Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 429
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James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
 
Page 429
 
 
operations, working under Grant’s efficient direction with the common purpose of dealing the enemy a final blow. But it was confidently believed that if Lee and Johnston could be forced to surrender, the rest of the military resistance would collapse.  11
  In this final encounter, the generals were well matched in intellectual ability but the material resources on the Union side were vastly greater. Yet the latent power of resistance in soldiers, skilfully and honestly led, who believe that they are fighting against the subjugation of their people, must be rated high, as so many instances in history attest. The more profound the study of the last days of the Confederacy, the firmer will be the conviction that the best of management was required of the North to assure the end of the war in the spring of 1865. In one respect fortune had signally favored the Union. Although distributing, in the last two years of the war, the favors of military skill with an equal hand, she had at the same time given to the United States a great ruler. Manifestly superior as had been Davis’s advantages in family, breeding, training and experience, he fell far below Lincoln as a compeller of men. We have seen Lincoln in times of adversity and gloom and have marvelled at his self-effacement and we have seen him listening to words of advice, warning and even reproof such as are rarely spoken to men wielding immense power; and throughout he has preserved his native dignity and emerged from nearly every trial a stronger and more admirable man.  12
  Grant appears at his best in the final operations of his army. He is the Grant of Donelson, Vicksburg and Chattanooga with a judgment developed through larger experience and the discipline of adversity. The full reports and detailed despatches admit us to the actual operations of his
 

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