General Ulysses S. Grant is remembered today as a war winning general, and he certainly deserves credit for his efforts on behalf of the Union. But has he gotten too much credit, at the expense of other men? In an earlier book, General Grant and the Rewriting of History, Dr. Varney looked at the tempestuous relationship of Grant with General William S. Rosecrans. In General Grant and the Verdict of History: Memoir, Memory, and the Civil War, Professor Varney looks at Grant’s relationship with three other noted Civil War generals: the brash and uncompromising “Fighting Joe” Hooker; George H. Thomas, the stellar soldier who earned the sobriquet of “The Rock of Chickamauga” on one of the bloodiest fields of the war; and Gouverneur Kemble Warren, who served honorably and well in every major action of the Army of the Potomac before finding himself relieved, less than two weeks before the end of the war, after he had played a prominent part in the Union victory.
It is time to go back to the original sources: back to the letters and journals and reports and memoirs of other witnesses, back to the transcripts of the court-martial, and to use those sources to examine Grant’s story from a new perspective, as we compare what Grant said to the accounts other witnesses have left us. The results are enlightening and more than a little disturbing.
About the Presenter: Frank Varney earned his undergraduate degree at William Paterson University, and his MA and PH.D at Cornell University. He retired as a Distinguished Professor of U.S. and Classical History, and recently began teaching at St. Michael’s College in Vermont. He frequently speaks to Civil War roundtables, history societies, and other interested groups, and often takes student groups to visit historical sites, especially Civil War battlefields. Dr. Varney makes frequent appearances as a guest on television and radio.
Funding for this program is presented as a public service by the North Jersey Civil War Round Table.
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