Ulysses S. Grant




 
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November 5th, 2004  
Claymore
 
 

Topic: Ulysses S. Grant


Many people seem to believe that Grant was one of the worst Generals of the American Civil War. I personally cannot understand this. I mean after all, he could boast of having accomplished something that no other Civil War General could - the destruction/surrender of 3 armies! It seems to me that the typical impression of Grant is that of a butcher (indeed this is one of the nicknames given to him) meaning that he frequently and foolishly wasted the lives of his men. One would only have to point to his campaign at Vicksburg to see that this was simply not the case. Grant (as it seems to me) was one of the only Generals on the Union that realised the South could not win a total war. He also saw that to continue to fight the war in the east the way it had been fought previous to him would cause ruin to the Union and South alike. One also cannot argue that he hated the south as he fought for General Lee's freedom against President Johnson after Lincolns death - to the point of nearly resigning his commision. I believe that Grant was a gifted General (although by no means my favorite of the war) and a honorable man.

Those of you that disagree (I know there are probably many of you) give me your reasons.

For good references on Grant, read Bruce Catton's series on the Army of the Potomac, Grant's memoirs, James Macphereson's "Battle Cry of Freedom", and if you're looking online, check this site out:
http://www.mscomm.com/~ulysses/
November 5th, 2004  
lundin
 
 
Grant wasnt a great tactician, he just had the stomach to do what none of the other Northern generals would do. he was the only one to realise that the only way he would beat the south was to win the war of artition, and he did that marvelosly. he wasnt a bad general, but he was by no means a great tactician or strategist.
November 5th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Yeah, that's a pretty good synopsis. I have no problem with any of it. He does tend to get under-rated for various reasons.
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November 5th, 2004  
Claymore
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lundin
Grant wasnt a great tactician, he just had the stomach to do what none of the other Northern generals would do. he was the only one to realise that the only way he would beat the south was to win the war of artition, and he did that marvelosly. he wasnt a bad general, but he was by no means a great tactician or strategist.
Your argument seems to contradict itself. How is being the only Union General to realise how to win the war NOT great strategy? He captured forts Henry and Donelson to gain control of the Mississippi valley. It was his strategy that allowed the Union to cut the Confederacy in two and then ultimately destroy it. His capture of Vicksburg was due in large part to his ability to "fight and manoeuver". Please define your argument further and support it.
November 6th, 2004  
lundin
 
 
his tactics where not great. they where good. he was by far the best head general of the Union army. was he a great general compared to others in history? of course not. Grant knew he wasnt going to be the south by great strategy, he was going to beat the south by smashing them into the dirt. he had ideas that where good, but he was not a great tactician or strategist. he was good, but not great.
November 28th, 2004  
airmanpatroler
 
 
Well he wasnt a very good tactitian such as Lee, but he had something most generals dont have. Manpower, at the later part of the war Lee did almost a Hit-And-Run tactic, but Grant kept pushing forward imposing his total war agianst Lee and his men.
November 28th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Of your major Union generals, Grant is among the very best at tactics and strategy. That said, lets not forget that the South usually heavily outclassed the North on that score.
November 29th, 2004  
airmanpatroler
 
 
Yes they had alot of good officer the union lacked, but they should have set in play Scott's Anaconda plan at its fullest.