fluous any reference to Roman stoicism.
With the spring he girded himself to meet his future conqueror, Grant
, in campaigns which proved that, although he himself could be finally crushed by weight of numbers, he was nevertheless the greater master of the art of war. Grant
's army was nearly twice as large as that of Lee
, but this superiority was almost neutralized by the fact that he was taking the offensive in the tangled region known as the Wilderness
The fighting throughout May and June, 1864, literally defies description.
Grant at last had to cease maneuvering and to fight his way out to a junction with Butler
on the James
He would attack time and again with superb energy, only to be thrown back with heavy losses.
used his advantage of fighting on interior lines and his greater knowledge of the country, and so prevented any effective advance on Richmond
Finally, after the terrible slaughter at Cold Harbor, he forced Grant
to cease hammering.
Yet, after all, the Federal
commander was not outfought.
He had to submit to the delay involved in taking Petersburg
before he could take Richmond
, but the fall of the Confederate
capital was inevitable, since his own losses could be made up and Lee
's could not.
On June 18, 1864, Lee
's forces joined in the defense of Petersburg
, and Grant
was soon entrenching himself for the siege of the town.
The war had entered upon its final stage, as Lee
The siege lasted until the end of March, 1865, Grant
's ample supplies rendering his victory certain, despite the fact that when he tested the fighting quality of his adversaries he found it unimpaired.
In one sense it was sheer irony to give Lee
, in February, 1865, the commander-ship-in-chief of the Confederate armies; yet the act was the outward sign of a spiritual fact, since, after all, he was and had long been the true Southern commander, and never more so than when he bore privation with his troops in the wintry trenches around Petersburg