Civil War Wiki
Grant Comes East  
Author Newt Gingrich
William R. Forstchen
Albert S. Hanser
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Alternate history novel
Publisher Thomas Dunne Books
Publication date June 1, 2004
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 404 pp (1st edition)
ISBN ISBN 0-312-30937-6 (1st edition)
OCLC Number 54426344
Dewey Decimal 813/.54 22
LC Classification PS3557.I4945 G73 2004
Preceded by Gettysburg
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, intentionally taken out of context by the author.

Plot summary[]

The book picks up where the first left off at the Confederate victory at Gettysburg. 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 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 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. Using Baltimore to threaten Washington, Lee instead turns his entire army upon the advancing Sickles.

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.

Historical figures[]


  • 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.