In preparation for his assault on the Confederate fortress at Vicksburg, Ulysess S. Grant reorganizes his forces into 4 Corps (13th, 15th, 16th, 17th) under John A. McLernand, William T. Sherman, Stephen A. Hurlbut and James B. McPherson respectively
Ulysses S. Grant renewed his efforts to reach Vicksburg when he tried to push gunboats past Fort Pemberton, near Greenwood. General W. W. Loring ("Old Blizzards") had built and manned the fort to prevent attacks of this nature.
John Pemberton, commander of Confederate forces at Vicksburg asks Ulysses S. Grant for terms. Grant demands an unconditional surrender. Pemberton refuses. Late in the evening, Grant offers excellent terms and Pemberton accepts.
Ulysses S. Grant leaves Bridgeport, AL to assume command of the troops in Chattanooga. The only road in a muddy wash with a horrible stench from the dead mules lying on either side. This was the road Rosecrans was using to supply his troops.
Three Union armies attacked the Army of Tennessee atop Missionary Ridge, east of downtown Chattanooga. Patrick Cleburne stopped William Tecumseh Sherman from the north, although outnumbered 10 to 1. Joe Hooker was seriously delayed by burnt bridges and failed to hit the southern end of Bragg's line near Rossville, Georgia. Thomas' Army of the Cumberland struck the center, breaking Bragg's line and forcing a retreat. Sheridan, ordered to pursue, was stopped dead in his tracks by William Hardee's rear guard action.
William Tecumseh Sherman, meeting with Grant in Nashville, is promoted to Military Division of the Mississippi commanding the Department of the Ohio, Department of the Tennessee, Department of the Cumberland and the Department of the Arkansas. Major General James McPherson is promoted to Sherman's old position, commander of the Army of the Tennessee
William F. Smith [US] and Winfield Scott Hancock [US], with a combined army of nearly 30,000 men are held off by General P. G. T. Beauregard with about 4,000 men. Union force only gain Battery No. 5 and about a mile of the Dimmock Line
According to American Heritage magazine "U. S." Grant was "...the supreme Union hero of the Civil War, but Grant's success on the battlefield was neither a good predictor or indicator...he weathered serious problems, both personal and professional, both before and after the war."
The call for volunteers following the attack on Fort Sumter in 1861 drew 38-year-old "Sam" Grant out of near poverty. The West Point graduate had abandoned the military when a superior officer discovered him drunk on duty. Returning to his wife's family farm near St. Louis, Missouri, Grant began working the fields during the day and finishing the house at night. The farm was almost profitable, but when things got bad he would cut a tree or two and sell the firewood on the streets of St. Louis.
After trying various careers, Grant turned to his father, who employed him as a clerk in his leather shop. Abraham Lincoln's call for men seemed to revitalize Captain Grant. Hired as an adjutant, Grant appealed to George McClellan for a job. McClellan, who was commander of the Department of Ohio, refused to see him. Grant wound up a colonel in the Illinois state militia, leading the 21st Volunteer regiment. That August he was placed in charge of all troops in southern Illinois and eastern Missouri.
As Union military commanders were pushing the President for more time, Sam Grant began what would be a circuitous route to the White House by taking a couple of small towns on the Ohio River in response to Gideon Pillow's seizure of Columbus, Kentucky. Less than five months later Grant defeated Pillow, John Floyd and Simon Bolivar Buckner at Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River just south of the Kentucky/Tennessee border. He then returned to the Tennessee River and followed it south to Pittsburg Landing. Deploying his raw recruits for training rather than defense, Grant's men were subject to a surprise attack on April 6, 1862. The Battle of Shiloh saw the loss of more men in a single day than in any other battle in history.
Less than a week after the surrender, a pleased Lincoln invited Grant and his wife to a play at Ford's Theater. Julia Grant, however, wanted to get back to her children so Ulysses declined. It was a lucky move since Lincoln was assassinated that evening and Grant was on John Wilkes Booth's "hit list."
President Andrew Johnson and General Grant didn't really see eye-to-eye. Grant had given amicable terms to the surrendering Rebels but Johnston want to charge Lee with treason. Lee appealed to Grant to honor his terms of surrender and Grant threatened to take his case to the people. Johnson already had serious problems with Congress and decided to side-step the issue.
In the Election of 1868 the Republican Party decided to run Grant for President. A harsh campaign saw the General beat Horatio Seymour, a rumored "Copperhead," by 300,000 votes. Facing the new President was both the reconstruction of a nation and the Reconstruction of the South, a burdensome war debt and the westward push of our nation.