Synopsis by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
Ulysses S. Grant was born the son of a tanner and little distinguished him as a young man. He attended West Point at his father's insistent, but felt ill suited for demands of military life. When the Mexican-American War erupted in 1846, Grant served beside many officers who later fought for the Confederacy. He was transferred to the far West after the war, but quit the army in 1854 to reunite with his family. He farmed land for a short time, worked as a clerk for his father, and invested in a number of schemes; he made little money, however, and his business ventures failed. When the Civil War began in 1861, trained officers were needed. Grant received a brigadier general's commission and although he distinguished himself quickly, enormous casualties, first at Shiloh and later at Cold Harbor, made him controversial. President Lincoln nonetheless chose Grant to head the Union Army in 1864, bestowing upon him the rank of lieutenant general, the first to receive the title since George Washington. Ulysses S. Grant includes interviews with prominent historians and film footage of Civil War battlefields. Part 1 ends with Lincoln's assassination on April 14, 1865.
military, casualties, Civil-War [US], Union-Army