U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Welcome to the U.S. Capitol

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.

1 Image President Abraham Lincoln’s nomination of Ulysses S. Grant to be... View All Images
1 Image Telegram from President Abraham Lincoln to Lieutenant General Grant,... View All Images