Hiram Grant was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio on April 27, 1822. His family called him by his middle name Ulysses, or sometimes just “Lyss”, for short.
A clerical error changed the name of the future Commander-in-Chief during his first days at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He didn’t seem to mind though, probably thinking that “US Grant” was preferable to “H.U.G.”, embroidered on his clothes. Predictably, Grant became known as “Uncle Sam” or simply “Sam.” It was as good a name as any though, as with future President Harry S. Truman, the “S” doesn’t actually stand for anything.
The 1862 Civil War Battle of Fort Donelson secured the name, when then-Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant received a request for terms from the fort’s commanding officer, Confederate Brigadier General Simon Bolivar Buckner. Grant’s reply was that “no terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be…
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