View single post by PvtClewell
 Posted: Sat Apr 4th, 2009 07:30 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 13th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 420

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5fish writes'Grant and Halleck join forces to use Lew Wallace as the "scape goat" for Shiloh.'

Grant needed a scapegoat for a victory?

Grant's main displeasure with Lew Wallace is that Wallace and his command took the wrong road at Shiloh, and Wallace himself appeared not to understand the urgency of the move, marching at a leisurely pace. He showed up after 7 p.m. after the first day's fighting was over, taking 10 hours for what should have been a 2-hour march. If I'm Grant, I'm hacked off at Wallace, too.

5fish writes'Even with Cold Harbor, the Overland Campaign was obvious successful to anyone observing it. Grant was catching flak for the numbers of dead and wounded but he was perceived as winning against Bobby Lee.'

Perceived as winning? Lee was constantly outmaneuvered by Grant and ends up caught in a siege. No perception there, I think.

The Overland Campaign was costly, no doubt about that. But by percentage, Lee suffers more casualties (about 50 percent) than Grant (about 45 percent) from the Rapidan to the James. Grant is on the offensive, which inherently incurs more casualties than fighting a defensive action.

5fish writes'PvtClewell, you know that Grant's promotion to LT. Gen. was as much a political one as for him winning battles...'

Excuse me while I turn to a historian, but Jean Edward Smith writes in his biography of Grant that after Chattanooga, "honors descended on Grant. The citizens of Galena and Jo Daviess County subscribed for a diamond-hilted sword with a gold scabbard...'

'...Inevitably legislation was introduced to revive the rank of lieutenant general, last held by George Washington in 1798. The bill was sponsored by Elihu Washburne in the House and James Doolittle of Wisconsin in the Senate and the purpose was to ensure that Grant, for whom the rank was intended, would assume command of the Union military effort. According to Senator Doolittle, Grant had won 17 battles, captured 100,000 prisoners and taken 500 pieces of artillery. 'He has organized victory from the beginning, and I want him in a position where he can organize final victory and bring it to our armies and put an end to the rebellion."'

Politicians are required to revive the rank of lieutenant general, but Grant did not use politics to attain the rank.

5fish writes'If he would have said he wanted to be President or was a Democrat he would not have gotten the job'

Smith writes this:

'...Grant received a letter from the chairman of the Democratic party in Ohio requesting that he permit his name to be placed in nomination (for the presidency). "The question astonishes me," Grant replied. "I do not know of anything I have ever done or said which would indicate that I could be a candidate for any office whatever." Grant said he would continue to do his duty to suppress the rebellion, and would support whatever administration was in power. Recognizing that even a denial on his part might lead to further speculation, Grant asked the Ohio chairman to keep the correspondence private. "But wherever you hear my name mentioned, say you know from me direct that I am not 'in the field.'"

5fish writes'As President he ended the political career of Senator Sumner after opposing him on buying half an island in the Caribbean.'

By the time Grant is elected president, he'd better be political. It's part of the job description. When Sumner opposed Grant's annexation plan for Santo Domingo (which Grant mistakenly thought he had Sumner's support), Sumner was already 80 years old. Sumner actually left the Republican Party to join with the Liberal Republicans in an effort to elect Horace Greely as president, so his career was hardly over. He was still a senator when he died in 1874.

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