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[129] which he acted in his final campaign. ‘This reconnoissance,’ he said to Stanton, ‘which I had intended for more, points out to me what is to be done.’

Grant's general operations before Petersburg were essentially distinct in character from the great turning movements in the Wilderness campaign. They were not, as they have sometimes been called, ‘swinging movements to the left, pivoting on the right,’ but simple extensions of the line of countervallation. For the advance upon Richmond and Petersburg had in reality become a siege. City Point was a base of supplies, not a pivotal point; and if, in the extending movements, the assailing force was weaker than that at the base, it was because disaster at the latter place would have been serious, while a temporary check given to any extension to the left was a comparatively unimportant incident of the siege. These extensions indeed had so little of the character of flank movements, in the ordinary military sense of the term, that, usually, the troops had only to halt and face to the right, to be in proper line of battle in front of the enemy. Even the battle at the Weldon road was not conducted on a different principle from the others, except that when it was seen how promptly the enemy sent troops to check the extension, there was a more concentrated movement made by Grant.

But although his operations had thus taken the character of a siege, Grant could not adopt the method of regular approaches without violating one of the most obvious principles of the art of war. All the books lay down the rule that the besiegers should number at least five or six times as many as

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