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[79]

Before the March to the sea These two photographs of General Sherman were taken in 1864—the year that made him an international figure, before his march to the sea which electrified the civilized world, and exposed once for all the crippled condition of the Confederacy. After that autumn expedition, the problem of the Union generals was merely to contend with detached armies, no longer with the combined States of the Confederacy. The latter had no means of extending further support to the dwindling troops in the field. Sherman was the chief Union exponent of the tactical gift that makes marches count as much as fighting. In the early part of 1864 he made his famous raid across Mississippi from Jackson to Meridian and back again, destroying the railroads, Confederate stores, and other property, and desolating the country along the line of march. In May he set out from Chattanooga for the invasion of Georgia. For his success in this campaign he was appointed, on August 12th, a major-general in the regular army. On November 12th, he started with the pick of his men on his march to the sea. After the capture of Savannah, December 21st, Sherman's fame was secure; yet he was one of the most heartily execrated leaders of the war. There is a hint of a smile in the right-hand picture. The left-hand portrait reveals all the sternness and determination of a leader surrounded by dangers, about to penetrate an enemy's country against the advice of accepted military authorities.

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