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[256] had confided to General Thomas, as he did to General Grant, his ulterior purpose to march from Savannah toward Richmond, for which reason he wanted Hood kept out of his way, Thomas would have perceived the necessity of pressing the pursuit of Hood into the Gulf States. But if Thomas supposed, as he might naturally have done, that Sherman had only shifted his base with a view to further operations in Georgia and the Gulf States, under the plan of the last autumn, with which Thomas was perfectly familiar, he may well have seen no necessity for his pressing the pursuit beyond the Tennessee River in midwinter.

Some of our military operations in the Civil War remind me of the spirit of ‘fair play’ shown by our old doctors in the West in the days of malarial fever. When the poison had fully developed its power, and threatened the destruction of its victim, the good doctor would come in and attack the enemy with heroic doses of quinine. In a few days medical science would prevail. Then the fair-minded physician would retire, and give the worsted malaria a chance to recuperate and ‘come to time’ for another attack; and so on indefinitely until either the man or the malaria—often the man—finally got ‘knocked out.’ It was not until after much study and some practice of the art of war that I conceived for myself the idea of giving the enemy of my youth, which still clung to me, no chance to recover after I once got him down. He has never got the better of me since.

Had Thomas's plan been carried out, he would have been ready, with a fine army splendidly equipped and supplied, to start from the Tennessee River to invade the Gulf States, as had been done the year before, just about the time the plans actually adopted resulted in the surrender of all the Confederate armies. In Thomas's mind war seems to have become the normal condition of the country. He had apparently as yet no thought of its

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