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[191] in Kentucky and East Tennessee, belonging to the Department of the Ohio, for the reason that just at that time unusual demand was made upon those troops for service in East Tennessee, where some of the State forces had met with disaster. This probably accounts in part for the discrepancies in General Sherman's estimates referred to later.

Hood's forces were then understood by General Thomas to consist of from 40,000 to 45,000 infantry and artillery, and 10,000 to 12,000 cavalry, including Forrest's command. I find from General Sherman's despatch to Thomas, dated October 19, that his estimate of Hood's strength, October 19, 1864, was about 40,000 men of all arms.

I do not find in General Thomas's report or despatches any exact statement of his own estimate; but the following language in his official report of January 20, 1865, seems quite sufficiently explicit on that point: ‘Two divisions of infantry, under Major-General A. J. Smith, were reported on their way to join me from Missouri, which, with several one-year regiments then arriving in the department, and detachments collected from points of minor importance, would swell my command, when concentrated, to an army nearly as large as that of the enemy. Had the enemy delayed his advance a week or ten days longer, I would have been ready to meet him at some point south of Duck River. . . .’

This must of course be accepted as General Thomas's own estimate of the enemy's strength, on which his own action was based. And it should be remembered that military operations must be based upon the information then in possession of the commander, and just criticism must also be based upon his action upon that information, and not upon any afterward obtained.

General Sherman estimated the force left with Thomas1 at about 45,000 (exclusive of the Fourth and Twentythird

1 See his ‘Memoirs,’ Vol. II, pp. 162, 163.

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