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‘ [143] strong assaults,’ etc. But that is a mere verbal error. General Sherman, of course, meant to say that the intention was his.

The second sentence is, perhaps, ambiguous. At least it has been construed to mean more than the truth. It is undoubtedly true that ‘we all agreed that we could not with prudence stretch out any more,’ but we did not agree in the conclusion ‘and therefore there was no alternative,’ etc.

Indeed, such conclusion was extremely illogical, as was demonstrated a few days later, when one of the other ‘alternatives’ was adopted with success. This successful movement was essentially the same as that which had been previously made to dislodge the enemy from Dalton, and that by which Sherman's army had been transferred from New Hope Church to the railroad in front of Allatoona, as well as that by which Atlanta was afterward captured. Hence the existence of this ‘alternative’ could not have been unthought of by any of us at the time of the assault on Kenesaw.

But there was another alternative in this and similar cases, which was much discussed at various times during the campaign. Its practicability can be judged of only upon general principles, for it was never tried. It was to detach two or three corps, nearly half our army (which was about double the strength of the enemy), make a detour wide enough to avoid his fortifications, and strike directly at his flank and rear. Such a movement, it was urged, at Dalton, Kenesaw, or Atlanta would have compelled Johnston to fight a battle on equal terms with one half of Sherman's army, while he had to hold his parapets against the other half. Whatever else may be said of this proposed movement, it would undoubtedly have been more hazardous and much more decisive, one way or the other, than any of the plans actually adopted. It certainly promised success proportionate to the cost, instead

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William T. Sherman (3)
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