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[497] desperate alternative, and equally desperately accepted.1 He succeeded, and, tested by the measure of military rules, was justly entitled to wear the plume of victory. Whether or not he won it by superior forces, or by superior military skill, it was none the less a victory—a victory that made for its hero a name in the military annals of this country second only to the immortal Lee——a victory that secured for him the high and exalted rank of General of the Army, and finally President, for two terms at least, of the United States.

1 General Bragg says in his letter of February 8th: ‘Grant was so reduced that he could not recross the mountains, for his troops could not be fed and his animals were already starved. He could not move twenty pieces of artillery.’

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