A note to the author's section on Grant in his multi-part essay, "Mark Twain on the Crimean War." In-text citations refer to items in the bibliography. [Click on the preceding link to return to the main text.]

In 1889, Wolseley managed to do some passing injury to his American reputation when he wrote a series of articles in the North American Review entitled "An English View of the American Civil War." There, he said that Grant's proceedings at Shiloh were "not militarily defensible." He added, "It is hoped that no one will imagine for a moment that I wish to throw a stone at General Grant. We are all of us liable to human error. The greatest generals have made great, perhaps some of the greatest, mistakes ever made in war . . . . As a matter of fact, it would seem that Grant and Sherman before Shiloh, like Wellington and Blucher before Quatre Bras and Lignay, were contemplating an offensive, not a defensive, campaign. By coupling together these names as I have done, I shall perhaps best show that I am not speaking with any disparagement of Grant or Sherman." Discussing the Wilderness campaign, he argued that "Lee simply and completely outgeneraled his great opponent" (Wolseley 1964; 82-83; 197).

Created 16 August 2005

Last modified 10 April 2017