. . . 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
The fact that Lee
had the interior lines is not sufficient counterbalance.
These awful battles add not to Grant
's, but to Lee
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,