Seward Stops Grant From Starting a New War

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Nice post Kansas, thank you! Did not know that, pays to keep reading this stuff- had avoided this thread because, well, someone was banned for a blood pressure-raising reason, thanks for helping bring things back to even. The thing is, the facts here aren't really controversial? It's not like anyone is saying Grant won the war with one hand tied behind his back, or the entire south looked bad as a result of anything, or anyone needs to be insulted- just pointing out Grant wasn't a huge boob across the board, and not at anyone's expense.
 

KansasFreestater

1st Lieutenant
Nice post Kansas, thank you! Did not know that, pays to keep reading this stuff- had avoided this thread because, well, someone was banned for a blood pressure-raising reason, thanks for helping bring things back to even. The thing is, the facts here aren't really controversial? It's not like anyone is saying Grant won the war with one hand tied behind his back, or the entire south looked bad as a result of anything, or anyone needs to be insulted- just pointing out Grant wasn't a huge boob across the board, and not at anyone's expense.
JPK, I've been so focused in my studies on the lead-up to the Civil War that I've barely begun to scratch the surface on the years afterward. But one thing I've been seeing repeatedly in different sources is that Grant's presidency, for all the flaws that we all hear about endlessly, actually had some remarkable achievements. Grant had good intentions in everything he dealt with, from Reconstruction to Native American affairs, but arguably, the one area where he actually achieved some unqualified successes was foreign affairs. (this link takes you to a brief little 1-page capsule summary) To repeat, the last thing U.S. Grant ever wanted to see again in his lifetime was America at war.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Ha! I don't know Kansas- sounds to me like you've done a little more than scratch- sounds fairly comprehensive on Grant, at least although that's no surprise coming from you. It has been extremely, extremely enlightening being here in the forum and all the simplistic little nuggets of History one learned as a child start being flushed one by one. You know, " Grant was a great general and a terrible president. "
 

rickvox79

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
Pace, FL
Per Grant's own memoirs he seemed to be a HUGE fan of the first war with Mexico. Why not another one right?! (unclicking sarcasm activation button on keyboard)

"Generally, the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory." - Personal Memoirs of US Grant .pg 37
 

godofredus

Sergeant Major
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Location
Chicago
From the op: At the close of the Civil War Grant wanted to militarily expel the French from Mexico. He sent Sheridan with 50,000 troops to Texas. He wanted to provoke an incident to start war.

Now that last sentence - emphasis added - makes us get inside Grant's mind. I have to do a lot more research on this but imputing motives to Grant - to any historical person in general - w/o documentation is risky, IMHO.

The usual take is that there were only 30,000 French troops in Mexico, that Grant/Sheridan put 50,000 US troops in Texas to let Napoleon know we were serious about enforcing the Monroe Doctrine and Napoleon withdrew.

"Provoke an incident" is awfully strong language, again IMHO.

Just off the top of my head, if you really want to see someone wanting to start a war with Mexico look at Woodrow Wilson and the invasion of Vera Cruz. But that is outside the bounds of this board.
 

KansasFreestater

1st Lieutenant
Per Grant's own memoirs he seemed to be a HUGE fan of the first war with Mexico. Why not another one right?! (unclicking sarcasm activation button on keyboard)

"Generally, the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory." - Personal Memoirs of US Grant .pg 37

More from the same chapter by Grant:

"The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times."

Read the whole section: U.S. Grant, Causes of the Mexican War
 
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