His experience at the Academy left Grant largely unchanged, both Lee and Grant attended the United States Military Academy at West Point on the Hudson.Lee graduated with high honors in 1829 and went on to the Engineering Corps.Grant graduated fourteen years later and was assigned to the infantry.Grant’s West Point career was ordinary at best in contrast to Lee’s high standard.He stood out in horsemanship nothing else.His talent for mathematics made the curriculum easy for him in his leisure time he did not employ himself to interaction. Grant was a quiet thinker his mentors missed this very important point almost altogether.Lee ok to military life like a duck to water.
Even as the storm clouds gathered, Lincoln promoted Lee to the grade of colonel in the regular army, and Lee, at that late date, ok an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.At the instigation of General Scott, Lincoln seemed poised to appoint Lee as commanding general of the National forces.Lee knew about this move and he coveted very much that high honor and position.he knew that soon it will mean a breach between himself and his mother and father.Lee considered secession an illegal, unjustifiable, unbiblical, and deplorable act of revolution.In his teachings at West Point and his discussions with other officers, he openly and often condemned slavery as morally wrong and economically unsound in the long period of time.Even so, he chose not to regard his oath of allegiance to the Union as an obligation to participate in the military crushing of the secessionist states.This, to some extent, made him a Southern Sympathizer even while holding office in the Union.Still, Lee agonized over the controversy raging within him.Lee paced the floor of his office at Arlington and pondered his future.The dilemma was solved for him when his home state of Virginia seceded.Lee resigned his commission with the utmost of regret personally and patriotically, and went to Virginia to join the rebel cause.His initial duty assignment called for recruiting, organizing, and training militia forces.
He received, grant held a commission as commander of the 21st Illinois Voluntary Infantry at the rank of Colonel.Before long the Tennessee, and the Mississippi rivers. These rivers offered easy access for an invasion of the South.He proved his theory by the reduction of Fort Henry and Fort Donnellson, in February of 1862. Confederate concern about the Union now being able to strike with heavy, ship mounted batteries caused the evacuation of Nashvillethe rail center of Tennessee and the bastion of their defense.Federal advancements up the Tennessee ward Pittsburgh Landing pushed the Confederates out of Columbus, the main line of defense on the Mississippi. These achievements resulted in Grant’s promotion to major general by the appreciative President Lincoln.When General Buckner asked what Grant’s terms were at Donnellson, Grant replied, My terms are immediate and unconditional surrender.That led to the name Unconditional Surrender Grant which later became Grant and Sam Grant.Thus, the bad boy of West Point achieved the status of field commander three months before the celebrated Robert Lee who graduated form West Point many years earlier.
At the moment in Grant’s career, and after Grant became a household word, Halleck, Grant’s superior decided that events in the field required his close supervision.Out of envy, he put Grant in meaningless assignments away from public view and even tried to have him ‘court martialed’ for insubordination as Grant did not get specific approval from Halleck before taking Fort Henry.McClellan, who also hated Grant, supported the effort and it seemed destined for success.Grant had few friends in the professional military.He was an affront to all of them because of his success outside official channels.Lincoln discovered their game and put and end to it. Lee was appointed as Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, in June of 1862. Deploying before the gates of Richmond.On the first day of June McClellan’s forces sat in holding and listened to the chimes of Richmond’s spires.At this critical hour, Davis grew weary of Johnston and Beauregard and did not consider Prince John Magruder adequate to the task of defending Richmond.It resulted, whatever the reason and there were many curious ones, in the smashing of McClellan’s right and the pushing of his monstrous army back against the waters of the James Estuary.
He was not up to the task of field commander in the West and faltered badly, despite the fact that Halleck had taken up the cause that Grant started and had succeeded at Corinth. Superior to what he inherited, at Corinth. Bragg reinforced and outfitted the depleted units that Grant had all destroyed at Shiloh, and sent them to Chattanooga.His plan essentially removed the force from central Tennessee in favor of Nashville and central Kentucky.It was an odd arrangement. In reality, it was for the success that Grant been actually able to achieve in spite of Halleck, halleck continued to display ignorance of the war from the field of battle.Good administrator though he was, he did not belong in the field.He failed repeatedly to correctly interpret the intelligence delivered to him about enemy troop movement.Halleck was afforded modest praise for the behavior of the West.
Halleck, under the President’s direction, ordered McClellan to withdraw from the James and return to native soil.At that point, McClellan’s army was divided and a brand new command, under the title of the Army of Virginia was formed and given to General John Pope.Pope was to advance on Gordonville with Richmond the hoped for end objective.Pope’s failure, gether with damaging information about McClellan from Colonel Sharp, brought on Burnside, who proved no better. Things were looking up until Chancellorsville, with the advent of Hooker. Grand strategy for the defeat of the entire military force in the South ok place in Grant’s mind, with fall of Vicksburg.
Lincoln vetoed the plan.He had problems to think about in Mexico from Napoleon II and he was worried about over extension of forcesinreserve for critical flare ups.He insisted on a demonstration in Texas to deter the obvious ambitions of Napoleon II in that direction.He did acknowledge to Grant, in a personal note, that the Mobile plan looked very tempting. Whenever in commanded, he did allow for Rosecrans to continue overland through Tennessee and into Northern Georgia if possible.Rosecrans fell on his military fanny in Chattanooga and was replaced by General George Thomas. Not only from embarrassment also from outright destruction in the first battle of Chickamauga.Thomas, suffered the Union disease of tentativeness and hesitation and was starving to death, gether with his men and horses, in Chattanooga.Grant had to go in, with Sherman coming from the Vicksburg area to the West, to save the army and push Bragg out in a great and unlikely defeat.Bragg was firmly entrenched on p of the hill and Grant fought uphill and in the open.It was so impossible that Joe Johnston was called into replace Bragg by an angry, frustrated, and disappointed Davis.It also added another feather to Grant’s ‘nowcrowded’ hat.
Grant, the thinker and the man with the vision, could not let pass without comment on the opportunities presented by the control of the Mississippi and the open gateway through Chattanooga.He suggested a halting of the Mobile campaign until the rainy season was over and the long, dirt roads had a chance to dry.Grant knew how many battles the Union had lost to roads upon which men could not march and wagons and guns could only be moved inch at a time.He suggested that supplies only get moved by rail, that they be concentrated at Chattanooga and that a major campaign be thoroughly planned for the fall. Nothing could keep him out of the hearts of the people of the North, unbeknownst to Grant, Lincoln had been fighting Halleck for the bringing of Grant to Washington for some amount of time.The defeat of Bragg and Chickamauga and the soundness of his suggested plan was the trigger.Lincoln could wait for awhileer.Grant was brought to Washington to an enormous hero’s welcome that neither he nor Lincoln could possibly have envisioned.Halleck and the old boy network in the military may have succeeded in denying Grant his due. It was a genius stroke Whether if it was a case of the President having finally learned,, or it was trial and error with the odds in Lincoln’s favor to make a right decision.
Grant is one man that can whip the rebs almost any time, and he can do it any time that he tries it, wrote Private John Brobst of the 25th Wisconsin to the girl he was to marry.We will not give our General Grant for all the generals that are in the northern army.If history is to be taken for anything, Brobst was right on.All though turned back numerous times before success came at Vicksburg and a less than sparkling performance at Shiloh, Grant had never lost a battle. Now it did. Was having second thoughts when he saw the hero worship in the people and in congress.It had never occurred to him before.