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John M. Schofield, Forty-six years in the Army, Chapter XVI (search)
it, destroying all the railroad south of Dalton or Chattanooga, as you think best. Sherman to Thomas. October 20, 1864. . . . I want all things bent to the following general plan of action for the next three months. Out of the forces now here and at Atlanta I propose to organize an efficient army of from 60,000 to 65,000 men, with which I propose to destroy Macon, Augusta, and, it may be, Savannah and Charleston, but I will always keep open the alternatives of the mouth of Appalachicola and Mobile. By this I propose to demonstrate the vulnerability of the South, and make its inhabitants feel that war and individual ruin are synonymous terms. To pursue Hood is folly, for he can twist and turn like a fox and wear out any army in pursuit. To continue to occupy long lines of railroads simply exposes our small detachments to be picked up in detail, and forces me to make countermarches to protect lines of communication. I know I am right in this, and shall proceed to its