Victories in the West

By the fall of 1863, Grant's successes and tough style had made him a favorite of President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865; see entry). Writing in Reflections on the Civil War, historian Bruce Catton noted that Lincoln viewed Grant as "a man who was completely reliable, who got the job done, who could be trusted, and who always seemed to come out on top." In mid-October 1863, Lincoln's confidence in Grant led him to give the general command over the newly created Division of the Mississippi, which included all Union forces operating between the Mississippi River and the Appalachian Mountains.

Grant immediately proved that the president's confidence in him was well placed. At the time of his promotion, the Union-held cities of Chattanooga and Knoxville were both under siege from Confederate armies. But by the end of the year, Grant had lifted the siege on both cities and forced the Confederate military out of Tennessee.

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