Posted:  Jan. 16, 2014

General Gordon Granger by Robert C. Conner  This is the first full-length biography of the Civil War general who saved the Union army from catastrophic defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga, and went on to play major roles in the Chattanooga and Mobile campaigns. Immediately after the war, as commander of U.S. troops in Texas, his actions sparked the Juneteenth celebrations of slavery's end, which continue to this day.

Granger’s first battle was at Wilson’s Creek, Missouri, and he soon thereafter rose through the ranks—cavalry, then infantry—in early 1863 vying with Forrest and Van Dorn for control of central Tennessee. The artillery platform he erected at Franklin, dubbed Fort Granger, would soon overlook the death knell of the main Confederate army in the west.

Granger’s first fame, however, came at Chickamauga, when the Rebel Army of Tennessee came within a hair’s-breadth of destroying the Union Army of the Cumberland. Without orders—even defying them—Granger marched his Reserve Corps to the scene of the hottest action, where Thomas was just barely holding on with the rump of Rosecrans’ army. Bringing fresh ammunition and hurling his men against Longstreet’s oncoming legions, Granger provided just enough breathing space to prevent that Union defeat from becoming the worst open-field battle disgrace of the war.

Granger was then given command of a full infantry corps, but just proved too odd of a fellow to promote further. At Chattanooga he got on the nerves of U.S. Grant for going off to shoot cannons instead of commanding his troops (he’d actually indulged this impulse also at Chickamauga) and Sherman had no use for him either. So he went down to join Farragut in the conquest of Mobile, Alabama, leading land operations against the Confederate forts.

This long-overdue biography sheds fascinating new light on a colorful commander who fought through the war in the West from its first major battles to its last, and even left his impact on the Reconstruction beyond.

An interesting story about a Civil war General that I had never remember hearing about. He started his career at West Point, he was a little older than some of the most in his class and he graduated towards the bottom have. Knowing he would probably get stuck with infantry. He was sent to different posts finally ending up in Texas. The start of the Mexican, American War saw him being moved the Calvary and engaged in several battles since he was so close. He was also ordered to cross parts of Mexico to meet up with General Scott. He made it there and had several victories and accolades from Gen Scott and others. After the war he was assigned to the West and eventually ended up in what is now New Mexico. Part of George Granger problem is that now even as an LT. he speaks what is on his mind even if it goes against his superiors. Some of this came from his mom dying at a young age then his father passing away a couple of years after he was in West Point. He is also always dealing with some type of lung or chest problem which would bother him in his later years. When some other officers were leaving the service he stayed. Grant, Sherman and some others left only to come back later. When the civil war broke out he called from the west and sent to Missouri. Where he fought one of the first battles called Wilson creek. Not really a battle he and his troops routed to south without a single shot. He was then sent to St. Louis and put in charge of drilling and putting troops together. He did this, he also told people to expect some defeats for the south had been planning for this and had been drilling soldiers putting units together and were better organized than the north. This came true at the first battle of Bull Run where union troops broke ranks and ran giving the south a first victory. He then he then gets assigned to start the 2nd Calvary Michigan. From there the battles he was in and leading they were winning with low casualties and the men under him were enjoying the way he was handling the field of battle. By using cannon fire and setting up the rest of the field of attack so they can attack with the least amount of body count for the union. The one battle he is known for is the battle of Chickamauga. Where when the general Rosecrans delaying the attack and then during the middle of the battle Rosecrans pulled the middle of the troops from the field leaving by him seeing this and knowing that Steadman was by himself he came in and filled in. they were able to hold off Longstreet division and this battle lasted until into the night. After this he is moved to another area and that battle he argues with Grant for Grant says he is moving to slow. But it could be Grant trying to take the press off from himself for the Petersburg, Virginia, battle or campaign would last nine months. Granger would be sent to Mobile to fight with Admiral Farragart, this would continue until the end of the war with many victories. Though there are many completes about Granger from the higher ups. The men that fought with spoke highly of him. They liked the fact that he was up on the front lines with them and that his casualties were always lower than all of the other troops. After the war he would be sent to Texas and then back to New Mexico and after a few years he would pass away out there. Grant was President and he made the family pay for the body to be transported back east, even though he was on active duty and had over 30 years continue service when Grant and Sherman had left then came back. A good story about a General that I never heard about and I am glad I read this book. A lot of information. I got this book from net galley.

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