Grant and Halleck: Contrasts in Command

Grant and Halleck: Contrasts in Command

Grant and Halleck: Contrasts in Command

Grant and Halleck: Contrasts in Command

Excerpt

In the summer of 1854, two captains resigned on consecutive days: Ulysses S. Grant as of July 31, Henry W. Halleck as of August 1. Halleck had made the shrewder move: for years bureaucrats questioned whether Grant deserved pay for the entire month of July. Each regiment had ten captains but only two majors, the next higher rank. Promotion to major represented a bottleneck in the promotional process. On the day he resigned, the mail had finally brought Grant his commission as captain, although the appointment was backdated to August 5, 1853. Grant had attained the rank of captain at age thirty-one. Halleck had also attained the rank of captain in the summer of 1853, but he was seven years older than Grant. Both knew that many years would elapse before further promotion.1. Military service made so few demands and paid so poorly that many officers, especially on the Pacific Coast, had already launched new careers. Halleck had joined a law firm in 1850; Grant had attempted several business ventures, all disappointing . . .

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