A chronology of key events in the life of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), army officer and eighteenth president of the United States. For a more detailed chronology, consult the "Chronology" page on the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library website.
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885)
1822, Apr. 27
Born Hiram Ulysses Grant to Jesse Root Grant (1794-1873) and Hannah Simpson Grant (1798-1883), Point Pleasant, Ohio
Family moved to Georgetown, Ohio
Attended subscription schools in Georgetown, Ohio
Attended Maysville Seminary, Maysville, Ky.
Attended subscription school in Georgetown, Ohio
Attended private school, Ripley, Ohio
Entered the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. Appointment bore the incorrect name "Ulysses Simpson Grant," which Grant adopted.
Graduated, United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
Brevet second lieutenant, Fourth Infantry, United States Army
Stationed at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Mo.
Engaged on May 22 to Julia Boggs Dent (1826-1902), daughter of Frederick Dent (1787-1873) and Ellen Wrenshall Dent (1793-1857)
Stationed at Camp Salubrity, Natchitoches, La.
Commissioned as second lieutenant, Fourth Infantry, United States Army
Served under Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott in the Mexican War
Commissioned as first lieutenant
Married Julia Boggs Dent in St. Louis, Mo., August 22
Stationed in Detroit, Mich., and Madison Barracks, Sackets Harbor, N.Y.
Son Frederick Dent Grant born, May 30 (died April 12, 1912)
Departed New York, July 5, for posting on at Columbia Barracks (later Fort Vancouver) in Oregon Territory
Son Ulysses ("Buck") S. Grant, Jr., born, July 22 (died September 25, 1929)
Promoted to captain
Stationed at Fort Humboldt, Calif.
Resigned commission in April
Reunited with his family in St. Louis, Mo.
Moved to Wish-ton-wish farm on Dent property
Daughter Ellen Wrenshall ("Nellie") Grant born, July 4 (died August 30, 1922)
Moved to Hardscrabble farm in Missouri
Son Jesse Root Grant, Jr., born, February 6 (died June 8, 1934)
Moved to Galena, Ill., to work in father's leather store
Served in the Civil War. Successive commissions as colonel, brigadier general, and major general, volunteer army; and major general and lieutenant general, regular army
Grant's forces successful at Battle of Belmont, Mo., on November 7
Confederate forces surrender at Forts Henry and Donelson in Tennessee in February
Earned nickname of "Unconditional Surrender" Grant for response to Confederate General Simon B. Buckner's request for terms to surrender Fort Donelson.
Battle of Shiloh or Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn., April 6-7. Union victory, but heavy casualties suffered on both sides.
Issued General Orders No. 11, December 17, which expelled "Jews, as a class" from the Department of the Tennessee. Orders revoked in January 1863.
Vicksburg campaign in Mississippi, March-May. Siege of Vicksburg, May-July 3. Confederate General John C. Pemberton surrendered Vicksburg, July 4.
Ordered to Tennessee in October to oversee Union military operations around Chattanooga
After Congress revived the military grade of lieutenant general and President Lincoln nominated Grant for the rank, Grant received his commission as lieutenant general at a White House ceremony, March 9
Assigned General-in-Chief of the United States Army (1864-1869). Established headquarters in the field with the Army of the Potomac.
Directed operations of the Army of the Potomac at battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor in Virginia, May-June
Established headquarters at City Point, Va.
Unsuccessful operations against Confederate forces led to Union siege of Petersburg, Va., beginning in June
Surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to Grant at Appomattox Court House, April 9
Established headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Promoted to full General
Accompanied President Andrew Johnson on "swing around the circle" tour, August-September
Served a secretary of war ad interim during confrontation between President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton pursuant to Johnson's attempt to remove Stanton from office.
Resigned as secretary of war ad interim in January
Nominated in May as presidential candidate of the Republican Party
Won presidential election, November 3
President of the United States
Inaugurated eighteenth president, March 4
Purchased summer home in Long Branch, N.J.
"Black Friday" (September 24) economic panic following attempt by speculators Jay Gould and James Fisk to corner the market on the New York Gold Exchange. Grant's brother-in-law Abel Corbin complicit in the scheme.
Signed three Enforcement Acts (Enforcement Act of 1870, Enforcement Act of 1871, Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871) intended to protect rights of African Americans and authorized federal intervention for enforcement. The Ku Klux Klan Act was passed at Grant's request.
Signed legislation in March creating Yellowstone National Park
Won presidential election, November 4
Signed Salary Act legislation in March which increased salaries of many federal officials; also known as the "salary grab"
Collapse of Jay Cooke & Co. in September sparked financial Panic of 1873
Vetoed Legal Tender Act that would have expanded supply of paper currency in circulation
Daughter Ellen married Algernon Sartoris at the White House, May 21
In December ordered General Philip H. Sheridan to New Orleans to investigate political unrest in Louisiana
Signed Civil Rights Act which guaranteed to all citizens equal access to public accommodations
Provided deposition on behalf of private secretary Orville E. Babcock, who was on trial as an alleged conspirator in the Whiskey Ring, one of several government corruption scandals that tarnished the reputation of the second Grant administration
Opened Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Penn.
Attended the consecration of Adas Israel synagogue, Washington, D.C.
Toured the United States, Europe, Russia, Egypt, India, Japan, and China.
Visited Cuba and Mexico
Unsuccessful candidate for the presidential nomination on the Republican Party ticket; lost nomination to James A. Garfield
Purchased home in New York City
Ruined financially in May by bankruptcy of Grant & Ward investment firm in which Ulysses S. Grant and his son Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., were partners with Ferdinand Ward
Submitted article in June on the Battle of Shiloh to The Century magazine, for which he was paid $500. Subsequently submitted articles to The Century on Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and the Wilderness.
Beginning in summer experienced sustained throat pain later diagnosed as lingual epithelioma (cancer of the tongue)
Wrote memoirs to pay off financial debt
Signed contract in February to publish memoirs with the Charles L. Webster & Co., publishing company of Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain)
U.S. Congress passed retirement bill on Grant's behalf in March, allowing him to receive full pay as a retired general
Press first reported Grant's cancer diagnosis in March
Denied rumors in May that aide Adam Badeau was the author of memoirs
Moved to cooler climate of Mount McGregor, N.Y., in June
Finished work on memoirs in mid-July
1885, July 23
Died, Mount McGregor, N.Y.
Posthumous publication of Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant. 2 vols. New York: Charles L. Webster & Co.
Julia Grant received first royalty check for Personal Memoirs in the amount of $200,000
Dedication of Grant's Tomb in Riverside Park, New York City