Luckily, Grant did find a good outlet for his energy at West Point, which he entered at seventeen. A bureaucratic mistake changed his name to Ulysses S. Grant–something Grant never bothered to correct, as he had had never liked the initials H.U.G. very much. At West Point Grant remained solidly mediocre at every task except for equestrian skills, where he excelled. Soon after he graduated and arrived at his first posting in St. Louis, he began courting Julia Dent–the relatively wealthy daughter of a slave-owning farmer. The Mexican War intervened, however, and Grant saw his first combat during a deployment under General Zachary Taylor near Matamoros, Mexico. Though only a quartermaster, Grant did see some action under General Winfield Scott during the attack on Mexico City–and even played a small notable role in the attack, helping to capture a church belfry and directing cannon fire from there. After the war, Grant returned to St. Louis and married Dent in 1848. Knowing his
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