Deep in the winter of 1862, on the border between Kentucky and Tennessee, two extraordinary military leaders faced each other in an epic clash that would transform them both and change the course of American history forever. Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant had no significant military successes to his credit. He was barely clinging to his position within the Union Army-he had been officially charged with chronic drunkenness only days earlier, and his own troops despised him. His opponent was as untested as he was: an obscure lieutenant colonel named Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest was a slaveholder, Grant a closet abolitionist-but the two men held one thing in common: an unrelenting desire for victory at any cost. After ten days of horrific battle, Grant emerged victorious. He had earned himself the nickname “Unconditional Surrender” for his fierce prosecution of the campaign, and immediately became a hero of the Union Army. Forrest retreated, but he soon re-emerged as a fearsome war machine and guerrilla fighter. His reputation as a brilliant and innovative general survives to this day. But Grant had already changed the course of the Civil War. By opening the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers to the Union Army, he had split Dixie in two. The confederacy would never recover. A riveting account of the making of two great military leaders, and two battles that transformed America forever, Men of Fire is destined to become a classic work of military history.
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