Monthly Archives: November 2015

Maybe the worst insubordination against a commander-in-chief in U.S. history 1 comment

Why do most Grant biographers ignore this damning episode, in early 1868, when General-in-Chief Grant tried to help depose his superior, President Andrew Johnson? [From Grant Under Fire, pg. 560] In what may well have been the worst case of insubordination against a commander-in-chief in the nation’s history, the General-in-Chief actually lobbied certain senators to gain a conviction. Bolstering efforts to overthrow Johnson, Grant publicly forecast a threat to the […]

Four quotes related to the writing of history 2 comments

“Men hate the truth more than falsehood.”—Fire-eater R. B. Rhett Sr. to his namesake son, July 31, 1861, from the private papers of Wiley Sword. “A lot of folks like their Civil War history cut and dried, with a predictable cast of characters – they like to cheer the hero and hiss the villain. The curtain falls, and they say, ‘Very good, just as I remember the play.’”—Brian Pohanka, as […]

Did Grant “win” the American Civil War? 1 comment

Certain historians claim that Ulysses S. Grant “won” the American Civil War, a formulation far too simplistic to accurately reflect what actually happened. This chart is a simple reminder that other factors were involved. Grant may have led the Union army for the last year of the war, but Abraham Lincoln served as commander-in-chief of the nation’s entire armed forces, and historians rank him as one of the most effective […]

A great one is gone: Wiley Sword passed away November 9

  According to Crowell Brothers Funeral Homes: Winfield Wiley Sword, age 77, of Suwanee, GA passed away Monday, November 9, 2015. Wiley was born in Mexico, Missouri on December 7, 1937 and lived there until the age of 7. He was a Civil War historian and published author who greatly enjoyed traveling and lecturing. Wiley was also an avid golfer, but nothing meant more to him that this family. […]

Fallacies concerning the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant 1 comment

Michael B. Ballard’s review of Chris Mackowski’s Grant’s Last Battle: The Story Behind the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant (November 2015 Civil War News Book Review), exemplifies the mind-set that my book, Grant Under Fire, so comprehensively opposes. Grant “did not rewrite history,” Dr. Ballard maintains, “he wrote it as he understood and lived it.” The reviewer does refer to “the accuracy, or lack thereof, of the memoirs,” yet […]