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President Hiram Ulysses Simpson Grant[1]

Male 1822 - 1885  (63 years)


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  • Name Hiram Ulysses Simpson Grant 
    Prefix President 
    Born 1822 
    Gender Male 
    Occupation 18th President, United States of America 
    Died 1885 
    Person ID I1900  Main
    Last Modified 6 May 2004 

    Father Jesse Root Grant,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother Hannah Simpson,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F803  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • 3rd Cousin 7 times removed of Elizabeth Jane, and John Spencer (Jack) Howell.  Common ancestors are Philip Delano and Amy Hatch.

      From Ulysses S. Grant Home Page http://www.mscomm.com/~ulysses/ :

      Full name: Hiram Ulysses Grant. It is frequently said that Grant's middle name was "Simpson." It was not. His middle name was "Ulysses" and he admitted that the "S" in his name stood for nothing.

      Date of Birth: April 27, 1822, Point Pleasant, Ohio.

      Religion: Methodist. Grant was not religious and his son judged him to be agnostic. He attended church services occasionally as an adult, but he did it primarily to please his wife, Julia, who was genuinely religious.

      College: U.S. Military Academy, West Point, <http://www.mscomm.com/~ulysses/page65.html> New York. Grant graduated July 1, 1843 and his class rank was 21 out of 39. Though he later enjoyed visiting West Point, he was not happy there as a cadet. He described his four years there as "interminable."

      Father's Name: Jesse Root Grant,  <http://www.mscomm.com/~ulysses/page34.html>born January 23, 1794, near Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He was a tanner and made a great deal of money. Old Jesse dies on June 29, 1873 in Covington, Kentucky at the age of 79. Grant had ambivalent feelings for his father, who was a loquacious braggart. They were dissimilar in temperament and Grant's letters to him are sometimes curt and show disapproval for his condescending attitude towards his wife, Julia, and his miserly habits when she visited.

      Mother's Name: Hannah Simpson Grant, <http://www.mscomm.com/~ulysses/page11.html> born November 23, 1798, in Montgomery, Pennsylvania. Hannah is a mysterious and distant woman who gave Ulysses little overt affection when growing up. She never visited him the White House and he scarcely mentioned her in his correspondence. An interesting relationship, but a decidedly shadowy one. She dies in Jersey City, New Jersey, on May 11, 1883, at the age of 84.

      Date of Marriage: August 22, 1848, St. Louis, Missouri. Grant marries a Missouri slave-owners daughter, Julia Boggs Dent. He finally finds happiness in a marriage that is an unusually rich and close relationship. He had been courting Julia for four years, though much of the wooing took place through the U.S. mails. His love letters to her survive, and they make engrossing reading.

      Wife's name: Julia Boggs Dent,  <http://www.mscomm.com/~ulysses/page9.html>born January 26, 1826, St. Louis, Missouri. Julia is unlovely, but Grant never noticed her imperfections. She provides him an emotional haven from the frustrations of "real life." She was 22 when they marry and remains protective and adoring of her husband, whom she addressed with a large assortment of nicknames, including Dodo, Dode, Victor and Dudy. They are faithful to one another and don't engage in the modern propensity of "straying." This is the integral relationship in Grant's life.

      Children: Julia and Ulysses have four children <http://www.mscomm.com/~ulysses/page5.html> and are indulgent, affectionate parents who give freely of material possessions. Grant is incapable of disciplining the two youngest children and allows them extreme, yet loving, latitude.
      Chronology

      1828-1835, He attends subscription schools in Georgetown, Ohio and works on the family farm. He loves horses but hates the tan yard.

      May, 1839, Departs Ohio for West Point, New York. Grant spends the next four years at this school on the Hudson as a Cadet.

      June-August, 1841, Spends his furlough with his family in Bethel, Ohio. Grant later wrote, "Those ten weeks were shorter than one week at West Point."

      July 1, 1843, Grant graduates from West Point and is commissioned a brevet second Lieutenant. He is assigned to the Fourth Infantry in St. Louis, Jefferson Barracks. He meets Julia, his future wife, in February, 1844.

      1846-1848, Grant fights in the Mexican War as a Quartermaster.

      1848-1852, Following his honeymoon, Grant is assigned to Sackets Harbor, New York and Detroit, Michigan. Though blissfully happy in his private life, he is bored with the tedium of the peacetime army. He enjoys playing cards, accompanying Julia to dances and racing his mare, Cicotte.

      1852-1854, He is sent to Humboldt Bay, California , <http://www.mscomm.com/~ulysses/page54.html> in July, 1852. The next two years are ones of lonesome reflection for the Captain, who desperately misses his family. Being separated from Julia wreaks havoc with his psyche. With a martinet as a commanding officer, he begins to drink.

      August, 1854, He returns to Missouri after resigning his commission.

      1854-1858, He works a 60-acre farm near St. Louis. He builds a home, sells cordwood and faces a bleak financial future.

      1858-1859, Enters the Real Estate business with Julia's cousin. He proves incapable of collecting rents and is frequently late to work. Grant was never cut out to be a business man.

      May, 1860, He moves to Galena, Illinois and accepts a clerkship at his father's leather store at $800 a year. He lives in a comfortable, snug house on a hill, fronting a cemetery.

      June 17, 1861, Appointed a Colonel of the 21st Illinois Infantry.

      August 17, 1861, Appointed Brigadier General.

      November 17, 1861, The Battle of Belmont, Grant's first engagement as General. Union forces raid the Confederate camp, but fall back when they counterattack. Grant's horse is shot from under him in the fight. Belmont is frequently described as a "fighting retreat" by Union forces, who gain much-needed experience under fire.

      February 16, 1862, Grant takes Fort Donelson, Tennessee, the first Union victory of strategic importance in the war. He becomes nationally famous with his dispatch, "No terms except immediate and unconditional surrender. I propose to move immediately upon your works." The jealous General Henry Halleck schemes behind Grant's back and spreads rumors that USG has "resumed his former bad habits." (A not-so-subtle reference to his drinking).

      April 6-7, 1862, The Battle of Shiloh. Though Grant and Sherman <http://www.mscomm.com/~ulysses/page42.html> deny until their deaths that they were surprised here, the evidence is persuasive that they were. Grant's iron will and stubbornness resist disaster and the Union holds the field on the second day.

      February, 1863-April, 1863, Unsuccessful moves around Vicksburg, Mississippi.

      May 12- May 17, 1863, Grant implements his grand strategy in taking Vicksburg by moving between two wings of the enemy and routing them both. In five days, he fights and defeats the enemy at Jackson, Champion Hill and Big Black River. His baggage consists of a toothbrush and comb.

      May 19-May 22, 1863, Grant attempts two frontal assaults upon Vicksburg, but both are repelled. The Union forces settle down to a siege.

      July 4, 1863, Surrender of Vicksburg - Grant's tour de force as a General, one of greatest military campaigns in history.
      Summer, 1863, Following a fall from a fractious horse in New Orleans, Grant spends the summer with his family in a house near Vicksburg. His leg is so badly swollen that he is bedridden for weeks and uses crutches until October.

      October 22, 1863, Takes command at Chattanooga, Tennessee.

      November 22-25, 1863, The Battle of Chattanooga, which culminates in Union victories at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, the Confederates are forced to retreat into Tennessee.

      March 9, 1864, Grant receives his commission as Lieutenant General from Lincoln and on March 12, he is appointed General in Chief of all U.S. armies.

      May 5-7, 1864, The Battle of the Wilderness. The two titans of the war, Grant and Lee  <http://www.mscomm.com/~ulysses/page125.html>, finally face each other. The result is a draw, with Union forces losing two times as many men as Lee.

      May 7-10, 1864, Spottsylvania campaign. Grant is once again thwarted by Lee and the results of the battle are inconclusive. On May 11, Grant writes another of his famous dispatches, "I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer."

      May 31-June 3, 1864, The Battle of Cold Harbor. In the main frontal assault on June 3, Grant loses 7,000 men in an hour. Lee loses 1,500. This was Grant's searing blunder as a General, and one which he freely admitted. Rebel losses during the campaign were 32,000, while the Federals lose 50,000. But Grant can obtain replacements and Lee cannot.

      April 9, 1865, Lee surrenders to Grant in the McLean House, Appomattox, Virginia. This is Grant's great hour, showcasing his delicacy and decency. When Union soldiers get too rambunctious, he quiets them. "The war is over," he said, "the Rebels are again our countrymen, and the best sign of rejoicing is to abstain from all demonstrations in the field."

      Fall, 1866, Grant refuses to be sent to Mexico by President Andrew Johnson, a wily and jealous man who wanted the popular General out of the way. These two fellows never hitched - very dissimilar.

      May 21, 1868, Nominated as a candidate for President by the Republican National Convention in Chicago. Grant does no campaigning and lolls about his Galena, Illinois home.

      March 4, 1869 - March 4, 1877,
      President of the United States. <http://www.mscomm.com/~ulysses/page36.html>

      May, 1877-September, 1879, The Grant's make an around the world tour, and he is besieged by crowds throughout the journey. There is no itinerary and Grant enjoys himself hugely. He said, 'I feel like a boy out of school." Jesse accompanies his parents for some of the trip, and his place is then taken by Fred. Grant routinely plows through 15 course dinners, but actually loses weight on the trip - he returns to San Francisco weighing 159 pounds. His favorite countries on the trip were Japan and Switzerland.

      June 2-8, 1880, Grant is unsuccessful in securing the Republican nomination for President. It is difficult to know whether he actually coveted the Presidency again, though Julia certainly wanted to return to the White House. His friends and sons were convinced he didn't care and the evidence shows they were correct. Garfield eventually secures the nomination and the Presidency, and Grant claims he possesses "the backbone of an angleworm."

      December 24, 1883, Grant suffers a serious injury to his hip while slipping on the pavement outside his home. While handing a cab driver a 20 dollar bill, he falls heavily on his side. He is bedridden for weeks and walks with crutches or a cane for the rest of his life.

      May, 1884, The brokerage firm of Grant and Ward fails on Wall Street, losing the General and his family's fortune. Grant had been a silent partner in the firm with his son and Ferdinand Ward, the scoundrel who robbed the company and was eventually jailed. Days before the bankruptcy, Ward begs Grant for a loan of $150,000 to save the Marine bank. The General then asked William Vanderbilt to make him a personal loan, and he eventually repaid the millionaire with his war trophies and uniforms. These priceless bits of American are now in the Smithsonian, though only a fraction are displayed. The Grant and Ward failure plunges Grant into a prolonged depression.

      September, 1884, Grant's illness of the throat is diagnosed by doctors as cancer. In the Fall, he begins work on his Memoirs.

      January-March, 1885, The cancer spreads and completely debilitates the General. He is able to eat only liquid food in small portions. The pain is almost unendurable, but he valiantly writes on in an effort to provide for his family after his death.

      June 16, 1885, Moves with his family to Mt. McGregor, New York. The doctors advise the change because of the cooler climate. Grant is down to 120 pounds and is so weak he sometimes falls from his chair, but gallantly hides his suffering from his family.

      July 19, 1885, He finishes his Memoirs <http://www.mscomm.com/~ulysses/page68.html> and lays down his pencil for the last time.

      July 23, 1885, At 8:06 in the morning, Grant dies, surrounded by his family and physicians. Fred stops the mantle clock and then fondly returns to the bedside to stroke his father's forehead a last time. Grant's Memoirs, a timeless classic, sell over 300,000 copies and earn Julia a staggering $450,000

  • Sources 
    1. [SAuth] John Spencer Howell, Jr., John Spencer Howell, Jr., (http://www.jhowell.com/ jhowell@jhowell.com).