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Chapter XVII

  • Sherman's purpose in marching to the sea
  • -- his expectations that the change of base would be ‘statesmanship,’ if not ‘War’ -- the Thousandmile march of Hood's men to surrender to Sherman -- the credit given by Grant to Sherman— ‘master of the situation’ -- the fame of Sherman's grand marches -- his great ability as a strategist.


the actual result in Tennessee was more decisive than Sherman had any good reason to expect. But he had good reason to expect, and evidently did, that Thomas would be able, after he had concentrated his troops, and after Hood had done considerable damage, to drive the latter out of Tennessee and pursue him with such force and energy as fully to occupy his attention and prevent him from interfering in any manner with Sherman's own operations. Hence Sherman as well as Grant had reason to assume that Hood's army would be eliminated from the military problem in the Atlantic States. Again, the general military situation as known to General Sherman, or probably to anybody else, in October and November, 1864, did not indicate that Grant, with the force he then had in Virginia, would be able to capture or destroy Lee's army. He might undoubtedly capture Petersburg and Richmond, but Lee would probably be able to withdraw his army toward the south, nearer to his sources of supply, and by skilful maneuvers prolong the contest until the National Government might abandon it. Grant's

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