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[175] Kirby Smith to find some means of bringing the troops west of the Mississippi to join in the coming campaign. Despatches from Jefferson Davis had been intercepted, giving Smith positive orders; and Canby was now directed, not only to prevent the crossing of the river, but to act against the communications of Hood and Beauregard. Two expeditions were accordingly organized for this purpose, one to start from Vicksburg and the other from Baton Rouge. ‘As large a force as can be sent,’ said Grant, ‘ought to go to Meridian or Selma. . . The road from Jackson should be well broken, and as much damage as possible done to the Mobile and Ohio.’ At the same time, Foster, in South Carolina, was directed to send a force to destroy the railroad in Sherman's front, between Savannah and Charleston. ‘I think it would have a good effect to make the attempt . . even if it should not succeed entirely. If the troops cannot get through, they can keep the enemy off of Sherman awhile.’1 Supplies had already been ordered from Washington to the neighborhood of Savannah, but clothing for sixty thousand men as well as rations for thirty days, and forage for fifteen thousand horses for the same time, were now collected near Mobile bay, to await the possibility of Sherman's appearance there. At the same time, A. J. Smith had been ordered with ten thousand men, from Missouri to Tennessee. Transports on the Atlantic and in the Gulf of

1 These co-operative movements of Canby and Foster suggested themselves to Sherman as well as to Grant, as appears by the records. They were indeed so manifestly appropriate that they would doubtless have occurred to any experienced strategist.

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William T. Sherman (4)
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