Skip to Main Content

Civil and Military Relationship throughout U.S. History | Primary Source Close Reads Explained

What makes the relationship between the government and the military in the United States so unique? In this episode of Close Reads Explained, Kirk examines three primary source examples that highlight this relationship: General George Washington resigning his commission to the Confederation Congress, General Ulysses S. Grant’s message to President Lincoln after the surrender of the Confederate forces, and Dwight D. Eisenhower’s message announcing Germany’s surrender. What does the tone of each of these messages communicate to us about the military’s place in our governing structure? What does each of these three sources have in common?