Date of Award


Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies


Dr. Jim Norris


Leadership is not a definitive topic, in that great leadership is based on subjective determinants. What makes great leadership is a source of both fascination and extensive study. Are great leaders born, and destined to excel in circumstances they create for themselves; or do dramatic events create the need for great leaders? What can the life and Civil War experiences of Union General Ulysses S. Grant teach us about the answer to these questions? This paper provides a chronology of his life up to the onset of the Civil War, his military career during the war, and concludes with his impact at the war’s culmination at Appomattox Courthouse. Through this journey we will witness how the unique personal attributes of this man, combined with historically significant circumstances provided the cauldron from which emerged a great military leader.