Did Grant win the Civil War?

American87

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Aug 27, 2016
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I can't figure this out. If Grant was so bad, why oh why did he win the Civil War? Surely Lee must have had something to do about it?

I just realized that sounds harsh for our Southern friends. Lee was the best general, in a pitched fight? But how did Grant win?

It's like Lee gave it to him on a plate.

I think it was the body count.
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
I can't figure this out. If Grant was so bad, why oh why did he win the Civil War? Surely Lee must have had something to do about it?

I just realized that sounds harsh for our Southern friends. Lee was the best general, in a pitched fight? But how did Grant win?

It's like Lee gave it to him on a plate.

I think it was the body count.
I think it was the trolls.
 

wausaubob

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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
The Confederates won many of the land battles. Certainly enough to win the war, and even Grant had some operations go wrong. But the US won the economy, railroad by railroad, steamship by steamship. While the Confederacy was winning battles, the US just kept getting stronger.
The Confederacy theoretically won the peace, by establishing the Jim Crow regime. Was that a victory? Carnegie, Rockefeller, Morgan and Gould, and the rest of the industrialists and finance took the economy. Who got the bigger piece of the peace?
 

American87

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The Confederates won many of the land battles. Certainly enough to win the war, and even Grant had some operations go wrong. But the US won the economy, railroad by railroad, steamship by steamship. While the Confederacy was winning battles, the US just kept getting stronger.
The Confederacy theoretically won the peace, by establishing the Jim Crow regime. Was that a victory? Carnegie, Rockefeller, Morgan and Gould, and the rest of the industrialists and finance took the economy. Who got the bigger piece of the peace?

I'm not debating who won the peace, which would certainly be interesting, and if the idea is to reenslave blacks or segregate them, the South only won that peace for a few decades in part, or a century if you include segregation.

Everyone seems to have won the peace in the long run, and is keep winning it. The Confederate generation just gave us an epic tale that makes war sound fun. There's something about Civil War battlefields that just have more humor and good cheer, than the stuff you hear or read about in WWII or I or any other war really.
 

Lubliner

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Chattanooga, Tennessee
The Confederate generation just gave us an epic tale that makes war sound fun. There's something about Civil War battlefields that just have more humor and good cheer, than the stuff you hear or read about in WWII or I or any other war really.
Perspectives to their present and outlooks to their future sure do seem far different. Possibly the idea of irony when brother fights brother and understanding their is no win or lose, only submission; while the wars overseas were to be fought as 'overcome and conquer'. The latter is a much more somber affair. Still though, there was plenty of vicissitude and condemnation towards their foe; their own brothers and fellow countrymen. Blame it on blinding rage and passions within their own country. The pendulum swings both ways.
Lubliner.
 

American87

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Perspectives to their present and outlooks to their future sure do seem far different. Possibly the idea of irony when brother fights brother and understanding their is no win or lose, only submission; while the wars overseas were to be fought as 'overcome and conquer'. The latter is a much more somber affair. Still though, there was plenty of vicissitude and condemnation towards their foe; their own brothers and fellow countrymen. Blame it on blinding rage and passions within their own country. The pendulum swings both ways.
Lubliner.

I agree with most of this, except I don't know what the bold means.
 

jackt62

Captain
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
I can't figure this out. If Grant was so bad, why oh why did he win the Civil War? Surely Lee must have had something to do about it?

I just realized that sounds harsh for our Southern friends. Lee was the best general, in a pitched fight? But how did Grant win?

It's like Lee gave it to him on a plate.

I think it was the body count.
Grant so bad? No way. From the perspective of a winning commander, he was the only one on either side that attained the capitulation of 3 Confederate armies. How did he do that? Of course, he was favored with the northern advantage in manpower, supplies, and infrastructure. But I'm tired of hearing how those factors are the determination of success by a commander. How a military commander utilizes those resources, plans and oversees operations, and integrates intelligence, administration, timing, and a host of other factors makes all the difference in the world. In the hands of a lesser commander, all the resources in the world will not necessarily ensure military victory. Grant knew how to handle those resources and that's what made him a successful general.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
It seems that at Appomattox General Lee decided that Grant had indeed won the war.
Lee and his army surrendered at Appomattox.
This was different than Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. Grant's cavalry did not just raid the Confederate logistics and force piecemeal surrenders, though they did that. Sheridan got ahead of the Confederates and separated them from their railroad cars. Not only did Grant and Sheridan do that, but they got enough cooperation from Ord and Meade so that infantry formed in behind the cavalry.
Not only was there no further campaign that summer to subdue a re-organized Confederate army, as there had been in France, there was no Waterloo.
Furthermore, because there was a formal surrender, without treating the Confederates as traitors, there was not an outbreak of guerilla warfare.
Not only did Lee surrender, but every Confederate army was confronted by an overwhelming force. All ports utilized by the blockade runners were closed. Every armory in North Carolina and even in Alabama was ruined.
As a form of mythology, in 2021, the issue can be debated. But by September of 1865 there were no organized Confederate forces left and by December the 13th Amendment was ratified.
 

American87

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PENNSYLVANIA
Grant so bad? No way. From the perspective of a winning commander, he was the only one on either side that attained the capitulation of 3 Confederate armies. How did he do that? Of course, he was favored with the northern advantage in manpower, supplies, and infrastructure. But I'm tired of hearing how those factors are the determination of success by a commander. How a military commander utilizes those resources, plans and oversees operations, and integrates intelligence, administration, timing, and a host of other factors makes all the difference in the world. In the hands of a lesser commander, all the resources in the world will not necessarily ensure military victory. Grant knew how to handle those resources and that's what made him a successful general.

And the body count.

Lee had only 26,000 men at Appomattox.
 

American87

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PENNSYLVANIA
Seemingly, Grant knew he could lose 2 for 1 and his 2 could be replaced. Lee's 1 could not. Was it after Cold Harbor his soldiers called him Butcher Grant? Perhaps a bit unfair, but he understood that strategy well.

Exactly. Grant won by attrition. He had 4-1 odds by the end, and he knew all he needed to do was keep killing and he would win.
 
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