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‘ [451] corps, pass by its left, and, passing near to or through Dinwiddie, reach the right and rear of the enemy as soon as you can. It is not the intention to attack the enemy in his entrenched position, but to force him out if possible. Should he come out and attack us, or get himself where he can be attacked, move in with your entire force in your own way, and with the full reliance that the army will engage or follow, as circumstances will dictate. I shall be on the field, and will probably be able to communicate with you.’

Grant read these instructions himself to Sheridan, together with some further passages directing him in certain contingencies to proceed to North Carolina and report to Sherman. As he read, he perceived that the latter part of the order was disagreeable to his listener. Sheridan, however, said nothing, and Grant immediately remarked: ‘Although I have provided for your joining Sherman, I have no idea that it will be necessary. I mean to end this business here.’ Sheridan's face brightened at once, and he replied with enthusiasm: ‘That's what I like to hear you say. Let us end this business here.’ The two natures struck fire from each other in the contact. It was often so with Grant. He was greatly influenced by what his generals felt able or willing to do. When they were ready, he became inspired; but with sluggish or over-careful subordinates, the best-laid plans were liable to be disconcerted, and circumstance seemed seldom opportune. His own genius was then depressed, if not dormant, and he was like a man whose limbs were numb or lame, and refused to answer to his will. With Sherman or Sheridan he moved like a skilful

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