Born on April 27, 1822, in the humble village of Point Pleasant, Ohio, was a child destined to be the president of the United States; the little son of Jesse and Hannah Simpson Grant would change history forever. Christened Hiram Ulysses Grant, the infant soon grew to be a youngster who embraced his bucolic lifestyle. The young boy enjoyed doing farm work, especially taking care of horses on the Georgetown family farm. This eventually evolved into a passion for horsemanship that was equaled by few.
Ulysses received his early education from local schools in Georgetown. At the age of fourteen, his father decided to send him to Maysville, Kentucky to study at a formal academy. One year later in 1838, Grant was transferred to a Ripley, Ohio academy, which was a bit closer to home. Not much longer afterward, Ulysses' father learned of an opening at the U.S. Military Academy.
Jesse Grant was determined to get his son the best education possible, so he asked his congressman to appoint Grant to fill the opening. In doing so, the congressman made a mistake in Grant's name. He thought that "Simpson", Grant's mother's maiden name, was his middle name, and that "Ulysses" was the boy's actual first name. Unbeknownst to the congressman, he had created the name that the adolescent would decide to keep for the rest of his life.
Grant was accepted into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. There, he was a decent pupil, but in no means was he superb. Ulysses often read novels to pass his time instead of studying for his classes. The only areas in which he excelled were mathematics and horsemanship. Grant did not receive a good impression of army life, and had no intent to pursue a career in the army.