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VIII. the end of the War

[As the Army of the Potomac was now settling down to winter quarters before Petersburg, Meade chaffingly remarked to Lyman one day toward the end of December: “I have a Christmas present for Mrs. Lyman--a certain worthless officer whom I shall send home to her.” And that evening he gave him a 300-day leave, with the understanding that Lyman was to return with the opening of the active campaign in the spring.

Toward the end of February, Lyman became restless, and fearing that operations might start in his absence, turned up at Headquarters on March 1. On going into dinner, he was kindly greeted by General Meade, who, poor man, although he had just come back from burying his son, managed to say playfully that he would have Lyman court-martialed for returning without orders.

The Appomattox campaign opened in the spring, with the forces under Grant numbering 113,000, while those under Lee were only 49,000.1 The resources of the North were unimpaired, those of the South were rapidly vanishing. On March 25, Lee made an energetic but unsuccessful sortie. On April 1, Sheridan won a brilliant victory at Five Forks. Grant followed this up by attacking all along the line the next day. The result of the engagement was that the Confederate Army was cut in halves, and Grant established himself between the two parts.

1 T. L. Livermore, Numbers and Losses in the Civil War in America, 135-137. Lyman's estimate at the time was 12,000 and 50,000.

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