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[146] Nashville, about the 17th of March, 1864, is quite evident from the following extracts from one of his own letters:

headquarters Department of the Tennessee, Memphis, March 14th, 1864.
Major-General McPHERSON, commanding, etc., Vicksburg.
dear General: * * * * I am summoned by General Grant to be in Nashville on the 17th, and it will keep me moving night and day to get there by that date. * * * *

I don't know, as yet, the grand strategy of the next campaign, but on arrival at Nashville I will soon catch the main points, and will advise you of them. * * * * I am truly your friend,

W. T. Sherman, Major-General commanding.

These various extracts from the records show conclusively that a campaign from Chattanooga through to the Gulf, originated with General Grant, and that he subsequently modified it on account of the control of Mobile having been secured before Atlanta was captured. It will now be made to appear that the discussion which took place between General Sherman and General Grant was not over the question whether a march to the sea should be made, but whether it should be undertaken before Hood's army was overthrown, this army having passed to General Sherman's rear. As soon as the last move of the enemy had developed itself, and Thomas had been sent back to shoulder the responsibility of taking care of him, General Sherman became strongly possessed with the idea of marching through to the sea without first destroying Hood. He saw no risk in leaving Atlanta, and no longer seemed to think it necessary for Grant to first take Savannah, and Canby to take Columbus. Any route through Georgia, in the absence of Hood, was, as General Sherman expressed it in a telegram to Grant (not given in the Memoirs), ‘all open, with no serious enemy to oppose at present.’

Then the discussion between Sherman and Grant already alluded to began.

Finally, by underestimating Hood's forces, and largely

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U. S. Grant (6)
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