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On the 7th, he telegraphed to Butler, now at Fort Monroe: ‘Let General Weitzel get off as soon as possible. We don't want the navy to wait an hour.’ At ten P. M., he reported to the government: ‘General Warren, with a force of twelve thousand infantry, six batteries, and four thousand cavalry, started this morning, with the view of cutting the Weldon railroad as far south as Hicksford. Butler, at the same time, is holding a threatening attitude north of the James, to keep the enemy from detaching there. To-night he has moved six thousand five hundred infantry and two batteries across James river, to be embarked at Bermuda Hundred, to cooperate with the navy in the capture of the mouth of Cape Fear river. Palmer has also moved, or is supposed to have moved, up the Roanoke, to surprise Rainbow, a place the enemy are fortifying, and to strike the Weldon road south of Weldon.’

It was not a single hammer, however ponderous, that was at work; but a great and complicated mechanism, with springs, and levers, and pulleys, and wheels; and the simultaneous blows that fell at numerous and distant points were all directed and controlled by the mind of the master-workman.

On the same day, taking every contingency into consideration, Grant said to Meade: ‘If the enemy send off two divisions after Warren, what is there to prevent completing the investment of Petersburg with your reserve?’

The country meanwhile had become uneasy, and the government was even more anxious than Grant, in regard to Thomas. On the 7th of December, at 10.20 A. M., Stanton telegraphed: ‘Thomas seems unwilling to attack because it is hazardous, ’

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