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This article examines Ulysses S. Grant’s command of the Union army after receiving his commission as Lieutenant-General through analyzing his decisions both before and during the bloody battle of Cold Harbor. By examining the various factors leading to his tactical decisions, including the ever-looming threat of the upcoming presidential election, the article questions whether or not his reputation as a butcher of his own men is truly deserved. That he made mistakes is undeniable, but the mess of Cold Harbor was not solely his fault. Through the use of a variety of biographies and personal journals and memoirs, the article points out the perfect storm of mistakes both on Grant’s part and that of his commanders, the pressure being faced from higher up in the chain of command, the horrible weather and conditions of the army, and the fact that Lee simply took advantage of every opportunity he was presented with.