Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War
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Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  910 ratings  ·  49 reviews
They were both prewar failures—Grant, forced to resign from the Regular Army because of his drinking, and Sherman, holding four different jobs, including a much-loved position at a southern military academy—in the years before the firing on Fort Sumter. They began their unique collaboration ten months into the war, at the Battle of Shiloh, each carefully taking the other's...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published October 24th 2006 by Harper Perennial (first published 2005)
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Steven Peterson
As other reviews note, this book is marred by some errors (e.g., it was not Grant who abrogated Kentucky's neutrality; most works I have read credit The Bishop General, Polk, with that accomplishment). It also promises more in the subtitle than it can deliver ("The Friendship That Won the Civil War"). I just don't see the case made that their friendship led to victory. It was hardly irrelevant, of course, but the subtitle's claim sets a high standard to meet.

However the performance of generals...more
Linda Robinson
Engaging writing and good information on the politics behind how the Civil War was waged. The Union was on its way to bungling the whole thing with generals minus military experience appointed by cronies; all with mighty career agendas. Grant was in the right place at the right time, after the tin soldiers who couldn't bring themselves to attack anything were removed; and Sherman was fortunate to be right there with Grant. Egos are evident and loud. Sherman would make a good psychological study...more
Sherman once famously said of Grant, 'we were as brothers', and the enduring friendship between them is brought wonderfully to life in this book. Both were considered failures before the War began, both had left the army, Grant was considered a drunk and Sherman a lunatic, but the Civil War was really the making of them. Indeed, Flood questions whether the North could have won the war without such a strong military partnership in charge. Given how much politics and ambition had interfered and ha...more
Bas Kreuger
Flood has a gift to write both factually interesting and emotionally gripping.
The book almost reads like a novel and Grant and Sherman appear in the lines somewhat larger than life. Their friendship, supporting each other almost unconditionally during the whole of the Civil War, forms them in an unbeatable team on the Union side.
Not being specially well versed in American history, it is an incredible story how both men were more or less down and out before the war and four years later were the d...more
Ellis Katz
Study of the North's two greatest generals during the American Civil War. Not an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Grant and Sherman, but, more importantly, a description of the warm, but sometimes testy relationship between them. Each brought unique qualities to the relationship and to the war effort. Together they were an unstoppable force. The book can be read by both laypeople and Civil War experts.
Well written, nice flow with a few annoyances: 5 or 6 more quotes and you would swear the author was there taking minutes; The picture of Grant on a horse is not Grant on a horse, see the notes for the picture at the LOC:

All in all a very enjoyable book. A nice change from the endless staccato of data that embalms most writings on this war.
Sam Sattler
Union generals Grant and Sherman shared a similar background of failure and frustration, though at the beginning of the War Between the States, Grant was probably the bigger failure of the two. Both men were very dependent upon their families for support of one sort or another, be it as simple as Grant working in his father's leather shop or a bit more complicated like Sherman benefitting from the political influence of his politically-connected family.

Just four years later, the pair was largel...more
Ulysses S Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman never met until late in 1861. Yet they forged a friendship that would save the Union and last until the end of the days. At critical junctures in the war, each came to the others defense as both military superiors and politicians called for their heads. As Sherman put it "Grant stood by me when I was crazy and I stood by him when he was drunk and now we stand by each other."

The two men came from different economic backgrounds, different levels of prew...more
This is an engaging book which details the lives (the early failures and remarkable successes) of Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman whose brilliant military guidance brought about the defeat of the Confederate forces during America's Civil War. The author, Flood, discusses in detail both the foibles and strengths of these two remarkable men, tells how they met in the early days of the Union's armies of the Western United States and developed a mutually supportive and reinforcing mil...more
This book is one of the most readable and interesting histories of the Civil War that I have had the pleasure to read.

This is an excellent read with excellent insights into the personalities and temperaments of the two great Union generals in the Civil War.The strength of this book is that the narrative is very compelling and easy to read. This book is very well-written and enjoyable, and examines a very important, though sometimes underestimated, relationship between the two men who arguably d...more
Surprisingly, the author reveals relatively little about the friendship shared by Grant and Sherman. The book is really a history of the campaigns of the two generals. Obviously, the two generals supported each other and apparently shared a relationship far closer than that between most other Civil War generals. And the author makes a case that both went out of the way to support the other - whether it be Sherman refusing to consider promotion to Lt. General, which would have put him on a par wi...more
Jun 13, 2007 Joseph rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: to every American who wants to know the price paid for our freedoms today.
Shelves: grantandsherman
This is one of the best and most difinitive books on the Civil War. It shows clearly that why the Armies of the East were making great news the war was being one a step at a time by the brillant of Grant and the support of Sherman.
It's truly amazing how 2 commanders coming from such low begining were through their wit and talent able to raise to the top.
The is a great chronicle of the Civil War as you learn of the many great battles whose memory has slipped away with time.

It is a powerful book...more
Easily read, this book gives a more personal perspective on the familiar story of the Civil War. I found the relationship between Grant and Sherman fascinating. To fill out the book Flood provides a lot of other material that also made that war more personal. This book is not very analytic, but perhaps that is not necessary in an account of the intertwining of the lives of two men. I don't know of many books about friendship between men. As for Sherman's madness, the book makes clear that this w...more
Michael Burhans
A surprisingly good book. Having read more than a dozen books on each of these men, I was surprised to find that this book still offered new and exciting incites into them.

Well written, easily read, and fascinating. One of the best civil war era books I have read in a very long time.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Southern girl to the core. My shelves are lined with the biographies of Confederate generals; prior to this, the only Billy Jack allowed in my house was Joshua Chamberlain. But I picked this up after a glowing review I read in a magazine, and I was not disappointed. I will be buying this book in the near future, because it's a work that should be in any war buff's collection, whether you call it the Civil War or the War for Southern Independence, or anything...more
James Phillips
Good history, but hard to follow at times. The author read the book, and I fell it might be heard better if another read the book. His voice is not exiciting at all.
The most fascinating chapters are at the start, the successive professional failures of Grant and Sherman prior to the war and their more or less stumbling into positions of command. The mid-bits are a gloss of Civili War history, rehash for anyone who's already soaking in this stuff anyway. Picks up again at the end with a vivid picture of the last weeks of the war, the atmosphere in Washington following Lincoln's assassination and the Grand Review of the victorious Union armies. Rapid fire epi...more
Dan G
A fascinating study of the two most important Union commanders in the Civil War.
Tim Morrison
For fans of civil war history.
This book has further confirmed my long-held opinion that reading history can be more unbelievable than reading a work of fiction.

Flood is a wonderful biographer. The life stories of Grant & Sherman were interwoven beautifully and without confusion. It is quite obvious that Flood respects both men, and by the end of this work, the reader will also have grown in admiration for these classic US "textbook" heroes.

I recommend to ALL American patriots this book - Grant and Sherman!
This is a great book about the Civil War and two great American heroes, Grant & Sherman. Both of these historical figures are usually misunderstood or worse disregarded. This book reads like a fast moving novel all the time keeping it's focus on the friendship of Grant & Sherman and how their combined actions helped Lincoln to save the union. Ulysses S. Grant is my most admired American public figure. About twice a year a grab a book about him.
Well written, well researched. More like a dual biography, though. By the end of the book one didn't get the impression they were deep, close friends when they weren't together at the front. But they certainly were support systems for the other, and Flood makes this point well. One flaw I can think of, and that is blaming Grant for breaking Kentucky's neutrality. Everything else I have read bland the Confederates.
Interesting and well written about the dual lives of the Union Army's top generals of the Civil War. Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman. Both born in Ohio and had different failures in civilian life before the army. Grant and Sherman's bond made them the top strategists and learned from failures and defeats in the battles that they fought during the Civil War. It is also interesting what they did after the war.
What an eye-opener! Really never knew that much about the behind-the-scenes politics involving officers (including generals) during the Civil War. Thank heavens Grant and Sherman were the complete antithesis of what was going on in Washington at the time. What a perfect example of two people putting aside considerations for personal gain to serve their country and accomplish a herculean task.
Chi Dubinski
Both Grant and Sherman were underdogs—they had each resigned from the Army and failed at various civilian careers by 1861. They joined the war effort to hold the Union together, and complemented each other’s skills. It’s a fascinating biography of the two men who “other than Lincoln …would have more to do with winning the war that preserved the Union than anyone else.”
Having read several books on Grant and the Civil War, I found this one to do a great job of describing the Campaign of the West and how the partnership and friendship of Grant and Sherman came to be. The little bits of historical trivia throughout the book were a joy to read and the description of the Grand Review amazing. Thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend.
This is well written account of the civil war. It stays on-target, keeping the light on Grant and Sherman and their interactions. There were several new insights (new to me). I hadn't read before about the controversy regarding the Sherman-Johnston surrender terms. This explained to me Sherman's lesser image vs Grants.
This book provided an otherwise unknown treatment of the relationship that existed between these two historical icons. You do not have to be a military scholar to appreciate this book. It also offers some good insights into the political intrigue that occurred during the Civil War.
John E
Focusing on the two leaders, it is not a survey of the war. A couple of minor errors will distract nit-pickers for a moment, but generally very well done. Well written. The book needed a summary at the end of why these two men turned out to be the great leaders they became.
Donna Herrick
The part about the Grand Review of the Union Armies had me in tears. But, I'm still trying to understand what made Grant an effective General. This book comes close to nailing that down, but it would be nice to see a comparative study of generals
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Charles Bracelen Flood was born in Manhattan, and graduated from Harvard, where he was a member of Archibald MacLeish’s noted creative writing seminar, English S, and was on the literary board of the Harvard Lampoon. (In 2001, Flood was honored with the Lampoon’s Clem Wood Award; past recipients have included George Plimpton, John Updike, and Conan O’Brien.)

Love is a Bridge, Flood’s first novel, r...more
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