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Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant; April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was the 17th President of the United States (1869–1877) as well as military commander during the Civil War. Made the commander of the Western Front after the "Army of Tennessee" was pushed out by determined Confederate Army in late 1863 (see Battle for Chattanooga). The effort in the west, in holding onto California and its gold (the only state threatened by Confederate troops), gained Grant respect throughout the union. This would lead to a post-war appointment by president Lincoln to be his new Secretary of War when Edwin M. Stanton resigned over differences with Lincoln's approach to reconciliation with "the rebels" to the south.
With the ceasefire in 1866, the borders between the two Americas became a primary concern to the administration in Washington, DC. As Secretary of War, Grant oversaw the deployment of troops in several important checkpoints along the border. His efforts led to support among the hardliners that wished to restore the southern states to the Union, even if it meant more war. This led to a close election against former New York governor Horatio Seymour in 1868. A poor economy and corruption in many departments of the administration made the eight years of the Grant administration a blot on the future of the US presidency for years to come.