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‘ [153] strength.’ Sherman, however, was very much in hope that Hood would actually invade Tennessee. On the 16th, he said to Schofield: ‘I want the first positive fact that Hood contemplates an invasion of Tennessee. Invite him to do so. Send him a free pass in.’ On the 17th: ‘We must follow Hood till he is beyond reach of mischief, and then resume the offensive.’ The same day he said to Thomas: ‘Hood won't dare go into Tennessee. I hope he will.’ Again: ‘If Hood wants to go into Tennessee, west of Huntsville, let him go, and then we can all turn on him, and he cannot escape... I will follow him to Gadsden, and then want my whole army united for the grand move into Georgia.’

On the 14th of October, when Sherman was at Resaca, Grant telegraphed to Washington: ‘It looks to me now that Hood has put himself into a position where his army must be to a great extent destroyed. Sherman has Rome, and the rich district of country around it, and is in a better condition to live independent of supplies on hand, than Hood. I think now we may look for favorable news from that quarter.’ The time, however, had not yet come for the destruction of Hood's army. Sherman was at this moment cut off from all communication with the North, and on the 14th, Grant telegraphed to Stanton: ‘The best that can be done with despatches for Sherman is to send them to Thomas, to be forwarded as soon as communications are opened.’ Among the despatches thus delayed was Grant's permission of October 11th, for Sherman to make his march; so that Grant was actually preparing and arranging for Sherman's campaign,

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