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[407] commanders made their plans with a view to holding the railway and the town.

But, while thus closing and guarding every avenue of escape from the beleaguered capital, and bringing up his forces from north and south and east and west—Sheridan and Sherman and Schofield and Stoneman and Meade—to enmesh and encage and surround at one and the same time both the rebel armies in North Carolina and in Virginia, driving them in to a common centre, as the hunters do their game, Grant was also anxiously supervising the operations he had ordered from the Tennessee and the Mississippi rivers, and from the Gulf of Mexico.

He was becoming dissatisfied with Canby. As early as the 1st of March, he enquired of Halleck: ‘Was not the order sent for Canby to organize two corps, naming Steele and A. J. Smith as commanders? I so understood. I am in receipt of a letter saying that Granger and [W. F.] Smith are the commanders. If so, I despair of any good service being done.’ On the 9th, he said to Canby himself: ‘I am in receipt of a dispatch . . . informing me that you have made requisitions for a construction corps, and material to build seventy miles of railroad. I have directed that none be sent. Thomas's army has been depleted to send a force to you, that they might be where they could act in winter, and at least detain the force the enemy had in the West. If there had been any idea of repairing railroads, it could have been done much better from the north, where we already had the troops. I expected your movements to be co-operative with Sherman's last. This has now entirely failed. I wrote to you long ago, urging you to push promptly ’

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