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‘ [391] by that day, but I know he did not, and I do not know that he has yet started it.’

He then proceeded to lay down a few general remarks on strategy, embodying some of the results of his own experience: ‘It rarely happens that a number of expeditions, starting from various points to act upon a common centre, materially aid each other. They never do, except when each acts with vigor, and either makes rapid marches or keeps confronting the enemy. Whilst one column is engaging anything like an equal force, it is necessarily aiding the other by holding that force. With Grierson I am satisfied you would either find him at the appointed place in time, or you would find him holding the enemy, which would enable the other column to get there.’ . . .

‘I feel a great anxiety,’ he continued, ‘to have the enemy entirely broken up at the West. Whilst I believe it will be an easy job, time will enable the enemy to reorganize and collect all their deserters, and get up a formidable force. By giving them no rest, what they now have in their ranks will leave them. It is also important to prevent as far as possible the planting of a crop this year, and to destroy their railroads, machine-shops, etc. It is also important to get all the negro men we can, before the enemy put them into their ranks.’ These were the identical views entertained by Grant when he assumed command of the armies the year before,1 and which he had been urging upon all his commanders since.

He concluded: ‘Stoneman starts from East Tennessee in a few days to make a raid as far up on ’

1 Vol. II., chap. I., passim.

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