previous next
[644] outwitted or outnumbered. It was indispensable to annihilate armies and resources; to place every rebel force where it had no alternative but destruction or submission, and every store or supply of arms or munitions or food or clothes where it could be reached by no rebel army.

Grant's greatness consisted in his perception of this condition of affairs, and his adaptation of all his means to meeting it. When he became general-in-chief he at once conceived this idea, and understood the terrible nature of the task he must assume. He made all his plans and combinations with this in view. The scope of those plans included the entire republic. The army of the Potomac at the East and Sherman's forces at the West constituted the two great motive powers; but in Virginia, Butler on the James and Sigel in the Valley were to assist Meade on the Rapidan, while at the West, Banks was to meet Sherman, both marching towards Mobile. All were combined and directed with a common purpose and a central aim.

These combinations were sometimes interrupted or thwarted in their development. Grant and Sherman each met many obstacles before either sat down in front of the strategical objective point of his army; Butler and Sigel both failed in their cooperation in Virginia, while Banks failed to cooperate at all before Mobile. Grant himself entered upon an encounter as terrible as that of Christian with Apollyon in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. The struggle was prolonged and bitter, and the national commander received as well as inflicted appalling loss; but he persisted in his advance amid carnage and assaults with that awful

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
U. S. Grant (3)
William T. Sherman (2)
Butler (2)
N. P. Banks (2)
Franz Sigel (1)
Meade (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: