Defending the Union
The secession of 11 Southern states in 1861 plunged the nation into the Civil War, pitting the confederacy against the Union. Three years later, the war still raged. President Abraham Lincoln, frustrated by the failures of his military leaders, turned to Ulysses S. Grant as a commander he believed could lead the Union to victory. Showing confidence in Grant, Congress revived the Army’s highest rank of Lieutenant General, and Lincoln nominated Grant for the position.