|Ulysses Simpson Grant |
The best evidence of the changes that had occurred in warfare from Jomini to Clausewitz can be found in the campaigns of Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. The latter was born Hiram Ulysses Grant in Ohio but through confusion at West Point he became Ulysses Simpson Grant. Appointed to the military academy, he found it distasteful and hoped that Congress would abolish the institution, freeing him. He excelled only in horsemanship for that he had displayed a capability early in life and graduated in 1843, 2lst out of 39 graduates. Posted to the 4th Infantry, since there were no vacancies in the dragoons, he served as regimental quartermaster during most of the Mexican War. Nonetheless he frequently led a company in combat under Zachary Taylor in northern Mexico.
He came to greatly admire his chief but was transferred with his regiment to Winfield Scott's army operating from the coast. He received brevets for Molino del Rey and Chapultepec. With the resumption of peace he was for a time stationed in Mexico, a country which he came to admire greatly, and then was posted to the West coast. Separated from his wife, he tried numerous business ventures to raise enough capital to bring her to the coast but proved singularly unsuccessful. On July 31, 1854, he resigned his captaincy amid rumors of heavy drinking and warnings of possible disciplinary action by his post commander.
His return to civilian life proved unsuccessful. Farming on his father-inlaw's land was a failure, as was the real estate business and attempts to gain engineering and clerk posts in St. Louis. He finally became a clerk in a family leather goods store in Galena, which was run by his two younger brothers. Before he had been there long the Civil War broke out. Offering his services to the War Department and to General George B. McClellan in Ohio, he met with no success in gaining an appointment.