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[90] communications and supplies that large armies could not easily move there; and he kept all his forces well in advance, in order that he and not the rebels might take the initiative in the next campaign. That was Grant's policy always, to assume the offensive; to seek out the enemy, and strike him boldly and vigorously. At this time, too, he projected, as his next campaign, an advance from Chattanooga to Atlanta, and thence, possibly, to Mobile. And from this plan resulted Sherman's brilliant movements to Atlanta, and his grand march to the sea.

But Grant's plans for his own operations in the next campaign were destined to be considerably modified. The government and the people had long felt that in order to secure unity of purpose in the conduct of the campaigns, east and west, and an efficient cooperation between the several Union armies, it was important to have all the forces under the command of one active and able general. The generals-in-chief had thus far been unable to secure such unity of purpose and cooperation, and the country had looked anxiously for the “coming man” who should achieve what the loyal masses resolved upon. But now events pointed unmistakably to the man who was qualified, if any in the army was, for this high command. Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga pointed to Grant as the most successful general, while all the movements in his campaigns were seen to be the most prompt, vigorous, and well sustained in the whole progress of the war. Moreover, he was always ready to conform to the policy of the government, and without question to support it earnestly, and to secure its support for others.

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