Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States, after his service on the Union side of the American Civil War. Grant's administration focused on Reconstruction, and was plagued with scandals caused by many of his political associates.
Grant was born in 1822 in Ohio, where his father ran a tannery. Grant was born as Hiram Ulysses Grant, although a clerical error during his appointment to West Point changed his name to Ulysses S. Grant. Grant never corrected this error, and accepted Ulysses S. Grant as his real name from then on.
Grant fought in the Mexican-American War, before eventually resigning from the military in 1854. After the Civil War began, Grant became a colonel in the Union Army. Soon after, Grant was promoted to brigadier general by Lincoln, and went on to capture Fort Donelson, Tennessee, and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Soon after, Grant led a series of campaigns that resulted in the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
As a war hero, Grant became active in politics. He was appointed Secretary of War during the later part of Andrew Johnson's presidency and later successfully ran for president. Much of Grant's presidency was focused on continuing the process of Reconstruction, although Grant also established many federal agencies, including the Department of Justice and the Weather Bureau. Grant's presidency was rife with corruption, although Grant himself was innocent.