The giant defense bill signed into law this week by President Biden has an unusual item tucked within it. The measure posthumously promotes Ulysses S. Grant to general of the armies of the United States, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. It's the Army's highest rank, and only two others have been so honored: George Washington (who received his posthumous promotion in 1976) and World War I Gen. John J. Pershing, notes David Shribman of the Lake County Record-Bee. He adds that the "promotion came with bipartisan support, a triumph in its own right."
"We think it's very well deserved," Stan Purdy of the US Grant Homestead Association tells the Enquirer. "In the late 1800s, there was a medallion established that featured Washington as founder, Lincoln as martyr and Grant as savior, so I think it's very appropriate for the general to receive this elevation in his rank that would be equal to that of Washington." Grant led the Union army during the Civil War and went on to serve as president from 1869 to 1877. He died in 1885.
While his presidency was beset by multiple scandals, those seem to "have receded in importance for some historians," per Stars and Stripes. The measure in Congress came from Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, a Democrat, and Sen. Roy Blunt and Rep. Ann Wagner, who are both Missouri Republicans. (Read more Ulysses Grant stories.)