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Grant and Lee: A Study in Contrasts

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Transcript of Grant and Lee: A Study in Contrasts

Grant and Lee: A Study in Contrasts
Bruce Catton

THESIS
"They were two strong men, these oddly different generals, and they represented the strengths of two conflicting currents that, through them, had come into final collision(Catton, 352)."
Robert E. Lee
"In such a land Lee stood for the feeling that it was somehow of advantage to human society to have a pronounced inequality in the social structure(Catton, 352)."
Ulysses S. Grant
"He was one of a body of men who owed reverence and obeisance to no one, who were self-reliant to a fault, who cared hardly anything for the past but who had a sharp eye for the future(Catton, 352)."
Essays Conclusion
"Two great Americans, Grant and Lee- very different, yet under everything very much alike(Catton, 354)."
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Lee felt that there should be a lower class backed by an ownership of land. The land would act as the key source of wealth for the country. This would cause the men in the community to feel obligated to it.
Grant only sought after what was best for the country. He was always looking into the future.
Grant wanted to see a country that stayed united and a people that banded together in times of trial. He had no desire for a split in the people. He only wanted to see the country succeed.
Lee wanted a lower class that provided the work force for the economy. He fought for his belief that slavery was essential to the economic stability in the Confederacy.
Similarities
They were both good fighters and had an ability to think before their enemy acted. Most importantly they had the will to win even after being near defeat.

"In each man there was an indomitable quality... the born fighter's refusal to give up as long as he can still remain on his feet and lift his two fists(Catton, 353)."
Differences
Grant would have done anything to save the Union. He felt that without a united people he did not have a future.
Lee must have felt tied to the region he lived in. He fought to preserve the way of life he had known.
Robert E. Lee embodied the spirit of a fighter as did Ulysses S. Grant. Neither of the two men would give up in the fight for their cause. They both showed that they would do anything necessary.
The following is an excerpt from a letter written by Lee to his son in April of 1864:

"But we Cannot indulge in grief however mournful yet pleasing. Our Country demands all our thoughts, all our energies. To resist the powerful Combination now forming against us, will require every man at his place. If victorious we have everything to hope for in the future. If defeated nothing will be left us to live for (Yancey, Dwayne)."

This shows that Lee was open with others about how much the Confederate cause meant to him.
Important Quality
Lee
Grant
The following is a letter written by Grant to his father in April 1861:
"Whatever may have been my political opinions before, I have but one sentiment now. That is, we have a Government, and laws and a flag, and they must all be sustained. There are but two parties now, traitors and patriots and I want hereafter to be ranked with the latter, and I trust, the stronger party("U.S. Grant to his Father")."
This shows that Grant thought of nothing else except keeping the Union in tact.
The following quote shows that Robert E. Lee was willing to do whatever he needed to do to ensure a victory so that his idea of what society should like could flourish. He was speaking to a fellow general.
"To be a good soldier, you must love the army. To be a good commander, you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love"("Quotations by Author")."
Lee personified loyalty by being willing to die for what he believed in.
This quote by General Grant proves that he was not fighting for personal accolades but instead to restore peace to country torn apart by the issue of slavery.
"I have never advocated war except as a means of peace("Ulysses S. Grant Quotes")."
Grant was a prime example that you can still

act with poise in the face of danger and make the right decisions that will ultimately keep the country united.
Grant & Lee
Fighting for Slavery
Fighting for the Union
Lee
Grant
Conclusion
Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee both had qualities that allowed them to be effective leaders of their respective sides in the Civil War. They were a lot alike in their fighting styles but they were drastically different in the reason they fought and the reason why they were effective on the battlefield. Grant fought to save the Union while Lee fought to save slavery. Grant always acted with poise and made the right decisions on the battlefield while Lee was loyal to his cause by being willing to do anything that would aid his troops in fighting the war. Grant and Lee may be viewed differently but they both exemplified characteristics that should be part of how we as humans act.
Catton, Bruce. "Grant and Lee: A Study in Contrasts."
The McGraw-Hill Reader: Issues across the
Disciplines.
Ed. Gilbert H. Muller. New York: McGraw-Hill. 351-354. Print

"Lost Episode for June 26- Watchmen on the Wall."
Watchmen on the Wall RSS.
Watchmen On The
Wall, 28 June 2013. Web. 05 Dec. 2013.

"Quotations by Author."
Robert E. Lee Quotes.
N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2013.

"Robert E. Lee's Condolence Letter to His Son Rooney, 1864."
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of
American History.
N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2013.

"Ulysses S. Grant Quotes."
Ulysses S. Grant Quotes (Author of Memoirs and Selected Letters).
Goodreads Inc, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2013.

"U.S. Grant to His Father."
Council on Foreign Relations.
Council on Foreign Relations, n.d. Web. 05
Dec. 2013.

Yancey, Dwayne. "Today Is Lee-Jackson Day: Blue Ridge Caucus."
Blue Ridge Caucus Today Is
LeeJackson Day Comments.
N.p., 14 Jan. 2011. Web. 05 Dec. 2013.


Matthew Sharp
English 101- Final Project
12/5/13
Full transcript