April 4, 1865: Grant’s master plan taking effect

Canal opposite Vicksburg

The New York Times muses on the combination of simultaneous movements on various fronts that ultimately resulted in the fall of Richmond.

Published: April 4, 1865

-We have no doubt whatever that at the remarkable council at City Point last week, in which President LINCOLN, Lieut.-Gen. GRANT, and Gens. SHERMAN and SHERIDAN took part, the great movement which has resulted in the fall of Richmond was fully discussed. But we have the best of reasons for believing that the movement in nearly all its details was planned, and the time of its execution decided upon by the Lieutenant-General for weeks before the visit of Gen. SHERMAN to the James River — indeed, before Gen. SHERMAN’s army had emerged from the bogs of South Carolina.

The time of its execution depended much more upon the completion of SHERIDAN’s cavalry campaign from the Shenandoah Valley to Petersburgh, than upon the advance of the army of SHERMAN. Indeed, the cooperation of SHERIDAN was an essential part of the present operation; but so well assured was his success in his last campaign, and so precisely was the time of his arrival at GRANT’s headquarters calculated upon, that everything was in readiness for his advent.

But though the fact is undoubted that the late movement was fully drawn up and decided upon weeks ago, it is equally true that it was only part of a great combination embracing the operations of all the armies in North Carolina and Virginia — those of SCHOFIELD, TERRY and SHERMAN, as well as those of ORD, MEADE and SHERIDAN — not to speak of the forces of THOMAS and STONEMAN in East Tennessee. Each, in its place and circumstances, had its share and lot in the matter.

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