Did you know Ulysses S. Grant wasn’t his real name?

Here is another excerpt from Duty, Honor, Country that explains that fact:

Winter greeted the first day of 1841 by howling off the Hudson River and screaming among the leafless trees on the high bluffs. Inside the Academy stable, three cadets, bundled against the cold, fumbled with frozen fingers to gear up their horses.  York was still the pride of the stables and Grant still the only one to master the Hell Beast.  In adjoining stalls, Elijah Cord and Pete Longstreet worked on preparing more amendable mounts in complete silence.

Sam had been born Hiram Ulysses Grant, but was now stuck with Ulysses S. Grant.  The congressman from Ohio who had given Grant his appointment to West Point had gotten the name wrong on the paperwork he sent the Academy.  In the military once a piece of paper changes your name, the name is changed. So it was written and so it would be, despite all Grant’s efforts to right the mistake.

Grant and Longstreet had the Superintendent’s blessings to depart post on this particular day and for this particular mission. Cord, as always, was on restriction, but for the first time since the incident at Benny Havens half a year ago, he was going to break the rules once more.  The months since his beating and Silencing by the Corps had been sufficient time for his wounds to heal and for the effect of the Silence to settle in.  As his body grew stronger, his spirit grew weaker.

Longstreet would be Grant’s best man at his wedding.  They served together in the Mexican War, Grant in the 4th Infantry and Longstreet in the 8th Infantry and both are in battle scenes from the book, which starts in 1840 at West Point, goes through the Mexican War, and into the Civil War and ends at Shiloh.  It’s the first book in what’s going to be a long series about West Pointers and the Civil War and on into the Plains Wars.  Grant and Longstreet would meet again in the Civil War, but on opposing sides, an issue that is at the core of Duty, Honor, Country.

A new blog post every day leading up to the 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War on April 12th and the publication of Duty, Honor, Country, a Novel of West Point & the Civil War, the first in my series.

Tomorrow:  Did you know Ulysses S. Grant was a horse whisperer?

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2 responses to “Did you know Ulysses S. Grant wasn’t his real name?

  1. “Winter greeted the first day of 1841 by howling off the Hudson River and screaming among the leafless trees on the high bluffs.”

    Every time I read this, it gives me chills…

    I’m not your typical history buff, but I’m already a fan!

  2. Maybe that’s why that period of time at the Point is called Gloom Period. It was great to see the greenery come back to Flirtation Walk in the Spring.
    Will Wilson, ’63

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