They were the more ready for this, as both the President
and the Secretary
had been steadily hostile to the movement from the beginning.
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.
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?
'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.’
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