Many altered names appeared in Civil War army records. Three hundred women were estimated to have joined the fighting forces under assumed male names. Only a fraction of these names were ever reveled with certainty. Most modified names were looked on as the individual’s real name.
Jesse R. Grant and his wife, Hannah, had a name ready-made for their first born son. Born in Point Pleasant, Ohio, in 1822, the child named Hiram Ulysses didn’t realize as a child that his name came from classical mythology, but he was aware that his schoolmates jeered at it. His initials, you see, spelled out the word “HUG”. To stop the teasing, Grant transposed his first and middle name to become Ulysses Hiram.
He was seventeen when he decided to apply to the U.S. Military Academy. He persuaded everyone he knew to write to Representative Thomas L. Hamer on his behalf. He was appointed to West Point by Hamer, but the lawmaker used the maiden name of Grant’s mother by mistake when he submitted the application to the admissions office.
Grant was surprised to learn he’d been enrolled as Ulysses Simpson Grant, but he made no protest. The name was recorded in the official military record and never changed.
Because of a mistake, he was forever known as U.S. Grant. And the term “Unconditional Surrender” became synonymous with his name throughout history.