Total War: March to September 1864

The Man of the Hour

If Grant was to go after Lee, what was Sherman’s task?

Sherman had recently performed well on the campaign that culminated in the capture of Meridian, Mississippi. Even so, Sherman had never commanded as many men as the plans now called for, and there were those—in the newspaper business, especially—who doubted whether he could stand the pressure. Grant was determined to put those doubts to rest: he traveled to Cincinnati to confer with his good friend in private.

Grant and Sherman already saw many aspects of the war in a similar fashion, but their task was now to work in complete unison. Grant explained to Sherman that he, and his plans, had the confidence of the president and that the maximum force should be exerted to end the war in the shortest time. Years later, Sherman recalled the conversation with great simplicity: “He was to go for Lee, and I was to go for Johnston.”


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