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[315] his demonstration early enough and as convincing as possible to the people of the South and all the world, it was important to move at once, and to show that his march was not a mere rapid raid, but a deliberate march of a formidable army capable of crushing anything that might get in its way, and that without waiting for anything that might occur in its rear. Such a march of such an army might well have been sufficient to convince everybody that the United States had the military power to crush the rebellion, and even destroy everything in the South, before the world should find out that the resources of the government had been exhausted, and that the United States had not the financial strength necessary to make any further military use of the million of men they then had on the muster-and pay-rolls. To have given the still more convincing proof of the power of the Union, by destroying one of the Confederate armies, would have taken a longer time.

The following despatches fully show Sherman's first plan, assented to by Grant, the essential feature of which was that Thomas should be able to ‘hold the line of the Tennessee firmly,’ and the corresponding information and instructions to Thomas:

Sherman to Grant.

Cartersville, Ga., October 10, 1864, 12 M.
. . . Hood is now crossing the Coosa; twelve miles below Rome, bound west. If he passes over to the Mobile and Ohio road, had I not better execute the plan of my letter sent by Colonel Porter, and leave General Thomas with the troops now in Tennessee to defend the State? He will have an ample force when the reinforcements ordered reach Nashville.


Grant to Sherman.

City Point, Va., October 11, 1864, 11 A. M.
Your despatch received. Does it not look as if Hood was going to attempt the invasion of middle Tennessee? . . . If he


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