Lincoln and Grant: The Westerners Who Won the Civil War

Politics & Current Affairs, History, Biographies & Memoirs

By Edward Bonekemper

Publisher : Edward Bonekemper,

ABOUT Edward Bonekemper

Edward Bonekemper
I am the author of five Civil War books, as well as a speaker and  teacher of Civil War and American military history.  My history degrees are from Muhlenberg College and Old Dominion University, and my law degree is from Yale.



Incredibly, this is the first-ever book-length study of President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant. It explores the reasons for their successful teamwork as commander-in-chief and general-in-chief of the victorious Union forces in the American Civil War.

Building on his prior studies of Grant, Lee and McClellan, Ed Bonekemper has produced the first-ever book-length study of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. They formed one of the great partnerships in American history and were the primary players in the
Union’s Civil War victory.


This book examines their similar “Western” backgrounds, pre-Civil War experiences (including a shared opposition to the instigation of the Mexican War), Civil War experiences on military and political battlefields, common personality traits (humility, decisiveness, clarity of communication, moral courage and perseverance), and mutual respect and loyalty.


Its chapters tell the story of a president desperate to find a general with the courage and skills the North needed for a Civil War victory, a general who had difficulty even getting a command at the start of the war but rose to and through the ranks of senior generals with victory after victory, Lincoln’s protection of Grant when he came under political and public attack, and the full-blown development of one of the greatest civilian-military partnerships in history.


Bonekemper also explains their productive working relationship in areas of national policy, military strategy, military operations and tactics, and military personnel decisions concerning manpower in the field, recruiting and use of black soldiers, and the promotion and firing of Union generals.


Lincoln and Grant’s relationship as commander-in-chief and general-in-chief, respectively, set the standard and precedent for all significant later American wars.  This book is a “must” for Civil War buffs, admirers of Lincoln and Grant, and students of military-civilian relations.


[In addition, both Kindle and Nook are carrying a new mini-book excerpted from this major study.  That small summary book is Lincoln and Grant's Teamwork: Keys to Their Civil War Success.]





"Among the great duos of American history -- Lewis and Clark, Washington and Lafayette, Lee and Jackson -- the unlikely partnership of Ulysses Grant and Abraham Lincoln has received almost nothing in the way of direct examination. Their worlds were so separate that, apart from the Civil war, they might never have met. Yet, here were two men from the same adopted state, with the same unusual capacity to absorb disappointment and failure, and the same single vision for winning the Civil War. As Edward Bonekemper shows in his usual straightforward and uncluttered fashion, this odd couple brought together the political and military energies of the American republic in an unstoppable combination. Their linked histories have been Bonekemper's special study, and Lincoln and Grant: The Westerners Who Won the Civil War is the monument to that study." – Dr. Allen C. Guelzo, Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and Director, Civil War Era Studies Program, Gettysburg College


“Nobody knows the Civil War -- or brings it alive so successfully -- as Ed Bonekemper. Thorough research and meticulous documentation always back up a clear, strong, unambiguous point of view about the War and the individuals who fought it.  Lincoln and Grant is the latest addition to a distinguished collection of works exploring this watershed period in the history of our nation.” --  Dr. Peyton R. (Randy) Helm, President and Professor of History, MuhlenbergCollege


“With this book, Ed Bonekemper continues his studies of Ulysses S. Grant.  Once again, he demonstrates the general's many talents.  This new book's linking of Grant with  Lincoln is insightful, and Civil War readers will not want to miss this page-turner.” --  Dr. John F. Marszalek, Executive Director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association, MississippiStateUniversity


"Bonekemper's finely crafted, first-of-its kind analysis, ably illustrates how similar life experiences and shared values forged an iron-clad relationship between the indomitable duo of Lincoln and Grant.  This book weaves together the complex tapestry of how these two Westerners were able to restore the Union and end the South's peculiar institution." -- Prof. Jonathan A. Noyalas, author of Stonewall Jackson's 1862 Valley Campaign: War Comes to the Home Front and other Civil War books


“This unique examination, a dual biography merging strategic and political concerns with the course of winning the Civil War, will give every student of the conflict another opportunity to ponder how that war was won. Indeed, Lincoln and Grant were the Westerners who won the Civil War." -- Theodore P. Savas, Esq., award-winning author


"With this book, Ed Bonekemper completes a hat trick on Ulysses S. Grant -- first a stand-alone study, then a study of Grant and his great adversary, Robert E. Lee, and now a volume focused on the relationship between Grant and his commander in chief, Abraham Lincoln.  It is surprising that there has been no book-length study of this topic, and Bonekemper's sesquicentennial volume deserves attention for the heft of its subject and as a much-needed spark to more intense focus on the Civil War frontier between politics and generalship." -- Carl R. Schenker, Jr., Esq., Civil War historian and author


Edward Bonekempersucceeds marvelously in presenting the relationship of these two Civil War icons. Lincoln and Grant outlines the divergent paths each of these two men took, until fate blended them together into a winning team for the Union. This excellent study presents a fresh and thought-provoking analysis of their lives, successes, adversities, and leadership styles. Lincoln and Grant is a must-have volume for the historian at all levels.”  -- Larry Clowers, Grant interpreter, historian, and book reviewer.

“So much has been written about Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant that there would seem to be no unplowed ground. Just in time for the Sesquicentennial, Ed Bonekemper proves this assumption wrong. In his new book the author explores in revealing detail how the Civil War careers of these two leading figures converged and evolved into a political-military collaboration that produced victory for the North.” --  John Foskett, Esq., long-time Civil War buff and book reviewer

“A long time ago, a friend told me that the war was fought in the East but won in the West.  Edward Bonekemper's excellent work on the relationship between Grant and Lincoln firmly attests to the veracity of that statement.  He has concisely articulated and described their iron-clad relationship, rooted in the hard life of the antebellum West, which preserved the Union from destruction.” --  John Michael Priest, author of  four Civil War books and Antietam Battlefield guide


“Once again, Ed Bonekemper has scoured the past and brought forth another remarkable book. This time, Bonekemper examines President Abraham Lincoln and his most aggressive and successful general-in-chief, General Ulysses S. Grant. He uncovered factors in their difficult Western frontier upbringing, their leadership styles and other aspects of their lives that created a bond of trust and mutual respect which would help them, working together, win the awful war thrust upon them both. Bonekemper identifies and examines complementary personal traits of each man that helped mold the two of them into a winning team. This is a book for those looking for more than tactics, maps and a further rehashing of skirmishes, battles, and campaigns. This is a study of the two great leaders that won the war and how their Western roots contributed to their success.” -- Edwin E. Powell, retired military intelligence officer


“History at its best. An overdue exposition of a neglected subject.” – Captain Joe Derie, USCG (Ret.), long-time Civil War buff and book reviewer