Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant; April 27, 1822 July 23, 1885) was the 18th President of the United States following his dominant role in the second half of the Civil War. Under Grant, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and effectively ended the war with the surrender of Robert E. Lee's army at Appomattox. As president he led the Radical Republicans in their effort to eliminate all vestiges of Confederate nationalism and slavery; he effectively destroyed the Ku Klux Klan in 1871. In terms of foreign policy, Grant revealed an 'unexpected capacity for deliberation and consultation' that promoted the national interest. His reputation was marred by his repeated defense of corrupt appointees, and by the deep economic depression (called the 'Panic of 1873') that dominated his second term. Although his Republican Party split in 1872 with reformers denouncing him, Grant was easily reelected.
Contributions by Hlj, Texasdaddee, and CORNELIUSSEON.