Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 308
James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
Page 308
blow. Lee, in no way daunted because Grant had taken command in person of the Army of the Potomac, thought, undoubtedly, that his Western victories had been due more to his opponent’s lack of skill than to his own generalship, and had hoped to beat Grant as he had beaten McClellan, Pope, Burnside and Hooker, drive him back across the Rapidan and constrain him, like his predecessors, to abandon the campaign. Measured by casualties, the Confederates came the nearer to victory. The Union loss was 17,666; the Confederate certainly less, although an accurate report of it is lacking.  9
  Next day Grant said to Meade, “Joe Johnston would have retreated after two such days’ punishment!” 1 In this remark was implied a wholesome respect for the redoubtable commander whom he had encountered for the first time. Neither general showed a disposition to attack, but Grant made arrangements to continue the movement by the left in a night march to Spottsylvania Court House. To James H. Wilson who, perturbed at the disaster to the Union right on the second day of the battle, had sought the General to bear information and seek comfort, he said, “It’s all right, Wilson; the army is moving toward Richmond!” 2 The troops set forth knowing of the slaughter of the past two days but unaware if they had been beaten or not, and when they came to the parting of the ways, the question uppermost in all minds was, would the orders be to turn northward and recross the river? But the command, File right, set the men’s faces towards Richmond, and Grant in their estimation was exalted. The soldiers sang and stepped forward with a brisker tread. “The spirits of men and officers are of the highest pitch of animation” was the
Note 1. Theodore Lyman, Milt. Hist. Soc., IV, 171. [back]
Note 2. Under the Old Flag, I, 389. [back]


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