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 It was at this time that the remarkable, pungent, incisive correspondence was carried on between Sherman and Hood. That correspondence showed Sherman master of the rules of war and of the laws of nations. His course undoubtedly caused great hardship, but probably in the end was the best for all concerned. I refer to his action in sending away from Atlanta the bulk of the residents, giving them the option to go north or south, according as “their interests or feelings dictated.” Sherman also had trouble to keep army traders within bounds; such vast numbers desired to come to the front with their wares. The single line of railroad, now 140 miles longer than at the beginning of the campaign, had to be defended against too many superfluities. We said: “Necessities first, then comforts!” but nothing simply to gratify the eager desire of trading men to make money was allowed to come over the lines. One day a courteous gentleman gave Sherman a superb box of cigars, and to each army commander he presented something, my share being some table furniture. Sherman was greatly pleased and expressed his gratitude in unusual terms. “You could not have pleased me more,” he said. Two days afterwards the same gentleman visited Sherman again at his Atlanta home and asked for a permit to bring sutler's stores from Nashville to the front. Several officers were present. Sherman then displayed the terrible anger that was in him. “Leave, sirl leave at once, you scoundrel! Would you bribe me?” he said. The trader did not wait for a blow but rushed out in hot haste. Thus Sherman delivered
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