December 11, 2013
9. “Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War”: As Charles Bracelen Flood makes perfectly clear in this engaging book, the Union would have lost the war had it not been for the professional and personal relationship between Ulysses S. Grant, the Union army’s general in chief, and William Tecumseh Sherman, his subordinate. From the very start of this book, the reader follows these men as they lead their armies to victory in both theaters of the war, east and west. Flood’s writing is fluid and compelling: He does not get caught in the trap of telling one man’s story and then the other, chapter by chapter, like a pendulum in a grandfather clock — first tick (Grant), then tock (Sherman). Instead, the author blends his account of the two generals into a perfect whole and makes us feel, page after page, that we are in the presence of these great soldiers, marching off to war or sitting by a campfire with them. There is probably no better book that explains precisely how the Union, guided by these two brilliant officers, won the Civil War.