he ought to be, they pronounced him not great at all. Because he was quiet, simple, unadroit, undemonstrative of power or feeling, absolutely plain in speech and manner and action, they supposed him stolid and dull.
But the traits which affect nations and parties, if not dilettanti and doctrinaires; the directness of purpose and speech, the absolute honesty of intention, the simplicity of behavior, the utter unselfishness, rising at times into heroic proportions; the freedom from vanity; the courage which was never daunted, the determination which was never disturbed, the steadiness of nerve that bore him up amid carnage and apparent disaster; and above all, the supreme self-control that preserved him always calm and unruffled, without elation in victory or despondency in adverse fortune —these were superadded to a clearness and soundness of judgment almost unrivalled, and a power of lucid and exact expression so absolute that when he was in earnest, a child could not mistake his meaning; a broadness of intellect that comprehended a continent, a fertility of resource in emergencies, displayed in a hundred battles, and a grand power of administration that carried on the campaigns in Georgia
and on the sea-coast, in West
and East Virginia
, and beyond the Mississippi
—all at the same time without confusion, and made each tend to the success of every other.
Mingled with these was a tender-heartedness that could not bear the sight of unnecessary pain; a clemency for the vanquished never surpassed, and which indeed transcended not only the expectation of the enemy, but the wishes of many of his own friends; a regard for the feelings of others that spared them mortification, sometimes