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[201] duties required his presence in both places at one and the same time. If he committed any blunders while he was in this trying situation, they never became apparent to his adversaries. To a Union soldier the conclusion is irresistible that the Confederate authorities expected Johnston to perform impossibilities, and that upon his failure to perform these miracles he was visited with censure. In short, the Confederacy expected Johnston to make up by military strategy for what it lacked in material resources.

The geographical position of the Confederacy was such as to forbid the adoption of any extensive Fabian policy of warfare, such as is usually adopted by the weaker belligerent. The South had no inhospitable steppes and snow-drifts, like Russia had for Napoleon after the burning of Moscow, where the enemy could find nothing for its comfort and relief except hospitable graves. She had no boundless territory covered with forests like the army of the revolution, where it might retreat, and where the enemy dare not follow. Her extreme border was sea-girt and exposed to attack from the Potomac to the Rio Grande. The Mississippi river and its tributaries transported the enemy's troops and supplies from the North into the very heart of the Confederacy.

While Johnston had no field of operations suited to his genius in simply defensive warfare, and while he did not possess the men or means for offensive operations, yet he was equally well adapted to either mode of warfare under favorable conditions. The crowning act of Johnston's military career is to be found in his defensive campaign from Dalton, Georgia, until he crossed the Chattahoochie river near Atlanta. On the 6th day of May, 1864, General Sherman, with an army of ninety-nine thousand veterans, advanced on Johnston's position at Dalton, where he had an army of forty-three thousand men, which soon became reinforced and increased to sixty-four thousand before he reached Cassville. The policy of Sherman was to compel Johnston to fight in open field or retreat. The policy of Johnston was to compel Sherman to fight him in a strongly fortified position. In this series of battles, from Dalton to the Chattahoochie, the Federal forces were kept almost continuously on the skirmish line while the Confederates fought behind entrenchments. This resulted, in a very heavy loss to the Union army in killed and wounded, while the Confederate losses were very much less. When Sherman flanked the several fortified positions, one by one, Johnston would fall back in good order, with all the orderly precision of a dress parade, to take another fortified position. This was all done too without any

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Joseph E. Johnston (8)
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