Diane Monroe Smith will discuss her book Command Conflicts in Grant’s Overland Campaign: Ambition And Animosity In The Army Of the Potomac. She is the author of three Civil War books; Fanny and Joshua, Chamberlain at Petersburg and Grant’s Overland Campaign. She is married to a Civil War author, Ned Smith. They live in Holden, Maine and spend their summers in maritime Canada.
In her book, Command Conflicts in Grant’s Overland Campaign, Ambition and Animosity in the Army of the Potomac, Smith supports with substantial historical documentation, her belief that Grant was too lenient with Sheridan, Wilson, and other Western generals, a habit that possibly extended the war in Virginia an extra nine months. The book lays out substantive evidence that had some of the Western generals not been so contemptuous of their Eastern counterparts and had cooperated more with them during the Overland Campaign, Union troops could have captured the under-defended Petersburg in summer 1864 and forced Confederate troops to abandon Richmond and probably Virginia altogether. Smith also supports with ample evidence her belief that Grant cared little about his men’s lives. He earned the nickname “Butcher” Grant during the Overland Campaign, during which he repeatedly hurled his men against entrenched Confederates. “To me, Grant was just a guy who threw men into battle” without personally reconnoitering the terrain, Smith explained.