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

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  mind as he surveyed the vast field over which his armies, always in touch with him, moved to their several tasks in his grand scheme of strategy. He combined self-confidence with caution. He did not underestimate his enemy; he did not, as he perceived the successful operation of his plans, give way to elation, thinking the work already done which was only half done. But he was not too cautious to move forward boldly and without fear of the result. In Sherman and Sheridan he had helpers on whom he could rely as if each were another self. Seeing things alike they were in complete sympathy with him; they comprehended his orders and carried them out in letter and spirit as did no other of his subordinates. Sherman’s marching and fighting were now over but Sheridan was to be to Grant a prop and a weapon such as Stonewall Jackson had been to Lee in his earlier campaigns. With the force immediately under him, Grant had, besides Sheridan, an efficient coadjutor in Meade, and good corps commanders in Warren, Humphreys, Ord, Wright and Parke. At the commencement of the Appomattox campaign, he had in this army 116,000 effectives while Lee mustered 52,000. 1  13   Since the summer of 1864 Grant had besieged Richmond and Petersburg. The progress of the siege had been slow but persistent until, soon after the middle of February, Lee began to consider the eventuality of abandoning both cities. While in the freedom of private conversation he may have expressed himself in a despairing tone, his despatches indicated a belief that there was still a chance of success in fighting on; moreover, he made it clear that he would resist the foe as long as resistance was possible unless he were advised to yield by the superior civil authority. He infused an energy into his sortie of March 25, which, though the
Note 1. T. L. Livermore, Milt. Hist. Soc., VI, 451. [back]