Grant's father offered him a place in the family store in Galena, Illinois, where he worked morosely until war clouds again began to gather with the presidential Election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. When Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers, Grant offered his services as an ex-Army officer. He first served as colonel of an Illinois regiment before being appointed Brigadier General Grant.In the early part of the Civil War, the North had few successes–and several of the major ones belonged to Grant. He successfully attacked two crucial Confederate forts, Fort Donelson and Fort Henry, and his demands at both locations for "unconditional surrender" earned him the nickname "Unconditional Surrender Grant." As Confederate General Robert E. Lee battled an ever-changing succession of Union generals in
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Brigadier General Grant, Unconditional Surrender Grant.