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f the opportunity during a lull that then existed to take a short leave of absence — a privilege I had not indulged in since entering the service in 1853.
This leave I spent in the North with much benefit to my physical condition, for I was much run down by fatiguing service, and not a little troubled by intense pain which I at times still suffered from my experience in the unfortunate hand-car incident on the Cumberland Mountains the previous July.
I returned from leave the latter part of March, rejoining my division with the expectation that the campaign in that section would begin as early as April.
On the 12th of March, 1864, General Grant was assigned to the command of the armies of the United States, as general-in-chief.
He was already in Washington, whither he had gone to receive his commission as lieutenant-general.
Shortly after his arrival there, he commenced to rearrange the different commands in the army to suit the plans which he intended to enter upon in the spri