Ulysses S. Grant, 1861-1864: His Rise from Obscurity to Military Greatness

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On May 3, 1861, Illinois Governor Richard Yates appointed a Mexican War veteran with Democratic sympathies and southern ties to be chief mustering officer at Camp Yates in Springfield. And so began Ulysses S. Grant’s reluctantly revived military career. Over the next three years, Grant would have a chance to display a myriad of talents few suspected, including a remarkable penchant for organization, decided skill at written communication and a quick understanding of military potential. By March 1864, Grant had risen to lieutenant general, a rank last held by George Washington.

This biography details the three years which saw Ulysses S. Grant’s extraordinary rise from mediocre shop clerk to general-in-chief of the U.S. Army. Beginning with Grant’s work at his family’s leather shop in Galena, Illinois, it records his re-entry into a military life as a volunteer from Illinois. Grant’s most spectacular campaigns, including Vicksburg and Chattanooga, are discussed in depth. Special emphasis is placed on events such as politicking, rumors and intrigue which took place between the various battles. Other topics include Grant’s personal qualities and background, his extraordinary good fortune and the general’s informal and unorthodox command style.

Grant was not a stereotypical warrior, and his true story was, in many respects, stranger than fiction. Moreover, Farina asks and answers, “What happened in between the battles?” Learn the true story about a hero who, going against America’s cultural grain, wasn’t perfect.

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