Tag Archives: Ulysses S. Grant

Coming to My Senses: A Review of Mark Smith’s The Smell of Battle, the Taste of Siege: A Sensory History of the Civil War

Smith, Mark M. The Smell of Battle, the Taste of Siege: A Sensory History of the Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. A “Sensory History?” What is a “Sensory” history? The title certainly catches your attention and leaves … Continue reading

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Meeting Grant’s Great-Great-Grandson

Last month, while giving a talk for the Friends of Wilderness Battlefield on Grant’s Last Battle, I had the chance to meet one of Ulysses S. Grant’s descendants: great-great grandson John Griffiths. John and his two sisters are the children … Continue reading

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Separate Roads to Petersburg: The Fractured Federal High Command, April 1865

Ever have a dispute with someone turn so ugly that you don’t want to even share the same road? From all appearances, that may have been the case on April 2, 1865 with the damaged relationship between Lt. Gen. Ulysses … Continue reading

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A Few Notes on Grant’s Last Battle

Part two of two comes from my “author’s note” in Grant’s Last Battle: The Story Behind The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. As kids, my brother and I had a poster of the presidents on the closet door in our … Continue reading

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8:08 a.m.

The clock at Grant Cottage still reads 8:08—the time of Ulysses S. Grant’s death on the morning of July 23, 1885.

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On Writing Grant’s Last Battle

Part one of two In the fall of 2012, I had the opportunity to speak to the Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table in Fredericksburg, Virginia, about Ulysses S. Grant’s memoirs. Grant’s work to write them was literally a race … Continue reading

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Civil War Witch Hunt: George Gordon Meade, the Retreat from Gettysburg and the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War

Part five in a series In the previous installment, we examined George Gordon Meade’s decision to defer an all-out assault along the lines at Williamsport for a day, instead of following his own aggressive instincts. Instead, he listened to the … Continue reading

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Cancer and Bitterness: Ulysses S. Grant Nurses His Sickness

As Ulysses S. Grant’s throat cancer continued to eat away at him through the spring of 1885, he continued to struggle with pain of another sort, too. He was, at the time, in a race to complete his memoirs before … Continue reading

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Grant: “I should change Spotts if I was able, and could improve N. Anna and Cold Harbor.”

Cold Harbor remains a central lynchpin in anti-Grant mythology and a fascinating story in its own right. On June 3, 1864, alone, Grant lost nearly 4,000 men in a half an hour as the result of a single fruitless charge. … Continue reading

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Day Three: The Road to Vicksburg

Part seven in a series “You’re heading into banjo country,” a friend of ours warns us. He’s worked at Vicksburg, and we’ve asked him for advice on following Grant’s route across Mississippi. We spent the night in Jackson, so we’re … Continue reading

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