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[134] Savannah. It is in brief an extended argument to show that General Sherman planned the March to the Sea, and that General Grant and the authorities at Washington opposed his plan for several weeks, but finally gave a reluctant consent to its execution. This view has been impressed upon the country ever since the close of the war.

It is doubtful whether a more skillful misuse of official records has ever before been made to uphold an erroneous history of a military movement, and this will now be made to appear.

The question under discussion between the parties named was not whether General Sherman should make a campaign to the sea, but whether he should begin it by abandoning Atlanta and the line of the railroad, and especially before he destroyed Hood's army. A campaign to the sea to cut the Confederacy in two, was decided upon by General Grant during the previous January, when he was in command at Nashville, and eight months before the time when General Sherman claims to have had such a move in his ‘mind's eye.’ General Thomas, General Halleck, and General Sherman were each notified at that time of this plan of General Grant.

The first idea of the latter, as expressed in January, 1864, was to march through to Mobile, holding Atlanta and Montgomery as intermediate points, but the Union forces having occupied Mobile Bay on the 23d of August, just before the capture of Atlanta, General Grant, immediately after the fall of the latter place, telegraphed General Sherman that, as our forces had now secured the control of Mobile, he thought Sherman had better move on Augusta as soon as his men were rested, while Canby acted on Savannah. The following letters and telegrams are sufficiently explicit upon these points:


headquarters Military division of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tenn., January 15, 1864.
Major-General Halleck, Washington.
* * * * I look upon the next line for me to secure, to be that from Chattanooga to Mobile, Montgomery and Atlanta being the important

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