The next spring, the Civil War began and anyone trained at the Military Academy was in demand to command the vast civilian armies that were being raised. Rumours of drunkenness held back Grant's progress at first, but once he was made colonel of a regiment, he moved rapidly ahead. By autumn he was a general by the next spring, after winning the first significant Union victory and fighting the great battle of Shiloh, he had caught the eye of President Lincoln, who pronounced him a general who fights. He failed to achieve the promises of Reconstruction for the black ex-slaves and, far more damaging to his popularity with white voters, substantial charges of corruption were raised against virtually every member of his administration. So severe was the criticism of his leadership that he left office with a deep sense of having failed again.