A Brief Comparison Of Civil War Generals: Robert E. Lee and U.S. Grant.

Essay by MaNwOoTHigh School, 12th gradeA-, February 2006

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The Civil War bred two of history's most brilliant military tacticians. Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee fought some of the most horrific battles known to men. Both men had lives before the Civil War engulfed the whole of each man. Grant and Lee possessed many remarkably similar traits and experiences that led each of them to becoming the heads of huge opposing armies. At the same time, however, each man had different worldviews and idiosyncrasies.

Grant was born on April twenty seventh in the year eighteen hundred twenty two. His name was not originally Ulysses S. Grant, however. He was to be named Hiram Ulysses after his grandfather. In 1839 he was appointed to West Point and four years later he graduated a Brevet Second Lieutenant. After a brief stay at home, he went to fight in the Mexican War. He participated in all of the major engagements of the war and received several rank increases.

His eventual rank would be Captain while he was stationed at Fort Humboldt in California. Oddly enough, in 1854 Grant resigned from the army so that he could spend more time with his wife and children.

After his successes in the Military, his future seemed almost assured. But instead he decided that his true happiness lied with his family. To everyone else, however, he became a complete failure. He eventually moved his family back to his hometown where he became the desk clerk at his father's leather working business. Life was very miserable for Grant and unfortunately he began falling into one of his more "unpleasant" characteristics. He began drinking heavily. His wife and family were the only things that could dissuade him from his demons. A saving grace for Grant came in the form of the Civil War. It...