Grant Comes East
William R. Forstchen
Albert S. Hanser
|Genre||Alternate history novel|
|Publisher||Thomas Dunne Books|
|June 1, 2004|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||404 pp (1st edition)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-312-30937-6 (1st edition)|
|LC Class||PS3557.I4945 G73 2004|
|Followed by||Never Call Retreat|
Grant Comes East: A Novel of the Civil War is a New York Times bestseller written by former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, William R. Forstchen, and Albert S. Hanser. It was published in 2004 and is the sequel to Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War. The third book of the trilogy is called Never Call Retreat: Lee and Grant: The Final Victory and was released in 2005. The novel is illustrated with actual photographs of the Civil War.
The book picks up where the first left off at Union Mills, Maryland, where the battle that began at Gettysburg ended on July 4, 1863 (at the same time as the fall of Vicksburg) with a decisive but costly Confederate victory. General Robert E. Lee and his troops march on Washington, D.C., and launch an assault, hoping that if they can take the capital they can win the war.
Meanwhile, President Abraham Lincoln has appointed Major General Ulysses S. Grant, the victor of Vicksburg, commander of all Union forces with orders to attack Lee. Grant masses his forces (the newly minted Army of the Susquehanna) at Harrisburg, while Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Sickles gains control (through his violent pacification of the New York Draft Riots) of the Army of the Potomac.
Sickles has his eye on the White House, but he needs to defeat Lee to win the Civil War for the War Democrats. Violating orders from Grant, he rolls his troops out to meet Lee's army alone. A sidebar shows Napoleon III planning to have France invade the United States through a colony in Mexico.
Lee, bloodily repulsed at Fort Stevens outside Washington (the black troops of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry regiment playing a decisive role), turns on Baltimore. Abandoned by the Union, Baltimore descends into chaos; Lee, sickened by the violence, orders the provost guard in force to end it. Using Baltimore to threaten Washington, Lee instead turns his entire army upon the advancing Sickles, facing off at the Monocacy River near Frederick (where an actual battle was fought in 1864).
The Army of the Potomac is destroyed in a rout, with Sickles losing a leg in the process (as he did in the real Battle of Gettysburg). The battle pens Lee up in Maryland, however, leaving Virginia wide open as Grant and William T. Sherman converge on it via Pennsylvania and Georgia. The novel ends with Lee scrambling to meet Grant's threat.
- Judah Benjamin, Confederate secretary of state
- Jefferson Davis, Confederate president
- Ulysses S. Grant, U.S. general
- Herman Haupt, U.S. general
- Robert E. Lee, Confederate general
- Abraham Lincoln, U.S. president
- James Longstreet, Confederate general
- Daniel Sickles, U.S. general
- Elihu B. Washburne, U.S. congressman
- The Fort Stevens of the novel does not match the description of the Fort Stevens in the Washington defences, but rather the Fort Stevens in Oregon, a far more formidable work.