Ulysses S. Grant


Ulysses S. Grant’s Failed Presidency

Below is a footnote-free version of the Preface from my U. S. Grant's Failed Presidency (2019). Ulysses Grant's presidency deserves a fresh analysis because modern historians and biographers have praised him too much. Initially, their "rehabilitation" of his previously mixed reputation concentrated on his military performance during the Civil War, but more lately it has included his presidency. In 1948,…
Philip Leigh
June 20, 2022

President Grant is Overrated

A recent article in the politically conservative National Review about Ulysses Grant’s presidency by historian Allen Guelzo is merely another example of unjustified claims that he was a virtuous champion of black civil rights. To be sure, Grant promoted Southern black suffrage but that was because he knew they were nearly certain to vote for him and his Republican Party.…
Philip Leigh
May 3, 2022

A Sham of Free Government

  Editor's Note: United States Senator Thomas F. Bayard delivered this speech in January, 1875 on the 60th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. Bayard, later United States Secretary of State, considered the military occupation of New Orleans to be an unconstitutional usurpation of power and a direct assault on republican government. He denounced Gen. Philip Sheridan, insinuated that…
Thomas F. Bayard
October 29, 2021

Bad History Masquerading as an Appeal to Peace and Piety: A Response to Allen Guelzo’s “Why We Must Forget the Lost Cause”

It is a testimony to the prevalence of anti-Southern sentiment that The Gospel Coalition (TGC), one of the most prominent evangelical parachurch entities, has provided a platform for such sentiments by publishing an article entitled “Why We Must Forget the Lost Cause.” Written by the prominent Princeton University Professor Allen Guelzo, this piece was published in the “Bible and Theology”…
Tom Hervey
May 24, 2021

No Comparison Between Grant and Lee

Over a century and a half has passed since Confederate States General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant. Yet, despite surrender by one and victory by the other, controversy continues regarding which man better represents the virtues of honor, duty, and American patriotism. For those who believe that might makes right, then…
James Ronald Kennedy
April 27, 2020
Review Posts

Grant a Better General Than Lee? No.

A review of Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian (Regnery History, 2012) by Edward Bonekemper, III. I don’t think a person of sound mind and impartial understanding of the so-called Civil War could get past the second paragraph of the introduction of Edward H. Bonekemper III’s book Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian without realizing that…
Joe Wolverton
April 14, 2020

Reconstruction and Recreation

2019 marks the 150th anniversary of U.S. Grant’s inauguration as President of the United States. It also has sparked a renewed interest in Reconstruction, particularly the notion that America failed to capitalize on an “unfinished revolution” as the communist historian Eric Foner describes the period. This general description of the 1860s has been used by both radical leftists like Foner…
Brion McClanahan
April 8, 2019

Did Ulysses Grant Own and Rent Slaves?

Even among the most Grant-partial historians there’s no denying that Ulysses Grant and his wife owned slaves prior to the Civil War. In fact, “Ulysses Grant” is the correct answer to a crafty American history trivia question that asks: “Can you name the last slaveholding President?” As growing political correctness causes our culture to increasingly condemn historical figures connected with…
Philip Leigh
February 8, 2019

The Washington Post March of Infamy

Yesterday The Washington Post published an Op-Ed by former General Stanley McChrystal in which he boasted of removing a long-displayed Robert E. Lee painting from his home to “send it on its way to a local landfill for burial.” It is but one of perhaps a dozen Post articles during the last three years disparaging Lee, Confederate monuments and Southern heritage.  All condemn Lee…
Philip Leigh
November 29, 2018

Grant Never Faced Stonewall Jackson

Grant’s relentless and costly attacks on General Lee in Virginia earned him the title of “Butcher” among his own troops and was kept in command by Lincoln who was unbothered by the vast casualty numbers amassed by Grant. He quickly saw that following the Radicals after his master’s assassination was the proper path, and he was rewarded with election to…
Bernard Thuersam
December 7, 2016

Grant Gets the Votes

It is no surprise to Civil War students that Ulysses Grant’s reputation has soared over the last fifty years. During the past twenty years nearly all of his biographies have been favorable. They typically ignore, minimize, or deny his failings. Examples include those of Jean Smith, H. W. Brands, and Joan Waugh. Two more will apparently join the group later…
Philip Leigh
April 18, 2016
Review Posts

Violating the Lieber Code: The March From the Sea

On April 24, 1863—-just three months after the cruel and retaliatory Emancipation Proclamation--Lincoln issued an order drafted by Columbia University law professor Francis Lieber that codified the generally accepted universal standards of warfare, particularly as it related to the lives and property of civilians. Among the actions it deemed to be criminal and prohibited were the “wanton devastation of a…
Kirkpatrick Sale
April 8, 2014