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[265] Grant himself, while still in the West, had urged upon the Government the adoption of this plan, which, in his eyes, was identical in its main features with that which had won for him the capitulation of Vicksburg. Why, when invested with supreme command, he should have rejected a plan which his judgment had approved but a year before, and adopted only after the loss of sixty thousand veteran troops a line of advance open to him at the outset without firing a gun — is one of the mysteries of war, the key to which is most likely to be found in the political history of the time.

Resolved upon this last change of base, General Grant pressed its execution. From the 4th to the 11th of June, by a gradual withdrawal of his right flank, he had placed his army within easy marches of the lower crossings of the Chickahominy, and Sheridan, meanwhile, having been dispatched to destroy the Virginia Central railroad and effect a junction with Hunter, on Sunday night, June 12th,

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