Leave a comment

Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace… Ulysses S. Grant

Let us have peace : Ulysses S.  Grant and the politics of war and reconstruction,  1861-1868 Chapel Hill : University of North  Carolina Press, c 1991 Brooks D. Simpson  Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885  Hardcover. xx, 339 p. ; 24 cm. Includes  bibliographical references (p. 315-328) and index.  Clean, tight and strong binding with  dust jacket.  No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG  

Historians have traditionally drawn distinctions between Ulysses S. Grant’s military and political careers. In Let Us Have Peace, Brooks Simpson questions such distinctions and offers a new understanding of this often enigmatic leader. He argues that during the 1860s Grant was both soldier and politician, for military and civil policy were inevitably intertwined during the Civil War and Reconstruction era.

According to Simpson, Grant instinctively understood that war was ‘politics by other means.’ Moreover, he realized that civil wars presented special challenges: reconciliation, not conquest, was the Union’s ultimate goal. And in peace, Grant sought to secure what had been won in war, stepping in to assume a more active role in policymaking when the intransigence of radical republicans and their obstructionist behavior threatened to reignite a shooting war.

It was Grant’s refusal to commit troops to support the worst excesses of the carpet baggers and their freedmen henchmen that kept the peace and allowed Rutherford B. Hayes to end the colonial subjugation of reconstruction and the military occupation of the South thus enabling the country to find some measure of reconcilliation and progress. Simpson may not state this quite so openly but it is the irrebuttable presumption of the facts he presents.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: