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Ulysses S Grant!

Ulysses S Grant

Photo: Ulysses S Grant.
National Archives

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Unsuccessful in civilian life, Ulysses S Grant was made for the battlefield. Grant was the military leader who defeated the Confederates and their innovative generals. After the war, he was elected President and oversaw Reconstruction in the South. He died of throat cancer the result of a lifelong habit of cigar smoking but completed his memoirs before his death in 1885.

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Personally reserved, Grant was tenacious in battle. Once he set a course, he wanted to see it to its end, as in the siege of Vicksburg. He was one to seize the initiative as well. After several failed attempts to get to Vicksburg, Grant moved his army south to cross the Mississippi during this time he was cut off from all communication and most supplies. The taking of the city on July 4, 1863, was a turning point in the war. Ulysses S Grant's nickname was "unconditional surrender" and he trusted fighting more than diplomacy. But when opposing forces did surrender, he was usually magnanimous in their treatment.

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