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[128] and by the forest, the extent and direction of the lines could not have been discovered except by just such a movement as had now been made; while the difficulties of the country could not have been avoided, even if foreseen. Meade has been censured for halting Hancock at Burgess's mill, but the result proved the wisdom of his course. Had Hancock crossed the bridge, he must have encountered the same force which afterwards attacked him, and the rebels would have had him at a disadvantage when he debouched, with the river in his rear, and entirely disconnected with the remainder of the army. Even if the enemy had not been ready to resist him, an advance, before connection with Warren was made, would have been foolhardy in the extreme. Grant entirely approved of the action of Meade, but he seriously complained of the delay of Crawford's division. No blame was imputed to Crawford, but there seemed reason to regret the order of Warren suspending his advance. Had that order not been given, Crawford would have been exactly in position to complete the destruction of the rebel attacking column. The indecision of Warren was all his own, and makes it probable that his frequent hesitations were owing to a quality which must always have prevented his becoming a great commander.

The success of Hancock, however, more than compensated for all misadventures, and once again made it evident that, when the national troops were attacked, even at a disadvantage and without cover, they were more than a match for the best soldiers of Lee. The movement cost the rebels far more than it did Grant; and it gave him the idea upon

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G. K. Warren (3)
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