Fri. Jan 18th, 2019

12 Must-Read Books About U.S. Grant

#3 Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Volume Two: (Illustrated) by Ulysses S. Grant

Description of the book:

The second volume of Ulysses S. Grant’s autobiography contains detailed recollections of the later stages of the U.S. Civil War, including Grant’s assumption of command and General Lee’s famous declaration of surrender. Volume II begins with Ulysses S. Grant assuming his place as commander of the Chattanooga detachment of the Union Army. Early difficulties with supply lines are detailed, as the military sets about rebuilding railways to ensure the ultimate success of their campaign. Hereafter, we witness Grant’s activities as he gradually wore down the Confederate war machine, physically outmaneuvering the opposing army and gradually outmatching them for resources of men, arms and essential supplies. Grant’s immense devotion to his country, and his essential honesty – such as in downplaying the much-discussed final surrender of General Lee at the Appomattox Court House, is demonstrated at the conclusion of this volume. Declining to glorify war, Grant writes meditatively on the loss of life and destruction he beheld in his military roles. To a large extent this autobiography corroborates accounts by Grant’s associates that he was a methodical and moral person, able in his work and convinced of the righteous abolition of slavery. Chiefly, accounts of battle as it was in the nineteenth century characterize this memoir. First and foremost, Ulysses S. Grant was a military man with an intense interest in strategical movements and battle tactics. However, he also frequently recalls the personalities and views of his friends, colleagues and enemies in a manner which enlivens the book’s tone. Furthermore, we gain an impression of Grant as a family man, with a profound devotion to his wife and children. Together with U.S. Grant’s own recollections, which are detailed and comprehensive, we find in this edition appendices in the form of original correspondences sent and received regarding the Union and Confederate forces. At the time he authored his memoirs in the mid-1880s, Grant was determined in spite of illness to add to the burgeoning historical narrative as a reliable source. With this autobiography, it is indisputable that he achieves this goal.