* For much of the Civil War, President Lincoln juggled conflicting pressures and politicians on the issue of slavery. Constitutionalobligations were important to him, and he hoped that putting an end to the expansion of the institution of slavery would in the end cause its demise in the South. Lincoln's opposition to slavery wasconstrained by the Constitution but his interpretation of his constitutional responsibilities also allowed him to act, and so in 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation was put into action. "'A house divided againstitself cannot stand.' I believe this government cannot endure permanently, half slave and half free." - June 16, 1858
Ulysses S. Grant
* General Ulysses S. Grant was a brave, tough, anddecisive military commander. In February 1862 his Union army invaded western Tennessee. In just 11 days, Grant's forces captured two Confederate forts that held strategic positions on important rivers,Fort Henry on the Tennessee River and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River. Grant informed the Southern commander that "no terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted."Confederates surrendered and, from then on, people said that Grant's initials stood for "Unconditional Surrender" Grant.
Robert E. Lee
* General Lee was modest, and willing to go above and beyondfor his soldiers. He had opposed secession. However, he declined an offer to head the Union army and cast his lot with his beloved state of Virginia. Determined to save Richmond, Lee moved against UnionGeneral McClellan in a series of battles known collectively as the Seven Days' Battles, fought from June 25 to July 1, 1862. On August 29 and 30, his troops won a resounding victory at the secondBattle of Bull Run. On September 17 Lee's troops were involved in the bloodiest single day battle in American history. "It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it."-...