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[335] armies. Hence, before starting on his march, in his letter of November 6 to Grant he explained that his march would be ‘statesmanship’ anyway, even if it was not ‘war.’ Sherman was not a man to be ‘left out,’ no matter what might happen.

But Sherman's good fortune was almost equal to his strategy and his skill in marching an army. Although, as fate would have it, he did not have a chance to assist in the capture of Lee, Thomas had failed to obey his instructions to pursue Hood into the Gulf States, whereby the fragments of that ‘broken and dispirited’ army, as Thomas well called it, were gathered together, under their old, able commander, General Johnston, and appeared in Sherman's front to oppose his northward march, and finally to capitulate to him at ‘Bennett's House’ in North Carolina. The remnant of that army which Sherman had disdained to pursue into Alabama or Mississippi had traveled a thousand miles to surrender to him! No story of fiction could be more romantic than that fact of real war history.

It was not necessary for Sherman to produce his letter of November 6, 1864; but I have quoted from it here very largely to show that there was no possible contingency which his far-reaching mind had not foreseen and provided for.

Sherman's plan was so firmly fixed in his own mind, almost from the very start, that he was determined to adhere to it in spite of all possible opposition, even including the adverse opinions and advice of General Grant. Hence, as was his habit in such cases, he invented every imaginable reason, without regard to their logical or illogical character, to convince others of the soundness of his conclusion. But the logic of the real reasons which convinced his own mind is, when the chaff is all winnowed away, as clear and bright as the golden grain.

In view of the great strategical project which Sherman

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