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[306] cavalry force of two thousand men, and taking command in person, passed around Grant's army, and dashed into Holly Springs about dawn one winter's morning, surprising and capturing the garrison, and gaining complete possession of the great depots of supplies which filled the place. These he destroyed, and made good his return to Grenada without having sustained any serious loss. This brilliant blow ended Grant's campaign in North Mississippi, caused the immediate retirement of his army, and enabled Pemberton to detach reinforcements to Vicksburg, where General Sherman had landed a formidable expedition, intended to carry the place by coup-de main.

It has always seemed inexplicable that General Grant retained the confidence of his Government after the failures of this campaign. His mistakes were palpable and their consequences disastrous. At Iuka Grant's combined movement, concerted with Rosecrantz, failed through Grant's delay. Rosecrantz made his circuitous march of near twenty miles by the Jacinto road around Price's left flank and attacked before 4 P. M. Grant on the same day moved from Burnsville, eight miles distant, to attack us in front, but so tardy were his movements that Rosecrantz had fought his battle and been repulsed, and night had fallen before Grant deployed his line of battle, and he actually remained all night two miles from the battlefield, with no enemy in his immediate front, except the picket line of Maury's division. This unexplained slowness enabled Price to extricate his army and train from between Grant and Rosecrantz, and escape what would have been certain capture, had Grant been as prompt as Rosecrantz.

Again, two weeks later, after the defeat of Van Dorn at Corinth, Grant failed to press his beaten enemy, but permitted him to lie unmolested at Holly Springs for one month, and until his (our) army was refitted, reinforced and reorganized. Grant then moved most slowly and cautiously to Holly Springs, and remained there one month, while we lay behind the Tallehatchie, twenty-five miles off. Late in November he moved from Holly Springs with sixty thousand men, sending a column around our left flank, so that we abandoned our defences on that line and retired towards Grenada.

Here we remained until near Christmas, when Van Dorn seized the opportunity which Grant's crowning blunder afforded, swooped upon his unguarded depots, and terminated his campaign in North Mississippi. What was the mysterious influence of this man over his Government that he was treated with unabated confidence after such flagrant lachesse and incapacity?

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