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[313] the supreme confidence with which he set out, with sixty thousand of the best soldiers in the world, upon a march through a fine healthy country laden with abundance of supplies for men and animals, at a time when only two armies in the South were strong enough to offer him any serious opposition, both of them farther from his line of march than he was from his goal when he started, one besieged by Grant in Petersburg, and the other already commencing an aggressive campaign against Thomas in Tennessee! It is equally impossible to speak seriously of the apprehension of some geographers and logisticians that Hood would interfere in some way with Sherman's march through Georgia. Hood could not have got within two hundred miles of Sherman before the latter had destroyed as much of Georgia as he wished, and then captured Savannah. Of course Sherman was not disturbed by any apprehension that Hood might possibly oppose his march to Savannah. He could have meant by what he said in his despatches on that subject only that Hood would be compelled by ‘public clamor’ to return to Georgia to defend that State against Sherman's further operations. Hence his strong insistence that Thomas pursue Hood with energy, and thus keep him out of his (Sherman's) way.

It had never occurred to me, if the fact ever existed, that the rebellion could not be suppressed by crushing or capturing the Confederate armies, or that our vastly superior military strength must necessarily be employed in crushing the Southern people, however much they might deserve crushing, or else that we must give up the contest. Yet while I never saw the necessity for what Sherman called ‘statesmanship’ rather than ‘war,’ I would never have hesitated for a moment to say, what I now repeat, if it really was necessary, in order to put down the rebellion and restore the Union, to destroy all the property in the South, in the name of a just and beneficent

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