The Civil War, Day by Day

Ulysses S. Grant

Grant is Promoted to Command all Union Forces

The Union’s future looked brighter than ever on March 9, 1864. On this day, President Abraham Lincoln announced the appointment of Ulysses S. Grant as General-in-Chief of all Union forces. Grant was also given the title of Lieutenant General - then the highest ranking officer in the army. As a military leader, Grant was fully prepared for his new duties...but he was less comfortable with his sudden celebrity status.

When he arrived in Washington, D.C. on March 8, Grant was tired and disheveled. He and his teenaged son, Fred, dined at their hotel, only to be greeted by cheers of “Grant! Grant! Grant!” by other patrons. Then they were whisked to a gala reception at the White House, where an exuberant Lincoln met Grant for the first time. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles recalled that the scene was so “rowdy and unseemly,” that Grant was forced to stand on a sofa as he shook hands with the adoring crowd.

On March 9, Lincoln announced Grant’s appointment in a formal ceremony. “As the country herein trusts you,” Lincoln addressed his new general, “so under God, it will sustain you.” His voice shaking with nervousness, Grant replied, “It will be my earnest endeavor not to disappoint your expectations.” Lincoln knew that Grant would live up to his words. In a private conversation after the ceremony, Lincoln gave Grant the authority to act without his knowledge or approval. After three costly, agonizing years, the President finally found a general who would lead the Union to victory...with decisiveness, determination, and dignity.

April's Archived Features:

Wednesday April 1, 2020
Thursday April 2, 2020
Friday April 3, 2020
Saturday April 4, 2020
Sunday April 5, 2020



All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.