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Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War

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They were both prewar failures—Grant, forced to resign from the Regular Army because of his drinking, and Sherman, holding four different jobs, including a much-loved position at a southern military academy—in the years before the firing on Fort Sumter. They began their unique collaboration ten months into the war, at the Battle of Shiloh, each carefully taking the other's They were both prewar failures—Grant, forced to resign from the Regular Army because of his drinking, and Sherman, holding four different jobs, including a much-loved position at a southern military academy—in the years before the firing on Fort Sumter. They began their unique collaboration ten months into the war, at the Battle of Shiloh, each carefully taking the other's measure. They shared the demands of family life and the heartache of personal tragedy. They shared similar philosophies of battle, employed similar strategies and tactics, and remained in close, virtually daily communication throughout the conflict. They were incontestably two of the Civil War's most important figures, and the deep, abiding friendship they shared made the Union's ultimate victory possible. Poignant, riveting, and elegantly written, Grant and Sherman is a remarkable portrait of two extraordinary men and a singular friendship, forged on the battlefield, that would change the course of history.


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They were both prewar failures—Grant, forced to resign from the Regular Army because of his drinking, and Sherman, holding four different jobs, including a much-loved position at a southern military academy—in the years before the firing on Fort Sumter. They began their unique collaboration ten months into the war, at the Battle of Shiloh, each carefully taking the other's They were both prewar failures—Grant, forced to resign from the Regular Army because of his drinking, and Sherman, holding four different jobs, including a much-loved position at a southern military academy—in the years before the firing on Fort Sumter. They began their unique collaboration ten months into the war, at the Battle of Shiloh, each carefully taking the other's measure. They shared the demands of family life and the heartache of personal tragedy. They shared similar philosophies of battle, employed similar strategies and tactics, and remained in close, virtually daily communication throughout the conflict. They were incontestably two of the Civil War's most important figures, and the deep, abiding friendship they shared made the Union's ultimate victory possible. Poignant, riveting, and elegantly written, Grant and Sherman is a remarkable portrait of two extraordinary men and a singular friendship, forged on the battlefield, that would change the course of history.

30 review for Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jerome

    This book is one of the most readable and interesting histories of the Civil War that I have had the pleasure to read. This is an excellent read with excellent insights into the personalities and temperaments of the two great Union generals in the Civil War.The strength of this book is that the narrative is very compelling and easy to read. This book is very well-written and enjoyable, and examines a very important, though sometimes underestimated, relationship between the two men who arguably d This book is one of the most readable and interesting histories of the Civil War that I have had the pleasure to read. This is an excellent read with excellent insights into the personalities and temperaments of the two great Union generals in the Civil War.The strength of this book is that the narrative is very compelling and easy to read. This book is very well-written and enjoyable, and examines a very important, though sometimes underestimated, relationship between the two men who arguably did more to win the Civil War than anybody else. The thing that most impresses me about these men is their unfailing loyalty to each other and seeming lack of selfish ambition, and Flood does a great job of profiling this. Flood keeps the pace quick and interesting and anyone who enjoys reading about the Civil War should enjoy this book. I particularly enjoyed reading about the more personal aspects of Grant and Sherman's lives and Flood devotes a good amount of time not only to their friendship but also to that of their families. Some errors:Example: page 362 states that Seminary Ridge was a battle fought in the West. Come on! Seriously? Page 219 states that Sheridan was brought South to help the beseiged Union soldiers at Chattanooga...Wrong again! Page 160 says that the Battle of Fort Hudson was part of the Red River Campaign. in describing Pickett's charge at Gettysburg Lee is described as sending his men "up Cemetery Ridge." Later his men "come staggering down the slope," suggesting that the charge was, indeed, made on a hill. Now of course Gettysburg is an aside to the real topic of this work, but I would think that anyone who'd written a biography on Lee would no that the charge was NOT made on a hill. Reading that Sherman "agreed" with the misquote attributed to Sheridan after the war (the only good Indian is a dead Indian) left me scratching my head-to my knowledge neither Sherman nor Sheridan ever admitted the comment was even made, much less that Sherman agreed with it. But in all, an excellent book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Arminius

    The story recalls the past glory of the two greatest leaders of the Civil War and their relationship. Grant and Sherman's incredible victories combined to crush the game but overmatched Confederate Army led by who was considered the War's best Generals Robert E . Lee. The book runs a little long describing in detail what the victory parade entailed at the end of the book. Otherwise, the book is marginally good. I must note what a nice good man U.S. Grant was. After his presidency, he was swindled The story recalls the past glory of the two greatest leaders of the Civil War and their relationship. Grant and Sherman's incredible victories combined to crush the game but overmatched Confederate Army led by who was considered the War's best Generals Robert E . Lee. The book runs a little long describing in detail what the victory parade entailed at the end of the book. Otherwise, the book is marginally good. I must note what a nice good man U.S. Grant was. After his presidency, he was swindled out of his earnings by a bad investment. On this deathbed he wrote his much anticipated memoir in order that his wife would have money to live off once he had passed. He died 3 days after completing it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    Sherman once famously said of Grant, 'we were as brothers', and the enduring friendship between them is brought wonderfully to life in this book. Both were considered failures before the War began, both had left the army, Grant was considered a drunk and Sherman a lunatic, but the Civil War was really the making of them. Indeed, Flood questions whether the North could have won the war without such a strong military partnership in charge. Given how much politics and ambition had interfered and ha Sherman once famously said of Grant, 'we were as brothers', and the enduring friendship between them is brought wonderfully to life in this book. Both were considered failures before the War began, both had left the army, Grant was considered a drunk and Sherman a lunatic, but the Civil War was really the making of them. Indeed, Flood questions whether the North could have won the war without such a strong military partnership in charge. Given how much politics and ambition had interfered and hamstrung the army before Grant was appointed commander, it's not an unreasonable supposition. Grant knew he could rely on Sherman in any situation, both military and personal. Sherman knew Grant would back him all the way and Grant's belief in him gave him confidence in himself. Sherman once talked Grant out of resigning his position, even though he himself would have stood to benefit the most. Grant saved Sherman from a political crisis of his own making. It's actually quite touching, to see how much each thought of the other. No doubt today it would be described as a 'bromance'. Both Grant and Sherman were in full agreement with Lincoln as to how to treat the South after Appomattox - 'let 'em up easy', in Lincoln's words. One can only wonder how different Southern history might have been had Lincoln been alive to implement his plans, with the full support of the North's most celebrated generals.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Steven Peterson

    As other reviews note, this book is marred by some errors (e.g., it was not Grant who abrogated Kentucky's neutrality; most works I have read credit The Bishop General, Polk, with that accomplishment). It also promises more in the subtitle than it can deliver ("The Friendship That Won the Civil War"). I just don't see the case made that their friendship led to victory. It was hardly irrelevant, of course, but the subtitle's claim sets a high standard to meet. However the performance of generals As other reviews note, this book is marred by some errors (e.g., it was not Grant who abrogated Kentucky's neutrality; most works I have read credit The Bishop General, Polk, with that accomplishment). It also promises more in the subtitle than it can deliver ("The Friendship That Won the Civil War"). I just don't see the case made that their friendship led to victory. It was hardly irrelevant, of course, but the subtitle's claim sets a high standard to meet. However the performance of generals such as George Thomas suggests that others could as well have been the hammer in the West after Grant's accession to control of all of the Union armies. And Thomas' record before Sherman became the top general in the west could be said to be no worse than Sherman's (in fact, Buell's "Warrior Generals" argues that Thomas was one of the best of all Union generals and was never given full credit; while the argument is not, in the final analysis, fully convincing, one cannot downgrade Thomas' contributions to the North). Many of the stories and events here are quite familiar to readers of Civil War history. And there is rather less on the battlefield events than might have been called for. Nonetheless, in the end, this is a good analysis of the friendship between Grant and Sherman and how it did help them to mesh their strategic efforts.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ellis Katz

    Study of the North's two greatest generals during the American Civil War. Not an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Grant and Sherman, but, more importantly, a description of the warm, but sometimes testy relationship between them. Each brought unique qualities to the relationship and to the war effort. Together they were an unstoppable force. The book can be read by both laypeople and Civil War experts.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Penelope

    Terrific account of their juxtaposition and collaboration.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    Grant and Sherman are my favorite generals of all time, and Flood is a highly respected author. This book was on my must-read list, and so I searched it out on an annual pilgrimage to Powell’s City of Books, and I came home happy. It turned out to be even better than I anticipated. The beginning is congenial but also fairly basic, and I was saddened—needlessly, as it turned out—believing that I was about to be exposed to a whole big book of American Civil War 101, which I didn’t need. But Flood w Grant and Sherman are my favorite generals of all time, and Flood is a highly respected author. This book was on my must-read list, and so I searched it out on an annual pilgrimage to Powell’s City of Books, and I came home happy. It turned out to be even better than I anticipated. The beginning is congenial but also fairly basic, and I was saddened—needlessly, as it turned out—believing that I was about to be exposed to a whole big book of American Civil War 101, which I didn’t need. But Flood was just warming up, preparing a readership that might not have the broad outline at its fingertips. Soon the narrative evolved into something much more complex and enjoyable. I found a great many anecdotes that I hadn’t seen in biographies of either of the individual men, or in overall historical works about this conflict. There are quotations from their correspondence, which had to be meaty and specific given the lack of reliable technology at the time. All told, Flood makes the story personal without being prurient, and at the same time gives the reader little-seen information about the deadliest conflict ever experienced by Americans. His thesis—that the relationship enjoyed by these two outstanding generals won the Civil War—is well supported. The end notes show meticulous documentation. Best of all, since this is not a new release, those interested in reading this excellent work can get it for the price of a latte. Highly recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Linda Robinson

    Engaging writing and good information on the politics behind how the Civil War was waged. The Union was on its way to bungling the whole thing with generals minus military experience appointed by cronies; all with mighty career agendas. Grant was in the right place at the right time, after the tin soldiers who couldn't bring themselves to attack anything were removed; and Sherman was fortunate to be right there with Grant. Egos are evident and loud. Sherman would make a good psychological study Engaging writing and good information on the politics behind how the Civil War was waged. The Union was on its way to bungling the whole thing with generals minus military experience appointed by cronies; all with mighty career agendas. Grant was in the right place at the right time, after the tin soldiers who couldn't bring themselves to attack anything were removed; and Sherman was fortunate to be right there with Grant. Egos are evident and loud. Sherman would make a good psychological study - the sum of his maneuvers to get and hold his position would make a passive/aggressive expert twitch. Halleck, too. And the womenfolk and children traveling to be with their husbands at headquarters. Astonishing stuff. Ellen Ewing Sherman had 3 brothers who made general. Was that all about their military skill set? I don't think so. I believe the soldiers won the Civil War, in spite of the generals, and the Cabinet. In the end, it was Lincoln's ability to find a fighting general and let him do the fighting that held the Union together.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bas Kreuger

    Flood has a gift to write both factually interesting and emotionally gripping. The book almost reads like a novel and Grant and Sherman appear in the lines somewhat larger than life. Their friendship, supporting each other almost unconditionally during the whole of the Civil War, forms them in an unbeatable team on the Union side. Not being specially well versed in American history, it is an incredible story how both men were more or less down and out before the war and four years later were the d Flood has a gift to write both factually interesting and emotionally gripping. The book almost reads like a novel and Grant and Sherman appear in the lines somewhat larger than life. Their friendship, supporting each other almost unconditionally during the whole of the Civil War, forms them in an unbeatable team on the Union side. Not being specially well versed in American history, it is an incredible story how both men were more or less down and out before the war and four years later were the defining characters of the war. What strikes me most, apart from their successes in battle, is their modesty, certainly Grant, whom power does not seem to corrupt him. The description of the victory parade through Washington, shortly after the assasination of Lincoln, is a very moving end of the book. When you close your eyes, you can see, smell and hear the thousands of men marching over Pennsylvania Avenue.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Well written, nice flow with a few annoyances: 5 or 6 more quotes and you would swear the author was there taking minutes; The picture of Grant on a horse is not Grant on a horse, see the notes for the picture at the LOC: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007.... All in all a very enjoyable book. A nice change from the endless staccato of data that embalms most writings on this war. Well written, nice flow with a few annoyances: 5 or 6 more quotes and you would swear the author was there taking minutes; The picture of Grant on a horse is not Grant on a horse, see the notes for the picture at the LOC: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007.... All in all a very enjoyable book. A nice change from the endless staccato of data that embalms most writings on this war.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    It is not uncommon for students of the Civil War to be familiar with the writings of either Grant or Sherman or writings about either of them [1].  What this particular book does, in the form of what amounts to a parallel biography of sorts, is to look at the friendship of Grant and Sherman as a means by which both men were made greater than either could have been on his own.  In looking at this famous and fateful friendship, the book also reminds the reader of the importance of having a good su It is not uncommon for students of the Civil War to be familiar with the writings of either Grant or Sherman or writings about either of them [1].  What this particular book does, in the form of what amounts to a parallel biography of sorts, is to look at the friendship of Grant and Sherman as a means by which both men were made greater than either could have been on his own.  In looking at this famous and fateful friendship, the book also reminds the reader of the importance of having a good support system--something both of these men needed for reasons of mental health--and also the benefits of trust.  There were other generals who were as talented as either Grant or Sherman in the army, and neither general was without flaw, but the absolute confidence that both of these generals was able to place in the other was of immense importance in determining the course of the Civil War and leading to Union victory.  Of interest as well is the way this book demonstrates the immense lack of trust Grant and Sherman had with other important people, as well as the trust that they had for Lincoln and that Lincoln had for them. As far as the contents of this book are concerned, the 400 pages or so of this book are divided into twenty chapters with a short prologue and epilogue (called L'Envoi) that take a chronological view of the lives of Grant and Sherman with a special focus on their interactions during the Civil War.  Attention is paid to the high and low points of the careers of both men and how both managed the difficult tasks of strategic insight, tactical skill in the face of battle, managing unruly subordinates, displaying political finesse in dealing with superiors in the civil and military spheres, and engaging with the press and civilians.  The book does not sugarcoat the failures or overplay the successes of the two, showing a nuanced and complicated look at how Grant and Sherman were able to build rapport with each other through the demonstration of mutual loyalty over the course of their careers during the Civil War.  In an age where communication was becoming more instant and campaigns much more complicated in nature, a development that prefigured many later developments in war, the author sensibly argues that the trust built between Grant and Sherman was decisive in providing for the Union victory despite the flaws of both men. In many ways, the author's discussion of the career of both men follows a fairly traditional set of stories.  There are discussions of Grant's poverty before the Civil War, his deeply romantic marriage with his wife, Sherman's nervous temperament and inveterate hostility towards the media, Grant's drinking, as well as the failures at Cold Harbor and the murky nature of the reporting on the Battle of Missionary Ridge.  Readers who are familiar with the biographies of both men will likely find much here that is familiar.  What may be novel is the way that the book focuses on loyalty and trust, with the implications that successful friendships and partnerships in our own lives requires that we be able to build the same sort of trust and confidence with others.  As someone who has struggled my entire life with issues of trust and confidence, this book was a familiar reminder of the importance of successfully resolving such issues in life, and although this book was a long one, it certainly was able to hold interest from beginning to end, thoughtfully written and well-researched. [1] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2011... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mary Forbes

    amazing. Absolutely impressive amount of research and supporting evidence! I learned so much about Grant and Sherman, as well as Lincoln and Stanton, but also so much about the politics and war strategy. Lincoln was under so much pressure (the Radical Republicans wanted Black freedom immediately with white Southerners treated as traitors-"hating the rebels as Christian patriots ought," while some, like Sherman, thought freedom was necessary but voting rights were not). Lincoln wanted to make sure amazing. Absolutely impressive amount of research and supporting evidence! I learned so much about Grant and Sherman, as well as Lincoln and Stanton, but also so much about the politics and war strategy. Lincoln was under so much pressure (the Radical Republicans wanted Black freedom immediately with white Southerners treated as traitors-"hating the rebels as Christian patriots ought," while some, like Sherman, thought freedom was necessary but voting rights were not). Lincoln wanted to make sure he didn't alienate border states so he soft-pedaled the freedom that he definitely seemed to plan for. Lincoln had to keep the states united. Even Grant's wife, Julia, commented on the flag during the victory parade: it was waving with all the stars still on it. Keeping the Union -and keeping it free- was everything. (although early on, Sherman observed Southerners getting ready for war-South Carolina seceded- and fired on Fort Sumter, while Northerners weren't anticipating a long or very difficult war. The way lives were intertwined was heart-wrenching. Many of the generals shared a West Point education and very real friendship. Sherman spent a year as superintendent at a military academy in Louisiana. Some Southern generals resigned positions in the North out of a sense of duty to family and home states and took up the Confederate cause. The number of soldiers killed was unbelievable. How was anyone left in the US? Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, while Sherman and his huge army were still on their mission to break Confederate forces under Johnston. Families visited army camps, and not just the officers' families. Lincoln spoke about "malice toward none" and initially said the Virginia legislature could meet to declare that they had surrendered and were officially leaving the confederacy. Lincoln's cabinet panicked and Lincoln agreed that the legislature probably better not meet. I didn't realize that Lincoln was assassinated so quickly after Lee's surrender! Johnston hadn't surrendered to Sherman yet, and victory parades hadn't even been planned yet. Plus, apparently there was a group of assassins bent on killing a bunch of Union leaders. Grant was targeted, as well as Secretary of State Seward, who was attacked in his home along with his grown sons and a couple servants. So much fascinating history-Charles Bracelen Flood made it accessible.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    A really great read! Whether or not they were friends Grant and Sherman certainly made a significant contribution toward winning the Civil War and the author makes a strong case for their friendship. In any event Flood has written an outstanding book by enabling us to look over the shoulders of these two flawed but driven characters as well as the other political, military and civilian individuals who make up the story. I put this at the top of the books I've read about the Civil War. The descri A really great read! Whether or not they were friends Grant and Sherman certainly made a significant contribution toward winning the Civil War and the author makes a strong case for their friendship. In any event Flood has written an outstanding book by enabling us to look over the shoulders of these two flawed but driven characters as well as the other political, military and civilian individuals who make up the story. I put this at the top of the books I've read about the Civil War. The descriptions of battles clear describe the settings and shifting influences, even without having to flip back to the maps. Assigning five stars was easy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    George

    One of the most readable, and thoroughly enjoyable histories of the American Civil War I have had the pleasure to read. I will confess I put it on the reading list first because Sherman is an ancestor on my mothers side. The book gave m3 new insights into the war in the west, and Grant and Sherman’s relationship . What I continue to find fascinating is that the North survived to win this war with their initial inept leadership and political nonsense. What I also find fascinating is that politics One of the most readable, and thoroughly enjoyable histories of the American Civil War I have had the pleasure to read. I will confess I put it on the reading list first because Sherman is an ancestor on my mothers side. The book gave m3 new insights into the war in the west, and Grant and Sherman’s relationship . What I continue to find fascinating is that the North survived to win this war with their initial inept leadership and political nonsense. What I also find fascinating is that politics was the same then as now, interfering when they shouldn’t, providing politically motivated oversight, and attempting to take credit from the warriors

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Bodaly

    I found this to be an interesting narrative about two men who took their own personalities and struggles and used their strengths, together at times, to impact the outcome of the Civil War, as well as both the preceding and following years. Grant was more of a modest and reluctant politician, a struggling farmer, and a closet drinker in the months of service separated from his family. Sherman was a man who bounced from one business venture to the next, and was at times considered to be a lunatic I found this to be an interesting narrative about two men who took their own personalities and struggles and used their strengths, together at times, to impact the outcome of the Civil War, as well as both the preceding and following years. Grant was more of a modest and reluctant politician, a struggling farmer, and a closet drinker in the months of service separated from his family. Sherman was a man who bounced from one business venture to the next, and was at times considered to be a lunatic. Yet both men found in the other a "brother," for the needed time and place for each other and for America.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Lord

    Loved to read about these two oft-misunderstood leaders, their friendship and how they both unlocked each other's potential on and off the battlefield. Grant has quickly become one of my favorite leaders in all of US history, and not just because of his military brilliance. From a military history perspective, it was nice to get a greater understanding of the Western theater of the Civil War, as most people tend to place far greater importance and focus on the duels between Robert E. Lee and the Loved to read about these two oft-misunderstood leaders, their friendship and how they both unlocked each other's potential on and off the battlefield. Grant has quickly become one of my favorite leaders in all of US history, and not just because of his military brilliance. From a military history perspective, it was nice to get a greater understanding of the Western theater of the Civil War, as most people tend to place far greater importance and focus on the duels between Robert E. Lee and the Army of the Potomac.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Thom

    Admittedly, I was already rather thirsting for a good Civil War book, and this one fit the bill quite nicely. It was a combination of retelling the story of a theater of the war I know less about, but it was also an interesting dual biography of sorts, also about personages I knew less about. Flood had some interesting insights into these two individuals and their relationship that shaped both of their careers.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    This included some nice background on these two men before and during the war, as well as some lesser known circumstances of their relationships with other important figures of that time. Leads me to an increased interest in reading of Sherman’s campaign in Georgia. It is easily read, but “casual history”: the footnotes are not detailed like a scholarly work and there are many secondary sources listed, even when the primary source would be available.

  19. 5 out of 5

    George

    Very interesting description of the friendship between Grant and Sherman during the Civil War, and their key roles in winning the war. Charles Bracelen Flood has attempted to explore this unique relationship in "Grant and Sherman: The Friendship that Won the Civil War." Beginning with their backgrounds, he shows their similarities. He then goes on to demonstrate the growing trust between the two generals during the early years of the war.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    It was certainly a friendship, but if it won the war is questionable. Otherwise a very good account of the Civil War. The last hundred pages is a struggle to get through, but Flood's description of the Union Army's Grand Review is worth it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Excellent book, I'd give it 4.5 stars if possible - not quite a 5, but a solid 4+. Things I didn't know personally about both of them have helped me form a better perspective on them, even at the end where parts of their later lives were (briefly) covered. Well written.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ollie Acheson

    Flood’s narrative of the Civil War collaboration of Sherman and Grant covers much familiar territory while emphasizing the strength of their friendship and the impact that had on their military campaigns. The book is well written and adds a layer of humanity to these great historical figures.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brigitte

    This is an incredibly readable narrative of how Grant and Sherman’s lives intersected to win the American Civil War. Their personalities were incredibly different, but they seemed to be able to talk one another into just about anything.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Abu Syed sajib

    "He stood by me when I was crazy and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now, sir, we stand by each other always" A tale of two failures from different backgrounds,different characters who became friends,held each other during the direst moments of American Civil War.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    An interesting read that would appeal to a wide audience.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Well written book. Engaging for something that can very easily go very dry (military history). Nice mixture of military history & biography. Well written book. Engaging for something that can very easily go very dry (military history). Nice mixture of military history & biography.

  27. 5 out of 5

    John Fulcoly

    Very readable style. Going to look up other books by this author. Crazy how unlikely for these two to rise to their positions during and after the war given their prewar situations.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Greg Hephner

    Wonderful survey not only of the relationship of these 2 men but of the Civil War strategy itself. Must read for every student of American history.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Oliver Hunt

    A good history of pre-war Grant and Sherman, and their relationship over the rest of their lives.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel Riekhof

    This book should be called "A condensed history of the Civil War." While Grant and Sherman are clearly the main characters, it is more than misleading to say this work is about their friendship.

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