Ulysses S. Grant was a successful military general and the eighteenth President of the United States. A graduate of the prestigious West Point military academy, Grant served in both the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and the American Civil War (1861-1865), in which he was appointed commander of the Union Army. Grant’s successful military campaign against the Confederate States culminated in his acceptance of General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865. Grant wrote about his exploits in a memoir that was completed a short time before his death in 1885. The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant is recognized today as one of the most significant American military memoirs of all time. In an honest and intelligent voice, the celebrated Civil War general and former President offered a detailed and intimate telling of the events of the American Civil War and his role within it as a Union General.
Robert E. Lee was a graduate of West Point, a general, and commander of a Confederate army. Lee was also a slave owner. Lee never wrote memoirs.
Your assignment is to read Grant’s memoirs, starting from the day in 1864 that Grant’s army crosses the Rappahannock River in Virginia until he accepts Lee’s surrender at Appomattox courthouse on April 9, 1865. Then, watch the Lee documentary, American Experience Robert E Lee, at https://youtu.be/bHHR-M22Mwo.
After reading that section of the book and watching the video, write an essay detailing the attitudes and beliefs of the two men about succession, slavery, emancipation, and each man’s acceptance of the Union victory. Then, using examples from Grant’s memoirs and the Lee documentary to justify your opinion, present your opinion about Southern white’s (the population of the South) acceptance of emancipation after the war.
The essay must be a minimum of five paragraphs, footnoted, and include examples to justify your opinions. Your essay will be graded by content, spelling and grammar. The essay is due Friday, December 9th. Papers turned in after the due date will not be graded and a grade of “0” will be recorded.
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