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Compatriot President: Ulysses Simpson Grant

Ulysses GrantUlysses Simpson Grant


18th President of the US

Ulysses S. Grant served two terms from 1869 to 1877 as the 18th President.  He was born Hiram Ulysses Grant in a log cabin in Point Pleasant, OH, on April 27, 1822.  Grant’s grandfather and Revolutionary War ancestor was Captain Noah Grant III.  He “was present at the battle of Bunker Hill.  He served until the fall of Yorktown, or through the entire Revolutionary war.  He must, however, have been on furlough part of the time—as I believe most of the soldiers of that period were—for he married in Connecticut during the war, had two children, and was a widower at the close.”  (U.S. Grant’s Personal Memoirs).

At the age of 17, Grant entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.  In 1843 Grant graduated 21st in a class of 39.  The papers nominating him for the academy showed his name as Ulysses S. Grant – his mother’s name was Simpson.  (Grant would continue to use this name as he didn’t want to be known by his initials, H.U.G.)  Now with a name of U.S. Grant, the U.S. could also stand for "Uncle Sam," Grant's nickname became "Sam" among his army colleagues.

Ulysses S. Grant rose to international fame as the Commanding General of the Union Army in the Civil War.  In 1868, Grant was nominated at the Republican National Convention and elected President.  Grant was the first president to serve for two full terms in 40 years since Andrew Jackson.  He entered the White House at age 46, the youngest man yet elected president.

Ulysses S. Grant died in Mount McGregor, NY, on July 23, 1885, at the age of 63.  He is buried beside his wife in Grants Tomb in New York City - the largest mausoleum in North America.