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[232] Although we have moved the greater part of our dead from Northern soil, eleven thousand still sleep in their graves about the prisons. During little over two years twenty six thousand Confederate prisoners died of starvation and hard treatment in Northern prisons, while in the same time twenty thousand Federal prisoners died in the Southern prisons. And when we remember they were all young able-bodied men, how cruel and unnecessary must have been the hardships which killed them, and how criminal the author of their sufferings!

Still we must recognize the great capacities of a general which bore Grant steadily on to his success, sometimes through disaster and defeat, but ever onward to the ultimate successful end, through four years of surging war. Pre-eminently he possesses the first and highest of all virtues-courage. Not merely that physical courage which calmly meets personal danger, but the courage to execute his own plans, regardless of the opposition of all opposers. His judgment of military men is good. He gathered good men about him during the war, and made them work and fight. His reticence, his self-reliance, and his tenacity of purpose, are the qualities which have mainly borne him to fortune. The success of his military operations has often been attributed to the counsels of one or another of his generals, who have been supposed to have “more head” than some critics are willing to accord to him; but this is a great mistake. Grant has “head” enough to conceive his own plans, with nerve and ability to accomplish them. At the same time he does not hesitate to ask the opinions and suggestions of his subordinate officers. A remarkable instance of this has been related to the writer in such manner as entitles it to full credit, and as it is not generally known, I will state it here.

In the spring of 1863 Grant had failed to capture Vicksburg by the canal through which the Mississippi would not run, and summoned to his headquarters on Young's Point, opposite Vicksburg, Generals Sherman, Frank Blair, and McPherson, and submitted to them in council of war his plan of taking that place. He invited their opinions upon it, and called first on General McPherson to speak. McPherson was accounted by our officers the ablest general in the Western armies, and his gentlemanlike character had impressed itself upon his enemies, while he was held in high and just esteem by General Grant. On this occasion he expressed himself

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