Lincoln writes to Grant after the fall of Vicksburg giving, with his word of congratulation, the admission that he (Lincoln) had doubted the wisdom or the practicability of Grant's movement to the south of Vicksburg and inland to Jackson. "You were right," said Lincoln, "and I was wrong."
M. opened the brown folder, reached for his pipe and began absent-mindedly filling it as he glanced through the list of subsidiary files to see if there was any other docket he immediately needed. Then he set a match to his pipe and settled back in his chair and read:
The Instructor came up with him. "I'm in hospital, but you're dead, sir," he said. In one hand he held the silhouette target of the upper body of a man. In the other a polaroid film, postcard size. He handed this to Bond and they turned to a table behind them on which there was a green-shaded desk-light and a large magnifying glass.
It was almost a relief to hear the baying of the dogs.
Apart from Lincoln's work in selecting, and in large measure in directing, the generals, he had a further important relation with the army as a whole. We are familiar with the term "the man behind the gun." It is a truism to say that the gun has little value whether for offence or for defence unless the man behind it possesses the right kind of spirit which will infuse and guide his purpose and his action with the gun. For the long years of the War, the Commander-in-chief was the man behind all the guns in the field. The men in the front came to have a realising sense of the infinite patience, the persistent hopefulness, the steadiness of spirit, the devoted watchfulness of the great captain in Washington. It was through the spirit of Lincoln that the spirit in the ranks was preserved during the long months of discouragement and the many defeats and retreats. The final advance of Grant which ended at Appomattox, and the triumphant march of Sherman which culminated in the surrender at Goldsborough of the last of the armies of the Confederacy, were the results of the inspiration, given alike to soldier and to general, from the patient and devoted soul of the nation's leader.
That is a deep one, thought General G. Let us put the spotlight on him and see how he shows up on the sound-track.
'Please say that I look forward greatly to meeting him tomorrow. Until six o'clock then.' Bond suddenly wanted to be alone with his thoughts. He gestured towards his suitcase. ' I must get myself unpacked.'