This Week in the Civil War - 782
A day after President Lincoln hosted a reception for General Ulysses Grant in the White House, on Wednesday, March 9, 1864, in the presence of his Cabinet, Abraham Lincoln presented Ulysses Grant his congressionally designated commission as lieutenant general, which in effect made Grant commander of all Union armies.
Both the president and Grant made perfunctory remarks at the ceremony but then talked privately about future Union operations. Grant soon left Washington to visit specifically with General George Meade, since Grant had decided to make his headquarters in the field with the key Federal force opposing Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.
In his mind Ulysses Grant already had forged a plan of action, involving many Union forces, to bring a successful military conclusion to the American Civil War.