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‘ [454] to Hatcher's run, whenever the forces can be used advantageously;’ his preference for the essential, not the weakest, part of the defence as an objective point, in the order to ‘push around the enemy and get on his right rear;’ and his aggressiveness in the determination to see—not what the enemy will do, but ‘what can be done with the enemy.’

There is also apparent in this letter another peculiarity, which at first might not seem indicative of power, but which, nevertheless, was eminently characteristic of the man. I mean the apparent uncertainty, or rather incompleteness, of plan; the allowance for unexpected contingencies, shown in the general terms in which the orders were conveyed, and in the omission to point out the exact line to be pursued to the end. The object was defined, but the means and the manner were left to be modified or developed by events. Grant, indeed, was always ready to conform to the changing actualities as they occurred. He never tied himself tightly down in advance. He never would say positively how he would act, unless he could know positively the circumstances under which he was expected to act. He was always averse to making decisions or assuming responsibilities until they came and stared him full in the face, and there was no avoiding or blinking them. Then he accepted the responsibilities, and announced his decisions, and always at such moments did his best; for he could always trust to his judgment when the emergency arose. In fact, he waited for the moment, and the instinct which never failed him at the moment, but which he could not himself foresee and never would attempt to foretell. So, at this crisis, one of the most important in

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Hatcher (1)
U. S. Grant (1)
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