This item was created by a contributor to eHistory prior to its affiliation with The Ohio State University. C. Grant preferred measured tactics like dividing his army while Lee tended to whip his troops into a frenzy. The greatest assets that Ulysses S. Grant brought to the union forces were his incredible strategic mind, his determination, his willingness to fight and his ability to win. . Grant, 276. Appendix II, “Casualties in Grant’s Battles and Campaigns,” contains a fairly exhaustive list of various historians’ and other authorities’ estimates of those casualties. They were the faces of the North and South. B. Ulysses Grant (1822-1885) commanded the victorious Union army during the American Civil War (1861-1865) and served as the 18th U.S. president from 1869 to 1877. Historian Jeffry Wert described how Grant’s Civil War strategy vision and perseverance (see above) combined to reinforce each other: “On May 4, 1864, more than a quarter of a million Union troops marched forth on three fronts. © HistoryOnTheNet 2000-2019. OR, 17, pt. Astoundingly (in light of his reputation), Lee’s percentages of killed and wounded suffered by his troops were worse than those of his fellow Confederate commanders. Get at him as soon as you can. Thereafter, he would try to be nearer the units over which he was maintaining operational control. . Fuller concluded, “If anything, Lee rather than Grant deserves to be accused of sacrificing his men.” Gordon Rhea similarly concluded that “Judging from Lee’s record, the rebel commander should have shared in Grant’s ‘butcher’ reputation.” James McPherson compared the casualties of Lee and Grant: “Indeed, for the war as a whole, Lee’s armies suffered a higher casualty rate than Grant’s (and higher than any other army). Catton, Bruce. Grant Takes Command. Hardcover $44.98 $ 44. The commanding general has the power at any time to order a board to examine the acquirements and capacity of any officer, and he will not fail to exercise it. The Confederacy could achieve its aim simply by protecting itself sufficiently to remain in existence. Despite being morally opposed to the war, he fought with distinction and innovation in the US-Mexico wars, for example by bombarding Mexican positions from a church tower. Question 25 options: He continuously circled around General Robert E. Lee to keep him surrounded. The record shows that Grant did precisely that, though his subordinates often failed to capitalize on his work. General Ulysses S. Grant was decisive in the American Civil War through his Clausewitzian understanding of the conflicts character, his ability to operationalize President Abraham Lincolns policy into a matching military strategy of total war, and his relentless execution of its campaigns. Henderson, G.F.R. Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War. Catton, 234-5, describes it best, citing a quote attributed to Meade in a letter to his wife, "…says, ‘The Army of the Potomac, directed by Grant, commanded by Meade, and led by Hancock, Sedgwick and Warren…’ which is quite a good distinction and about hits the nail on the head." OnFebruary 29, 1864, Ulysses S. Grant was appointed General-in-Chief of theUnion Army, and the war is starting over. His army took unnecessarily high casualties in those defeats, as well as throughout the entire Seven Days’ Battle and at Chancellorsville. 12 If Grant did not believe in reading about military doctrine, his most trusted subordinate, Major General W.T. Grant favored defensive tactics while Lee relied on relentless offensive to win battles. Military Education. Twice during the war, Lee went into the North on strategic offensives with scant chance of success, lost tens of thousands of irreplaceable officers and men in the disasters of Antietam and Gettysburg, and inevitably was compelled to retreat. These decisions freed Grant of two momentous problems – naming a new commander for one of his important filed armies and assuming daily responsibility for the entire army himself. B. This was the essence of his intellectual breakthrough. While politics played an important role in Grant’s decision to remain in the East, his previous experience in getting subordinates to follow his instructions surely was a factor. The South could not afford to squander its limited manpower. Jackson himself usually dictated both the operations and the tactics used. But none of the tactical innovations had nearly the effect on future wars as two of Grant’s innovations – innovations as surely credited to Grant as greatness is to Robert E. Lee. General Cox said, “[Grant] reminds one of Wellington in the combination of lucid and practical common-sense with aggressive bull-dog courage.” In the words of T. Harry Williams, Grant “made his best preparations and then went in without reserve or hesitation and with a simple faith in success.” He advanced aggressively and creatively, and he attacked with vigor, but he usually avoided suicidal frontal attacks. In March 1864, President Lincoln promoted Grant to overall head of the Union army. Operationally, he was just as effective. But Grant had no reserve force; as a result, when the Confederates counter-attacked, Grant’s men had to fight their way back to their boats. Northern victory affirmed the correctness of aggressiveness of Grant’s war strategy. After Chattanooga, for example, he alone raised his hat in salute to a ragged band of Confederate prisoners through which Union generals and their staffs were passing, and at Hampton Roads late in the war, he spoke to a group of Rebel amputees about better artificial limbs that were being manufactured. Ulysses S. Grant served as U.S. general and commander of the Union armies during the late years of the American Civil War, later becoming the 18th U.S. president. Grant’s strategic decision in the spring of 1864 to simultaneously engage all Confederate forces in the field prevented the Confederates from using their interior lines to move men from one threatened location to another.27 But as important as that directive, Grant dramatically increased the tempo of operations in the East, and in doing so changed the face of war. Grant's weakness is roughly the same as his strength. Sherman's greatest contribution to the war, the strategy of total warfare—endorsed by General Grant and President Lincoln—has been the subject of controversy. Grant began his military career as a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1839. in 1839. But at the end of the first day, his thoughts were only of victory. As Alan Nolan argued, because the South was so badly outnumbered and the burden was on the North to win the war, Lee’s grand strategy should have been a defensive one that did not squander the scarce manpower of the Confederacy. 128 vols. It would not have been out of character for McClellan to have sought a ceasefire immediately after the election and thereby have stopped Northern momentum and created a situation in which Southern independence was possible. Ulysses S. Grant 1838 Words | 8 Pages. The clear orders that Grant gave to Meade showed that his mistakes of Donelson, Shiloh, and Iuka/Cornith were not going to be repeated. How did Ulysses S. Grant's military strategy differ from Robert E. Lee? Similarly, Lee’s generals were mortally wounded in battle at a much higher rate than those under other Confederate commanders. See for example, Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Lieutenants, Volume 3 (New York: Charles Schribner’s Sons, 1945), 439. Wert, Jeffry D. General James Longstreet, The Confederacy’s Most Controversial Soldier. Grant’s orders to Meade were very precise and clear, though their execution remained often slow and without vigor. As a result of Grant’s innovations, by the end of the war, Confederate troops were typically hungry, shoeless, poorly mounted, and generally forlorn. In Fuller's The Generalship of Ulysses S. Grant, he thinks that Grant was not an innovator in tactics;* his skill was more in the operational and strategic sphere. Leadership Lessons of Ulysses S. Grant: Tips, Tactics, and Strategies for Leaders and Managers: Holton, Bil: Books New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1968. After crossing the continent’s largest river, defeating two separate forces within two weeks, and then besieging the town, his concurrent defense against the danger of attack from General Joe Johnston provided no opening for the Confederates. Grant’s plan was that Shermanwould go after Joe Johnston while he would go after Robert E. Lee, theGeneral of the Confederates. Grant's weakness is roughly the same as his strength. Other major Confederate commanders with higher percentages killed or wounded than Grant were Generals Braxton Bragg (19.5 percent), John Bell Hood (19.2 percent), and Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (16.1 percent). Grant learned from Shiloh, however. The Union could achieve its aim only by destroying the will of the southern population through invasion and conquest. That was, that the desperation of her resistance would finally exact from her adversary such a price in blood & treasure as to exhaust the enthusiasm of its population for the objects of the war. But remembering that Lieutenant General John Pemberton’s forces had been badly beaten twice in prior days, and knowing that Union forces were brimming with confidence, Grant probably succumbed to the attacks just like other generals would have.19 While events at Vicksburg remain little known outside the community of Civil War scholars, they bear comparison with another campaign that is much better known to Americans generally. From the Wilderness through Cold Harbor, the high tempo of operations, use of maneuver and Grant’s perception that just a little more pressure might lead to Lee’s collapse combined to cause the loss of many men on both sides. By mid-May 1863, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant finally approached the Confederate defenses of Vicksburg. He coordinated the strategy of the military, which was starting to close in on the Confederacy.Grant brought his western raiding tactics to the east, consciously developing a strategy of total war. They all surrendered to Grant in an affirmation that, as Albert Castel said, “ . I have directed General W. H. L. Wallace, commanding Second Division temporarily, to re-enforce General L. Wallace in case of an attack with his entire division, although I look for nothing of the kind, but it is best to be prepared. Grant had stolen the march from The Wilderness to Spotsylvania Courthouse, only to have the Army of the Potomac renew its claim to always arriving an hour late, though in this case Phil Sheridan cavalry did not prove its mettle. At times he had to seek the help of Halleck just to get Rosecrans to obey orders. Confederate Army of Tennessee had defeated Major General William Rosecrans’ army at Chickamauga in September, and by October conditions for Union forces in Chattanooga were desperate. The president officially appointed Ulysses S. Grant as Lieutenant General of the United States army on March 10, 1864. How many more lives must be sacrificed to the vindictiveness of a few unprincipled men! Examples of Grant’s war strategy include successful aggressiveness are numerous. The final victory was achieved using maneuver, not traditional siege tactics. While there could be little doubt of Grant’s intentions and objectives, Meade had the responsibility for tactical details.22, But the recent success at Missionary Ridge combined with intense political pressure to gain a victory over Lee affected Grant’s operational decisions. In short, Grant’s war strategy, aggressiveness won the war while Lee’s lost it. But Lee had not absorbed the lesson. General Fuller encapsulated the contrary effects of the two generals’ aggressiveness: “ . The tempo of operations from Ft. Henry through Ft. Donelson set a tone for Grant’s later actions. This is a top line introduction to Ulysses S Grant but, as someone who has studied his strategic thought and decision-making in depth, I agree there is much for todays leaders to learn about organisational strategy and leadership from him. Under Generals McDowell, McClellan, Pope, Burnside, Hooker, and Meade, the Union’s eastern armies, according to Dana’s table of statistics, had 15,745 killed, 76,079 wounded, and 52,101 missing or captured for a total of 143,925 casualties between May 24, 1861, and May 4, 1864. Scott Michael Rank, Ph.D., is the editor of History on the Net and host of the History Unplugged podcast. Rather, he steadfastly organized his surprised and almost routed Union force into one that was able to fight off the Confederate onslaught by the close of the first day. Grant waged war year-round, recognizing that "total" war would cause, among other things, civilian discomfort and reduce the political will of the enemy. Grant cannot be given credit for the Union supply lines or food preparation, but his activity, his understanding of war and, most of all, his understanding of operations in the field forever changed the nature of war. Generals acting the operational level of war, however, must rely on such occurrences. Jones, Archer. Civil War Command and Strategy: The Process of Victory and Defeat. | Oct 16, 2017 4.7 out of 5 stars 205 Hardcover $28.07 $ 28. Sherman surely did when in 1862 he published as part of a General Order, "…All officers of this command must now study their books; ignorance of duty must no longer be pleaded. At the miracle of Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863, the Union army pierced the middle of Bragg’s defenses, a position considered impregnable by the Confederates. The six-week Overland Campaign had ended, leaving behind numbing losses: the … New formations like those employed by Union Colonel Emory Upton at Spotsylvania and Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet at Chickamauga and The Wilderness demonstrated the power of attacks by formations with depth instead of breadth. New York: Doubleday, 1994. General Ulysses S. Grant was decisive in the American Civil War through his Clausewitzian understanding of the conflicts character, his ability to operationalize President Abraham Lincolns policy into a matching military strategy of total war, and his relentless execution of its campaigns. During the whole siege of the Petersburg/Richmond area from June 1864 until March 1865, Lee’s front was continuously weakened as the Southerner witnessed Grant’s repeated attacks on both flanks. . There would be no turning back this time. By being a determined fighter and inspiring his men to hold off strong attacks or to take fortified positions, the armies under his command suffered heavy casualties. An opponent of slavery, on the outbreak of the Civil War, Grant offered his services to the Union Army. New: Yale University Press, 1987. Grant’s War Strategy: General Military Skills, Between Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, both generals were quite aggressive. Of the nineteen battles in which one side lost nineteen percent or more of its troops (killed or wounded), only “one” involved such a loss by Grant’s troops (and that was actually two battles—29.6 percent at Wilderness and Spotsylvania combined). Only occasionally during the Vicksburg campaign did Grant become involved with tactics; he told his three subordinate commanders where to go and what to do, and generally stayed out of their way, though he did place himself close to near his weakest general whenever possible for non-operational reasons. . During the Civil War, tactics changed as new equipment, especially the grooved rifle and the entrenching tool, gained prominence. The strength of the defensive was widely recognized as early as the third year of the war. His popularity as a general propelled him to become president of the country he had helped preserve. Grant was not even on the ground when the enemy attacked, but he arrived soon. In each instance where frontal attacks failed, they occurred following maneuvers that should have provided a tactical advantage. While Grant’s armies were incurring a total of 153,642 casualties in those battles for which he was responsible and on which he had some effect, they were imposing a total of 190,760 casualties on the enemy. . It simply was to align the available Union forces and move straight ahead. When opportunities became apparent, and subordinate leaders took aggressive action, both Grant and Lee changed their plans to reflect the tactical situation. Ulysses S. Grant. Grant’s conduct at Missionary Ridge was very similar to Lee’s at the site of his greatest victory, Chancellorsville. 5 United States Marine Corps, Warfighting (New York: Doubleday,1994), 27-30. At the beginning of the Henry/Donelson campaign, in the words of Kendall Gott, “He landed a petty force of about 15,000 in the midst of nearly 45,000 enemy soldiers who could have massed against him.” His second-day counterattack at Shiloh turned stalemate or defeat into victory. Smith, for example, attacked on Grant’s left using tactics Smith determined based on the terrain. Ulysses Grant was his country’s greatest general since George Washington. There is no evidence that Grant ever wanted to win the war by attrition as his mostly-Southern critics claim, nor is there any indication that Grant believed frontal attacks alone were the answer. Grant, U.S. Memoirs and Selected Letters. Grant’s War Strategy That Made 3 Confederate Armies Surrender, California – Do not sell my personal information. Dana concluded that these numbers showed that “Grant in eleven months secured the prize with less loss than his predecessors suffered in failing to win it during a struggle of three years.”. he always sought, not merely to defeat, but to destroy the enemy.”. Indeed, the primary lesson seemed to be that élan, vigor and attack won against any defense. If Ft. Donelson showed Grant to be an excellent counter-puncher, Shiloh proved that he could counter-punch with the greatest generals in history. Get it as soon as Wed, Oct 7. These retreats enabled Lincoln to issue his crucial Emancipation Proclamation, created an aura of defeat that doomed any possibility of European intervention, and played a major role in destroying the South’s morale and will to fight. Hiram Ulysses Grant, the son of a tanner, was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio on 27th April, 1822. At Shiloh, 1862, Grant clearly wanted to stay at the operational level as seen in this order to Sherman on April 4, two days before the Confederate attack: "…Information just received would indicate that the enemy are sending in a force to Purdy, and it may be with a view to attack General Wallace at Crump's Landing. How were General Ulysses S. Grant's tactics different from the generals before him? 3 See, for example, Grady McWhiney and Perry D. Jamieson, Attack and Die: Civil War Military Tactics and the Southern Heritage (Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 1982) and Paddy Griffith, Battle Tactics of the Civil War (New: Yale University Press, 1987). Grant was the keystone of Union victory, a man whose removal would have resulted in the Union cause crumbling into defeat – and the United States dissolving Those were tactical decisions and many high-ranking officers made them during the Civil War. Lee thought that interfering with his brigade and division commanders would do more harm than good.10, Operationally, Grant sought Lee’s goal – to place his men where they could be successful tactically. He directed his generals into positions to earn victories, and relied on them to decide the "tactics." New York: The Free Press, 1992. In deciding, Grant made two of the key judgments of the war - he retained Major General George G. Meade as commander of the Union Army of the Potomac and he kept Halleck as Chief of Staff in Washington, leaving to Halleck the burden of daily supervision of the Army headquarters. The conventional wisdom concerning the comparative generalship of Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant was established almost immediately after the War of the Rebellion. 20 For an excellent account of the generalship of Jackson, see G.F.R. Historical assessmentsof Grant's presidency have improved over time. Grant’s strategic view was put into action and led to the end of the war in just over one year from the time he assumed overall command of Union armies. After all, it had been only eighty years since the supposedly inferior American revolutionaries had vanquished the mighty Redcoats of King George III and it was less than fifty years since the outgunned Russians had repelled and destroyed the powerful invading army of Napoleon. He always attempted to assault General Lee's lines from the front. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1997. He quickly approved Brigadier General William Smith’s plan to left the siege on the city, and he adopted a battle plan largely drawn by Smith and Thomas for the attack against the Confederates on Missionary Ridge, the dominate feature of the local terrain. . It may be helpful to put these numbers in perspective by comparing them to the casualty figures for the Army of Northern Virginia under Lee’s command and to those for other Confederate commanders. As soon as Grant receivedthe news, he met with General Sherman. Northerners violently disagreed on slavery, the draft, and the war itself. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983. I will return to Pittsburg at an early hour to-morrow, and will ride out to your camp…"16. McWhiney, Grady and Jamieson, Perry D. Attack and Die: Civil War Military Tactics and the Southern Heritage. He was innovative on both a strategic and operational level. Despite his role as, in the words of Frederick Grant saw an opportunity to completely destroy the Confederate army. "tactics.". Like Washington, Grant’s battlefield performance was the only factor standing between the United States continuing as one, indivisible nation. For example, he left Union lines to visit Commodore Foote, several miles away, without leaving a designated second-in-command; and he did not ensure that his right flank was set firmly against the Cumberland River, thereby permitting the Confederate cavalry under Forrest (and whomever chose to accompany them) to escape the Union encirclement. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1948. Changes he introduced altered future warfare and accelerated the defeat the South. It's been noted that there isn't all that great a difference between strategy and tactics, and I still think Lee was ahead of Grant as far as the fighting of the immediate battle/situation. The Decisive General - Ulysses S Grant and the American Civil War in 1864 New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993. How to defeat Lee was the pressing operational issue. By the time Sheridan gained a significant victory on Lee’s right flank in March 1865 at Five Forks, Lee’s army was so badly thinned that it collapsed under the weight of a general Union offensive all along the line. Grant's goal was the same as Lee's: get the men to where they can do the most good. At the outset of the war, the North had tremendous population and resource advantages over the South. After Lee took command of the Army of Northern Virginia, he lost two of the three mortally wounded Confederate lieutenant generals (corps commanders), four of the seven mortally wounded Confederate major generals (division commanders), and 33 of 53 mortally wounded Confederate brigadier generals (brigade commanders). This appears to have been innately learned, since Grant denies having read the standard books on tactics11 or the military pronouncements of the French general, Henri Jomini, or the American Thomas Mahan, whose tactical doctrine dominated Civil War thinking.12. The operational level includes decisions regarding when, where and under what conditions to engage the enemy in battle – or when to refuse to engage the enemy.5. His unexcelled Vicksburg Campaign into enemy territory where he was outnumbered marked the war’s turning point. d. combined river and land attacks. As a matter of fact, Grant’s war strategy lost fewer men in his successful effort to take Richmond and end the war than his predecessors lost in making the same attempt and failing.” Dana examined the specific casualties suffered by Union troops in the East under Grant’s predecessors and then under Grant. Activities at the strategic level reflect national policy objectives, and military strategy reflects the application of military power to meet national policy objectives. Grant’s war-ending 1864 Overland Campaign against Lee’s army reflected Grant’s war-long philosophy that “The art of war is simple enough. 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