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