On Tuesday, March 8, 1864 in a White House ceremony cheers and handclaps erupted as President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant met for the first time. Grant, in his disheveled general’s uniform, stood awkwardly by a sofa in the East Room of the White House as President Lincoln entered the room.
Both men appeared somewhat embarrassed by the solemnness of the occasion, and each spoke little during the reception. However, Lincoln and Grant would soon forge a strong, working relationship which would continue until Lincoln’s death in April 1865.
So unalike in physical stature, each man would recognize in the other a strength of character and commitment to victory that would sustain both and ultimately bring a successful conclusion to the war with the Confederate States of America.