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[263] received, dated: ‘Six miles from Nashville,’ and giving full details of the victory. This day the good news came in fast, for despatches were also brought from Sherman. He had reached the coast, carried Fort McAllister, opened Ossabaw Sound, communicated with the fleet, and invested Savannah. On the 18th, Grant congratulated both his generals.

To Sherman he wrote: ‘I have just received.. and read, I need not tell you with how much gratification, your letter to General Halleck. I congratulate you and the brave officers and men under your command, on the successful termination of your most brilliant campaign. I never had a doubt of the result. When apprehensions for your safety were expressed by the President, I assured him that with the army you had, and you in command of it, there was no danger but that you would strike bottom, on salt water, some place; that I would not feel the same confidence and security—in fact, would not have entrusted the expedition to any other living commander.’ Then reverting to the Tennessee campaign, he continued: ‘It has been hard work to get Thomas to attack Hood. I gave him the most peremptory order, and had started to go there myself before he got off. He has done magnificently, however, since he started.’

The same day came a second despatch from Sherman, dated December 12, in which he said: ‘I am. . somewhat astonished at the attitude of things in Tennessee. I purposely delayed at Kingston, until General Thomas assured me he was all ready; and my last despatch from him of the 12th November was full of confidence; in this he promised me that he would “ruin Hood,” if he dared to advance from Florence urging me to go ’

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