Did Grant win the Civil War?

Cycom

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Location
Los Angeles, California
Civil War generals often get the same treatment as Major League Baseball managers: if they lose, they get fired. If they win, people shrug say "sure, anybody could with THAT lineup!"

It's what you do with that lineup that counts.
Grant was no doubt exceptional, but if the tables were turned and he only had the resources of the Confederacy, he would not have accomplished as much as he did.
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Did Grant win the Civil War? No. Was he A winner in the Civil War? Yes. He got to President for 8 years, which repaid his wife for her patience during some hard times before and during the war. He got to tour the world and meet the heads of state! He went bankrupt trying to set his son up as a Wall Street power: but his friends and veterans bought thousands of his book, and set his widow up for life.
He died in bed, surrounded by loved ones.
Tempted by the Sirens of undeserved praise, and threatened by the Cyclops of the public press, he pressed on in his journey and drew the Scythian bow of victory. He avoided the Calypso charm of boozy retirement, and lived to tell the tale, in writing. Epic by any estimation, as I have previously blogged.
He drove the ANV till it could not fight any longer .His overall strategy of the war accomplished the total defeat of the Confederacy {with using Sherman going into the Deep South and destroying that area of the South and with Sheridan little escapade into the Valley}. As to being a "winner" ,you have a interesting statement, but what general accept for Pershing ,as not taken advantage of his accomplishments? As to his Presidency, his first term was successful while his second term is the one he is regardfully remembered. What father has not helped is son, even the present one has at least he did not cause his father embarrassment. He had throat cancer in his latter years. Read if you have the chance of what he endured. He wrote his memories while enduring this as to pay his debts and to provide for his wife and family from remaining in debt when he died. By the way this is from a great grandson of one who fought in a regiment from Alabama during the War for Southern Independence
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Speaking as a Civil War Buff “plebe”: initially Union army pursued and protected territories. Grant pursued the Southern Army itself, grinding it and it’s supporting environs down. Then came the end time meetings.....
I know you're repeating a meme that has been handed down for a century that Grant's superior strategy ended the war.
Well I hate to tell but Grant's strategy was identical to McDowell, Pope, Burnside, and Hooker--head due south to Richmond. If a Union army marched toward Richmond there was never any problem finding a Confederate army to fight. Not only did Grant repeat Hooker's route he duplicated the mistakes. They both got trapped in the Wilderness where topography trumped numbers.
I really feel the need to cut off my fingers for writing this, BUT the only...and best strategist of the CW was McClelland. You use the North's naval superiority to transport your army to the doorstep of Richmond. If he had been able to fight just 10% as well as he could plan it would have been a much shorter war. By the way I hope you notice that Grant's winning strategy of crossing the James to invest Petersburg was a carbon copy of Lil Mac's original plan.
 

Lubliner

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
I know you're repeating a meme that has been handed down for a century that Grant's superior strategy ended the war.
Well I hate to tell but Grant's strategy was identical to McDowell, Pope, Burnside, and Hooker--head due south to Richmond. If a Union army marched toward Richmond there was never any problem finding a Confederate army to fight. Not only did Grant repeat Hooker's route he duplicated the mistakes. They both got trapped in the Wilderness where topography trumped numbers.
I really feel the need to cut off my fingers for writing this, BUT the only...and best strategist of the CW was McClelland. You use the North's naval superiority to transport your army to the doorstep of Richmond. If he had been able to fight just 10% as well as he could plan it would have been a much shorter war. By the way I hope you notice that Grant's winning strategy of crossing the James to invest Petersburg was a carbon copy of Lil Mac's original plan.
Burnside's expedition was also using the naval arm as a cooperating maneuver against North Carolina, pre-Peninsula campaign. I think McClellan had a hand in that, but I need verification from someone, please.
Lubliner.
 

jackt62

Captain
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
Grant's strategy was identical to McDowell, Pope, Burnside, and Hooker--head due south to Richmond.
However, there are 2 major differences between Grant and those other commanders. 1) Grant discarded the concept of fighting unilateral battles and maintained his ongoing, offensive movements even after being thwarted at the Wilderness; and 2) Grant envisioned a wider national strategy of concentrating force in time and space. Thus, his Overland Campaign was only 1 prong of multi-faceted attacks by subordinate commanders in Georgia, the Shenandoah Valley, and Bermuda Hundred.
 

rbasin

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Location
Tampa, Fl
However, there are 2 major differences between Grant and those other commanders. 1) Grant discarded the concept of fighting unilateral battles and maintained his ongoing, offensive movements even after being thwarted at the Wilderness; and 2) Grant envisioned a wider national strategy of concentrating force in time and space. Thus, his Overland Campaign was only 1 prong of multi-faceted attacks by subordinate commanders in Georgia, the Shenandoah Valley, and Bermuda Hundred.
However, none of those three accomplished what they were supposed to.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
However, none of those three accomplished what they were supposed to.
Sure they did. Sherman caused Confedrate soldiers in Virginia to desert to help aid their families. The more farms are burned in Georgia and the Shendoah Valley the better is for the Union. Sherman seizes two important Confedrate ports. Grant does gradually choke off Richmond and forces Lee to evacuate Richmond. Winning a civil war in just four years is actually pretty good vs most civil wars.
Leftyhunter
 

StephenColbert27

First Sergeant
However, none of those three accomplished what they were supposed to.
I would point out that Sherman did eventually take Atlanta.

Even so, I'm not sure Grant can be blamed for Hunter, Sigel, and Butler failing to execute their parts of the plan. In addition, at the end of the day, it took basically a year from the start of the Overland Campaign for the war to be ended in the Union's favor. Grant eventually accomplished the destruction of Lee's army, though it certainly was not in the time and manner he had desired, and he does bear some share of the blame for that with wasteful attacks at places like Cold Harbor.
 

rbasin

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Location
Tampa, Fl
I would point out that Sherman did eventually take Atlanta.

Even so, I'm not sure Grant can be blamed for Hunter, Sigel, and Butler failing to execute their parts of the plan. In addition, at the end of the day, it took basically a year from the start of the Overland Campaign for the war to be ended in the Union's favor. Grant eventually accomplished the destruction of Lee's army, though it certainly was not in the time and manner he had desired.
Atlanta wasn't sherman's goal. The AoT was.

Grant said he didn't want any sideshows, but then promptly had 2. And I know it was an election year, but come on. Who would trust a pizza to Sigel, Hunter, or Butler?
 

StephenColbert27

First Sergeant
Atlanta wasn't sherman's goal. The AoT was.

Grant said he didn't want any sideshows, but then promptly had 2. And I know it was an election year, but come on. Who would trust a pizza to Sigel, Hunter, or Butler?
The Army of Tennessee's goal was to hold Atlanta. While not a total success, it was certainly more than a failure for the Union.

In regards to your question, I would refer you to the reality of trying to win a war and an election at the same time.
 

rbasin

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Location
Tampa, Fl
The Army of Tennessee's goal was to hold Atlanta. While not a total success, it was certainly more than a failure for the Union.

In regards to your question, I would refer you to the reality of trying to win a war and an election at the same time.
Hence why I said that I know that. But sherman's objection was the Confederate army, not Atlanta, much as Grant's was lee's army.
 
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