The Training Ground: Grant, Lee, Sherman, and Davis in the Mexican War, 1846-1848 (Paperback)
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 arm.—Publishers Weekly
For four years during the Civil War, Generals Grant and Lee clashed as bitter enemies in a war that bloodied and scorched the American landscape. Yet in an earlier time, they had worn the same uniform and fought together.
In The Training Ground, acclaimed historian Martin Dugard presents the saga of how, two decades before the Civil War, a group of West Point graduates—including Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and William Tecumseh Sherman—fought together as brothers. Drawing on a range of primary sources and original research, Dugard paints a gripping narrative of the Mexican War, which eventually almost doubled the size of the United States.
The Training Ground vividly takes us into the thick brush of Palo Alto, where a musket ball narrowly misses Grant but kills a soldier standing near him; through the mountains and ravines of Cerro Gordo, as Lee searches frantically for a secret route into the Mexican army’s seemingly invincible position; to Monterrey, as future enemies Davis and Grant ride together into battle; down the California coast, where war-hungry Sherman seeks blood and vengeance. And we are there as the young troops mount the final heroic—and deadly—assault on Mexico City.
With narrative verve and brilliant research, The Training Ground brings to light a story of brotherhood, sacrifice, and initiation by fire.
“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 army.”—Publishers Weekly
“Canny in its depictions of intriguing, powerful personalities and Machiavellian politics, meticulous in its textured battlefield and logistical descriptions, The Training Ground has the fast-paced feel of a good historical novel, but it’s all well-researched fact.”—American History
"The Training Ground is an interesting, often insightful account of the experiences of U.S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, William T. Sherman and Jefferson Davis during the Mexican War. . . . Worth a read for anyone interested in the Civil War and the development of senior military leadership."—A. A. Nofi, NYMAS Review
"This book gives an interesting sidelight on the Mexican War and a foretaste of the American Civil War."—Stan Moore, Denver Westerners Roundup