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.

 

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