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By the end of the war, Grant would be in command of all Union forces, attain the rank of lieutenant general, and receive Lee's surrender at Appomattox. However, he was not credited with success until late 1863. Study the Wordle above, as well as the video below, to generate a list of why Grant might have been overlooked until late in the war. 


For further study, examine the cartoons (click on them to enlarge!) and source doumentation to examine the obstacles that stood in the way of Grant's advancement as a general.

For further study:

The sources listed below are a collection of  documents that further deal with discussions of Grant's character. Read through them as a complement to the video, or else see the sample question set in the Resources section.


Source A: An extract from Abraham Lincoln and Men of War-times (Personal Recollections), by Alexander Kelly McClure, published 1892. Page 193-94. Retrieved from Google Books.


The few of today who can recall the inflamed condition of public sentiment against Grant caused by the disastrous first day's battle at Shiloh will remember that he was denounced as incompetent for his command by the public journals of all parties in the North, and with almost entire unanimity by Senators and Congressmen without regard to political faith...His victories of Forts Henry and Donelson, which had thrilled the country a short time before, seemed to have been forgotten, and on every side could be heard the emphatic denunciation of Grantbecause of his alleged reckless exposure of the army, while Buell was universally credited with having saved it...The clamor for Grant's removal, and often for his summary dismissal, from the army surged against the President from every side, and he was harshly criticized for not promptly dismissing Grant, or at least relieving him from command.


Source B: An extract from General Ulysses S. Grant: The Soldier and the Man, by Edward Longacre, published 2007, pages 119-120. Retrieved from Google Books.


One of those in position to give Grant due credit for [capturing Fort Donelson], Henry Halleck, failed to do so...Most historians attribute his unconscionable behavior to his jealousy over Grant's vast and sudden celebrity...Halleck revealed his frame of mind by telegraphing Washington that Fort Donelson's fall was the work of General Smith...Halleck, as the ranking general in the West, also claimed a portion of the credit for himself. Three days after Donelson's capitulation, he finally issued an order thanking Grant [but] did not single out Grant for promotion, [instead lumping] him in with Pope and Buell, neither of whom had played a role in the outcome.


Source C: An extract from Ulysses S. Grant: A Victor, Not A Butcher, by Edward Bonekemper, published 2010, page 38. Retrieved from Google Books.

Halleck's initial frustration comes from not being put in charge of all Union armies in the West by McClellan and Stanton.


Fuming after Washington's brusque rejections of his self-promotion efforts, Halleck took out his frustrations on Grant. As William S. Feely observed, "Halleck wanted Grant pushed aside; once a victor, Grant became a rival." Halleck was given his opportunity to besmirch Grant's reputation after a Confederate-sympathizing telegraph operator apprently sabotaged Grant's communications to Halleck. On March 3, Halleck wired McClellan that Grant was non-communicative, negligent, and inefficient, and that his army was demoralized. As Grant was moving forces deeper into western Tennessee, Halleck tried to push Grant aside, subtituted General Smith as commander of an expedition up the Cumberland, and again accused Grant of failing to report his strength and positions. On March 4, he sent Grant  a blunt and accusatory telegram that read: "You will place Major Gen. C. F. Smith in command...and remain yourself at Fort Henry. Why do you not obey my orders?...For about a week, Grant was onboard a steamer in virtual, but unguarded, arrest.


Source D: An extract from Generals in Blue and Gray, by Wilmer L. Jones, published 2005, page 172. Retrieved from Google Books.


In April 1862, Grant's troops were camped at Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River near a little church known as Shiloh. In the early morning, he was surprised by a Confederate attack. Grant was on the verge of losing his entire army when he ordered a counterattack...Grant managed to halt the Confederate assault, but the price was high. The heavy casualties horrified both the North and South, and Grant gained a new reputation and nickname--'Butcher.' Many who had prasied Grant a few weeks earlier now wanted him to be removed.


Ever since he had resigned from the army in 1854, rumors had followed Grant. He drank, people get drunk...Before Shiloh, the newspapers had not reported the stories, but now they blamed the heavy Union losses on Grant's drinking.


Why would Lincoln stand by a general that was so heavily criticised? For some additional perspective, also consider this video that analyzes a letter sent by Lincoln to Grant in the aftermath of Vicksburg.

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