Thursday, June 29, 2006

Reading Simpson's Grant biography, just finished the section on Vicksburg and the immediate aftermath. One of the things that comes out crystal-clear in Simpson's account is Grant's proclivity for recruiting stalwarts among those set to spy & monitor him. One after another - McPherson for Halleck, James Wilson for McClernand, Olmstead for the Sanitary Commission, Dana and Thomas for Lincoln & Stanton - those sent to spy on Grant, check up on him, or possibly relieve him outright in Lorenzo Thomas's case, became instead advocates, cronies, or supporters once they came into Grant's presence.

Grant showed no sign of any personal charisma or magnetism prior to the war. Where and when did he develop this ability to corrupt and convert his would-be minders to his cause? Why didn't it work on newspaper writers?

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