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Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061148717, Paperback)The lives of Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman are classic underdog stories. Both of these "obscure failures" experienced more disappointment than success prior to the start of the Civil War. By 1861, they had each resigned from the U.S. Army and failed in several civilian pursuits between them, including farming, real estate, retail, and banking. Further, Grant was known as a drunk and Sherman was labeled insane. But once they threw themselves into the war effort, their best traits and talents began to reveal themselves. Even their motives were similar--both men joined the war not to eradicate slavery but to hold the Union together, believing that secession was equal to treason. This dual biography gracefully reveals how the two men grew to be "as brothers," why their partnership proved essential to victory for the Union, and how well they complemented and helped each other in their lives and careers, despite some major differences. For instance, though he possessed tremendous talent, Sherman was insecure and initially asked Abraham Lincoln never to give him a superior command. Grant, on the other hand, never doubted his ability to lead, and he quickly, if quietly, moved up the chain of command. Once he recognized Sherman's abilities, Grant made sure to keep him close, and they grew to depend upon each other completely. Through their near-daily interaction, even when separated by distance, both men honed their skills and eventually came up with a winning strategy for the war, which they executed in a brilliant two-pronged assault.
The book also discusses Grant's and Sherman's marriages, their relationships with their soldiers, and their dealings with politicians to provide well-rounded and complete portraits of these fascinating leaders. Grant and Sherman is a thoughtful portrait of the two men who "other than Lincoln... would have more to do with winning the war that preserved the Union than anyone else." --Shawn Carkonen
(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 09 Jan 2013 14:44:01 -0500)
"We were as brothers," Sherman said, describing his relationship to Grant, a friendship forged on the battlefield. They were prewar failures--Grant, forced to resign from the Army because of his drinking, and Sherman, who held four different jobs during the four years before the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter. But heeding the call to save the Union, each struggled 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. They shared the demands of family life and the heartache of loss, including the death of Sherman's favorite son. They supported each other in the face of criticism by 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.--From publisher description.
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