Thursday, August 16, 2012

Grant: Savior of the Union

In “Grant: Savior of the Union” by Mitchell Yockelson we get to know the general that brought the south to its knees. In this book we learn about Ulysses Grant as a child growing up in Ohio and the years he spent at West Point. West Point helped mold Grant into the great general he became during the U. S. Civil War. In between West Point and the Civil War, Grant served in the Mexican War and was able to learn a great many tactics he would later use. Many of the great Civil War generals attended West Point together and fought beside each other in the Mexican War. But friendships and loyalties would soon be tested. This book tells of the many heroic things Grant did during the Civil War from the Battle of Shiloh, to Vicksburg, to Petersburg and finally the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. We also learn about Grant as a president. Grant was elected our 18th president in 1868 and was re-elected in 1872. Despite his being a great General of the U. S. Army, he was not a politician and has since been said to be one of our worst presidents. There were many scandals during his presidency and that’s what most people will remember about him but if it wasn’t for Grant the Unites States may not be what it is today.

Growing up in Louisiana I have mainly read about the generals of the Confederacy. Of course I knew who General Grant was because of Grant’s Canal and Vicksburg but I have never thought what it was like to be in his shoes. The Union had been through several Generals before Lincoln appointed Grant as the leader of all the army. Many people questioned Grant throughout the war but in the end he proved to be not only what the Union needed. If not for Grant our country could have permanently been split and more wars could have followed. There will always be the debate of North versus South but we are all still The United States of America.

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