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[177] at this juncture, of the strategy which enveloped a continent. Nashville, the capital of the state, is situated on the south bank of the Cumberland river, thirty or forty miles from the Kentucky line, and midway between the eastern and western boundaries. It is connected with the North by a single railroad, starting from Louisville, on the Ohio, two hundred miles away. Along this road the principal reinforcements and supplies had passed for Sherman and Thomas since the beginning of April. Southward, two lines run from Nashville to the great railway which connects Chattanooga with the Mississippi—the Memphis and Charleston road. One of these lines runs south-east, and strikes the Chattanooga road at Stevenson; the other extends south-westerly, to Decatur. Nashville is thus at the apex of a triangle, and was by far the most important strategic point west of the Alleghanies and north of the Tennessee. On the road to Stevenson, the principal positions are Murfreesboroa, Tullahoma, and Decherd; on the western line—Franklin, Columbia, Pulaski, and Athens. By either route, Nashville is about one hundred and fifty miles from the Memphis and Charleston road, along which the points of importance are Chattanooga, Stevenson, Huntsville, Decatur, Tuscumbia, and Corinth; the last-named place being at the junction with the road leading into Mississippi and Alabama, by way of Meridian and Selma. The Tennessee river runs west from Chattanooga, and south of the railroad, nearly to Corinth; but at Eastport it turns to the north, and passing by Pittsburg landing, Johnsonville, Fort Henry, and Paducah, empties at last into the Ohio. Between

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