Grant, Sherman, and Lincoln and the Development of the Union's War-Winning Strategy

by Steve Douglas

Printed in the American Almanac, August, 1999

End of Page Table of Contents Site Map Overview PageHome Page

President Lincoln's New Year's Message to President Clinton: If President Abraham Lincoln could speak to President Clinton today, his advice on dealing with the ``impeachment'' coup d'etat, would be: ``When you are in a life-and-death fight against the core of the Confederacy, fire the Democratic Party's General McClellans, and, in their place, appoint commanders who think like Sherman and fight like Grant.''

--Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. -- January 1, 1999

Millions of Americans were justifiably happy and relieved, when, on Feb. 12, 1999, the Articles of Impeachment against U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton were finally rejected by the U.S. Senate. The Senate's action certainly constituted a significant defeat for the leaders of the New Confederacy such as Trent Lott and Newt Gingrich--as well as their British controllers--who had been working so vigorously and destructively for the past five years in their quest to paralyze the U.S. Presidency.

Yet, nothing could be more foolish, nor historically irresponsible, than for Americans to delude themselves into thinking that the grave danger confronting the nation has somehow been overcome, or circumvented. The impeachment effort against President Clinton, was but one theater of battle, in a much larger global war which is raging, as the world's monetary system careens toward disintegration, in the near term. The British Empire/Commonwealth, with its Confederate allies and puppets in the U.S. and Canada, has launched attacks against the historical mission of the United States in virtually every diplomatic, political, military, economic, and related sphere--from China to Russia to Brazil--the world over. (This article was submitted for publication just two weeks before the commencement of NATO's bombing in the Balkans, which has tragically born out the above warning. See lead Editorial page 10--ed.)

Americans who delude themselves, that the threat to the nation has been largely averted, and that lasting peace, development, and union are near at hand, would be repeating the same near-fatal error that their forefathers did in the summer of 1863, when, in the aftermath of the great Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, it was naively believed that the end of the British-backed and instigated War of the Rebellion, was near at hand.

It was not until March 9, 1864, when President Lincoln appointed Lieutenant General U.S. Grant as the General-in-Chief of the Union Armed Forces, that an actual war-winning strategy was finally developed--and implemented. The Union had suffered through nearly three long years of war, afflicted by generals who were more preoccupied with making a good, or at least ``credible'' appearance in a particular battle, than waging a coordinated campaign, that could defeat the enemy, and win the entire war. This report will document, in summary outline, how perilously close to dissolution the United States came, and provide the historical framework in which Americans can finally, successfully conclude the campaign against the British-spawned Confederacy that Grant, Lincoln, and Sherman launched with such great effect in the Spring of 1864.

Vicksburg and Gettysburg, 1863

July 4, 1863 was a date of great celebration throughout the Union. On July 3, after a bloody three-day battle in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia retired from the field badly beaten, its ``invasion'' of the North soundly defeated.

The next day, on the 87th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, General John Pemberton, Confederate commander of the fortress of Vicksburg, Mississippi, surrendered his entire 32,000-man garrison to Major General U.S. Grant. Grant's brilliant and relentless seven-month long campaign to seize Vicksburg, culminating in a 48-day siege, secured control of the entire extent of the Mississippi River for the commerce and military operations of the Union, even as it split the Confederacy into two considerably weakened parts (see Map 1. It seemed as if the successful conclusion of the war was within sight for the Union, after nearly two-and-one-half years of bitter, bloody conflict, given both the dimension, the simultaneity, and the geostrategic nature of these victories.

Nonetheless, only nine months later, on the eve of Grant's appointment as General-in-Chief of all the Union armies, one of his adjutants candidly characterized the political-military situation in the U.S. as follows:

``A score of discordant armies; half a score of contrary campaigns; confusion and uncertainty in the field, doubt and dejection, and sometimes despondency at home; battles whose object none could perceive; a war whose issue none could foretell--it was chaos itself before light had appeared, or order was evolved....''[fn1]

What had happened? Both major victories in battle, had devolved into the status of ``lost victories,''--victories that were squandered--because the Union lacked a unified war-winning strategy.

General Meade, the commanding general of the victorious forces of the United States at Gettysburg, epitomized the conceptual shortcomings of the majority of the Union high command. In congratulating his Army of the Potomac on its defeat of Robert E. Lee in Pennsylvania, Meade said that: ``We must drive from our soil every vestige of the presence of the invader.''[fn2]

Lincoln deplored Meade's references to ``invader'' and ``our soil,'' stating that such phrases evoked ``a dreadful reminiscence of McClellan [a commander whom Lincoln had earlier dismissed]. The same spirit moved McClellan to claim a great victory [Antietam--Sept. 1862], because Pennsylvania and Maryland were safe. The hearts of 10 million people sunk within them, when McClellan raised that shout last fall. Will our generals never get that idea out of their heads? The whole country is our soil''(emphasis added).[fn3]

Meade's willingness--his happiness--to content himself with victory in a mere battle against ``the invader,'' prompted him to allow the thoroughly decimated forces of Robert E. Lee to escape, virtually unmolested, back to the sanctuary of Virginia. Vigorous and immediate pursuit of Lee, could have effected the capture and/or the annihilation of the Army of Northern Virginia. But only a commander who was preoccupied with winning the war in its entirety--such as Lincoln--would recognize, or insist upon such things.

Indeed, Meade's remarkable lack of initiative in the days after Gettysburg, stands in sharp contrast to his admirable and tenacious conduct in combat during the following summer, when he was directing the Army of the Potomac against Robert E. Lee, as per the instructions and grand design of his immediate superior--Ulysses S. Grant.

Strategic Significance of the Mississippi

Grant, the conqueror of Vicksburg, had targetted that heavily fortified redoubt on the Mississippi in Dec. 1862, precisely because of the strategic significance of the Mississippi River for both the Confederacy and the Union. His top subordinate, General William Tecumseh Sherman was, likewise, unambiguous in his understanding of the strategic significance of the Vicksburg campaign, and its bearing on the outcome of the war as a whole:

``That part of the continent of North America known as Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas is, in my judgment, the key to the whole interior. The valley of the Mississippi is America, and although railroads have changed the economy of intercommunication, yet the water-channels still mark the lines of fertile land, and afford cheap carriage to the heavy products of it.''[fn4]

In his Memoirs, Sherman addresses the war-winning implications of the victories of Vicksburg and Gettysburg:

``The value of the capture of Vicksburg, however, was not measured by the list of prisoners, guns, and small-arms, but by the fact that its possession secured the navigation of the great central river of the continent, bisected fatally the Southern Confederacy, and set the armies which had been used in its conquest free for other purposes; and it so happened that the event coincided as to time with another great victory which crowned our arms far away, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. That was a defensive battle, whereas ours was offensive in the highest acceptation of the term, and the two, occurring at the same moment of time, should have ended the war....''[fn5]

While these two victories ``should have ended the war,'' they did not, according to Sherman, in part because ``...our success at Vicksburg produced other results not so favorable to our cause--a general relaxation of effort, and desire to escape the hard drudgery of camp: officers sought leaves of absence to visit their homes, and soldiers obtained furloughs and discharges on the most slender pretexts; even the General Government seemed to relax in its efforts to replenish our ranks with new men, or to enforce the draft, and the politicians were pressing their schemes to reorganize or patch up some form of civil government, as fast as the armies gained partial possession of the States.''[fn6]

To illustrate this phenomenon, Sherman published a letter that he received from General H.W. Halleck, the General-in-Chief of the Union Armed Forces in August 1863, in which Halleck made wildly premature inquiries as to prospects for reconstruction in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas, in light of the victory at Vicksburg. This, not coincidentally, is the same General Halleck, whom Grant had deliberately kept uninformed about the exact nature of his extraordinary and unorthodox deployment plans at the decisive moments in the Vicksburg campaign in late April and early May 1863, because, according to Grant, ``Halleck was too learned a soldier to consent to a campaign in violation of all the principles of the art of war.''[fn7]

Indeed, once Halleck had learned of Grant's successful crossing of the Mississippi south of Vicksburg, he insisted that Grant link up with General Banks, who was situated even further south, first, and only thereafter, proceed against Vicksburg. However, since there was no telegraph line in Grant's immediate field of advance, he did not receive Halleck's orders, until well after he had launched his bold campaign against Vicksburg, from the rear. And by that time, Grant's design had been advanced to such an extent, that Halleck could not abort it. But, as Grant's adjutant observed at the time, ``Had the general-in-chief [Halleck], however, been able to reach his subordinate, the Vicksburg campaign would never have been fought.''[fn8]

Halleck `Pulls a Meade'

Unable to prevent Grant from carrying out his bold, unorthodox, and unprecedented strategy for the seizure of Vicksburg, General Halleck proceeded to ``pull a Meade'' in the aftermath of the victory. Whereas Grant recommended an immediate campaign against the vital Southern port and rail center of Mobile, Alabama, and from there to Atlanta, Halleck instead dispersed the various elements of Grant's army in an arbitrary, timeless, and haphazard fashion. Grant was called back into action in October, only after the Union defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia. His military prowess was needed to raise the seige against the Union forces that were pinned down in Chattanooga, the city to which they had retreated after their defeat in Georgia. General-in-Chief Halleck's lamentable lack of strategic vision and imagination, unfortunately permeated most of the military leadership of the Union. In his lengthy reply to Halleck's August 1863 ill-conceived inquiry about the prospects of reconstruction, General Sherman articulated various elements of his (and Grant's) strategic orientation which shaped the development of their war-winning, as opposed to merely battle-winning strategy, of the rest of the Union high command:

``A civil government now, for any part of it, would be simply ridiculous. The people would not regard it, and even the military commanders of the antagonistic parties would treat it lightly. Governors would be simply petitioners for military assistance, to protect supposed friendly interests, and military commanders would refuse to disperse and weaken their armies for military reasons. Jealousies would arise between the two conflicting powers, and instead of contributing to the end of the war, would actually defer it. Therefore, I contend that the interests of the United States, and of the real parties concerned, demand the continuance of the simple military rule, till after all the organized armies of the South are dispersed, conquered, and subjugated....

``I would banish all minor questions, assert the broad doctrine that as a nation the United States has the right, and also the physical power, to penetrate to every part of our national domain, and that we will do it--that we will do it in our own time and in our own way; that it makes no difference whether it be in one year, or two, or ten, or twenty; that we will remove and destroy every obstacle, if need be, take every life, every acre of land, every particle of property, everything that to us seems proper; that we will not cease till the end is attained; that all who do not aid us are enemies, and that we will not account to them for our acts. If the people of the South oppose, they do so at their peril; and if they stand by, mere lookers-on in this domestic tragedy, they have no right to immunity, protection, or share in the final results....

``War is upon us, none can deny it. It is not the choice of the Government of the United States, but of a faction; the Government was forced to accept the issue, or to submit to a degradation fatal and disgraceful to all the inhabitants. In accepting war, it should be `pure and simple' as applied to the belligerents. I would keep it so, till all traces of the war are effaced; till those who appealed to it are sick and tired of it, and come to the emblem of our nation, and sue for peace. I would not coax them, or even meet them half-way, but make them so sick of war that generations would pass away before they would again appeal to it....

``God knows that I deplore this fratricidal war as much as any man living, but it is upon us, a physical fact; and there is only one honorable issue from it. We must fight it out, army against army, and man against man; and I know, and you know, and civilians [must] begin to realize the fact, that reconciliation and reconstruction will be easier through and by means of strong, well-equipped, and organized armies than through any species of conventions that can be framed. The issues are made, and all discussion is out of place and ridiculous. The section of thirty-pounder Parrott rifles now drilling before my tent is a more convincing argument than the largest Democratic meeting of the State of New York can possibly assemble at Albany; and a simple order of the War Department to draft enough men to fill our skeleton regiments would be more convincing as to our national perpetuity than an humble pardon to Jeff. Davis and all his misled host.

``The only government needed or deserved by the States of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi, now exists in Grant's army. This needs, simply, enough privates to fill its ranks; all else will follow in due season. This army has its well-defined code of laws and practice, and can adapt itself to the wants and necessities of a city, the country, the rivers, the sea, indeed to all parts of this land. It better subserves the interest and policy of the General Government, and the people here prefer it to any weak or servile combination that would at once, from force of habit, revive and perpetuate local prejudices and passions. The people of this country have forfeited all right to a voice in the councils of the nation. They know it and feel it, and in after-years they will be the better citizens from the dear-bought experience of the present crisis. Let them learn now, and learn it well, that good citizens must obey as well as command. Obedience to law, absolute--yea, even abject--is the lesson that this war, under Providence, will teach the freed and enlightened American citizen. As a nation, we shall be the better for it....

``We must succeed--no other choice is left us except degradation. The South must be ruled by us, or she will rule us. We must conquer them, or ourselves be conquered. There is no middle course. They ask, and will have, nothing else, and talk of compromise is bosh; for we know they would even scorn the offer.''[fn9]

In a subsequent letter to Brigadier General J.A. Rawlins, Chief adjutant to General Grant, Sherman elaborated further on this concept of war and reconciliation:

``I know that in Washington I am incomprehensible, because at the outset of the war I would not go it blind and rush headlong into a war unprepared and with an utter ignorance of its extent and purpose. I was then construed unsound; and now that I insist on war pure and simple, with no admixture of civil compromises, I am supposed vindictive. You remember what Polonius said to his son Laertes: `Beware of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in, bear it, that the opposed may beware of thee.' What is true of the single man, is equally true of a nation. Our leaders seemed at first to thirst for the quarrel, willing, even anxious, to array against us all possible elements of opposition; and now, being in, they would hasten to quit long before the `opposed' has received that lesson which he needs. I would make this war as severe as possible, and show no symptoms of tiring till the South begs for mercy; indeed, I know, and you know, that the end would be reached quicker by such a course than by any seeming yielding on our part. I don't want our government to be bothered by patching up local governments, or by trying to reconcile any class of men. The South has done her worst, and now is the time for us to pile on our blows thick and fast.'' [fn10]

That Sherman understood the conflict with the South to be a battle for the very idea of the nation-state, itself, is revealed in two letters he wrote in 1861, about the looming struggle, prior to its military eruption in April:

``The law is or should be our king; we should obey it, not because it meets our approval but because it is the law and--because obedience in some shape is necessary to every system of civilized government. For years this tendency to anarchy has gone on till now every state and county and town through the instrumentalities of juries, either regular or lynch, makes and enforces the local prejudices, as the law of the land. This is the real trouble, it is not slavery, it is the 'democratic spirit' which substitutes mere opinions for law.''[fn11]

In a letter to his wife, Ellen, on January 5, 1861, he spoke further of this ``democratic spirit'' which was rooted in anarchy:

``Our country has become so democratic that the mere popular opinion of any town or village rises above the law. Men have ceased to look to the constitutions and law books for their guides but have studied popular opinion in bar rooms and village newspapers, and that was and is law.''[fn12]

Grant, Sherman, and the Press

Before turning to the elaboration of the ``Hammer-and-Anvil'' war-winning strategy of Grant, Sherman, and Lincoln in 1864, it is important to note one significant, included feature of Sherman and Grant's campaign against the Confederacy in 1863--their campaign against the corrupt media. Were President Clinton, his allies, and the American people to adopt an orientation toward combat with the British-owned and Anglo-loving media today, that in even a small way approximated the combativeness and disdain which informed General Sherman's outlook in this regard, then the prospects for the reinvigoration and revitalization of the Union would be immeasurably improved.

In order to secure the success of his amphibious landing south of Vicksburg, Grant directed that two major diversionary operations be launched, so as to keep General Pemberton guessing, as to the true focal point, or Schwerpunkt, of Grant's final assault on the fortress. One diversion involved the deployment of what proved to be a spectacularly successful 1,700-man cavalry raiding expedition, led by Colonel Grierson, through Mississippi, east of Vicksburg.

The other diversion called for General Sherman to make a feint, in late April, against Vicksburg, from the north. Grant being sensitive to the brutal treatment that had been accorded to Sherman in the Copperhead press of the North during the preceding months, had offered Sherman the option of not carrying out this diversionary attack. Grant knew that for the feint to serve its true diversionary purpose, Sherman would have to create the impression that he had been successfully repulsed by the Confederate defenders of Vicksburg. That is, Grant was asking Sherman to make it appear as if he were losing a battle--for which he would be mercilessly vilified in the press--in the interest of winning the war.

Sherman, himself, had grave misgivings about the efficacy and advisability of Grant's unprecedented strategy. He wrote to his wife that week, in late April 1863, ``I tremble for the result.... I look upon the whole thing as one of the most hazardous and desperate moves of this or any other war.''[fn13]

Yet, he vigorously implemented Grant's plan, stating:

``We will make as strong a demonstration as possible. The troops will all understand the purpose and not be hurt by the repulse. The people of the country must find out the truth as best they can; it is none of their business. You are engaged in a hazardous enterprise and it shall be done. The men have sense, and will trust us. As to the reports in newspapers, we must scorn them, else they will ruin us and our country. they are as much enemies to good government as the secesh, and between the two I like the secesh best, because they are a brave, open enemy and not a set of sneaking, croaking scoundrels'' (emphasis added).[fn14]

Sherman's energetic disdain for the press served him in good stead, in both this, and all of his subsequent campaigns.

The Strategic Significance of Lincoln's Reelection

The central political/strategic question which dominated all campaign strategy in both North and South, from no later than the spring of 1863, was the possibility of Abraham Lincoln's reelection. Even General Robert E. Lee, with his myopic ``Northern Virginia first and foremost'' outlook, recognized that, if Lincoln were not reelected, then the South could succeed in its efforts to permanently rend the Union asunder.

``If we can baffle them in their various designs this year & our people are true to our cause.... I think our success will be certain.... On every other point we are strong. If successful this year, next fall will be a great change in public opinion in the North. The Republicans will be destroyed & I think the friends of peace will become so strong as that the next administration will go on that basis. We have only therefore to resist manfully.''[fn15]

It was universally acknowledged on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line, that Abraham Lincoln was the one individual who embodied the historical vision, strategic resolve, intellectual depth, and political perspicacity necessary to restore the Union. Without Lincoln, the Union would dissolve. Without Lincoln, the legions of lesser politicians of the North would have a free hand to ``negotiate'' the Union out of existence, through a series of ``compromises'' with the South, in the alleged interest of securing ``peace'' for the ``war-weary citizens'' of the Northern states.

In a speech made on March 18, 1864, Senator Hill from Georgia, expressed a widely-held Southern view when he stated:

``I think, therefore, that policy, as well as necessity, indicates that we should now make a direct appeal to the people of the United States against Lincoln and his policy and his party, and make them join issue at the polls in November--we shaping that issue.''[fn16]

The strategy for the South in 1864, then, was elementary. Deny the Union any overwhelming victories in the field which might encourage Union voters to believe that a military solution to the conflict was attainable in the near term. At the same time, inflict sufficient damage in defensive battles to induce the population of the North to clamor for ``peace through compromise.'' Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy, said as much, in his ``State of the Nation'' address, opening the fourth session of the Confederate Congress in Richmond, in 1864:

``We now know that the only reliable hope for peace is in the vigor of our resistance, while the cessation of hostility [on the part of our adversaries] is only to be expected from the pressure of their necessities.''[fn17]

So, in order for the British-instigated Confederacy to ``win,'' it simply had to ``not lose.'' That is, it did not have to militarily defeat the North. It simply had to politically exhaust the North of its bloody and costly efforts to maintain the Union. After all, the purpose of the British Empire's (unofficial) sponsorship of the Confederacy, was never to create the Confederate States of America--it was to destroy the constitutional republic of the United States of America--the Union.

And so it is likewise, today, with respect to the British-orchestrated assault on the U.S. Presidency. Victory, for the British today, is not defined in terms of driving President William Jefferson Clinton from office. Rather, it is defined in terms of rendering the Office of the Presidency effectively dysfunctional, by virtue of the impeachment process. If Al Gore and the Principals Committee are running U.S. policy as per British Foreign Office specifications, then it is immaterial to the British, that Bill Clinton remains in office--if, in fact, not preferable (!) insofar as Clinton's mere continued presence in office helps to create a false sense of victory and security in the minds of the American population.

Whereas, for the South, victory could be achieved by ``not losing,'' for Lincoln and the Union, victory could only be achieved by ``winning.'' Militarily, the South enjoyed all of the advantages that typically accrue to a defending force--interior lines of supply and communication; knowledge of the battlefield terrain; guerilla-partisan warfare operations (capabilities) against over-extended enemy supply lines; numerically inferior defending forces that can neutralize numerically far superior attacking forces; close proximity to bases of supply, etc. Politically, the South enjoyed the support of a huge ``copperhead'' fifth column in the North, which was constantly undermining Lincoln's efforts through attacks in the press, via Wall Street, etc.

Moreover, Lincoln's base of support was by no means monolithic. In a letter written on Oct. 5, 1863, Lincoln wrote of his acute awareness of this problem:

``We are in civil war. In such cases there always is a main question; but in this case that question is a perplexing compound--Union and Slavery. It thus becomes a question not of two sides merely, but of at least four sides, even among those who are for the Union, saying nothing of those who are against it. Thus, those who are for the Union with, but not without slavery--those for it without, but not with--those for it with or without, but prefer it with--and those for it with or without, but prefer it without. Among these again, is a subdivision of those who are for gradual but not for immediate, and those who are for immediate, but not for gradual extinction of slavery. It is easy to conceive that all these shades of opinion, and even more, may be sincerely entertained by honest and truthful men. Yet, all being for the Union, by reason of these differences, each will prefer a different way of sustaining the Union. At once sincerity is questioned, and motives are assailed. Actual war coming, blood grows hot, and blood is spilled. Thought is forced from old channels into confusion. Deception breeds and thrives. Confidence dies, and universal suspicion reigns. Each man feels an impulse to kill his neighbor, lest he be killed by him. Revenge and retaliation follow. And all this, as before said, may be among honest men only. But this is not all....''[fn18]

Such were the complexities and challenges that confronted Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman in late 1863, as they sought to bring the war to a successful conclusion, with the November 1864 Presidential election looming on the horizon.

A Unified Command and a War-Winning Strategy

Grant, Sherman, and Lincoln all realized that a change in strategy were required, if the Union were to be victorious. Efforts to achieve victory by means of individual battles of annihilation against Confederate armies had proven fruitless. And the strategy of logistical attrition or strangulation of the South, did not portend war-winning results, with the Presidential election only months away. In fact, the political attrition against the Union forces in the North, that was a by-product of this strategic orientation, was arguably much greater--and potentially more devastating--than the economic attrition it inflicted on the South. President Lincoln, for example, was approached by numerous leading Republicans early in 1864, and asked not to run for reelection, ``for the good of the Republican Party, as well as for the good of the nation''!

What Grant and Sherman developed in the context of their extraordinarily fruitful collaboration in the Vicksburg campaign and its aftermath, was a new strategy of ``total war,'' that was designed to exhaust, deplete, and demoralize the Confederacy's capacity to wage war, in the shortest possible period of time. The hallmarks of this strategy were: 1) A unified command committed to winning the war in its entirety, 2) continuous engagement against the enemy, coordinated across all theaters of conflict; 3) carrying the war to the entire population and economy of the South.

The means by which this strategy was to be implemented, was the ``raiding army.'' While Sherman's famous ``March to the Sea'' after the seizure of Atlanta in September 1864 remains the most famous application of this concept, that was not the first time that this idea was implemented. Sherman's month-long, 120-mile march from Vicksburg to Meridian, Mississippi, and back, that commenced on Feb. 3, 1864, gave birth to this new form of warfare.

The ``raiding army'' was not encumbered with the task of occupying enemy territory. It did not have to concern itself with protecting long, exposed supply lines and garrisons, since it was marching light, and living largely off the land. Because it was an army, numbering tens of thousands of men, including corps of engineers, it could wreak enormous damage on the enemy's economy, unlike the small cavalry raiding parties, led by the Confederacy's Nathan Bedford Forrest. And, as an army, operating in close coordination with other forces in its theater, it had the capability to effectively combat any Confederate force, no matter what its size, that might be thrown at it. Multiple pathways of advance and retreat were mapped out in advance, complemented by on-march feints and deceptions, so as to keep the enemy in the dark as to the actual, intended (and ever-evolving) objectives. In his final report to General Halleck about the Meridian raid, Sherman said:

``My movement to Meridian stampeded all Alabama. [General Leonidas] Polk retreated across the Tombigbee and left me to break railroads and smash things at pleasure.... Weather and everything favored me ... [and] the enemy spared me battle.... Our loss was trifling, and ... we broke ... a full hundred miles of railroad at and around Meridian.... We lived off the country and made a swath of desolation 50 miles broad across the State of Mississippi.... The destruction of Meridian makes it simply impossible for the enemy to risk anything but light cavalry this side of Pearl River....''[fn19]

In his report to Grant, Sherman wrote:

``For five days, ten thousand of our men worked hard and with a will, in that work of destruction, with axes, sledges, crowbars, clawbars, and with fire, and I have no hesitation in pronouncing the work well done. Meridian with its Depots, Storehouses, Arsenals, offices, Hospitals, Hotels, and Cantonments, no longer exists.'' [fn20]

A Union soldier on the raid wrote:

``Sherman's army left fire and famine in its track. The country was one lurid blaze of fire, burning cotton gins and deserted buildings were seen on every hand.''[fn21]

As for the impact of the Meridian Raid on the Confederate population, that can best be viewed from the vantage point of a report which Sherman made to General Halleck later that year, after his March to the Sea:

``I think our campaign of the last month, as well as every step I take from this point northward, is as much a direct attack upon Lee's army as though we were operating within the sound of his artillery.... I attach more importance to these deep incisions into the enemy's country, because this war differs from European wars [of the old style] in this particular: we are not only fighting hostile armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war as well as their organised armies. I know that this recent movement of mine through Georgia has had a wonderful effect in this respect. Thousands who had been deceived by their lying newspapers to believe that we were being whipped all the time now realise the truth, and have no appetite for a repetition....''[fn22]

Nor should the indirect effects of these raids on the soldiers in the Confederate Army be underestimated. Many soldiers, upon hearing of the devastation wrought in their home locales, simply deserted in despair. Others left to commence the process of ``rebuilding on the homefront.'' The many soldiers who remained on the ``front lines'' fought with less resolve and élan, than had typified Confederate efforts during the first several years of the war.

At the close of 1863, Grant, acting in his capacity as the head of the Union's Western Armies, submitted a plan to General-in-Chief Halleck, which mandated the launching of three simultaneous, coordinated large-scale raids through Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina, that were designed to paralyze and destroy the Confederacy (see Map 2[fn23]):

``...I take the liberty of suggesting a plan of campaign that I think will go far towards breaking down the rebellion before spring.... It seems to me that the move would secure the entire States of Alabama and Mississippi and part of Georgia, or force Lee to abandon Virginia and North Carolina. Without his force the enemy have not got army enough to resist the army I can take....''[fn24]

It is important to note, that Grant and Sherman developed their famous ``Hammer-and-Anvil'' strategy, only after Halleck had rejected Grant's ``Triple Raid'' plan, which (most likely) would have ended the Confederacy sooner--and with far less bloodshed--than ultimately occurred in 1864 and 1865. Grant sought to capitalize on the Union's control of the high seas, to stage raids into the interior of the South, that would render it militarily and economically dysfunctional. Grant believed that the most efficient way to dislodge Robert E. Lee from Northern Virginia, and to thereby end his implied threat to Washington, D.C., was to separate Lee from his base of operations in Richmond, Virginia by cutting off the railroads and supply lines that flowed into Richmond from the south. Lee, himself, acknowledged this extreme vulnerability, in a letter he wrote in April 1864, only weeks before Grant and Sherman launched their coordinated offensive:

``With our present supplies on hand, the interruption of the trains on the southern [rail]roads would cause the abandonment of Virginia.''[fn25]

Grant argued that his three-pronged strategy would prevent ``the enemy from [launching] campaigns of their own choosing, and for which they are prepared, and compel them to adopt to new lines of operations never expected to become necessary.'' The Union armies in North Carolina would be in ``new fields, where they could partially live upon the country and would reduce the stores of the enemy. (This raid) would cause thousands of North Carolina troops to desert and return to their homes. It would give us possession of many negroes who are now indirectly aiding the rebellion, and effectively blockade Wilmington, the port now of more value to the enemy than all of the balance of their sea coast.''[fn26]

Whereas the unimaginative Halleck had been unsuccessful in his efforts to veto Grant's earlier unorthodox flanking campaign against Vicksburg, this time he did successfully veto Grant's proposal. The premises which Halleck outlined in his letter of rejection to Grant, represented precisely the kind of linear thinking, which Grant and Sherman had both recognized, could only condemn the Union to defeat. Halleck stated: ``The overthrow of Lee's army'' was ``the object of operations'' in Virginia, because ``we cannot take Richmond ... till we destroy or disperse that army.'' There could be ``but little progress'' in the Virginia theater ``till that army was broken or destroyed.'' Therefore, ``we should attack between Washington and Richmond, on our shortest line of supplies, and in such a position that we can combine our whole force.''[fn27]

Thus, Grant's decision to combat Lee in Virginia, on a north-south line of approach, while Sherman marched on Atlanta, was a decision that was imposed upon him, by the grim political realities and fears that gripped political/military leadership circles in Washington, D.C. This is of particular interest to note, when one considers the way in which Grant has come to be maligned as a ``head-on,'' ``frontal-assault,'' ``casualties are no object,'' ``bull-in-a-china shop,'' ``unimaginative,'' ``one-dimensional attack dog,'' commander in the years since he defeated the Confederacy.

Having submitted his three-pronged plan to Halleck for ``breaking down the rebellion before spring,'' Grant proceeded to implement his conspiracy to create a unified command. Accordingly, he dispatched Assistant Secretary of War Charles A. Dana, who was then attached to his headquarters, to Washington, D.C. in December, on an important diplomatic/lobbying mission. Grant instructed Dana to talk to the President, Secretary of War Stanton, and General-in-Chief Halleck about appointing either Gerneral Sherman, or General William F. ``Baldy'' Smith (another close collaborator of Grant's) to head the largest Union Army, the Army of the Potomac. General Meade, of aforementioned Gettysburg fame, was its commander at the time.

While Grant proved unsuccessful in this particular venture, two important observations are worth noting about this undertaking. First, Grant and Sherman, unlike the overwhelming majority of other leading Union officers, were engaged in a campaign to unify the command apparatus, and win the entire war.

Second, as a by-product, in part, of this lobbying effort, a chain of events was set into motion, whereby a bill was passed in the House of Representatives on Feb. 1, 1864, that revived the rank of lieutenant general. Not since George Washington, had an officer held the rank of lieutenant general in the U.S. Army.

Congressman Elihu B. Washburne of Illinois, whom Grant knew well, having formerly resided in his district, introduced the relevant enabling legislation. Grant's chief-of-staff, General John Rawlins, and Assistant Secretary of War Dana, were also good friends and political allies of the influential Washburne.

It was by means of this promotion to ``George Washington's rank,'' that Grant was finally able to achieve his (and Lincoln's) objective of a fully unified command. As the highest ranking officer in the Army, he assumed the responsibilities of General-in-Chief, overseeing the totality of military operations in the United States. He delegated to Sherman the responsibility for the Atlanta campaign--the ``hammer'' of his ``hammer-and-anvil strategy'--while he deployed himself with the Army of the Potomac so as to implement his strategy of ``continuous engagement'' against Lee's Army of Northern Virginia--thereby, making himself the ``anvil.''

Waging `Enlightened War'

Sherman was jubilant at Grant's ascendancy. It signalled both the advent of a unified command, and the application of war-winning strategy. In his letter to General Grant in early April 1864, Sherman joyfully wrote, ``From (your) map I see all, and glad I am that there are minds now in Washington able to devise; and for my part, if we can keep our counsels, I believe I have the men and ability to march square up to the position assigned to me and to hold it....'' [fn28] And on April 10, in another letter to Grant, Sherman wrote, ``Your two letters of April 4th are now before me and afford me infinite satisfaction. That we are now all to act on a common plan on a common center, looks like enlightened war'' (emphasis added).[fn29]

President Lincoln was equally delighted--if not more so. Not long after naming Grant General-in-Chief, he said:

``Grant is the first general I have had. You know how it has been with all the rest. As soon as I put a man in command of the army, he'd come to me with a plan of campaign and about as much as say, `Now, I don't believe I can do it, but if you say so, I'll try it on,' and so put the responsibility of success or failure on me. They all wanted me to be the General. Now, it isn't so with Grant. He hasn't told me what his plans are. I don't know and I don't want to know. I am glad to find a man that can go ahead without me. When any of the rest set out on a campaign, they would look over matters and pick out some one thing they were short of and they knew I couldn't give 'em and tell me they couldn't hope to win unless they had it; and it was most generally cavalry.

``Now, when Grant took hold, I was waiting to see what his pet impossibility would be, and I reckoned it would be cavalry, of course, for we hadn't horses enough to mount what men we had. There were fifteen thousand or thereabouts up near Harper's Ferry and no horses to put them on. Well, the other day, Grant sends to me about those very men, just as I expected; but what he wanted to know was whether he could make infantry of them or disband 'em. He doesn't ask impossibilities of me, and he's the first general I have had that didn't.''[fn30]

Sherman, when contrasting Lee unfavorably to Grant after the war, observed:

``[Lee] never rose to the grand problem which involved a continent and future generations. His Virginia was to him the world. He stood at the front porch battling with the flames whilst the kitchen and house were burning, sure in the end to consume the whole.... Grant's `strategy' embraced a continent, Lee's a small State; Grant's `logistics' were to supply and transport armies thousands of miles, where Lee was limited to hundreds.''[fn31]

It is hard to imagine a closer, more fruitful, intellectually unified, working relationship, than the one that existed between Grant and Sherman. Sherman wrote to his wife Ellen at the end of 1863 that, ``with Grant I will undertake anything in reason.''[fn32] To his brother John, he wrote on Dec. 30, 1863, that he considered Grant to be ``a second self.''[fn33] Upon his promotion to lieutenant general, Grant wrote to Sherman to express ``thanks to you [Sherman] and [Gen.] McPherson as THE MEN to whom, above all others, I feel indebted for whatever I have had of success.''[fn34]

Grant: Embodiment of `Entschlossenheit'

The 19th-century Prussian military reformer Clausewitz, whose writings had a profound impact on the development of the U.S. military, spoke of the paramount importance of the development of the quality of ``Entschlossenheit'' in a military commander. While there is no exact English word that precisely encompasses this concept, ``resolute decisiveness'' or ``unflinching resolve,'' especially in the face of a sea of adversity, convey at least some meaningful sense of this term.

Sherman knew Grant--his ``second self''--represented nothing, if not Entschlossenheit. Moreover, he recognized that it was through his association with Grant, that he was able to access this quality in himself. In writing to Grant on one occasion, he said, ``...[W]hile you have completed your best preparations you go to battle without hesitation ... no doubts, no reserve; and I tell you that it was this, that made me act with confidence. I knew wherever I was that you thought of me, and that if I got in a tight place you would come--if alive'' (emphasis added).[fn35] In responding to Grant's letter of thanks and gratitude, after his promotion to the rank of lieutenant general, Sherman wrote:

``You do yourself injustice and us too much honor ... at Donelson [Grant's victory at Fort Donelson, Tenn. in February 1862, the first major Union victory of the war].... You illustrated your whole character. I was not near, and General McPherson in too subordinate a capacity to influence you. Until you won Donelson, I confess I was almost cowed by ... anarchical elements.... I believe you are as brave, patriotic, and just as the great prototype [George] Washington; but the chief characteristic is the simple faith in success you have always manifested.... This faith gave you victory at Shiloh and Vicksburg ... and at Chattanooga--no doubts, no reserves.... My only points of doubt were in your knowledge of grand strategy and of books of science and history, but I confess your common-sense seems to have supplied all this.''[fn36]

Earlier, in October 1864, while visiting with Brigadier General James H. Wilson, Sherman contrasted his generalship with Grant's:

``Wilson, I am a damn sight smarter than Grant. I know a great deal more about organization, supply, and administration, and about everything else than he does. But I tell you where he beats me, and where he beats the world. He don't care a damn for what the enemy does out of his sight, but it scares me like hell.... I am more nervous than he is, I am more likely to change my orders, or to countermarch my command than he is. He uses such information as he has, according to his best judgment. He issues orders and does his level best to carry them out without much reference to what is going on about him. And, so far, experience seems to have fully justified.''[fn37]

Grant speaks of these matters of military history and judgment, as if in dialogue with Sherman, when he observes:

``Some of our generals failed because they worked out everything by rule. They knew what Frederick did at one place, and Napoleon at another. They were always thinking about what Napoleon would do. Unfortunately for their plans, the rebels would be thinking about something else. I don't underrate the value of military knowledge, but if men make war in slavish observances to rules, they will fail. No rules will apply to conditions of war as different as those which exist in Europe and America. Consequently, while our generals were working out problems of an ideal character, problems that would have looked well on a blackboard, practical facts were neglected. To that extent I consider remembrances of old campaigns a disadvantage. Even Napoleon showed that, for my impression, that his first success came because he made war in his own way, and not in imitation of others. War is progressive.''[fn38]

At no time was the serenity and fortitude that was born of Grant's independence of judgment more in evidence, than on May 6, 1864, in the chaos that raged in the Wilderness two days into Grant's campaign against Lee (see Map 3). Grant had already absorbed extraordinarily heavy casualties. His subordinates trembled with fear, as the grim thoughts of defeats that prior Union commanders Pope, Burnside, Hooker, and Meade had sustained in the same locale, raced through their heads. General Horace Porter, one of Grant's subordinates recounted that, on that tumultuous May evening, a high-ranking officer approached General Grant, exclaiming, excitedly:

``|`General Grant, this is a crisis that cannot be looked upon too seriously. I know Lee's methods well by past experience; he will throw his whole army between us and the Rapidan [River], and cut us off completely from our communications.' The General rose to his feet, took his cigar out of his mouth, turned to the officer, and replied, with a degree of animation which he seldom manifested: ``Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what we are going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do.'|''[fn39]

The `Supreme Moment'

For Sherman, Grant's resolve and action at this critical juncture constituted the ``supreme moment'' in Grant's life:

``Undismayed, with a full comprehension of the importance of the work in which he was engaged, feeling as keen a sympathy for his dead and wounded as anyone, and without stopping to count his numbers, he gave his orders calmly, specifically and absolutely: `Forward to Spotsylvania.'|''[fn40]

The effect of Grant's decision to continue the advance against Lee, as it radiated through the ranks of the bloodied and embattled soldiers in the ranks of his Army of the Potomac, was positively electric. One veteran of that historic campaign reported the scene as follows:

``At the Chancellorsville House, as we turned to the right [to the continued attack against Lee], instantly all of us heaved a sigh of relief. We marched free. The men began to sing. The enlisted men understood the flanking movement. That night we were happy.''[fn41]

In his Memoirs, Grant traces his capacity to make such bold, ``supreme'' decisions to an insight that he developed into the workings of his own mind, in the context of the Battle of Salt River, Missouri, in November 1861--the most significant battle that was never fought in the War of the Rebellion.

``As we approached the brow of the hill from which it was expected we could see [the Confederate commander] Harris's camp, and possibly find his men ready formed to meet us, my heart kept getting higher and higher until it felt to me as though it was in my throat. I would have given anything then to have been back in Illinois, but I had not the moral courage to halt and consider what to do; I kept right on. When we reached a point from which the valley below was in full view I halted. The place where Harris had been encamped a few days before was still there and the marks of a recent encampment were plainly visible, but the troops were gone. My heart resumed its place. It occurred to me at once that Harris had been as much afraid of me as I had been of him. This was a view of the question I had never taken before; but was one I never forgot afterwards. From that event to the close of the war, I never experienced trepidation upon confronting the enemy, though I always felt more or less anxiety. I never forgot that he had as much reason to fear my forces as I had his.''[fn42]

Grant's extraordinary quality of Entschlossenheit was evident not only to Sherman, but to all who worked with him. One of Grant's officers during the Vicksburg campaign, Badeau, wrote of this quality, with respect to that pivotal campaign.

``So Grant was alone; his most trusted subordinates besought him to change his plans, while his superiors were astounded at his temerity and strove to interfere. Soldiers of reputation and civilians in high places condemned, in advance, a campaign that seemed to them as hopeless as it was unprecedented. If he failed the country would concur with the Government and the Generals. Grant knew all this, and appreciated his danger, but was as invulnerable to the apprehensions of ambition as to the entreaties of friendship, or the anxieties even of patriotism. That quiet confidence in himself which never forsook him, and which amounted indeed almost to a feeling of fate, was uninterrupted. Having once determined in a matter that required irreversible decision he never reversed, nor even misgave, but was steadily loyal to himself and his plans. This absolute and implicit faith was, however, as far as possible from conceit or enthusiasm; it was simply a consciousness or conviction, rather, which brought the very strength it believed in; which was itself strength, and which inspired others with a trust in him, because he was able thus to trust himself.''[fn43]

Colonel Bruce addressed this quality in Grant as follows.

``It has been said more then once that General Grant had not the gift of imagination. It is true that he had not that kind of imagination that sees an enemy where none exists; that multiplies by five the numbers of those who happen to be in his front; that discovers obstacles impossible to overcome whenever there is a necessity to act; that sees the road open and the way clear to victory when the foe is far away and not threatening; that conjures up, on his near approach, a multitude of impossible movements being made on the flanks and on the rear; that sets the brain of a commander into a whirl of doubt and uncertainty which generally ends in a hasty retreat or ignominious defeat.... It was not through knowledge gained from books but through the gift of an historic imagination in part that he was enabled to see the true character of the great conflict in which he was engaged, its relation to the past and its bearing on the future; that enabled him to take in at a glance the whole field of the war, to form a correct opinion of every suggested and possible strategic campaign, their logical order and sequence, their relative value and the interdependence of the one upon the another; and finally at Appomattox, the moment Lee let drop his flag, to see that the end had come and the whole Southland was once more a part of a common country and her conquered soldiers were again his countrymen.''[fn44]

Securing the Union with Lincoln's Reelection

Without this dimension of Entschlossenheit, which was nurtured, shared, and reinforced in Grant, Sherman, and Lincoln, by virtue of their close collaboration, the Union would never have survived. For, though Sherman trembled with excitement at the prospect of waging ``enlightened war,'' and Lincoln had finally found himself a true General, the road to victory was anything but easy, or easy to envison.

Prospects for victory appeared so dim, months after the commencement of the ``Hammer and Anvil'' during the first week of May 1864, that Lincoln drafted a ``concession speech'' on Aug. 23, 1864, anticipating that he would lose the general election in November.

Executive Mansion, Washington, Aug. 23, 1864.

``This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be reelected. Then it will be my duty to so cooperate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterwards.

A. Lincoln[fn45]

What had transpired during those ``some days past,'' that prompted Lincoln to write his ``concession speech'' on Aug. 23, seal it, and have all of the members of his Cabinet countersign it at their meeting that day, even as they remained unwitting of the contents of the envelope to which they had just affixed their signatures?

Sherman and Grant had individually and jointly made significant progress since the commencement of their joint campaign on May 4. By executing a brilliant series of flanking maneuvers in his advance from Tennessee, Sherman had forced his Confederate opposition to retreat all the way back into the confines of Atlanta. On July 19, Jefferson Davis was sufficiently unnerved to replace General Joseph Johnston with the more ``offensive-minded'' General John Hood. After several fierce battles around Atlanta, Hood retired into Atlanta, and Sherman laid effective seige to the city early in August.

Grant, meanwhile, had engaged Lee in a virtually continuous campaign of combat, affording him no opportunity to dispatch troops to reinforce Atlanta against Sherman and forcing Lee to fall back toward Richmond.

While, militarily, they had made significant progress, politically, Sherman, Grant, and Lincoln had little, if anything, to show for their efforts. Just because Sherman had put Atlanta under siege, did not mean that this vital city would ultimately--let alone in a timely fashion--fall into Union hands. And while Grant had inflicted heavy casualties on Lee, as he denied the Southern commander room to maneuver, he himself, had absorbed far greater losses. The fact that the Union could sustain proportionately far greater manpower and material losses than the Confederacy, due to its vastly superior manpower and industrial base, did not make Grant's casualties any more politically palatable or sustainable.

It was in this context, that political havoc against the Lincoln reelection prospects unfolded. A mere cursory review of a handful of representative developments in the political, economic, and military spheres in July and August 1864 suffices to provide a picture of the magnitude and scope of operations that threatened Lincoln, his Presidential reelection campaign, and the survival of the Union.


In an effort to force Grant to divide his forces, and diminish his strength of attack against the main body of the Confederate army and Richmond, Lee dispatched General Jubal Early and 18,000 men on a campaign north through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, that would then veer east, in order to threaten Washington, D.C. (see Map 4). Early's maneuver succeeded in unleashing a degree of panic, and redeployment on the part of Grant, that was much to Lee's liking. By the first week of July, Early was within sight of the Union's capital, and panicked denizens were evacuating in droves. As dawn broke on July 12, Lincoln rose early, and ... ``despite a warning from [Secretary of War] Stanton that an assassination plot was afoot, rode with [Secretary of State] Seward to visit several of the fortifications out on the rim of town, believing that the sight of him and the Secretary of State, unfled and on hand to face the crisis unperturbed, would help reduce the panic in the streets through which their carriage passed.''[fn46]

As Lincoln ascended to the parapet of Fort Stevens, so as to survey the situation, a bullet from a Confederate sniper dropped a Union officer within three feet of him! Lincoln was hustled below and a Union counterattack ultimately drove the Confederates off--but the damage had already been done, politically.

One week later, the London Times declared, ``The Confederacy is more formidable than ever.''[fn47] The New York World on its part asked its readers, ``Who shall revive the withered hopes that bloomed on the opening of Grant's campaign?''[fn48]


The wild fluctuations in the value of gold, did nothing to reassure widely varied financial interests in the Union about Lincoln's future. ``Gold opened the year at 152 on the New York market. By April, it had risen to 175, by mid-June to 197, and by the end of the month, to an astronomical 250. Reassurances from money men that the dollar was ``settling down', brought the wry response that it was ``settling down out of sight.'' Sure enough, on July 11, as Early descended on Washington, gold soared to 285, reducing the value of the paper dollar to forty cents''![fn49]

To compound these problems, Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon Chase, resigned his post during the last week of June.


When Lincoln dispatched Greeley to investigate the existance and/or credentials of the alleged Confederate ``peace emissaries'' who were operating out of Canada, Greeley ascertained that the ``emissaries'' whose ``peace mission'' he had so ostentatiously promoted, in fact, had no ``credentials,'' or authorization to do anything whatsoever on behalf of the Confederate government. Still, the Copperhead press had a field day in the North claiming that, through Greeley, Lincoln had rejected viable proposals for ending the bloodshed.

Draft Riots

It was thereafter, that Lincoln penned the aforementioned ``concession speech'' of August 23, 1864.

The Fall of Atlanta

What ``united the North as nothing since the firing on Fort Sumter has hitherto done,'' was not the obscene `Peace Commission' which Lincoln categorically rejected--it was Sherman's capture of Atlanta on Sept. 2. With that dramatic victory, the Hammer-and-Anvil Campaign had at long-last produced spectacular results, with war-winning implications. While there was still much intensive campaigning to be done, the basis for a victory for Lincoln and his program in the November election had been established.

Lincoln went on to win reelection, securing just over 55%, with the 2,203,831 votes that were cast for him. His electoral vote victory was immense--212 to McClellan's 21 that came from the states of Delaware, New Jersey, and Kentucky that he carried.

Yet, Lincoln's margin of victory was not quite so overwhelming as it appeared to be at first glance. ``Connecticut for example, was carried by a mere 2,000, and New York by fewer than 7,000, both as a result of military ballots, which went overwhelmingly for Lincoln here, as elsewhere. Without these two states, plus four others whose soldier-voters swung the balance--Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland, and Indiana---he would have lost the election.''[fn61]

So, it was not only the military victories of Grant and Sherman, but their soldiers as voting citizens, and their officers as stump speakers, that tipped the balance in favor of Lincoln and the Union.

Two nights after his victory, Lincoln spoke both to his contemporaries and future generations, as he said of the election:

``The strife of election is but human nature practically applied to the facts of the case. What has occurred in this case must ever recur in similar cases. Human nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the man of this, we shall have as weak and strong, as silly and wise, as bad and as good. Let us therefore study the incidents of this, as philosophy to learn wisdom from, and none of them as wrongs to be revenged'' (emphasis added).[fn62]

Can our nation's leaders and people heed Lincoln's admonition and, by studying these incidents, ``as philosophy to learn wisdom from,'' find the leadership qualties within themselves needed to solve the civilization-threatening problems and dangers, that confront the United States today? It is only as students of Grant, Sherman, Lincoln, and LaRouche, that we can, with reason, expect to become masters of today's crises, let alone teachers of future generations.


1. J.F.C. Fuller, Grant and Lee--A Study in Personality and Generalship, p. 207

2. Archer Jones and Herman Hattaway, How the North Won--A Military History of the Civil War, p. 467

3. Ibid., p. 468

4. General William T. Sherman, Memoirs, p. 335

5. Ibid., pp. 333-334

6. Ibid., p. 334

7. J.F.C. Fuller, The Generalship of Ulysses S. Grant, p. 142

8. Ibid., p. 143

9. Op. cit., Sherman, pp. 338-341

10. Ibid., pp. 343-343

11. Charles Edmund Vetter, Sherman, Merchant of Terror, Advocate of Peace, p. 66

12. Ibid.

13.Shelby Foote, The Civil War--A Narrative from Fredericksburg to Meridian, p. 332

14. Ibid.

15. Archer Jones, Civil War Command and Strategy--The Process of Victory and Defeat, Letter from Lee to his wife, Spring, 1863

16. Op. cit., Fuller, Generalship, p. 305

17. Op. cit., Foote, The Civil War--Red River to Appomattox,p. 102

18. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 6, p. 500

19. Op. cit., Vetter, p. 183

20. Ibid., p. 182

21. Ibid.

22. B.H. Liddell-Hart, Sherman. Soldier, Realist, American, p. 358

23. Op. cit., Jones, p. 293 (diagram)

24. Op. cit., Fuller, Grant and Lee, p. 206

25. Herman Hattaway & Archer Jones, How the North Won, p. 514

26. Ibid., p. 513

27. Ibid., pp. 513-514

28. Op. cit., Fuller, p. 208

29. Ibid., p. 208

30. Ibid., p. 89

31. Edward H. Bonekemper III, How Robert E. Lee Lost the Civil War, p. 147

32. Op. cit., Vetter, p. 175

33. Ibid.

34. Ibid., p. 188

35. Ibid., p. 121

36. Ibid., pp. 188-189

37. Ibid., p. 119

38. Op. cit., Fuller, p. 82

39. Ibid., p. 77

40. Ibid., p. 92

41. Ibid., p. 92

42. Ibid., pp. 85-86

43. Ibid., pp. 87-88

44. Ibid., pp. 245-246

45. Op. cit., Foote, p. 550

46. Ibid., p. 458

47. Ibid., p. 461

48. Ibid.

49. Ibid.

50. Ibid., p. 464

51. Ibid., p. 465

52. Ibid., p. 466

53. Ibid., p. 549

54. George Fort Milton, Abraham Lincoln and the Fifth Column, p. 211

55. Ibid., p. 213

56. J.C. Randall and David Donald, The Civil War and Reconstruction, p. 473

57. Ibid.

58. Ibid., p. 475

59. Op. cit., Foote, pp. 549-550

60. Ibid., p. 550

61. Ibid., p. 625

62. Ibid., p. 626

Top of Page American System Site Map Overview PageHome Page

The preceding article is a rough version of the article that appeared in The American Almanac. It is made available here with the permission of The New Federalist Newspaper. Any use of, or quotations from, this article must attribute them to The New Federalist, and The American Almanac

Publications and Subscriptions for sale. See: Publications and Subscriptions

Readings from the American Almanac. Contact us at: