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[221]

Besides this, Grant contemplated possibilities that were perhaps not so apparent to his subordinate. In all military matters, his imagination was not only vivid, but what may be called dramatic, as well. He knew what he himself would do in Hood's position, and often said at the time that so long as Hood was free, the whole West was in danger. Had he commanded the rebel army, he would have ignored Nashville altogether, and allowing Thomas to reinforce and refit his cavalry at leisure, would have moved to the North, when Thomas would have had nothing to do, but to follow. It was not only Nashville that Grant was considering, but Louisville, and the country beyond the Ohio. At no period of the war did those who approached him closest perceive so many signs of anxiety as now. He feared the undoing of all that had been achieved at so much cost at the West; he feared another race between the armies, for the Ohio; the necessity for raising fresh levies; the arousing of disaffection in Indiana;—issues compared with which the remount of Thomas's cavalry, or even the fate of Nashville, was insignificant.

What added to his solicitude at this crisis was the personal respect and regard he entertained for Thomas. The kindly nature of the man had won upon Grant; and still more the splendid services he had rendered the country; the firm loyalty Thomas had displayed at the beginning of the war; the genuine truthfulness, the sturdy honesty, the steadfast patriotism, that were part of his character. Grant was thoroughly assured that Thomas intended well; that it was a feeling of duty which held him back; that the subordinate's love for the

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