Ulysses S. Grant was a simple man who changed the face of the earth. His ideals and theories on war have changed the way we look at war. His strategies and tactics changed the way in which wars were fought. Over the short course of his life, Ulysses S. Grant changed war. His tactics have since been used in all the great wars from WWI onwards.
The term “civil war” may seem oxymoronic but it actually is, by definition, a war between citizens of the same country, usually resulting bloody infighting and disastrous losses to each side. The American civil war was no exception. Fought from 1861 to 1865, it was the bloodiest conflict in American history. Beginning with Republican president Abraham Lincoln attempting to end slavery in the United States, when his bill was passed seven southern states with cotton based economies formed their own confederacy. The Republicans declared that this was illegal. Both sides began to prepare for war. Hostilities finally began when the Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter, an important fort held by Union troops. Lincoln called for all states to supply soldiers to retake the fort. Subsequently, four more states joined the Confederacy; bring their total to eleven states. Fighting back, the Union soon controlled the Border States and set up a naval blockade, which acted to severely cripple the Confederates economy. In autumn 1862, The Confederate campaign in Maryland, resulted in a complete Confederate retreat from the area. To the west, the Union had decimated the Confederate river navy and much of their western armies. Soon after Confederate General Robert E. Lee was defeated at the Battle of Gettysburg. Numerous western victories resulted in Ulysses S. Grant being given full control of the Union troops in 1864. After that, General William T. Sherman marched along the western front destroying Confederate infrastructure and troops. This, along with other victories, allowed the Union troops to begin marching on Richmond, the Confederate capital. This lead to General Lee’s final surrender and victory to Union troops.
Abraham Lincoln was a self-educated student of law who became the sixteenth president of the United States of America. His election was the cause for seven southern states to leave the United States and form the Confederacy. It is wildly believed his disagreement with slavery and the use of slaves was the cause for the seven states to break away. He attempted numerous times, unsuccessfully, to use diplomacy to reunite the Confederates with the Union. Eventually he could see no other remedy than war. During the war he stopped the European states from trading with Confederate states. Lincoln was very involved in the war effort, He set up the naval blockade that stopped the Confederates form trading and was influential in selecting the Unions top general’s. He tried numerous times to take Richmond, with numerous different generals till eventually Ulysses S. Grant was placed in control and succeeded. Lincoln loved Ulysses’ brilliant new age tactics. However on some occasions Lincoln would disagree with Ulysses’ theories on “total war”, the idea that during war all peoples of a country are involved rather than just the soldiers, and stop Ulysses’ from attacking farms and residential areas. Politically, Lincoln pitted his enemies against each other and appealing to the American public with his oratory powers. His Gettysburg address became the single most quoted speech in American history, mainly due to its exemplification of the American principles such as nationalism, republicanism, equal rights, liberty and democracy. At the close of the war Lincoln had planned to rebuild the country back to its former state and to ease in laws of equal rights. However, he was assassinated soon after the end of the war, before he was able to place any of his laws into action.
A soldier his entire younger life,