orvil and three sisters named Clara, Virginia, and Mary. His father, Jesse, was a self-made man who rose from poverty to become a successful tanner. His mother was a smart self-schooled woman who rarely showed emotion. Grant was the smartest kid at his one room school in Georgetown, and was especially fond of math and reading. (Alter, 2002) Friends of his would later state he was a slow reader, but had a good memory. By the time he was fourteen years old, he had learned all his school would offer, and soon, after studying at a private school in Kentucky then Ohio, he completed his high school education. (Gaines, 2009) Despite this, according to Grant, his childhood was “uneventful”. He did what most frontier children would do: go to school, do chores, ice skate, fish, and ride horses. He also hated his father’s tannery and its stench, but he showed an unparalleled talent for working with horses, so his father allowed Grant to earn his keep that way. (PBS, 2013) He bought his first horse at the age of nine using money he had earned hauling wood, and he would train horses for other farms as a teenager. (Alter, 2002) After being forced by his father at seventeen, Grant was forced to attend West...

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