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[312] in the most positive manner that the ‘North can prevail in this contest,’ provided only it is willing to use its power. And by what means was this demonstration to be made? By marching a large army through the South where there was and could be no Confederate army able to oppose it, destroying everything of military value, including food, and continuing this operation until the government and people of the Southern States, and people abroad, should find the demonstration convincing. Again I quote:
Now, Mr. Lincoln's election, which is assured, coupled with the conclusion thus reached, makes a complete, logical whole. Even without a battle, the result, operating upon the minds of sensible men, would produce fruits more than compensating for the expense, trouble, and risk.

The election of Mr. Lincoln meant, of course, continued ascendancy of the ‘war party’ at the North, and that, coupled with the conclusion above reached, made, as Sherman so forcibly stated it, ‘a complete, logical whole.’

General Sherman then went on to give in his masterly way the advantages and disadvantages of the several objectives open to him as the goal of his march, reserving to himself finally the choice between three,—Savannah, Mobile, and Pensacola,—trusting to Richmond papers to keep Grant well advised of his movements and of his final choice of the objective; and then, near the close of this letter, in discussing the military aspects of his proposed march, upon which he was about entering, he reverted to the old theory of the line of the Tennessee— ‘on the supposition always that Thomas can hold the line of the Tennessee, and very shortly be able to assume the offensive as against Beauregard.’

It is impossible not to admire the thoroughness with which Sherman had considered all possible or even imaginary difficulties in his way, nor to suppress a smile at

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