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Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian is a comprehensive, multi-theater, war-long comparison of the command skills of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. Written by Edward H. Bonekemper III, Grant and Lee clarifies the impact both generals had on the outcome of the Civil Warnamely, the assistance that Lee provided to Grant by Lee's excessive casualties in Virginia, the consequent drain of Confederate resources from Grant's battlefronts, and Lee's refusal and delay of reinforcements to the combat areas where Grant was operating. The reader will be left astounded by the level of aggression both generals employed to secure victory for their respective causes, as Bonekemper demonstrates that Grant was a national general whose tactics were consistent with acheiving Union victory, whereas Lee's own priorities constantly undermined the Confederacy's chances of winning the war.
Building on detailed accounts of both generals' major campaigns and battles, this book provides a detailed comparison of the primary military and personal traits of the two men. That analysis supports the preface discussion and the chapter-by-chapter conclusions that Grant did what the North needed to do to win the war: be aggressive, eliminate enemy armies, and do so with minimal casualties (154,000), while Lee was too offensive for the undermanned Confederacy, suffered intolerable casualties (209,000), and allowed his obsession with the Commonwealth of Virginia to obscure the broader interests of the Confederacy. In addition, readers will find interest in the 18 highly detailed and revealing battle maps, as well as in a comprehensive set of appendices that describes the casualties incurred by each army, battle by battle.
Edward H. Bonekemper III, author of six Civil War books, is the former Book Review Editor of Civil War News and a former adjunct lecturer in military history at Muhlenberg College. He earned a B.A. cum laude in American history from Muhlenberg College, an M.A. in American history from Old Dominion University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
His prior Civil War books include Myth of the Lost Cause, Lincoln and Grant, Grant and Lee, McClellan and Failure, Incompetence and Worse, Ulysses S. Grant: A Victor, Not a Butcher, and How Robert E. Lee Lost the Civil War.
Bonekemper is a frequent speaker at Civil War Roundtables (Houston, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York, Washington, LA, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Scottsdale, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Wilmington, Brunswick, St. Louis, Pittsburgh) and other groups. He has been a guest speaker at the Smithsonian Institution ten times, the Chautauqua Institute, the Delta Queen, the Lincoln Group of Washington, and other prestigious organizations.
He served as a Federal Government attorney-manager for over 34 years, including 11 years on active duty with the U.S. Coast Guard. He is a retired Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.