The Friendship That Won the Civil War
A true story by Charles Flood.
There have been many books written about the Civil War, as well as about Ulysses S. Grant and about William T. Sherman. But this is the first volume about both men -- how well they worked together and understood each other. The author describes them “as brothers who always backed up one another”. When early in the war Grant considered resigning again, Sherman talked him out of it, even though Sherman likely would have moved up the chain of command. Grant, for his part, worked hard to insure that Sherman received the promotions he deserved. The author says, “Each saw in the other a friendly trusted partner who quickly grasped the others ideas and made it possible to implement them for their mutual benefit and for the success of the cause to which they were dedicated.”
Both men were West Point graduates, the two years older Sherman graduating before Grant. Grant saw action in the Mexican-American war in the 1850’s, though Sherman did not. Before the Civil War began, both resigned their commissions. Sherman, who wanted to earn his own fortune, resigned to become the manager of the San Francisco branch of a St. Louis bank. Grant resigned rather than be court martialed for drunkeness. Both were considered failures in the few years before the Civil War.
This remarkable story is very well written, describing in detail not only how well they worked together, but also how their battle plans were carried out. It also tells the political side of the story, where at times political considerations worked against battle plans.
I heartily recommend this book for those who love history. I found it to be a quick read, a page turner, if you will, and raced through it in three days.