No announcement yet.

Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian

    I had finished reading this book a few weeks back, but hadn't had the time yet to post anything on it since I was in the middle of building cabinets and a countertop for our laundry room: Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian (9780313349713): Edward H. Bonekemper III: Books.

    The book does a great job in laying out its arguments and analysis, with a very detailed look at casualty statistics and the horrendous cost behind some of Lee's victories. What is extremely remarkable for me in this analysis is the extremely small number of casualties suffered by Grant out west.

    Bonekemper's theses include:

    1) Lee's style of warfare was too expensive for the South to sustain
    2) Lee, as the pre-eminent general of the Confederacy and former military advisor to Davis, was too myopic about the Eastern Theater
    3) Grant was a master of the operational and strategic art

    One flaw that finds itself throughout the book is Bonekemper's double standard in always faulting Lee for his subordinates' failings while sometimes giving Grant a pass for the same. Also, his side by side comparison at the end of the book labels Grant as a master of cavalry when the reality is that while Sheridan's use of the Cavalry Corps in the AoP was evolutionary, Grant's release of Sheridan at Spotsylvania severely hampered his operations and he left Sheridan idle along Totopotomoy Creek.

    Overall, the book is worth reading and presents some solid arguments, but one must maintain vigilance against him cooking the books too much against Lee.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3