Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 93
James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
Page 93
Ropes has suggested, that he only did the obvious thing; 1 but how many generals in the Northern Army at that time would have acted as he did and turned a defeat into so complete a victory? After Smith had carried the trench and the position on the right had been recovered, Grant must have expected demoralization to follow in the enemy’s ranks; finally Buckner’s note left no room for doubt. In his reply, which by an allusion to the initials of his name made him known henceforward as Unconditional Surrender Grant, he showed that in the hour of success he would exact the whole loaf: this attitude amid the amenities of our civil war was the mark of a masterful character. Five days after the surrender he wrote to his close friend, E. B. Washburne: “Our volunteers fought a battle that would figure well with many of those fought in Europe where large standing armies are maintained. I feel very grateful to you for having placed me in the position to have had the honor of commanding such an army and at such a time. I only trust that I have not nor will not disappoint you.” 2  17
  Halleck and McClellan 3 were too good theoretical soldiers not to understand that Donelson was a signal victory and they treated Grant in a manner that savors of professional jealousy. “General Grant left his command without any authority and went to Nashville,” telegraphed Halleck to McClellan. “I can get no returns, no reports, no information of any kind from him. Satisfied with his victory, he sits down and enjoys it without any regard to the future. I am worn-out and tired with this neglect and inefficiency.” “Do not hesitate to arrest Grant at once if the good of the service requires it,” was McClellan’s reply, “and place C. F. Smith in command.” Next day Halleck telegraphed: “A
Note 1. Ropes, II, 36. [back]
Note 2. Grant’s private letters, 4. [back]
Note 3. McClellan was still in command of all of the armies of the United States. [back]


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