Grant Under Fire: An Exposé of Generalship & Character in the American Civil War Hardcover – 2015 by Joseph A. Rose (AUTOGRAPHED)


AUTOGRAPHED: A groundbreaking book challenges Ulysses S. Grant’s reputation as a military genius and reliable chronicler of the Civil War. Grant has a sterling reputation as an officer and gentleman, despite suffering the biggest surprise of the war, committing the worst official act of anti-Semitism on U.S. soil, and coming closest of all Union commanders to losing Washington. Defenders even rank his generalship above Robert E. Lee’s, but to do so, they must ignore his simplistic, pugnacious strategies that led to a war of attrition, as well as amateurish tactics of impetuous frontal assaults, all along the line against fortified positions. He relied on favoritism to decide military matters, trashing personal enemies, elevating friends, and arranging battle plans to fit his prejudices. Rigorously based on primary sources, it resolves such controversies as his drunken partying with the enemy on boats out of Cairo, Illinois, blaming Lew Wallace for a slow march to Shiloh, pretending that he had a plan to pass Vicksburg all along, taking credit for the charge up Missionary Ridge, and leaving wounded men to suffer between the lines at Cold Harbor. It overturns old tales by detailing Grant’s corruption in Cairo, occupation of Paducah under orders, blunders in the Delta, and non-triumphal exit from the Wilderness. Grant’s Memoirs are shown to be unreliable. Brave in battle and persistent on campaign, Grant achieved victory at Fort Donelson and Vicksburg by hedging in an inert enemy commander against a river. Naval forces-whose impact in the war he minimized-played a crucial role at each. He also refused to acknowledge the services of Elihu Washburne, John Rawlins, Charles Dana, and Henry Halleck. Besides describing Grant’s flawed generalship and character, Grant Under Fire helps redeem the reputations of Robert E. Lee, John McClernand, Governor Warren, George Thomas, William Rosecrans, Don Carlos Buell, George Meade, and others from 150 years of untruthful attacks.

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