Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ulysses S. Grant Born... and Born Again...

On April 27 1822, famed Civil War General and 18th President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant was born.

Grant, better known for his prowess on the battlefield as opposed to his leadership in office is a neat character. He quickly rose his way to the top of the Union Army after having sat "fallow" for some time before the war.

Fallow -- land, plowed and left unseeded for a season or more; uncultivated; not in use.

After some action in the Mexican-American(1846-1848) War and preceding the Civil War (1861), Grant sat "fallow" for several years while trying his hand at farming. He failed. In fact, he tried many different occupations and wasn't good at any of them.

This is what makes his quick rise in to leadership with the Union Army so interesting. With very little military leadership training, Grant simply won battle after battle. His secret was simple. Other leaders spent much of their time trying to outsmart their counterpart, worrying what the other would do. Not Grant. Grant didn't worry about his opposition and simply did what he thought was best. He didn't care what his opponent was doing. It seemed to work.
After serving as President, Grant died a poor man. His last years were spent writing his memoirs, of which he never saw a penny. Though his surviving wife was able to profit from his writings.

Ulysses S. Grant on the new colored $50 fifty dollar billIn 2004, US Grant was born again. April 26, 2004 the United States introduced the new colored $50 bill. The new design was put in place to deter counterfeiters. It was the first design change for the fifty since 1997.
Fun Facts:
In 2005, US Representative John Kline introduced legislation to replace Grant's image on the $50 bill with an image of President Ronald Reagan.
Grant had owned one slave whom he set free in 1859.

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Anonymous said...

as a political figure grant was all over the map... he supported democrats... but when he ran for president he was a republican... i for one think we need more of that kind of thinking today...

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