The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 127
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the Federal military situation. Lee's army had been beaten-
driven to the protection of the Potomac River. Although Meade
had not administered the coup de grace, Gettysburg proved that
the Federal army was maturing. The staff had grown up with
the army; the soldiers had hardened, even with the influx of
new recruits. The supply services were usually well handled, and
the army had renewed confidence. The supporting cast had been
tested and proved. The stage was set for the arrival of the man
who had risen to stardom in the western theater-Grant.
In the Wilderness in 1864, with Lee's army depleted in en-
listed men and particularly in officers, Grant took charge with
a new idea and with fresh troops. Meade technically retained
direction of the army, but Grant was along, just in case.
Briefly, the situation was this: the Confederate army was se-
nescent, while in the Wilderness the Federal army and its com-
mand reached the height of vigor. In this connection, the story
of maturation of command may parallel the economic develop-
ment of both the North and the South. The South was able to
effect a quicker mobilization than the North, but in so doing
strained too hard, and by the end of 1863 was no longer able
adequately to support the war effort. The story manifestly is
similar in the case of man-power reserves.
Lincoln Finds a General is, for the most part, an excellent
exposition of the Federal side of military operations in Virginia.
The book is based largely on the War of the Rebellion: A Com-
pilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate
Armies, which is, of course, the basic reference for this type of
military history. Wider use of other secondary and manuscript
material might have helped to enrich the narrative, but would
probably not have affected the general story. Williams' style is
good, though this reviewer sometimes felt that he tended to talk
down to the reader from the heights of professional military
analysts. A little further consideration of Federal supplies in
the next two volumes would do much to round out the work
and to end the vague feeling of some inadequacy which is en-
gendered in one or two instances.
While it seems stereotyped to criticize a book and then to end
a review on the note that it is excellent, there is no other course
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/155/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.