What does the “S” in Ulysses S. Grant stand for?

Answer: Nothing

Interestingly enough we had a similar post in January. Harry "S" Truman didn't actually have a middle name either. Must be something to do with the letter "S" back in the day. In any event, read more about Ulysses' phantom middle name below, courtesy of history.

Although he was always known as “Ulysses” during his youth in Ohio, Grant’s given name was actually Hiram Ulysses Grant.

His phantom middle initial is the result of an error from Ohio Congressman Thomas Hamer, who accidentally wrote the future general’s name as “Ulysses S. Grant” when he nominated him to attend West Point. Despite Grant’s best efforts to correct the record, the name stuck, and he eventually accepted it as his own.

“Find some name beginning with “S” for me,” he joked in an 1844 letter to his future wife, Julia Dent. “You know I have an “S” in my name and don’t know what it stands for.”

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