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[297] chivalry and loyalty the most illustrious, deeds of loftiest emprise, and privations the most marvellous, precious indeed is this badge in our eyes. Sure am I that no knight of St. John ever exhibited his Croix de Malthe with greater pride, or survivor of our primal Revolution esteemed in higher honor his Eagle of the Order of Cincinnatus. Wear it bravely and cherish it holily, my comrades, for the memories which it perpetuates are sacred, grand, stainless, pathetic, soul-inspiring, and far beyond the reach of malediction or the ‘rasure of oblivion.’

There is a sad chapter in the history of Georgia, which has been written chiefly by those who made light of her afflictions, laughed at her calamities, gloated over her losses, and lauded her spoilers. An invasion inaugurated with a full knowledge of her weakness, conceived largely in a spirit of wanton destruction, conducted in many respects in manifest violation of the rules of civilized warfare, and compassed in the face of feeble resistance, has been magnified into a grand military achievement worthy of all admiration. The easy march of a well-appointed army of more than sixty thousand men through the heart of a State abounding in all supplies, save men and materials of war, and at the most delightful season of the year, has been so talked of and written about by those who either participated in the enterprise or sympathized with its leaders and objects, that multitudes have come to regard this holiday excursion as a triumph of consummate military skill and valor—as one of the most wonderful exploits in the history of modern warfare. That this impression is not only exaggerated, but also positively erroneous, is capable of easy demonstration.

‘Until we can repopulate Georgia, it is useless to occupy it; but the utter destruction of its roads, houses, and people, will cripple their military resources. By attempting to hold the roads we will lose a thousand men monthly, and will gain no result. I can make the march and make Georgia howl. Hood may turn into Tennessee and Kentucky, but I believe he will be forced to follow me. Instead of being on the defensive I would be on the offensive. Instead of guessing at what he means, he would have to guess at my plans. The difference, in war is full twenty-five per cent. I can make Savannah, Charleston, or the mouth of the Chattahoochie. I prefer to march through Georgia, smashing things to the sea.’

So wrote Major-General Sherman, from Atlanta, to Lieutenant-General Grant. That officer having sanctioned the proposed movement,

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