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General U.S. Grant Learning Activity-- Order #2-- Colonel U.S. Grant Mustering the Troops in Mattoon, Illinois

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The Civil War in the United States:

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Memorial for Mattoon, Illinois' "Union Agricultural Fairgrounds & Camp Grant" Site, where many Illinois volunteers were mustered by U.S. Grant at the very beginning of the Civil War

  • As an army recruiter:  U.S. Grant mustered in a volunteer Galena regiment and took it to the state capital, Springfield. There he took charge of mustering several more regiments and came to the attention of the governor, Richard Yates.

  • In June 1861 Yates appointed Grant colonel of the rebellious 21st Illinois volunteer regiment. Grant soon taught the unruly men military discipline and led them against pro-Confederate guerrillas in Missouri. Because of his demonstrated leadership ability, Grant was then made brigadier general in command of the volunteers district at Cairo, Illinois

  • Grant fought his first battle, an indecisive action against the Confederates at Belmont, Missouri, in November 1861.

  • Three months later, aided by Commodore Andrew H. Foote's gunboats, he captured Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland River, and Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River. These were the first major Union victories of the war.

  • The Confederate commander, Brigadier General Simon B. Buckner, an old friend of Grant's, yielded to Grant's hard conditions of “no terms except unconditional and immediate surrender. Buckner's surrender of 14,000 men made Grant a national figure almost overnight, and he was nicknamed “Unconditional Surrender” Grant. This victory also won him promotion to major general of volunteers.



    Captain Ulysses S. Grant Resigns the U.S. Army in 1854


            U.S. Grant's army career was not advancing and he was 32. The Mexican War was over and the Indians were no longer a major threat. He was stationed in California, far from his wife and two children Missouri and his brothers and parents.



             Grant was promoted to Captain, 4th Infantry, August 5, 1853. While serving in the Northwest, Grant resigned his commission on July 31, 1854.

            His father-in-law needed someone to help run his plantation. The army was scaled back after the Mexican War ended, so Grant saw little opportunity for advancement and was more or less forced out.

            Over the next seven years he tried his hand at several occupations but succeeded in none. Only the outbreak of the Civil War and Grant’s eventual command of the Union Army provided the opportunity to display the military brilliance for which he would best be remembered.

            As the outbreak of Civil War loomed on the horizon, Grant raised and drilled a company of volunteers and was then employed by Governor Yates in the Adjutant-General's Department and made mustering officer. Soon after he was appointed Colonel, 21st IL Volunteers, and on August 7, 1861 was commissioned Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, with rank from May 17, assigned to the command of the District of Southwestern Missouri, headquartered in Cairo, IL.


    U.S. Grant on his favorite horse (Statue at Vicksburg Battle Site)



    Gen. Grant resigned the second time after the Civil War ended in order to become acting Secretary of War for President Johnson. He also was thinking about running for President.




      Drilling the Volunteers-- Colonel U.S. Grant









Samuel Broughton served with the 21st Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company I.



He was mustered in at Mattoon, Illinois with Col. U. S. Grant. (Click  Here for Details about Him)



Scene of the Railroad intersection in Mattoon, on present-day Broadway Ave. where Grant would send off his 21st Regiment Illinois volunteers.  This picture is part of a mural once in the National Bank in Mattoon.







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