Pleasant, Ohio. His father, Jesse Root Grant, was foreman in a tannery and a farmer. His
mother, Hannah Simpson Grant, was a hard working frontier woman. When Ulysses was a
year old, the family moved to Georgetown. There his father bought a farm, built a house,
and set up his own tannery. Jesse and Hannah had five more children there, two boys and
three girls. Grant love horses and learned to manage them at an early age. When he was
seven or eight he could drive a team and began hauling all the wood used in the house and
shops. From that point on until he reached seventeen, Grant did all the work done with
horses; such as breaking up the land, furrowing, plowing corn, bringing in the crops when
harvested, and hauling wood. Three months each winter when work was minimized Grant
went to a one room schoolhouse, and that's how he was educated until he went to West
Point at age seventeen.
When Grant turned seventeen, his father got him an appointment to the United States
Military Academy at West Point. The congressman who made the appointment did not
know Grants' full name, so he left out Hiram and added Simpson. Simpson, was Grants',
mothers' maiden name.
Grant did not care for military life and never expected to stay in the army. He was good in
mathematics and hoped sometime to teach. He was, however, the best horseman at the
academy. He was Quiet, shy, and he made few friends.
When he was commissioned, Ulysses was ordered to Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis,
Missouri. While stationed there he met Julia Dent, daughter of a slave owning Southern
family . Within three months he proposed to her and was accepted. Since he had only his
pay as lieutenant, the wedding was postponed.
Grant was in almost every battle of the Mexican War. He fought on foot, observing many
different commanders and how they lead their troops. This experience, he said, was of
great value to him, because he became acquainted with nearly all the officers of the regular
army. Some of them including the great soldier Robert E. Lee were to be on the
Confederate side in the Civil War.
Grant came back from Mexico a captain. He at once married Julia and took her to his new
station, Sackett's Harbor, New York. During the Mexican War. This is where Grant
formed the habit of drinking. At Sackett's Harbor he joined a t...
... middle of paper ...
...ed in 1884 and left Grant penniless and humiliated.
Ward was sent to the state penitentiary.
To earn money, Grant turned to writing. Samuel L. Clemens, better known as Mark
Twain, was then a subscription book publisher. He offered Grant a high royalty for his
memoirs, and in 1885 Grant began to dictate them. A pain in his throat was finally
diagnosed as cancer, but Grant went on, writing with a pen, to provide for his wife after
he was gone.
In the summer of 1885 Mrs. Grant took her husband to the Adirondacks near Saratoga.
There he finished his `Personal Memoirs' about a week before he died on July 23. Written
frankly, the work ranks high among military biographies. It was so popular that Mrs.
Grant received nearly $450,000 from its sale. A granite tomb to Grant's memory was built
on Riverside Drive in New York City, in 1959 it became a national memorial.
Grant's life was like a roller coaster, in the beginning he started low and was regarded as a
failure. He worked his way to the top, became the most honored general in the U.S., and
was elected President of the United States. Then suddenly his life went downhill, his firm
crashed, he developed cancer and died bankrupt.
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