View single post by JoanieReb
 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2008 08:02 am
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JoanieReb
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In addition to the above -

Interestingly, both Foote and McPherson mention Grant's reputation as a butcher emerging before Petersburg; neither attributes it to MTL, although I'm sure she used the term.  McPherson says it was appearing in the press (Illus.BCoF, 652) at a time when it could be percieved as detrimental to Lincoln's re-election; Foote mentioned it as a copperhead charge known to the men around the time of Cold Harbor. (Volume III, 296).

McPherson didn't consider Grant's behavior normal for the time; he wrote of "Cold Harbor Syndrome" sucking the fight out of the AoP in The Battle Cry of Freedom, mentioning it repeatedly in his discussion of Cold Harbor through Peterburg.

What Foote had to say about Grant's refusal to care for his wounded bears repeating.    Following his failure to recover his wounded before they succumbed, Grant sent a snittly message to Lee, and (pg. 296):

"Lee made no reply to this, no doubt feeling that none was called for, and not even the northern commander's own troops were taken in by a blame-shifting pretense which did little more than show their chief at his worst.  They could discount the Copperhead charge that he was a butcher, a 'bull-headed Surarov', since his methods so far had at least kept the rebels on the defensive while his own army moved forward more than sixty air-miles.  But this was something else, this sacrifice of brave men for no apparent purpose but to salve his rankled pride.  Worst of all, they saw in the agony of their commrades, left to die amid the corpses on a field already lost, a preview of much agony to come, when they themselves would be left to whimper through days of pain while their leader composed notes in defense of conduct which so far as they could see, had been indefensible from the start."                

(Italics and bold print mine)

Unfortunately, the only McPherson book I have at hand right now is Battle Cry of Freedom; judging from that, I'd say Mcpherson and Foote are likely of similar mind about the whole affair;  I'm looking forward to looking into that. 

Last edited on Thu Feb 7th, 2008 08:08 am by JoanieReb

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