McClellan, Sherman, and Grant

McClellan, Sherman, and Grant Here Are The Characters And Personalities Of The Three Great Union Generals, Explored With Intelligence And Wit By One Of Our Most Distinguished Historians Of The Civil War Mr Williams Is Interested Not Only In Military Skills But In The Temperament For Command And, Most Of All, In Moral Courage Each Of These Men, He Writes, Represents A Particular And Significant Aspect Of Leadership, And Together They Show A Progression Toward The Final Type Of Leadership That Had To Be Developed Before The War Could Be Won Most Important, Each One Illustrates Dramatically The Relation Between Character And Generalship From McClellan S Eighteenth Century View Of War As Something Like A Game Conducted By Experts On A Strategic Chessboard To Sherman S Understanding Of The Violent Implications Of Making War Against Civilians To The Completeness Of Character Displayed By Grant, Mr Williams S Absorbing Investigation Offers A Fresh Perspective On A Subject Of Enduring Interest

T Harry Williams Thomas Harry Williams was an historian at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge whose writing career began in 1941 and extended for thirty eight years until his death in 1979 Williams is perhaps best known for his American Civil War study, Lincoln and His Generals, a Book of the Month selection from 1952, and Huey Long, winner of both the National Book Award and the Puli

[KINDLE] ❆ McClellan, Sherman, and Grant By T. Harry Williams –
  • Paperback
  • 121 pages
  • McClellan, Sherman, and Grant
  • T. Harry Williams
  • English
  • 08 March 2018
  • 9780929587707

10 thoughts on “McClellan, Sherman, and Grant

  1. says:

    Since the copy of this in my library had gone missing, I purchased it in a fit of pique on It was cheap I m glad I did because, despite being short, it s succinct delivery was all that I could have hoped for and the positive reviews for it are absolutely spot on.Of course it s essential to have a basic knowledge of each of the three subjects, but really, a viewing of Ken Burns The Civil War is enough grounding to go into this fully prepared.Williams premise is that cold military maneuvers logistical concerns is all well and good, but it doesn t make a general His focus is on each man s personality and how it informed decisions and contributed to their character in the heat of the moment McClellan is found lacking in all the ways that matter, with Grant the pinnacle of generalship and Sherman in between, though on the positive side than McClellan s negatives.Fast read that provides a surprising amount of food for thought in a mere 110 pages Williams style was such that I will definitely seek out of his work, whether it s about the Civil War or not.

  2. says:

    In combination, this work from T Harry Williams discuss both the overall military outlook of Northern strategists during the Civil War and some of the most and least successful practitioners of those strategies The book by Williams devotes a chapter to one of the most controversial but ultimately unsuccessful of the Union generals, George Brinton McClellan Williams describes McClellan s military career from within the framework of the concept of leadership He contends that while successful generals require some measure of various personal qualities education, experience, and technical skill no commander can achieve greatness without the intangible quality of great leadership.McClellan s great strength was, at the same time, his critical weakness He inspired the love of his men, and for this reason, could not bear to lose them in battle McClellan s career in the Civil War demonstrates why rating him as a general is controversial He won no outstanding victories, but suffered no crushing defeats He disliked shedding his men s blood, yet commanded at Antietam, the single bloodiest day of the war His basic outlook was cautious, but his two main operations were offensive and inflicted significant casualties on the enemy Three times his strategy created an opportunity for decisive victory, but McClellan never grasped those opportunities.For Williams, the reason lies in McClellan s personal scheme of envisioning the world around him In his personal letters, McClellan often demonstrated a belief that only he could save the Union, yet he consistently believed the enemy too numerous or his own men insufficiently prepared to undertake offensive operations Then there was McClellan s irrational yet gnawing fear that his civilian superiors were scheming to betray him and sabotage his efforts The final verdict is that McClellan did not have the temperament or leadership qualities for command He envisioned the world, including the relationship between war and politics, in his own idealistic way, but to him that ideal was reality In contrast to McClellan, Williams sees greatness in three, but only three, Civil War leaders only Robert E Lee, Ulysses S Grant, and William T Sherman meet his standard of great leadership Each man exhibited greatness in his own way, despite that all three had been trained at West Point in the same military philosophy, that of the Swiss officer Antoine Jomini The basics of Jomini s strategy consisted of bringing an army to the decisive point in a theatre, then using your greatest force to engage the enemy force at its critical point Using speed and simultaneous attacks, aided by interior lines of communication, a general could defeat the enemy and capture the critical objectives needed to achieve victory This approach was inherently backward looking, yet both Lee and Sherman were true believers, while Grant was less so Lee s great strength lay in his abilities as a strategist and tactician who excelled at the Jominian concept of using speed and concentration to advantage Yet for all his considerable achievements, he remained a theatre general who never truly comprehended the connections between war, economics, and politics Much like the early Union generals such as McClellan, Lee failed to grasp that the Civil War was a new kind of war in which military operations had to accommodate the realities of politics.Lincoln understood this, as did Grant, as demonstrated by his operations at Vicksburg For Williams, Grant s greatest strength was the ability to grow and transcend the rules of warfare as preached by the Jominians This enabled him to conceive of a strategy featuring a general advance by all armies, not a concentrated advance by one, the strategy that eventually resulted in victory after its initiation in 1864 As for Sherman, he understood better than any other general the psychological importance of the will to fight in a democratic society By destroying the economic and social structures that supported the enemy armies, he helped to weaken the structure that eventually fell when beset by Grant s plan of a general offensive It was Lincoln s good fortune to have two generals whose strengths complemented each other so well.This book, especially when describing the overall strategic framework of both sides, is a valuable addition to our general narrative despite its age, especially for those of us without extensive background in the history of military thinking The description of Jomini s tactics is valuable in seeking to understand the reasoning behind some actions that in hindsight appear to be unwise or short sighted The concept of leadership as a criterion for greatness is a bit problematic Clearly, it makes a difference, but that difference is difficult to measure and quantify, which necessitates a diverse approach to considerations of military leadership.

  3. says:

    This book provides excellent insight into three of the most famous and infamous Union generals in the Civil War Williams presents his information with clear flow of ideas However, at times his work seems to float because it lacks specific dates that anchor the events described in place In addition, Williams jumps around within each general s life so it can be easy to lose track of when he is referring to These are very nit picky observations, though Whether you are searching for references or reading for entertainment, T Harry Williams book provides compelling arguments that will fulfill your needs and expectations.

  4. says:

    Definitely going to use this one with my students next year

  5. says:

    Interesting little work on that spark that makes a great general using George B McClellan, William T Sherman and U.S Grant as test subjects

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