ULYSSES SIMPSON GRANT was born at Point Pleasant, Ohio, on 27 April 1822; was educated at local schools; attended the United States Military Academy, 1839-1843, and was commissioned in infantry; served with the 4th Infantry on the frontier and in the occupation of Texas, 1843-1846; served under Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott in the Mexican War and was brevetted first lieutenant and captain for gallant conduct at Molino del Rey and Chapultepec, 1846-1848; married Julia Dent, 1848; was promoted to first lieutenant, September 1847, and served as quartermaster, 4th Infantry at various posts; was promoted to captain while on frontier duty in the Northwest, August 1853; resigned from the Army, July 1854; was generally unsuccessful at farming, real estate, and clerical activities, 1854-1861; was appointed colonel of the 21st Illinois Volunteer Infantry, June 1861, then brigadier general of volunteers, August 1861; commanded the field forces in the battles of Forts Henry and Donelson and at Shiloh, 1862; was promoted to major general of volunteers, February 1862; commanded the District of West Tennessee, then the Department of Tennessee, 1862-1863; defeated the Confederate forces at Vicksburg, July 1863, to bring the Mississippi River under Union control; was appointed major general in the Regular Army, July 1863; received the thanks of Congress and a gold medal, December 1863; commanded the Division of the Mississippi, 1863-1864, and defeated the Confederates at Chattanooga in November 1863; was promoted to lieutenant general, March 1864; was commanding general of the United States Army, 9 March 1864-4 March 1869; commanded the Union armies in the final battles in Virginia, 1864-1865; received the unconditional surrender of General Lee at Appomattox Court House, April 1865; presided over the Army's participation in Reconstruction, railroad construction, and Indian affairs; was promoted to the rank of general, July 1866; was secretary of war ad interim, 12 August 1867-13 January 1868; was the Republican candidate for president, 1868; was president of the United States, 4 March 1869-3 March 1877; toured Europe with his family, 1877-1879, then engaged in several unsuccessful business ventures; was reappointed general and placed on the retired list, March 1885; died in Mount McGregor, New York, on 23 July 1885.
Daniel Huntington (1816-1906) was born in New York City, New York. He developed an interest in art while attending Hamilton College at Utica, where the young portraitist Charles Loring Elliott encouraged Huntington's artistic bent. He went on to study under Samuel F. B. Morse and Henry Inman in New York City and then pursued his studies in Europe, notably in Rome, in the late 1830s and into the 1840s, finally achieving a reputation as a leading portrait, historical, and landscape painter. He was elected a national academician and was twice president of the National Academy of Design. He received commissions from the Army to paint the portraits of a number of departmental secretaries and chiefs of staff. His portrait of General Ulysses S. Grant is in the Army Art Collection.
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