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Grant Sisseton Chad Coppess.jpeg

Photo: Chad Coppess

Booking performances for 2023-2024!


Monday, February 19, 2024, 5:30 p.m.  Union Public Library, Union Iowa.*

Thursday, March 7, 2024, 5:30 p.m.  Ross & Elizabeth Baty Monticello Library, Monticello, Iowa.*  

Saturday, August 17, 2024, Traer Civil War Reenactment, Traer, Iowa.

Tuesday, September 17, 2024, Constitution Day celebration in Huntington, Indiana, appearing with presidential performers who portray George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and Harry Truman.  

To bring "Unconditional Surrender" to your community, contact Peter Grady directly at 641-191-4675 or 

View a video of the General at

​*'Unconditional Surrender:  A Visit with Ulysses S. Grant' has been accepted as part of the Humanities Iowa cultural programming available to non-profit organizations in Iowa.  Visit 

Pete Grady of Marshalltown, Iowa, the author and performer of "Unconditional Surrender" has presented shows at the Iowa Veterans Home, the State Historical Museum of Iowa, the Missouri History Center, and the Minnesota History Center.  He has adapted the show for performances in a university theatre, community theatres, movie theatres, hotel and restaurant dining rooms, public libraries, civic and community meeting halls, a refurbished country church, on the front porch of a home once owned by a Union veteran of the Civil War, in an outbuilding of the Hitchcock House (a station on the Underground Railroad), around a roaring campfire for a Boy Scout Troop,  for Questers in South West Iowa, at the historic Decker Hotel in Maquoketa, Iowa, in Freeport, Illinois, on behalf of the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Society of Freeport, and in Apache Junction, Arizona as part of the Arizona Lecture Series.

His audiences have included school children, retired veterans, Civil War re-enactors, lawyers, business owners, alumni of West Point, and regular patrons of quality community theatre.  He has appeared as part of "Thunder in the Park" municipal Civil War celebrations and assisted in the rededication of a Civil War monument.  His performance in Hampton, Iowa raised funds for rehabilitation of that city's Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall, and his performance in St. Louis, Missouri helped commemorate the 130th anniversary of the death of Ulysses S. Grant.  In January 2017, he joined the Humanities Iowa Speakers' Bureau.


Grady can make changes in the program to reflect local interest.  For

example, he re-tooled his presentations at Bellevue and Maquoketa

Iowa to include Grant's contacts with (and time spent in) those

communities in Jackson County Iowa.


Grady's appearance at the Minnesota History Center on July 4,

2013 helped commemorate the 150th anniversary of General Grant's

victory at Vicksburg, Mississippi.


He also appeared as part of the 2013 Gala at the State Historical

Museum of Iowa and as part of the 2021 History Festival at

Fort Sisseton, S.D. and the 2021 Black Hills PhotoShootOut. 

People are talking about "Unconditional Surrender". . .


Grady's presentation ". . .was detailed, informative and entertaining

— all done in a one hour show. Grady not only starred, he wrote,                                                                     photo:  Maquoketa Sentinel-Press        

directed and produced it.  'Memoirs and Selected Letters,' Grant's book — which was completed shortly before he died — was effectively used as were other historical references."  Mike Donahey, "The Devil's Advocate" blog for the Marshalltown Times-Republican.

"What an enjoyable experience! Pete Grady is one of the most considerate and professional performers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. From the moment we first met, I could tell Pete was the real deal, and boy did he deliver! When he took the stage, it was like the whole auditorium was transformed, and everyone in it was taken on a journey led by Ulysses S. Grant himself. It was a memorable experience that was not only educational, but entertaining as well, and one our audience will be talking about for some time. The highest of praises for Pete Grady and Unconditional Surrender!" --Hesper Jameson, Business Manager, Warren Cultural Center, Greenfield Iowa


"Pete Grady’s portrayal of General Ulysses S. Grant, for the Minnesota History Center’s Civil War Family Day on July 4th, 2013 was a complete success! It was like having the real General in our presence! He gave a remarkable performance for museum visitors of all ages; strolling the building and outdoor grounds, conversing comfortably with people throughout the day, as well as giving formal staged presentations. I especially appreciated Pete’s flexibility in adapting his formal program into 30- minute segments so visitors had multiple opportunities to see his presentations. His ability to stay in character and respond to the challenging Q&A from audience members was thrilling. It was delightful working with this fine gentleman and I look forward to the next opportunity!" Wendy Freshman, Public Programs Specialist, Minnesota Historical Society


            "Pete Grady is the most professional, accurate, courteous and best impressionist/ performer I have had the pleasure to work with."   Laura Olson, Allamakee County Economic Development and Tourism

"I've been Program Chair of the Des Moines Civil War Roundtable for over 15 years - after Peter Grady's performance. . . members who have belonged to the Roundtable for over 30 years came up to me and said it was the best program we've ever had. Peter is not just a re-enacter; he throws 'body and soul' into being U.S. Grant. You couldn't ask for a better program." John Liepa, Des Moines Civil War Roundtable Chair


             “Delightfully entertaining! Mr. Grady was astonishing in bringing Ulysses S. Grant back to life on the stage.”

             Kristina Raisch, Hampton, Iowa Historic Preservation Commission


"Pete Grady not only looks like General Grant, he is General Grant . . . I completely enjoyed being transported back in history by General Grant to his place and time . . . " Jon Martin, President, Lake Park Players


            "Grant enthusiasts in our audience proclaimed that Pete Grady 'nailed it!' . . .Highly recommended."

             Susan Macken, Oelwein Municipal Library


"Pete Grady's portrayal of Ulysses S. Grant puts the flesh on the bare bones of the man you learned about in history class. I found myself retelling the little known information to anyone who would listen."  Denise Fletcher, Wieting Theatre & Opera House, Toledo


           "Talent---yes! Good writing --yes! Good direction and production--yes! Absolutely cream on the top for entertainment and historical value." -Elaine Govern, Riceville, Iowa


"At our Boy Scout Camporee we spent the day learning about the Civil War and it was topped off by your excellent portrayal of U.S. Grant. The campfire added to the authenticity of the experience. Scouts and leaders alike were taken back in time as U.S. Grant was right before us, telling us his story in first-person. Wonderful! It was a perfect way to close our camporee." -Paul Podhajsky, Tamaha District Boy Scout Activities Chair


"Pete's performance at St. Ambrose was remarkable.  He was Grant.  His choices of what to include in the program were informative and provocative.  Great stuff on The Union.  With all the loose and careless talk among some irresponsible political hacks about secession from the United States, Grant's comments on the horrendous costs of that in his time reveal the utter stupidity of some of our contemporaries.  Not to be missed--See this show!"--Randy Richards, St. Ambrose University

"Our West Point alumni group was informed that the evening speaker would be a "distinguished old grad". When General Grant was introduced they were surprised, to say the least, and as the General told his story the gathering was completely enthralled. At the conclusion of the performance the veterans felt more deeply connected to their history and experience than ever before. Mr. Grady's presentation leaves an individual wanting to learn more about the history and the man."  John E. Billingsley United States Military Academy'77

              "What a privilege to work with Pete! The audience enjoyed "learning" and hearing Grant's life come alive. The

               pictures helped the audience keep focus, and Pete's storytelling was engaging! He has a gift, and we appreciate

               his sharing that gift."--De Heaton, Corning Opera House Cultural Center.


"I had the pleasure of hosting Pete Grady in the Arizona Lecture Series and his presentation sold out the auditorium with 650 people. One man told me this presentation was the best in the 15 years that he's attended the series. Grady brings Ulysses S. Grant back to life in this detailed, informative and entertaining life story."  Zach Lundquest Arizona Lecture Series Coordinator 

"We have never had a more inspiring, incredible speaker as you! Your informative, passionate presentation drew all of us to emotionally feel we were there in his home hearing first hand his memories, his griefs, and his love for country and family."  Carol Brewer, People Active for Library Service, Stuart, Iowa


“Peter J. Grady did a masterful job in bringing Ulysses S. Grant to life, making the program both educational and entertaining. Following his performance, and for several days after, I received numerous positive comments from attendees, perhaps more than I’d ever received before for a one-time program!”  Kevin Kretschmer, Adult Programming Librarian, Franklin Avenue Library, Des Moines, Iowa


To bring "Unconditional Surrender: A Visit with Ulysses S. Grant"

to your community, contact

     *Eligible organizations may plan a performance through Humanities Iowa,



"Unconditional Surrender:  A Visit with Ulysses S. Grant" is copyrighted 2013-2023 by Peter J. Grady.  All rights reserved. 


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