daring which distinguished him in front of Atlanta
, or which apparently inspired the conception of this very campaign; if he had realized the expectations of the South
, or the fears of the North
; if he had acted as half a score of generals, on either side, had acted on half a score of occasions during the war—Grant's apprehensions might have been terribly justified.
Had the rebel commander moved to the Ohio
, and compelled Thomas
to follow, that officer would never have been forgiven.
As it was, the rebels lived upon the country for a fortnight;1
they fortified strongly in front of Nashville
, and doubled the loss of life that Thomas
incurred to oust them; they gave extreme uneasiness to the country and the government, and for a while endangered the success of Grant
's plans elsewhere—and all of this might have been saved: the proof of which is that Hood
, instead of striking Thomas
, remained to receive the blow.
The blow, it is true, when it came, was well considered, admirably aimed, perfectly executed, and the result all that had been hoped or desired; but if Grant
's other subordinates had taken it upon themselves at critical moments to defy his judgments and disregard his orders, the strategy which gave Thomas
the opportunity to strike that blow would have come to naught.
No general can count on success when those to whom he entrusts the execution of his plans take it upon themselves to determine that he is wrong.
's own lieutenants had acted towards him as he did to