Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb?

You may have been asked this trick question before. Most likely the questioner was a middle-schooler who just learned about trick questions and fell for this one about five minutes before she tried it on you. It’s no secret that Grant is buried in Grant’s tomb. That would be Ulysses Simpson Grant, affectionately known as U.S. Grant when he led the Northern armies during the civil war and simply President Grant when he won the presidency. Here is something you may not know: Grant isn’t the only one buried in his tomb. Read on!




During the Civil War Abraham Lincoln was having a hard time finding the right general to lead the Union armies against Robert E. Lee. After several failures, he settled upon a little known West Point graduate who was not a career army officer named U.S. Grant. He had failed in just about everything he had ever tried and was failing at running a store in Galena, Illinois when the Civil War started. Before the war ended he led armies to win at Vicksburg, cutting the Confederacy in two, and then came east to lead the Army of the Potomac against Lee. Finally, Lincoln had found his man and the outcome of the war was certain.

Grant was one of the first of the “modern” generals who understood that it was industry, economy. and logistics that won wars. Not gallant dash and élan. The series of battles that started at Wilderness just south of Fredericksburg and ended in the siege of Petersburg were some of the bloodiest encounters of the entire bloody war. Grant almost wrecked his army doing it. That was okay, actually. He could afford the men and material he lost. Lee couldn’t.

After the war Grant served as our 18th president from 1869 to 1877. He died in 1885 and his funeral and later dedication of the mausoleum in his honor were attended by tens of thousands of mourners and admirers. In his day, Grant was a rock star and a grateful nation remembered that he’d saved the union during one its darkest hours.

The mausoleum at 122nd Street and Riverside Drive in Manhattan is an impressive memorial to this plain-spoken, unassuming man. Grant and his wife Julia are buried side-by-side in red marble coffins. The site is now a National Park. Admission is free. Great views of the Hudson and Riverside Church across the street. Open daily 9 to 5.

Travel safe. Have fun.


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