Published 06/06/12

A Union general on the edge

"Grant on the Edge" is Thom Bassett's latest installment in "Disunion," the New York Times' series on the Civil War.  In it, Bassett, a lecturer in Bryant's Department of English and Cultural Studies, explores the reasons Ulysses S. Grant was contemplating quitting the Army in June 1892, and the role William T. Sherman played in changing Grant's mind.

"Grant’s decision to leave has been forgotten in light of his brilliant success later in the war," Bassett writes. "But it was a critical episode in his life — and, more important, a critical moment in the war, because it turned on differences between [Henry W.] Halleck and Grant — one at the height of his power, one still unsure of his future — that highlighted two divergent paths forward in the drive toward Union victory."

Bassett is writing a novel about Sherman and the burning of Columbia, S.C., in February 1865.

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