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Ulysses S. Grant (April 27, 1822 -- July 23, 1885), born as Hiram Ulysses Grant,[[note]][[UnfortunateNames note what the initials spell out]][[/note]] is much better known as the [[FourStarBadass General]] who won UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar than as a President. Most people who remember the latter probably do so because he's on the fifty dollar bill. Which doesn't make much sense, since neither UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton nor Creator/BenjaminFranklin were presidents, and they are prominently on the currency as well. His nickname, earned during the Civil War was "Unconditional Surrender" Grant.[[note]]Not for surrendering himself, mind, but [[TheDreaded for making others surrender to him.]][[/note]] Prior to the Civil War, Grant tried his hand in several fields, but failed at nearly all of them. He also became the last President to own a slave, but in 1859 - a time when he desperately needed money[[note]]He had to pawn his watch to buy his family Christmas presents![[/note]] - he freed him instead of selling him for what could easily have been a low four figure sum.

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Ulysses S. Grant (April 27, 1822 -- July 23, 1885), born as Hiram Ulysses Grant,[[note]][[UnfortunateNames note what the initials spell out]][[/note]] is much better known as the [[FourStarBadass General]] General who won UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar than as a President. Most people who remember the latter probably do so because he's on the fifty dollar bill. Which doesn't make much sense, since neither UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton nor Creator/BenjaminFranklin were presidents, and they are prominently on the currency as well. His nickname, earned during the Civil War was "Unconditional Surrender" Grant.[[note]]Not for surrendering himself, mind, but [[TheDreaded for making others surrender to him.]][[/note]] Prior to the Civil War, Grant tried his hand in several fields, but failed at nearly all of them. He also became the last President to own a slave, but in 1859 - a time when he desperately needed money[[note]]He had to pawn his watch to buy his family Christmas presents![[/note]] - he freed him instead of selling him for what could easily have been a low four figure sum.



Any talk of his Civil War days will probably mention the fact that he was friends with [[TheLancer General]] [[FourStarBadass William Tecumseh Sherman]], with [[ThoseTwoGuys the two of them]] leading the Union Army to dozens of little-known victories in the West while the press was focused on how Lee was running roughshod over a succession of incompetent Union commanders in Virginia[[note]] A depressed and despairing Grant once tried to relinquish his command, only for an irate Sherman to show up at his headquarters demanding to know why Grant wouldn't at least talk to him about it first. After a discussion that leaned heavily on ToughLove, Sherman convinced Grant to keep his command. Grant would do the same for Sherman, bringing him back from the brink when Sherman's own personal demons pushed him into a psychotic break[[/note]]. Less known to the general public is that Sherman's working relationship as Grant's NumberTwo continued into Grant's presidency, with Sherman taking the post of Commanding General of the U.S. Army after Grant vacated it to become President and holding the post through all of Grant's tenure, or that he was also lifelong best friends with [[FriendlyEnemies Confederate Lieutenant General James Peter Longstreet]], going all the way back to Longstreet serving as a groomsman at his wedding.

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Any talk of his Civil War days will probably mention the fact that he was friends with [[TheLancer General]] [[FourStarBadass William Tecumseh Sherman]], Sherman, with [[ThoseTwoGuys the two of them]] leading the Union Army to dozens of little-known victories in the West while the press was focused on how Lee was running roughshod over a succession of incompetent Union commanders in Virginia[[note]] A depressed and despairing Grant once tried to relinquish his command, only for an irate Sherman to show up at his headquarters demanding to know why Grant wouldn't at least talk to him about it first. After a discussion that leaned heavily on ToughLove, Sherman convinced Grant to keep his command. Grant would do the same for Sherman, bringing him back from the brink when Sherman's own personal demons pushed him into a psychotic break[[/note]]. Less known to the general public is that Sherman's working relationship as Grant's NumberTwo continued into Grant's presidency, with Sherman taking the post of Commanding General of the U.S. Army after Grant vacated it to become President and holding the post through all of Grant's tenure, or that he was also lifelong best friends with [[FriendlyEnemies Confederate Lieutenant General James Peter Longstreet]], going all the way back to Longstreet serving as a groomsman at his wedding.


Examples of media depicting Grant in the Civil War include a fair number of Westerns up to the 1950s. He also appears in Creator/StevenSpielberg's ''Film/{{Lincoln}}'', played by [[Series/MadMen Jared Harris]]. A [[http://deadline.com/2017/11/ulysses-grant-movie-leonardo-dicaprio-lionsgate-appian-way-ron-chernow-bestseller-grant-1202198671/ biopic of Grant]] based on Ron Chernow's 2017 biography is currently in development.

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Examples of media depicting Grant in the Civil War include a fair number of Westerns up to the 1950s. He also appears in Creator/StevenSpielberg's ''Film/{{Lincoln}}'', played by [[Series/MadMen Jared Harris]]. A [[http://deadline.com/2017/11/ulysses-grant-movie-leonardo-dicaprio-lionsgate-appian-way-ron-chernow-bestseller-grant-1202198671/ biopic of Grant]] based on Ron Chernow's Chernow's[[note]] The same Ron Chernow that wrote the biography of UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton that inspired Creator/LinManuelMiranda to his musical about the ten dollar Founding Father without a father[[/note]] 2017 biography is currently in development.


For most of the time since his term ended in 1877, Grant's administration had a reputation for corruption and economic troubles, although frankly this is more because he ''didn't'' do anything (a popular joke among historians is calling him "Useless Grant"), rather than any personal corruption. Grant's own conduct was fairly clean (apart from alcoholism[[note]]which has been overblown and which historians of the 21st century can find fewer and fewer pieces of evidence for[[/note]]), but he preferred to delegate as much as he could, and many of the cabinet members he delegated to were notoriously crooked. If anything, Grant was too honest for his own good, and couldn't understand how anybody would betray the public trust, or betray him personally. However, he gets credit for keeping Reconstruction going and delaying the era of Jim Crow for as long as he could. His Civil Rights Acts were very similar to the one passed nearly 100 years later in the 1960s, but were overturned by the Supreme Court. Recent scholars have rated him significantly higher than in the past, largely due to increased appreciation for his efforts against racial discrimination (he effectively destroyed the (first) UsefulNotes/KuKluxKlan in 1871). He's also notable for creating Yellowstone National Park in 1872, the first national park in American history and, arguably, world history (though Lincoln had already set aside Yosemite Valley for "public use, resort, and recreation," essentially making it a national park in all but name). Whether the negative assessment of Grant was due to [[WrittenByTheWinners Southern sympathies]] of many 20th century historians or ValuesDissonance is an interesting question to ponder.

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For most of the time since his term ended in 1877, Grant's administration had a reputation for corruption and economic troubles, although frankly this is more because he ''didn't'' do anything (a popular joke among historians is calling him "Useless Grant"), rather than any personal corruption. Grant's own conduct was fairly clean (apart from alcoholism[[note]]which has been overblown and which historians of the 21st century can find fewer and fewer pieces of evidence for[[/note]]), for - all the evidence available points more to Grant being [[CantHoldHisLiquor a lightweight]] who only drank on campaign when he [[DrowningMySorrows missed his wife]][[/note]]), but he preferred to delegate as much as he could, and many of the cabinet members he delegated to were notoriously crooked. If anything, Grant was too honest for his own good, and couldn't understand how anybody would betray the public trust, or betray him personally. However, he gets credit for keeping Reconstruction going and delaying the era of Jim Crow for as long as he could. His Civil Rights Acts were very similar to the one passed nearly 100 years later in the 1960s, but were overturned by the Supreme Court. Recent scholars have rated him significantly higher than in the past, largely due to increased appreciation for his efforts against racial discrimination (he effectively destroyed the (first) UsefulNotes/KuKluxKlan in 1871). He's also notable for creating Yellowstone National Park in 1872, the first national park in American history and, arguably, world history (though Lincoln had already set aside Yosemite Valley for "public use, resort, and recreation," essentially making it a national park in all but name). Whether the negative assessment of Grant was due to [[WrittenByTheWinners Southern sympathies]] of many 20th century historians or ValuesDissonance is an interesting question to ponder.


Any talk of his Civil War days will probably mention the fact that he was HeterosexualLifePartners with [[TheLancer General]] [[FourStarBadass William Tecumseh Sherman]], with [[ThoseTwoGuys the two of them]] leading the Union Army to dozens of little-known victories in the West while the press was focused on how Lee was running roughshod over a succession of incompetent Union commanders in Virginia[[note]] A depressed and despairing Grant once tried to relinquish his command, only for an irate Sherman to show up at his headquarters demanding to know why Grant wouldn't at least talk to him about it first. After a discussion that leaned heavily on ToughLove, Sherman convinced Grant to keep his command. Grant would do the same for Sherman, bringing him back from the brink when Sherman's own personal demons pushed him into a psychotic break[[/note]]. Less known to the general public is that Sherman's working relationship as Grant's NumberTwo continued into Grant's presidency, with Sherman taking the post of Commanding General of the U.S. Army after Grant vacated it to become President and holding the post through all of Grant's tenure, or that he was also [[HeterosexualLifePartners lifelong best friends]] with [[FriendlyEnemies Confederate Lieutenant General James Peter Longstreet]], going all the way back to Longstreet serving as a groomsman at his wedding.

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Any talk of his Civil War days will probably mention the fact that he was HeterosexualLifePartners friends with [[TheLancer General]] [[FourStarBadass William Tecumseh Sherman]], with [[ThoseTwoGuys the two of them]] leading the Union Army to dozens of little-known victories in the West while the press was focused on how Lee was running roughshod over a succession of incompetent Union commanders in Virginia[[note]] A depressed and despairing Grant once tried to relinquish his command, only for an irate Sherman to show up at his headquarters demanding to know why Grant wouldn't at least talk to him about it first. After a discussion that leaned heavily on ToughLove, Sherman convinced Grant to keep his command. Grant would do the same for Sherman, bringing him back from the brink when Sherman's own personal demons pushed him into a psychotic break[[/note]]. Less known to the general public is that Sherman's working relationship as Grant's NumberTwo continued into Grant's presidency, with Sherman taking the post of Commanding General of the U.S. Army after Grant vacated it to become President and holding the post through all of Grant's tenure, or that he was also [[HeterosexualLifePartners lifelong best friends]] friends with [[FriendlyEnemies Confederate Lieutenant General James Peter Longstreet]], going all the way back to Longstreet serving as a groomsman at his wedding.



%%!!Tropes as portrayed in fiction:

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%%!!Tropes as portrayed in fiction:


Grant was an intensely loyal man, rarely forgetting when somebody had treated him nicely during the rough years between his army service before and during the Civil War and he would often come to regret such loyalty as people he had trusted turned out to be corrupt or double crossed him in business dealings. He was bankrupted by an [[PonziScheme investment swindle]] in his last years but wrote [[TheDeterminator (with iron will and dying from cancer)]] a biography that is widely regarded as the best ever written by a President, and perhaps one of the best written by any American. He had befriended Creator/MarkTwain, who published it after Grant's death and which left his family in relatively good financial standing. There is a ConspiracyTheory that Twain ghostwrote (part of) the biography, but besides all the material evidence to counter that idea, there is the fact that Twain famously wrote a lot of PurpleProse while Grant's wordings are as short, precise, concise and direct as his military orders.

to:

Grant was an intensely loyal man, rarely forgetting when somebody had treated him nicely during the rough years between his army service before and during the Civil War and he would often come to regret such loyalty as people he had trusted turned out to be corrupt or double crossed him in business dealings. He was bankrupted by an [[PonziScheme investment swindle]] in his last years but wrote [[TheDeterminator (with iron will and dying from cancer)]] a biography that is widely regarded as the best ever written by a President, and perhaps one of the best written by any American. He had befriended Creator/MarkTwain, who published it after Grant's death and which left his family in relatively good financial standing. There is a ConspiracyTheory conspiracy theory that Twain ghostwrote (part of) the biography, but besides all the material evidence to counter that idea, there is the fact that Twain famously wrote a lot of PurpleProse while Grant's wordings are as short, precise, concise and direct as his military orders.


For most of the time since his term ended in 1877, Grant's administration had a reputation for corruption and economic troubles, although frankly this is more because he ''didn't'' do anything (a popular joke among historians is calling him "Useless Grant"), rather than any personal corruption. Grant's own conduct was fairly clean (apart from alcoholism[[note]]which has been overblown and which historians of the 21st century can find fewer and fewer pieces of evidence for[[/note]]), but he preferred to delegate as much as he could, and many of the cabinet members he delegated to were notoriously crooked. If anything, Grant was too honest for his own good, and couldn't understand how anybody would betray the public trust, or betray him personally. However, he gets credit for keeping Reconstruction going and delaying the era of Jim Crow for as long as he could. His Civil Rights Acts were very similar to the one passed nearly 100 years later in the 1960s, but were overturned by the Supreme Court. Recent scholars have rated him significantly higher than in the past, largely due to increased appreciation for his efforts against racial discrimination (he effectively destroyed the UsefulNotes/KuKluxKlan in 1871). He's also notable for creating Yellowstone National Park in 1872, the first national park in American history and, arguably, world history (though Lincoln had already set aside Yosemite Valley for "public use, resort, and recreation," essentially making it a national park in all but name). Whether the negative assessment of Grant was due to [[WrittenByTheWinners Southern sympathies]] of many 20th century historians or ValuesDissonance is an interesting question to ponder.

to:

For most of the time since his term ended in 1877, Grant's administration had a reputation for corruption and economic troubles, although frankly this is more because he ''didn't'' do anything (a popular joke among historians is calling him "Useless Grant"), rather than any personal corruption. Grant's own conduct was fairly clean (apart from alcoholism[[note]]which has been overblown and which historians of the 21st century can find fewer and fewer pieces of evidence for[[/note]]), but he preferred to delegate as much as he could, and many of the cabinet members he delegated to were notoriously crooked. If anything, Grant was too honest for his own good, and couldn't understand how anybody would betray the public trust, or betray him personally. However, he gets credit for keeping Reconstruction going and delaying the era of Jim Crow for as long as he could. His Civil Rights Acts were very similar to the one passed nearly 100 years later in the 1960s, but were overturned by the Supreme Court. Recent scholars have rated him significantly higher than in the past, largely due to increased appreciation for his efforts against racial discrimination (he effectively destroyed the (first) UsefulNotes/KuKluxKlan in 1871). He's also notable for creating Yellowstone National Park in 1872, the first national park in American history and, arguably, world history (though Lincoln had already set aside Yosemite Valley for "public use, resort, and recreation," essentially making it a national park in all but name). Whether the negative assessment of Grant was due to [[WrittenByTheWinners Southern sympathies]] of many 20th century historians or ValuesDissonance is an interesting question to ponder.


He first came to wide public notice as a field commander in the Civil War, eventually resulting in president UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln deciding to take a punt on him as the new commanding general of the army, after his three predecessors, to put it lightly, didn't work out.[[note]](The first commander, Mexican War veteran Winfield Scott, resigned early in the war due to a combination of poor health and fellow general George [=McClellan=] successfully manoeuvring for his removal; the second, [=McClellan=] himself, was more interested in political point-scoring against Lincoln than actually directing the Army, and soon got demoted back to working in the field; the third, Henry Halleck, ended up having to be KickedUpstairs when it turned out he was long on organizational skills, ''way'' short on strategy)[[/note]] Grant's installation in the position helped turn the tide against the Confederate forces, to the point where some joked that if Grant had been in the position from the start, the war would probably have been over and done with in a year.

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He first came to wide public notice as a field commander in the Civil War, eventually resulting in president UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln deciding to take a punt on him as the new commanding general of the army, after his three predecessors, to put it lightly, didn't work out.[[note]](The first commander, Mexican War veteran Winfield Scott, resigned early in the war due to a combination of poor health and fellow general George [=McClellan=] successfully manoeuvring for his removal; the second, [=McClellan=] himself, was more interested in political point-scoring against Lincoln than actually directing the Army, and soon got demoted back to working in the field; the third, Henry Halleck, ended up having to be KickedUpstairs when it turned out he was long on organizational skills, ''way'' short on strategy)[[/note]] Grant's installation in the position helped turn the tide against the Confederate forces, to the point where some joked that if Grant had been in the position from the start, the war would probably have been over and done with within a year.[[note]]This isn't as absurd as it may sound as during 1862, the Peninsula Campaign in the Eastern Theater came close enough to Richmond for the church bells of Richmond to be audible to the Union soldiers and the the Confederate government - advised by one Robert E Lee - was already thinking about packing up and moving elsewhere, when George B [=McClellan=], commander in chief of the Union Army squandered all opportunities by taking ages to advance and attack and then the Confederate commander got injured and replaced with... Robert E Lee. Grant was known for many things, but the foremost among them was that he ''never'' squandered a year.
good opportunity to attack and force decisive battles - most of which he won[[/note]]


Examples of media depicting Grant as President include ''Series/TheWildWildWest'' (both the original series and [[Film/WildWildWest the movie]]), the 1981 movie ''Film/TheLegendOfTheLoneRanger'', the {{Creator/HBO}} movie ''Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee'' and the Creator/{{ABC}} [[MadeForTVMovie movie]] ''Son of the Morning Star'', and the table-top roleplaying game ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}''.

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Examples of media depicting Grant as President include ''Series/TheWildWildWest'' (both the original series and [[Film/WildWildWest the movie]]), the 1981 movie ''Film/TheLegendOfTheLoneRanger'', the {{Creator/HBO}} movie ''Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee'' and the Creator/{{ABC}} [[MadeForTVMovie movie]] ''Son of the Morning Star'', ''Film/SonOfTheMorningStar'', and the table-top roleplaying game ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}''.


Grant was an intensely loyal man, rarely forgetting when somebody had treated him nicely during the rough years between his army service before and during the Civil War and he would often come to regret such loyalty as people he had trusted turned out to be corrupt or double crossed him in business dealings. He was bankrupted by an [[PonziScheme investment swindle]] in his last years but wrote [[TheDeterminator (with iron will and dying from cancer)]] a biography that is widely regarded as the best ever written by a President, and perhaps one of the best written by any American. He had befriended Creator/MarkTwain, who published it after Grant's death and which left his family in relatively good financial standing.

to:

Grant was an intensely loyal man, rarely forgetting when somebody had treated him nicely during the rough years between his army service before and during the Civil War and he would often come to regret such loyalty as people he had trusted turned out to be corrupt or double crossed him in business dealings. He was bankrupted by an [[PonziScheme investment swindle]] in his last years but wrote [[TheDeterminator (with iron will and dying from cancer)]] a biography that is widely regarded as the best ever written by a President, and perhaps one of the best written by any American. He had befriended Creator/MarkTwain, who published it after Grant's death and which left his family in relatively good financial standing.
standing. There is a ConspiracyTheory that Twain ghostwrote (part of) the biography, but besides all the material evidence to counter that idea, there is the fact that Twain famously wrote a lot of PurpleProse while Grant's wordings are as short, precise, concise and direct as his military orders.


->''"Let us have peace."''
-->--Grant's campaign slogan.


He was also one of the best horsemen in the entire army, and only lost his position in the elite cavalry after he struck a horse in an uncharacteristically angry outburst. Other than that, he was a true lover of animals: He never went hunting, attended a bullfight in Mexico only to leave in disgust before it was finished, thought horseracing was abusive to the horses, and, as a General, responded to a drover beating a pair of horses by having the man arrested and [[CoolAndUnusualPunishment tied to a tree for six hours]]. Overall he was considered something of a BunnyEarsLawyer, and almost never bothered with his official uniform, to the point that he showed up to the Appomattox Courthouse surrender ceremony in dirty fatigues, with only the General's Stars on his shoulder differentiating him from any Private, and was only let in because the Confederates knew him by sight; at least one observer commented that if you hadn't known better you'd have thought Lee, who was in his best dress uniform, had won the war. He was extremely quiet, to the point of being nicknamed "Grant the Silent" by other officers, [[GoshDangItToHeck never swore]], never danced, but did enjoy the theatre and was a voracious reader; in retrospect, he is clearly TheIntrovert. His speeches and writings later in his life were well received, by both their quality and because [[HiddenDepths nobody knew he was that eloquent.]] He often exhibited signs of clinical depression, and [[ShellShockedVeteran may have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder]]; [[AfraidOfBlood the sight of blood made him squeamish]] to the point that he couldn't eat undercooked meat (especially after he first saw combat during the Mexican War),[[note]]after the first day of the Battle of Shiloh, with the Union forces having abandoned their camps before the Rebel advance, the only shelter available was used as a hospital; Grant instead slept outside, under a tree, in the rain[[/note]] and he was so shy that he holed himself up in his room crying when he had a panic attack at his daughter's wedding, also qualifying him for TheWoobie.

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He was also one of the best horsemen in the entire army, and only lost his position in the elite cavalry after he struck a horse in an uncharacteristically angry outburst. Other than that, he was a true lover of animals: He never went hunting, attended a bullfight in Mexico only to leave in disgust before it was finished, thought horseracing was abusive to the horses, and, as a General, responded to a drover beating a pair of horses by having the man arrested and [[CoolAndUnusualPunishment tied to a tree for six hours]]. Overall he was considered something of a BunnyEarsLawyer, and almost never bothered with his official uniform, to the point that he showed up to the Appomattox Courthouse surrender ceremony in dirty fatigues, with only the General's Stars on his shoulder differentiating him from any Private, and was only let in because the Confederates knew him by sight; at least one observer commented that if you hadn't known better you'd have thought Lee, who was in his best dress uniform, had won the war. He was extremely quiet, to the point of being nicknamed "Grant the Silent" by other officers, [[GoshDangItToHeck never swore]], never danced, but did enjoy the theatre and was a voracious reader; in retrospect, he is clearly TheIntrovert. reader. His speeches and writings later in his life were well received, by both their quality and because [[HiddenDepths nobody knew he was could be that eloquent.]] He often exhibited signs of clinical depression, and [[ShellShockedVeteran may have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder]]; [[AfraidOfBlood the sight of blood made him squeamish]] to the point that he couldn't eat undercooked meat (especially after he first saw combat during the Mexican War),[[note]]after the first day of the Battle of Shiloh, with the Union forces having abandoned their camps before the Rebel advance, the only shelter available was used as a hospital; Grant instead slept outside, under a tree, in the rain[[/note]] and he was so shy that he holed himself up in his room crying when he had a panic attack at his daughter's wedding, also qualifying him for TheWoobie.


->''"I think I am a verb instead of a personal pronoun. A verb is anything that signifies to be; to do; to suffer. I signify all three."''

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->''"I think I am a verb instead of a personal pronoun. A verb is anything that signifies to be; to do; to suffer. [[DeadpanSnarker I signify all three."'']]"''


Ulysses S. Grant (April 27, 1822 -- July 23, 1885), born as Hiram Ulysses Grant,[[note]][[UnfortunateNames note what the initials spell out]][[/note]] is much better known as the [[FourStarBadass General]] who won UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar than as a President. Most people who remember the latter probably do so because he's on the fifty dollar bill. Which doesn't make much sense, since neither UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton nor Creator/BenjaminFranklin were presidents, and they are prominently on the currency as well. His nickname, earned during the Civil War was "Unconditional Surrender" Grant.[[note]]Not for surrendering himself, mind, but for making others surrender to him.[[/note]] Prior to the Civil War, Grant tried his hand in several fields, but failed at nearly all of them. He also became the last President to own a slave, but in 1859 - a time when he desperately needed money[[note]]He had to pawn his watch to buy his family Christmas presents![[/note]] - he freed him instead of selling him for what could easily have been a low four figure sum.

He first came to notice as a field commander in the Civil War, eventually resulting in president UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln deciding to take a punt on him as the new commanding general of the army, after his three predecessors, to put it lightly, didn't work out.[[note]](The first commander, Mexican War veteran Winfield Scott, resigned early in the war due to a combination of poor health and fellow general George [=McClellan=] successfully manoeuvring for his removal; the second, [=McClellan=] himself, was more interested in political point-scoring against Lincoln than actually directing the army, and soon got demoted back to working in the field; the third, Henry Halleck, ended up having to be KickedUpstairs when it turned out he was long on organizational skills, ''way'' short on strategy)[[/note]] Grant's installation in the position helped turn the tide against the Confederate forces, to the point where some joked that if Grant had been in the position from the start, the war would probably have been over and done with in a year.

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Ulysses S. Grant (April 27, 1822 -- July 23, 1885), born as Hiram Ulysses Grant,[[note]][[UnfortunateNames note what the initials spell out]][[/note]] is much better known as the [[FourStarBadass General]] who won UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar than as a President. Most people who remember the latter probably do so because he's on the fifty dollar bill. Which doesn't make much sense, since neither UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton nor Creator/BenjaminFranklin were presidents, and they are prominently on the currency as well. His nickname, earned during the Civil War was "Unconditional Surrender" Grant.[[note]]Not for surrendering himself, mind, but [[TheDreaded for making others surrender to him.[[/note]] ]][[/note]] Prior to the Civil War, Grant tried his hand in several fields, but failed at nearly all of them. He also became the last President to own a slave, but in 1859 - a time when he desperately needed money[[note]]He had to pawn his watch to buy his family Christmas presents![[/note]] - he freed him instead of selling him for what could easily have been a low four figure sum.

He graduated from [[MilitaryAcademy West Point]] and participated in the UsefulNotes/MexicanAmericanWar under General (and future president) UsefulNotes/ZacharyTaylor. Although he wished for the glory of combat, he was instead made Regimental Quartermaster, and learned firsthand that EasyLogistics is very much averted in real life, and also gained much knowledge both in organizing supplies for large numbers of troops in the field, but also in working with civilians to help fulfill the Army's needs, lessons that would be crucial in his later career. Despite what seemed like a DeskJockey assignment, he still managed to get himself into combat multiple times, and was even commended for his courage.

He first came to wide public notice as a field commander in the Civil War, eventually resulting in president UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln deciding to take a punt on him as the new commanding general of the army, after his three predecessors, to put it lightly, didn't work out.[[note]](The first commander, Mexican War veteran Winfield Scott, resigned early in the war due to a combination of poor health and fellow general George [=McClellan=] successfully manoeuvring for his removal; the second, [=McClellan=] himself, was more interested in political point-scoring against Lincoln than actually directing the army, Army, and soon got demoted back to working in the field; the third, Henry Halleck, ended up having to be KickedUpstairs when it turned out he was long on organizational skills, ''way'' short on strategy)[[/note]] Grant's installation in the position helped turn the tide against the Confederate forces, to the point where some joked that if Grant had been in the position from the start, the war would probably have been over and done with in a year.



For most of the time since his term ended in 1877, Grant's administration had a reputation for corruption and economic troubles, although frankly this is more because he ''didn't'' do anything (a popular joke among historians is calling him "Useless Grant"), rather than any personal corruption. Grant's own conduct was fairly clean (apart from alcoholism[[note]]which has been overblown and which historians of the 21st century can find fewer and fewer pieces of evidence for[[/note]]), but he preferred to delegate as much as he could, and many of the cabinet members he delegated to were notoriously crooked. However, he gets credit for keeping Reconstruction going and delaying the era of Jim Crow for as long as he could. His Civil Rights Acts were very similar to the one passed nearly 100 years later in the 1960s, but were overturned by the Supreme Court. Recent scholars have rated him significantly higher than in the past, largely due to increased appreciation for his efforts against racial discrimination (he effectively destroyed the UsefulNotes/KuKluxKlan in 1871). He's also notable for creating Yellowstone National Park in 1872, the first national park in American history and, arguably, world history (though Lincoln had already set aside Yosemite Valley for "public use, resort, and recreation," essentially making it a national park in all but name). Whether the negative assessment of Grant was due to [[WrittenByTheWinners Southern sympathies]] of many 20th century historians or ValuesDissonance is an interesting question to ponder.

Toward the end of his life he wrote his memoirs while suffering from terminal throat cancer (must have been all the cigars and alcohol), because he was in financial difficulties and wanted to provide for his wife and heirs after he was gone. He died two days after completing them, Creator/MarkTwain published them and they made a fortune for his family. They are still regarded as some of the best memoirs ever written, certainly the best by any American president, and are well worth reading.

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For most of the time since his term ended in 1877, Grant's administration had a reputation for corruption and economic troubles, although frankly this is more because he ''didn't'' do anything (a popular joke among historians is calling him "Useless Grant"), rather than any personal corruption. Grant's own conduct was fairly clean (apart from alcoholism[[note]]which has been overblown and which historians of the 21st century can find fewer and fewer pieces of evidence for[[/note]]), but he preferred to delegate as much as he could, and many of the cabinet members he delegated to were notoriously crooked. If anything, Grant was too honest for his own good, and couldn't understand how anybody would betray the public trust, or betray him personally. However, he gets credit for keeping Reconstruction going and delaying the era of Jim Crow for as long as he could. His Civil Rights Acts were very similar to the one passed nearly 100 years later in the 1960s, but were overturned by the Supreme Court. Recent scholars have rated him significantly higher than in the past, largely due to increased appreciation for his efforts against racial discrimination (he effectively destroyed the UsefulNotes/KuKluxKlan in 1871). He's also notable for creating Yellowstone National Park in 1872, the first national park in American history and, arguably, world history (though Lincoln had already set aside Yosemite Valley for "public use, resort, and recreation," essentially making it a national park in all but name). Whether the negative assessment of Grant was due to [[WrittenByTheWinners Southern sympathies]] of many 20th century historians or ValuesDissonance is an interesting question to ponder. \n\nToward the end of his life he wrote his memoirs while suffering from terminal throat cancer (must have been all the cigars and alcohol), because he was in financial difficulties and wanted to provide for his wife and heirs after he was gone. He died two days after completing them, Creator/MarkTwain published them and they made a fortune for his family. They are still regarded as some of the best memoirs ever written, certainly the best by any American president, and are well worth reading.\n



He was also one of the best horsemen in the entire army, and only lost his position in the elite cavalry after he struck a horse in an uncharacteristically angry outburst. Overall he was considered something of a BunnyEarsLawyer, and almost never bothered with his official uniform, to the point that he showed up to the Appomattox Courthouse surrender ceremony in dirty fatigues, with only the General's Stars on his shoulder differentiating him from any Private, and was only let in because the Confederates knew him by sight, and at least one observer commented that if you hadn't known better you'd have thought Lee, who was in his best dress uniform, had won the war. He often exhibited signs of clinical depression, and may have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder; the sight of blood made him squeamish to the point that he couldn't eat undercooked meat (especially after he first saw combat during the Mexican War), and he was so shy that he holed himself up in his room crying when he had a panic attack at his daughter's wedding, also qualifying him for TheWoobie.

Grant was an intensely loyal man, rarely forgetting when somebody had treated him nicely during the rough years between his army service before and during the Civil War and he would often come to regret such loyalty as people he had trusted turned out to be corrupt or double crossed him in business dealings. He was bankrupt through another failed business venture in his last years but wrote (with iron will and dying from cancer) a biography that is widely regarded as the best ever written by a President which Creator/MarkTwain helped sell after Grant's death and which left his family in relatively good financial standing.

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He was also one of the best horsemen in the entire army, and only lost his position in the elite cavalry after he struck a horse in an uncharacteristically angry outburst. Other than that, he was a true lover of animals: He never went hunting, attended a bullfight in Mexico only to leave in disgust before it was finished, thought horseracing was abusive to the horses, and, as a General, responded to a drover beating a pair of horses by having the man arrested and [[CoolAndUnusualPunishment tied to a tree for six hours]]. Overall he was considered something of a BunnyEarsLawyer, and almost never bothered with his official uniform, to the point that he showed up to the Appomattox Courthouse surrender ceremony in dirty fatigues, with only the General's Stars on his shoulder differentiating him from any Private, and was only let in because the Confederates knew him by sight, and sight; at least one observer commented that if you hadn't known better you'd have thought Lee, who was in his best dress uniform, had won the war. He was extremely quiet, to the point of being nicknamed "Grant the Silent" by other officers, [[GoshDangItToHeck never swore]], never danced, but did enjoy the theatre and was a voracious reader; in retrospect, he is clearly TheIntrovert. His speeches and writings later in his life were well received, by both their quality and because [[HiddenDepths nobody knew he was that eloquent.]] He often exhibited signs of clinical depression, and [[ShellShockedVeteran may have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder; disorder]]; [[AfraidOfBlood the sight of blood made him squeamish squeamish]] to the point that he couldn't eat undercooked meat (especially after he first saw combat during the Mexican War), War),[[note]]after the first day of the Battle of Shiloh, with the Union forces having abandoned their camps before the Rebel advance, the only shelter available was used as a hospital; Grant instead slept outside, under a tree, in the rain[[/note]] and he was so shy that he holed himself up in his room crying when he had a panic attack at his daughter's wedding, also qualifying him for TheWoobie.

Grant was an intensely loyal man, rarely forgetting when somebody had treated him nicely during the rough years between his army service before and during the Civil War and he would often come to regret such loyalty as people he had trusted turned out to be corrupt or double crossed him in business dealings. He was bankrupt through another failed business venture bankrupted by an [[PonziScheme investment swindle]] in his last years but wrote [[TheDeterminator (with iron will and dying from cancer) cancer)]] a biography that is widely regarded as the best ever written by a President which Creator/MarkTwain helped sell President, and perhaps one of the best written by any American. He had befriended Creator/MarkTwain, who published it after Grant's death and which left his family in relatively good financial standing.



Any talk of his Civil War days will probably mention the fact that he was HeterosexualLifePartners with [[TheLancer General]] [[FourStarBadass William Tecumseh Sherman]], with [[ThoseTwoGuys the two of them]] leading the Union Army to dozens of little-known victories in the West while the press was focused on how Lee was running roughshod over a succession of incompetent Union commanders in Virginia[[note]] A depressed and despairing Grant once tried to relinquish his command, only for an irate Sherman to show up at his headquarters demanding to know why Grant wouldn't at least talk to him about it first. After a discussion that leaned heavily on ToughLove, Sherman convinced Grant to keep his command. Grant would do the same for Sherman, bringing him back from the brink when Sherman's own personal demons pushed him into a psychotic break[[/note]]. Less known to the general public is that Sherman's working relationship as Grant's NumberTwo continued into Grant's presidency, with Sherman taking the post of Commanding General of the U.S. Army after Grant vacated it to become President and holding the post through all of Grant's tenure, or that he was also [[HeterosexualLifePartners lifelong best friends]] with [[FriendlyEnemies Confederate Lieutenant General James Peter Longstreet]].

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Any talk of his Civil War days will probably mention the fact that he was HeterosexualLifePartners with [[TheLancer General]] [[FourStarBadass William Tecumseh Sherman]], with [[ThoseTwoGuys the two of them]] leading the Union Army to dozens of little-known victories in the West while the press was focused on how Lee was running roughshod over a succession of incompetent Union commanders in Virginia[[note]] A depressed and despairing Grant once tried to relinquish his command, only for an irate Sherman to show up at his headquarters demanding to know why Grant wouldn't at least talk to him about it first. After a discussion that leaned heavily on ToughLove, Sherman convinced Grant to keep his command. Grant would do the same for Sherman, bringing him back from the brink when Sherman's own personal demons pushed him into a psychotic break[[/note]]. Less known to the general public is that Sherman's working relationship as Grant's NumberTwo continued into Grant's presidency, with Sherman taking the post of Commanding General of the U.S. Army after Grant vacated it to become President and holding the post through all of Grant's tenure, or that he was also [[HeterosexualLifePartners lifelong best friends]] with [[FriendlyEnemies Confederate Lieutenant General James Peter Longstreet]]. Longstreet]], going all the way back to Longstreet serving as a groomsman at his wedding.



* Likewise he appears in the film loosely based on the TV series, ''Film/WildWildWest''. For a movie that took such liberties with basically everything, Grant's actor, Kevin Kline, actually consulted Grant scholars and took great efforts to portray the president accurately.

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* Likewise he appears in the film loosely based on the TV series, ''Film/WildWildWest''. For a movie that took such liberties with basically everything, Grant's actor, Kevin Kline, Creator/KevinKline, actually consulted Grant scholars and took great efforts to portray the president accurately.


Examples of media depicting Grant in the Civil War include a fair number of Westerns up to the 1950s. He also appears in Creator/StevenSpielberg's ''Film/{{Lincoln}}'', played by [[Series/MadMen Jared Harris]].

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Examples of media depicting Grant in the Civil War include a fair number of Westerns up to the 1950s. He also appears in Creator/StevenSpielberg's ''Film/{{Lincoln}}'', played by [[Series/MadMen Jared Harris]].
Harris]]. A [[http://deadline.com/2017/11/ulysses-grant-movie-leonardo-dicaprio-lionsgate-appian-way-ron-chernow-bestseller-grant-1202198671/ biopic of Grant]] based on Ron Chernow's 2017 biography is currently in development.


He first came to notice as a field commander in the Civil War, eventually resulting in president UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln deciding to take a punt on him as the new commanding general of the army, after his three predecessors, to put it lightly, didn't work out.[[note]](The first commander, Mexican War veteran Winfield Scott, resigned early in the war after [=McClellan=] had successfully maneuvered for his removal; the second, George [=McClellan=], was more interested in political point-scoring against Lincoln than actually directing the army; the third, Henry Halleck, ended up having to be KickedUpstairs when it turned out he was long on organizational skills, ''way'' short on strategy)[[/note]] Grant's installation in the position helped turn the tide against the Confederate forces, to the point where some joked that if Grant had been in the position from the start, the war would probably have been over and done with in a year.

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He first came to notice as a field commander in the Civil War, eventually resulting in president UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln deciding to take a punt on him as the new commanding general of the army, after his three predecessors, to put it lightly, didn't work out.[[note]](The first commander, Mexican War veteran Winfield Scott, resigned early in the war after due to a combination of poor health and fellow general George [=McClellan=] had successfully maneuvered manoeuvring for his removal; the second, George [=McClellan=], [=McClellan=] himself, was more interested in political point-scoring against Lincoln than actually directing the army; army, and soon got demoted back to working in the field; the third, Henry Halleck, ended up having to be KickedUpstairs when it turned out he was long on organizational skills, ''way'' short on strategy)[[/note]] Grant's installation in the position helped turn the tide against the Confederate forces, to the point where some joked that if Grant had been in the position from the start, the war would probably have been over and done with in a year.

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