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“ [95] common country, it will be my earnest endeavor not to disappoint your expectations. I feel the full weight of the responsibilities now devolving on me; and I know that if they are met, it will be due to those armies, and, above all, to the favor of that Providence which leads both nations and men.”

Such was the spirit with which this most important commission was given and received — confidence and hope on the one side, patriotism and modest devotion to duty on the other. And never was such a commission, involving so much the honor, safety, and integrity of the nation, more worthily bestowed. For in Grant the country had not only an officer whose ability had been fully proved in long campaigns and on great battle-fields, but one who inspired the truest enthusiasm and confidence of the soldier and the harmony and respect of his subordinate officers, and who himself manifested, without ambition or selfishness, a thorough respect for and deference to the wishes and commands of his superior, the President, and his sympathy with the war policy of his government.

Washington, as the capital of the nation, is of course a place famous for fetes, balls, and all sorts of gay festivities. The war had made little difference in this respect, except that the southern aristocracy did not now rule society there. While McClellan commanded, and the army of the Potomac was waiting before Washington, there had been “grand reviews,” at which the commanding general was “attended by a brilliant staff,” and all the beauty and fashion of the city came out to see and to be entertained at his headquarters, and those of subordinate generals. Pleasant times

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