U.S. Grant has a soft spot in my heart. He was the winning Union General in the Civil War and the mascot for Carli’s high school, Ulysses S. Grant. He was also the 18th President of the United States.
In the trophy case between football and basketball trophies in the lobby of Portland’s Grant High School is a plaque with the engraved name of Gendrill of the Year for each year going back to the drill teams of the 1950’s. Dancer of the Year for 2011-Carli Pope. That’s where my soft spot lies. And a drive out to Galena, Illinois just east of the banks of the Mississippi River is the tidy town where U.S. Grant lived after returning from the war.
The proper, Federal style house sits atop a bluff overlooking the postcard perfect Galena where his family ran a general store. The little white wooden building was a general store long before Grant was a Union General. Although the store is quite cute, it is well known Grant was not much of a businessman.
When the war hero returned in 1865 from battle, the entire town came out to welcome Grant home. A parade marched through town under an arch with a banner that read Hail To The Chief Who In Triumph Advances. Grant was probably the most popular guy in America. So well liked that he was elected in 1869 for two terms.
Unfortunately most historians consider his presidency during Reconstruction unproductive- a flop. Much better leader on the battlefield. Not so much in his White House back in Washington DC.
A couple compelling facts about Ulysses S. Grant:
The “S” in his name didn’t stand for anything. The phantom initial is the result of a clerical error when he was nominated for West Point- a typo.
He had no political experience before becoming president. . . Hmmm. . .? Unproductive, a flop? Imagine that.