Ulysses and Julia Grant: Paranormal Partners

PP General and Mrs. Grant both experienced Presentiments

General and Mrs. Grant both experienced presentiments before and during the war and wrote about them in their memoirs.

It’s interesting to observe how serious researchers will often ignore evidence right before their eyes–evidence they don’t wish to see, that is. In the case of Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia Dent Grant, both husband and wife mention incidents where they had paranormal encounters, yet until Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War, no historian saw fit to mention that fact.

In Chapter 8 of Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War, one incident in particular is described in detail. Based on Julia Grant’s own detailed description of the incident, it chronicles how she had a “presentiment” when her husband was far away and in mortal danger at the Battle of Belmont. This was not the only such presentiment she tells us about either.

Ulysses Grant, while he was still a cadet at West Point, had what he regarded as a premonition of his future destiny. He was on parade one day, being inspected by a befeathered General Winfield Scott, when the notion suddenly came over him that one day he too would be head of the army. At the time, he tells us, he had no such ambition; rather, his goal in life was to graduate and become a teacher of mathematics. Going to West Point was merely Grant’s way of obtaining a college education, which he was too poor to obtain any other way.

It was Julia Grant’s dire presentiment of danger which also prevented the Grant’s from attending Ford’s Theatre on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, when President Lincoln was assassinated–which is documented in Chapter 24 of Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War as well as Chapter 18 of the Paranormal Presidency. Were it not for Julia Grant “taking a freak” that afternoon and demanding they leave town in a hurry, undoubtedly General Grant would also have fallen prey to the assassin’s dagger.


Now, I realize that one can easily make a case for dismissing such incidents as “coincidence.” Professional debunkers also like to use the term “delusions of the masses.” They are certainly entitled to their beliefs; but bear in mind they are just that: beliefs and not facts. Whether or not such uncanny encounters as the Grants and the Lincolns had were real is a moot point and must always remain so. That they, and other prominent people involved in the Civil War, believed they were real is, however, a cultural fact and a historical truth–and insofar as the serious student of the Civil War is concerned, that is what really matters.

Many times during the war belief in presentiments, dreams, visions or other paranormal phenomena or practice affected the way people acted and the decisions they made. The truth is that human beings are both rational and irrational and can be so at the same time; to only look at the rational side of human behavior is to ignore at least half of all human motivation and actions.

TheAssassinationOfPresident  h. Lloyd print 1866

General Grant too would have fallen prey to the assassin’s blade at Ford’s Theatre had it not been for Julia Grant’s presentiment of danger.


For more about the Grants, the Lincolns and others encounters with the paranormal during the Late Unpleasantness, see Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War published by Rutledge Hill Press (now an imprint of HarperCollins) and The Paranormal Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, published by Schiffer Books.


Paranormal Presidency cover suitable for online use 96dpi

For the first time documents Abraham Lincoln’s beliefs and experiences dealing with the paranormal. The Paranormal Presidency chronicles his prophetic dreams, premonitions and beliefs, as well as his participation in séances and Spiritualism.


Ambrose Bierce, famed American author, is best known for his macabre fiction and cynical humor, served as a soldier in the front lines throughout the Civil War. Bierce’s wartime experiences were the transformative events of the young author’s life. Ambrose Bierce and the Period of Honorable Strife for the first time chronicles this pivotal period of Bierce’s life.


For more about Grant’s presentiments, Lincoln’s premonitions and other uncanny events of the Civil War, read Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War.



















About Christopher Coleman

I am an author, lecturer, and sometime instructor. My interests span a variety of subjects, including Southern tales of the supernatural, American history and folklore, military history in general, as well as archaeology, anthropology, plus various and sundry things that go bump in the night. I currently have six books in print: Strange Tales of the Dark and Bloody Ground, Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War, Dixie Spirits, Ghosts and Haunts of Tennessee and The Paranormal Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, a factual history of some more esoteric--and hitherto overlooked--aspects the sixteenth President. My book is Ambrose Bierce and the Period of Honorable Strife, published in hardcover by the University of Tennessee Press and chronicling the wartime experiences of young Ambrose Bierce, noted American author. Bierce has been called many things by many people, but idealist, hero and patriot are terms that should be added to the list after reading this book. I am currently at work on several projects, some dealing with the American experience but also several fiction and non-fiction works looking into the Age of Arthur.
This entry was posted in Abraham Lincoln, Civil War Historians, Civil War History, Civil War Leaders, Great American Presidents, Julia Dent Grant, Lincoln Assasination, Mary Todd Lincoln, Presentiments, The American Civil War, the Paranormal, Ulysses S. Grant and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ulysses and Julia Grant: Paranormal Partners

  1. Pingback: Ulysses and Julia Grant: Paranormal Partners | Dixie Spirits blog

  2. Pingback: The Lincoln Assassination Plots, Part 1 | The Late Unpleasantness: A Civil War Blog

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