Review: Grant’s Lieutenants: From Cairo to Vicksburg

by James Durney on October 14, 2009 · 1 comment

Grant’s Lieutenants: From Cairo to Vicksburg (Modern War Studies)
by Steven E. Woodworth

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas; 1st edition, edition (July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700611274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700611270

grantslieutenantsfromcairotovicksburgwoodworthSteven Woodworth has an excellent reputation as both author and editor.  He has the ability to attract people, who can contribute excellent word portraits in about 20 pages.  The format of the genre precludes an in-depth study but provides a great introduction, enjoyable reading or an excellent review.  That the eleven articles manage to present an entertaining and insightful look is a credit to the editor and the authors.  The time from Cairo to Vicksburg was difficult for Grant.  This is not the great general that is winning the war.  Starting as an obscure brigadier general, he rises to prominence overcoming numerous problems.

The selection of lieutenants is critical, Sherman of course.  Terry Winschel contributes the essay on John A. McClernand, one of Grant’s first real problems.  Lesley Gordon handles the failed relationship between Grant and Rosecrans in a fair but pro Grant presentation.  Benjamin Franklin Cooling covers Charles Ferguson Smith, Grant’s old commander and friend.  Grant was always ill at ease commanding Smith.  The affection and esteem Grant had for him is well documented.  Earl Hess did Peter Osterhaus and the ethnic complications these generals and their units introduced to command.  Both William and Lewis Wallace appear, with James McPherson and Grandville Dodge.  Admiral Potter and Foote get equal status with the generals, producing a well-balanced look at the important lieutenants during this time.

This can be a sit and read book or a pick up and read an essay book, either is informative and fun.  This works equally well as a read alone or read in conjunction with the second book in the series.  I read this book over a couple of months as a series of essays.  The quality of the work is consistent, fully footnoted and a List of Contributors provides the reader with information about the authors.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Naim Peress October 15, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Well, we had Lee and his Lieutenants for such a long time. Finally, Grant’s subordinates can get a spotlight.

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