education, Grant was sent to the United States Military Academy. The congressman made a mistake in Grant’s name.
He thought that his first name was Ulysses and his middle name was
Simpson- his mother’s maiden name. Grant
didn’t bother to correct it. He
was afraid that people would make fun of his real initials; “H.UG.” Grant
didn’t like military life though. He
was good at math, and wanted to teach it.
Grant graduated from West point in 1843.
He was commissioned as second lieutenant.
He was assigned Fourth Infantry Regiment, near St Louis.
There he met Julia Dent, a sister of a classmate.
She was born 1826. They fell
in love, and were engaged. Though,
unfortunately the threat of war came from Mexico, which caused the wedding to be
delayed. Grant fought in the
Mexican War. He returned to St.
Louis as soon as he could. On
August 22, 1848, Ulysses Grant and Julia Dent were married.
Julia was said to be a “devoted” wife, and encouraged Grant.
They later had four children, Fredrick Dent, Ulysses Simpson jr., Ellen
(Nellie) Wrenshall, and Jesse Root Jr.
Grant stayed in the Army after his marriage.
In 1852 he was ordered to Fort Vancouver.
He didn’t take his family with him.
The Army wouldn’t be able to support a family out West.
The cost was too much. Later
Grant won a promotion to captain and moved to Thumboldt, California in 1853.
Being gone from his family for so long began to make Grant depressed.
He began to drink.
In 1854 he resigned from the office and settled with
his family in St. Louis. For six
years Grant’s life was failure. Julia’s
father gave her a farm that Grant built a cabin on. He called it the “Hard Scabble” Grant liked farming, but
failed, because of low prices on crops and his bad health. He sometimes peddled firewood to St. Louis.
He had many opportunities for jobs, and tried most of them, but none
interested him. He finally returned
to the Army.
By 1861 he was almost thirty-nine years old.
He was against slavery, and had freed the few slaves he had inherited.
President Lincoln had called for volunteers for the Army. Grant joined the Army and regained his skills.
Grant learned from his mistakes. Grant
became a General in the Civil War.
During the Battle of Shiloh, Grant lost many men.
Lincoln was urged to replace Grant, because of the loss.
Lincoln refused. He said,
“I can’t spare this man-he fights!” Fierce
pressure from the Union Army forced Lee to leave Richmond.
Grant caught up. Lee
surrendered on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Court House.
Grant released Lee and his men “on their honor” and were allowed to
keep their horses “for spring plowing”.
Grant became popular because of the victory.
To make a living after the war, Grant wrote magazine
articles about the war. He also
decided to write his memories down. Mark
Twain- a famous American author- was his publisher.
As Grant wrote he knew he was dying of cancer. Hiram Ulysses Grant, known as Ulysses Simpson Grant died July
23, 1888. Julia Dent Grant died
1902 and was buried at his side.