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[63] fifty miles from any communications. But the more important point was whether Hood should be first destroyed. This Grant would undoubtedly have preferred. It was his nature to attack directly, and not evade, far less move away from, an enemy. But he had almost unbounded faith in Sherman's genius, and as has been often seen, he always took into consideration the temper of his subordinates. He believed also that confidence was one of the first requisites of success, and when he found his great lieutenant so impetuous in his eagerness, he gave the word. Yet he himself would probably never have made the march, leaving Hood in the rear. In the Vicksburg campaign, it is true, he moved away from Pemberton, but it was to attack Johnston; and when he set out from the Mississippi, he fully intended to turn and crush Pemberton, as soon as Johnston was destroyed. Had he been in Sherman's place now, he would have been quite as determined to make the march, but not until Hood was annihilated.

He felt, however, that he was able to supervise all; to provide troops for Thomas sufficient to withstand Hood, and supplies to meet Sherman when he emerged; and his confidence in Sherman's generalship determined him to permit the move. ‘Such an army,’ he said to Stanton on the 13th, ‘and with such a commander, is hard to corner or to capture.’ This confidence was reciprocal. If Sherman could not have reposed absolutely on Grant, if he had not felt certain that the chief would provide supplies to meet him, wherever, on the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico, he should

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