Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Grant: Savior of the Union by Mitchell Yockelson

on August 6, 2012


About the Book:


When Ulysses S. Grant accepted the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865, he became the Savior of the Union. But he was more than just a general during the most controversial and costly time in American history.

One hundred and fifty years since the Civil War commenced, Ulysses S. Grant is still considered one of the greatest officers to wear the uniform of the United States Army. But he began his military career reluctantly.

After his father submitted an application to West Point for his son, Grant reluctantly attended. A few years after graduation he served in the Mexican War and distinguished himself in combat, but while he enjoyed the excitement of war, shortly after he married he became despondent at the amount of time his army life kept him away from his family and resigned. But when the country split apart in 1861 and war between the northern and southern states erupted, Grant was eager to wear a uniform again and serve his country.

Joining the Union Army meant more to Grant than becoming a soldier again. He fought because he believed it was his duty to do so. He firmly believed the war was fought over the issue of slavery, and so even after he was unable to secure a commission with the regular army he signed up with the Illinois volunteer army. Grant was a natural leader and rose quickly to Commander of the Union Army. He was a soldier’s soldier and the men who served under him respected his abilities to lead them in battle.

After the war, Grant went on to become the eighteenth president of the United States, serving two terms and presiding over the second half of Reconstruction, fighting for African American and Native American civil rights, and signing bills promoting black voting rights and Klan prosecution.

After years of resisting offers to write about his Civil War experience he suddenly found himself rushed to complete his memoirs when he was diagnosed with throat cancer. His two-volume memoirs were completed days before he died and were published posthumously in 1885. They are considered to be the greatest work of the genre and through them his military contributions remain with us always.


My Opinion:


I enjoy anything Civil War and I was hoping for the same thing as I agreed to read and review this book, Grant: Savior of the Union.  I must say I found myself slogging through the book in order to finish it so I could honestly review it – I got over half way through and I couldn’t take it anymore.  I found the writing to be, well, boring and even though Grant lived an exciting life this book did little to help the reader in getting excited about him or his successes.  I would probably recommend this to a middle school or even a remedial high school student should they want a semi-unbiased account of Grant and his life, but for an adult it simply moves to slow.


I’ve enjoyed the other books in this series and that is what makes this review so hard to write.  I really wanted a little more history on Grant than what I received in high school but this book just seemed to reiterate what I already knew and didn’t do much to make me more knowledgeable in someone with so much history.  It was informational but more in a juvenile way than something that an adult would enjoy and find engaging – so if you have a child who is studying the Civil War or wants to know more about Grant then this book may be a good source, but if you want a more engaging and captivating writing style this isn’t it.


**Disclaimer:  I was provided an e-book version from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.


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