Grant and Sherman The friendship that won the Civil War

Charles Bracelen Flood

Book - 2005

Saved in:

2nd Floor Show me where

973.73/Flood
1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 973.73/Flood Checked In
Subjects
Published
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux c2005.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Physical Description
460 p., [8] p. of plates : ill
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (p. [429]-435) and index.
ISBN
0374166005
9780374166007
Main Author
Charles Bracelen Flood (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

/*Starred Review*/ The story seems like a fairy tale: two men who were remarkable failures as civilians use their West Point backgrounds to rejoin the army during the American Civil War. They steadily rise to the highest ranks and lead the North to victory over the secessionist South, becoming friends in the process. But that's exactly what happened. In his winning book, Flood underscores the powerful bond formed between Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman and tells the story of a friendship that would influence both the politics and the military operations of the Civil War. In 1860, Grant was working as a clerk in his father's general store. Sherman was a failed banker. Flood shows how--when war broke out--each man found the help he so desperately needed in the other. He describes how Grant discovered in Sherman a gifted and fearless subordinate whose support was unfailing. And in Grant, his superior, Sherman found someone who saw beyond his reputation for being "crazy" and recognized his brilliance. As the war raged on, the two men worked out the winning military strategy together, and their mutual admiration deepened. Flood reminds us how important their bond was in shaping the outcome of the bloodiest conflict this country has ever seen, as well as the republic that stands in its wake. One of the big-profile history books of the season and highly recommended for all history-minded readers ((Reviewed August 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Choice Reviews

A decade ago, joint biographies of individuals on parallel life paths came into fashion. Flood offers an interesting addition to this genre for those deeply interested in the US Civil War. The author provides a contrasting portrait of Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman, though he adds little original insight into these two complicated personalities. Flood's work focuses on the crucial wartime command friendship that ultimately achieved Union victory. He has little to say about how the prewar years shaped these key figures, and even less to say about why they drifted apart after the war. The book catalogs the two men's commonalities: both graduated from West Point and left the army in the 1850s; neither had successful civilian careers and both were devoted to their families. Militarily, each was willing to take enormous risks and both profited from military mistakes. Grant had dogged determination and brilliant strategic insights, while Sherman had the more conventional military mind. War drove their friendship, and postwar politics drove them apart. More analysis on both ends of this story would have strengthened the work. This said, general readers should enjoy the book. Summing Up: Recommended. Public and general collections. Copyright 2006 American Library Association.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

How Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman survived lackluster beginnings, got together, forged a powerful friendship, and won a war. From an American Revolution Roundtable Award winner. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Flood (Lee: The Last Years ) presents the extraordinary friendship between two Union generals that changed the course of the Civil War. Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, both West Point graduates, were unlikely candidates to become heroes during this turbulent period in American history. Both men failed miserably in business ventures before the outbreak of the conflict, but their partnership on and off the battlefield enabled the North to achieve victory. The author provides an analysis of a friendship that endured despite personal, military, and political struggles. Grant's "total war" strategy, to maintain pressure on Lee's army and damage the economic resources of the enemy to wage war, found its perfect counterpart in Sherman's March to the Sea campaign. For further study of key military figures, readers should consult T. Harry Williams's McClellan, Sherman, and Grant and his Lee, Grant, and Sherman: A Study in Leadership in the 1864-65 Campaign . This work includes an extensive bibliography of secondary sources and published primary sources, but it could have been improved by more research in archival manuscript collections. However, Flood's fluid prose style makes this a very enjoyable read. Highly recommended for academic libraries that serve undergraduate programs. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/05.]--Gayla Koerting, Univ. of South Dakota Libs., Vermillion [Page 159]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Nodding acquaintances at West Point, Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman met again in 1862 and liked each other immediately. The author of this engaging dual biography doesn't claim this friendship "won the Civil War," but it made Union leadership remarkably friction free. Sherman, returning from a four-month sick leave he took to combat nerves, arrived on the battlefield of Shiloh with reinforcements for Grant; he served Grant loyally during the Vicksburg campaign, then accompanied him east to share in the victory at Chattanooga in November 1863. When Lincoln appointed Grant leader of all Union forces, Grant gave Sherman the Army of the Tennessee, an independent command. He captured Atlanta and marched brutally across Georgia while Grant fought to a bloody stalemate with Lee near Richmond. The surrender at Appomattox restored Grant's pre-eminence, and he and Sherman remained close after the war. The key, Flood writes, is that Sherman was the ideal subordinate, brilliant but insecure. In Grant he found a leader whose poise was contagious and who convinced Sherman he could do whatever job he was assigned. Better biographies of both exist, but Flood (Lee: The Last Years) has written a solid book that illuminates their productive relationship. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The first book to explore the important relationship between generals Grant and Sherman discusses their pre-war failures, their subsequent career revivals during the Civil War, and how their relationship helped to save the Union.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The first book to explore the important relationship between Generals Grant and Sherman discusses their pre-war failures, their subsequent career revivals during the Civil War, and most significantly, their relationship, which the author credits with saving the Union.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"We were as brothers," William Tecumseh Sherman said, describing his relationship with Ulysses S. Grant. They were incontestably two of the most important figures in the Civil War, but until now there has been no book about their victorious partnership and the deep friendship that made it possible.Their growing mutual admiration and trust, which President Lincoln increasingly relied upon, set the stage for the crucial final year of the war. While Grant battled with Lee in the campaigns that ended at Appomattox Court House, Sherman first marched through Georgia to Atlanta, continued with his epic March to the Sea, and turned north from Savannah for his Carolina campaigns. Not only did Grant and Sherman come to think alike, but, even though their headquarters at that time were hundreds of miles apart, they were in virtually daily communication, strategizing the final moves of the war and planning how to approach the peace that would follow.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

"We were as brothers," William Tecumseh Sherman said, describing his relationship to Ulysses S. Grant. They were incontestably two of the most important figures in the Civil War, but until now there has been no book about their victorious partnership and the deep friendship that made it possible.They were prewar failures--Grant, forced to resign from the Regular Army because of his drinking, and Sherman, who held four different jobs, including a beloved position at a military academy in the South, during the four years before the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter. But heeding the call to save the Union each struggled past political hurdles to join the war effort. And taking each other's measure at the Battle of Shiloh, ten months into the war, they began their unique collaboration. Often together under fire on the war's great battlefields, they smoked cigars as they gave orders and learned from their mistakes as well as from their shrewd decisions. They shared the demands of family life and the heartache of loss, including the tragic death of Shermans's favorite son. They supported each other in the face of mudslinging criticism by the press and politicians. Their growing mutual admiration and trust, which President Lincoln increasingly relied upon, would set the stage for the crucial final year of the war. While Grant battled with Lee in the campaigns that ended at Appomattox Court House, Sherman first marched through Georgia to Atlanta, and then continued with his epic March to the Sea. Not only did Grant and Sherman come to think alike, but, even though their headquarters at that time were hundreds of miles apart, they were in virtually daily communication strategizing the final moves of the war and planning how to win the peace that would follow.Moving and elegantly written, Grant and Sherman is an historical page turner: a gripping portrait of two men, whose friendship, forged on the battlefield, would win the Civil War.