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U GRANT

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Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 356 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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U GRANT. S. burg, trying one plan after another without result, until at last after months of almost hopeless work his perseverance was crowned with success—a success directly consequent upon a strange and bizarre campaign of ten weeks, in which his daring and vigour were more conspicuous than ever before. On the 4th of July 1863 the great fortress surrendered with 29,491 men, this being one of the most important victories won by the Union arms in the whole war. Grant was at once made a major-general in the regular army. A few months later the great reverse of Chickamauga created an alarm in the North commensurate with the elation that had been felt at the double victory of Vicksburg and Gettysburg, and Grant was at once ordered to Chattanooga, to decide the fate of the Army of the Cumberland in a second battle. Four armies were placed under his command, and three of these concentrated at Chattanooga. On the 25th of November 1863 a great three-days' battle ended with the crushing defeat of the Confederates, who from this day had no foothold in the centre and west. After this, in preparation for a grand combined effort of all the Union forces, Grant was placed in supreme command, and the rank of lieutenant-general revived for him (March 1864). Grant's headquarters henceforth accompanied the Army of the Potomac, and the lieutenant-general directed the campaign in Virginia. This, with Grant's driving energy infused into the best army that the Union possessed, resolved itself into a series, almost uninterrupted, of terrible battles. Tactically the Confederates were almost always victorious, strategically, Grant, disposing of greatly superior forces, pressed back Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia to the lines of Richmond and Peters-burg, while above all, in .pursuance of his explicit policy of " attrition," the Federal leader used his men with a merciless energy that has few, if any, parallels in modern history. At Cold Harbor six thousand men fell in one useless assault lasting an hour, and after two months the Union armies lay before Richmond and Petersburg indeed, but had lost no fewer than 72,000 men. But Grant was unshaken in his determination. " I purpose to fight it out on this line, if it takes all summer," was his message from the battlefield of Spottsylvania to the chief of staff at Washington. Through many weary months he never relaxed his hold on Lee's army, and, in spite of repeated partial reverses, that would have been defeats for his predecessors, he gradually wore down his gallant adversary. The terrible cost of these operations did not check him: only on one occasion of grave peril were any troops sent from his lines to serve else-where, and he drew to himself the bulk of the men whom the Union government was recruiting by thousands for the final effort. Meanwhile all the other campaigns had been closely supervised by Grant, preoccupied though he was with the operations against his own adversary. At a critical moment he actually left the Virginian armies to their own commanders, and started to take personal command in a threatened quarter, and throughout he was in close touch with Sherman and Thomas, who conducted the campaigns on the south-east and the centre. That he succeeded in the efficient exercise of the chief command of armies of a total strength of over one million men, operating many hundreds of miles apart from each other, while at the same time he watched and manoeuvred against a great captain and a veteran army in one field of the war, must be the greatest proof of Grant's powers as a general. In the end complete success rewarded the sacrifices and efforts of the Federals on every theatre of war; in Virginia, where Grant was in personal control, the merciless policy of attrition wore down Lee's army until a mere remnant was left for the final surrender. Grant had thus brought the great struggle to an end, and was universally regarded as the saviour of the Union. A careful study of the history of the war thoroughly bears out the popular view. There were soldiers more accomplished, as was McClellan, more brilliant, as was Rosecrans, and more exact, as was Buell, but it would be difficult to prove that these generals, or indeed any others in the service, could have accomplished the task which Grant brought to complete success. Nor must it be sup-posed that Grant learned little from three years' campaigning certainly impaired his usefulness as a soldier. For the next six years he lived in St Louis, Missouri, earning a scanty subsistence by farming and dealings in real estate. In 186o he removed to Galena, Illinois, and became a clerk in a leather store kept by his fattier. At that time his earning capacity seems not to have exceeded $800 a year, and he was regarded by his friends as a broken and disappointed man. He was living at Galena at the outbreak of hostilities between the North and South. [For the history of the Civil War, and of Grant's battles and campaigns, the reader is referred to the article AMERICAN CIVIL
End of Article: U GRANT
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ULYSSES SIMPSON GRANT (1822-1885)

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