Who is Buried in Grant’s Tomb?

Who is Buried in Grant’s Tomb?

The answer, of course, is no one. The body of former US President and Civil War general Ulysses S Grant and that of his wife, Julia, are both interred at Grant’s Tomb (more properly called the General Grant National Memorial), but neither was buried.

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I know. It’s a technicality.

Anyway, when Hubs and I took a trip to New York City, we did so with very limited spending money. We determined we would see as many free attractions as possible. And due to the age-old riddle above, Grant’s Tomb made our short list of places to visit.

I was surprised to see how big it was:

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I had no idea US Grant was such a big deal. The fact that it’s called the General Grant Memorial and not the President Grant Memorial gives some insight into why the citizens of this country thought highly enough of him to create a memorial in his honor. He served as a Union general in the Civil War and definitively made his mark on US history as he led the Union army to victory over the Confederate states. At the time, it was said that his initials (US) stood for Unconditional Surrender.

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Interestingly, as you can see from the photo above, he cared deeply about peace. In fact, he said:

Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace.

The tomb was finished a mere twelve years after his death. It is the largest mausoleum in North America.

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I can think of few historical figures who are remembered for equal measures of good and bad as Grant is. The consensus seems to be that he was a brilliant general but a poor President.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, Grant implemented Congressional Reconstruction, often at odds with Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson. Twice elected president, Grant led the Republicans in their effort to remove the vestiges of Confederate nationalism and slavery, protect African-American citizenship, and support economic prosperity nationwide. On the other hand, his presidency has often come under criticism for protecting corrupt associates and, in his second term, leading the nation into a severe economic depression.

The Visitors Center at the General Grant Memorial is full of information about Ulysses Grant – his military career, presidency, and his death. I recommend spending some time there if you would like to learn more about this enigmatic man.

The General Grant Memorial is located at 122nd Street and Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10027. Telephone 212-666-1640. The mausoleum and visitor center is open Wednesday through Sunday, with varying hours. See website for full details as it’s a bit confusing.

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