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‘ [43] as to prevent receiving supplies from the North. If it comes to the worst, move South, as you suggest.’ The unity of instinct between the two soldiers was as remarkable as ever. There can be no doubt that if Grant had never directed Sherman to open a line to the sea, that general would himself have conceived the idea; and if Grant had been on the spot instead of Sherman, events would beyond all question have suggested to him most of the modifications of the plan which occurred to his subordinate. As it was, the thought had passed between them, and was for weeks developing before it took actual and definite form; affected, in the first place, by the idiosyncrasies of each, and afterwards, as the thoughts and plans of all great soldiers are, by the varying circumstances of war; and in this instance, especially liable to change, when so many campaigns were combined and involved, and so many and distant armies were cooperating.

On the 17th of August, Sherman reverted to the primitive idea: ‘We must have the Alabama river . . . but of course I must trust to Admiral Farragut and General Canby.’ To Canby he said on the same day: ‘If possible, the Alabama river should be possessed by us in connection with my movements. I could easily open communication with Montgomery.’ On the 4th of September, after Atlanta had fallen, he proposed that he and Canby should each be reinforced by fifty thousand men; that Canby should move to Montgomery, and he himself towards the same point, and, then forming a junction, they should open the line to the Gulf of Mexico. On the 10th, he said to Canby: ‘We must ’

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