The best and worst was brought out of the

The Civil War is counted as among the most devastating war for the United States, as brother fought brother and more blood was shed, the best and worst was brought out of the generals leading the war, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant included. It is often stated that the person who won the race, debate, battle, or war is often the greatest, smartest, and strongest of all involved. However, in the case of war, victory is decided on an individual’s strategy, tactics, understanding of the battlefield, clear understanding of the enemy and their tactics, capability to lead, and a desire to win. With a careful analyzation of these traits and other information, it will be clear that Ulysses S. Grant was the greatest general during the civil war.Both Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant lived between the years 1807 and 1885, although Robert E. Lee was 15 years older than Ulysses S. Grant1. Both Lee and Grant have similarities and  differences which help in understanding their characters and gaining valuable insights as to why Ulysses S. Grant is undoubtedly the greatest general of the Civil War. They both graduated from the United States Military Academy located at West Point, though Robert E. Lee graduated the second best in his class. Grant, on the other hand, was below average in his academic studies and was someone who could never reach the same heights as Lee. “…Grant settled into the center of his class, neither close to the top nor at the bottom…” “Grant graduated number twenty-one in his class of twenty-nine, with a four-year total of 290 demerits…”2 During both generals schooling, only the Jomimi Principles were taught at the Westpoint military academy3, where many of the Civil War generals graduated from.4 These principles stated: “in a word, every thing that can be called the poetry and metaphysics of war,—will have a permanent influence on its results.” This heavily influenced their fighting styles, and led to most battles being fought following these guidelines by both opposing parties. The main problem with this was that the terrain of America called for sever changes in strategy, which wasn’t compensated for by many generals. Two generals that did account for this and adjust their strategies, however, were Grant and William T. Sherman, both very successful Union generals, these two men also served in the American Army during the Mexican-American War5. In the Mexican-American War, Grant was a very prominent quartermaster, even leading a charge against Mexican General Mariano Arista where the United States gained a major leg-up on the Mexican army.6 His battles were an important and game-changing part of the Mexican-American War, giving him the reputation that would later make Robert E. Lee uneasy when faced with Grant.Robert E. Lee had much more renown in the Army than Ulysses S. Grant. He dressed nicely, was highly disciplined, openly religious, intelligent and very orderly. And due to all of this, he had made a name for himself before the secession of the Southern States in 1861, which marked the beginning of the Civil War. Ulysses S. Grant understood that victory was the only thing that mattered. He rose through the ranks from trainer of voluntary Union Units to a colonel. There was always another option for his troops, and his attitudes brought him and the Union army results time after time. He aimed for victory7, and only did what would cause him to gain victory by any means necessary. With the permission of Major General Henry Halleck, Ulysses S. Grant led his volunteer soldiers in 1862 and in co-operation with Union Navy H. Foote, captured Fort Henry. Then he turned his attention to Donelson and captured it too.  He had managed to capture enough Confederate soldiers from Johnston to theoretically turn the tide of the impending Battle of Shiloh in his favor.8 He had also captured more soldiers at the takeover of Fort Donelson than any Union general. These two victories gave Grant confidence and fueled the North, giving them hope for a victory over the South. Ulysses S. Grant. The Hero of Appomattox, The Butcher, the man known by his name “Unconditional Surrender” Grant. Resourceful, knowledgeable, tactful, and unwilling to lose, this man rose to be known as one of the greatest generals in history. Not just because he won the war, but because of how he won the war. He looked at war like a chess game, never focusing on winning a battle or taking a pawn. No, this man focused on defeating the enemy completely with only one thing on his mind: Win at any cost.