on the country for the balance.
Where a million of people find subsistence, my army won't starve. . . . I will therefore give it as my opinion that your army and Canby
's should be reinforced to the maximum; that after you get Wilmington
, you should strike for Savannah
and its river; that General Canby
should hold the Mississippi river
, and send a force to take Columbus, Georgia
, either by the way of the Alabama
or Appalachicola river
; that I should keep Hood
employed and put my army in fine order for a march on Augusta
, and Charleston
, and start as soon as Wilmington
is sealed to commerce, and the city of Savannah
is in our possession.’
Again, in the same letter, he said: ‘If you will secure Wilmington
and the city of Savannah
from your centre, and let General Canby
have command over the Mississippi river
and country west of it, I will send a force to the Alabama
. . . and if you will fix a day to be in Savannah
, I will insure our possession of Macon
and a point on the river below Augusta
This was not different from what Grant
had first suggested in his telegram of the 10th of September.
But at this moment the whole situation changed as suddenly as the scenery in a theatre.
's letter was dated September 20th, and on the 21st, Hood
moved his army from Lovejoy
's, where he had remained since the capture of Atlanta
, to Palmetto station, on the West Point railroad, twenty-four miles south-west of the national position.
From this place, on the 22nd, he announced to Bragg
: ‘I shall, unless Sherman
moves south, so soon as I can collect supplies, cross the Chattahoochee