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Slavery, Secession, and Redemption: The Story of Ulysses S. Grant

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, December 12, 2023 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1CV028
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Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant by Constant Mayer

Captain Ulysses S. Grant resigned from the U.S. Army after facing charges of excessive drinking in 1854. In 1864, he became general-in-chief of the army. How did this turnaround happen?

Historian John Reeves says that Grant always had the latent abilities to be a skilled commander, and that he developed these skills while he was in the West at the beginning of the Civil War without the pressure faced by more senior commanders in the East. Grant was a true Westerner, and his experience in the West before and during the Civil War was central to his rise.

Grant also grew in other ways. From 1861 to 1864, he went from being ambivalent about slavery to becoming one of the leading individuals responsible for freeing the slaves. He gradually realized that emancipation was the only possible outcome of the war that would be consistent with America’s founding values and future prosperity.

Reeves’ book Soldier of Destiny: Slavery, Secession, and the Redemption of Ulysses S. Grant (Simon & Schuster) is available for purchase.

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