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[220] that his cavalry was inefficient, and it was certainly inferior in numbers to that of the enemy; but both Grant and Sherman considered that Thomas needed a smaller body of horse than he himself was persuaded he required. Wilson, his cavalry commander, was a young man with very large ideas of what he wanted; full of energy and spirit, but lacking in judgment and headstrong in opinion. He desired a large and admirably equipped command of cavalry. There can be no doubt that such a command was eminently desirable, but it was not indispensable. It was far from being necessary to risk the security of Tennessee, or the upsetting of all Grant's plans at the South and East as well as the West, in order to raise or equip another thousand or two of horse. A cavalry officer might be excused for magnifying the importance of his command, or insisting on the necessity of his accoutrements; the latter at least was within his province; though Wilson himself was the very man to have moved, ready or not, at the word of command. But the general of a great army should have risen to a height from which all the contingencies of the campaign and all the circumstances of the field would have assumed their proper proportions. Thomas's own campaign was, after all, but one of many, and it was necessary for the general success that it should be fought at a certain time. Canby's operations in the rear of Hood were intended to be co-operative with Thomas's advance; and Sherman and Meade and Butler and Sheridan were all included in the scheme, in which the army in Tennessee bore only a part. Thus the delay of Thomas might defeat operations a thousand miles away.

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