attempt is made.’
On the 22nd, he wrote to Sherman
's instructions will be to strike the South side broad as near Petersburg as he can
, and destroy it so that it can not be repaired for three or four days, and push on to the Danville road as near to the Appomattox as he can get
This is precisely what Sheridan
did, about two weeks later, only in the presence, and in spite of all of Lee
‘When this movement commences,’ continued Grant
, ‘I shall move out by my left with all the force I can, holding present entrenched lines. . . . I shall go along myself, and will take advantage of anything that turns up. If Lee detaches, I will attack
, or if he comes out of his lines, I will endeavor to repulse him, and follow it up to the best advantage
It would be difficult to find words to describe more exactly the operations which actually occurred than these written in advance.
The same general ideas, pervaded by the same spirit, were communicated to Sherman
in person, when he visited City Point
on the 28th; were explained to Lincoln
, and again included in the final instructions to Meade
. In all there was the same definiteness of outline and aim which always characterized Grant
's strategy, and the same distinct intention to take advantage of emergencies as yet unforeseen.
When the campaign began, everything proceeded regularly towards the designed consummation.
The very difficulties and delays of the first three days facilitated the development of the plan.
The dangers to which Lee
was subjected by the threatening movement to the left compelled him to make some desperate effort, or to lose all; and the effort was what Grant
detached an important