, now called him a “butcher” who wantonly sacrificed his own men. But such malignant charges originated only with those whose sympathies were not with the Union
sacrifices but with the rebel losses, and who hated Grant
because he was hammering at the rebellion with the purpose of crushing it, and not parleying with it
's purpose was to drive the rebel army back forever
from its threatening position too near to Washington
; to fight it at all times, and in all places, when necessary; to “hammer” at it, and deal it frequent and heavy blows, from which it could not recover.
But whenever his purpose could be better gained by strategy and manoeuvring, he resorted to them with a skill not inferior to his persistency in fighting.
So at the South Anna
, without a battle, he again flanked the enemy, and forced him nearer to Richmond
Hard fighting followed, for the rebels grew more and more desperate as they were driven towards their capital, but they struggled in vain.
It is true they were not beaten, though they suffered irreparable losses; but they achieved no victory,--for a victory to them was nothing less than the utter defeat of the Union
army, and the abandonment of its purpose.
In the previous campaigns of these opposing armies, after a great battle, one or the other had withdrawn,--at Fredericksburg
, the Union
army; at Antietam
, the rebels.
But in this campaign the rebels found a change in the tactics of the Union
massed his troops, and launched heavy columns against them, after the manner of their own ablest generals; and when his forces