‘Grant’ on History channel: ‘Why wasn't Robert E Lee called a butcher?’ Fans ask after Leonardo DiCaprio's show

The Northern press criticized Grant as 'The Butcher', but was he really one and did he really order the Cold Harbor killing intentionally?


                            ‘Grant’ on History channel: ‘Why wasn't Robert E Lee called a butcher?’ Fans ask after Leonardo DiCaprio's show
Robert E Lee (History Channel)

Ulysses S Grant was a great general and a forgotten hero but was he a butcher too? Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, the three-part History miniseries 'Grant' makes you ask that question as the events of the brutal battle at Cold Harbor are replayed. 

Over 52,000 Army men were killed as rivers of blood flowed and skeletons lay everywhere. The Northern press criticized Grant as "The Butcher", but was he really one and did he do it intentionally? Historians say, "No, he wasn't. It takes a great deal of sheer fortitude and determination to go on. He wasn't a butcher." Soon, Grant got Lee to surrender to him at Appomattox Court House, thus putting a stop to more killings. Grant told his men that the "war is over; the rebels are our countrymen again".

Moreover, after the war ended, Grant regretted it the second time after the assault on Vicksburg. "Indeed, Grant not a butcher. If he was, Lee was going back to the Seven Days through 1864. Lee took heavy losses over and over again. He did so to get victories necessary to keep alive the Confederate nation, but he also willingly took significant losses. #Grant," one fan posted.

Ulysses S Grant and Robert E Lee (History Channel)

"Accusations of "Grant the Butcher" reminds me of D.H. Dilbeck's recent book on the moral hard war, Lieber's code, notion that hard but civil war was necessary, idea was that it was more moral and civilized to fight hard but end the war quicker. #Grant," another pointed out. 

One fan felt it was "needed" and wrote, "It’s a sad oversight... but necessary to contextualize Cold Harbor and the “butcher” stories. Sad but needed. #Grant," and another rightfully pointed out, "Thank you! Why is Lee not remembered as a “Butcher”? Excellent question! #[email protected]" Another said, "That point is everything. If #Grant is a “butcher” then Lee has the same blood on his hands if not more. #Grant3."

Talking about the reaction of the press, one viewer said, "Somewhere Bill Belichick just saw that scene of Grant beating down that annoying reporter and yelled “F yes!” #Grant."

With gritty depictions of brutal battles, risky gambles, crushing setbacks and triumphant victories, the three-night History miniseries takes viewers inside the moments that defined Grant and forever changed the nation. The miniseries premiered on Memorial Day and aired over three consecutive nights beginning Monday, May 25 at 9 pm ET on History Channel.

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