Scramblin' thru... the U.S. Presidents
"The Hero of Appomattox"
"The American Ceasar"
Election of 1868
Election of 1872
A Presidential Life in Review
Ulysses S. Grant commanded the victorious Union Army during the Civil War (1861-1865) and served as the 18th U.S. President from 1869 to 1877. An Ohio native, Grant graduated from West Point and fought in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). Thanks to the Civil War, Grant became a national hero, and the Republicans nominated him for President in 1868. A primary focus of Grant's Administration was Reconstruction (1865-1877), and he worked to reconcile the North and South while also attempting to protect the civil rights of newly freed black slaves. While Grant was personally honest, some of his associates were corrupt, and his Administration was tarnished by numerous scandals. After retiring, Grant invested in a brokerage firm that went bankrupt, costing him his life savings. He spent his final days penning his memoirs, which were published in 1885, the year he died. The memoirs turned out to be a critical and financial success. Source: The History Channel
Click here for more information about the C-SPAN Survey
Ulysses S. Grant Fun Facts
Despite being a witness to some of the bloodiest and most horrific battles in world history during his servince in the U.S. Army, Grant, ironically, could not stomach the sight of... animal blood. (In fact, steak prepared "rare" made him nauseous.)
Grant's birth name was "Hiram Ulysses Grant". As you may observe, his name spells out "H.U.G." Needless to say, Grant opted to go by "Ulysses S. Grant" instead. (General Hug anyone?) It is frequently said that Grant's middle name was "Simpson". Grant admitted that the "S" in his name stood for nothing.
While President, Grant was given a "speeding ticket" for driving too fast in his carriage. He was fined $20 (which is roughly $295 today).
Grant was born and raised Methodist, but he was not religious. He attended church services occasionally as an adult, but he did it primarily to please his wife, Julia, who was genuinely religious.
Grant was tone deaf. Military music was especially annoying to him. Grant said he knew only two songs: "One was 'Yankee Doodle' and other wasn't."
Before the Battle of Fort Donelson in 1862, Grant only smoked occasionally. During the battle, a reporter spotted him holding an unlit cigar that had been given to him by Admiral Andrew Foote. Soon, some 10,000 cigars were sent to Grant in camp. Although he gave away as many as he could, Grant started smoking cigars regularly... eventually as many as 20 a DAY. Obviously, this contributed to his death from throat cancer.
Upon graduation from West Point, Grant had no intention of keeping the military as his career. He wanted to become a professor of mathematics.
At the age of seven, Grant nearly drowned while fishing in White Oak Creek, near his home in Ohio. His friend, 9-year-old Daniel Ammen, pulled him to safety.
Grant's wife came from a family that owned slaves. Grant himself owned a slave named William Jones, whom he acquired from his father-in-law. At a time when he desperately could have used the money by selling Jones, Grant signed a document that gave him his freedom.
Grant voted for the first time during the Election of 1856, which was between Democrat James Buchanan and John C. Frémont of the newly-formed Republican Party. Grant, a future Republican President, voted for Buchanan. His explanation? "I didn't know him and voted against Frémont because I DID know him."
Since boyhood, Grant had a strong dislike for profanity, noting that it was a waste of time. No "off-color" stories were allowed to be told in his presence.
Grant had one of the biggest drinking reputations of any President. Some reports said that, during Civil War battles, he'd just sit there, drinking, all day long. When President Abraham Lincoln was warned about Grant's drinking habits, Lincoln responded, "If it makes fighting men like Grant, then found out what he drinks, and send my other commanders a case!" Later, when Grant was on his death bed, he passed out, but a doctor was able to revive him (and give him a couple extra minutes of life) by serving him brandy.
Grant was also on John Wilkes Booth's "hit list". On the day President Lincoln was assassinated, Grant's wife, Julia, reported being stalked by a strange man (which turned out to be Booth). If Grant had accepted Lincoln's invitation to go to Ford's Theater, there may have been a double national tragedy. (Although some say if Grant had been with Lincoln, Grant may have stopped the assassination.) Instead, the Grants went to Burlington, New Jersey, to see their children.