General Ulysses S. Grant

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General Ulysses S. Grant—‘the greatest general of his age’. (PRONI)

General Ulysses S. Grant—‘the greatest general of his age’. (PRONI)

The military historian J.F.C. Fuller described Grant as ‘the greatest general of his age and one of the greatest strategists of any age’. If Abraham Lincoln was the Union’s political saviour, Ulysses S. Grant saved the Union militarily. Lincoln’s apt riposte to those who objected to Grant’s fondness for the bottle was: ‘I wish some of you would tell me the brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.’ The eighteenth president of the United States, whose ancestors came from Ballygawley, Co. Tyrone, was a conspicuously more successful general than he was a politician. Although Grant was a man of great personal integrity, many of his associates, particularly during his political career, subscribed to very lax standards, and accusations of corruption were to taint his time as president. Grant had to respond to congressional investigations into charges of financial corruption in all federal departments during his time as president.

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