A strong mind: a Clausewitzian biography of U. S. Grant
Schmelzer, Paul L.
Doctor of Philosophy
The scholarship on Grant is voluminous, but incomplete. To date there is no systematic Clausewitzian evaluation of U. S. Grant or his campaigns. This dissertation attempts to analyze both the life and military history of U. S. Grant in light of the theory of Carl von Clausewitz, as set forth in his book On War. Part one uses well-know events and examples from the American Civil War and military history in general to illustrate the methods and thought of Clausewitz. Part two comprises a biography of Grant, using Clausewitzian theory to analyze and evaluate Grant's actions and campaigns. The work pays particular attention to definitions of strategy, tactics and operations and the use and misuse of such terms by both soldiers and historians. Grant's understanding of war parallels that of Clausewitz, though he never was exposed to Clausewitz's writings, or those of other major theorists.