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Xxv. Gen. Grant's advance on Richmond.

Hon. E. B. Washburne, of Illinois--the townsman and zealous friend of Gen. Grant--having proposed1 the revival of the grade of Lieutenant-General of our armies, hitherto accorded to George Washington alone (Gen. Scott being such only by brevet), the House, not without considerable hesitation, assented ;2 after negativing, by the emphatic vote of 117 to 19, a motion, by Gen. Garfield, to lay the proposition on the table, and adopting, by 111 to 41, an amendment moved by Mr. Ross, of Ill., respectfully recommending Ulysses S. Grant for the post. The Senate concurred:3 Yeas 31; Nays 6: having first amended the joint resolve so as to strike out so much of it as limited the existence of this office to the duration of the War and prescribed that the Lieutenant-General should, under the President, be commander of the armies of the United States. The House having rejected these amendments, the difference was settled by a Conference Committee, in substantial accord with the Senate's views; the House agreeing to the report: Yeas 77; Nays 43. The President promptly approved the measure, and nominated4 Gen. Grant for the place; and he was next day confirmed by the Senate. In this action, Congress expressed, and the President promptly conformed to, the popular judgment, that the efficiency of our various and complicated Military [563] operations would be greatly promoted by placing them under the direction of a single mind, which should not be that of Henry Wager Halleck.

Gen. Grant's qualifications for this most momentous trust were not universally conceded. Though over 40 years of age,5 lie had been a quiet civilian most of his adult life. There were many military men who esteemed Gen. Meade, Gen. Buell, Gen. McClellan, or some other of our commanders, his superior as a strategist; and several of his battles — especially those of Belmont and Shiloh — had not escaped the unfavorable judgment of military critics. There was one point, however, wherein his fitness for chief command was decided if not preeminent: and that was an utter disbelief in the efficacy of any rosewater treatment of the Rebellion. He regarded the South as practically bound and helpless in the hands of a haughty, strong-willed oligarchy, who had not spent thirty years in preparation for this supreme effort in order to be bribed, or beguiled, or palavered, or bullied, into its abandonment after the gage had been thrown down and accepted. No love-taps, in his view, would ever persuade the Rebel chiefs to return to loyalty, so long as their military power should remain essentially unbroken; and the had no conception of any mode of breaking that power save by strong armies in bloody battles. His comprehensive, final report tersely says:

From an early period in the Rebellion, I had been impressed with the idea that active and continuous operations of all tlhe troops that could be brought into the field, regardless of season and weather, were necessary to a speedy termination of the War. The resources of the enemy, and his numerical strength, were far inferior to ours: butt, as an offset to this, we had a vast territory, with a population hostile to the Government, to garrison, and long lilies of river and railroad communications to protect, to enable us to supply the operating armies.

The armies in the East land West acted independently and without concert, like a balky team : no two ever pulling together: enabling the enemy to use to great advantage his interior lines of communications for transporting troops from east to west, reenforcing the army most vigorously pressed, and to furlough large numbers, during seasons of inactivity on our part, to go to their homes and do the work of producing, for the support of their armies. It was a question whether our numerical strength and resources were not more than balanced by these disadvantages and the enemy's superior position.

From the first, I was firm in the conviction that no peace could be had that would be stable and conducive to the happiness of the people, both North and South, until the military power of the

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