Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 401
James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
Page 401
North from November 12 to December 14. “I will not attempt to send carriers back,” he had written to Grant, “but trust to the Richmond papers to keep you well advised.” 1 For these thirty-two days, Lincoln and Grant had no other information of this important movement than what they could glean from the Southern journals.  4
  Sherman’s imagination was vividly impressed with the strangeness of the situation: “two hostile armies were marching in opposite directions, each in the full belief that it was achieving a final and conclusive result in the great war.” 2 It would be impossible to show an entire consistency in the utterances of this great general; a single aspect of the campaign often claimed his attention to the exclusion of all others and he was so fertile in thought and fluent in expression that the idea uppermost in his brain was apt to burst forth without regard for what else remained behind. As with almost all men of action, the speculation of to-day might supersede that of yesterday only to disappear under that of to-morrow, yet this did not impair his capacity for making a correct decision nor his steadfastness in the execution of a plan. Grant, more reticent and not at all expansive, is not chargeable in the same degree with inconsistency in his written words. He lacked imagination and did not worry. A remark of Sherman’s provides an acute estimate of their different temperaments: Grant does not care “for what the enemy does out of his sight but it scares me.” 3  5
  While the army was concentrating at Atlanta, the railway station, machine shops and other buildings of that city which might be useful to the enemy in his military operations were destroyed. The right wing and one corps
Note 1. O. R., XXXIX, Pt. 3, 661. [back]
Note 2. W. Sherman, II, 170. [back]
Note 3. Wilson’s Under the Old Flag, II, 17. [back]


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