Forced to resign from the Army for excessive drinking, he failed as a farmer and a businessman. Not until he volunteered for the Civil War did things change. He was promoted to brigadier general, captured Fort Henry and Vicksburg, and established Union control of the Mississippi. Lincoln then placed him over the entire Army, and within a year he forced Lee to surrender. His name: Ulysses S. Grant, who was born this day, April 27, 1822. As the 18th president, Grant stated: "On ... the hundredth anniversary of our ... nation, a grateful acknowledgment should be made to Almighty God for the protection ... He has vouchsafed to our ... country."