Rear wheel reinstallation

I just completed replacing the rear tire, meaning I removed the hub bolts, lock washers, lifted the chain off and loosened and removed the shifter cable slotted bolt and nut. Now I'm trying to get it back together and am having trouble getting the slotted nut which locks the shifter cable to its slot on the wheel assembly. Is there a trick to getting that slot to rotate close to the nut/cable assembly? I can't seem to get enough slack from the shifter cable to get that nut around to the slot where it connects to the hub. Hope this makes sense. Thanks to anyone who can help.
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