previous next
[325] respect to Thomas's condition to cope with Hood, and no doubt Grant's subsequent impatience in respect to Thomas's action was largely due to this fact. This point deserves close consideration.

Grant's first assent to Sherman's plan was made, October 11, on the condition of ‘holding the line of the Tennessee firmly.’ On October 22 Sherman telegraphed: ‘I am now perfecting arrangements to put into Tennessee a force able to hold the line of the Tennessee.’

Even as late as November 1, Grant again suggested to Sherman that Hood ought to be his ‘objective,’ now that he ‘has gone so far north.’ At an earlier hour the same day, in the despatch above quoted, Sherman telegraphed, ‘trusting that General Thomas. . . will be able in a very few days to assume the offensive.’ To this Grant replied November 2: ‘With the force, however, you have left with Thomas, he must be able to take care of Hood and destroy him.’ In that despatch of November 1 Sherman had made a statement of the troops Thomas would have, including A. J. Smith's from Missouri, adding, ‘but I doubt if they can reach Tennessee in less than ten days.’ Now Smith's troops did not reach Tennessee in less than thirty days instead of ten days, and after the crisis of the campaign was passed; and the effective force in Tennessee before Smith's arrival was 13,000 men less than Sherman had stated it. So that the whole brunt of the fight with Hood fell upon the two corps which Sherman had sent back, without any help from the reinforcements upon which Sherman counted so largely. It was, in fact, six weeks instead of a ‘very few days’ before Thomas was able ‘to assume the offensive.’ It was not even attempted to ‘hold the line of the Tennessee’ either ‘firmly’ or at all.

Having been absent from the army in the field during Hood's raid in Sherman's rear, I knew little personally about those estimates of the strength of the opposing

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Tennessee (Tennessee, United States) (4)
Missouri (Missouri, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William T. Sherman (9)
George H. Thomas (5)
John B. Hood (5)
U. S. Grant (4)
A. J. Smith (3)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November 1st (2)
November 2nd (1)
October 22nd (1)
October 11th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: