Explores the friendships of Grant and Sherman, and Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and the struggles between McClellan and Lincoln, and Johnston and Davis.
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An engaging, insightful review of Civil War strategy as seen through the interactions of the conflict's top commanders. Using battlefield dispatches and biographical sketches, as well as a storyteller's instinct for dramatic moments, Glatthaar (History/University of Houston) probes the command dynamics in the Union and Confederacy, pairing Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson; Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan; Jefferson Davis and Joe Johnston; Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, and others in order to demonstrate that a meeting of minds at the top was essential to successful campaigns. At the beginning of the conflict, Lee was able to rout all Northern forces from Virginian soil largely because he had in Jackson a daring, independent battle commander, while both Lincoln and Davis suffered severe losses when their faith in, respectively, McClellan and Johnston proved ill- founded. Grant and Sherman proved as felicitous a combination as Lee and Jackson, battering their way through the Confederacy from the west along the Mississippi, then working in tandem to carve it up into smaller pieces in an effort to crush the rebellion once and for all. In the end, such superior teamwork--tapping individual temperaments to best advantage--carried the day, with the joining of Lincoln's political savvy and Grant's battlefield tenacity proving an unbeatable blend of talent and expertise. Colorful and compelling, with a rich mixture of psychological and logistical details: a skillful distillation of familiar faces and events through a fresh approach that should be of interest to tacticians as well as to those who view history as a patchwork of personalities. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Glatthaar follows his seminal Forged in Battle with this provocative study of high-level command structures in the Civil War. By 1861, warfare was too complex to be directed by a single individual in the style of Napoleon; political and military leaders needed to learn how to collaborate. Glatthaar's six case studies show that the process depended heavily on professional attitudes, especially the leaders' ability to understand one another's strengths and weaknesses. It was often a difficult task when dealing with statesmen and generals: witness the lack of cooperation between Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan, and on the Confederate side between Jefferson Davis and Joseph E. Johnston. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson for the Confederacy; Ulysses Grant, William Sherman and Admiral David Porter for the Union illustrate effective combinations, but they were all military men. Glatthaar calls the Lincoln-Grant team "the Ultimate Success" in a process still in the trial-and-error stage--and which, more than a century later, he notes, still involves large amounts of serendipity.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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