Recollections of the Civil War: With the Leaders at Washington and in the Field in the Sixties

By Charles A. Dana | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI. .
THE WAR DEPARTMENT IN WAR TIMES

Grant's plans blocked by Halleck -- Mr. Dana on duty at Washington -- Edwin McMasters Stanton -- His deep religious feeling -- His swift intelligence and almost superhuman energy -- The Assistant Secretary's functions -- Contract supplies and contract frauds -- Lincoln's intercession for dishonest contractors with political influence -- A characteristic letter from Sherman.

I REACHED Washington about the middle of December, and immediately gave to Mr. Stanton an outline of Grant's plan and reasons for a winter campaign. The President, Mr. Stanton, and General Halleck all agreed that the proposed operations were the most promising in sight; indeed, Mr. Stanton was enthusiastic in favor of the scheme as I presented it to him. He said that the success of Grant's campaign would end the war in the Mississippi Valley, and practically make prisoners of all the rebel forces in the interior of Mississippi and Alabama, without our being at the direct necessity of guarding and feeding them. But Halleck, as a sine qua non, insisted that East Tennessee should first be cleared out and Longstreet driven off permanently and things up to date secured, before new campaigns were entered upon.

The result was that no winter campaign was made in

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