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[139] such an unusual treat in the enemy's country. About sunset McPherson invited me to visit his camp, and we started off at full gallop, which we kept up all the way, yet it was some time after dark when we reached the headquarters of the Army of the Tennessee. A good camp supper was awaiting us, with jolly young officers to make it merry. It was not until supper was ended that I began to realize the necessity of a night's march to get back to my own camp. As our infantry line was twenty miles long, and the cavalry stretched it out on either flank as many more, my single orderly was quite sufficient protection from any attack from the enemy; but the Georgia bushes, brambles, and mud, combined with the absence of any known road, constituted an enemy hard to overcome. However, by the aid of the compass which I have always carried in my lead since I used to hunt in the wilds of the West, I got back to camp, and went to bed, taking care not to observe the time of night by my watch.

As I have said, I was often much annoyed by General Hooker's corps getting possession of roads which had been designated for mine to advance upon, thus greatly delaying my movements. But it is but just to say that this is susceptible of an explanation much more creditable to General Hooker than that given by General Sherman. General Thomas's army was so large that he could never get his three corps into position as soon as expected by the use of the roads designated for him. Hence, when Hooker was not in advance he would ‘switch off’ and hunt for another road to the right or left, and thus sometimes strike in ahead of McPherson or me, and leave us no road at all to move on. In fact, the army was so large and the roads were so few that our movements were often painfully slow and tedious, and General Hooker's motive may have been only to get ahead and bring his corps into action or to the position assigned to it in whatever way he could.

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Joseph Hooker (4)
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