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[289] of that period, including that which occurred between General Thomas and General Sherman, about which it is important to note that I knew nothing at that time, shows that General Thomas then expected to concentrate his troops at Columbia or Pulaski, or both, in a very short time, take command in the field in person, and begin aggressive operations against Hood. It seems extremely probable that General Thomas had given very little thought at that time to the subject of defensive action, except as against what that troublesome cavalryman Forrest might do. It seems far more probable from the record that General Thomas's ‘plans and wishes’ in respect to defensive action against Hood's advance into Tennessee, which I had so ‘properly appreciated and executed,’ were, like the plans of the battle of December 16 at Nashville, matured after the event, or at least after Hood's advance into Tennessee had actually begun, and after I had, in my telegram to General Thomas of November 20, pointed out to him the dangers of his previous plan, telegraphed to me the day before.

I do not think much importance is generally to be attached to what any man may or may not recall to memory after the lapse of many years, although the recollection of a recent event, repeated in the memory, for good and sufficient reasons, very frequently during a long time, may continue to be very accurate. However this may be, perfect candor compels me to say here that I have never been able to recall any conversation with General Thomas at any time in respect to his plans or wishes in the event of Hood's advance from the Tennessee before Thomas was ready to assume the offensive. I now believe, as I always have done, that the only information I ever received from General Thomas on that subject was that contained in the telegraphic correspondence quoted in this volume. There is now no doubt in my mind, and, so far as I can recall, never has been any, that when I

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