Even though Lee and Grant were both drastically different in their background, personality, leadership beliefs and sense of loyalty to their regions, they were both strong noble generals fearlessly representing their regions.
Lee was born in Virginia in an aristocratic family of landowners. He was raised on family, culture, and tradition values. Coming from a “static society which could endure almost anything except change” and being a privileged landowner, he didn’t want to lose the status; therefore, he fought for inequality in the social structure. As a true leader, Lee became a role model for Confederate soldiers, representing everything for which “they had been willing to die”. He believed that the country can get its leaders only from privileged landowners, who carry a sense of commitment to their community. In compliance with this idea, Lee was focused on representing his region.
In contrast, Grant was a middle-class man born in the family of a tanner on the Western frontier. From the early childhood he was taught that only hard work leads to wealth, and that the destiny lies in his own hands. Lack of privileges and comparatively low status, were behind his aspiration to fight for democracy and competition. Nevertheless, he believed that leadership is not based on ones background and status, but is determined by one’s proven abilities and skills. Grant “saw his fate in terms of the nation’s own destiny” and fought for the broader concept of society.
Despite of all these differences, Catton does not ignore the unifying qualities of Lee and Grant. He characterizes both generals as strong noble men, who are firm in representing their sides. According to the author, they both were "marvelous fighters" with fighting qualities much alike. He recognizes generals as people who carry “great virtue of utter tenacity and fidelity”. They were both very strong in their beliefs, which they fought for till the very end. As Catton underlines in the conclusion,...