“I don't believe in strategy in the popular under-standing of the term,” he once said to one of his officers.
“I use it to get up just as close to the enemy as is practicable with as little loss as possible.”
“And what then?”
asked the officer.
“Then? ‘up, guards, and at 'em!’
” replied Grant
, with more than his usual animation.
And that was a fair general statement of his style of campaign.
Among those who early appreciated, if they did not do full justice to Grant
's capacity, was Hon. Edwin M. Stanton
, secretary of war
, who thoroughly believed in Grant
's “strategy” of seeking out the enemy and striking him. In a public announcement of the victory at Fort Donelson
, he said that “the true organization of victory and military combination to end this war was declared by General Grant
's message to General Buckner
: ‘I propose to move immediately on your works.’
” Possibly the implied rebuke to certain other commanders, contained in this, served to add to the prejudice of some against Grant
, however, never saw reason to change his estimate of Grant
, and gave him the heartiest support through the war, till out of their official relations arose a cordial friendship.
was another who was not slow to appreciate Grant
He was in command at Cairo
when the battle of Fort Donelson
occurred, and labored with great zeal to send forward troops and supplies.
on his victory and his deserved promotion.
To this Grant
replied in a manner which shows his modesty, his generosity, and his patriotism: “I feel under many obligations to you for the kind terms of your letter, and ”