Gil Gutknecht: He wins because he fights

Historians tell us that the War Department didn’t have much respect for him. They told the president that he drank too much. He was reckless. He was too willing to accept large numbers of casualties. Establishment Republicans worried aloud that Grant’s approach would lead to military and political disaster. When Lincoln was asked why he chose the diminutive Ulysses Grant to command the Union Forces, he said that he could not spare him “because he fights.”

Lincoln had more than a stomach full of the resume’ rich Generals who looked the part. The ones who said the right things, who came from the right families and graduated near the top of their class at West Point. They were risk averse. They dawdled while Confederate Generals with smaller armies out maneuvered them. Grant had mud on his boots and graduated in the middle of his class. But, he understood what needed to be done to win the war.


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