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[361] at first in the opinion that Sherman should move by sea, but, before either could know the second thought of the other, each suggested instead the campaign by land; and, when the decision of Grant was communicated to Sherman, he matured a scheme which was entirely acceptable, in all its details, to the general-in-chief, while Grant undertook again to provide the co-operation and support indispensable for the success of the design. Had their relations to each other been exactly reversed, the action of neither chief nor subordinate would, in all probability, have been different.

Even on a minor point there was the same curious identity of judgment between them. Sherman, in his dispatch of December 24th, declared: ‘Charleston is a mere desolated wreck, and it is hardly worth the time it would take to starve it out. Still, I am well aware that historically and politically much importance is attached to the place, and it may be that, apart from its military importance, both you and the administration may prefer I should give it more attention. . . . It would be well for you to give me some general idea on the subject.’ Again, on the 31st, he said: ‘If you want me to take Charleston, I think I can do it.’ Grant's answer will be anticipated by those familiar with his history. On the 7th of January, he wrote to the Secretary of War: ‘Please say to General Sherman I do not regard the capture of Charleston of any military importance. He can pass it by, unless in doing so he leaves a force in his rear which it will be dangerous to leave there.’

The remarkable personal relations which united the two soldiers were at this juncture as apparent

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