*Includes pictures of Grant, Lee, and important people, places, and events in their lives. *Includes maps of some of their most famous battles, including Gettysburg, Shiloh and the Overland Campaign *Includes bibliographies on both generals for further reading. *Includes Table of Contents
In the 19th century, one of the surest ways to rise to prominence in American society was to be a war hero, like Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison. But few would have predicted such a destiny for Hiram Ulysses Grant, ...
*Includes pictures of Grant, Lee, and important people, places, and events in their lives.
*Includes maps of some of their most famous battles, including Gettysburg, Shiloh and the Overland Campaign
*Includes bibliographies on both generals for further reading.
*Includes Table of Contents
In the 19th century, one of the surest ways to rise to prominence in American society was to be a war hero, like Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison. But few would have predicted such a destiny for Hiram Ulysses Grant, who had been a career soldier with little experience in combat and a failed businessman when the Civil War broke out in 1861.
On the other side, with the exception of George Washington, perhaps the most famous general in American history is Robert E. Lee (January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870), despite the fact he led the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia against the Union in the Civil War. As the son of U.S. Revolutionary War hero Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee III, and a relative of Martha Custis Washington, Lee was imbued with a strong sense of honor and duty from the beginning. And as a top graduate of West Point, Lee had distinguished himself so well before the Civil War that President Lincoln asked him to command the entire Union Army. Lee famously declined, serving his home state of Virginia instead after it seceded.
Lee is remembered today for constantly defeating the Union’s Army of the Potomac in the Eastern theater from 1862-1865, considerably frustrating Lincoln and his generals. His leadership of his army led to him being deified after the war by some of his former subordinates, especially Virginians, and he came to personify the Lost Cause’s ideal Southern soldier. His reputation was secured in the decades after the war as a general who brilliantly led his men to amazing victories against all odds.
However, while all eyes were fixed on Lee and the Eastern theater at places like Manassas, Richmond, the Shenandoah Valley and Antietam, Grant went about a steady rise up the ranks through a series of successes in the West. His victory at Fort Donelson, in which his terms to the doomed Confederate garrison earned him the nickname “Unconditional Surrender” Grant, could be considered the first major Union victory of the war, and Grant’s fame and rank only grew after that at battlefields like Shiloh and Vicksburg. Along the way, Grant nearly fell prey to military politics and the belief that he was at fault for the near defeat at Shiloh, but President Lincoln famously defended him, remarking, “I can’t spare this man. He fights.” Lincoln’s steadfastness ensured that Grant’s victories out West continued to pile up, and after Vicksburg and Chattanooga, Grant had effectively ensured Union control of the states of Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as the entire Mississippi River.
In May 1864, with Grant now attached to the Army of the Potomac, the Civil War’s two most successful and famous generals were set to meet each other on the battlefield for the first time. Lee had won stunning victories at battles like Chancellorsville and Second Bull Run by going on the offensive and taking the strategic initiative, but Grant and Lincoln had no intention of letting him do so anymore. Grant ordered General Meade, "Lee's army is your objective point. Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also." The two would finally meet in the Civil War's most climactic showdown, eventually deciding the Civil War.
Grant and Lee chronicles the lives and careers of both men, the ways in which their styles and generalship compared and contrasted, and analyzes their lasting legacies. Along with pictures of the generals and important people, places, and events in their lives, you will learn about the Civil War's two most successful generals like you never have before.