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[320] Grant. Yet Grant's assent was given in view of Sherman's trust that Thomas would be able in a very few days to assume the offensive.

Sherman's despatch to Thomas of the same date (November 1) instructed him as to the policy then determined on, in lieu of that which had contemplated holding the line of the Tennessee firmly, as follows:

Despatch of last night received. The fact that Forrest is down about Johnsonville, while Hood, with his infantry, is still about Florence and Tuscumbia, gives you time for concentration. The supplies about Chattanooga are immense, and I will soon be independent of them; therefore I would not risk supplies coming in transitu from Nashville to Chattanooga. In like manner, we have large supplies in Nashville, and if they be well guarded, and Hood can't get our supplies, he can't stay in Tennessee long. General Schofield will go to you as rapidly as cars can take him. I have no doubt, after the emergency is past, and the enemy has done us considerable damage, reinforcements will pour to you more than can be provided for or taken care of. In the meantime do your best. I will leave here to-morrow for Kingston, and keep things moving toward the south; therefore hold fast all new troops coming to you, excepting such as are now at Chattanooga, to whom I will give orders.

Yet in his letter to Grant, five days later, Sherman reverts to the original plan: ‘On the supposition, always, that Thomas can hold the line of the Tennessee.’

November 7, Sherman telegraphed Grant: ‘. . . On that day [November 10] or the following, if affairs should remain as now in Tennessee, I propose to begin the movement which I have hitherto fully described . . .’ To which despatch General Grant replied: ‘. . . I see no present reason for changing your plan. . . .’

General Grant does not refer to the later despatches in his general report, July 22, 1865, quoted in his ‘Memoirs,’ but uses the following language:

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