opposed to the execution of the plan proposed by Grant
, and gave his reasons against it with much earnestness and force.
After hearing him Grant
called on Sherman
to state his views, which was done with a fluency characteristic of that commander.
He also opposed Grant
General Frank Blair
was then invited to give his opinions of his Commanding-General
's designs; but with a modesty and frankness which do him credit declined to express himself upon the question, on the ground that he did not feel justified in giving an opinion after the superior wisdom which had been evolved before him. Grant
dismissed the council with orders to reassemble at 10 A. M. the next day, when he would communicate the result of his consideration of their views.
Accordingly, next morning, on the reconvening of the officers, they were informed by Grant
that he had given full attention to the opinions expressed by them, but that he had not been shaken in his own plan of operation; that on returning to their respective headquarters they would find the orders that had already been issued for the movement, which would begin at once.
That movement captured Vicksburg
Abundant other instances might be cited to show that, such as it was, Grant
's military policy was all his own. No man controlled it. And oftentimes he not only enforced it on reluctant subordinates, but on his government itself
It has often been said that General Sherman
inspired some of Grant
's happiest decisions, but notwithstanding Grant
's generous acknowledgments in the beautiful letter Colonel Chesney
reproduces in his biographical sketch of Grant
, and which Grant
wrote to Sherman
when he was on the eve of going to assume command of the armies of the United States
, I cannot believe it at all probable that so erratic and undignified a character as Sherman
's could have ever influenced Grant
much; and it is noteworthy in this connection, that irreverent and vainglorious as Sherman
alone seemed to be the object of his real respect.
It is far more likely that Sherman
, in the only independent operations he ever conducted which did not result in failure — I mean those from Dalton
— was aided by the sound sense of his superior commander; and I have some direct testimony on this point.
During these remarkable operations a Southern gentleman was permitted to pass through the lines of both Johnston