position than before Atlanta
But his brilliant strategical genius, just fitted to cope with such emergencies, enabled the great manoeuvrer to extricate himself from his difficulties and to reverse the situation, himself threatening rebel lines and attacking rebel rears.
About this time occurred the presumptuous movement of Early
, who, however, was speedily repelled from Washington
; and then the great fighter sent to the Valley
dealt him blow after blow.
These two northward advances of Hood
gave an appearance of boldness to the rebel strategy, and were calculated to impose on unwary or impatient opponents.
both conceived audacious plans, but failed utterly in their accomplishment.
They were typical of the whole genius and character of the rebel policy; bold at the outset, dazzling in immediate effect, formidable at first to an adversary; but, when opposed by soldiers like Sherman
, their strength was wasted, their struggles vain, their endurance failed.
Next came Sherman
's march and Thomas
's defence; then the two attacks on Wilmington
; and at last the consummation began to dawn.
Out of the chaos men saw streaks of light here and there; and finally, in all quarters the firmament was clear.
The great congeries of campaigns and combinations was visible to the dullest comprehension, like the sun above the horizon.
strode across the continent and then marched northward, driving Johnston
destroyed or scattered Hood
had beaten and battered Early
's army, literally, into pieces.
Only the command in front of Richmond
This had been so securely held by