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[157] his decision.1 They were the more ready for this, as both the President and the Secretary had been steadily hostile to the movement from the beginning. Halleck also had presented to Grant an elaborate letter recommending an entirely different campaign.2 Thus, although the administration would not take the responsibility of countermanding Grant's order, or absolutely overruling his judgment, they did strongly urge him to reconsider both at this late day.

Grant was always properly subordinate, and thought himself obliged to defer to this intimation from his superiors. The despatch from Stanton arrived on the 1st of November, and at six P. M. on the same day, Grant telegraphed to Sherman: ‘Do you not think it advisable, now that Hood has gone so far north, to entirely settle him before starting on your proposed campaign? With Hood's army destroyed, you can go where you please with impunity. I believed, and still believe, that if you had started south whilst Hood was in the neighborhood of you, he would have been forced to go after you. Now that he is so far away, he might look upon the chase as useless, and go in one direction whilst you are looking in the other. If you can see the chance for destroying Hood's army, attend to that first, and make your other move secondary.’

Sherman himself was struck with the same idea. Indeed, the whole enterprise was of such magnitude, the issues at stake were so tremendous, that all concerned might well ponder before the final step

1 Grant never knew the origin of this despatch until after the death of Rawlins.

2 See Appendix for this letter.

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