Compared with Lee's last campaign.‘The brilliancy of this campaign,’ the speaker continued,
will further appear by comparison with that of the last of General Robert E. Lee's, which is justly considered one of the most skilfully conducted in the annals of war. When Lee reached Petersburg Grant gained a better base of operation and a shorter line of communication than he had ever before possessed; but when Johnston reached Atlanta he was nearer his own base of supplies, while Sherman, in the language of a brilliant military critic, was dragging a lengthening chain of weak and attenuated communication. Sherman, too, was greatly the superior of Grant. Sherman was a wily adversary, whose well-laid plans were difficult to forecast and hard to defeat. Grant, conscious of his overwhelming numbers and resources, and reckless of the lives of his followers, hurled them upon the daily diminishing ranks of Lee with the single object of destroying him by the mere force of attrition. With this one object in view his plans were not difficult to foresee, nor hard to defeat. Sherman, like a skilled pugilist, evaded every blow of his adversary that was possible, and effected by manoeuvre what he could not accomplish by force. His greatly superior numbers enabled him to flank Johnston with comparative ease and safety whenever he offered him battle.