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1865 May 27: Grant— “no military hero in the world’s history has won so many important successes unclouded by defeat”

May 30, 2015

This article comes from The Polk County Press of May 27, 1865.

Grant’s Grand Total.

We believe that no military hero in the world’s history has won so many important successes unclouded by defeat, as our modest and unassuming Lieutenant General.  They may be summed up as follows :

At Fort Donelson, February 16, 1862, he captured Maj. Gen. S. [Simon] B. Buckner, with 13,000 prisoners, 3,000 horses, about 2,000 stand of arms, forty-eight field pieces, ten heavy guns and other military stores.

At Vicksburg, July 4th, 1868, he captured Lieut. Gen. Pemberton [John C. Pemberton], with 20 general officers, 4,000 commissioned officers, and 29,000 men—total about 34,000.  He also captured 128 pieces of field artillery and 90 siege guns, besides 83 pieces previously taken—total 801.  Of small arms 45, 000, with arms and munitions of war for 60,000 men, with a vast quantity of steamboats, locomotives, cotton, etc,—and, more important than all, the Mississippi.  As Vicksburg involved the surrender of Port Hudson, we have to credit to Grant the fruits there gathered—5,500 prisoners, 51 guns, 44,800 pounds of powder, 150,000 rounds of ammunition, 5,000 stand of arms, two steamers, and other stores.  Arkansas Post, captured by a detachment from his command, adds 5,000 prisoners and 40 guns.

At Chattanooga, besides the brilliant feat of rescuing our beleagured [sic] and endangered army, and driving the enemy from a vastly superior position, he captured 6,000 prisoners and 40 guns.  A detachment of his immediate command under Weitzel [Godfrey Weitzel], captured 3,000 prisoners and 180 guns at Fort Fisher and Wilmington.  In the crowning campaign against Richmond, he destroyed a rebel army of 60,000 men, all of whom were either killed, wounded, dispersed or captured.  In the final surrender at Appomattox Court House, April 9th, 1865, 26,000 prisoners, 16,000 stand of arms, 160 cannon, 70 flags, 1000 wagons, 4000 horses were all that remained ;  but at Richmond Weitzel had previously reported the capture of 800 guns, and a considerable number must have been captured at Petersburg.

This surrender involved the subsequent surrender of Johnston [Joseph E. Johnston] with 25,000 prisoners and over ninety guns, and must be followed by simpler surrender of the armies of Dick Taylor [Richard Taylor], probably 12,000, Kirby Smith and McGruder [sic: John B. Magruder] estimated at 25,000.

It would be safe to say that, including the captured not above enumerated, two hundred thousand men and two thousand guns have been captured by Gen. Grant, and as the immediate results of his victories.—His grand total of captures are at least twice as great as the forces under his command at any one time.

When we add to these figures the rebel killed and wounded at Donelson, at the battles before Vicksburg at Chattanooga, and at the Wilderness, the last of which is estimated to have amounted to sixty thousand and it will appear that Gen. Grant has put hors du combat [sic: hors de combat] not less than three hundred and fifty thousand rebels in captured, killed, wounded and dispersed.  True, some of these successes were obtained by desperate fighting and severe losses, but impartial history will declare that we could not have had Vicksburg without Shiloh, nor Richmond without the terrible battles of Spottsylvania.  In the light of the whole record, now complete, every one of Grant’s campaigns is demonstrated to have been a success.  The temporary laurels won by Lee [Robert E. Lee], Johnston and other rebel chiefs, but add their tribute to Grant’s enduring fame, which, like Mose’s divinely consecrated rod, swallow up all the others.

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