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From 1869 to 1901, five elected U.S. Presidents were Civil War veterans who had served in the Union armies. Four were generals. (All photographs: Library of Congress)



Ulysses S. Grant, in office 1869-1877







Grant entered the Civil War with the 21st Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. On March 2, 1864, President Lincoln promoted Grant to lieutenant general, giving him command of all Union Armies, answering only to the president.









Rutherford B. Hayes, in office 1877-1881







Hayes served with the 23rd Regiment of Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was injured at the Battle of South Mountain Sept. 14, 1862. He was promoted to brigadier general in October 1864 and brevetted major general.









James Garfield, in office March 4, 1881-Sept. 19, 1881








In August 1861, Garfield received a commission as a colonel in the 42nd Ohio Infantry regiment. He later served as chief of staff to General William S. Rosecrans. Garfield was the 20th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1881, until his assassination later that year.








Benjamin Harrison, in office 1889-1893







Indiana Governor Morton commissioned Harrison as a colonel on August 7, 1862, with the newly formed 70th Indiana. On January 23, 1865, President Lincoln nominated Harrison to the grade of brevet brigadier general of volunteers.









William McKinley, in office 1897-1901








McKinley enlisted as a private in the newly formed Poland Guards in June 1861, which was consolidated into the 23rd Ohio Infantry. Just before the war’s end, McKinley received his final promotion, a brevet commission as major.