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“ [104] . . . until by mere attrition” there should be nothing left of the enemy. He reduced the problem, not to “Who can win the greatest victories” but to “Who can stand the heaviest losses?” To state it thus was to solve it. It was not military, but it was deeply sagacious. It was like Columbus and the egg. It was also a confession of Lee's superiority. The fact that Lee had the interior lines is not sufficient counterbalance. These awful battles add not to Grant's, but to Lee's reputation.

On his side, Lee evidently underrated Grant. He, too, had been used to other generals — generals who struck a blow and then sat down. But it was never to be like that any more.

There were two ways for Grant to move from the Potomac on land to Richmond: by the right flank, westward and inland — an easier country to fight in, a harder line of communications to cover; by the left flank, south-eastward,

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