Today in History, March 10: 1864 – President Lincoln signs documents promoting Ulysses S. Grant to the rank of Lieutenant General. Grant was only the second person to hold the rank, the first having been George Washington. Winfield Scott had held the rank in the interim, but only as a “brevet” or temporary rank. Lincoln wanted his commanding general to have a rank above his other generals for leadership purposes. Grant would answer only to the President.
Lincoln had difficulties with several Generals prior to Grant being appointed as the commander of all the Union Armies. The two communicated and worked very well together. Perhaps because they were both westerners from Illinois and understood each other. Certainly because Grant carried out Lincoln’s wishes to pursue Confederate Armies with vigor.