No man could be long downcast when near him. It was pleasant to receive this influence.
One felt more a man when with him, and liked him for it. This, with the thoughtful anxiety never to wound another, the watchful care and persistent advancement of the interests of his friends, the steadfast regard, never expressed in words to the individual, but discovered in acts, and sometimes—though rarely—in tones or glances that he never meant should betray him— these, combined with the fact that he represented the nation, that his success was bound up with that of the country, that he was the incarnation of the cause for which all were fighting—produced a devotion in those who served under and near him, which rivalled that inspired by any of the great commanders in history.
During this period the general-in-chief
was making every preparation to support and facilitate Sherman
At 11.30 P. M. on the 11th of-October, he had first authorized the movement.
‘If you are satisfied the trip to the sea-coast can be made, holding the line of the Tennessee river
firmly, you may make it, destroying all the railroads south of Dalton
, as you think best.’
On the next day, at one P. M., he renewed his permission, and gave Sherman
instructions for his conduct on the road.
‘On reflection,’ he said, ‘I think better of your proposition.
It will be much better to go south than to be forced to go north.
You will no doubt clear the country where you go, of railroad tracks and supplies.
I would also move every wagon, horse, mule, and hoof of stock, as well as the negroes.
As far as arms can be supplied, either from surplus or by capture, I would put them in the hands of negro ’