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‘ [49] 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, Columbia, 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 Appalachicola . . . 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. Sherman'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

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