Battle of Wills: Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and the Last Year of the Civil War

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Robert E. Lee was a military tactician of aristocratic pedigree, highly sought after by the North in their battle against the South in the War of Secession. Lee spurned the North for his loyalty to his home of Virginia. Lee’s command of the Confederate Army would triumph over the Union Army throughout 1862-63. Ulysses S. Grant was a man of lower class upbringing who, despite shunning an Army career, worked his way to the top of the Union command. The leaders of both armies would engage in violent clashes throughout Virginia, each striving for an edge that would tip the advantage to either side. Battles in Cold Spring, Petersburg, and Spotsylvania would lead to massive casualties and no clear winner. By the end of 1864-65, the tide had turned toward the North as Grant had persevered in the toughest of stalemates, going for Lee and his army. This, combined with successes further South, would lead to the surrender of the Confederate forces at Appomattox Court House in April 1865.

David Allen Johnson’s take on the test of wills between Grant and Lee explores the personalities of the two dynamic generals. Their upbringings were different, their career paths dissimilar, but their meeting would be epic. Lee’s downfall would be brought about by his underestimating of Grant and his mind. A great read that is a re-examination of two great men.

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Author David Alan Johnson
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 360 pages
Publisher Prometheus Books
Publish Date 2016-10-25
ISBN 9781633882454 Buy this Book
Issue November 2016
Category History


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