is, Upon what military theory was Sherman
's ‘march to the sea’ based?
himself explains it as a change of base, and he estimates its value in comparison with that of his subsequent operations in the ratio of one to ten.
But why those subsequent operations, or a change of base with a view to any such ulterior purpose?
had not at that time even suggested the need of Sherman
's aid against Lee
, and events proved that no such need existed.
started for Savannah
, the Confederate
force in the Gulf
States was quite equal to Lee
's army in Virginia
, while Grant
's army was larger than Sherman
's. Could Sherman
have contemplated at that time such a thing as going to Grant
's assistance, where he was not needed, and leaving Hood
's army behind him?
A change of base to Savannah
had been contemplated as a probable necessity of future operations in Georgia
or in the Gulf
States, upon the capture of Atlanta
; but that of course upon the supposition that there would still be a formidable army of the Confederacy
in those States against which operations were to be conducted.
When that Confederate army, under Hood
, marched toward the west, with the evident intention to carry the war into Tennessee
, why a change of base by Sherman
in the opposite direction, to Savannah
appears to have supposed at first that Hood
would follow him when he started on his march through Georgia
, as Hood
had supposed that Sherman
would follow him into Tennessee
Was there any more reason for the one supposition than the other?
Ought not Sherman
as well as Hood
to have known his antagonist better than such a supposition would imply?
Was it not extremely unreasonable to suppose that Hood
, after he had marched hundreds of miles west from Atlanta
and reached the base