Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Ulysses S. Grant
|On April 9th, Palm Sunday, it finally all came to an end. Grant and Lee meet in a living room surrounded by staff. Grant is in his private's blouse, muddy, and bedraggled. Lee in a beatiful dress uniform with sword at his side. Grant offers lenient terms, and the war was over. Where did the surrender take place?||Ulysses S. Grant: Commander
Appomattox Courthouse. Grant did not tarry. Grant and his staff rode back to Headquarters. The news of what had happened preceded them. Cheers and artillery resounded! Grant then directed his staff officers to tell his subordinates to stop the celebration. "The war is over," he observed. "The Rebels are our countrymen again."
A spartan existence. In comparison with the rank and file of high command, Grant ate poorly (he liked cucumbers and vinegar for breakfast); he had one extra uniform (which was a private's uniform with stars pinned on); and his staff was the size of one more closely associated with a regimental command.
|On account of Grant's succession of victories, the Congress of the United States (with the President's signature) awarded what to Grant?||Ulysses S. Grant: Commander
Promoted him to Lieutenant General. General Grant was the second such awardee; President Washington was the first, awarded it in 1798, a year before he died.
|Vicksburg--"the Gibralter of the west," stood on the Mississppi River and the major rail line to the west. Much of the land was under water or too soggy to sustain cannon, horses, and wagons. Grant tried many ways to get to Vicksburg, but each a failure. Finally, the plan: sneak past the fort in transports, cut loose from his base, get his army on dry land, and attack north! The out come was what?||Ulysses S. Grant: Commander
The Mississippi became a Federal River, and the Confederacy was split in two.. In the first eighteen days after crossing the Mississippi, he fought five battles--Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion's Hill and Big Black River. He marched 200 miles with only five days of rations--and then took Vicksburg after a siege of about six weeks. His losses are instructive. Between April 30 and July 4 Grant lost 1,243 killed, 7,095 wounded and 535 missing, a total of 8,873; he killed and wounded about 10,000 Confederates and captured 37,000; among these were 15 generals and 72 cannon.
|Shiloh. Grant has left the army encamped at Pittsburg Landing. He is waiting for Buell to get his divisions up for a move south towards Corinth. Unbeknown to him, Johnston has got his army within shouting distance without raising alarm. The morning of April 6, Johnston strikes while the Yanks are still in their fart sacks--the outcome of this two day engagement is what?||Ulysses S. Grant: Commander
A slaughter-fest between amateur armies. "Men ... Lying in every conceivable position; the dead ... with their eyes wide open, the wounded begging piteously for help ... I seemed ... in sort of a daze." Sherman described, "piles of dead soldiers, mangled bodies ... without heads and legs ... The scenes on this field would have cured anybody of war."
|The night of 14 February, 1862--Fort Donelson. Grant has the fort surrounded, and General Floyd is desperate. He decides to attack the Union right, and successfully begins to roll up Grant's flank. Grant who was not there, gets the news and rushes back. What was his response to this debacle? ||Ulysses S. Grant: Commander
Told his men that the first to attack will win.. Grant calmly attacked with his left, talking the pressure off the right. He reorganized the right and regained the lines before the Confederate attack and he won the battle.
He responded to General Buckner, now commanding in Donelson, his terms: "Sir: Yours of this date proposing Armistice and appointment of Commissioners to settle terms of Capitulation is just received. No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works. I am sir, very respectfully, Your obt.svt. Grant"
|Grant learned an important lesson early in the war. As he was marching his regiment towards the command of Col. Thomas Harris,CSA, encamped at Florida Missouri. He recounts, "My heart kept getting higher and higher until it felt to me as though it was in my throat." Finally when he arrived at where he expected the enemy--they were gone. What did he learn? ||Ulysses S. Grant: Commander
They were as afraid of his forces as he was of theirs.. Grant said, "This was a view of the question I had never taken before; but it was one I never forgot afterwards. From that event to the close of the war, I never experienced trepidation upon confronting an enemy, though I always felt more or less anxiety. I never forgot that he had as much reason to fear my forces as I had his. The lesson was valuable."
Pennsylvania coal miners. The Siege of Petersburg lasted from June 9, 1864 to March 25, 1865. Although Grant's Overland Campaign had failed in forcing a final confrontation between his armies and Lee's it had succeeded in bottling Lee up in Petersburg. If Lee left his defenses Grant would have captured Richmond. In many ways the siege foreshadowed what was to come in WWI as it amounted to nine months of trench warfare.
Grant did not want to lay siege and was looking for a way to break the stalemate. Lt. Col. Henry Pleasants, commander of a Pennsylvania infantry regiment and a mine engineer in peacetime, proposed a bold plan to Grant. Pleasants used Pennsylvania coal miners to dig a tunnel under the Confederate works that was then filled with explosives and ignited. The plan worked brilliantly but the devastation caused in the Confederate works was not easy to pass through and the Union forces were unable to exploit the success of the plan.
The Battle of Cold Harbor. The Battle of Cold Harbor lasted from May 31, 1864 to June 13, 1864. The battle was one of the most lopsided victories for the South during the war. In many ways it was reminiscent of the slaughter of Fredericksburg back in 1862. The Union army tried frontal assaults against fortified enemy positions with no success whatsoever. In his memoirs Grant even admits that he regretted the final assault at Cold Harbor. Attacking fortified enemy positions by frontal assault was a tactic that was employed over and over again during the Civil War, always with the same results - massive casualties for the attacker. Grant did it at Cold Harbor, Sherman at Kennesaw Mountain, Lee at Gettysburg in Pickett's Charge, and Burnside at Fredericksburg.
Realizing he could not overwhelm the Confederate position, Grant again tried to outflank Lee by crossing the James River and heading for the important rail junction at Petersburg. Lee was caught off guard but recovered, leading to the Siege of Petersburg.
North Anna River. After the stalemate at the Spotsylvania Court House, Grant again tried to outflank Lee by getting to the North Anna River before Lee and crossing. (The heroine in the King and I is named Anna.) At first Lee was unaware of Grant's intentions but soon realized that the North Anna was Grant's goal. Lee moved quickly to establish a defensive line that would split the Union army in two, allowing him to concentrate his efforts on defeating half of the army before the other half could come to its aid. The plan worked but before Lee could take advantage of it he became ill and had no subordinate who could take advantage of the situation. Grant quickly realized the danger his army was in, halted his advance and dug in.
|As Grant and the Union Army pushed further into Virginia during the Overland Campaign, where was the second place they met Lee's men in battle? (Hint: it sounds like a place Dick and Jane's dog would like)||Grant - 'I Can't Spare This Man, He Fights'
The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House was fought from May 8 through May 21, 1864. (Dick and Jane's dog was named Spot, hence the clue.) Grant had abandoned his direct assaults in the Battle of the Wilderness and attempted to maneuver around Lee and gain the crossroads at Spotsylvania Court House. But Lee anticipated Grant's move and his men arrived at the crossroads first. As was the case throughout the Overland Campaign, the Union forces were slow to carry out Grant's orders and the Confederates were speedy in carrying out Lee's orders. This led to Lee always being in position ahead of Grant, thus thwarting Grant's attempts to force a battle on terms favorabe to the Union. But unlike previous commanders of the Union forces facing Lee, Grant did not give up after initial failure in achieving his goal. He instead fought on and drove further into Virginia. The battle was a tactical victory for the South but it did not stop Grant's advance so it was considered a strategic draw.
|When Grant assumed command of all Union Forces in 1864, he went East to face Lee. On May 4, 1864 he began what became known as the Overland Campaign. What was the first major battle in this campaign? (Hint: it reminds me of the Israelites when they left Egypt)||Grant - 'I Can't Spare This Man, He Fights'
The Battle of the Wilderness. On May 4, 1864, Grant and the Army of the Potomac crossed the Rapidan River in an attempt to get between Lee and Richmond. This would have forced Lee to abandon his fixed defensive positions and to fight a battle on the Union's terms. Lee reacted quickly and attacked the Union forces in an area known as the Wilderness. (When the Israelites left Egypt under Moses they wandered in the wilderness of the Sinai for 40 years.) The Wilderness was a tangle of undergrowth that negated the Union artillery advantage, forcing close combat and hand-to-hand fighting. The battle raged from May 5-7 before Grant decided to halt the attack and instead outmaneuver Lee. He hoped to reach the crossroads at Spotsylvania Court House and seize them before Lee could react.
|Of the four choices below, which one is the geographic location where the decisive battle of the Chattanooga Campaign took place? (Hint: three of the geographic locations are from the Battle of Gettysburg, only one is from the Chattanooga Campaign)||Grant - 'I Can't Spare This Man, He Fights'
Missionary Ridge. The Battle of Missionary Ridge occurred on Nov. 25, 1863. It followed up the Union victory in the Battle of Lookout Mountain on Nov. 24. Initially, Sherman had been ordered by Grant to attack the northern end of Missionary Ridge at Tunnel Hill but was slow to act and Confederate reinforcements stopped him cold. Grant ordered Thomas and the Army of the Cumberland to attack the middle of the ridge in an attempt to relieve pressure from Sherman's position. The attack began and, meeting little resistance, continued on until the crest of the ridge had been taken. This had not been the original intent of Grant but commanders on the ground and individual soldiers themselves took the initiative and carried the day. The center should have been heavily defended but it was not. Combining with this attack on the center of the Confederate line was an attack by Hooker on the southern end of the line. The successful combination of the two attacks drove the Confederates from the field. The loss forced the Confederates to abandon Tennessee. The victory in the Chattanooga Campaign led to Grant being promoted to commander of all Union forces and his assignment in the East to face Lee.
The Siege of Vicksburg. The Vicksburg Campaign had begun in Dec. 1862. After failing to take the city from the north and from the Mississippi River, Grant finally led his forces south and crossed the Mississippi below Vicksburg at the end of Apr. 1863. Then, in a series of battles Grant moved eastward, swung north and attacked the city from the east. The Confederates were forced back into the city with no means of escape. The Siege of Vicksburg began on May 18 and did not end until July 4 when Pemberton surrendered his forces to Grant. This was the second Confederate army to surrender to Grant, the first having surrendered at Fort Donelson. The surrender of Vicksburg effectively split the Confederacy in two and gave the Union complete control of the Mississippi River.
|After the Battle of Fort Donelson, Grant was given a nickname by the Northern press that would stick with him throughout the rest of the war. What did the press say the initials 'U.S.' stood for in Grant's name?||Grant - 'I Can't Spare This Man, He Fights'
Unconditional Surrender. When asked by Confederate Gen. Buckner for terms of surrender Grant famously replied in part, "No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works." Grant did not plan for a prolonged siege but believed he could storm the fort and take it so his threat was not an idle one. Buckner surrendered his forces to Grant. It was the first of three armies that would surrender to Grant during the war.
The victory was one of the first victories for the North and the press took great joy in reporting it. They declared that Grant's initials stood for "Unconditional Surrender", a nickname even President Lincoln approved of. Grant's birth name was Hiram Ulysses Grant. When he was nominated to go to West Point, his name was erroneously submitted as Ulysses S. Grant. The name stuck and Grant adopted it as his own. At West Point he gained the nickname Sam, a reference to his initials 'U.S.' standing for 'Uncle Sam'. But the press never picked up on this nickname, it was reserved for his military colleagues.
The Battle of Pittsburg Landing. It is also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing. The clue 'steely' is a reference to Pittsburgh, PA being the Steel City and the closeness in spelling shared by the two places. Grant's Army of the Tennessee was encamped near a small log church called Shiloh in southern Tennessee, preparing for an attack on Corinth, Mississippi. The Confederates pre-emptively attacked Grant's forces at Shiloh, hoping to destroy Grant's army before Buell's Army of the Ohio could arrive. Grant was roundly criticized at the time for not preparing defensive positions for his army and many called for his firing after the battle. It was also the bloodiest battle in the Civil War up to that time, something Grant's critics blamed him for. In response to the criticism Lincoln said, "I can't spare this man, he fights."
Although the Union army had been caught off-guard during the first day of battle, both Sherman and Grant rallied the troops in an orderly withdrawal that ended near Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River. The Union forces counterattacked along the whole battle line on the second day and drove the Confederates from the field. Although the battle had started out badly, Grant and Sherman turned it into a Union victory. Although Sherman and other generals were given most of the credit at the time for the victory, historians have since recognized the crucial role Grant played in the battle and its successful outcome.