I wrote Sen. Washburne,
City Point Va. June 23d 1864.
Hon. E. B. Washburn,
In answer to your letter of a few days ago asking what “S” stands for in my name I can only state nothing. It was a mistake made by Senator Morris of Ohio when application was first made for my appointment as Cadet to West Point. My mother’s family name is Simpson and having a brother of that name Mr. Morris, who knew both of us as children, got the matter confounded and sent in the application for Cadetship for Ulysses S. Grant. I tried on entering West Point to correct this mistake but failing, after I received my Diploma and Commission, with the “S” inserted, adopted it and have so signed my name ever since.
Every thing is progresses here slowly. The dispatches given by the Sec. of War contains all the news.
U. S. Grant
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 11, p 122