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[306] utters a note of defiance until he is well beyond the other's reach.

The correspondence between Grant and Sherman, especially the letters from Grant of September 12, and from Sherman of September 20, both carried by Grant's staff officer, Colonel Horace Porter, show a complete understanding of the situation at that time, and perfect accord in respect to the operations appropriate to that situation.1 Savannah was to be captured, if practicable, by military and naval forces from the east, and Sherman was so to manoeuver in respect to Hood's army as to swing round the latter and thus place himself in position to open communication with Savannah as his new base. This was the simple, logical plan dictated by the situation, which had for a long time been considered and worked out after weighing all the advantages and disadvantages of other possible plans.

But very soon after Sherman despatched his letter of September 20 by Colonel Porter, Hood commenced his movement to Sherman's rear, and then far to the west, which was designed to and did radically change the military situation in view of which the carefully matured plan described in Sherman's letter of September 20 had been formed. Sherman, as clearly appears from his despatches later than September 20, considered long and apparently with great doubt what change ought to be made in his own plans in consequence of the altered situation due to the unexpected movements of his enterprising adversary. That some very important change in Sherman's plans was imperative was a matter of course. A general cannot well make his own plans entirely upon his own theory as to what his enemy will or ought to do, but must be governed in some measure by what the other actually does. General Sherman evidently perceived quite clearly what established rules of action required

1 War Records, Vol. XXXIX, part II, pp. 364, 411.

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