200 Ulysses S. Grant Facts – 200th Birthday Celebration [2022]


Ulysses S. Grant is one of the most iconic figures in American history. Grant’s life is one of failure and triumph. In recent years, Grant’s life has undergone a review as historians have attempted to look critically at his life and his accomplishments.

According to podcast host and professor Dr. Scott Rank, “Ulysses S. Grant was beloved as a general but was considered a poor president: he presided over an economic panic and was plagued by scandal. Yet his star has risen in recent years, as he’s now recognized for pushing for civil rights, crushing the KKK, and avoiding war with Great Britain. It goes to show that you can go far as a president simply by not starting a war or dividing racial groups against each other.” (Personal communication, April 11, 2022)

While Grant’s reputation has been undergoing a review, his 200th birthday is approaching on April 27, 2022. This is a major event that will be met with the Grant Birthday Bicentennial dinner and much more. To celebrate this major event, we have compiled 200 Ulysses S. Grant facts for his bicentennial birthday.

Some of the facts in this article came from our podcast we did with Dr. Curt Fields, the leading U.S. Grant living historian in the world. If you would like to hear that podcast, you can follow the included link. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-civil-war-center-podcast/id1620393643?i=100055827900

General Facts

  1. Grant was 5 feet, 8 inches tall. (Christopher, 2017) 
  2. Grant weighed 155 pounds. (Christopher, 2017) 
  3. The “S” in Ulysses S. Grant did not stand for anything. Grant’s birth name was Hiram Ulysses Grant. The “S” was added when he was nominated for West Point by Ohio Congressman Thomas Hamer. The man himself stated, “Find some name beginning with ‘S’ for me” and  “You know I have an ‘S’ in my name and don’t know what it stands for.” (Andrew, 2015)
  4. Ulysses had several nicknames, including “unconditional surrender” Grant and “Uncle Sam” Grant. (Ulysses, S. Grant, 2019)
  5. He did not curse. The most “explicit” words he used were “doggone it” and “by lightning.” (Christopher, 2017) 
  1. He had troubles with alcohol. In the 1850s, Grant resigned from the military after being accused of being drunk. He began drinking again during the “War of Secession.” (Andrew, 2015)
  2. He smoked 10-20 cigars a day. (Anthony, 2017)
  3. A song was written about Grant’s cigar smoking habit named “A Smokin’ A Cigar.” (Anthony, 2017)
  4. Colonel John Rawlins helped the general stay sober. Rawlins was Grant’s adjutant and he would watch the general and keep him from the bottle. (Andrew, 2015)
  5. Ulysses was soft spoken. (N. Purdy, personal communication, April 12, 2022)
  6. Ulys had four children. His children were Ellen, Frederick, Jesse, and Ulysses. (Ulysses S. Grant Information Center, n.d.)
  7. He did not like the sight of blood. (Christopher, 2017) 
  8. He became a brevet second lieutenant (4th U.S. Infantry) in St. Louis after he graduated from West Point. This was Grant’s first military position after he graduated from West Point. (Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., n.d.)
  9. U.S. Grant loved to read. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)


  1. Ulys was born in 1822. (The United States Government, 2021)

Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant_Birthplace

  1. Ulys’ family had been in America since the 1600s. (Christopher, 2017)
  2. Matthew Grant, one of Ulysses’ ancestors, came to America with the puritans in the 1630s. (Christopher, 2017)
  3. Grant’s family gradually moved west until they settled in Ohio in the 1800s. (Christopher, 2017) 
  4. His parents were Jesse Root Grant and Hannah Simpson Grant. (Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., n.d.)
  5. He was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio, on the Ohio River. (Ulysses S. Grant – Ohio History Central, n.d.)
  6. Jesse Grant, Ulysses’ father, was a tanner. (The United States Government, 2021)
  7. The name, Hiram Ulysses, was drawn from a hat. “Ulysses” was the name that happened to be drawn out of many names from a hat. “Hiram” came from his father-in-law whom Jesse wanted to recognize. (Chakravarty, 2019)
  8. The Grant family moved to Georgetown, Ohio, from Point Pleasant, Ohio, when he was about 11 months old. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)

Credit: http://usgrantboyhoodhome.org/

  1. He grew up in an abolitionist home. Ulysses’ father, Jesse, was a staunch abolitionist. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  2. Ulysses attended the Dutch Hill School for six years. This school is situated down the road from his boyhood home and is still there today. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  3. Grant’s childhood bedroom overlooked his father’s tannery. Grant hated the tannery and looking at it all the time no doubt contributed to that hatred. (N. Purdy, personal communication, April 12, 2022).
  4. He went to a boarding school in Kentucky for a short time. (Christopher, 2017)  
  5. Ulysses could ride a galloping horse while standing on one foot and using the bridal reigns to balance at just eight years of age. (Christopher, 2017) 
  6. He moved a rock that weighed over a ton at the age of 14. Dr. Buckner, who lived in Georgetown, Ohio, sent five workmen up the creek to get a big limestone and move it to his new house. The men failed to move the rock and when the young Ulys heard about it, he went down and looked at the rock and said he could move it. The future general learned how to do so because he had been hauling a lot of the stones for his dad. So, young Ulysses took a team of horses down and dug a deep trench on each side of the stone. He backed the rope down around the rock for three days and spent three more tightening the ropes. After six days, he brought the rock and put it in front of Dr. Buckner’s house. The stone is estimated to weigh between 1.25 and 1.5 tons and is currently located at his boyhood home which can still be visited today in Georgetown, Ohio. (N. Purdy, personal communication, April 12, 2022)

West Point

  1. Grant’s father wanted him to get a degree in engineering and West Point was the only place that offered that in 1839. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  2. Ulysses didn’t know anything about his West Point appointment until it had already been secured. (Christopher, 2017) 
  3. He was homesick when he started at West Point. He missed his family and home back in Georgetown, Ohio. (Christopher, 2017) 
  4. He hated wearing army uniforms. He frequently got in trouble while at West Point for his uniform. This dislike for uniforms continued throughout the Civil War. He often did not wear his sword and would have mud on his uniform. He also would stitch his new rank insignia onto his jacket he received as a private. He was described as an ”ordinary, scrubby-looking man, with a slightly seedy look, as if he was out of office on half-pay.” (Andrew, 2015)

Credit: https://daily.jstor.org/why-ulysses-s-grant-was-more-important-than-you-think/

  1. Ulysses S. Grant had a special bond with horses. He did all the farm work around his home involving horses. He even set a high jump record riding a horse while at West Point. (Chakravarty, 2019)
  2. He set the high jump record with a horse at West Point. He rode a horse named York and jumped with the horse over the six foot mark. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  3. Grant’s record stood for 35 years. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  4. He is recognized as the greatest horseman to ever attend West Point to this day. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  5. He was a gifted artist. At the military academy West Point, he studied drawing under Robert Weir. Ulysses even wrote about his affection for the art. (Chakravarty, 2019)
  6. Ulys did not want to be in the military. The future general did not want to go West Point and planned to only be in the military for four years and then resign. (Chakravarty, 2019)
  7. Ulysses S. Grant’s grades were average at best. Grant’s grades were nothing spectacular as he had little interest at West Point beyond drawing and horses. (10 fascinating facts about president Ulysses Grant, n.d.)
  8. He liked to read novels by Walter Scott, James Fenimore Cooper and Nathaniel Hawthorn. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  9. Walter Scott’s novels gave Grant good insight into the aristocratic South which would aid him during the war and reconstruction. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022) 
  10. He earned several demerits for his “sloppy dress” (Christopher, 2017) 
  11. Grant ranked in the middle of his class at West Point (21 of 39). (Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., n.d.)
  12. Grant graduated from West Point in 1843. (Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., n.d.)
  13. He hoped to get a cavalry assignment after West Point. (Christopher, 2017)
  14. Ulysses met many future Civil War generals while at West Point. (Christopher, 2017) 

Mexican-American War

  1. Grant was deployed to West Louisiana and Corpus Christi, Texas, when the Mexican-American War broke out. (Christopher, 2017) 
  2. Ulysses S. Grant served alongside Robert E. Lee in the Mexican-American War.  Grant, under Zachary Taylor, was a regimental quartermaster. Lee, on the other hand, under Winfield Scott, was his chief of staff. (10 fascinating facts about president Ulysses Grant, n.d.)
  3. Grant was nervous for the expectation of the battle but not during the battle. Ulys wrote to his future wife, Julia, and told her that the anticipation of the battle was worse than the battle itself. (Christopher, 2017) 
  4. Grant went to watch a bull fight while serving in the Mexican-American War. (Christopher, 2017)
  5. Grant was more of a fan of Zachary Taylor then Winfield Scott. Taylor was much more laid back while Scott was much more by the book and precise. Grant followed in Taylor’s footsteps when he became a general during the “War Between the States.” (Christopher, 2017) 

Credit: https://www.britannica.com/event/Mexican-American-War

  1. He disagreed with the politics behind the Mexican-American war. Grant saw the war as a stronger, imperial power taking land from a much weaker nation. (Christopher, 2017) 
  2. He was named quartermaster of his regiment in Mexico. (Christopher, 2017) 
  3. Grant tried to be removed as quartermaster so he could see more action. (Christopher, 2017) 
  4. Grant was supposed to be a reserve at the Battle of Monterey but ended up going to observe and eventually joined in the battle. (Christopher, 2017) 
  5. Grant earned a brevet first lieutenant and captain ranking for his actions in battle in September of 1847. (Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., n.d.)


  1. After the war he requested a leave of absence to visit his parents in Ohio and Julia in Missouri. (Christopher, 2017) 
  2. He had many business troubles. Grant tried many different business ventures such as farming, rent collecting, and real estate. (Andrew, 2015)
  3. It was long believed he was a drunk. For years many people believed that Grant was a drunk. However, there are only 8 verifiable stories of Grant being drunk. Many of the stories were fabricated. It is true he left the military in 1854 because of drunkenness. However, there was little else to drink or do in California at the time. (Chakravarty, 2019) 
  4. Ulysses S. Grant was gifted a slave and then freed him. Ulysses S. Grant was given a slave named William Jones. This man was given to Grant by his wife’s family, the Dents, who were slave owners. Grant freed the man after one year. Ulysses could have used the money from selling the man but he chose not to. (Chakravarty, 2019)
  5. Ulysses was gifted and attempted to farm 80 acres given to him from Julia’s father. (Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., n.d.)
  6. They spent the first few years of their marriage in Detroit, MI. (Christopher, 2017) 
  7. Grant’s first child, Fred Grant, was born while they were living in Detroit. (Christopher, 2017) 
  8. Grant was transferred to California, away from his family, while serving in the military. (Christopher, 2017)
  9. His regiment made the trip by boat sailing to South America, traveling by land and back to the Pacific Ocean, and then to Fort Humble in California. (Christopher, 2017) 
  10. Grant visited Oregon while stationed in California. (Christopher, 2017)
  11. In 1854, Grant resigned from the army. (U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d.)
  12. Grant had to turn to Simon Bolivar Buckner to give him to money to get home after he resigned from the army. He knew Buckner from West Point and would accept his “unconditional surrender” at Fort Donelson. (Christopher, 2017) 
  13. Grant moved to Galena, Illinois in 1860. (Ulysses, S. Grant, 2019)
  14. Ulysses S. Grant sold leather goods for his father in Galena, Illinois. (Ulysses, S. Grant, 2019)
  15. Grant had to rely on Julia’s family and their money to provide for their kids. (Christopher, 2017)


  1. Ulysses S. Grant met his wife Julia through her brother. Ulysses’ roommate at West Point was Fred Dent. Fred introduced the two when Ulysses went to the Dent house and they quickly fell in love. (Hutchinson, 2020) 
  2. Grant would visit the Dent family once a week while at West Point. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)

Credit: https://www.history.com/topics/first-ladies/julia-grant

  1. When Ulysses met Julia, he began visiting their home every day. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  2. Ulysses had to ask Julia to marry him several times before she said yes. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  3. Grant proposed to Julia using his West Point class ring. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  4. Ulysses and Julia engaged secretly. They did so before Ulysses left for the Mexican-American War. (Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., n.d.) 
  5. Julia conditionally approved Grant’s proposal pending her father’s approval. (Christopher, 2017)
  6. They married on August 22, 1848. (Public Broadcasting Service, n.d.) 
  7. Ulysses and Julia married in the Dent townhouse in downtown St. Louis. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  8. It rained all day on their wedding day but it stopped right before they married. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  9. James Longstreet was at Ulysses’ wedding. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  10. Ulysses wrote 4-5 letters to Julia during the Mexican-American War to every letter she wrote back to him. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  11. Ulysses was not aware that Julia kept the love letters he wrote her during the Mexican-American War. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)

Civil War

  1. Grant believed that the war was divine punishment for the Mexican-American War. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  2. When the war began, Ulysses S. Grant was working in a leather store his father owned in Galena, Illinois. (The United States Government, 2021) 
  3. Grant saw the cause of the war as the result of politicians, not a divide that could not be solved any other way. (Christopher, 2017)
  4. Grant wrote a letter to the adjutant general asking for command of a regiment but never got a response. (Christopher, 2017)
  1. Grant asked George B. McClellan to give him a regiment, but he refused to meet with Grant. (Christopher, 2017)
  2. Grant was given command of a volunteer regiment that he got into fighting shape. (The United States Government, 2021) 
  3. Ulysses’ volunteer regiment was sent to Missouri to subdue 1,200 Confederate raiders. (Christopher, 2017)
  4. In September of 1861, Grant became brigadier general of the volunteer regiment. (The United States Government, 2021) 
  5. Grant captured Paducah, Kentucky. (Christopher, 2017)
  6. At Belmont, Missouri, Grant had a horse shot out from underneath him, found a new one, had it slide down a hill, climb a plank, and escaped at the last second (he was the last to leave). (Christopher, 2017)
  7. In February 1862, he had his first major victory when he captured Fort Henry. (The United States Government, 2021) 
  8. His capture of Fort Donelson was the first major Union victory. This was the first Confederate force to be captured in entirety. (Andrew, 2015)
  9. Ulysses was given boxes of cigars by the adoring public for his victory at Fort Donelson. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  10. Ulysses’ famous, “unconditional surrender” quote came from Fort Donelson. Grant told the Confederate leader at the fort, “No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted.” (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  11. A newspaper printed an image of a random Chicago man and said it was Grant after he captured Fort Donelson. The newspaper printed a full page image of a man they said was Ulysses S. Grant. The image was of a portly, bald man who had a uniform drawn on him. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  12. Grant commanded Union forces in a victory at one of the war’s deadliest battles during the Battle of Shiloh. (The United States Government, 2021) 
  13. Ulysses S. Grant was nearly removed from his leadership position after the Battle of Shiloh. At the Battle of Shiloh, there were 23,746 casualties. This high number of casualties led some to call for Grant’s job. The fact that Confederate forces caught the Union by surprise only added to these calls. However, Lincoln famously stated, “I can’t spare this man; he fights.” (Hutchinson, 2020) 
  14. Grant, after many months, captured Vicksburg, the last Confederate strong hold on the Mississippi River. (The United States Government, 2021) 
  15. Grant was injured in September, 1863, when he dislocated his hip and got a concussion after falling off his horse. People said this happened because he was drinking but, in reality, the horse had been spooked by a train. (Christopher, 2017) 
  16. Then he broke the Confederate stronghold at Chattanooga. (The United States Government, 2021) 
  17. Grant was appointed General-In-Chief of the armed forces by President Lincoln in March of 1864. (The United States Government, 2021)
  18. Ulyss directly oversaw the Army of the Potomac and pinned down the Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by Robert E. Lee. (The United States Government, 2021) 
  19. He cried in his tent at night after the Battle of the Wilderness. (N. Purdy, personal communication, April 12, 2022)
  20. He received the surrender of Robert E. Lee, effectively ending the war. On April 9, 1865, the two men met at Appomattox Courthouse. Here, the Union general accepted the surrender of Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. (Chakravarty, 2019)
  21. When Ulyss arrived at Appomattox, he showed up in a filthy uniform. Grant’s uniform had mud splatters on it and was ”well-worn.” Lee, on the other hand, had on, “full military dress” along with a sash and a sword. (Hutchinson, 2020)
  22. Ulysses S. and Robert E. Lee met more than once at the end of the war.  After the two met at Appomattox Courthouse, Ulysses went to see Lee the next day. They continued to talk about terms of surrender. (10 fascinating facts about president Ulysses Grant, n.d.)
  23. Grant was a war hero and a celebrity after the war. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  24. Grant rarely asked for reinforcements or complained during the Civil War. He did his job regardless. (McPherson, 1988)

Post war

  1. Ulysses S. was supposed to go to Ford’s Theater with Lincoln the night of the presidents murder. Along with his wife Julia, the two had been invited to visit Ford’s Theater with President Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. However, the Grant’s had plans to go to New Jersey to see their children, so they turned down the offer. Julia was also not fond of Mary Lincoln. (Andrew, 2015)
  2. He met with Lincoln and some members of his cabinet to begin planning reconstruction the day that Lincoln was assassinated. (Christopher, 2017)
  1. Ulyss and Lincoln’s attendance to Ford’s Theater had been printed and circulated in the newspaper. (Christopher, 2017)
  2. Ulysses S. was also one of John Wilkes Booth’s targets the night he killed Lincoln.  (Hutchinson, 2020)  
  3. Ulyss stopped charges of treason from being raised against Robert E. Lee. Grant threatened to, “resign the command of the army rather than execute any order to arrest Lee or any of his commanders so long as they obey the law.” This was in response to the courts bringing forth charges against Lee after Grant had agreed to terms to allow the Confederates to put their arms down and go home. (Andrew, 2015) 
  4. He did not like Andrew Johnson. Grant became a Republican after the war and opposed President Johnson’s policy toward the South and Reconstruction. (10 fascinating facts about president Ulysses Grant, n.d.) 
  5. He was afraid that President Johnson would be too tough on the South and would cause another war. (Christopher, 2017)
  6. He was ordered to relieve William T. Sherman of command of his force and negotiate new terms of surrender with Confederate general Johnston. (Christopher, 2017)
  7. In the fall of 1865, he was tasked with touring the South to inspect the Union army there and see how the locals were accepting reconstruction. (Christopher, 2017)
  8. Ulyss was tasked with keeping order during the 1866 elections as riots broke out in Memphis, New Orleans, and Baltimore. (Christopher, 2017)
  9. In 1866, Ulysses S. became the general of the armies of the United States, a position newly created by President Johnson. (Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., n.d.)
  10. In 1867, he became the interim secretary of war but stepped down in January of 1868 when Edwin Stanton was reinstated. (Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., n.d.)

President Grant (President of the United States)

  1. Ulyss accepted the nomination for president because he didn’t want to leave it up to corrupt ppoliticians. (Christopher, 2017) 
  2. As President of the United States, he promised that, if elected, he would faithfully administer the laws. That was all he ran on. (Christopher, 2017)
  3. Instead of campaigning, Grant toured the Great Plains with William Sherman, Philip Sheridan, Fred Grant, and Ulysses Grant Jr. (Christopher, 2017) 
  4. He spent the peak of the campaign at Galena, Illinois, with Julia. (Christopher, 2017)
  5. Democrats falsely accused the presidential candidate of fathering an illegitimate child with a Native American woman. (Christopher, 2017) 
  6. He lost only New York,  the border states, Louisiana, Georgia, and Oregon. (Christopher, 2017)
  1. He won six former Confederate states. (Christopher, 2017) 
  2. Railroads offered Grant complimentary palace cars as a bribe. (Christopher, 2017) 
  3. A group of money men purchased Ulysses Gant’s house that he paid 30,000 for a few years earlier. They offered him 65,000 with the intention of gifting it to Sherman who was thought to be appointed to Grant’s cabinet. (Christopher, 2017) 
  4. Liberal Republican’s attacked the general when he ran for re-election in 1872.  Those who supported Grant in the Republican Party were called “the Old Guard.” (The United States Government, 2021)
  5. He had little to no political experience when he was elected in 1869. (Andrews, 2015) 
  6. He served as the president from 1869-1877 and served for two terms. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  7. Ulyss’ Vice Presidents were Schuyler Colfax and Henry Wilson. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019) 
  8. Grant was a member of the Republican Party. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019) 
  9. Grant had little to no interest in running for the presidency before he was nominated as the Republican candidate. (Andrew, 2015) 
  10. Critics of the president pointed to his lack of political experience for his presidential troubles both economically and the scandals that occurred.  (Andrew, 2015) 
  11. During reconstruction, Grant tried to balance the goals of reconciliation of the South and protecting the former slaves. (Christopher, 2017) 
  12. Ulysses tore down the KKK during his time in office. Grant helped pass the “Ku Klux Klan Act” that allowed him to put a pause on habeas corpus and to use martial law in, “areas deemed to be in a state of insurrection.” The president sent soldiers in to break up the KKK in South Carolina. (Andrews, 2015) 
  13. Congress passed the Enforcement Acts which Grant signed and resulted in over 1,000 convictions of violations of African American’s voting rights. (Christopher, 2017) 
  14. Grant signed the 1875 Civil Right Acts which prohibited discrimination in public accommodations and transportations and forbade discriminatory jury selection. (Christopher, 2017)  
  15. 4 members of Grant’s cabinet had to resign as a result of scandals. (Christopher, 2017) 
  16. Members Grant’s family received lucrative government contracts during his time in office. (Christopher, 2017)
  17. Fredrick Douglas campaigned for Grant. (Christopher, 2017) 
  18. Grant tried to get Civil Service Reform legislation passed but Congress failed to do so. (Christopher, 2017) 
  19. Grant approved a deal averting war with Spain after eight Americans were killed by Spanish leaders in Cuba. (Christopher, 2017) 
  20. Grant had a strong dislike and long politic feud with Senator Charles Sumner. (Christopher, 2017)  
  21. Grant vetoed a law prohibiting non-Native Americans from hunting buffalo. (Christopher, 2017) 
  22. When gold was found in South Dakota, Ulysses offered a Sioux chief $25,000 for the land. The offer was declined. (Christopher, 2017)  
  23. Grant directed Philip Sheridan to move the Sioux Indians onto a reservation to avoid a conflict with prospectors. (Christopher, 2017) 
  24. Grant successfully reduced public debt in his first term in office. The debt fell $300 million.  (Christopher, 2017) 
  25. The Panic of 1873 was the first event to seriously hurt Grant’s popularity with the general public. (Christopher, 2017) 
  26. Ulysses S. Grant was the youngest president when he was elected in 1868. (Chakravarty, 2019)
  27. Grant was 48 years old when elected president. (Chakravarty, 2019)
  28. Grant attempted to add the Dominican Republic as part of America. The treaty to add the Dominican Republic to America was approved in the Dominican but failed to be ratified in Congress. (10 fascinating facts about president Ulysses Grant, n.d.) 
  29. Ulysses S. Grant helped pass the 15th amendment, giving African-American men suffrage. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  30. Grant oversaw legislation that created the Department of Justice. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  31. Grant oversaw legislation that created the Weather Bureau. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  32. Ulysses created the National Parks (including Yellowstone National Park). (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  33. Grant’s presidency was riddled with scandal and ups-and-downs.  President Grant dealt with, “corruption, numerous scandals within his administration, an economic disaster (the Panic of 1873), the 15th Amendment, Reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan, and the threat of war with Great Britain and Spain.” (10 fascinating facts about president Ulysses Grant, n.d.)
  34. Grant was president during the economic crisis of the Panic of 1873. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  35. Members of his administration stole from the government. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  36. He was not apart of the corruption that took place during his presidency. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  37. Ulyss ran the government the way he had the military when he was in charge. (The United States Government, 2021)
  38. Grant hired many of his staff from when he was in the army when he was president. (The United States Government, 2021)
  39. As President, Grant presided over the government much as he had run the army. Indeed he brought part of his army staff to the White House. (The United States Government, 2021) 
  40. Grant allowed radical reconstruction to run its course in the South, bolstering it at times with military force. (The United States Government, 2021) 
  41. Grant settled the Alabama Claims. The Alabama Claims arose out of the Civil War. The British had produced ships for the Confederacy. These ships had sunk whaling ships and had done great damage to ships in New England. These citizens who had their ships sunk, filed a suit against Britain. The president had this settled peacefully and made sure this did not turn into a war. (C. Fields, personal communication, April 19, 2022)
  42. Grant’s father would visit him in the White House but his mother never did. Jesse Grant loved the pomp and circumstance of the White House but Hannah Grant hated it and, therefore, never visited. (N. Purdy, personal communication, April 12, 2022)
  43. Grant nearly ran for a third term as president. However, because of the scandals that occurred during his administration, he decided against the idea. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  44. There were Republican politicians who wanted to nominate Grant for the presidency in 1880. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)


  1. After Grant left office, he toured the world. Grant went around the world for over two years and met Emperor Meji, Otto von Bismarck, Leo XIII, and Queen Victoria. (Chakravarty, 2019)
  2. Grant attempted to mediate a dispute between China and Japan. (Christopher, 2017) 
  3.  Grant was escorted across the Pacific back to America by a Japanese naval ship. (Christopher, 2017) 
  4. Ulysses’ world tour revitalized his popularity with the public. (Christopher, 2017)  
  5. In 1881, Grant and his family moved to New York City (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  6.  Grant went bankrupt after his presidency. (The United States Government, 2021) 
  7. Grant had to sell war medals to pay off debts from a failed business venture. (Christopher, 2017) 
  8. Grant got paid $500 per article he wrote about his experience in the war for Century Magazine. (Christopher, 2017) 


  1. Grant was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1884. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  2. Grant was a great author and wrote his two volume memories before he passed. (10 fascinating facts about president Ulysses Grant, n.d.) 
  3. Grant finished his memoirs 5 days before he died. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  4. Mark Twain helped Grant get his memoirs published before he died. Ulysses was going to sign a deal that came from a magazine company before Twain offered his assistance. He gave Grant a much better deal, giving the Grant’s $450,000 in royalties. (Andrews, 2015) 
  5. Grant died on July 23, 1885. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019) 
  6. Grant’s body was viewed by over 250,000 people. (Christopher, 2017) 
  7. Ulysses’ funeral parade stretched for over 7 miles. (Christopher, 2017) 
  8. More than a million people attended Grant’s funeral procession. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  9. The parade for Ulysses S. Grant was attended by former Presidents Hayes and Arthur, as well as current President Cleveland. (Christopher, 2017)
  10. Thousands of Union veterans attended Grant’s funeral parade. (Christopher, 2017) 
  11. Former Confederate generals Joseph Johnston and Simon Bolivar Buckner served as pallbearers. (Christopher, 2017)
  12.  Sherman and Sheridan were also pallbearers. (Christopher, 2017) 
  13. Grant’s memoirs are one of the best (if not the best) presidential memoirs ever written. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  14. Grant’s tomb is in Riverside Park, located in New York City. (Ulysses S. Grant, 2019)
  15. Ulysses S. Grant, along with Julia, his wife, are buried together in a tomb. (10 fascinating facts about president Ulysses Grant, n.d.)
  16. Their crypt is above the ground. (10 fascinating facts about president Ulysses Grant, n.d.) 
  17. Grant’s legacy has changed over the years and is a complicated one. Traditionally, Grant’s presidency has been view negatively. However, in recent years, he has been seen as a major civil rights president. In addition to this, he has been viewed as a drunk and a butcher but this has been changing. Particularly with the publishing of two books: American Ulysses and Grant (Chakravarty, 2019) 


We would like to give a special thanks to the leading U.S. Grant living historian Dr. Curt Fields for his generous contributions to this article. Dr. Fields will be attending the festivities for Grant’s 200th birthday and will be giving several lectures to the public. Dr. Fields has portrayed Grant at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Appomattox Courthouse, and the opening of the Grant presidential library, just to name a few.

Credit: http://usgrantboyhoodhome.org/new-page

We would also like to thank Nancy Purdy of the Grant Boyhood Home. Ms. Purdy was kind enough to give us a tour of Grant’s boyhood home, as well as an interview providing us with various, unique stories on the general. Nancy Purdy runs a bed and breakfast in Georgetown, Ohio, down the street from the boyhood home. We highly recommend taking a trip to see Grant’s boyhood home and to meet the kind folks there.

Finally, we would like to thank Dr. Scott Rank of the History Unplugged podcast. Dr. Rank provided us with the quote about Sam Grant that was included at the beginning of this article. Dr. Rank’s podcast has over 10 million downloads. He currently runs the podcast, speaks at events, and has created online courses.

The Grant Birthday Bicentennial Dinner and Bicentennial Events
Here are various links to the events going on for Grant’s birthday bicentennial:
We encourage you to attend these bicentennial events.
If you make the trip, there are also various Underground Railroad spots throughout Clermont and Brown Counties to visit as well.
If you would like to make a donation to the Grant Association, we encourage you to do so here.
We would also like to encourage you to visit the various Ohio History Connection sites throughout Ohio.

Works Cited

10 fascinating facts about president Ulysses Grant. National Constitution Center – constitutioncenter.org. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/10-fascinating-facts-about-president-ulysses-grant 

Andrews, E. (2015, July 23). 10 things you may not know about Ulysses S. Grant. History.com. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-ulysses-s-grant 

Anthony, C. S. (2017, August 1). Our presidents and cigars. Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/our-presidents-and-cigars-6103 

Chakravarty, A. (2019, June 19). 10 facts about Ulysses S. Grant. History Hit. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://www.historyhit.com/facts-about-ulysses-s-grant/ 

Christopher, M. (Host). (2017, June 21). Episode 2: Ulysses S. Grant, Part 1 (No. 2) [Audi podcast episode]. In Portraits of Blue & Grey: The Biographical Civil War Podcast. Recorded History Podcast Network. https://www.audacy.com/podcasts/portraits-of-blue-grey-the-biographical-civil-war-podcast-21048/episode-2-ulysses-s-grant-part-1-1027102

Christopher, M. (Host). (2017, October 1). Episode 2: Ulysses S. Grant, Part 4 (No. 2) [Audi podcast episode]. In Portraits of Blue & Grey: The Biographical Civil War Podcast. Recorded History Podcast Network. https://www.audacy.com/podcasts/portraits-of-blue-grey-the-biographical-civil-war-podcast-21048/episode-2-ulysses-s-grant-part-4-1027099 

Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (n.d.). Ulysses S. Grant. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ulysses-S-Grant 

Hutchinson, S. (2020, April 27). 13 surprising facts about Ulysses S. Grant. Mental Floss. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/547771/ulysses-s-grant-facts 

McPherson, J. M., & Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana (Mississippi State University. Libraries). (1988). Battle cry of freedom: The Civil War era.

Public Broadcasting Service. (n.d.). Julia Dent Grant. PBS. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/grant-julia/#:~:text=After%20a%20four%2Dyear%20separation,Julia%20and%20Ulysses%20were%20married 

U.S. Department of the Interior. (n.d.). Ulysses S. Grant in St. Louis 1854-1860 (U.S. National Park Service). National Parks Service. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/ulysses-s-grant-in-st-louis-1854-1860.htm 

Ulysses S. Grant – President facts. Cool Kid Facts. (2019, August 12). Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://www.coolkidfacts.com/ulysses-s-grant-facts/ 

Ulysses S. Grant Information Center: Family Members and Genealogy of Ulysses S. Grant. CSSLibraryGuides. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://libguides.css.edu/usgrant/home/family 

Ulysses S. Grant. Ulysses S. Grant – Ohio History Central. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Ulysses_S._Grant 

The United States Government. (2021, January 15). Ulysses S. Grant. The White House. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/ulysses-s-grant/

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