Ulysses S. Grant was remembered for being 21st in a class of 39 at West Point, a failure in civilian life, a drunkard, a butcher as a general and a president whose administration was a long recitation on corruption. William T. Sherman was remembered as much for his madness as his pillage of Atlanta and the Carolinas. Philip Sheridan is remembered for saying, “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead.” The rest of the union generals were by and large toady’s to either these men or Lincoln, who required constant affirmation from his field grade officers as a condition of promotion, and are just more of the same.
Robert E. Lee comes to us as the epitome of the Southern gentleman who graduated 2nd in his class at West Point and would end his life as the president of Washington and Lee University – and it is no accident that the names are linked. Most of the Confederate command came from a heritage of gentlemen graduates of West Point except for the few who were gentlemen turned warriors – often very successfully – in the face of invasion. Most of the field grade officers are renowned for conspicuous gallantry and most often compared to the Cavaliers.
What accounts for this variation? Could it be that the Confederates were the heirs of Washington culturally as well militarily? Could it be that the union cadres were culled from what was left at the bottom of West Point’s barrel or swept in from the pantechnicon of patronage rather than the pantheon of achievement? Whatever the true answer I know the union forces were more likely to cook a dog than to return it. This book is a wonderful reminder that we do have alternatives and there was a time in this country when they were respected.
General Howe’s dog : George Washington, the Battle of Germantown, and the dog who crossed enemy lines New York : Chamberlain Bros., 2005 Caroline Tiger Dogs Pennsylvania Philadelphia History 18th century Miscellanea Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. 162 p. : ill., maps 20 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 157-162). Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
Before they were generals they were gentlemen. A remarkable footnote to history surfaced during America’s fight for independence. After the Battle of Germantown, General George Washington came across a stray dog wearing an inscribed collar marking him as the property of British general William Howe – the very man Washington was trying to defeat. As a well-bred gentleman and man of his times, Washington did the proper thing: he returned the dog to his adversary, along with a polite note.
Though separated by ideals and loyalties, both Washington and Howe adhered to a common code of conduct. Following the early lives of both men, General Howe’s Dog provides a fascinating account of their upbringings and ascents through the military ranks, detailing how enemies on the battlefield composed themselves as respectable gentlemen in the midst of war. It is a rarely seen glimpse into the personality and character of the father of our country.