The Training Ground: Grant, Lee, Sherman and Davies in the Mexican War, 1846–1848.
By Martin Dugard. The author offers a fast-paced account of the Mexican War of 1848, constructed around the experiences of the U.S. Army’s corps of junior officers.
Shaped by the common experience of West Point and tempered by battle, these comrades in arms (including Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis and William Tecumseh Sherman) matured into the leading generals and statesmen on both sides of the Civil War. Dugard introduces others as well, from Union artilleryman Henry Hunt to Confederate icon Stonewall Jackson, who also learned their craft fighting the Mexicans.
At the war’s end, Gen. Winfield Scott saluted West Point graduates as the key to America’s victory over Mexico.
The image of a band of brothers transformed into enemies by conscience and politics is a familiar theme of the Civil War, but Dugard’s spirited narrative animates a group of men whose force of character, professional skill and ability to think outside conventional limits revitalized the sclerotic U.S. army.
Softcover, 464 pages