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“ [97] Potomac, I shall feel called upon to forbid it by a special order. I appeal to you if this is a time for feasting and dancing among officers of the army, when the stern duties of war are before them? Or are they becoming, when our country is in danger, and so many sick and Wounded soldiers fill our hospitals?”

There was no help for it, and the ladies gracefully surrendered to the quiet and sensible determination of the new Lieutenant General, and the young officers of the army of the Potomac soon forgot their dreams of such gayeties in earnest preparation for the realities of war.

Reviews, however, were had, not that the Lieutenant General might display a brilliant staff either to spectators or the army, nor that he might please the soldiers by complimentary remarks or grandiloquent addresses, but that he might see of what material this noble army of the Potomac was composed, and what was its equipment and discipline. After one of these reviews he was one day asked what he thought of the personnel of the army, and replied,--

“This is a very fine army, and these men, I am told, have fought with great bravery. But I think,” he added, after a pause, “the army of the Potomac has never fought its battles through.”

Whether the opinion was entirely just or not, it illustrated Grant's own character for indomitable energy and persistency, and manifested also his faith in that army which, under his direction, was to display his characteristics, and fight its battles through to the final victory.

The army of the Potomac had been, through nearly all its existence, so near to the national capital, and

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Ulysses S. Grant (1)
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