General of the Army Rank Created for Ulysses S. Grant
On July 25, 1866, Ulysses S. Grant became the first man to achieve the 4-star rank of General of the Army.
Nothing in Grant’s early life predicted his eventual success. Grant’s father arranged a West Point appointment for his son, who did not want to be a soldier. Grant was an indifferent student, graduating 21st in a class of 39 in 1843. However, he was an expert horseman and set a high jump record that stood for 25 years. Grant served with distinction during the Mexican-American War and was twice honored for bravery. When the war ended in 1848, Grant married Julia Boggs Dent, the daughter of a slave owner. He remained in the army until 1854, when he abruptly resigned.