's base along with him to some at present unknown point in the interior of the enemy's country, which Sherman
might be able to strike after his march.
The annals of war may be searched in vain for a parallel to this enterprise.
‘Communicate with me,’ said Grant
, ‘by every opportunity, and, should you deem it necessary at any time, send a special boat to Fortress Monroe
, from which you can communicate by telegraph.’
Both his own experience and that of Sherman
had now inspired Grant
with a peculiar boldness in design, and, as he had great faith in Schofield
's courage and ability, he continued: ‘The movements of the enemy may justify you, or even make it your imperative duty, to cut loose from your base, and strike for the interior to aid Sherman
In such case you will act on your own judgment, without waiting for instructions.
You will report, however, what you propose doing.
The details for carrying out these instructions are necessarily left to you.’
The especial fitness of Grant
for supreme command consisted in his ability to select subordinates in whom he could confide, and then, in his willingness to trust and even incite them to act on their own responsibility; laying down some general or principal aim or objective point, but leaving them to work out their own success in their own way; assisting them with instruments, and means, and co-operation, but never anxious lest they should acquire too much authority or fame.
This is indeed the secret of all administrative genius, but never more indispensable or rarer than in war.
There was one injunction, however, that he never omitted, and he now added: ‘I would urge, if I did ’