Lincoln is known as the Great Emancipator and preserver of the Union. During the Civil War, Lincoln relied heavily on Ulysses S. Grant, general of the Union Army and eventual 18th president of the United States. Between Lincoln and Grant was a mutual respect and appreciation for the difficulties of their positions. Though many doubted Grant’s ability to lead, President Lincoln had faith in his general and praised him often. After the Battle of Chattanooga in 1863, Lincoln wrote to Grant, saying:
“I wish to tender you, and all under your command, my more than thanks, my profoundest gratitude for the skill, courage, and perseverance with which you and they, over so great difficulties, have effected that important object. God bless you all.”
UPK has recently published a book on Grant and his remarkable leadership. A General Who Will Fight by Harry S. Laver is a detailed study of leadership that explores Grant’s rise from undisciplined cadet to commanding general of the United States Army. Prior to his service in the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant exhibited few characteristics indicating that he would be an extraordinary leader. His performance as a cadet was mediocre, and he finished in the bottom half of his class at West Point. However, during his early service in the Civil War, most notably at the battles of Shiloh and Vicksburg, Grant proved that he possessed an uncommon drive. When it was most crucial, Grant demonstrated his integrity, determination, and tactical skill by taking control of the Union troops and leading his forces to victory.
This book is an excellent companion to UPK’s books on Lincoln, as it examines the role Grant played as Lincoln’s right hand man during the Civil War. Much more than a book on military strategy, this innovative volume examines the decision-making process that enabled Grant both to excel as an unquestioned commander and to win.