Sunday, May 01, 2011

How the "Lost Cause" poisoned our history books

Ulysses S. Grant, the commanding general of the Union Army and the 18th president of the United States, would have been 189 years old last week--not long after the "official" opening of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, which will run through 2015.
Grant -- like George Washington and Dwight D. Eisenhower -- was both a professional warrior of a defining war and a twice-elected president. And like Washington and Eisenhower he dominated his era, which in his case encompassed both the Civil War and its aftermath, called Reconstruction, from 1862 (when he rocketed to fame with his defeat of Confederate forces at Fort Donelson) to 1876.
 Read full article here

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for the link to this article and thank you for your remembrance of, and respect for, General Grant. I am just catching up on all your posts now having just discovered your blog. The 150th Anniversary has renewed my interest in the Civil War first sparked by Ken Burns' documentary. I am currently immersed in reading as many books about the War as I can get my hands on, including McPherson's "Battle Cry of Freedom", Porter's "Campaigning with Grant", and Grant's own memoirs. As you stated in an earlier post, I too am drawn to reading about Grant.

I have deep admiration for Grant, and everything that I read about him reaffirms this admiration and my impression of him as a intelligent, thoughtful, and compassionate general and man. Did he make mistakes? Of course he did, but so did everyone else involved in this tragic war, and in many cases with far more devastating consequences. Overall Grant's actions are nothing but commendable for their fairness, mercy, and fidelity to the Union cause.

I am horrified to see the comments - on the Salon article and in many other places around the web - continuing to denigrate Grant with such blatantly ignorant, false, and hateful distortions of the truth. It makes me sad for the man and sad for America. I am thirty and I hope that other people in my generation, and younger generations, will be inspired by the 150th celebrations to learn more about Grant and the War as a whole, and to reinvigorate the respect and remembrance for everyone involved and the great sacrifices they made.

Please keep up the good work on your blog and if you have any advice for me or others interested in keeping the truth of the War alive, I would be grateful if you would share it.