The Civil War had two famous generals, General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate Army and General Ulysses S. Grant of the Union Army. They are often compared to each other and it is debated who was the better general: Lee for leading the Confederates through four years of fighting, or Grant for using strong military tactics that won the war for the Union. At first, Lee and Grant seem to be very similar, both came from a family of five or six children and both went to West Point for a free education. However, after careful juxtaposition, these two generals are remarkably different. Lee and Grant were similar in their West Point training, yet different in their adaptation abilities and willingness to learn from their mistakes.
By going to West Point, Lee and Grant were able to receive similar military education that eventually led them to fight and to become deadly enemies. While at West Point, Grant was an average student who received a number of demerits for drinking in the off-limits bars. He hated the spit-and-polish life of the army and was always known to be a sloppy dresser. However when Grant realized the gravity of the United States Civil War, he was eager to request the command of a regiment, asking ¡§if the Pre
This lack of adaptation was reflected in his northern military campaign that led to the death of over 35,000 men. And the appearance of these backgrounds made the fighting strategies of the two generals to be different. Had these two generals not fought against each other, the history of the United States would not be the same. When both President Lincoln and Union General McClellan refused him of a position, to Grants surprise, Governor Richard Yates of Illinois offered Grant the rank of colonel of a volunteer battalion. As he became the brigadier general for the regular army of the Confederacy. As a civilian Grant tried to raise money for his family by investing in a store, farming, running a billiard parlor, and helping at his father's old tannery. For instance, when he sent his troops to Maryland for an attack, he was defeated largely because of a lack of supplies and men. He was able to adapt to what was needed of him to survive. Had one of these men not gone to West Point, the tactic balance would be much different. He was not required to adjust to difficulties and therefore found it difficult to adjust his battle plans. These men both had West Point training that taught the men similar strategies. He did not want Virginia to leave the Union since his loyalty to the Union was tantamount to his loyalty to his home state of Virginia. Lee never had to adapt his living habits to his financial background, which was a part of him. The backgrounds of Lee and Grant affected their performance in the Civil War especially their training strategy, adaptation, and willingness to learn from their mistakes. Lee on the other hand, did not learn from his mistakes.