Grant’s rise from obscurity began here

    Imagine taking two days to go from downtown Springfield to downtown Jacksonville. Of course, that was in 1861 with an entire regiment traveling by foot. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
    The 21st Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment from Mattoon was ill-prepared for the Civil War that was taking shape in the spring of 1861. When word of the regiment’s sorry state reached Illinois Gov. Richard Yates, he made Ulysses S. Grant a colonel on June 15, 1861, and gave him command of the 21st.

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