Midpoint of the War: May to July 1863

Small Towns in a Big War

When did Grant have his men on the move?

Typically, Grant had his men moving out the very next day. He counted on the advantage of surprise, and the Confederate garrison seemed completely unaware of what he was doing. So, to some extent, were Lincoln and the War Department.

By this point, the War Department had decided to leave Grant pretty much alone. He had been so successful, in so many endeavors, that it seemed safe to count on him. One thing that neither Lincoln nor Secretary of War Stanton knew, however, was that Grant occasionally lost his footing where drink was concerned. Most of the time he was kept under the watchful eye of Brigadier-General John Rawlins (1831–1869), his good friend and his chief of staff. On the few occasions when Rawlins was not present, Grant sometimes fell off the wagon.


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