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The Leadership Styles of General Robert E. Lee and General Grant During the Civil War.

By | September 2012
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The leadership styles of General Robert E. Lee and General Grant during the Civil War. Ulysses S. Grant was not as well known at the start of the Civil War as Robert E. Lee but proved to be just as valuable during the war. As a soldier, Grant believed, “When in doubt, fight.” And he did fight. He won fame for demanding unconditional (complete) surrender from the Southern commanders he was fighting. In fact, people in the North began saying Grant’s initials, “U.S.,” stood for “Unconditional Surrender.” In battle, Grant was tough and hard. He was not “a retreating man.” Soon Grant was made a general. He became a leading figure of the war in the West. In 1863 he captured the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi. He starved the city into surrender. Grant’s victory at Vicksburg came the same day as Lee’s retreat from Gettysburg. With Vicksburg in Union hands, the North had control of shipping on the Mississippi River. Lincoln promoted Grant to the highest rank in the army. Grant was afraid of no one, not even Robert E. Lee. When Grant became commander of the Union armies, he attacked without letup. He lost 50,000 men, all told. Some people called him a “butcher.” This hurt him, but he knew only one way to win – attack. Such was the man who finally pounded the South into surrender. General Robert E. Lee was the strong, kind, religious man who led the Confederate armies. He came from an old Virginia family. His father, “Light Horse Harry” Lee, had been one of George Washington’s favorite officers. In March 1861, Robert E. Lee was a colonel in the U.S. Army. He was against slavery and had set his own slaves free. He did not like the idea of the South seceding from the Union. He knew that a war which pitted brother against brother would be a terrible tragedy. But he also knew that he could not fight against his own state, Virginia. Like most Southerners, Lee believed that his state and its rights were more important than the Union. Lee said: “If I owned four million slaves, I...
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