A dual biography and a fresh approach to the always compelling subject of these two iconic leaders—how they fashioned a distinctly American war, and a lasting peace, that fundamentally changed our nation
The two great opposing generals of the Civil War, who had both served in the Mexican War 15 years earlier, were largely active on different fronts and met only at Appomattox (and briefly at the White House four years later). Davis, a specialist in Civil War and Southern history, focuses on their respective military styles, largely by examining particular campaigns, though he also looks at their personalities and early achievements or failures. In the process, he draws a multi-dimensional portrait of each man, succinctly capturing their particular skills, and uncovers some little-known facts: at the Battle of Gettysburg, Lee maintained only moderate control of his army, and in more than a dozen instances... his orders were not obeyed, while in May 1865, the magnanimous Grant intervened with President Andrew Johnson to save Lee from civil prosecution. Davis also examines some of the larger issues with which each man struggled, such as the growing problem of desertion near the war s end, which hastened the demise of the Confederate Army. This meticulously researched, well-written book greatly enriches our understanding of each of these extraordinary figures and of the terrible war in which they fought.