in any of these estimates, because it was ample in quantity and efficient in quality on both sides, and need not be compared.
This formidable army was now in Hood
's immediate front at Nashville
, while the important strategic points of Murfreesboroa and Chattanooga
were strongly garrisoned and fortified, and the railroads strongly guarded.
It had become too late for Hood
even to attempt a raid into Kentucky
would have been close upon his rear with an army at least twice as strong, with all the important points in Tennessee
still securely held.
But successful operations against Nashville
were far less possible to Hood
than an invasion of Kentucky
While no commander could possibly think of destroying his own army by assaulting a fortified place in which the garrison was more than double his own strength, or indulge the hope of any valuable results from a less than half investment of such a place, so bold a commander as Hood
might possibly attempt a raid into Kentucky
, as the only thing he could possibly do except retreat across the Tennessee River
, and thus abandon his cause as lost.
It was this view of the situation by General Grant
and the authorities in Washington
that caused such intense anxiety on account of the delay of General Thomas
in attacking Hood
It was perfectly evident that Thomas
could beat Hood
whenever he chose to attack him, and that Hood
must be fully aware of that fact.
Hence it was naturally apprehended that Hood
would either make a raid into Kentucky
or else retreat across the Tennessee River
without suffering any further damage.
To those who were watching Hood
closely at Nashville
, and especially to those who understood his character, there seemed no ground for either apprehension.
All his operations indicated a serious attempt to besiege Nashville
, though it was impossible to imagine what he could hope to accomplish, unless it was to wait in the most convenient