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[81]

Ten minutes with General Grant, June 2, 1864--the second scene

Ten minutes with General Grant--the third scene

It is due to the courtesy of General Horace Porter, himself an actor in these three scenes as a member of Grant's staff, that so many participants in the historic episode can here be identified. In the first picture (on the facing page) General Porter himself sits reading a newspaper on Grant's right, and on his left is General Rawlins, his chief of staff, next to Colonel Ely S. Parker. General Grant impassively listens to the report that Colonel Bowers, his adjutant-general, is reading as he stands inside the circle to the right of the picture. In the second picture (immediately above) the General-in-Chief has arisen and walked to the left, where he leans over General Meade's shoulder and consults his map. In front of them a newly arrived officer bends forward, receiving orders or reporting. Colonel Parker has passed his newspaper to another officer. The rest of the group center their looks upon Grant. Soldiers from the Third Division of the Fifth Army Corps, whose wagons are passing, stop and gaze at the men in whose hands their lives are held. At last, in the third picture, the General-in-Chief has made up his mind. He is back in his original seat and is writing out his orders. The problem has been a painful one; on the one side his conviction that his “hammering policy” is the right one; on the other the heated protest of Northern press and public against what seemed so extravagant a waste of human life. The question was, as General Porter later wrote: “Whether to attempt to crush Lee's army on the north side of the James, with the prospect, in case of success, of driving him into Richmond, capturing the city, perhaps without a siege, and putting the Confederate Government to flight; or to move the Union army south of the James without giving battle and transfer the field of operations to the vicinity of Petersburg. It was a nice question of judgment.” Grant's judgment was to fight; the result, Cold Harbor.


 

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Ulysses S. Grant (14)
Horace Porter (6)
Ely S. Parker (4)
Rawlins (2)
George G. Meade (2)
Fitzhugh Lee (2)
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June 2nd, 1864 AD (2)
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