National Geographic : 1965 May
Tipping his top hat, President Grant with his wife greets Egyptian commissioners in Philadelphia at the opening of the Nation's Centennial in May, 1876. A month later, Alexander Graham Bell gave the first public demonstration of the telephone in the east gallery of this building. Judges almost overlooked the exhibit, until a royal visitor and friend of Bell's, Dom Pedro, Emperor of Brazil, called their at 682 tention to the invention. HISTORICALREGISTEROF THE CENTENNIAL - -T-.... -.. 1 ov np r NfRFGS at Cairo, Illinois. Within three years after re entering the Army he had become command er of all Union land forces; within eight years, President of the United States. Grant's unusual aptitude was hard to ana lyze; perhaps Charles Francis Adams, Jr., took his measure in these words: "... he is cool and quiet... and in a crisis he is one against whom all around, whether few in number or a great army as here, would in stinctively lean. He is a man of the most ex quisite judgment and tact. See how he has handled this Army." Grant recognized the importance of con trolling the Mississippi Valley. In February, 1862, he started up the Tennessee River in pursuit of this objective, captured Fort Henry, and then attacked Fort Donelson on the Cum berland. When the Confederate commander asked for an armistice, Grant replied, "No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted." The Confederates capitulated, and Lincoln promoted "Uncondi tional Surrender" Grant to major general. Lincoln Finds a Fighting General On April 6-7, at Shiloh, its somber woods now a national military park, Grant fought one of the bloodiest battles in the West and won a narrow victory. President Lincoln fend ed off demands for his removal by saying, "I can't spare this man-he fights." Now the approaches to Vicksburg lay open. Grant maneuvered and fought with skill and ingenuity to win this city, key point on the Mississippi, and thus cut the Confederacy in two. On July 4, 1863, Vicksburg surrendered. In November, 1863, Grant's troops stormed up Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, breaking the Confederate hold on Chatta nooga and opening the way for a deep thrust into the South. Lincoln, in March, 1864, appointed Grant general in chief. Taking an overall view of the war, Grant directed William T. Sherman to drive through the South while he himself stayed with George G. Meade's Army of the Potomac as it pinned down Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. After a year of fighting in Virginia, Grant forced Lee's surrender. On April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Grant wrote out magnanimous terms of capitulation that would prevent treason trials.* When Grant became President, he ran the *See "Appomattox, Where Grant and Lee Made Peace With Honor a Century Ago," by Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant 3rd, USA (Ret.), GEOGRAPHIC, April, 1965.