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‘ [45] move for Major-General Canby's troops to act upon Savannah, while you move on Augusta. I would like to hear from you, however, in this matter.’

Augusta, on the Savannah river, is a hundred and fifty miles from its mouth, and a hundred and seventy-five miles east of Atlanta; Montgomery, on the Alabama, is a hundred and fifty miles southwest of Atlanta, and two hundred from Mobile. Grant's idea now was for Canby to take Savannah, at the mouth of the river of that name, and then move up to Augusta with supplies; while Sherman, moving south-east instead of south-west, would approach the Atlantic coast instead of the Gulf of Mexico: he would thus sever the only remaining line between Hood and Lee, and be better able, in case of need, to co-operate with Grant. There was still another possible route for Sherman, running almost directly south, to Columbus, Georgia, from which point communication could be opened by the Chattahoochee and Appalachicola rivers, with the Gulf of Mexico.

Sherman replied to Grant's telegram the same night, promptly conforming his own views to the new conception of his chief: ‘Our roads are broken back near Nashville, and Wheeler is not yet disposed of. . . . I do not think we can afford to operate further, dependent on the railroad; it takes so many men to guard it, and then it is nightly broken by the enemy's cavalry that swarms around us. . . . If I could be sure of finding provisions and ammunition at Augusta, or Columbus, Georgia, I can march to Milledgeville, and compel Hood to give up Augusta or Macon, and then turn on the other. The country will afford forage and many supplies, but ’

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William T. Sherman (3)
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