through a country rapidly enough to live off of it. . . . West of the Mississippi
we do not want to do more than defend what we now hold, but I do want Canby
to make a winter campaign either from Mobile bay
.... What I would order is that Canby
be furnished cavalry horses and be directed to prepare to commence a campaign, and that Thomas
be telegraphed to say what he could do, and when, and get his choice, looking upon Selma
as his objective.
must make a campaign, or spare his surplus troops.’
had requested that Thomas
should be ordered to move southward with a large force, but this Grant
was unwilling to order; and on the 21st of January, he wrote to Sherman
: ‘Before your last request to have Thomas
make a campaign into the heart of Alabama
, I had ordered Schofield
, with his corps. . . . I did not believe Thomas
could possibly be got off before spring.
His pursuit of Hood
indicated a sluggishness that satisfied me he would never do to conduct one of your campaigns.
The command of the advance of the pursuit was left to subordinates, whilst Thomas
followed far behind.
had crossed the Tennessee
, and those in pursuit had reached it, Thomas
had not much more than half crossed the state, from which he returned to Nashville
to take steamer for Eastport
He is possessed of excellent judgment, great coolness and honesty, but he is not good in a pursuit.
He also reported his troops fagged, and that it was necessary to equip up. This report and a determination to give the enemy no rest determined me to use his surplus troops elsewhere.’