Edited long after this was first posted b/c I changed my mind on Grant's tactics after further research: Lee was good with tactics (battle level Generalship) but only fair on strategy (campaign level Generalship). Grant was a great strategist, and Grant was good with tactics. Lee proved that he was a good tactician at Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse, and the Overland Campaign. Lee's biggest tactical mistake was Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. At Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, Lee had 12,000 troops make an offensive charge over open ground against 6,000 Federal troops. The Army of the Potomac (AoP) had artillery stationed on Cemetary Hill, Culp's Hill, and Little Round Top with excellent lines of oblique fire against the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble troops. Civil War artillery could aim in terms of left to right far better than their aim distance-wise. Also, much of the 2nd Corps on Cemetary Ridge was behind a stone wall. Furthermore, the AoP had the advantage of interior lines so the AoP could reinforce Cemetary Ridge far quicker than the ANV could reinforce the PPT Troops. Before the charge was ordered, Longstreet told Lee that the PPT Charge would fail, and Longstreet told Lee why the charge would fail. Lee ordered it anyway. Because of Pickett's Charge, I would never say that Lee was the greatest tactician of all time or even in the top 10. But Pickett's Charge was only a tiny sample of Lee's military career, so I would still say that Lee was a good tactician despite Pickett's Charge. Lee was only fair on strategy. In the early summer of 1863, Lee made the strategic decision to invade PA. Lee moved his army into PA in order to acquire food and other supplies from the PA countryside and to give VA a respith, and Lee thought that winning a battle in PA would go a long way to make the North decide to give up the fight. The idea of acquiring food in PA was a good benefit to the plan, but Lee's ideas of how the invasion of PA would diminish public support for the war in the North is almost silly. The Army of Northern Virginia (ANV) would inevitably have to eventually flee the North back to the South. The northern newspapers obviously would play up the ANV's retreat back to the South as a northern victory. Furthermore, Lee could and should have avoided a major battle in PA. Grant showed he was a great strategist by seizing the strategic forts and other CSA strongholds on the Mississippi River. And Grant showed his strategic genius by having Sherman conduct his March to the Sea simultaneously with Grant's Overland Campaign. Grant was good at logistics and supplying his armies with bakeries and pontoon trains and other such necessities. Grant was decent at tactics, but he sometimes made tactical errors such as Cold Harbor and the 2nd Assault at Vicksburg. I would say Grant was better overall because Grant was better at strategy than Lee was at Lee's strength: tactics. In the game of war, tactics win headlines. Strategy wins wars.