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Grant's campaign from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor had been disappointing to the North, where there was a feeling that so far the war had been a failure, which, in commenting on, in his ‘Army of the Potomac,’ Swinton says, that when the records of the War Department shall be carefully examined they will develop discoveries of the most startling nature. In speaking of public sentiment just prior to the battle of Winchester, Grant in his ‘Memoirs’ says:

I had reason to believe that the administration was a little afraid to have a decisive battle fought at that time, for fear it might go against us and have a bad effect on the November elections. The convention which had met and made its nomination of the Democratic candidate for the presidency had declared the war a failure.

Treason was talked as boldly in Chicago as ever it had been at Charleston.

It was a question of whether the government would then have had the power to make arrests and punish those who thus talked treason.

But this decisive victory was the most effective campaign argument made in the canvas.

In addition to what Grant says, there was another motive which made Sheridan timid in encountering our forces, and possibly Grant's presence was necessary to get him up to the fighting point. They were in conference the day before the battle.

In his ‘Memoirs,’ Sheridan says:

I had opposing me an army largely composed of troops that had operated in this region hitherto under ‘StonewallJackson, with marked success, inflicting defeat on the Union forces almost every time the two armies had come in contact.

These men were now commanded by a veteran officer of the Confederacy, General Jubal A. Early, whose past services had so signalized his ability that General Lee specially selected him to take charge of the Valley District, and notwithstanding the misfortunes that befell him later, clung to him to the end of the war. The Confederate army at this date was about twenty thousand strong, and consisted of Early's own corps, with General Rodes, Ramseur, and Gordon commanding its divisions; the infantry of Breckinridge, of Southwestern Virginia; three battalions of artillery, and the cavalry brigades of Vaughan, Johnson, McCausland, and Imboden.

Early had marched and countermarched so often in the presence

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