whatever he chose to take, all in the best state of preparation, had marched in another direction; and a desperate effort, it was evident, was about to be made to strike at Thomas
, whose fragmentary command was still scattered from Missouri
to East Tennessee
The very boldness of Hood
's movement was calculated to affect the spirit of his troops.
They knew, if defeated, that no other army remained, or could be collected at the West
, in defence of their cause.
They were to meet their old enemy.
The eyes of the South
were upon them; the rebel President
himself had journeyed from Richmond
to incite them.
had left them an open door; and they were about to re-claim the soil upon which many of them had been born.
arrived, the result must have been disastrous to the national cause.
had not returned from West Tennessee
, and the rebel chief had lost some of the ardor which characterized the assaults before Atlanta
If his strategy was still bold, his tactics were certainly tamer.
He lingered around Florence
when every hour's delay was of incalculable advantage to his adversary, and for twenty days, at this crisis of his fortune, he neither followed Sherman
nor assaulted Schofield
On the 17th of November, as there were no indications of an immediate movement in any quarter of the field, Grant
travelled from City Point
to Burlington, New Jersey
, where his children were at school.
He took with him a single aide-de-camp, and a telegraph operator, that he might retain communication with the armies.
On the 19th, a rumor