James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
IN a military point of view, thank Heaven! the coming man, for whom we have so long been waiting, seems really to have come. So Motley wrote; so thought the President, Congress and the people. By an act of February 29, Congress revived the grade of Lieutenant-General and authorized the President to place the General whom he should appoint to fill it in command of the armies of the United States under his direction and during his pleasure. It was understood on all sides that the man whom the nations representatives desired to honor and upon whom they wished to devolve the burden of military affairs was Grant. This action agreed entirely with Lincolns wish. From the first he would have been glad to have some general whom he could trust with the responsibility of military operations. Scott was too old; McClellan lacked the requisite ability; and Halleck, deficient in the same respect, lost all nerve and pluck after Popes disaster and became little more, so Lincoln said, than a first-rate clerk.1 It was a welcome function for the President to send to the Senate the nomination of Grant as Lieutenant-General. This he did at once and the nomination was immediately confirmed.
Grant came to Washington and met Lincoln for the first time at a crowded reception in the White House. An appointment between the two was made for the next day (March 9), when in the presence of the Cabinet, General