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The Civil War had two famous generals General Robert E Lee of the Confederate Army and General Ulysses S Grant of the Union Army They are often compared to each other and it is debated who was the better general Lee for leading the Confederates through four years of fighting or Grant for using strong military tactics that won the war for the Union At first Lee and Grant seem to be very similar both came from a family of five or six children and both went to West Point for a free education However after careful juxtaposition these two generals are remarkably different Lee and Grant were similar in their West Point training yet different in their adaptation abilities and willingness to learn from their mistakes By going to West Point Lee and Grant were able to receive similar military education that eventually led them to fight and to become deadly enemies While at West Point Grant was an average student who received a number of demerits for drinking in the off-limits bars He hated the spit-and-polish life of the army and was always known to be a sloppy dresser However when Grant realized the gravity of the United States Civil War he was eager to request the command of a regiment asking if the President in his judgment should see fit to intrust one to me When both President Lincoln and Union General McClellan refused him of a position to Grants surprise Governor Richard Yates of Illinois offered Grant the rank of colonel of a volunteer battalion As a commander Grant used his knowledge that he had acquired at West Point and also added many new strategies as he always read about other military strategies such as those used by Napoleon in France Lee enjoyed West Point immensely as he was the only West Point graduate to receive no demerits At the beginning of the Civil War Lee did not support secession He
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