The army of the Potomac was likely to “fight its battles through” now, if it never had before.
But the rebel position was one of great strength, and could be carried only by greatly superior numbers or at a heavy sacrifice of life; and the army, after its eight days of fighting and marching, needed rest.
therefore ceased to attack, and the rebels had suffered too much to assume the offensive.
In this pause, all the vast work necessary for the support of a great army — the bringing up of supplies, removal of the wounded, and the arrival of reenforcements — went on with unusual celerity and success, and all the arrangements were perfected for establishing a new base when the army moved.
Never before during the war had the quartermaster's department been so efficiently administered; and not a little of its promptness and efficiency were due to the direction and influence of Grant
, who had already at the west proved himself the ablest of administrative officers.
During this brief delay, Grant
determined upon his next move, which was another flank movement to force the rebel army back, farther from Washington
, nearer to Richmond
, also, had made preparations to move; and, having still interior lines, he retired to another and stronger position between the North Anna
and South Anna Rivers
Some persons, who were continually talking about “strategy,” and who were, doubtless, admirers of the strategy of the first campaign against Richmond
, imagined Grant
was simply an obstinate fighter, and possessed no attribute of a good general.
Copperhead admirers of McClellan
, such as had before maligned the hero of Donelson