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[194] came from Richmond that Early had been recalled from the Valley by Lee, and Grant sent word at once to City Point: ‘Should such a thing occur, telegraph me, and I will get back as fast as steam can carry me. If it is true that Early is going back, it behooves General Meade to be well on his guard, and Butler to reinforce him at the shortest notice.’ At the same time he directed Sheridan: ‘If you are satisfied this is so, send the Sixth corps to City Point without delay. If your cavalry can cut the Virginia Central road, now is the time to do it.’ No rebel movement, however, was attempted, and Grant proceeded to New York. But although general-in-chief of the armies, he thought it not unbecoming his dignity to say to the Secretary of War: ‘I start for New York at three P. M. If there is any reason for my not going, please telegraph me; or if you think I should be at the front, let me know, and I will get there as soon as possible.’

He had not visited New York, nor indeed any point east of Washington, since the days when he travelled by stage-coach, a graduate of the Military Academy, twenty-one years of age. His coming now was unannounced, and he went quietly to an hotel; but it was quickly known that the commander of the national armies had arrived, and the most prominent citizens came in crowds to offer him civilities. He declined all invitations, but was glad of the opportunity to express his views about the war. His visitors were amazed at first when he spoke of his anxiety to detain the rebels in Petersburg, and delay the capture of Richmond; but he soon explained the paradox. Most of them

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