James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

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    General Grant, after the battle of Chattanooga, might indeed have been a formidable candidate if he had not positively refused to give his would-be backers any encouragement for the use of his name. In connection with the attempt to bring Grant forward, Lincoln exhibited his usual shrewdness. “If he takes Richmond,” he said, “let him have it” [the nomination]. 1  26   Those were exciting days between May 3, when Grant crossed the Rapidan, and June 7, when the National Union or Republican convention met. “My hopes under God,” wrote Chase, “are almost wholly in Grant and his soldiers.” 2 So thought the North. The bloody work of the Virginia campaign went on. Welles’s record in his faithful Diary is a true index of public opinion. On May 17: “A painful suspense in military operations.… The intense anxiety is oppressive and almost unfits the mind for mental activity.” On June 2: “Great confidence is felt in Grant but the immense slaughter of our brave men chills and sickens us all.” On June 7: “We have had severe slaughter. Brave men have been killed and maimed most fearfully but Grant persists.” 3 Lincoln was very anxious and sad during the battles of the Wilderness. 4 On May 7, Welles wrote, “The President came into my room about 1 P.M., and told me he had slept none last night.” 5 As the campaign went on he grew sanguine. On June 15, after he must have realized the extent of the Cold Harbor disaster and after Grant had announced his purpose of crossing to the south side of the James, he telegraphed to Grant, “I begin to see it: you will succeed. God bless you all.” 6  27   The excellent and real progress of Sherman was not of a
Note 1. N. & H., IX, 59. [back]
Note 2. Warden, 584. [back]
Note 3. Welles’s Diary, II, 33, 44, 46. [back]
Note 4. Carpenter, 30. [back]
Note 5. Welles’s Diary, II, 25. [back]
Note 6. Lincoln, C. W., II, 533. [back]