US general and 18th President of the USA (1869–77). He entered the American Civil War as a colonel of volunteers in support of the Union (Northern states), and success brought him rapid promotion. He was active in most of the early engagements in the western theatre, winning the nickname “Unconditional Surrender” for his capture of Fort Donelson (12 February 1862). As a major-general, he captured Vicksburg in 1863 and was again successful at Chattanooga before being promoted to the supreme command of all the Union forces in February 1864. Basing himself in Virginia, he maintained relentless pressure on Lee in a bloody year-long campaign in which Lee was finally forced to abandon Richmond and surrender at Appomattox, bringing the war to an end. Grant served briefly as Secretary of War (1867–68) before being twice elected as Republican President of the USA. His Presidency saw the collapse of the reconstruction programme in the South. One of the greatest of all US soldiers, Grant was also one of the least successful US presidents.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence — History.