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 bring with it the fall of Port Hudson also. Grant saw nearly his whole force absorbed in holding the railway lines north of Vicksburg; he-considered that if he moved forward, driving the enemy before him into Southern territory not as yet subdued, those lines in his rear would almost hold themselves, and most of his force would be free for field operations. But in moving forward he moved further from his bases of supplies. One of these was at Holly Springs, in the north of the state of Mississippi; the enemy appeared there, captured the garrison, and destroyed all the stores of food, forage, and munitions of war. This loss taught Grant a lesson by which he, and Sherman after him, profited greatly: the lesson that in a wide and productive country, such as that in which he was operating, to cling to a distant base of supply was not necessary; the country he was in would afford the supplies needed. He was amazed, he says, when he was compelled by the loss of Holly Springs to collect supplies in the country immediately around him, at the abundant quantity which the country afforded. He found that after leaving two months supplies for the use of the families whose stores were taken, he could, off the region where he was, have subsisted his army for a period four times as long
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