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Grant

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2006

    A Poorly Written Book

    The author, John Mosier, has apparently set out to deify Ulysses Grant. Not satisfied with the simple facts of Grant's successes, he makes up new ones to inflate the man's already outstanding career. One example is the battle of Belmont, in November of 1861. Mosier states Grant's forces as '..about 12,000 men: five regiments of infantry, a battery of artillery, and a troop of cavalry...' In the 'Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant' the forces are '..a littler over 3,000 men and embraced five regiments of infantry, two guns and two companies of cavalry.' The author proceeds to describe the battle,saying that 'The North needed something it could call a victory, and the Belmont raid provided it.' Yet Grant in his memoirs states 'Belmont was severely criticised in the North as a wholly unnecessary battle, barren of results, or the possibility of them from the beginning.' Again, describing the Battle of the Crater during the siege of Petersburg, he states that 'Grant himself had to wade into the melee and order the assault called off.' This was an eye- opener for me, and a fact apparently overlooked by such authors as Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote. The author also indulges in extraneous and often irrelevant comparisons to battles after the Civil War. In this case, 'The aftermath of the Petersburg mine explosion should have warned the generals of the First World War why mine warfare was unworkable.' I think any serious student of both the Civil War and the First World War will find the comparison to be erroneous. A great deal of the book is spent, as I noted, in making comparisons to post- Civil War battles and many other commanders. It breaks the flow of the narrative, and would only be confusing to a layman wanting to find out about Grant. It's as if the author wants to underscore his knowledge and authority on the subject by name- dropping as often as possible ( see, I know what I'm talking about because I can bring up the raid on Dieppe and Gallipoli! ). The examples I have given do not cover the depth to which page after page is filled with these comparisons, distortions, and misrepresentations of the facts, all towards trying to over- inflate the already exciting and successful story of U. S. Grant. A knowledgeable person might read it as a bad example of military history and biography. Those not knowledgeable should avoid it like the plague, and seek a better source for their facts and enjoyment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2010

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