Commanders-in-Chief Biographies

Major General Ulysses S. Grant III
Commander-in-Chief October 11, 1957 to October 27, 1961

by Keith G. Harrison, Chancelor-in-Chief
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States

Major General Ulysses S. Grant III was born in Chicago on July 4, 1881. He was the son of General Frederick Dent and Ida Marie (Honore) Grant, and the grandson of the Union Army Commander and the nation's 18th President, Ulysses S. Grant. President Ulysses S. Grant was an Original Companion of the New York Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) (Insignia No. 2006). Major General Frederick D. Grant served during the Indian War and the Spanish-American war and was a Hereditary Companion of the New York Commandery of MOLLUS (Insignia No. 4067). General Ulysses S. Grant III served during World Wars I and II, the Cuban pacification and the Vera Cruz expedition and was a third generation Hereditary Companion of the New York Commandery of MOLLUS (Insignia No.15385).

His elementary education included 4 years at the Theresianum in Vienna, 4 1/2 years at the Cutler School in New York, and he was a student at Columbia in 1898 before receiving an appointment to West Point. After graduating from West Point in 1903, where he ranked sixth in his class, Ulysses S. Grant III went on to engineer's school and Army service in the Cuban Pacification (1906), the Vera Cruz expedition (1914), Mexico (1916), and World War I. He graduated from the US Army War College in 1934 when he became Colonel of the Corps of Engineers and promoted to Major General in 1943. During World War II, General Grant was a Pioneer Civil Defense Planner (1942-1944) and in postwar years served as Chairman of the National Park and Planning Commission in Washington (1942-1949). From 1946 to 1951, he served as Vice President of George Washington University. He also served as President of the American Planning and Civic Association (1947-1949)

From 1957 to 1961, General Grant became Chairman of the National Civil War Centennial Commission, which was established to coordinate the 100th anniversary of the War Between the States, a post he later resigned, citing his wife's illness (Mrs. Grant died in 1962).

General Grant headed a wide variety of historical and patriotic societies and was decorated by six nations. Honors included the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit.

General Grant served as Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Union Veterans for two terms (1953/54 and 1954/55) and on October 11, 1957 became the Commander-in-Chief of the MOLLUS. He served in this position until October 1961. He also served as President of the Columbia Historical Society in Washington, DC.

On July 4, 1967 in Clinton, New York: Major General Ulysses S. Grant III was honored at his College Hill home when Representative Alexander R. Pirnie presented him with a West Point Academy scroll. Nearly 200 persons attended the ceremony.

The presentation coincided with General Grant's 86th birthday. In presenting the July 4th dated scroll on behalf of Major General D.V. Bennett, West Point Superintendent of Cadets, Pirnie read Bennett's message, which said:

    The Superintendent, Alumni and Corps of Cadets of the US Military Academy extend sincere good wishes for health and happiness to Ulysses S. Grant III, Major General, retired USMA, class of 1903.

    As soldier, statesman, educator, and citizen, he has given unsparingly of himself for the benefit of his countrymen. His many significant and lasting contributions in all fields of endeavor are a reflection of his lifelong emulation of the ideals of duty, honor, and county.

    On this, the occasion of the 86th birthday (July 4) and the fittingly concurrent anniversary of the independence of our nation, his Alma Mater salutes her distinguished son.

Village Mayor Harlan Lewis along with Utica Mayor Frank M. Dulan and Rome Mayor William A. Valentine all read proclamations designating Saturday, July 8, as a day of tribute to the Grant family service to the nation over the past century.

After the scroll presentation, Pirnie read a message from the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Harold K. Johnson. It said:

    For more than a century, the Grant family has given more than its share of pubic service to this nation. The career of Major General Ulysses S. Grant III has lent further continuity to the tradition of that distinguished family.

    Commissioned in 1903 when tactics involved movement on foot and horseback, he has seen the horse displaced by the armed vehicle with air cover.

    His imagination, superior intellect, and keen insight were equal to this transition. His active duty included service in Cuba and at Vera Cruz and spanned two world wars but his contributions is our country did not cease with retirement.

    Not only has he been recognized for distinguished service in the field of education as vice president of George Washington university, but he was donated much of his time to assisting civic and patriotic organizations in such positions of responsibility as that of President of the American Planning and Civil Association, Chairman of the Civil War Centennial Commission (1961) and President of the Columbia Historical Society.

General Grant married Edith Root, daughter of Elihu Root, on November 27, 1907, in Washington, D.C. General and Mrs. Grant had three daughters, Edith (Mrs. David W. Griffiths of Arlington, Virginia); Clara Frances (Mrs. Paul E. Ruestow of Malverne, New York); and Julia (Mrs. John S. Dietz of Syracuse, New York).

General Grant died August 29, 1968 at his home on College Hill at the age of 87. Funeral services took place on Monday at the Hamilton College Chapel with the Rev. Carl A. Aveihle, Rector Emeritus, St. George's Episcopal Church in Utica, officiating. Members of the family served as bearers. Military honors were conducted by Brigadier General Charles C. Noble, Director of Civic Works, Office Chief of Engineers, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C., representing the Chief of Staff and Chief of Engineers, United States Army, and Colonel Samuel Patten, Professor of Military Science, Syracuse University. Honorary bearers were Charles Kohl, representative of Cooley-McCullough Post 22 American Legion, Washington, D.C. and Edward V. Buckley and David E. Berger, Helmuth-Ingalls Post 232, Clinton, New York.

1. General Grant Dead at 87. The Courier, September 5, 1968.
2. Orton, J. 2001. U.S. Grant III, Commander-in-Chief 1953/1954 and 1954/1955. Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. (
3. Who's Who, Vol.5 1969-1973, p.283-4.
4. Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Records.
5. Photograph provided by Jerome Orton, Past National Historian, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

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