Grant's odd opinions.

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#1
I was looking at the discussion of Cold Harbor by General Grant. His opinion of the attack that day is brutally frank as unnecessary and foolish. Of course he tried to justify a simalar attack during the Vicksburg campaign, but it only makes the opinion of the Cold Harbor assault more criminal.

Grant mades some very frank statements about things in general in his Memoirs. Since he would be dead when anyone read them and past caring he could give some pretty severe blasts, and some praise for odd quarters.

His remarks on the Mexican war are, even now, mildly shocking. He characterized it as a robbery and violent assault on a weak neighbor.

His final blast against Lee was harsh. After praising his courage and quality of his leadership he gives him both barrels for allying himself with essentially a criminal enterprise that was the worst that anyone could be with.
 

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#2
His remarks on the Mexican war are, even now, mildly shocking. He characterized it as a robbery and violent assault on a weak neighbor
Why is this shocking? It was a very unpopular war when it was fought and many spoke out against it. Today, the war is viewed more correctly as US aggression in search of acquiring land.
 
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#3
President Polk and his expansionist ideas, first with the northwest border set in 1846, and then south on a pretension. Lincoln had railed against the Mexican Conflict at the time. As far as leadership roles explaining the decision for choosing the South, I think General Joe Johnston made the best defense in his memoirs.
 

John Hartwell

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#4
I don't see much "odd" about any of those opinions. Might not fully agree sometimes, but they are hardly unusual.

The only complaint I have with the OP, is the assertion of criminality in Grant's honest admission of miscalculation and error at Cold Harbor. His own frankness in acknowledging the seriousness of his own mistake is being used against him.
 

Viper21

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I was looking at the discussion of Cold Harbor by General Grant. His opinion of the attack that day is brutally frank as unnecessary and foolish. Of course he tried to justify a simalar attack during the Vicksburg campaign, but it only makes the opinion of the Cold Harbor assault more criminal.

Grant mades some very frank statements about things in general in his Memoirs. Since he would be dead when anyone read them and past caring he could give some pretty severe blasts, and some praise for odd quarters.

His remarks on the Mexican war are, even now, mildly shocking. He characterized it as a robbery and violent assault on a weak neighbor.

His final blast against Lee was harsh. After praising his courage and quality of his leadership he gives him both barrels for allying himself with essentially a criminal enterprise that was the worst that anyone could be with.
Double speak from a politician...? Say it isn't so. Lacking class, & feeling the need to smear from the grave..? Great character for sure.
 
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I don't see much "odd" about any of those opinions. Might not fully agree sometimes, but they are hardly unusual.

The only complaint I have with the OP, is the assertion of criminality in Grant's honest admission of miscalculation and error at Cold Harbor. His own frankness in acknowledging the seriousness of his own mistake is being used against him.
Criminality is not the word I was searching for, I guess. Grant is not defending Grant for this .... insane? stupid? very ultra bad move and makes it clear that in hindsight he can offer no good defense of it. Especially given the timorousness of Baldy Smith in Petersburg.
 
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President Polk and his expansionist ideas, first with the northwest border set in 1846, and then south on a pretension. Lincoln had railed against the Mexican Conflict at the time. As far as leadership roles explaining the decision for choosing the South, I think General Joe Johnston made the best defense in his memoirs.
Can you give the tenor of it? I don't have Johnston's.

I think Grant's characterization of the Confederate position is right on the money, so I don't see how anyone not blinded could make any case for it. YMMV. Of course, lots of people he liked and respected, including in his wife's family, including a cousin in law who made a vey high position in the confederate army, chose to go south.
 
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Can you give the tenor of it? I don't have Johnston's.

I think Grant's characterization of the Confederate position is right on the money, so I don't see how anyone not blinded could make any case for it. YMMV. Of course, lots of people he liked and respected, including in his wife's family, including a cousin in law who made a vey high position in the confederate army, chose to go south.
It was nearly identical with General Lee's reasoning, but the tenor of his words were more forcefully imparted, and they left me with a surer feeling. General Lee with his own words always filled me with doubt, on his own behalf, possibly because it was a harder decision for him than General Johnston. Johnston jumped at the chance to serve Jefferson Davis. Lee was more reserved and thoughtful. Johnston was also more argumentative toward appointments of rank, and chaffed at being ranked less than senior. Lee saw it as tragedy, and Johnson saw opportunity. Does that help at all, (being opinioned)? Thanks,
Lubliner.
 
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#11
It is a good idea to read General Grant's evaluation of General Lee's choices in 1864 very carefully. There is a substantial suggestion that the best thing that Lee could have done from a military standpoint was to give up Richmond much earlier and regain the freedom of movement.
But General Lee's decisions let the outcome hinge of the US 1864 Presidential election and remaining in the Richmond area guided the result to its highly likely outcome.
General Lee had to be certain that everything possible had been done to promote Confederate victory, but the outcome was not likely to change once the US established a full siege apparatus at City Point.
 

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#13
Grant's comments about Lee may have been harsh but what else could he say? That Lee and the Confederacy were both noble and righteous causes that should not have been contested? Below is Grant's quote:

"I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse. I do not question, however, the sincerity of the great mass of those who were opposed to us."

I am a son of the South but I believe the defeat of the Confederacy was inevitable and best for us as a nation. The United States became a stronger and more united country after the ACW. Slavery was an evil that had to be ended for this nation to grow and heal and we are still dealing with the after effects of racism 153 years later. The world is better place due to the sacrifice of America and her sons and daughters and that can not be disputed, can it?
Regards
David
 

James N.

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Why is this shocking? It was a very unpopular war when it was fought and many spoke out against it. Today, the war is viewed more correctly as US aggression in search of acquiring land.
It was mainly "unpopular" among abolitionists who saw it as a way to attempt to spread slavery, a questionable proposition at best; among the many U.S. expansionists it was viewed simply and famously as Manifest Destiny.
 
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#16
It was mainly "unpopular" among abolitionists who saw it as a way to attempt to spread slavery, a questionable proposition at best; among the many U.S. expansionists it was viewed simply and famously as Manifest Destiny.
Yes but it goes beyond just them. Most Northern Whigs and Northerners in general were not supportive of the war due to the land grab, which, yes, was to extend slavery, but opposition went beyond just abolitionists.
 

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