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‘ [223] does not cease, nothing but ruin is before them.’ Every effort, nevertheless, was made by the rebel rulers to withstand the advance of Sherman. Bragg and Beauregard were summoned, the one from the East, the other from the West; for unless the rebels meant to yield everything, they must defend Augusta and Savannah. But there was no organization, and little to organize. Breckenridge was reported to have been ordered from West Virginia, and Early from the Valley; but these rumors were soon ascertained to be false; Wilmington, however, was certainly stripped of its garrison, and the governors of five states were called upon for the reserves. Information also came from various sources that an attempt would be made to throw troops into Savannah. Ossabaw Sound, in that vicinity, was the point where it was expected Sherman would appear. Here supplies were waiting for him, and hither Grant sent a messenger with orders, to greet .him on his arrival. The inland fortifications were believed to be weak, but the obstructions in the Savannah river prevented any aid to Sherman by the fleet, until he actually struck the coast.

As yet, however, it was far from certain that Sherman would not turn to the Gulf of Mexico, and maps and newspapers were carefully studied by Grant, to divine his course. Meanwhile, the cooperative movement of Canby was delayed, as we have seen. Until Thomas assumed the offensive against Hood, Canby was obliged to hold Vicksburg and Memphis so that they could not be seriously threatened, and his own expedition into the interior was thus postponed. At last, came rumors of the capture of Millen by Sherman, and, on the

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William T. Sherman (5)
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