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‘ [56] confident of his ability to succeed) to make his way either to the Savannah river, or any of the navigable streams emptying into the Atlantic or Gulf, if he is only certain of finding a base for him when he arrives.’ On the 6th of October, the general-in-chief went to Washington, to ascertain definitely upon what reinforcements he could rely, and to shape his plans accordingly.

Meanwhile, as we have seen, when Hood had once crossed the Chattahoochee, Sherman was obliged, however reluctantly, to follow; but still, as corps after corps was sent north in pursuit, his despatches were full of suggestions of counter-moves; he was looking back constantly to the fields that he preferred. ‘Keep your folks ready,’ he said to Schofield, ‘to send baggage into Atlanta, and to start on short notice.’ ‘If we make a countermove, I will go out myself with a large force, and take such a route as will supply us, and at the same time make Hood recall the whole or part of his army.’ Thomas had now arrived in Chattanooga, and on the 30th of September, Sherman said to him: ‘There is no doubt some of Hood's infantry is across the Chattahoochee, but I don't think his whole army is across. If he moves his whole force to Blue Mountain, you watch him from the direction of Stevenson, and I will do the same from Rome, and as soon as all things are ready, I will take advantage of his opening to me all of Georgia.’

Blue Mountain was at this time the terminus of the Selma and Talladega railroad, about sixty miles south-west of Rome; and as Hood had now abandoned the Macon and West Point roads, this was the nearest point at which he could connect

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