broke camp at City Point
on the 29th of March, his chief commissary of subsistence inquired what number of supplies should be carried for the troops, and the general-in-chief replied: ‘Twelve days rations.’
The surrender of Lee
occurred on the twelfth day.
This was not the only part of his scheme which had been foreshadowed before its accomplishment.
The instructions to Sheridan
and the dispatches to Sherman
during the last days of March laid down almost the exact plan which was followed to the end. On the 16th of March, it will be remembered, Grant
said to Sherman
: ‘I shall be prepared to pitch into Lee
, if he attempts to evacuate the place.’
On the 21st, he said to Sheridan
: ‘There is now such a possibility, if not probability, of Lee
attempting to unite, that I feel extremely desirous not only of cutting the lines of communication between them, but of having a large and properly commanded cavalry force ready to act, in case such an ’