Saturday, March 1, 2014

March 1, 1864 – Grant Named Lieutenant General

This day 150 years ago in Rebel Raiders’ History

-Dedicated to Civil War episodes, battles, people and ships that also appear in my game, GMT’s Rebel Raiders on the High Seas.

March 1, 1864 – Grant Named Lieutenant General 

Historical Event:  On this date 150 years ago President Abraham Lincoln nominated Ulysses Grant for promotion to the rank of lieutenant general.  In February Lincoln and Congress agreed to revive the rank, which had been held before first by George Washington and then, in brevet form only, by Winfield Scott.  The President felt it necessary not to honor Grant but to solidify his authority as overall commander of all Union armies.  On March 10 Lincoln signed the twin orders that officially promoted Grant and gave him his new responsibilities.

Note: The South had 18 lieutenant generals, among the most famous of whom was James Longstreet, who also appears in Rebel Raiders (as CSN Card 79).  The rank was given to most corps commanders to indicate their superior authority over the major generals who led the divisions in those corps.

Game Connection:  Although Rebel Raiders on the High Seas is primarily a game of naval strategy, it also has a strong land component, and Ulysses Grant is part of that.  The stubborn general who, like Patton in a later war would rather hang on after a defeat rather than retreat and have to pay for the same real estate twice, is represented by one card (USN Card 8 – Grant Takes Command) and appears on another (USN Card 36 – “If it takes all Summer…”).   The first helps the Union in combat, the second offers the North a chance to extend the game for one more turn – an opportunity which if won puts intense pressure on the Confederate player, as it in effect puts the game into “overtime.”

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