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[48] It is a creditable story to every one except Prentiss and the contractors; and it reveals Rawlins in a bright light. No wonder Grant let him swear whenever he wanted.

For a little while Grant was ordered about hither and thither in Missouri; but there is nothing decisive to record until, soon after being assigned the command of the district of South-east Missouri, he took up his headquarters at Cairo on September 4.

Here he stands upon the threshold of his fame. So unpretending a figure does he make that a first sight of him perplexes and discourages each newcomer. Twelve weeks ago he had been nothing. Then he was made a colonel. Now he was a brigadier-general of volunteers. One summer had done this; but it had done as much for half a hundred others. So here was quite a large company with even chances. But chance and the man are rare comrades.

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