THE END COMES INTO SIGHT: THE SECOND INAUGURATION.
WHEN Congress came together in December, 1864, the doom of the Confederacy was in plain view of all men, at the North and at the South. If General Grant had sustained frightful losses without having won any signal victory, yet the losses could be afforded; and the nature of the man and his methods in warfare were now understood. It was seen that, with or without victory, and at whatever cost, he had moved relentlessly forward. His grim, irresistible persistence oppressed, as with a sense of destiny, those who tried to confront it; every one felt that he was going to "end the job." He was now beleaguering Petersburg, and few Southerners doubted that he was sure of taking it and Richmond. In the middle country Sherman, after taking Atlanta, had soon thereafter marched cheerily forth on his imposing, theatrical, holiday excursion to the sea, leaving General Thomas behind him to do the hard fighting with General Hood. The grave doubt as to whether too severe a task had not been placed upon Thomas was dispelled by the middle of the month,