The First Battles: April 1861 to February 1862

Movements in the West

Where was Ulysses S. Grant during this time?

Recently appointed a brigadier-general of volunteers, Grant was ordered to take possession of Cairo, Illinois, the spit of land at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. This was one of the most important, strategic locations in all the West, and Grant managed to keep it without having to fight. From his vantage point, the situation was ripe for an attack on the Confederates, and in October he led his men to attack them at Belmont, Missouri. The Battle of Belmont was not a big affair as military events go, but it showed Grant’s determination, letting the Confederates know they were going to have to fight for their section of the West.


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