A General Who Will Fight: The Leadership of Ulysses S. Grant


A General Who Will Fight: The Leadership of Ulysses S. Grant


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Prior to his service in the Civil War, nothing about Ulysses S. Grant indicated that he would be an extraordinary leader. His performance as a cadet at West Point was mediocre and he finished in the bottom half of his class. Nevertheless, during his early service in the Civil War, most notably at the battles of Shiloh and Vicksburg, Grant demonstrated that he was developing an uncommon drive. When it was most crucial, Grant proved his mettle by taking control of the Union troops and leading his forces to complete victory through a combination of integrity, determination, and reason. A General Who Will Fight is a detailed study of leadership that explores Grant's rise from undisciplined cadet to Commanding General of the United States Army. Some experts have attributed Grant's success to superior manpower and resources, to the help he received from other Union armies, or even to a ruthless willingness to sacrifice his own men. This study, however, refutes these arguments and reveals that the only explanation for Grant's success lies in his leadership skill, professional competence, and unshakeable resolve. Much more than a book on military strategy, this innovative analysis examines the decision-making process that enabled Grant both to excel as an unquestioned commander and to win.

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY




978-0-8131-3678-3 (pdf version)


978-0-8131-4075-9 (epub version)




Ulysses S. Grant, Leadership, Civil War, Shiloh, Vicksburg, ChattanoogaOverland Campaign


History | Military History