Monthly Archives: August 2015

Grant’s first “victory”?

Almost universally, Ulysses S. Grant, his biographers, and his other supporters make the claim, when they describe the incident, that he took Paducah, Kentucky, despite the absence of orders from his superior officer, General John Frémont. Grant was quite clear about this in his Personal Memoirs: “Not having received an answer to my first dispatch, I again telegraphed to department headquarters that I should start for Paducah that night unless […]

A strategic database for the American Civil War 1 comment

For a long time I have pondered a potentially worthwhile project: a database that contained the locations (and probable strengths, current commanders, etc.) of the Union and Confederate forces down to the regimental level. The data could then be displayed on an interactive basis. I would think that this would be hugely helpful in any strategic, campaign-level analysis. With appropriate software, one could easily visualize the various units on each […]

President Grant ladles out money to the rich 1 comment

From the book: “For whatever reasons—he seemed fascinated by men of wealth—Grant offered unstinting support to capitalists and big business. He desired, and the very first law he signed mandated, the payment in gold for huge numbers of bonds bought during the Civil War, mostly with depreciated greenbacks, even though the government was not contractually obligated to do so. This provided the bondholders with a gigantic—and wholly unjustified—windfall. With better […]

An alcoholic Ulysses S. Grant resigns his commission

Many modern authors attempt to make a case for General Grant’s sobriety. But, in a general minimization of Grant’s drinking, William C. Davis’ new book, Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee—The War They Fought, The Peace They Forged, goes so far as to deny the accounts that he abused alcohol or was forced out of the pre-war army, while serving on the Pacific coast in the […]