Chapter 25:

  • General view of situation after fall of Atlanta
  • -- defences of Richmond and Petersburg -- national entrenchments -- depression of public spirit at the North–Political situation -- approach of Presidential election -- difficulties in drafting troops -- anxiety about Washington -- Grant's strategy covers the capital -- Early reinforced by Anderson -- Sheridan's manoeuvres in the Valley -- relations between Grant and Sheridan -- Anderson recalled to Richmond -- Gran t's visit to Sheridan -- confidence of both commanders -- battle of Winchester -- blunder of Early -- Sheridan's plan -- Sheridan's attack -- original success of rebels -- Sheridan restores the day -- Torbert's cavalry charge -- victory of national forces -- retreat of Early, ‘whirling through Winchester’ -- pursuit by Sheridan -- battle of Fisher's Hill -- Second defeat of Early -- further retreat of rebels -- effect of success at the North -- Grant's orders to Sheridan -- Early abandons the Valley -- censures of Lee -- disappointment in Richmond.

Atlanta had fallen, the Weldon road was carried, and Early's exit from the Valley had been barred, but the end was not yet. A long and tedious prospect still stretched out before the national commander. Hood's army was not destroyed, the rebels were in force in Sheridan's front, and Lee had not abandoned Richmond. Grant looked the situation full in the face, and lost no time in adapting his plans to the actual emergencies. On the 8th of September, Sherman had entered Atlanta in person, and on the 10th, he was instructed: ‘As soon as your men are sufficiently rested, and preparations ’

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