Grant

tlockwood

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Dec 15, 2000
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I am impressed so far.

I do wish they would have touched on his wife's reason for posing sideways in her pictures. Its a detail they could have installed quickly.
 

BamaNation

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Apr 9, 1999
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Pretty good. I would rather watch a film based on the book than interjecting of random historians comments in the film, though. Or, if they feel they must have comments, just keep it to an occasional Ron Chernow voiceover - his books and insight are always fantastic. It's very distracting to the overall story the way these modern docu-dramas are done. They all think they're Ken Burns!

Overall, I'm liking it, regardless of my comment above.
 
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Tidewater

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Pretty good. I would rather watch a film based on the book than interjecting of random historians comments in the film, though. Or, if they feel they must have comments, just keep it to an occasional Ron Chernow voiceover - his books and insight are always fantastic. It's very distracting to the overall story the way these modern docu-dramas are done. They all think they're Ken Burns!

Overall, I'm liking it, regardless of my comment above.
I do not have cable, so I have not seen the episode yet.
I saw an unbalanced article on line which said he "left the service," without mentioning Grant being cashiered for drunkenness. Well, LT Calley "left the service" after his court-martial for My Lai.
Did they mention his slaveholding (and subsequent manumission of his slave)? He was not wealthy and he could have used the income he would have gotten from selling William when the Grants moved to Illinois, but he manumitted him instead. Grant deserves credit for that, but he was a slaveholder in Missouri in 1857.
 
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GrayTide

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I agree with Brett's take. The story is continually interrupted with comments from military historians which, IMO, hurt the flow of the presentation. Overall, pretty decent program on a General and President not generally recognized much for his service in the history of the US.
 

Padreruf

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Feb 12, 2001
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Grant was ok...not near the level of Ken Burns but acceptable. I also realized again the insanity of the South trying this...there was no way they could win...the longer the war the less their chances.
 

Tidewater

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I agree with Brett's take. The story is continually interrupted with comments from military historians which, IMO, hurt the flow of the presentation. Overall, pretty decent program on a General and President not generally recognized much for his service in the history of the US.
That is an interesting question, how he was/is remembered.
A few things rendered Grant's memory not as prominent as it might have been.
1. The North won the war without really breaking much of a sweat and northerners just went back to what they were doing beforehand. The Confederacy had universal white male conscription. The Union had a lottery. They did not need every white man in the army. The war just was not remembered with the same intensity in the North that it was in the South.
2. His administration was horribly corrupt. This pervasive corruption started during the war, but it became rampant afterwards and reached a climax under his administration. It was a carnival of corruption. Grant, to my knowledge, was never implicated, but it happened all around him.
3. "Grant the Butcher" was a real issue. In May 1864, Lee had around 64,000 men in the Army of Northern Virginia. Grant suffered 66,000 casualties (KWC) in May and June 1864 alone. And it could have been worse if Lee had not pulled the artillery out of the linear the Muleshoe on the morning of May 12th, when Grant tried one of the stupidest tactics in American history, packing 20,000 men, 200 men across the front and 100 men deep. If the Confederate artillery had been there when Grant launched that attack, Union casualties could have been horrendous, maybe bad enough to get Grant fired. Grant's attack against the center of the ANV at Cold Harbor in June 1864, cost him 7,000 killed and wounded. Grant refused to ask for a truce so he could recover the wounded because the side asking for the truce is seen as the loser. Union wounded baked in the summer sun for days until Grant swallowed his pride on the third day and asked for truce. By then, most of the wounded were dead.

That said, Grant had in spades what Clausewitz called "genie" ("will" is probably the best translation), but he was not without his shortcomings.
 
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