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General of the Army

1866-1869

General Grant on tour with President Johnson

 In March 1866 Grant brought his son Fred to West Point Military Academy to prepare for entrance examinations. In July Grant was appointed a 4-star General of The Army. After his promotion to General of the Army President Andrew Johnson, who replaced Lincoln, invited Grant on a speaking tour in late summer of 1866. Grant had many differences with the caustic and racist President and left the tour early.

Map of White Haven Property

During 1867 Grant would entertain thoughts of moving his family back to the White Haven property in St. Louis which he had purchased from his father-in-law. He made improvements and brought in new horses, but his duties in Washington DC meant this dream would never be realized. 

As General of the Army Grant assumed much of the responsibility of enforcing the sweeping new measures such as the 13th Amendment and the Reconstruction Acts in the post-war south. Defending the rights of recently freed slaves and maintaining order would prove a substantial challenge. In addition to these challenges Grant had to manage complicated military affairs relating to Native Americans.

Secretary of War

Edwin Stanton

Grant at Army Headquarters Washington DC

President

Andrew Johnson

The reckless President Johnson was running afoul of many in Washington. In the summer of 1867 Grant gave testimony to Congress regarding potential impeachment of the President. After this the Grant family escaped the heat of Washington for the resort of Long Branch, NJ, a place that would become a second home for them in future years. As a result of the desperate scheming of President Johnson Grant would have to reluctantly serve as interim Secretary of War for a about 6 months until congress re-instated Edwin Stanton in January 1868.  

The Stanton affair would be the impetus for an impeachment trial against President Johnson which resulted in him nearly being removed from office in May 1868. That same month Grant was nominated as Presidential candidate with Schuyler Colfax as his running mate at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, IL.

Grant and party at Fort Sanders, Wyoming Territory

Thomas Nast political cartoon

Grant did not campaign for president instead escaping Washington for the summer on a two week tour of the west with Generals Sherman and Sheridan as well as his son "Buck". Grant spent the rest of the year with his family in Galena watching the Presidential campaign unfold. Grant realized how severe these contests were, but had a powerful ally in famed political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Due largely to his solid reputation and the new African American vote on Nov. 3rd Grant was elected 18th President of the United States.

The Metropolitan Methodist Church

Reverend Newman

A few days before his inauguration Ulysses and Julia attended the dedication of the Metropolitan Methodist Church in Washington DC, it's pastor being John P. Newman. Not being a trained politician Grant was entering uncharted territory in taking the presidency, but what he lacked in experience was supplemented by his sense of duty.  

Individuals and places relating to

U.S. Grant as General of the Army....

Andrew Johnson

(Assumed U.S.  Presidency when Lincoln was killed.)

Adam Badeau

(Grant's Secretary who had served on his Civil War staff)

Thomas Nast

(Political cartoonist that helped Grant's Presidential campaign.)

John Logan

(Civil War General and Republican leader in Grant's election.)

John P. Newman

(Methodist Minister and Grant family pastor.)