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Review Memoirs Of U.S. Grant

1090 words - 4 pages

BOOK REVIEW Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. By Ulysses S. Grant, with an introduction and notes by James M. McPherson. New York, NY. Penguin Putnam Inc., 1989. First published in two volumes in 1885 and 1886. Pp xxvi, 640. Maps. Notes. Index.The Civil War's greatest general and former president began his memoirs after being diagnosed with throat cancer. Faced with financial ruin brought about by bad investments and unscrupulous associates, Grant turned to completing his memoirs to provide financial security for his family, and to explain why he thought the North won the Civil War. Grant believed the North proved victorious because of superior manpower, a superior industrial base, and a superior moral reason for fighting. He shows clearly how he realized what so many other senior leaders did not "" that the way to defeat the South was to follow Lincoln's strategy of defeating its armies, not the "halfway" strategy of keeping Confederate forces out of Northern states and capturing the Confederate government at Richmond.Grant was born on April 27, 1822 in Point Pleasant Ohio. He worked in the family tanning business and attended local schools until he was appointed to West Point in 1839. After graduation, Grant was commissioned a second lieutenant. He served in the Mexican War under Taylor and Scott. Grant resigned from the Army in 1854. He then spent six years near his wife's family in Missouri, working at a variety of less than successful undertakings. At the start of the Civil War, Grant was living in Galena, Illinois, and working as a clerk in his father's leather goods store.At the outbreak of armed conflict, the governor accepted Grant's offer to assist with the mustering in of volunteer soldiers. Grant was soon appointed colonel of a militia regiment. In August 1861 he was promoted to brigadier general. As commander of the District of Southeast Missouri Grant led the force that captured Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, and a Confederate force of 15,000 in February 1862. Grant was promoted to major general and commanded Union forces at Shiloh in April 1862 and Vicksburg in 1863. He was promoted to major general in the regular army after the fall of Vicksburg in July 1863. After leading Union troops to victories at Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain in November, Grant was promoted to lieutenant general and given command of all Union forces in March 1864. In May, Grant began the final offensive, sending General Sherman toward Atlanta and directing the Army of the Potomac under General Meade against Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Lee surrendered at Appomattox in April 1865. Grant was elected president in 1868 and reelected in 1872. After leaving office in 1877, he made a three year around the world tour. Grant was an unsuccessful candidate for a third term in 1880. After losing his savings, he began writing articles on his Civil War experiences for Century Magazine. When Grant was diagnosed with cancer in 1884, he accepted the encouragement...

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