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Collection Ulysses S. Grant Papers


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)

  1. 1822, Apr. 27

    Born Hiram Ulysses Grant to Jesse Root Grant (1794-1873) and Hannah Simpson Grant (1798-1883), Point Pleasant, Ohio

  2. 1823

    Family moved to Georgetown, Ohio

  3. 1827-1835

    Attended subscription schools in Georgetown, Ohio

  4. 1836-1837

    Attended Maysville Seminary, Maysville, Ky.

  5. 1837-1838

    Attended subscription school in Georgetown, Ohio

  6. 1838-1839

    Attended private school, Ripley, Ohio

  7. 1839

    Entered the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. Appointment bore the incorrect name "Ulysses Simpson Grant," which Grant adopted.

  8. 1843

    Graduated, United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.

    Brevet second lieutenant, Fourth Infantry, United States Army

    Stationed at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Mo.

  9. 1844

    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.

  10. 1845

    Commissioned as second lieutenant, Fourth Infantry, United States Army

  11. 1846-1848

    Served under Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott in the Mexican War

  12. 1847

    Commissioned as first lieutenant

  13. 1848

    Married Julia Boggs Dent in St. Louis, Mo., August 22

    Stationed in Detroit, Mich., and Madison Barracks, Sackets Harbor, N.Y.

  14. 1850

    Son Frederick Dent Grant born, May 30 (died April 12, 1912)

  15. 1852

    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)

  16. 1853

    Promoted to captain

  17. 1854

    Stationed at Fort Humboldt, Calif.

    Resigned commission in April

    Reunited with his family in St. Louis, Mo.

  18. 1855

    Moved to Wish-ton-wish farm on Dent property

    Daughter Ellen Wrenshall ("Nellie") Grant born, July 4 (died August 30, 1922)

  19. 1856

    Moved to Hardscrabble farm in Missouri

  20. 1858

    Son Jesse Root Grant, Jr., born, February 6 (died June 8, 1934)

  21. 1860

    Moved to Galena, Ill., to work in father's leather store

  22. 1861-1865

    Served in the Civil War. Successive commissions as colonel, brigadier general, and major general, volunteer army; and major general and lieutenant general, regular army

  23. 1861

    Grant's forces successful at Battle of Belmont, Mo., on November 7

  24. 1862

    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.

  25. 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

  26. 1864

    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

  27. 1865

    Surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to Grant at Appomattox Court House, April 9

    Established headquarters in Washington, D.C.

  28. 1866

    Promoted to full General

    Accompanied President Andrew Johnson on "swing around the circle" tour, August-September

  29. 1867

    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.

  30. 1868

    Resigned as secretary of war ad interim in January

    Nominated in May as presidential candidate of the Republican Party

    Won presidential election, November 3

  31. 1869-1877

    President of the United States

  32. 1869

    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.

  33. 1870-1871

    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.

  34. 1872

    Signed legislation in March creating Yellowstone National Park

    Won presidential election, November 4

  35. 1873

    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

  36. 1874

    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

  37. 1875

    Signed Civil Rights Act which guaranteed to all citizens equal access to public accommodations

  38. 1876

    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.

  39. 1877-1879

    Toured the United States, Europe, Russia, Egypt, India, Japan, and China.

  40. 1880

    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

  41. 1884

    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)

  42. 1884-1885

    Wrote memoirs to pay off financial debt

  43. 1885

    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

  44. 1885, July 23

    Died, Mount McGregor, N.Y.

  45. 1885-1886

    Posthumous publication of Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant. 2 vols. New York: Charles L. Webster & Co.

  46. 1886

    Julia Grant received first royalty check for Personal Memoirs in the amount of $200,000

  47. 1897

    Dedication of Grant's Tomb in Riverside Park, New York City