An American president and Civil War hero is being distinguished with a rare honor offered only two times previously in American history.
President Ulysses S. Grant is being posthumously promoted to General of the Armies of the United States.
The rank is the highest in the United States military.
Grant is being posthumously promoted in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, according to the Association of the United States Army.
President Joe Biden signed the annual military appropriation act into law before Christmas.
Only two other Americans have merited the rank in the history of the nation.
George Washington was posthumously promoted to the rank in 1976 to mark the nation’s bicentennial.
World War I General Jack Pershing merited the title in 1919 — making him the only American to receive the rank while still alive.
Grant served as the 18th president in American history, but he’s arguably more well-known as the military leader who brought about the Union’s victory over the Confederacy in the American Civil War.
A West Point graduate, Grant had been driven out of the Army after his service in the Mexican-American War because of his alcoholism.
He returned to the military service in the early days of the Civil War, with the Union starved for experienced officers — many of whom had taken the side of the Confederacy.
The Ohio native established himself as the Union’s premiere general after winning a string of victories that hastened the end of the war.
President Abraham Lincoln appointed Grant as the general-in-chief of the Union military in 1864.
As president from 1869 to 1877, Grant presided over Reconstruction and the modernization of the American economy.
He was the second Republican president in American history — the first being Abraham Lincoln, under whom he served during the Civil War.
The move to memorialize Grant with the vaunted military rank was backed by a bipartisan group of senators and House representatives, according to WCPO-TV.
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