Grant’s Lieutenants – From Chattanooga to Appomattox

Edited by Stephen E. Woolworth

  • William T. Sherman – still the best friend and right hand man.
  • George H. Thomas – different kinds of fellows, but Thomas was hostile to Grant for some reason and it nearly cost him his command at the end of 1864.
  • George G. Meade – in contrast to Thomas, his willingness to work with Grant gained his trust and they made the best of a difficult situation.
  • Franz Sigel – a political general that was given a chance to work out, but failed and was replaced.
  • Benjamin Butler – an even more important political general, also given his chance and came up short.
  • Hunter, Lew Wallace, Wright – three commanders during Early’s July 1864 offensive that did little more than make Grant want to put Sheridan in charge.
  • Phil Sheridan – A protege that developed from decent Cavalry leader, to a battle general of some skill, and finally the hammer that crushed Lee in 1865.
  • E. O. C. Ord – a general repeatedly used by Grant as a ‘relief pitcher’ several times in the war, eventually with Sheridan cutting off Lee at Appomattox.
  • Henry Halleck – Grant’s “chief of staff” and respected partner, until after the war when Grant found out how Halleck stabbed him in the back in 1862.

Again a nice short book that still manages to open up some new and interesting insights into the command on the US side in the Civil War.  A nice pair of books.

Grant’s Lieutenants – From Cairo to Vicksburg

Edited by Stephen E. Woolworth

This book, and its sequel, are a collection of essays about U. S. Grant and his officers.  This book covers the early part of the war, up to the triumph at Vicksburg.  Each essay covers a single man and his relations with Grant.

  • W. T. Sherman – Grant’s right hand man.  Their relationship began when Sherman worked in the rear to forward men to Grant at Ft. Henry and Donelson.  Two very different kinds of men but they fit together well.
  • W. H. L Wallace – A ‘political’ General that began to fit in well with Grant’s team until his death at Shiloh.
  • C. F. Smith – A former commander of Grant’s, he worked well with Grant when Grant was promoted over his head.  This selfless working out a potential problem always impressed Grant.  A septic wound after Donelson ended up costing him his life before Shiloh.
  • Lew Wallace – He made a mistake marching to Shiloh, but his real trouble was that he was promoted too early and outranked many of Grant’s more reliable generals and was pushed aside after Shiloh.
  • Andrew Hull Foote, USN – An old salt exiled to the river war, he worked well with Grant to open up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers.
  • William S. Rosecrans – An uneven General who somehow managed to annoy every superior, Rosey also managed to tick off Grant.  His open critiques of others when his own record was not clean rubbed Grant the wrong way as he liked to keep matters in the family.  His promotion to lead the Army of the Cumberland was a relief to both.
  • John McClernand – Known to history as an incompetent, this does McClernand an injustice.  He was a decent commander, but his political games kept him from fitting into the family of ‘Grant’s Men’ and his lust for fame at other’s expense caused more trouble.  His high rank also was a problem, like Wallace.  Grant eventually maneuvered him into a violation of rules and got him fired.
  • James McPherson – A young protege who was developing fast before his death before Atlanta in 1864.
  • David Dixon Porter, USN – Another Navy man who worked well with Grant in and around Vicksburg.
  • Grenville Dodge – an interesting fellow who held the rear during the Vicksburg campaign around Memphis and ran a first rate spy operation as well.
  • Peter Osterhaus – a “German’ officer put in command of a non-German unit but did well and was increasingly trusted by Grant because he just did his job well.

There are a lot of interesting new insights in this slim book even to an old Civil War pro like me.  A very nice book.