At the beginning of the 20th Century, China was emerging from centuries of rule by the Manchu, the descendants of Mongolian nomads who had conquered the Middle Kingdom in 1644. The new Guomindang (GMD) party was a broad alliance of modernizers.
While Grant’s strategic vision was vitally important to victory, this paper concentrates on his operational, as opposed to tactical or strategic, innovation. Much as been written about the North’s successful strategy. Many other books describe the tactical changes that occurred during the war,3 but few authors highlight the operational change introduced by Grant.
In the early afternoon of April 9th, 1865 General Robert E. Lee and Colonel Charles Marshall arrived at the McLean House on horseback. Wilmer McLean was standing on the front porch awaiting the arrival of the two Confederate officers. McLean extended his greetings to the two and invited them into his parlor while awaiting the arrival of other guests.