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History Essay, Research Paper

Ullysses S. Grant

Ulysses Simpson Grant served effectively with Zachary Taylor\’s

army at Monterey during the Mexican war. Right when the war began

Grant obtained a position on the staff of General George McClellan.

During the war he showed courage in both physically and morally

manners. In February 1862 Grant captured Fort Henry and Fort Donelson

with help from the Federal navy. In October he was appointed commander

of the Department of Tennessee, and told to take Vicksburg,

Mississippi. Earl Van Dorn captured Grant\’s base at Holly Springs and

he had to retreat. In 1864 Grant was promoted to lieutenant general

and named general in chief of all federal armies. In April 1865 Grant

forced Lee to surrender after an 88 mile pursuit. Grant was elected

president in 1868 and served two terms.

Robert E. Lee

During the Mexican war Lee was an engineering officer with

Winfield Scott\’s force. Jefferson Davis appointed Lee a general in the

southern army in 1861. He was not successful in preventing an invasion

of western Virginia, so he was sent to the Atlantic Coastal defense.

In 1862 when Joseph E. Johnston was wounded, Lee became commander of

the confederate army in Virginia. In Richmond Lee drove the unionist

away from the capital in the Seven Days\’ Battles. In August he

defeated the Northern army in the second Battle of Bull Run. In May

1863 Lee won his greatest victory but also suffered his worst loss in

life. The Unionist were driven back with heavy casualties. The

following year Lee led his army against a series of bloody attacks

against the Northern Army commanded by Ulysses S. Grant. Robert Lee

was one of the best commanders during the Civil War and was an

American hero.

Stonewall Jackson

Stonewall Jackson was a confederate general in the American

Civil War. He joined the Confederate army in 1861 and later fought in

the first battle of Bull Run. There he earned his nickname, \”like a

stone wall\”. In 1863 Jackson commanded a Confederate army in the

Shenandoah Valley, and he defeated Federal generals whose strength was

several times his own. In May of 1863 Jackson was in command of more

than half of all the Confederate army and made an attack on the

Federal army. After returning one night he was accidentally shot by

some of his own men.

J.E.B. Stuart

James Ewell Brown Stuart was a Confederate officer in the

Civil War. He is probably the most famous soldier in Robert E. Lee\’s

Army. In the Gettysburg campaign, Stuart went on a controversial raid

around the Federal army when Lee most needed him to gather

intelligence. He arrived after the Battle of Gettysburg was over. A

number of people think that the Confederate defeat was mainly Stuart\’s

fault. On May 11, 1864 Stuart was badly wounded. He died the next day.

Joseph Hooker

Hooker was named a general in 1861 an was known as fighting

Joe. During the Mexican War he received three brevets for bravery. He

commanded the army of the Potomac at the Battle of Chancellorsville,

he lost and was replaced before Gettysburg. In November 1863 he won

the Battle of Lookout Mountain at Chattanooga. In 1864 Hooker served

under William Sherman in Georgia. He resigned because he wasn\’t

promoted after he served

in Georgia.

George E. Pickett

George Pickett was a Confederate general during the Civil War.

He is most remembered for Pickett\’s charge at the Battle of

Gettysburg. Pickett graduated from West Point in 1846 and remained in

the U.S. Army until 1861, when he joined the Confederate army. On July

3, 1863 he led his troops on a spearhead attack on Cemetery Ridge that

was supposed to break through the center of the union line. This has

been called the Confederacy\’s \”high-water mark\”.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist and a fugitive slave. She

was born to slave parents and escaped to freedom. In the 1850\’s she

made many journeys to free slaves through the Underground Railroad.

She was aided by abolitionists and Quakers, and John Brown who

consulted with her for the Harpers Ferry raid in 1859. During the

Civil War she served as an army cook, a nurse, and became a spy for

Maryland and Virginia. After the war she ran a home for elderly blacks

until her death.

Clara Barton

Clara Barton is most remembered for organizing the American

Red Cross Society. As a young girl she was shy, but she overcame her

timid nature to become a very influential women during the Civil War.

She was a nurse during the Civil War and cared for the wounded. After

the war she began a search for missing soldiers. In 1881 Barton

established the American Red Cross Society and has it become a life

saving organization for the past 100 years that has saved countless

numbers of lives. They help disaster victims and casualties during

wars. Clara Barton excelled in several careers in a time when women

were expected to be just wives and mothers. She was also an

advisor to politicians including senators and the president.

William Garrison

William Garrison played a major role in the American

Abolitionist movement. He published a paper called the Liberator which

said that slavery was wrong and we needed change immediately. In 1833

Garrison was head of a meeting that organized the American

Anti-Slavery Society. Garrison\’s opinions were used throughout the

existence of the society. Garrison cooperated easily with other major

abolitionists until the 1840s when he met people like James Birney and

Elizer Wright, Jr. Some of his beliefs drove these people from the

society. Garrison didn\’t want slavery to be ended violently, but in

the 1850s he used violent resistance to the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law.

After the Civil War Garrison worked to help black equality.

John Brown

John Brown was an abolitionist and is remembered mainly for

his raid for the military weapons at Harpers Ferry. During most of

Brown\’s adult years he wandered from job to job, but in the 1850\’s he

was in command of the local Free-Soil militia in Kansas. Within a year

Brown had to retaliate because proslavery forces sacked the town of

Lawrence. Brown, four of his sons, and two other people killed five

helpless settlers in May of 1856 in the Pottawatomie River Country. He

took full responsibility even though he wasn\’t caught. In 1859 Brown

gathered 21 men and occupied the federal weapons. The next day when

Lee\’s army arrived, ten of Brown\’s men were killed. Brown was arrested

and charged with treason.

William Tecumseh Sherman

William Sherman was undisciplined and graduated sixth in his

class at West Point in 1840. During the Mexican War he won honors for

excellent service. Sherman rejoined the army at the beginning of the

Civil War and was in command of an army at the First Battle of Bull

Run. At the Battle of Shiloh, he was in charge of a division in

Ulysses Grant\’s army. The confederate army made a surprise attack and

almost defeated Sherman. He became in command of about 100,000 men

after Grant became general in Chief. After a long series of attacks,

Sherman captured Atlanta in September 1864. Sherman was an expert in

planning long marches. In late 1864 he spread out his men 50 miles

wide and attacked the Confederacy on the unprotected Georgia

countryside. It resulted in the capture of Savannah. In 1881 Sherman

established the famous school at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and he died

in 1891.

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was born a slave in Maryland in 1817. In

1838 he obtained seaman\’s papers from a free black and escaped to New

Bedford. In 1841 he joined the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.

With Douglass\’s great speeches, people didn\’t believe that he used to

be a slave. Douglass wrote a book called Life and Times of Frederick

Douglass to tell people about his life when he was a slave. After 2

years of living in the British Isles, some of his friends bought his

legal freedom for 150 ponds and he came back to the United States.

During the Civil War Douglass fought for black people to be able to

fight for the Union. Before he died in 1895, he stayed an active part

of the United States.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Stowe was the author of Uncle Tom\’s Cabin, an

anti-slavery novel that is sometimes thought of as one of the causes

of the Civil War. Stowe\’s first publication was The Mayflower, which

were sketches of scenes and characters of the descendants of the

Pilgrims. When she and her husband moved to Maine in 1850, she wrote

The Key to Uncle Tom\’s Cabin and Dred: A Tale of Great Dismal Swamp.

All of her novels were written because of her hatred for slavery. She

still wrote novels, essays, and poetry after the Civil War about New

England scenes. Harriet Stowe is one of America\’s most recognized


Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth was an American preacher and abolitionist. She

was born into slavery and given the name Isabella Baumfree. Sojourner

ran away after New York\’s emancipation act of 1827. Her master didn\’t

pay attention to it. When she got to New York City she joined a

religious cult, but left in 1843 because she didn\’t know what the cult

did. She struggled for black emancipation and women\’s suffrage during

the Civil War. She continued to work after the war for equal rights

for women of all colors.

Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Hardin County,

Kentucky in a log cabin. In 1830 the Lincolns moved from Indiana to

Illinois. Lincoln was elected to the Illinois lower house in 1834 and

served four terms until 1841. Lincoln became a lawyer and moved to

Springfield the following year. There he met Mary Todd and they

married in 1842 and had four sons. Lincoln served one term in the

House of Representatives from 1847 to 1849. In 1860 he won the

presidential election. By the time of his inauguration 7 states had

seceded from the Union. The Civil War began when South Carolina fired

on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Lincoln gave command to Ulysses

Grant during the Civil War. A couple of years later he allowed blacks

to fight in the army. Lincoln signed the 13th amendment in 1864 that

abolished slavery. On April 14, 1865 Lincoln was shot while attending

a performance at Appomattox Court House by John Booth.

Thaddeus Stevens

Thaddeus Stevens was one of the most influential Republican

leaders during the reconstruction era. In 1861 he became chairman of

the House of Representatives. He played an important role in the

printing of paper money during the Civil War. His greatest development

was the Reconstruction policy. During the Civil War he fought for

antislavery measures and stricter terms for Reconstruction. After the

Confederate surrender, Stevens didn\’t agree with President Johnson\’s

Reconstruction plan and wanted a more effective policy. In 1868

Stevens was a prosecutor in the president\’s impeachment trial.

Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis was the only president of the Confederate

States of America. He struggled to lead the Confederacy to freedom

during the United States Civil War. Davis wanted Mississippi to leave

the Union and he wanted to be the commander of the southern army.

Instead he was elected president of the Confederacy. For the four

years he was in office he gave his complete dedication to the country.

Even though he tried hard, he wasn\’t a very good president. He kept

friends in office that weren\’t trained and he wasted some of his time

on unimportant matters. His greatest weakness was that he couldn\’t

work well with other people. Because of these things, he gradually

became unpopular as the war continued. In 1865, when the Confederacy

was losing, Davis fled from Richmond and hoped to continue the war

from the deep south or the west of the Mississippi River. When he

retired he wrote books about the defense of the South and about


John Coldwell Calhoun

John Calhoun was the vice-president of the United States and

worked for Southern rights. He also served in the state legislature

and Congress. In Congress he was a war hawk. James Monroe appointed

Calhoun as his Secretary of War in 1817. In 1828 he wrote the \”South

Carolina Exposition and Protest\” which stated that the state should

have the power to nullify federal laws. In 1828 Calhoun was reelected

vice-president when Andrew Jackson was president. When Jackson didn\’t

like South Carolina\’s efforts to nullify the tariff, he resigned from

vice-president. Calhoun then served in the Senate and was a good

spokesman for slavery and Southern rights. For the last years of his

life he defended the right of slavery to go into federal territories.

He died on March 31, 1850.

Henry Clay

Henry Clay was a key figure in U.S. politics in the early 19th

century. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1811. Clay

was the leader of the \”War Hawks\” in Congress who wanted to go to war

against Great Britain. In 1815 he made a program that would build

roads linking the East and the West. Clay ran for president in 1824,

but when no candidate won a majority, Clay supported John Adams. When

Adam\’s won, Clay was named Secretary of State. In the 1840\’s he help

to guide a new tariff law and a national bank to Congress. Clay helped

persuade congress to accept the Compromise of 1850, which saved the

Union for a decade.

Andrew Johnson

Johnson was born in Raleigh, North Carolina on Dec. 29, 1808

and when his family moved to Tennessee he opened a tailor shop in

Greeneville. Before Johnson became vice-president he was an alderman,

mayor, state representative, senator, congressman, and a governor.

When the Union occupied part of Tennessee in 1862, Lincoln chose

Johnson for the military governor. In 1865 He was elected

vice-president with Lincoln as president. When Lincoln was shot

Johnson became the president of the United States. He was a Southerner

and he believed that whites should have control over government and

society. He also believed that Congress didn\’t have the power to

interfere with the southern states. When Congress passed the Tenure

of Office Act and Johnson vetoed it, he tried to fire his secretary of

war. Congress decided to impeach the president for misdemeanors. The

Senate decided that he wasn\’t guilty. He died on July 31, 1875.

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