Magazine article Army

Lee and Grant: Profiles in Leadership from the Battlefields of Virginia

Magazine article Army

Lee and Grant: Profiles in Leadership from the Battlefields of Virginia

Article excerpt

Lee and Grant: Profiles in Leadership from the Battlefields of Virginia. Maj. Charles R. Bowery Jr. American Management Association. 262 pages; photographs; notes; $24.

On May 4, 1864, Ulysses S. Grant crossed the Rapidan River just south of Washington, D.C., to attack Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia, beginning a series of bloody battles collectively named the Overland Campaign. Although the names of the battles provide markers-Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna and Cold Harbor-this campaign was two months of nonstop combat. The author tells us that these battles were "unprecedented in their scale and ferocity, a titanic series of clashes that redefined the savagery of the Civil War. It was the largest, hardest-fought and most destructive military campaign ever waged on the North American continent, and it involved the opposing armies in combat on virtually a daily basis for the entire period." Talk about fertile ground for a study of leadership.

Maj. Charles Bowery is uniquely equipped to tell this story of combat leadership. He taught history at the U.S. Military Academy and is an Army officer with combat experience himself, bringing added credibility to the discussion.

The book begins with chapters introducing Lee and Grant-their backgrounds, values and the events that shaped them-followed by a chronological presentation of the campaign, using the different battles to highlight timeless leadership principles.

This book is an exceptional resource for leaders to read and discuss with their subordinates. …

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