Learning Lincoln On-line


General U.S. Grant Learning Activity-- Order #6-- President Lincoln Appoints U.S. Grant as Lt. General of all Union Armies

Read the Order #6 Article--  "Lincoln Signs Ulysses S. Grant’s Commission to Command the U.S. Army"

ORDER #6-- President Lincoln Appoints U.S. Grant as Lt. General of all Union Armies

       On February 29, 1864, Congress passed an act to re-establish an old rank, once given to George Washington.  What was this rank?  In March 8, 1864, U.S. Grant had an important meeting with President Lincoln.  What was this meeting about, and where?  By March 12, 1864, Grant received the big promotion?  Why do you think the President wanted U.S. Grant for this rank?  What does the rank mean?

From:  National Defense University Press   JOINT FORCE QUARTERLY 77 (2ND QUARTER, APRIL 2015)

Union Success in the Civil War and Lessons for Strategic Leaders--

       "On April 10, 1865, Robert E. Lee wrote a letter to the soldiers of his army that began, “After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been forced to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.” At this moment, the Civil War essentially ended in victory for the Union, and the process of reuniting the United States of America began. Lee’s immediate view of the circumstances, that the Confederate armies had done everything possible but were overmatched by Northern numbers, provided a means by which his veterans could feel that they had served honorably, but it was challenged almost immediately by other Confederate military and political leaders who blamed instead such factors as incompetent government, social divisions, and political squabbling for their defeat. The Confederacy, many felt, would not have embarked on a war it could not win. Indeed, its success in repelling invasions over the first 2 years of the war led many to believe that the war had almost been won.

       A century and a half later, there remains considerable debate among historians as to the reasons for the outcome of the Civil War. Many explanations have been proposed for the Union victory: political, economic, military, social, even diplomatic. Strong cases can be made as to why each was important to the Confederacy’s downfall.

       Yet the key to victory was found in 1864, after President Abraham Lincoln appointed General Ulysses S. Grant the commander of all Union forces. In concert with Lincoln’s other strategic efforts to weaken the Confederate will to resist, Grant devised a military plan that ultimately gave Lee no choice but to surrender. Although there was no written plan, Lincoln and Grant combined the separate elements of Union power in a complementary way to make continuing the war more painful to the Confederate population than rejoining the Union. This comprehensive strategy, which included political, economic, and diplomatic elements as well as military operations, led to victory."

The U.S. National Archives Describes the Appointment of Gen. Grant to Lt. General of all Union Forces, including a Lincoln Letter

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