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[109] upon this movement, he sent to the President the following brief despatch:--

“I am on to Richmond. All goes well.”

In allusion to this despatch, the President said, with characteristic point,--

General Grant has gone ahead, and drawn his ladder after him.”

But the rebels had the advantage of interior lines, and, perceiving Grant's movement, reached Spottsylvania first. There they already had fortifications, which they promptly strengthened, and occupied a strong position. The country was more favorable for grand tactics, and Grant made some brilliant manoeuvres and attacks, which forced the rebels within their strongest works. It was from this place that he sent to Washington his famous despatch, which thrilled the country with its determined spirit, and became familiar throughout the land. It simply recounted, in the briefest possible terms, what had been done, and his own determination, It contained no boast, and no extravagant promise; no call for reenforcements, and no complaint; but it showed the spirit of the great commander, and that with which he inspired the army.

in the field, May 11, 1864.
We have now ended the sixth day of very heavy fighting. The result to this time is much in our favor.

Our losses have been heavy, as well as those of the enemy. I think the loss of the enemy must be greater.

We have taken over five thousand prisoners in battle, while he has taken from us but few, except stragglers.

I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.

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Spottsylvania (Virginia, United States) (1)
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