Name at birth: Hiram Ulysses Grant
The great Union military hero of the Civil War, Ulysses Grant also served two terms as U.S. president. Grant came from humble beginnings in small-town Ohio; his father was a tanner. The future general was baptized as Hiram Ulysses Grant, but when he arrived at West Point military academy in 1839, he found that he had been registered as Ulysses Simpson Grant, and he never bothered to change the name back. A sloppy cadet but a great horseman, Grant went on to serve with distinction in the Mexican War of 1846-48. Grant was later a failure as a farmer and a businessman, but he soared to fame during the Civil War, when he earned the nickname "Unconditional Surrender Grant" for his relentless tactics and leadership. He rose to become President Abraham Lincoln's choice as commander of the Union Armies from 1864 until the war's end in 1865. (The war ended after Grant accepted the surrender of Confederate leader Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on 9 April 1865.) After the war, Grant was easily elected to two terms as president (1869-77), but his administration was tainted by corruption among his Cabinet members. He was succeeded by Rutherford B. Hayes. His Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant, written after he left office, were published after his death in 1885 and are still regarded as a classic history of the Civil War.
Grant married the former Julia Dent on 22 August 1848. They had four children: Frederick (b. 1850), Ulysses, Jr. (b. 1850, called Buck), Ellen (b. 1855, called Nellie), and Jesse (b. 1858)… President Grant died deep in debt after being defrauded by Ferdinand Ward, a business partner of his son Ulysses. But Grant’s wife Julie was saved from bankruptcy when his memoirs were published and earned hundreds of thousands of dollars… Grant succeeded Andrew Johnson… Grant was the 18th president.
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