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Ulysses S. Grant. The Early Years

His given name wasn't Ulysses. It was Hiram. He didn't care for the Military Academy at West Point. He was forced to resign because of drinking. He thought the Mexican War was wicked, yet served honorably. What forces shaped one of the most influential Americans ever?

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Ulysses S. Grant. The Early Years

  1. 1. Ulysses S. Grant The Early Years
  2. 2. That wasn’t his given name. He was christened Hiram Ulysses Grant. He was born 27 April 1822 in Point Pleasant, Ohio. Ulysses S. Grant
  3. 3. The smell from his father’s tannery sickened him and fueled his desire to get away. While his family was Methodist, he was not forced to attend church and others considered him agnostic. Ulysses S. Grant
  4. 4. Ulysses S. Grant at West Point The Congressman who appointed Grant to West Point mistakenly wrote his name down as Ulysses S. Grant of Ohio. Once the Army writes something down, you’re stuck with it. His friends called him Sam.
  5. 5. Ulysses S. Grant at West Point He wasn’t thrilled with military life. He did excel at math and art. At the Academy, he studied under the Romantic artist Robert Walter Weir. Yes, he painted the above.
  6. 6. Ulysses S. Grant at West Point He was also a “horse whisperer”. He set an equestrian high-jump record at the Academy that stood for 25 years. In later years an aide remarked the only time he saw Grant truly angry was when a horse was mistreated. He graduated in 1843, ranking 21st in a class of 38 cadets. He desired to serve in the cavalry, but because of his class rank, was commissioned to the Infantry.
  7. 7. The Looming War Grant married to Julia Dent in 1844. But war with Mexico is on the horizon.
  8. 8. West Point & The Mexican War The Mexican War proved the value of the graduates of the Academy. General Winfield Scott’s Fixed Opinion: "I give it as my fixed opinion, that but for our graduated cadets, the war between the United States and Mexico might, and probably would have lasted some four or five years, with, in its first half, more defeats than victories falling to our share; whereas, in less than two campaigns, we conquered a great country and a peace without the loss of a single battle or skirmish.”
  9. 9. Most of the leaders on both sides in the Civil War were first blooded in the Mexican War, including Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. George Pickett led the most successful charge at the Battle of Chapultepec, taking the colors from a wounded James Longstreet, and carrying them over the wall. West Point & The Mexican War
  10. 10. Grant was promoted to temporary Captain during the war; breveted for bravery. Grant and the Mexican War
  11. 11. Despite his courage and service, Grant’s opinion on the war was negative: “I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation." Grant on the Mexican War
  12. 12. Grant on the Mexican War “The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican War. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times.”
  13. 13. Grant was assigned first to Detroit, then Sackets Harbor, New York. In 1852 he was sent to the remote Pacific Northwest. Separated from Julia, at Fort Humboldt on the Pacific Coast, Grant began to drink. He was given the choice to resign and took it. Grant Between The Wars
  14. 14. No negative mark was made on Grant’s record. He joined Julia in St. Louis and tried to make a go at civilian life, failing miserably. He called his farm ‘Hardscrabble’. Grant Between The Wars
  15. 15. Grant was not a heavy drinker; his problem was he had very little tolerance for alcohol. His infamous binges always occurred when he was apart from Julia. Grant Between The Wars
  16. 16. Failing at farming, Grant tried a variety of things, including selling firewood on the streets of St. Louis. In 1859, despite being destitute, he freed his wife’s only slave, worth $1,500. He ended up working in his father’s leather store in Galena, IL, the place he’d desperately tried to get away from. Grant Between The Wars
  17. 17. 12 April 1861. Fort Sumter is fired on. Grant shook off his lethargy of civilian life: “I never went into our leather store again.” Ulysses S. Grant
  18. 18. Ulysses S. Grant
  19. 19. However, Grant’s path to glory was not to be smooth. To be continued. Ulysses S. Grant
  20. 20. “At West Point, much of the history we teach, was made by people we taught.”
  21. 21. What is more important... Honor or Loyalty? FREE
  22. 22. What if a there is a coup planned by a secret group of West Pointers called The Line?
  23. 23. Print Book Free downloadable Powerpoint slideshows on survival, history writing, and interesting information are available HERE
  24. 24. New York City. 1970s. West Point class of 1966; the most blooded in Vietnam. 173rd Airborne. 5th Special Forces. Now, he’s back home in New York City. “Fans of Jack Reacher look no further.”
  25. 25. New York Times bestselling author, graduate of West Point and former Green Beret. He’s had over 75 books published, including the #1 bestselling series Green Berets, Shadow Warriors, Time Patrol, Area 51, and Atlantis. Born in the Bronx and having traveled the world he now lives peacefully with his wife and dogs. For free eBooks, audio, slideshows and more go to: