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Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, II. (search)
ings, mostly violent. All the people are not dead yet. Nearly all the writers have a case to argue. Sheridan must justify his treatment of Warren. Sherman must bolster up Shiloh. Beauregard must diminish Sidney Johnston. Badeau must belittle Meade, and also the losses in the Wilderness. These are mere instances. The heroes and their biographers all write alike, inevitably moved and biassed by the throb of proximity. Such books are not history. They make inspiring material, when read in and retain the supreme confidence of his government and his people? It has been called accident by some grown — up writers. His own words give the unconscious explanation: I feel as sure of taking Richmond as I do of dying. Not McClellan, not Meade, not Lincoln himself, not any one at all, had ever been able to feel as sure as that. This utter certainty of the Union's success burned in Grant like a central fire, and, with all his limitations, made his will a great natural force which gravi
Owen Wister, Ulysses S. Grant, V. (search)
Before the battle of the Wilderness he is said to have exclaimed to Meade, Oh, I never manoeuvre! And it is said that his library contained control of a perfect instrument, the army of the Potomac under General Meade. Grant's detractors lay too much stress on the first inheritan looking for one ceaselessly. Upon the Army of the Potomac and General Meade too much stress cannot be laid. Without that engine and pilot s himself, and wrought such havoc that thereafter he allowed the pilot Meade full charge of this. We may feel sure that Grant underrated Lover, it struck Grant that General Smith had meant to whip him over Meade's shoulder, as he phrased it. He relieved his campaign of so captioth no one. Thus there could be no rancour. The close partisans of Meade, bitter over the great slight which history has so far done his famnt called for his horse, and rode through the night to Sheridan and Meade. And on the next day at Sailor's Creek the clouds sank lower round