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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 graduatesâincluding Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and William Tecumseh Shermanâfought 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 armyâs 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 heroicâand deadlyâassault on Mexico City. With narrative verve and brilliant research, The Training Ground brings to light a story of brotherhood, sacrifice, and initiation by fire.