force could be collected in the entire South
to oppose Sherman
, so long as Lee
was held at Richmond
's troops were scattered from the Missouri
to the Alleghanies
could no longer direct him; would no longer be responsible for him; and up to this time Thomas
had never commanded an independent army; while great defeat on the Tennessee
would balance all that the national forces had achieved in every other theatre of war. It was this that made Grant
pause; it was this that alarmed the government, which opposed the movement from the beginning.
It was this that made Thomas
himself declare that he did not wish to be left behind to command the forces in defence of Tennessee
It was this that made the great and supreme responsibility which the general-in-chief
alone could and did assume.
's proposed attempt was like, and also unlike, Grant
's Vicksburg campaign.
It was like, because it was abandoning one base, and seeking another; plunging into an enemy's country, and relying on a hostile region for resources.
It was unlike, because Sherman
did not expect an enemy in his front, while Grant
penetrated between two hostile forces; and because Sherman
was uncertain where he should strike, while Grant
intended from the beginning to reach the Walnut Hills
It was undoubtedly suggested by Grant
's success behind Vicksburg
; for Sherman
had this one indisputable quality of greatness,—he could be convinced: and