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‘ [44] have the Alabama river now. . . . My line is so long now that it is impossible to protect it against cavalry raids; but if we can get Montgomery, and Columbus, Georgia, as bases, in connection with Atlanta, we have Georgia and Alabama at our feet. . . . I will be ready to sally forth in October, but ought to have some assurances that, in case of necessity, I can swing into Appalachicola or Montgomery.’ This of course was to carry out the original strategy of Grant.

The general-in-chief, however, had by this time different views. The rebels west of the Mississippi, relieved of all fear of attack front Canby, had begun themselves to threaten offensive operations. Ten thousand men under Price were marching through Arkansas to invade Missouri, while Kirby Smith had set out to cross the Mississippi and co-operate with the troops opposed to Sherman. These dispositions not only made it necessary to send A. J. Smith to the support of Rosecrans, who commanded in Missouri, but compelled Canby to abandon any idea of reinforcing Granger before Mobile. On the 29th of August, Grant said to Halleck: ‘I agree with you it would be hazardous and productive of no special good to send Gordon Granger past Mobile towards Atlanta. . . . The movement Sherman is now making, result as it may, cannot be influenced by anything that can be done at Mobile, in obedience to orders from here;’ and on the 10th of September, after Atlanta had actually fallen, and while Sherman was still writing: ‘We must have the Alabama river,’ Grant telegraphed to him: ‘Now that we have all of Mobile that is valuable, I do not know but it will be the best ’

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