The Exchange : Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant

"Money of the Civil War" is one of the major exhibits in the Money Museum. Therefore, it is only fitting that one of the first displays visitors see is that of Ulysses S. Grant. Grant is primarily known for being the General of the Union Forces and leading troops to a victory over Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army. 

 

Grant began his military career by graduating from West Point Military Academy. During the Mexican-American War, Grant carefully studied under Gen. Zachary Taylor and Gen. Winfield Scott. It was in the Mexican-American War that Grant distinguished himself and was promoted twice for bravery. In the years following the war, he relocated frequently. During this time, he began to develop a drinking problem. With the possibility of being punished for his heavy drinking, Grant resigned from the Army in 1854. 

 

When the Civil War began, Grant volunteered and was assigned to command the 21st Illinois volunteer regiment. Grant's victories along the Mississippi quickly gained him fame. Some of his most well-known victories included the battles of Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chattanooga and his Overland campaign. In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln promoted Grant to commander of all Union Armies. On April 9, 1865, General Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia; essentially ending the Civil War. 

 

Grant was assigned to oversee the post-war reconstruction. In 1868 Grant was elected the 18th President of the United States at age 46. At the time, he was the youngest president ever elected. Grant had some success as president. However, his two terms were marked heavily by corruption from those in his administration. Overall, his presidency is deemed by a majority of historians as unsuccessful. 

 

Even with the issues he had as president, many people still had a favorable view of Grant. History will always remember him first as a great war general. Military historian J.F.C Fuller described Grant as, "the greatest general of his age and one of the greatest strategists of any age." Grant has been honored for his accomplishments with his portrait being placed on the 1922 commemorative Grant half dollar and, since 1913, on the $50 bill. Recently, there have been attempts to remove Grant's portrait and replace it with a portrait of former President Ronald Reagan. Before Grant's death in 1885, he wrote his autobiography "Personal Memoirs," which, published by Mark Twain, became extremely popular and now is considered a historic piece of american literature. 

Grant -commem -half$

(1922 Commemorative Grant Half Dollar)

 

$50 Bill Grant

($50 Bill Featuring Former President Ulysses S. Grant)

 

To learn more about Ulysses S. Grant and others historic figures in the Civil War, visit the Money Museum at 818 N. Cascade Ave. in Colorado Springs, Colo. 

Written by Brandon Ortega at 03:00

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