forced to make his way back to the Tennessee
, discomfited and repelled.
Armies larger than his and as successful at the start, had met such a fate before, in history; some in this very war; and on such a result the rebel President
and his new general evidently counted; such they promised their soldiers and people should be the end of the new campaign.
But although obliged for a while to retrace his steps and defend what he had won, Sherman
was still looking to his onward march.
The crisis so imminent in his rear only made him more eager to advance.
On the 28th of September, he said: ‘I want Appalachicola
arsenal taken, also Savannah
, and if the enemy does succeed in breaking up my roads, I can fight my way across to one or the other place; but I think better to hold on to Atlanta
and strengthen to my rear, and am therefore glad you have ordered troops to Nashville
The emergency itself inspired him with bolder and still bolder conceptions; his genius flashed like lightning through the darkness, and amid dangers that would have daunted many a brave soldier, he began to see his way across the Confederacy
At the same time, these tremendous demands upon Grant
, these imperative calls that the chief should at once protect Nashville
, three hundred miles in the rear, and take Appalachicola
, a thousand miles away, in front, show the absolute faith of Sherman
both could and would supervise all. He had said himself six months before: ‘I tell you, this made us act with confidence.
I knew . . . if I got in a tight place, you would help me out, if alive.’
On the 29th of September, Hood
crossed the Chattahoochee
, and on this day Grant
made, as he