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[389] with Rosecrans, and in December that commander was relieved, while Smith reported to Thomas at Nashville.

All these operations were almost independent of Grant. He sent a few orders, and forwarded troops when he could spare them; but it was impossible and undesirable to direct in detail operations so far away, and so disconnected with the great campaigns east of the Mississippi, or indeed with the principal strategic objects of the war. When, however, a positive movement was ordered by Grant from the Gulf of Mexico, in co-operation with his other plans and other armies, he at once assumed different relations with Canby, and gave him directions of that peculiar and personal character which distinguished his instructions to his principal commanders.

General W. F. Smith was at this time serving, but not with troops, in the Department of the Gulf, and an effort was made to give him command of a corps; but on the 20th of February, Grant wrote: ‘It will not do for Canby to risk Smith with any military command whatever. The moment Canby should differ with him in judgment as to what is to be done, and he would be obliged to differ or yield to him entirely, he would get no further service out of him, but, on the contrary, he would be a clog. Let Smith continue on the same duty he has been detailed for.’

Grant was never willing to try again a subordinate whom he had once definitely relieved. He bore with a man whose characteristics would have been intolerable to some superiors, and put up with even ill-success or insubordination sometimes too long; but if once he determined to free himself from

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