Life of Grant Chronology

Life of Ulysses S. Grant Chronology

1821, June 24 - Marriage of Jesse Root Grant and Hannah Simpson.

1822, April 27 - Hiram Ulysses [later Ulysses Simpson] Grant was born at Point Pleasant, Clermont Comity, Ohio.

1823 - His family removed to Georgetown, Brown County.

1836-7 - Spends winter at Maysville, Kentucky, attending the Seminary.

1838- 9 - Attends boarding school at Ripley.

1839 - Appointed to United States Military Academy at West Point and registers as Ulysses S. Grant, a name he will continue to use for the rest of his life.

Ulysses S. Grant United States Military Academy, West Point, Graduate Picture

1843 - Graduated twenty-first in a class of thirty-nine, and reported for duty as brevet second lieutenant, Fourth Infantry, at Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis.

1844 - Service at Natchitoches.

1844, February - He meets Julia Dent. 

1845 - Engagement to Miss Julia Dent.

1845, October 1 - Full second lieutenant, Seventh Infantry, at Corpus Christi, Texas.

1846, May 8 - His first battle, Palo Alto. His second the following day at Eesaca de la Palma.

1846 - September 21-23 - Gallant conduct at Monterey. Appointed Quarter-Master and Commissary of regiment.

1847, March 29 - Was at Vera Cruz under General Scott.

1847, April 18 - Was in battle of Cerro Gordo, and August 20th in those of San Antonio and Churubusco. Regimental quartermaster.

1847 - September 8 -  Brevetted first lieutenant for gallant and meritorious conduct at Marina-del-Rey.

1847 - September 12-13 - Was in battle of Chapultepec.

1847 - September 13 - Brevetted captain for gallant conduct at Chapultepec.

1847 - September 16 - Full first lieutenant.

1848, August 22 - Marries Julia B. Dent, of St. Louis. Stationed at Detroit and Sacketts Harbor.

1852, June - Ordered to Pacific Coast.

1852, September - Stationed at Columbia Barracks (Fort Vancouver).

1853, August 5 - Promoted to full Captain.

1853, October - Stationed at Fort Humboldt.

1854 - Resigned from the army

1854-59 - Farmer near St. Louis, Mo and  then enters the Real Estate business with Julia's cousin

1860-61 – Father offers him a job at the family’s leather goods store for $800 a year and he moves to Galena, Illinois.

1861, April 18 - Was made chairman of a meeting at Galena to raise volunteers. Vainly sought a commission in the army until June 16th.  Appointed colonel of the Twenty-first Illinois Volunteers.

1861, July - Marches into Missouri

1861, August 9 - He is  appointed Brigadier-general by President Lincoln making Grant a Brigadier General of Volunteers dated retroactively to May 17, 1861.  In command at Ironton, Jefferson City, Cape Girardeau and Cairo.  

1861, September 4 - Occupies Cairo.

1861, September 6 - Seizes of Paducah.

1861, November 17 - Grant's first engagement as General ordering his Union forces raid the Confederate camp at Belmont.   His troops fall back when they counterattack. Grant's horse is shot from under him in the retreat and loss. 

1862 - Capture of Fort Henry.

1862, February 16 - Grant Captures Fort Donaldson, the first Union victory of strategic importance in the war. He becomes nationally famous with his dispatch, "No terms except immediate and unconditional surrender. I propose to move immediately upon your works."

1862, February 16 - Promoted to the grade of a two star Major-General of volunteers.

1862, April 6-7 - Surprised at the Battle of Shiloh buts holds Union ground on the second day

1862, October 3-5 - Commands engagements at Corinth

1862, December 20  - His first failure against Vicksburg precipitated by the capture of his base at Holly Springs.

1863, January 30 - Assumes command opposite Vicksburg.

1863, February-April - Attempted various routes to invest Vicksburg.

1863, April 30 - Crossed to the Vicksburg side of the river.

1863, May 12- May 17  - Grant moves between two wings of the enemy and routes them both defeats the enemy at Jackson, Champion Hill and Big Black River.  Two days later he fails at two frontal Vicksburg attacks and settles into siege.

1863, July 4 - Vicksburg Surrenders and Grant is recognized as an exception Union General.  

1863, Summer - Grant falls from a fractious horse in New Orleans, and spends the summer with his family in a house near Vicksburg. He is bedridden for weeks and is forced to use crutches into October.  He is placed in charge of Military Division of the Mississippi and then on October 22 takes command of Chattanooga.

1863, November – Wins the Battle of Chattanooga, which culminates in Union victories at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.   

1863, November 24-25 - Won the Battle of Chattanooga.

1864, March 2 - Appointed Lieutenant-General of the Armies of the United States a rank revived for him.

The Peacemakers by George Peter Alexander Healy (1818–1894) White House copy of the 1868 painting. Sherman, Grant, Lincoln, and Porter aboard the River Queen on March 27th & March 28th, 1865.

1864, March 12 – Lincoln appoints Grant General in Chief of all U.S. armies. 

1864, May 5-6 - Fights General Lee in the battle of the Wilderness and Union forces lose the men as the CSA.

1864, May 8-21 - Battle of Spotsylvania and Grant is thwarted by Lee with inconclusive battle results.

1864, May 23-26 - Battle of North Anna commences which is a series of small actions near the North Anna River in central Virginia.

1864, May 31-June 12 - Battle of Cold Harbor becomes one of America’s bloodiest, most lopsided battles as thousands of Union soldiers were killed or wounded in a hopeless frontal assault against Robert E. Lee’s   fortified Confederate  Army positions.

General Ulysses S. Grant at Cold Harbor 

1864, July-April 1865 - Operations round Petersburg campaign was nine months of trench warfare in which Union forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant assaulted Petersburg unsuccessfully and then constructed trench lines that eventually extended over 30 miles (48 km) from the eastern outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, to around the eastern and southern outskirts of Petersburg. Petersburg was crucial to the supply of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's army and the Confederate capital of Richmond. Numerous raids were conducted and battles fought in attempts to cut off the railroad supply lines through Petersburg to Richmond, and many of these caused the lengthening of the trench lines, overloading dwindling Confederate resources.

1865, April 1 - Battle of Five Forks is known as the "Waterloo of the Confederacy", pitted Union Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan against Confederate Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Pickett's loss at Five Forks triggered Lee's decision to abandon his entrenchments around Petersburg and begin the retreat.

1865, April 3 - The Union Army pursues, and engages the Confederates in the Battle of Namozine Church  (April 3) and the Battle of Amelia Springs (April 5), Lee discovered that his route to Danville was blocked by fast-moving Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan

1865, April 6 - Battle of Sailor's Creek was the last major engagement between the armies of Gen. Robert E. Lee and Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.  Lee’s only remaining option was to move west on a long march, without food, to Lynchburg. 

1865, April 9 - After the bulk of Lee's remaining army crossed the Appomattox River, Longstreet's rear guard burned the bridges behind them. The Union II Corps managed to extinguish the blazes on two of the bridges, and they crossed the river and caught up with the Confederates at Farmville. Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry was able to hold off the Union infantry until nightfall, but Lee was forced to continue his march to the west under this pressure, depriving his men the opportunity to eat the Farmville rations they had waited so long to receive. 

In Lee's final stand, Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon's depleted corps and Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry formed line of battle at Appomattox Court House. Robert E. Lee determined to make one last attempt to escape the closing Union pincers and reach his supplies at Lynchburg. At dawn the Confederates advanced, initially driving back Sheridan's cavalry. However, the arrival of Grant's infantry—the Union V Corps—stopped the advance in its tracks. Lee's outnumbered army was now surrounded on three sides. Lee surrendered his army at 3 p.m., accepting the terms Grant had proposed by letter the previous day

1865, April 14th - Assassination of Lincoln.

1866, July 25 - Appointed General of the Armies of the United States

1867-8, August 12-January 14 - Appointed and serves as Secretary of War ad interim.

1868, May 19 - Was unanimously nominated for President at the National Republican Convention in Chicago.

Ulysses S. Grant and Schuyler Colfax Campaign Poster 

1868, November 3 - Grant is elected  with 52.7% of the popular vote and won by a landslide in the Electoral College with 214 votes to Horatio Seymour's 80 votes.

1869, March 4 - Inaugurated at President of the United States.

1869, September 24 - The "Black Friday" financial panic takes place in New York City. Grant finally orders a large sale of $4 million in gold, ruining many speculators.  

1869, November 29 - President Grant's private secretary Orville Babcock signs a treaty to annex Santo Domingo of the West Indies, and a second document to lease Samana Bay. US Senate defeats the annexation.

1870, January 11 - Grant vetoes the Private Relief Bill  

1870, March 30 - Black male suffrage becomes universal when the Fifteenth Amendment is adopted with Grant's help and approval.

1870, May 24 - Grant issues a proclamation against the Fenian Brotherhood plan to attack Canada.

1870, May 30 - Congress makes it a federal crime to deprive anyone of his civil or political rights by interfering with the right to vote.

1870, June 22 - Congress passes an act creating a Department of Justice under the direction of an attorney general.

1870, July 14 - A new tariff is passed extending existing protectionist features.

1871, February 28 - The Federal Election Law passes, calling for federal supervision of elections in cities with populations greater than 20,000.

Red Cloud  visited President Grant at the White House in May, 1870.

1871, March 3 - An Indian Appropriation Act is passed ending all tribal recognition, the treaty system and all. Indians are made wards of the federal government.

1871, March 4 - The first civil service commission is established by Grant.

1871, May 8 - The Treaty of Washington is signed between the United States and Britain. Treaty provides for an arbitration procedure to settle the Alabama claims and renews Canadian-American fishing arrangements.

1871, October 12 - Grant issues a proclamation against the Ku Klux Klan in South Carolina.

1872, April 15 - Grant vetoes a Private Pension Bill.

1872, June 5-6 - The Republican National Convention nominates Grant for reelection and Senator Henry Wilson for vice president. In July Democratic National Convention nominates New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley for President and Missouri Governor Benjamin Gratz Brown for vice president.

1872, September 14 - Treaty of Washington panel requires  Britain pay the United States $15.5 million in gold to settle the Alabama claims, in which the United States sought damages from  Britain for allowing Confederate vessels to be built and equipped in England. The payment is made within one year without protest.

Grant Wilson Campaign Print, Armstrong & Co, for the 1872 Republican national ticket. The armored figure of Liberty stands between portraits of presidential candidate Ulysses S. Grant and running mate Henry Wilson. Grant's portrait is adorned with oak leaves and Wilson's with olive or laurel branches. On the left are military paraphernalia associated with Grant--rifles, a cannon, and a sword. Beyond is a log cabin. On the right are a writing desk and the Constitution. In the distance is a view of the U.S. Capitol. Below, before the two portraits, is a shield inscribed "Let Us Have Peace. The Nation's Choice. Novr. 1872." "Let us have peace" were the closing words in Grant's May 29, 1868, letter accepting his first presidential nomination. The phrase became a Republican slogan for both the 1868 and 1872 elections.

1872, November 5th - Grant is reelected with 55.6 percent of the popular vote and 214 electoral votes to Greeley's 80.

1873, February 12 - A coinage act passed by Congress omits silver currency due to scarcity.

1873, March 3 - Congress passes an appropriations bill raising senior government salaries and providing two years' back pay for members of Congress.

1873, March 4 - Grant is inaugurated for his second term as President  with   Henry Wilson sworn in as Vice President.

1874, January 20 - The Congress salary bill of March 3, 1873, is repealed. The President and Supreme Court justices are exempted from the repeal.

1874, April 22 - Grant stops a $100 million dollar increase in the US money supply by vetoing the inflation bill.

1874, September 15 - Grant issues a presidential proclamation and  sends five thousand troops and three gunboats to New Orleans  for the dispersal of the rebellious "White League." in Louisiana. The resistance breaks-up two days later.

1784, November election - Democrats win big in the midterm congressional elections, gaining seats in the Senate and a majority in the House.

1875, January 10 - The Hawaiian Reciprocity Treaty is signed, and the islands become a protectorate of the United States.

1875, January 14 - Grant sends a special message to Congress approving The Specie Resumption Act.

1875, March 1 - Grant approves  the Civil Rights Act of 1875, prohibiting the exclusion of blacks from juries and guaranteeing blacks equal rights in public places

1875, November 22 - Henry Wilson, Vice President of the United States dies.

1875, December 7 - In his annual message to Congress, Grant advocates compulsory nonsectarian education.

Tatanka Iyotaka  1830-1890  Hunkpapa Sioux Leader and Medicine Man

1876, June 25 - 265 men of the Seventh Cavalry are killed in a battle with Sitting Bull's Sioux Indians at Little Big Horn.

1876, August 1 - Colorado is admitted to the Union as the thirty-eighth state.

1877, January 29 - Both parties in Congress agree to establish a commission to determine results of the contested presidential election in which Hayes disputes the returns from Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. The commission is composed of five members of each house of Congress and five members of the Supreme Court. The commission contains eight Republicans and seven Democrats.

1877, February 26 - The Compromise of 1877 is approved with Democrats withdrawing opposition to Hayes and federal troops are removed from Louisiana and South Carolina.

1877, March 4 -  After further actions by Congress on the compromise Rutherford B. Hayes is approved by both houses and  privately sworn in as the nineteenth President of the United States.

1877, May 17 - Sailed from Philadelphia on his journey round the world.

1879, December 16 - Landed at Philadelphia from his journey.

1880 - A Third Term Grant Movement, "the 306," invests in Grant and Ward.

1883, December 24 – Grant is injured by a fall on ice.

1884, May 6 - Failure of the Marine Bank and of Grant & Ward. Grant writes articles for Century Magazine.

1884, June  - Grant accepts the offer of Mark Twain  to write his memoirs.  Twain writes of Grant after publishing his memoirs after his death: 

"I had been comparing the memoirs with Caesar's Commentaries... I was able to say in all Apologetic forms that the same high merits distinguished both books - clarity of statement, directness, simplicity, manifest truthfulness, fairness and justice toward friend and foe alike and avoidance of flowery speech. General Grant was just a man, just a human being, just an author...The fact remains and cannot be dislodged that General Grant's book is a great, unique and unapproachable literary masterpiece. There is no higher literature than these modest, simple Memoirs. Their style is at least flawless, and no man can improve upon it."

1884, November - Grant suffers from cancer of throat.

1885, March 4 - Was placed on the retired list with the rank of general.

1885, July 23 - Ulysses S. Grant died at Mount McGregor, near Saratoga, New York.

1897 - The President's remains are re-interred  into an imposing Mausoleum on Riverside Drive, New York City known as Grant's Tomb.

1902, December 14th - Julia Dent Grant's death.  The First Lady is entombed with her husband at the Mausoleum that is officially known as: General Grant National Memorial.

By: Stanley Yavneh Klos
  • First United American Republic: United Colonies of North America: 13 British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774 (Georgia joined in 1775)  and governed through a British Colonial Continental Congress.  Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief;
  • Second United American Republic: The United States of America: 13 Independent States United in Congress was founded by 12 states on July 2nd, 1776 (New York abstained until July 8th), and governed through the United States Continental CongressJohn Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Third United American Republic: The United States of America: A Perpetual Union was founded by 13 States on March 1st, 1781, with the enactment of the first U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and governed through the United States in Congress Assembled.  Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Fourth United American Republic: The United States of America: We the People  was formed by 11 states on March 4th, 1789 (North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in November 1789 and May 1790, respectively), with the enactment of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The fourth and current United States Republic governs through  the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled, the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  George Washington served as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief.

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