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[104] capacity, served to make the enemy as formidable as he had feared.

It is true that there had now been a great improvement in military affairs. The army was better organized, better equipped, and better officered, and experience had made both men and officers more efficient. But Grant, on assuming command, had made no extravagant demands, and sought no extraordinary power. Never in all his campaigns had he clamored for reenforcements. He had always taken what the government could send, and made the best possible use of them. So, as the commander of all the armies, he evinced the same spirit, trusting to the patriotism of the government and the people to furnish all that they could to accomplish the work of crushing the rebellion, and resolved to do his part by a faithful and persistent use of the means thus placed in his hands. His letter to President Lincoln, quoted in the preceding chapter, shows how he acknowledged the efforts of the government, and with what a generous spirit he recognized his own responsibility.

As Grant's strategy in his former campaigns had been simply to make the rebel armies his objective, so in his wider field he did not change it. The rebel army in Virginia was the objective of the eastern campaign, and the rebel army between Chattanooga and Atlanta was the objective of the western campaign. These two armies comprised the mass of the rebel forces, and covered the vital points of the rebel Confederacy, and they were to be the objects towards which the two great Union armies were to move; all other operations being in aid of these, to create diversions, or to hold

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