either strike the Danville
road or join the forces operating against Richmond
, as the general-in-chief
's own movement to the left was fixed for the 29th of March, and, unless it was immediately and completely successful, he meant to send Sheridan
to destroy the Danville
railroads, and then allow him to move into North Carolina
and join Sherman
By this strategy the commands of Lee
would both be enclosed and driven to a common centre.
If they attempted to unite in order to fall upon Sherman
would follow Lee
as rapidly as possible; or, if events rendered this course unadvisable, Sherman
could be brought to Grant
whenever necessary; while Sheridan
moved between, destroying the communications of both the rebel armies.
had now spent many days of anxiety lest each morning should bring the news that the enemy had retreated the night before.
He was firmly convinced that the crossing of the Roanoke
would be the signal for Lee
to leave; and if Johnston
were combined, a long and tedious and expensive campaign, consuming most of the summer, might become inevitable.
His anxiety was well founded; for, during Sherman
's delay, the rebel