Lincoln and Grant's Teamwork: Keys to Their Civil War Success

Lincoln and Grant's Teamwork: Keys to Their Civil War Success

by Edward Bonekemper, David deis

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Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant formed one of the most effective partnerships in history. The unheralded accomplishment of Lincoln and Grant was to balance the civilian-military relationship nearly as perfectly as it could be; that, along with winning the war, may be the greatest legacy these two handed down to us. To understand the reasons for their astounding mutual Civil War success, it is necessary to examine their similar personality traits, their interpersonal respect and loyalty, and major aspects of their working relationship.

This book has been excerpted directly from my full-blown study, Lincoln and Grant: The Westerners Who Won the Civil War. The footnotes have been deleted and clarifying modifications made. Anyone interested in a full study of the backgrounds, Civil War experience, and successful working relationship of Lincoln and Grant should consult that book.

Instead, this book is intended to provide a synopsis of the keys to their successful teamwork during the Civil War. It provides insights into personal traits and divisions of responsibility that may prove useful to those interested in developing successful teams.

Author Ed Bonekemper discusses the shared personal traits that made Lincoln and Grant so successful. These were their humility, decisiveness, clarity of communications, moral courage and perseverance. He provides examples of these traits for both Lincoln and Grant.

Building on those traits, the two men developed interpersonal relations based on mutual respect and loyalty -- both of which increased as they worked for Union success in the Civil War. As the war progressed, so did their respect for and loyalty to each other. They covered each other's back.

After describing the development of their interpersonal relations, Bonekemper fleshes out their working relationship in vital areas. Those he describes are national policies, military strategy, military operations and tactics, military personnel decisions concerning manpower in the field (e.g., recruiting and use of black soldiers and prisoner-of-war exchange policies), and military personnel decisions concerning army generals (especially political generals).

The reader is left with an understanding of the factors that made the Lincoln-Grant relationship so successful that it has served as the model for relations between civilian and military leaders in a democracy. It is a model for successful partnerships and teamwork.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013458109
Publisher: Edward Bonekemper
Publication date: 11/14/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Ed Bonekemper is Book review editor of the Civil War News and a former adjunct lecturer in military history at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania. He earned a B.A. cum laude in American history from Muhlenberg, an M.A. in American history from Old Dominion University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
He is the author of numerous Civil War articles and four other Civil War books: How Robert E. Lee Lost the Civil War (Fredericksburg, Virginia: Sergeant Kirkland’s Press, 1998); A Victor, Not a Butcher: Ulysses S. Grant’s Overlooked Military Genius (Washington: Regnery Press, 2004) [Republished as Ulysses S. Grant: A Victor, Not a Butcher: The Military Genius of the Man Who Won the Civil War (Washington: Regnery Publishing, 2010)]; McClellan and Failure: A Study of Civil War Fear, Incompetence and Worse (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2007, 2010); Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian (Westport. Connecticut: Praeger, 2008); and Lincoln and Grant: The Westerners Who Won the Civil War (e-book on Kindle and Nook, 2011). All are available as e-books.
Ed served as a Federal Government lawyer-manager for over 34 years, including 11 years on active duty with the U.S. Coast Guard. He is a retired Commander, USCG Reserve. Ed lives with Susan, his wife of over 47 years, and their cockapoo Ruby, a great Susan-trained therapy dog, in Willow Street, Pennsylvania.

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