Lincoln & Grant: The relationship between Lincoln and Grant was always a good one, developed on mutual trust. They both knew they were good at their jobs and thus stayed out of each other’s fields. What Grant had that all other Union commanders lacked was this trust and the belief that Lee and his army were the primary objectives in defeating the Confederates.
Grant- Grant was a very aggressive commander and was relentless in his pursuit of victory, often to the point where we should take unnecessary casualties, like at Cold Harbor where his assault failed horribly. This was a merit in the end, as he always kept trying to win and used bold tactics to do so, such as Vicksburg. He also pursued unconditional surrender, which I do believe was useful, as it completely removed Confederate armies from the field.
Comparison- To compare Lincoln and Grants’ relationship, we should look at one of the worst relationships of the war, which is Lincoln with McClellan. Grant and Lincoln stayed out of each other’s way, while both fulfilling a role to help the other. Lincoln never bent to public pressure to replace Grant and Grant won him battles in turn. If this didn’t happen the relationship may have not worked. The two also didn’t interfere with each other’s jobs, as they trusted the other to fulfill there job. McClellan did none of the above, he didn’t trust Lincoln, he interfered with politics, and he didn’t win any decisive victories. He also was very slow to fight, which Lincoln disliked. I believe these relationships show that Lincoln needed somebody like Grant, as he needed to be sure his generals were willing to fight and do their job, as he disliked McClellan’s passiveness.
Reflection- The Union developed the ability to win through a few ways. First, they had a master strategist with the vision of victory that gave them a masterful plan of action, Winfield Scott and the Anaconda Plan. They then needed generals who would buy into this strategy, and while it took longer for this step to be achieved it was in fact achieved. Compare this to Davis and the CSA, who was very political with replacing generals. The CSA also didn’t have a core strategy for winning the war, their strategy was to make the North give up essentially. The Confederates had many gifted generals at the beginning but without a strategy and political meddling, these generals were put to waste. Thus, with their core strategy the Union developed generals who then finally could execute their strategy.