The Final Struggles: September 1864 to April 1865

The Final Struggles: September 1864 to April 1865

How did Sheridan’s campaign begin?

Grant left his headquarters at City Point, Virginia, and traveled by rail to meet Sheridan in the northern part of the Shenandoah Valley. Typically, Grant carried Sheridan’s orders inside his greatcoat, but when the two men spoke, he decided not to pull them out, or even reveal their contents. Grant’s reason was that Sheridan had developed an excellent plan of attack, which included an ambitious strike at Jubal Early. When Grant asked if this campaign could begin the following Tuesday, Sheridan answered that he would be ready by Monday.

If Lincoln had labored for years to find his indomitable general in Grant, then Grant had spent some time in finding his endlessly aggressive fighter in Sheridan. Grant gave his blessing to all of Sheridan’s plans, parts of which were based on information recently provided him by a Quaker schoolteacher named Rebecca Wright.


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