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‘ [462] probably take us two days to get in position for a general attack or to turn their position, as may prove best. Send Butler's forces to White House, to land on north side and march up to join this army. . . . If Hunter can possibly get to Charlottesville and Lynchburg, he should do so, living on the country. The railroads and canals should be destroyed, beyond possibility of repair for weeks. Completing this, he should find his way back to his original base, or from about Gordonsville, join this army.’ At the same hour Dana wrote: ‘If a promising chance offers, General Grant will fight, of course; otherwise, he will maneuver without attacking. Our forces are strongly intrenched and perfectly safe, even if Lee should attempt to push his whole army upon either division of ours.’ He concluded a dispatch of the morning of the 26th, after telling of Grant's new movement, in these words: ‘One of the most important results of the campaign, so far, is the entire change which has taken place in the feeling of the armies. Rebels have lost all confidence and are already morally defeated. This army has learned to believe that it is sure of victory. Even our officers have ceased to regard Lee as an invincible military genius. On the part of the rebels this change is evinced, not only by their not attacking, even when circumstances seemed to invite it, but by the unanimous statement of prisoners taken from them. Rely upon it, the end is near, as well as sure;’ this, after confessing, the day before to disasters from Confederate attacks.

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