Ulysses Simpson Grant, the 18th president of USA and US general
was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio, and USA on April 27th 1822. His father
Jesse Root Grant was a tanner by profession and mother Hannah Simpson Grant was
a quiet, reticent lady. Ulysses inherited his quiet nature from his mother.
Ulysses was originally named as Hiram Ulysses Grant. He went to
school at 6 years of age and up to 17 years he was in school. When he was 14
years of age, his father took him to Georgetown to attend another school. He
also went to Maysville Seminary in Kentucky and Presbyterian Academy in Ripley,
Ulysses hated to work in the tannery and preferred to work with
the horses. Soon he became a skilled horseman. His father Jesse understood that
Hiram had no business acumen. He put Hiram in the United States Military Academy
at West Point in May 1839 and was sure Hiram would be able to make a comfortable
living in army career.
Hiram didn’t like him to be called as Hiram Ulysses Grant
and initialed himself as HUG. He entered his name as Ulysses Grant; however his
name was incorrectly put as Ulysses Simpson which Grant had to accept to avoid
large red tape. He graduated in 1843 and his academic record was pretty
After graduation, Grants was assigned to Jefferson Barracks, Mo.
He met Julia Dent there. She was the sister of Frederick Dent who was Grant’s
roommate in West Point. On August 22, 1848 he married her
Grant served under Gen. Zachary Taylor and Gen. Wilfred Scott,
during the Mexican War. He resigned from Military service in 1854 because of his
drinking habit which he developed because of his loneliness. After unsuccessful
attempts in business and farming, he moved to Galena in 1860 and started as a
clerk in the leather store of his father.
When the Civil War broke out, he was appointed to command by the
Governor an unruly volunteer regiment. He controlled it efficiently and was
promoted to the rank of Brigadier General of volunteers in September 1861.
Grant took control of Fort Henry in 1862 and attacked Fort
Donelson. He dealt the confederate commander with a firm hand and made
Confederates surrender. President Lincoln was impressed and promoted him to
Major General of volunteers.
After being appointed as General-in-Chief in March 1864, Grant
pinned down Gen. Robert E.Lee’s army of Northern Virginia. Lee surrendered
on April 9th 1865.
President Andrew Johnson appointed Grant as his interim secretary
of war in place of Edwin Stanton. But when the senate did not approve Stanton’s
removal, Grant handed back the office again to Stanton. Ultimately Grant was
nominated as presidential candidate of Republicans.
Ulysses Grant had no idea of running an office and was a victim of partisan
politics and unscrupulous corruption. He was deceived by many friends, namely
Jay Gold and James Fisk who tried to corner the gold market in 1869. Republicans
in Grant's Cabinet and in Congress were found to have made themselves rich by
selling government favors and increasing their own salaries.
However Grant was ably supported by Secretary of State, Hamilton
Fish to accomplish a substantial progress in foreign affairs. In 1872 Grant was
nominated by the party unanimously. He defeated the Liberal Republican Party
candidate Horace Greeley easily and was re-elected as the President of USA.
After the second term Grant retired and went for a world tour. He
was greeted wherever he had gone for his heroics in the Civil War. When he
returned home he went bankrupt after being swindled by an associate who invested
his money badly.
He was diagnosed of throat cancer which got aggravated over time.
It went so bad that he was unable to leave his bed. His wife was continuously by
his side nursing him through this difficult period. Ulysses Grant died on July
23, 1885 after one hour of finishing his writing for the book ‘Hiram