: This photograph is a formal portrait of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) in uniform at age 21. The portrait likely was taken in 1843, the year that Grant graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. In this portrait the clean-shaven Grant is wearing a uniform decorated with epaulets and metal buttons.
Ulysses Simpson Grant was a U.S. military leader and the eighteenth President of the United States. He was born Hiram Ulysses Grant on April 27, 1822, in Point Pleasant, Ohio. In 1823, his family moved to Georgetown, Ohio. Grant lived there until he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in July 1839. The congressman who appointed Grant submitted his name as Ulysses Simpson Grant rather than Hiram Ulysses Grant. It was because of this mistake that Grant changed his name.
Grant graduated from West Point in 1843. He ranked twenty-first in a class of thirty-nine students. His first assignment was in the Southwest. Grant served under General Zachary Taylor in the Mexican-American War. He remained in the West following the war. In 1852, after quarreling with a higher-ranking officer, Grant resigned his commission.
At the outbreak of the Civil War he organized a company in Galena and later accepted command of the 21st Illinois Regiment. In August 1861, President Abraham Lincoln made Grant brigadier general of volunteers. In 1864 Grant became lieutenant general commanding all the armies of the U.S.
He served as U.S. president from 1869-1877. Grant's first term as president was troubled with corruption. Numerous political leaders, including Grant's vice president, were accused of providing political favors for monetary compensation. Grant remained above the corruption, but much of the U.S. public faulted him for his poor leadership and his inability to control his cabinet. In the South, violence was also increasing between whites and the African American population. The nation seemed no closer to healing its wounds from the Civil War.
Grant sought reelection in 1872. He won easily, receiving fifty-six percent of the popular vote. Grant promised to end the violence in the South but did little about it during his second term. A growing number of Republicans began to oppose equality for African Americans and encouraged Grant to withdraw Union troops from the South. An economic depression in 1873 further alienated the public from Grant. More than eighteen thousand businesses closed over the next five years, leaving thousands of workers unemployed. Due to Grant's declining popularity, the Republican Party nominated Rutherford B. Hayes as president, although Grant had desired to seek a third term. Grant also sought the party's candidacy in 1880, but the Republicans selected James Garfield instead.
Grant spent his last years in New York, writing his memoirs. When he was elected president, Grant had resigned his commission in the military. In 1885, the United States Congress reappointed Grant as General of the Army. His salary helped him pay rising bills. He died on July 23, 1885 from throat cancer.
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: AL05763 Subjects
: Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885; Ohio History--Presidents and Politics; Military uniforms; Epaulets Places
: Ulysses S. Grant