What is your opinion of Ulysses S. Grant?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,013
SoCal
#31
I don't think Grant was doing too bad at the time in terms of popularity - but I'm sure people wanted to use any additional notoriety as a stepping stone to power, like they always used Grant.
Notoriety in what sense?

Garfield was the Stalwart / moderate compromise, right? Because they got 'Stalwart' Arthur as running mate... I guess that makes Chester Arthur the other favorite. Guiteau made that sort of “I'm am a Stalwart of all Stalwarts” statement because of this, didn't he? Or was he just... nuts? 😆
Yes, Garfield was a compromise candidate in 1880. However, he was neither a Stalwart nor a Half-Breed (Blaine's faction)--though he was closer to the Half-Breeds since he mostly relied on their delegates to win the 1880 GOP presidential nomination and since he was extremely close to Blaine after he was inaugurated as US President.

Arthur was chosen as Garfield's VP in order to get Stalwart support for the GOP ticket in 1880. Initially, the VP job was offered to another New York Stalwart--Levi Morton--but he declined and Arthur was the second choice for the VP job.

In 1888, Morton did in fact become Benjamin Harrison's VP pick. Unlike Garfield, though, Harrison survived his entire term and thus Morton never actually got the chance to be US President. Fun fact: Had Morton served as US President between 1881 and 1885 and still died in 1920, he would have had the longest presidential retirement in US history at that point in time. That record (or, more specifically, Morton's would-be record had he actually served as US President after Garfield's assassination) was only broken by Jimmy Carter in 2016 in real life.

Reading Chernow's book on Grant... but I found some reference to Julia's insistence online, just not the emphatic quote I remember reading...

“Grant’s wise decision not to run for a third term met with Julia’s sullen disappointment. Knowing his wife as well as he did, Grant kept the letter announcing his decision not to seek re-election a secret.

During Julia Grant’s eight-year tenure, the White House was restored to the center of Washington’s social life. Julia had succeeded in making it both a social center, as well as a comfortable home. Her last act was to prepare a luncheon for the incoming Rutherford and Lucy Hayes on Inauguration Day 1877. She sobbed like a child when she climbed into her carriage to leave. No one ever left more reluctantly than Julia Grant.” - Julia Grant's Bio on Genealogy Website
Thanks! I'll make sure to check that book out. :)
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,793
Sydney
#32
On Grant as a military commander , I honestly don't know what to think
Chattanooga was fought by nobody , the troops charged uphill without order to do so
the second wilderness was a mess , Spotsylvania was a day long butchery , cold harbor pure murder

one thing all successful commanders have which Grant had , was a complete coolness during a crisis
if he had a nervous breakdown , he would have it later when it didn't matter
Sherman who was a very good operational commander thought the world of Grant
all the general officers who knew him trusted him

his soldiers didn't worship him but they certainly respected him ,
they well knew that if Grant was there there would be hard unrelenting fighting
he would win because for him war was a business , the only one he was really good at

As a person he was very modest and unassuming , giving friendship and affection to those close to him
 
Feb 2019
772
Pennsylvania, US
#33
Notoriety in what sense?
The coverage of the world tour he and Julia took... you had mentioned the Orient may have loved him but maybe the US did not... And I said he wasn't doing too badly, and that the added world traveler notoriety didn't hurt either.

For a mere 500 bucks, you can own the vintage, leather bound books chronicling Grant's tour and experience the sensation of Grant's notoriety for yourself. ;) Just Take My Money Already Amazon... OR you can just get the current edition for $20. Choose wisely.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,013
SoCal
#34
The coverage of the world tour he and Julia took... you had mentioned the Orient may have loved him but maybe the US did not... And I said he wasn't doing too badly, and that the added world traveler notoriety didn't hurt either.
Thanks for clarifying this part. :)

For a mere 500 bucks, you can own the vintage, leather bound books chronicling Grant's tour and experience the sensation of Grant's notoriety for yourself. ;) Just Take My Money Already Amazon... OR you can just get the current edition for $20. Choose wisely.
Why waste a crazy amount of money on purchasing an old version of these books, though? The old version of these books should belong in museums.
 
Jan 2018
410
Sturgeon Lake Mn.
#35
For what its worth, I've never understood the high regard most have for Sherman. On what is it based? I've remarked before that he had a brilliant mind, he was a capable commander, a good leader, an able logistician and a loyal subordinate; but are wars really won by marching around the countryside tearing up railroads and killing livestock? A commander must fight the enemy and destroy his field force. Sherman avoided fighting when he could (probably because he wasn't very good at it) and he could "make Georgia howl" because Thomas destroyed the enemy enemy army.(?)
Sherman was a department commander with vast responsibilities. Sherman’s sending Thomas to fight Hood while Sherman got about other business was appropriate; Thomas was a very good man for that job and was given the veteran 4th and 23rd Corps to do the job as well as Sherman’s best cavalry commander, Wilson, and AJ Smith’s wandering portion of the Army of the Tennessee. Things worked out fine. Thomas’s victory was also Sherman’s.

Sherman brought ability, energy and drive to the job and given the vast Federal resources and the excellence of the armies in his department ability, energy and drive were more important than genius. Sherman could afford mistakes as long as he kept driving forward. Which he did.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,793
Sydney
#36
Sherman didn't make mistakes , he had the numbers on Johnston and used them ruthlessly
both were like fencers , Johnston , the weaker had to give ground to protect his army and keep it as a serious threat
he hoped to fall on part of the union army on the march ,
it nearly happened only once and , of all people , Hood got cold feet wasting the only chance
Johnston traded space for time and kept choosing strong defensive positions which had to be turned
Kenesaw mountain was when Sherman demonstrated that a straight assault was always one of his option
ultimately , Johnston was right , keeping the Army as a credible fighting force was all important
Sherman was delighted at Hood promotion of which Lee said "all of the lion , none of the fox"

sure enough , Sherman chew and spit Hood in quick order ,
paying him the ultimate insult by disregarding his movements as futile
 
Oct 2015
870
Virginia
#38
I would argue Sherman had little to do with the defeat of Hood. He was surprised by Hoods attacks, and did nothing to effect the battles of Peach Tree Creek, Bald Hill, Ezra Church or Jonesboro. And even when the opportunity to crush Hardee was pointed out to him by Thomas, he preferred to keep XIV corps tearing up useless railroad tracks rather than attacking the isolated rebels.

Sherman's orders were to "break up the Army of Tennessee" he didn't do it. He concentrated on taking the burnt out shell of Atlanta. To what end? When Hood moved against his communications, he couldn't catch him, got frustrated, left the task to Thomas and took off for the sea. Again to what end? What if Thomas had been defeated while 60,000 men were mucking around in Georgia? He was incredibly luck never to face an opponent like R E Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia! He might have suffered the fate of McClellan.
 
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Likes: Futurist

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,864
Iowa USA
#39
Sherman didn't make mistakes , he had the numbers on Johnston and used them ruthlessly
both were like fencers , Johnston , the weaker had to give ground to protect his army and keep it as a serious threat
he hoped to fall on part of the union army on the march ,
it nearly happened only once and , of all people , Hood got cold feet wasting the only chance
Johnston traded space for time and kept choosing strong defensive positions which had to be turned
Kenesaw mountain was when Sherman demonstrated that a straight assault was always one of his option
ultimately , Johnston was right , keeping the Army as a credible fighting force was all important
Sherman was delighted at Hood promotion of which Lee said "all of the lion , none of the fox"

sure enough , Sherman chew and spit Hood in quick order ,
paying him the ultimate insult by disregarding his movements as futile
The Grant memoir does go into some detail about Hood's advance towards Nashville. Though strategically futile, Hood's threat to Nashville prompted some criticism from the civilian leadership!
 
Likes: Futurist

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,793
Sydney
#40
" I would argue Sherman had little to do with the defeat of Hood. He was surprised by Hoods attacks, and did nothing to effect the battles of Peach Tree Creek, "

he was surprised because it was stupid and did pretty little because his corps commanders were in control ,
Logan repulsing an attack without reinforcements because he didn't need them
all of Hood "surprise attacks" failed without even affecting the Union army movements or dispositions