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Chapter 11:

It is of interest, before entering upon a narrative of the military events of 1864 in Mississippi, to learn the plans of the enemy. These are clearly stated in a letter of so early date as January 5th, by General Grant, who, until March 12th, when he was given command of the armies of the United States, remained in charge of operations in the eastern Mississippi valley. Sherman, he said, had gone down the Mississippi to collect at Vicksburg all the force that could be spared for a separate movement from the Mississippi. ‘He will probably have ready by the 24th of this month a force of 20,000 men that could be spared east of the river.’ The Washington authorities desired to divert the Federal forces toward the Red river, but this Grant strongly opposed. ‘I shall direct Sherman,’ he wrote, ‘to move out to Meridian with his spare force’ (the cavalry going from Corinth) ‘and destroy the roads east and south of there so effectually that the enemy will not attempt to rebuild them during the rebellion. He will then return unless the opportunity of going into Mobile with the force he has appears perfectly plain.’ Meanwhile nothing more would be done at Chattanooga by Thomas than to threaten Johnston, who had succeeded Bragg in north Georgia,

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