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Hero of Chattanooga

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Hero of Chattanooga

The 1864 Biography of Ulysses S. Grant

 

Have given this particular article its title due to the fact it refers to the first biography of General U.S. Grant, published by Julian K. Larke of New York in March 1864 (after the stunning victory of Grant’s Army at Chattanooga, and before it was known “how the war would end.”)

For our purposes, pages 50 – 97 are the most interesting, beginning with “the Seizure of Paducah” on 6 SEP 1861 (we are informed that John Fremont had no role in Grant’s decision to take possession of that strategically important Ohio River port.) Battle of Belmont runs from pages 53 – 58 (with excellent List of General Grant’s Staff Officers.) Also, an interesting relationship with Eleazer Paine is introduced, concerning atrocities committed by Southern citizens of Missouri against U.S. troops at Bird’s Point; and subsequently details “imperfect plans” provided to the Press, and potential spies, by General Grant, to keep real intentions and military movements from being known.

Fort Henry occupies pages 66 – 69 (and John McClernand’s assignment as commander of the First Division is revealed.) The description of Fort Donelson is a good summary, except it ignores the roles played by John McClernand and John McArthur in facilitating the breakout attempt of Saturday morning 15 FEB 1862. Also, no credit is accorded Lew Wallace for sapping the momentum of the Confederate breakout. And, of course, ample coverage is provided to the Unconditional Surrender (although, the breaching of the topic of “Grant’s intemperance” following victory at Fort Donelson is unexpected; as is possible complicity by Henry Halleck...)

Beginning with “Grant’s new District of West Tennessee,” leading to the occupation of Clarksville, followed by the Return to Federal control of Nashville (with no mention made of Grant’s role there) and concluding with “Grant’s army moved up the Tennessee River,” the two or three weeks following Fall of Fort Donelson are carefully massaged to present U.S. Grant in the best light.

The buildup to the Battle of Shiloh begins page 84, with emphasis on destroying Confederate railroads. And the Battle, itself – including Buell’s importance; the issue of “surprise” and the role of Prentiss; and the inclusion of William Carroll’s Battle of Pittsburg article – all are covered pages 86 – 97 (which concludes with mention of Sherman’s advance on April 8th.)

General Grant and his Campaigns by Julian K. Larke (published 1864) is of value for learning how the Hero of Chattanooga was perceived, before he was called to Washington… before he ended up winning the war.

https://archive.org/details/generalgrantandh00larkrich/page/n5

N.B.  For those in search of "something more," the description of the Public Dinner attended by General Grant in St. Louis on 26 JAN 1864 is to be found pages 455 - 462; "Grant's Appearance and Character" are described pages 463 - 468. And in the Appendix, pages 15 - 23, a remarkable justification for General Grant's performance at Shiloh, presented before the House of Representatives on 2 May 1862, by Elihu Washburne.

Julian K. Larke at find-a-grave  https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/172074446/julian-k.-larke

https://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Larke%2c J. K. (Julian K.)&c=x  other works by Julian K. Larke

 

 

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As far as can be determined, Julian Larke's was the first complete biography of U.S. Grant available to the public (published 1864.) The other early biographies:

  • Henry Coppee                    1864                          brief 3-page article that appeared in United States Service Magazine, June edition
  • Henry Coppee                    1866                          complete biography, Grant and His Campaigns
  • Adam Badeau                    1867                          Military History of Ulysses S. Grant
  • U. S. Grant                          1885                          Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant 

Links:  Coppee article in SDG topic "Personalities" -- "U. S. Grant"

Coppee  https://archive.org/details/granthiscampaign01lccopp/page/n5

Badeau  https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000465085

U.S. Grant  https://www.gutenberg.org/files/4367/4367-h/4367-h.htm

 

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